Skip to main content

10 Earphones Under $100

Sennheiser HD415: Affordable Quality

Intended more for home use due to their large size and lack of foldability, HD415s are made of a silvered plastic with modern esthetics that appealed to me - though that's obviously a matter of taste. This is a supra-aural set of headphones, but the size of the earpieces would probably accommodate a circum-aural system. Very light for their size, the 415s are comfortable to wear, at least for relatively short periods, since your ears tend to get warm after a long listening period with the cushions directly in contact with them. But that's a matter of taste and ambient temperature! The cable is thin, light, and flexible and won't weigh you down.

Technical Characteristics

  • Type: open supraaural
  • Frequency response: 18 Hz - 19 kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 110 dB
  • Cable length: 3 m
  • Plug type: 3.5 mm miniplug/ 6.35 mm (1/4 in. phone)
  • Weight: 160 g (5.64 oz)

Balance And Definition

The HD415 shows wide, perfectly balanced response. The extreme lows show attenuation, but only below 30 Hz, which means it would be difficult to perceive when listening to music. The irregularities in the highs are within reasonable limits both in amplitude and bandwidth.

Excellent, broad response with perfect balance.

The efficiency is only average, but it's compatible with small audio players. You'll be able to get enough volume for enjoyable listening.

Efficiency: approximately 94 dB/V

Listening Test

The Sennheiser HD415 is intended more for home use, since it's large and not foldable. It offers good quality for the money. However, in my opinion, the use of a supra-aural design on a model of this size makes it less comfortable to wear for longer periods, than earphones offered by many of its competitors. But the 415 offers near-perfect balance, with well-defined midrange, extended response and good separation in the highs. The lows are well in evidence, open, and extended. In short there's little to criticize about this model except for its lack of comfort over long periods and its bulk - if you might consider taking it out with you.

Conclusions

The Good

  • balance and sound quality
  • very affordable

The Not So Good

  • uncomfortable