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Reviewed on Sep 26, 2017

Sennheiser HD 700
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.0
Mixed Usage
8.2
Critical Listening
4.8
Commute/Travel
5.4
Sports/Fitness
5.4
Office
6.1
TV
6.1
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

The HD 700 are well-made critical listening headphones with a comfortable fit and a durable design. They have an excellent audio reproduction and create a spacious soundstage, which makes them one the better options for critical listening. However, they may sound sharp and piercing on certain tracks and are not really practical for any other use case. They're not designed for outdoor use, and they leak quite a bit which may be distracting to the people around you.

Test Results
Design 6.8
Sound 8.2
Isolation 2.2
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 4.8
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Sturdy and comfortable design.
Cons
  • Sensitive to ambient noise, by design.
  • Leaks a lot of sound, by design.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.

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6.8

Design

The HD 700 look like a smaller version of the HD 800 S. They have a sturdy and durable build quality that feels well-made. They're comfortable, breathable and not too tight on the head which makes them a pleasure to wear for hours at a time. They're also relatively lightweight for their size. Unfortunately, they're still quite bulky headphones which makes portability a bit of an issue. They're also a bit unstable, have no control scheme and not suitable for outdoor use.

Style

The HD 700 look somewhat similar to the HD 800 S, but with a more compact and convenient form factor. The ear cups share the same open design, but they're much smaller and fit a little better around most listeners' ears. They also feel just as premium thanks to the microfiber padding on the ear cups and the attention to detail given to the headband. They won't be the most fashion-forward headphones, and with their open-back design they aren't supposed to be used outdoors but their simple, premium feel, will satisfy most casual and critical listeners.

8.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.63 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.8 lbs

The Sennheiser HD 700 are very comfortable headphones. They have a large and spacious ear cups coated in a soft microfiber padding that feels nice on the skin. They're fairly lightweight for their size and don't exert a lot of pressure around your ears. Moreover, unlike the HD 800 S, the ear cups are not as bulky and do not extend all the way down to your jawline so you can wear them for hours and not feel any fatigue.

0 Controls
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A
7.6 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 2.8 C
5.3 Portability
L : 7.9 "
W : 7.7 "
H : 3.8 "
Volume : 231 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The HD 700 are not portable headphones. They do not fold into a more compact format, and the ear cups do not lay flat either. They're on the bulky-side of most over-ear headphones and will be a hassle to carry on you without a bag. They do come with their original box that you can use as a case, but it adds so much bulk that it's not practical to carry them in the box in most cases.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A
8.0 Build Quality

The HD 700 are not as well-built as the HD 800s but they still feel like sturdy, durable and well-made, high-end headphones. The headband is large and reinforced with a metal frame that gives it a bit more durability and flexibility. The ear cups are also decently dense and made of quality materials that won't easily break if you drop them once or twice. However, the hinges are somewhat similar to the HD 600 and HD 650 which is a bit thin and could be the main weak point of the HD 700's build quality.

6.0 Stability

The HD 700 are not stable enough for any kind of physical activities. They're able to maintain a stable fit under normal and casual conditions. However, if you use them while running or doing anything strenuous they will easily slip off your ears. They're not designed for sports and should not be used for that use case.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 9.5 ft
Connection : 1/4" TRS

Comes with a 1/4" TRS audio cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
8.2

Sound

The HD 700 are great-sounding open-back headphones with an extended Bass, a good mid-range, and a well-balanced Treble. They perform relatively consistently across multiple individuals but have a slightly variable bass that depends on positioning. Their open-back design creates a spacious soundstage and their distortion and imaging performance is well above-average but not as good as the higher-end HD 800 S. However, they may sound too sharp and piercing on certain tracks, and like some of the other Sennheiser headphones, they have a slight bump in the mid-range that makes them sound a little muddy.

8.2 Bass
Std. Err.
:
2.52 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
32.68 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-3.33 dB
Mid-Bass
:
0.62 dB
High-Bass
:
3.47 dB

Very good Bass Range performance. Low-bass, is a bit lacking and the high-bass is slightly overemphasized by an average of 4dB. This makes the sound of these headphones noticeably boomy and lacking a little low-end thump and rumble.

8.2 Mid
Std. Err.
:
2.4 dB
Low-Mid
:
3.25 dB
Mid-Mid
:
1.59 dB
High-Mid
:
-1.57 dB

Very good Mid Range performance. Mid and high-mid are reproduced nearly perfectly but the bump in low-mid, which is the continuation of the high-bass overemphasis, will make the Mid Range slightly muddy.

8.0 Treble
Std. Err.
:
3.42 dB
Low-Treble
:
-2.31 dB
Mid-Treble
:
3.14 dB
High-Treble
:
-2.23 dB

Great Treble Range performance. Low-treble is reproduced consistently and is within 1dB of our target. However, the sharp peak around 6.5KHz could make treble sound piercing and sharp on certain track.

7.5 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.5 dB

Excellent consistency. The Bass Range of our Over-Ear and On-Ear headphones are measured on 5 different human subjects, 5 times each. The HD 700 shows a consistent response in the mid-range but a bit of variation with their bass. However, since they're open-back, the design allows them to rely less on an air-tight seal to create their low-end. The Treble Range also shows good consistency, but depending on the positioning, there could be up to 3dB of variance at 3KHz.

8.7 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.19
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.24
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.39
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
9.22
8.2 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.32 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
5.81 dB
PRTF Distance
:
15.48 dB
Openness
:
9.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
8.8
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB
7.9 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.511
Weighted THD @ 100
:
2.603

Good Harmonic Distortion performance. The amount of harmonic distortion in the Treble Range is very low, regardless of the level, which is excellent. The Mid and bass ranges also show very little distortion.

2.2

Isolation

The HD 700 have a poor isolation performance. They're not designed to block ambient noise and therefore are not suitable to use in loud environments. The open earcups let noise seep into your audio fairly easily and also leaks a lot which is not ideal for quieter settings. These headphones are best used in isolation where the leakage level will not be distracting to those around you and you can take full advantage of the open design and incredible soundstage.

2.7 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-3.27 dB
Bass
:
0.05 dB
Mid
:
-0.44 dB
Treble
:
-9.34 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

Weak Noise Isolation. These are open-back headphones and not meant to isolate, so they barely achieve any reduction up to 2KHz. Above that, they only achieve about 10dB of isolation, which is also poor.

1.3 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
64.95 dB

Poor Leakage performance. The HD 700 have a very open design so they have a high amount of leakage. Most of it begins at 400Hz all the way to 20KHz which is a broad range. The overall level of the leakage is also very loud which will be distracting to those around you.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A
0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
0

Active Features

No active features

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible apps.

4.8

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Negligible latency, wired connection

In the box

  • Sennheiser HD 700 Headphones
  • Audio cable 
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

See our recommendations for the best audiophile headphones, the best wired headphones, and the best over-ear headphones.

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO

The Sennheiser HD 700 are slightly better critical listening headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. They are noticeably more comfortable, especially since they don’t clamp as hard as the DT 1990. While both are open-back headphones, the HD 700 are more open-sounding. However, they do lack a bit of sub-bass, which is normal for open-backs. However, the DT 1990 PRO have pretty accurate bass, even if they are also open-back. The DT 1990 also feel sturdier than the HD 700, and they also come with a coiled cable, which is nice.

Conclusion
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6.0 Mixed Usage
The HD 700 are critical listening headphones, not suitable for other use cases except maybe home theater. They deliver an excellent sound but have poor isolation and a slightly bulky and leaky design that's best used at home and in isolation.
8.2 Critical Listening
The HD 700 are made for critical listening. Their sound quality is excellent and they have a comfortable design you can wear for hours. They have an almost neutral frequency response and create a spacious soundstage, although the slight bum in the mid-range does make them slightly muddy on some tracks.
4.8 Commute/Travel
Not designed for commuting. The open-back ear cups do not block any ambient noise. They're also not very portable which will be an issue when commuting.
5.4 Sports/Fitness
Not meant for sports. They're bulky, unstable and require an amp, so they're not suitable for sports or to use outdoors.
5.4 Office
These headphones are not meant for office use. Unless you work in an isolated environment.
6.1 TV
Above-average for home theater. They're comfortable headphones with an excellent and open sound quality. They also have no latency since they're wired. However, they're limited by the range of their audio cable and may require an extension cord.

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