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Sennheiser HD 218 review

For closed-back cans, the Sennheisers are very good – but not the best Tested at £40.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

After some closed-back cans to use on the commute? These Sennheisers are well worth an audition


  • +

    Leak minimal noise

  • +

    weighty, clear delivery


  • -

    Lack the spaciousness of open headphones

  • -

    bit more detail and tighter bass would be nice

As far as affordable on-ear headphones go, it may seem iGrados are the de facto choice. Not so; their open-back design means they leak noise badly, making them an inconsiderate choice for commuters.

That's where closed-back headphones like the Sennheiser HD 218s come in. They may lack the spaciousness of open models, but at least you won't fall out with a stranger on the train.

What they offer is a weighty, clear and refined delivery that'll flatter heavily compressed music and tame a bright-sounding MP3 player.

We would like greater detail and attack, and bass – though deep – could be tighter, but they're good by the standards of affordable closed-back cans.

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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 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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