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  Sennheiser HD497 8/10 - Date Posted 14/12/2002

Sennheiser are one of the leading makers of headphones. They are renowned for producing some of the most expensive headphones that money can buy! However, they are less well known in the cheaper end of the market. This pair of headphones, the HD497, are not exactly cheap, at 50 pounds. But they are cheap for Sennheiser and are also available in mainstream stores like Dixons (where I found this pair). In terms of sound quality, I was not disappointed. Hooking them up into a Bang-Olufsen Overture CD player, the output was excellent (unsurprisingly!) All frequencies were reproduced clearly. This includes the bass range, which often gets muddied by cheaper headphones. Acoustic instruments like guitars were reproduced with good clarity, and the differing elements of the stereo mix were clearly discernable. In terms of comfort, I would rate the HD497s quite highly. Unlike most other headphones, the part of the headphone that covers your ear is oval. As a result it fits comfortably over your ears. This is far more comfortable than the circular discs that usually come with most headphones.

In addition to using them in the B&O system, I also tried them out in much cheaper audio sources! I also tried the headphones on an Audigy soundcard, listening to MP3s. The audio quality was still good. I tried them on an Apple iPod. Here again the audio quality was good. However, the size of these headphones, make them impractical to use with an MP3 player like the iPod.

For this price it is possible to buy cordless headphones. However, if sound quality is your number one priority I would much rather get a wired pair of headphones like the HD497s. In addition the wire length is over 1 metre, so you do not need to right next to your hi-fi or computer to enjoy using them.