Today with living in the countryside of Japan by OkopanThunderstorm
Sennheiser HD 4.40BT
After a year of hard working, I thought it’s a good idea to give myself some reward.
As a music lover, I had been looking for a good pair of over-ear or around-ear wireless headphone with mid-range price to replace my Sony MDR-XB950BT and V-Moda Crossfade M-100 that I previously owned.
The Budget that I had was around 5,000 THB ( 16,000 JPY ). Within this budget, the options that seemed reasonable were Sony MDR-XB950BT, Sony WH-CH700, Audio Technica ATH-WS660BT, and Sennheiser HD 4.40BT .
Before I made my decision
Before comparing the functions, I would like to talk about the wide usage of digital points in Japan. During my stay, I came to understand that point conversions are now available across many different shopping outlets in Japan(T-point, mileage, RAKUTEN points, etc..). This whole point thing is something we could easily dismiss thinking, ah, you wouldn’t benefit much from it compared to the managing task it takes, opening apps, showing to the cashier, all that petty work and it’s kinda cheap to be minding it. But trust me, the whole thing now comes handy and it could save you lots of cash.
I happened to have an expiring 10,000 mileage point from ANA, which could be converted to 10,000 YAMADA point (one of the big electronic shop in Japan), equivalent to 10,000 JPY. This covered more than half of my expense. I only paid less than 2000 yen.
Another shopping tip is that quite a lot of shops offer special discount from shopping online. YAMADA happened to have a special new years’ sale for headphones at the time. After checking all the headphones that match my budget, I decided to go to the near-by shop to test the sound in real.
Before visiting the shop, I had pretty much narrowed down my choice to Sennheiser and Audio Technica. Both had mostly positive user reviews online, and both of them seemed to far surpass the other similar brands in terms of sound quality.
To my shock, I found only 5 earphone brands that had sample sets available at the shop; Audio Technica, JBL, JVC, Pioneer and Panasonic. They did not have a Sennheiser that I had my eyes on. The staff explained to me that the local branch does not stock some of the international brand items. Most of them were only stocked in the big-city branches, such as in Tokyo or Osaka. They could still order the items from those branches, but the samples were only available at those branches. This answer from the staff kind of failed me a little bit, I mean what’s the point of selling earphones that you can’t know what it sounds like?
Anyways, I still tried all of the 5 headphones that they had. Out of them, Sony, Audio Technica, and JBL sounded descent, though Audio Technica had too much bass for my liking, which made me want to try the Sennheiser HD 4.40BT even more.
The things that I consider in buying the headphones are:
First, the design must be sleek. Not fancy, not colorful or too eye-catching. Sony and Sennheiser both of them pass this condition, their design are sleek, minimal which come with black color as base color and some metallic details to make them look attractive.
Second, the quality built must be durable. Sony and Audio Technica pass this condition with the metal headband that they use as a core of headband.
Third, they must keep me comfortable. I usually keep them on for hours while I work, so they must be equipped for long-hour wearing. Sony pass this condition because of the soft and comfortable ear pads.
And the last but not least, the sound quality. It is the most important thing in an earphone. I expect it to be worth the money that I will spent. I give Audio Technica for the sound quality that perform better than Sony XB and WH series.
What about JBL? Well… this brand do not meet my condition even the design ( this is only my opinion ) but, the Sennheiser still bother me and also, I have Sennheiser Momentum in-ear and it is one of good headphones that I owned it.
The Momentum in-ear make me think ” if this Sennheiser Momentum in-ear can give me a good sound quality with reasonable price why don’t I try may be it’s worth to buy it !! ” . Finally, I find my reason ( or should I say “excuse” ) that worth to push me to order HD 4.40BT from Sennheiser without try it once like I do lucky draw.
Without hesitation, I press “Add to cart” and “checkout” immediately and after deduct the points and re-calculate everything I just have to pay for the exceed only which is 600 -700 THB ( 2,400 JPY ) which if this headphone is not good I will not feel bad about it. After placed order, I was waiting for 2 days until it’s arrived.
Using this headphone in daily life
Using this Sennheiser HD 4.40BT in my daily life, most of the time I use it in the office while I working and I also use it to watch movie sometime and normally I use it via wireless connection (Bluetooth and NFC depends on the device) which is really convenient and the Bluetooth itself can connect to the device really fast without paring needed, this headphone is difference from other wireless headphones that I have.
A little bit about using for watching movie, in my opinion, I like the power of deep bass from XB-950BT especially in the action movies such as Transformer or Fast & Furious. The scene of explosions and guns fire when they are fighting or chasing make me feel really satisfy which the HD 4.40BT do not perform as well as XB but it replaced with the accuracy and clarity of the dimension of sound.
Not only listen to music or movie on the desk, I also use it at gym sometime but not recommend for cardio or any intense activity that make you really sweat a lot because it doesn’t have water proof so, be careful. Forget to mention about gaming, this headphone performance for game is just decent. It’s better with music more than using for gaming but if you are not serious gamer who need to really hear the foot steps or any tiny details in game like other gaming headphone this one is acceptable.
About controlling function is convenient because they put everything on the right side. Microphone, Power button, Multi-function button, Volume +/-buttons, Audio input, and Micro-USB input everything control by one hand. The microphone quality is pretty good it give the clear voice without any noise signal when you use with phone call.
About ear pads, it might look like over-ear headphone but, this headphone is design as on-ear type which still fit you if you have small ear. The other thing about this headphone, if your head is big you might feel it a little bit tight. The good thing of this head phone is the weight of it which is really light so your neck will not get tired easily because, the whole body of this head phone is made from good quality plastic material.
About sound quality, when I take it out of the box and try to listen to the sound it really shock me because it is lack a lot of bass and treble sound. What I hear is the middle sound range and the voice of vocal only !! But, then it start to get better and better after I let it run for a while until it past 24 hours, the sound become good.
The clarity and accuracy of the instrument position are precise but you will feel the voice of vocal is stand out like it is in front of you. Sound stage of this head phone is not quite wide but not quite narrow and give you the natural and soft sound quality for bass which is Sennheiser style.
Overall, I think this headphone will really match with the music that focus on vocal or audiophile especially Jazz or Classic music. What about other kind of music? This headphone can also use with any kind of music and it doing its job well.
I am not a fan of audiophile or jazz or classic music, I mostly listen to Rock, Hip-Hop, Rnb, and EDM musics and I can say this headphone does not disappoint me at all, just the bass sound will not kicking as much like extra bass headphone. The bass sound is more natural and quite a little bit behind more like controlling the tempo of the stage from the back.
I made a short conclusion about the sound performance here and hope this will help you ( this is come from my opinion after I use it for few days ).
- Treb : Clarity and smooth not make you feel it sharp and not hurt your ears at all.
- Mid : Mid sound is really stand out especially the sweet soft of vocal voice will make you love it.
- Bass : Smooth and Soft make you feel this is come from the natural source of bassdrum but quite a little bit backward , make you feel it countrol the tempo from behind other instruments.
- Stage : Sound stage not wide and not narrow and give you precise and clear of instrument position.
End for today.
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