The standard HD 25 from Sennheiser is established as one of the most popular and successful headphones on the market. In this review, we check out the entry-level version of these outstanding cans to see if this budget-orientated option is worth picking up.
Sennheiser HD 25 Light
Sennheiser has refreshed its entry-level HD 25 Light, bringing it closer to the standard HD 25. But while it does offer exceptional sound, it isn’t without some faults. The highlights are below before we dive deeper into these closed-back monitoring headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 25 Light studio headphones offer a minimalist design, functional features, and quality sound. But as always, the devil is in the details. Let’s jump in.
This refreshed version of the HD 25 makes significant strides in the sound department. The new version now features identical drivers to the standard HD 25, bringing with it the exceptional sound quality that is the hallmark of the regular edition.
These headphones offer a frequency response of 16Hz-22kHz, highlighting their ability to deliver satisfying lows while having enough reach to represent accurate and defined high frequencies.
The bass response of the HD 25 is what made them a favorite among DJs. It’s punchy and crisp, which makes accurate beatmatching a lot easier compared to the sometimes overblown low-end that other DJ headphones offer. This accuracy is also perfect for studio work and monitoring. With the refreshed drivers, the HD 25 Light offers that same delectable low-end.
Wide frequency response that is accurate and engaging.
The mid-range is also fantastic, with excellent definition and neutrality without sounding bland and uninteresting. Complementing these impressive mids are precise and robust highs that are not overly bright, making longer listening sessions enjoyable.
The high accuracy and tight response also make these headphones a capable performer in a studio setting. Whether you are recording, monitoring, or mixing, these have the capabilities to provide you with accurate and dependable sound.
The soundstage is admittedly cramped due to the closed-back design. The earcup design also directs sound right into your ear canal for a very in-your-face feel to the sound profile. I love this approach from a DJing perspective, but I could see some audiophiles finding these a little too forward.
It’s worth highlighting how impressive the sound quality is, considering the price point these headphones are at. It is exceptionally difficult to find cans this flat and dynamic with a price tag this low. An excellent set of headphones that live up to the high reputation of its more expensive siblings.
The Sennheiser HD 25 Light features an on-ear design. I’ll admit that I was always highly skeptical of the potential comfort level of on-ear cans, but the HD 25 Light proved to me that this style of headphones could offer high comfort levels.
The clamping force is noticeably tight but not to an extreme extent. It adds stability and security, ideal for DJs that bounce along to the beat. This increased clamping force also provides maximum passive isolation, which is excellent for recording sessions.
The earcups offer some give to adjust to your ear shape, and multiple stages are available to find the sweet spot for your head shape. The padding is reasonably plush and comfortable, but as with most closed-back cans, expect some heat build-up.
The HD 25 Light only offers a thin strip of padding on the headband.
The headband itself is one of the most disappointing elements of the HD 25 Light. Unlike its more expensive siblings, the band is static and doesn’t offer much padding.
Thankfully the low weight of just 0.26 lbs. (118 grams) means you don’t need a lot of padding on the headband since there is minimal downward force. But even then, I can’t see how it would have cost Sennheiser that much more to add more robust padding to the band.
While on-ear cans might not be to everyone’s tastes, and the lackluster headband is a noticeable downgrade from the HD 25 and HD 25 Plus, there is no denying that the HD 25 Light is still a comfortable set of headphones and much better than many other options at this price point.
The design of the HD 25 Light makes some very notable departures from the other HD 25 models available, some of which are better, in my opinion. In contrast, others might end up as dealbreakers for some people.
The first notable difference is the headband which is a single piece as opposed to the split headband design of the other HD 25 models. This in itself is not a huge deal, but the split headband does offer more padding and greater flexibility in placement.
The other notable change is the lack of flip-away earcups. This makes it far more uncomfortable for one-ear monitoring and reduces the headphones’ capacity to fold down into a smaller profile. Both of these features are very useful for DJs, so in my opinion, it is worth upgrading to the standard HD 25.
The HD 25 Light offers a refined and professional appearance.
The final departure is the dual earcup connection for the cable. I don’t mind this approach as it helps address one of the issues I have with the standard HD 25: the exposed wires running from the ear cups to the headband. This does also mean the cable will rest centrally.
Beyond that, the HD 25 Light has all the hallmarks of the other models. The clean, minimalist design is excellent, and the smaller on-ear cups make for a sleek and attractive look when on your head. The closed-back design also offers strong passive isolation.
Fully replaceable components is another highlight. There are options to purchase replacement ear pads in your choice of leatherette or velour. Velour pads increase comfort levels, but you’ll see a drop in isolation, and they will become dirty quicker than leatherette pads. The cable is also replaceable, with coiled options available if you prefer that style.
The Sennheiser HD 25 Light might not be as versatile as the more popular standard HD 25, but it retains much of what makes those headphones so popular. Refined design backed up by superb sound, and at 70 ohms, they are easy to drive and work well with lower-powered devices like smartphones.
Sennheiser has an excellent reputation in the audio scene for producing high-quality and dependable gear you can rely on. Even a budget offering like the HD 25 Light is often miles ahead in quality compared to other offerings.
The lightweight construction does feel a little flimsy at first, but as you apply some pressure, you’ll realize these are indeed light but equally robust enough to handle the rigors of frequent use.
Lightweight frame and high-quality components.
The quality of the drivers is excellent, and the padding and cabling don’t disappoint. I’ve encountered some early failure reports, but most people seem to have no issues with these headphones. They come with a lengthy 2-year warranty, so you’ll be well covered in the unlikely case of receiving a dud.
One of the appealing aspects of the HD 25 Light is the replaceable components. I love having the option to change one part out instead of buying a whole new pair of headphones. I wish more headphones would embrace it to increase longevity and reduce waste.
These are a workhorse set of headphones that will last you for years to come. This makes it all the less surprising that touring DJs and working professionals swear by them.
Sennheiser has managed to strike an excellent balance between quality and affordability with the HD 25 Light. They have maintained the core of what makes the base Sennheiser HD 25 an all-star by using the same drivers and sound profile and just made a few tweaks to the rest of the offering to help bring costs down.
The only included accessory is a 1/4″ adapter.
As expected, there is a notable lack of accessories included. You’ll have access to an adapter, and that’s it. If you want a broader range of accessories, you’ll have to jump up to the Sennheiser HD 25 Plus, which comes with a pouch, extra earpads, and an additional coiled cable.
Despite the lack of extras, the Sennheiser HD 25 Light still represents excellent value for money. The sound quality alone is worth the price of admission. Add a lightweight frame, high comfort levels, and excellent isolation; there is little to fault.
The Sennheiser HD 25 Light has proven to be a popular set of headphones, much like the standard HD 25 and HD 25 Plus. Multiple positive reviews highlight the excellent sound quality and the affordable price point.
Benefits Of Replaceable Components
Replaceable components are something that I always look out for in headphones. While it is true that you’ll often pay more upfront for higher quality headphones that offer replacement parts, the savings, in the long run, are well worth it.
Headphones, more than any other piece of gear, are subject to wear and tear, especially the padding on the ear cups. Picking up a replacement set of ear pads is much cheaper than buying a whole new set of headphones. This same principle applies to cables as well.
You can buy replacement pads for the HD 25 Light.
Replaceable components also allow for deeper customization. Not sure what cable you prefer? Pick up an alternate cable, and you’ll have the best of both worlds. Want velour pads for casual listening but regular pads for day-to-day work? With replaceable components, you can swap and change as you see fit.
One final benefit is the reduction in waste. Consumer electronics have become a growing problem as more and more technology makes its way into our lives. Servicing and maintaining a pair of headphones goes a long way to reducing e-waste.
So the next time you are shopping around for headphones, I suggest you pay extra attention to any headphones that offer replaceable components. The world and your wallet with thank you.
The Sennheiser HD 25 Light positions itself as a highly capable and affordable set of closed-back headphones, but they are not the only player in the game. Below we take a quick peek at some potential alternatives worth considering.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Review
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is another superb set of closed-back headphones with reliably neutral sound. It is a worthwhile option if you prefer over-ear headphones.
- Dynamic and balanced sound profile that is neutral enough for studio work.
- The compact form factor and slick all-black finish make these an attractive set of cans.
- While these are over-ear headphones, the fit is rather tight.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Review
If you want a set of headphones that are more portable, the ATH-M30x is worth considering. These aggressively priced headphones offer a collapsible design for easier transport.
- Wide frequency response with ample punch in the low end and high clarity throughout.
- Comfortable ear padding and headband, which are ideal for long listening sessions.
- These headphones featured a hardwired cable which might be a dealbreaker for some.
AKG K92 Review
For those that prefer their headphones to have more character, the AKG K92 is a decent choice. The eye-catching design matches up with a very low price point.
- Decent sound quality that, while not perfect, is decent enough for day-to-day listening.
- Attractive gold-trimmed headphones that offer high comfort levels.
- These headphones are bulky in size and also feature a hardwired cable.
Should You Buy?
The Sennheiser HD 25 Light is the ideal set of cans for DJs and producers that don’t want to spend too much but still demand exceptional sound quality. The punchy and lively sound profile is full of life while retaining accuracy for accurate decision-making. The ability to replace components also earns it some extra points, as does the understated design. An excellent set of cans from one of the world’s leading headphone brands.
Sennheiser HD 25 Light