There are few — if any — headphones that have the same reputation and long-lasting appeal among professional DJs that Sennheiser’s HD-25s have earned for themselves. The best comparison that can be made is with that other clubland favourite, the Technics SL1200 turntable. Both are seen every night in countless clubs across the planet, and while technology has moved on — and other products have come and gone — the classic design and high quality of these products has meant that they have continued to be popular without ever falling out of fashion. This is because they do the job they were designed for very well and are ultra-reliable.
After 25 years of faithful service to the DJing community, it is only fitting that Sennheiser have released a special anniversary edition made from aluminium to celebrate what is probably clubland’s favourite set of cans.
The key to the unusually long-lived success of the HD-25 cans is the functional elegance of the initial design that manages to do everything just right. These headphones are comfortable, long lasting and have just the right kind of sound and volume levels needed to cue tracks in outrageously loud club environments. Of course, the big problem with getting something right first time is that it is very hard to improve on perfection. Therefore, the improvements made to this anniversary edition are hardly revolutionary. But given the cool aluminium ear-cup bodies and styling, we doubt Sennheiser will have any trouble convincing DJs to take the HD-25 Aluminiums home with them, and with Christmas coming up it might be a good time to start dropping heavy hints to girlfriends, boyfriends and any other cashed-up loved ones!
When first seeing the HD-25 Aluminium, the most obvious difference from the plain old garden variety are the ear-cups, which are lathed individually from a single block of high-grade aluminium — making every set of headphones unique. The look of the HD-25 Aluminium is very similar to the short-lived high-end HD-25 Amperior version, and closer inspection reveals that other features found on the Amperior have found their way onto this anniversary edition.
The aluminium ear-cups are much stiffer than the standard plastic ones and as a result handle the drivers in a much more confident and noise-free manner. The result is that the harshness in the top-end that the HD-25 is known for is reduced, and the sound quality benefits from this. While the improvement to the sound reproduction is noticeable in a quiet listening environment, it probably won’t be noticeable in the DJ booth — but it certainly won’t hurt.
Another departure from the norm is the inclusion of a headphone case. This has been something that was completely missing from the HD-25SP headphones and the thin plastic case supplied with the regular HD-25s is only really useful for keeping dust and liquids away — providing little, if any, impact protection. The case supplied with the HD-25 Aluminium is a soft padded affair with a nice internal pocket to keep the cable tidy and store spare adapters. While the inclusion of a proper case is a nice touch, this one lacks the function and protection offered by a hard case design like the ones supplied with V-MODA headphones.
Another slight niggle with the case and the HD-25 range as a whole is the fact that they are quite bulky to carry because they do not fold up, and in this age of shrinking technology this may put some potential owners off.
As with all of the HD-25 range, the build quality of the HD-25 Aluminium is absolutely amazing. All of the component parts work perfectly together to make a supremely comfortable set of headphones, thanks to features like the split headband, swiveling ear-cups and generous height-adjustment range. These headphones have a reputation for being able to take a beating, and it is well earned: the components are all of the highest quality, and every single one of them can be purchased as spare parts and easily replaced, making them potentially the last pair of headphones that a working DJ ever needs to buy.
Given the amazing reputation that the whole HD-25 range has earned over the years, and the continued support from the DJ community, these anniversary edition headphones are sure to be a hit with those looking for something a little bit special. While the improvement to the sound is noticeable, it is not massive and probably doesn’t warrant the extra money the HD-25 Aluminiums command, but they do look sexy and will last a very long time — and that will likely sway the decision of many. While the HD-25 range has stood the test of time, there are other headphones with newer technology and features in this price range, so DJs would be wise to do their homework before purchase.
They are available now from sennheiser.com priced at £209.
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