Sennheiser HD25-1 II
ENG is a broadcasting (usually television) industry acronym which stands for electronic news gathering. It can mean anything from a lone reporter taking a single camcorder out to get a story, to an entire television crew taking a satellite truck on location to do a live report for a newscast. (from Wikipedia)
The HD25-1 has been the standard for ENG productions for roughly around 15 years now, and as a professional broadcasting equipment, the HD25-1 has some very solid qualities. The driver is very resolving, and able to scale up very well to the components up the chain. In fact, the HD25-1 is quite a favorite tool when it comes to evaluating aftermarket headphone cables, as the driver is very transparent to upstream changes. A few years ago Sennheiser rebranded the HD25-1, and the new releases are now branded as the HD25-1 “II”. As a matter of fact, there is no difference between the two models, other than the lettering and the L-angled headphone jack.
The sound signature of the HD25-1 is unlike the typical Sennheiser laid back signature. As a matter of fact, the HD25-1 has often been branded as the Grado-like Sennheiser, due to the aggressive presentation sounding more like a Grado than a typical Sennheiser audiophile headphone.
Being a professional news gathering gear, the HD25-1 is very good with vocals, though in a different way than the ESW-9. On the HD25-1, vocals have a very spot on presence and texture, as opposed to the mellow and thick sounding vocal on the ESW-9. The forward character of the HD25-1 makes it one of the best Rock headphones of all time, where the forward vocal is matched with the punchiest upper bass in this comparison. The HD25-1 has a good amount of treble, although not as extended as the M-50, the SRH-840 or the AKG K181DJ. The slightly rolled off treble of the HD25-1 is actually preferable for Rock music, as it is less fatiguing over long listening periods.
Part of why the HD25-1 is so addictive is the punchy, tight, and focused bass impact of the HD25-1. For Electronica music, the M-50’s bass is the ultimate, beating the HD25-1, the SRH-750DJ in sheer bass force. But for rock music, the M-50’s doesn’t nearly have the agressiveness of the HD25-1 and the SRH-750DJ, and among the two, the HD25-1 just have the best PRaT and presentation for fast and energetic music. The M-50’s bass is also less focused than the HD25-1, making it less ideal for fast Rock and Electronica.
When compared to the newer M-50 driver, I guess the age of the HD25-1 starts to show itself. The driver was probably designed some 20 years ago, and so it doesn’t nearly have the wide frequency range, detail level, and refinement of the M-50. But when it comes to fun factor, the HD25-1 is very high on the list. Where the M-50 may still get a ho-hum comments, the HD25-1 has never failed to impress people who’s first heard it. There is definitely more to music than technicalities, and the HD25-1 is one of the must try headphone for every enthusiasts. The sound is truly addictive, especially if you’re into faster paced music.