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Sennheiser HD 700 review

Andrew Williams



  • Recommended by TR
Sennheiser HD 700


Our Score



  • Excellent detail
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Great build quality


  • Not an HD 800-beater
  • Some may prefer brighter signature

Review Price £599.99

Key Features: Open-back design; 8-44,000Hz frequency response; 40mm drivers; 6.3mm jack; Removable cable with 2.5mm mono jacks

Manufacturer: Sennheiser

Sennheiser makes some of the best headphones in the world. Its top-end HD 800 headphones are one of just a couple of pairs of receive our Editor's Choice award. The new Sennheiser HD 700 bridge the gap between this £1000 pair and the £300 HD 650. From any other manufacturer, a £600 set like these would be top dog, and they have a lot to prove.


The Sennheiser HD 700 headphones borrow design chops from their big brother, the HD 800. They have a similar space-age look, with cups full of silvery sections, split with a mix of curves and sharp, defined lines. It's a design that makes the HD 650 look rather plain - but that's not to say many won't prefer the more sober looks of the all-grill 650s.

Sennheiser HD 700

Why all the complicated seams and sections? It's all in an effort to create a structure that completely dampens vibrations, eliminating distortion and keeping the sound as pure as possible.

These are - like the other high-end HD-series models - open-back headphones. The silvery sections that form part of each earcup's back are made of fine steel mesh, curved perfectly for a smooth surface. This mesh covers each opening in the largely-plastic frame. This build is very similar to the HD 800, although the rear grill is much smaller here.

HD 700 grill

Behind the grill sits the 40mm driver and the "turbulence-reducing" technology that Sennheiser is keen to big-up in this new set. When there's nothing to see of this without tearing the headphones apart, we recommend not thinking about it too much, but it's all about managing airflow and ensuring there are no air vacuums that could affect the driver unit. It's all very clever stuff that helps to justify the slightly Arthur C. Clarke looks.

Sennheiser HD 700 11


The Sennheiser HD 700 are circumaural headphones that use pads topped with extremely fine velour. Like their bigger brothers - in both price and size - they are made deliberately large in order to help the weight distribution.

Although the padding is a little harder than some, these headphones are supremely comfortable. As certified at-home headphones they don't need to clamp your head too tight. With a mid-firm grip and light weight, they'll sit happily on your bonce for hours at a time. The headband in particular is extremely well-padded, distributing pressure across the entire top of your head rather than just a top-most point.

Sennheiser HD 700 2

Most reading this would probably never consider these headphones for the purpose anyway, but just in case - these are absolutely not outdoors headphones. They offer virtually no sound isolation and leak noise considerably. Neither is a minus point in an open-back headphone, but it is nevertheless something to consider.

Sennheiser HD 700 1

Accessories and cable

Keeping things simple in a manner that's typical of a high-end headphone, the Sennheiser HD 700 come in a protective presentation case but offer no accessories as such. Aimed at the home audio enthusiast and above, the cable ends in a 6.3mm jack, and no 3.5mm converter is included.

Sennheiser HD 700 4

Much more important, though, the cable is of excellent quality and is removable. Unlike the Sennheiser HD 650 with its proprietary solution, each cup cable here uses a mono 2.5mm jack with an indent in the rubber shielding to aid insertion. The cable has a braided design, giving it a high-quality feel.

Sennheiser HD 700 6

Sennheiser HD 700 3

Although these headphones have less of a grand stature than the top-end Sennheiser HD 800, they are nevertheless stunningly well-built. Yes, they are not made entirely out of steel, glass, wood and other materials that feel conspicuously hard and expensive, but the movement of each joint and the assured flex of the headband tells you instantly that these are top-end headphones.

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January 13, 2012, 10:35 am

Never understood why companies like Sennheiser are considered high-end and quality ones. You never hear the high-end of the sound with Sennheiser headphones and the rest of the frequencies are extremely laid back to be taken seriously. Headphones for dead people.
Strange thing is that many companies follow the Sennheiser path lately. That's sad.


January 15, 2012, 1:35 pm

So what's good headphones then? I'm pretty happy with my Senn HD 25 II.


January 16, 2012, 6:53 pm

The HD 25 II are pretty great. These are a different proposition altogether, though. They're open-backed and have a very different sound sig. A more detailed sound, perhaps, but they can't really be used outside.


January 17, 2012, 8:55 am

Sure, the HD 700 are meant to be audiophile headphones, not DJ/production like HD 25. I could only buy them if the stage were notably more impressive than on HD650 though, or sound/dynamics much more detailed. From my experience with 650's, they're a very exhilarating listen already, but I've also heard the quality jump to HD800 is thrilling. So it would make sense to make something in between. Some people say it's just cutting the coupons though, as is general Sennheiser's late doings. Personally, I dont't hop to such conclusions.

Stranded up there commented on the whole company's offers, not just HD 700 - he or she said, from what I understand, that Sennheiser's products play dull. I couldn't disagree stronger with that, maybe he/she is just used to sound from different companies, like Sony, but different doesn't necessarily mean universally better, does it?


January 20, 2012, 1:28 am

And I never understood why people comment on headphones that they've never heard. Sennheiser HD800 are arguably the best headphones on the market today (although there's no such thing as THE BEST, since no headphones work equally well in all situations). Sennheiser has always been on top. They've always had headphones that could compete and best best in all price ranges, and they've always had high end headphones. If Sennheiser doesnt make high-end headphones, then who does? There are companies that make ONLY high-end, and there are companies that make high-end, mid-end and low-end phones.


February 25, 2012, 5:30 am

Have had the HD800's now for about a month. They are without doubt the most accurate headphones I have. Obviously not everyone appreciates accurate audio reproduction.


June 1, 2012, 3:03 pm

Zombie review!!!

What is this the third time its been resurrected?


June 9, 2012, 6:28 am

I understand what you mean, in every sennheiser headphone I've heard (senn ie7, hd595, pmx680, and the hd25 II 1), I found treble area the most frustrating , lacking some sparkle or extension. I also have the hd800, and the treble seems fine , but a pity you have to shell out 1500$ for this. The treble is a bit smoother than I would like though.
Regarding some frequencies being "laid back", it's not necessarily a bad thing to me.


December 14, 2012, 3:30 pm

Listen to the HD800 and your comment will be invalidated. The HD800 has incredibly revealing highs, nothing like any of the lower end Sennheiser products. I'd expect the HD700 to also be quite detailed in the highs. The HD650 on the other hand is quite laid back in the highs as you say but don't make comments like that until you have heard something considered high end from Sennheiser.

Dean Lu

June 16, 2013, 6:43 pm

How are these versus the shure srh1840. I saw the 1440 being compared but those are $600 less.


January 30, 2014, 10:03 pm

Have you ever tried Audio - Technica ATH - W1000X ?

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