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Sennheiser HD 700 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Sep 26, 2017 at 06:49 pm
Sennheiser HD 700 Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
5.2
Mixed Usage
7.9
Neutral Sound
4.0
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
4.8
Office
4.7
Wireless Gaming
6.7
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Calls
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.

Our Verdict

5.2 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.

7.9 Neutral Sound

The HD 700 are made for neutral 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.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
4.0 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.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
5.3 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.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
4.8 Office

These headphones are not meant for office use. Unless you work in an isolated environment.

See our Office recommendations
6.7 Wired Gaming
1.7 Phone Calls
  • 5.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.9 Neutral Sound
  • 4.0 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 4.8 Office
  • 4.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.7 Wired Gaming
  • 1.7 Phone Calls
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Sturdy and comfortable design.
Cons
  • Sensitive to ambient noise, by design.
  • Leaks a lot of sound, by design.
  1. Update 2/20/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  4. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
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
Design
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
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
No Controls
Ease Of Use No Controls
Feedback No Controls
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No
7.6
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 2.8 C
5.3
Design
Portability
L 7.9 "
W 7.7 "
H 3.8 "
Volume 231 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

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
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
8.0
Design
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
Design
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.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sennheiser HD 700 Headphones
  • Audio cable 
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-2.04 db
Treble Amount
-2.26 db
7.5
Sound
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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.25 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
56.57 Hz
Low-Bass
-5.77 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.69 dB
High-Bass
3.0 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.

8.3
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.32 dB
Low-Mid
1.88 dB
Mid-Mid
0.08 dB
High-Mid
-2.87 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.

6.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.07 dB
Low-Treble
-4.09 dB
Mid-Treble
2.04 dB
High-Treble
-8.02 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.

6.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.21 db
Dips
1.19 db
8.7
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.19
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.24
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.39
Weighted Phase Mismatch
9.22
8.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.32 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
5.81 dB
PRTF Distance
15.48 dB
Openness
9.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
8.8
0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
8.5
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.120
WHD @ 100
0.080
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
No Microphone
Isolation
1.4
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-3.27 dB
Bass
0.05 dB
Mid
-0.44 dB
Treble
-9.34 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.

1.2
Isolation
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.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
0
Microphone
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
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A
Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

No compatible apps.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

Negligible latency, wired connection

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 9.5 ft
Connection 1/4" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

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
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

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.

Sennheiser HD 700 Price

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