Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.
As one might expect from DJ headphones, Sennheiser's $79 list HD212 Pro headphones are biased toward bass. Beyond that, DJs will appreciate their excellent attenuation of ambient noise and the soft, comfortable ear pads. Special features also include lightweight diaphragms with "turbine" embossing to produce extremely low bass, ear cups that can be removed from the headband, replaceable leatherette ear pads, and a 10-foot detachable, oxygen-free copper cable with 1/8-inch stereo minijack. A 1/4-inch home stereo adapter and a two-year warranty are also included.
To test the 212s' bass definition, we demoed Morphine's The Night CD and quickly learned that these headphones can boogie. The bass went really low, showing tightness and definition. We compared the 212s to all of the other headphones in our stockpile, and this model was the bass champ. But man cannot live by bass alone, so we next tried an a cappella CD by the Persuasions, and the 212s thinned out the group's rich voices. Also, Rosanne Cash's 10 Song Demo CD was too thick and warm for our tastes. The sound wasn't as smooth as that of most regular home-stereo headphones.
Musical naturalness may not be this headphone's forte, but it kills with all sorts of dance and hip-hop music. Movies sounded great too; the pounding surf on the Blue Crush DVD made a big impact on our eardrums, and old favorites such as Fight Club revealed minuscule details and new secrets.