Sennheiser HD238i review

This HD238i Sennheiser set has an advantage over several rival models in this round-up: they’re designed for your iPhone or iPod, with compact styling and controls built into the cord. And while the majority we’ve looked at are chunky, studio-format headsets, these are much more conducive to mobility.

Overall, the styling is impressive. There’s a thin, black-plastic headband, padded for comfort, and the set adjusts easily to the head with plastic sliders. The band has quite a bit of flexibility too.

The integral playback controls are a little fiddly. If we hadn’t been reviewing the device, we probably wouldn’t have bothered with them. There’s a built-in mic for voice control, but this seems more like a gimmick than a truly useful addition to the user experience.

The HD238i pair feel rather lightweight, but that’s a selling point, not a negative. In fact, after a few minutes you’ll barely remember they’re there. That’s in part due to the light construction, but it’s also down to the small, padded cups. On this Sennheiser pair, they’re barely ear-sized, but comfortable. If anything, we were a little concerned that the foam was too thick for optimal audio performance.

The HD238is are lightweight and designed to be portable, unlike most of the other phones we tested

Our concern proved to be partly warranted when we tried the phones out. Sound was clear and glitch-free, but a little warm. The pads have an integral speaker grill built in, and we think that’s where the issue is. Some of the top end is getting lost. Don’t get us wrong, though: these are still a good set of phones, ideal for listening in transit.

OUR VERDICT

The only sub-£100 pair of phones here that are really designed with mobile in mind, the Sennheiser HD238is are a great buy. Very comfortable, nicely styled and with rich audio reproduction, they are a little on the bassy side. They’re great for rock, metal and dance.

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