These are the best headphones you can get before you start seeing models with external amps, which to me, defeats the entire mobile utility of headphones in the first place.
I mainly listen to extreme metal, hardcore, neo-classical, german/dutch techno and lyrical comedy/spoken word pieces. These headphones presented any piece I have listented to in its full glory – I have never been even remotely dissapointed once. I used them mainly in conjunction with my computer, which has NFORCE 3 onboard sound and winamp 5.x with ‘full bass and full trebble’ equalizer preset mode on. GREAT sound combination for very cheap.
These headphones submerge your ears in crisp, deep, bassy sound and seal them from the outside world. You won’t hear people talking within 5′ of you, which is ideal for LAN parties or for noisy college dorms. It is also ideal for the true appreciator of musical art who closes his eyes and wishes to be stimulated by nothing else but the piece he is listenting to.
A couple of reviewers have commented on these ‘phones powerful bass. It is true that the HD-212s have powerful bass but it will never muddy or compromise the audio fidelity of vocals and highs within a song. The song is always crisp, even on the most bassy hip hop tracks or the most sharp and vicious grindcore tracks. You will never hear these speakers ‘pop’ or have any sort of distortion at any volume level. You will always hear the piece at EXACTLY as it was intended for you to hear it – the bass is always appropriate, never a distraction, and it only adds a tremendous noticable richness to all the songs listened to.
Lets talk now about structure. Most of the HD-212 is made of flexible plastic. This gives them suprisingly more structural integrity than flexy phones. It DOES however make them inpractical for traveling people. They take up a good deal of space and cannot be smushed or manipulated to fold up. These headphones are probably best used at home or in a walking commute, but not on airplanes or in heavy traveling where space is an issue. The ear coverings are comfortable enough for very long listenting sessions and the headphones themselves deal virtually no neck strain. They are very comfortable to wear, especially in the winter, as they will easily keep your ears warm just as well as earmuffs. The construction of these phones is rugged, I have had them for 2 years and they literally look brand new. I use them for hours a day since I am a music addict.
I will note that I have had to replace the headphone wires twice because one of the wires would eventually be worn down by wear and tear. I blame this on the thin external jacketing and the ultra-thin composition of the internal wire. It was not a big deal to replace the headphone wires, since they are modular and can simply be unplugged and replaced. The jack is proprietary and you will need to import a replacement from Sennheiser for less than 8 bucks. In all likelihood this won’t happen to you, its probably from the way I physically positioned the ‘phones day after day. Even if the headphone wires do fail you – importing the replacement is a suprisingly quick ordeal.
For the price you simply cannot get better headphones without an external amp. These are the only headphones I would buy. The listenting experience is easily on the level of ‘audiophile’ – I reccomend these headphones for all sorts of professional activities like recording, DJing, producing etc – you will always hear the piece EXACTLY as it was intended to be heard.
I reccomend listenting to Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II by Rhapsody to really test out your new pair of ‘phones. You may also want to pickup the soundtrack to Icewind Dale by Jeremy Soule. Both are atmospheric pieces which make heavy use of a dynamic range of sounds and moods that will efficiently showcase your HD-212s.