Sennheiser is well known for their amazing audiophile-grade open-back headphones such as the HD 800 and HD 650 that offer a natural and spacious feel compared to their closed-back brethren. The only drawback to those headphones is they really can’t be used anywhere but in the quietest of spaces as they have a lot ambient noise bleed through due to their open-back design. Sennheiser says they have solved this problem of generating high-resolution/audiophile sound with their new HD 630VB closed-back headphone. On-top of delivering amazing performance on-the-go, the HD 630VBs come with a host of features that aren’t normally found on audiophile grade monitors. So do these new headphones from Sennheiser deserve to be named after their legendary HD Series?
FUNCTION: Featuring an aluminum voice coil, combined with a reported total harmonic distortion of less than 0.08 percent (at 1 kHz and 100 dB SPL), promises precise, unaltered sonic reproduction across a large frequency range of 10 Hz to 42,000 Hz.
If your musical tastes prefer more bass-heavy listening, Sennheiser has also incorporated a rotary dial to finely tune the amount of boom coming through the drivers. Playback and volume levels can be controlled via the right ear cup, too, and you can take calls with the help of an omnidirectional microphone integrated into the oxygen-free cable.
An even bigger bonus to users is the ability to switch them from iPhone to Android compatible via a slider switch on the bottom right earcup labeled “i” (iPhone) and “G” for Galaxy. This is extremely convenient for households that have both Android and Apple devices. No more need for two different models of headphones for both operating systems.
FORM: As with all high-end Sennheiser headphones the materials used on the HD 630VB are top-notch. First the all aluminum construction lends to a very substantial feeling headphone without being too heavy.
The adjustable/folding headband is made from a sprung steel that has a very comfortable clamping force and is finished off with a padded, high-quality leather cushion. The snug as a bug in a rug ear-cups also use the same high-quality leather which seals very well to your ears and keeps the ambient noise bleed-through to a minimum. These headphones were made for long listening sessions and it shows. The only drawback to the HD 630VB is the cable is not detachable. This might be a deal breaker to the hardcore Audiophiles but most will look past this negative.
Let’s look at the HD 630VB specs from Sennheiser:
- Wearing Style: Headband
- Ear coupling: Circumaural
- Transducer principle: Dynamic, closed
- Frequency Response: 10 – 42,000 Hz
- Impedance: 23 ohms
- Sound Pressure Level: 114 dB (1 kHz / 1Vrm)
- Total harmonic distortion: <0.08% (1kHz, 100dB)
- Bass Boost: +/- 5dB at 50 Hz
- Contact pressure: 5.5 ~ 6.8N
- Weight (headphones excluding cable): 14.2 oz (400 g)
- Accessories include carry bag and 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter
Soundstage: The soundstage of the HD 630VB is on the larger side for a closed-back headphone. Thanks in part to the large neodymium dynamic drivers, and variable bass technology that Sennheiser has incorporated into it’s design. Yosi Horikawa’s “Kingdom of Frogs” demonstrates the spaciousness of these quite well. Though they aren’t as wide of a stage as the HD 800s or HD650s, but they’re very good.
Highs: Highs on the HD 630VB are crystal clear and very detailed. They can run a little on the bright side for my taste. It’s all about what the user prefers and most will appreciate the extra oomph these provide. “Dangerous-Oliver Remix,” by Big Data sounds stellar on these Sennheisers.
Mids: This is where I think the HD 630VBs could use a little improvement. Not that they are bad by any means, but on heavy vocal tracks like Labrinth’s “Jealous,” they leave me wanting more. They just don’t give me the live feeling that it’s fellow HD Series do.
Lows: The HD 630VB can reproduce intense sub-bass, but it does so accurately. The variable bass control seems to just fill in the lows, not just exaggerate them. It also lets you taylor the bass quickly for different songs. Because lets face it, all bass is not created equal. There are two songs that I think really show off how dynamic the low frequency range of the HD 630VB truly is. First is Zhu’s “Automatic.” The bass sounds very natural for a closed-back headphone. And with deeper digital bass tones like in the intro to Outkast’s “Speakerboxxx” album, that covers a wide spectrum of the low-end, you get to hear how well the low notes are controlled and represented.
Equipment Used for Review:
- Sennheiser HD 630VB
- Audio Technica ATH-M70x (Used as Reference Headphones)
- Apogee Groove Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier for Mac and PC
- iPad Air 2
- iPhone 6S
Engineering a closed-back Audiophile headphone that is portable device friendly is no easy feat. Congrats on your success Sennheiser.
The HD 630VBs are an extremely fun headphone. They pretty much do everything good and their build-quality is fantastic. This is definitely the one to have as your all-around, good performer that you use on the daily. Combined with their earcup controls and ability to be used with Apple or Android, the Sennheiser HD 630VBs are at the top of my list for closed-back headphones. They are just pure musical fun! And in my honest opinion they do deserve to be in Sennheiser”s HD series line of headphones. This is as close as you’ll get in a closed-back headphone.