After 25 years!
I tested some stax, beyer, audio technica, the famous jecklin float, the akg k240 monitor, but I fell for the HD540 Reference.
Back then I feared they would be too fragile.
But I'm more confident now.
Although I have always taken good care of them.
They are a true gem, and they need some care, they are hard to find in good shape and at a reasonable price.
USE AND DESIGN
The foams are hard to find, although those of the HD560 are supposed to fit them too (I've never tried it).
The cables and internal foams can still be found as spare parts.
Mine are from 1989 and nothing (except for the ear cushions) has ever broken, so, yes!!!
They are sturdy
They sound superbly.
That said, be careful, because they are 600-Ohms headphones, so you need quite some power to drive them.
They will sound dull, lifeless and without depth with many basic headphone jacks, so they might disappoint you.
You need to know what you want.
These headphones are fantastic IF you can make the best of them, meaning you have the right gear to amplify them correctly.
In which case they sound pristine, delicate, chiseled.
But also merciless!
It's not a good idea to hear questionable MP3s with them.
It won't be a pleasant experience.
These are headphones that must be earned and they deserve the best.
Not at all the type that will settle for the bare minimum.
Don't buy these headphones to plug them into a smartphone or iThingy.
They really needs more.
One last remark: These are my only headphones I have never modified.
To me, Sennheiser remains the leader when it comes to hi-fi audiophile headphones.
USE AND DESIGN
The exact name of the model I have is HD 540 Reference (hence the title of my review)
I bought them 23 years ago at FNAC and I still use them every time I want to listen to music seriously and don't want to start a war with my neighbors. For practical reasons, I've been also using some wireless Sony cans (TMR-RF850R) for some years, but, to be honest, there's no comparison. I like my HD540 especially to listen to my vinyls with my Thorens TD190 turntable and a Pro-ject preamp. It's a real treat, pure Hi-Fi class.
I bought a spare cable because I sometimes have false-contact issues, which I think are due to internal damage of the cable. The quality of these headphones is given due to their semi-open design, which provides an exceptional sense of space.
I just noticed I didn't respect the suggested review form...Too bad, I'll leave it as it is.
I've had these headphones since time immemorial. I have the HD540 Reference, the ones whose ear cups have a velvet rim. They are the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn. The cups' protective cushions wore out pretty quickly and I had to replace the cable once, but they still work fine.
They sound precise, very nice and quite natural, not too flattering, especially in the lows. I have even managed to mix a couple of things with them without any unpleasant surprises.
I really hope they last for a long time, because I'm very satisfied with them.
The HD 540 headphones are reference headphones that fit completely around the ear. I purchased a pair of these when they first came out and have been using them every since then. The frequency response is great on them and the sound quality is top notch! The ear cup padding is very soft and I can keep them on my head for hours without even noticing that they are there.
The highs and mids sound great in these headphones, the sound is completely natural and it was easy to work with but the bass was sort of flat which is good for mixing but not for listening. When I would use these to listen to my iPod with I didn’t really like how the sound on the low end would project. But when I would mix a track in them I loved doing it because I was able to get a great mix on those low frequencies with them.
These headphones come with a 10 foot long cable and a 1/8 inch adapter. They are very light and take up little space. The frequency response is 15 hz to 28,000Hz with an impedance of 50 ohms. You can use these headphones for long sessions and not have to worry about getting a headache or worry about them getting uncomfortable.
The Transducer in them is a “duaFol” transducer and was fist in its class when they first came out. Since they have been out for a while now they can still be purchased but at an even lower price. Do not be afraid to purchase a used pair of these because they hold up very well and as long as the previous person has kept them in decent condition there is nothing to worry about. Also, Sennheiser is a German based company but they have a distribution office over here in the US so it is not hard to get them fixed if needed. They also have great customer service too!