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

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.

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.

See all our five-star headphone reviews

Follow us on Twitter

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.

Read more about how we test