The HD 220 Originals have what Sennheiser's best affordable earphones and headphones offer - great sonic cohesion. Other big players offer better detail, others better bass, but few managed to make their headphones sound as consistently "right" as Sennheiser.
What does this mean? That the bass doesn't boom out, stepping on the toes of the higher ranges. The treble doesn't have a serrated edge that sits on top of every vocal like a chainsaw-wielding imp. Imperfect as the HD 220 Originals' sound may be in some respects, it succeeds in dealing with all types of music without any serious musical faux pas.
The mid-range has a hint of slightly boxy sensibility recognised as a key part of the Sennheiser sound signature. The bass doesn't extend all that far down and treble lacks the sparkle you'll find in a great pair of brighter hearphones. Yet it still supplies a warm, bassy and detailed sound thanks to the feat of balancing Sennheiser has achieved here.
Partly this is down to the prominent lower-mids, which prove the Sennheiser HD 220 Originals with a lot of their sense of presence and warmth and support the surprisingly detailed high-end - surprising given there seem to be some roll off up there in the clouds of the top frequencies. Although nowhere in the league of open-back headphones, this pair offers excellent clarity and a good sense of spaciousness. For electro-heads though, there may simply not be enough of a pumping bass to satisfy here.
The HD 220 are far from weedy, but they struggle to create that bass thumb that some punters can't live without - even though the sound will appear to some to be bass-driven. They just won't quite reach does into the fiery pits of bass hell as much as some would like. The result is that while their sound is full and warm, it's also laid-back.
They're not fatiguing, either on your ear drums or your ears themselves, so the Sennheiser HD 220 can function as a great, affordable all-day pair. Just like the Sennheiser CX310 Originals before them though, the HD 220 are basically a re-branded version of on of Sennheiser's existing classic models - this time the HD 218. However, if you're not a slave to bass, they can compete with models costing double the price.
We can't entirely forget that the vanilla edition of this headphone, the HD218, is available for less money though - as little as £25 if you shop around. We can recommend their sound, then, but as a package the HD 220 Originals are bettered by their non-branded brothers, and higher-end HD 228 and HD 238.
The Sennheiser HD 220 Originals offer a pleasant, warm sound and a price tag that doesn't scream that you're playing over-the-odds for the Adidas name and logo drawn onto each earcup. They're more tasteful - and a whole lot cheaper - than the hugely popular Monster Beats.
In fact, their biggest rivals are their best friends, the non-Adidas branded Sennheiser HD218, HD228 and HD238. However, if you've already fallen in love with their white 'n' blue colour scheme, this is a quality pair of headphones selling at a very reasonable price.