Sennheiser HD 238 review: Sennheiser HD 238

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Sennheiser HD 238 on-ear headphones are comfortable and affordable, and sound good for the money.

The Bad The headphones fold flat but lack a compact design like the Bose OE2 headphones; there's no integrated microphone for cell phones (like the step-up 238i); this is a discontinued model that will disappear from stores quickly.

The Bottom Line Priced less than the Bose OE2s, the comparable Sennheiser 238 headphones deliver good bang for your buck.

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Recently, I reviewed Sennheiser's HD 238i headphones and thought they were a great deal because they sounded very good and were selling online for $60 online. Well, as soon as I said they were a great deal, a bunch of people went out and bought them on Amazon and the vendors promptly raised the price on them, making them less of a bargain.

The HD 238 model reviewed here is the same headphone, except that it's missing the integrated microphone for making cell phone calls. That may be a big omission for some folks, but if you don't care about that, these are a good deal at less than $70. Get closer to $100 (or more), and they become just a comfortable, solid set of on-ear headphones that are priced better than their Bose counterparts, the OE2s, which retail for $149.

The Sennheiser HD 238 headphones are lightweight and comfortable. Sarah Tew/CNET

As far as design goes, these headphones are slightly bigger than the Bose OE2s and the earpads aren't quite as plush, but they're decently light and almost as comfortable as the Bose headphones over long periods of wear.

The build quality feels solid to the touch as well, and while these guys do fold flat for storage (a simple canvas carrying case is included), they don't fold into a more compact form factor like the Bose set or Sennheiser's own PX 100-II.

The headphone cord terminates in a straight plug. Sarah Tew/CNET

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Where to Buy

Sennheiser HD 238

Part Number: 502763

MSRP: $139.95

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color sleek black
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
About The Author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.