Sennheiser HD 238i Mid-Sized Headset review: Sennheiser HD 238i Mid-Sized Headset

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Sennheiser's HD 238is are comfortable on-ear headphones that sound good for the money. They also have an inline remote and microphone for iPhone users.

The Bad The headphones fold flat but lack a compact design like the Bose OE2i headphones.

The Bottom Line Priced less than Bose's OE2i on-ear headphones, the comparable Sennheiser 238i headphones deliver good bang for your buck.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0

Whenever I review a pair of Bose headphones, I tend to compare them with another device that that offers similar performance for less money. In the case of Bose's OE2i ($179.95) on-ear headphones, that product is the Sennheiser HD 238i, and costs significantly less.

Design and features
The "i" in the HD 238i refers to its smartphone-friendly features like a microphone and an Apple iOS-friendly inline remote. In my experience, the track navigation only works with Android smartphones, and the track navigation and volume control features may not operate with some models.

These headphones are slightly bigger than their Bose competitors 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 or Sennheiser's own PX 100-IIi.

If you're comparing this with the PX100-Iii, this model has bigger earcups with more padding -- the PX 100-IIi headphones feature simple foam pads like you'd find on a generic model. Also the PX 100-IIi has an open-back design that tends to leak more sound than this model, which features a closed supra-aural design.

It's also worth noting that like the PX100 IIi, this model's 4-foot wire terminates in a vertical plug -- I prefer an L-shaped plug since it usually lasts longer because you're not constantly pulling directly on the cord connection point. Unlike the Bose OE2i, the 238i's cord isn't detachable from the earcup and the cord is arguably a tad thin.

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