Sennheiser HD 202 review

These closed-back cans are a great bargain buy Tested at £26.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Great sound for the money makes these closed-back cans a brilliant bargain buy


  • +

    Extremely capable all-round audio for the very affordable price

  • +

    more than reasonable styling and build quality


  • -

    Slightly tighter bass would be a bonus

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Exciting as it is to test and play with high-tech, high-end hi-fi, there's something rather thrilling about discovering a real budget belter of a product, which is exactly what we've got here in the form of the Sennheiser HD 202s.

At just £26 (and we've seen them for even less) they cost less than even the most frugal of Friday nights on the town, yet they'll last a heck of a lot longer than even the most apocalyptic of hangovers.

What you get here is a pair of over-ear headphones of the closed-back, commuter-friendly kind. They don't look particularly special, but they certainly don't look cheap, either, and the firm but comfortable fit means they shouldn't fly off your head unless you have to break into a serious sprint for the tube.

Pleasantly spacious and airy
What's really impressive, though, is the way the HD 202s sound. Naturally the audio's a little more enclosed than that from an open-backed pair, but by the standards of the closed-back class these are pleasantly spacious and airy, yet they combine that with lovely vocal focus and instrument clarity.

They're fun, too, crisply attacking the bubbly bounce of Vampire Weekend's A-Punk, and there's confident tonal balance and control throughout.

It would be wrong to get carried away, of course: there's only so much a pair of headphones at this price can do, and spending more will buy you better, but for this money our only complaint is a little softness in the otherwise impressively deep bass.

A great way to spend £26
The only other thing to note is that Sennheiser sees the HD 202s as a pair of headphones for inside the house as well as outside, so (as well as including a 6.3mm adapter) has used a 3m cable, which is rather awkward when on the go.

There's a ‘winder' in the box with a belt-clip that neatens things up somewhat, but don't expect anything high-tech. We'll happily deal with that, though, because we're otherwise rather hard-pressed to think of a better way to spend £26.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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