Sennheiser gets in on the mix with first open-back Pro headphones
Whether you're an engineer at a recording studio or a musician producing your own tracks on a laptop, you need to be able to hear all the uncolored details. The latest open-back reference headphones from German audio specialist Sennheiser are designed for just that.
"When editing and mixing, you need detail and honesty, and this is what the HD 400 Pro will give you," said Sennheiser's Gunnar Dirks. "Thanks to their linear, high-resolution reproduction, these headphones are a reliable reference to create outstanding audio mixes."
The first open-back studio headphones in the company's Pro line are designed to deliver a much wider soundstage and greater transparency than you'd get from a pair of closed-back reference headphones – though ambient noise can leech in and spoil the session, so you will need quiet surroundings to focus on the job at hand.
The 120-ohm transducers here have been built using a polymer blend diaphragm that's matched with powerful driver magnets to deliver satisfying well-defined bass, and they're angled to recreate the kind of optimum listening triangle you'd aim for with monitors in the studio. Users are treated to a wide frequency response of 6 Hz to 38 kHz for "access to nuanced harmonics and ambiance in your music," while distortion is kept low at less than 0.05 percent (at 1 Hz, 90 dB SPL).
Sennheiser says that the headphones will work well with Dear Reality's monitoring plugins, which employ spatial audio tech to create a kind of virtual mix room, and the Pro cans have already been loaded into the Spatial Headphone Compensation feature of dearVR MIX, with integration into dearVR MONITOR due to follow by the close of 2021.
Of course, nailing the perfect mix can take a long time, so for those extended sessions, the open design will help keep your ears from overheating while encased in the plush velour earpads, and the light weight of 240 g (8.5 oz) should help keep the pressure off too.
The new circumaural open headphones ship with coiled and straight detachable audio cables, and are available now for a retail price of US$249.99. Though intended for mixing, editing or mastering music, they could also be an attractive proposition for any listener who appreciates "natural and precise sound reproduction" as well.
Product page: HD 400 Pro