Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tech: Sennheiser HD 202 headphones

It's time for final exams here at Shangrila Towers, and that means listening to music through headphones. While my favorite pair of low-cost cans have long been the Grado SR-60s, they have one drawback: an "open" design. That means sounds from the outside world can be heard virtually unimpeded when you're wearing the SR-60s; it makes for a more natural soundstage and it's great for situational awareness, but it's not so good for concentration.

So, when I'm in a semipublic area like the law school where I can let my guard down just a hair, I tend to use a set of Sennheiser HD 202 headphones:

The 202s feature a "closed" design that muffles outside sound somewhat. It's an order of magnitude less than a true ear canal monitor or noise-canceling headphone, but it helps to block footsteps in the hall and other background noise. I find that when I can't quite hear the sound of my fingers clicking on a keyboard, I tend to focus better on what's appearing on the screen.

At less than $30, a pair of Sennheiser HD 202 headphones is incredibly inexpensive. But the value you get for your money is quite high - much better sound quality than the run-of-the-mill iPod earbud, and better comfort than many higher-end headphones (the cheapo plastic band and foam cushioning work surprisingly well). So far the 202s have held up well in my bookbag, even through the rough-and-tumble of the school day, so they're well worth a look.


At 12:09 AM, Anonymous valentines day gifts said...

I do not like small earphones that go into the ear. After a very short time I find them very uncomfortable. I also hate anything pressing on my head.


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