RMAF 2015: Sennheiser, on the town and down with the VB


rmaf-2015-200x200Do you like headphones? Do you like to take them on the road? Out in the world? Where people can see and hear you? And, if so, are you socially conscious enough to acknowledge that open-backed headphones might not be okay out in real-life spaces where there are other people not interested in sharing your tunes? Ha!

It’s a problem unique to head-fi enthusiasts, I think. It’s not often that you’ll see someone rocking the Sennheiser HD650 or HD800 on the subway — which may be odd, given their price (not cheap) and their quality (amazing), and the fact that folks that love them will want them wherever they are.

Here’s another confession — when I’m out-and-about, I will have my iPhone with me. Chances are, I’m using that damn thing, too. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a phone-friendly can? That’s public-friendly?

That’s kind of how I view the Sennheiser 630VB ($500). Better-than-average sound quality. Better than average build quality. Sonic flexibility. And it comes with controls for your phone — and a mic. Oh, and they’re over-the-ears and completely closed-back.

The cable is “captive” (not removable), and on the side that the cable dangles from, there’s some interesting stuff. First, there’s three buttons on the center of the cup (to adjust the volume, select a track or make and take calls via the inline microphone). The knurled outer ring on that ear cup rotates, dialing in the headphone’s bass response (that’s what the VB, “variable bass”, in the name is for — it means ± 5dB, centered at 50Hz, but with a big impact on the deepest registers). The midpoint is “neutral”, so-called, but even that feels a bit bass-heavy to my ears. That said, it does warm up “cold” sources … like my iPhone. Given that the headphones carry a sensitivity of 114dB and a 23Ω impedance, my iPhone is a natural fit here … and if you’re sensing a trend, so am I.

The headphones, constructed from high-grade plastic and lightweight aluminum, seem comfortable and sturdy. I’m tempted. I’ll have more if/when I resolve this … curiosity. In the meantime, Head Head-Fi’er Jude has a very good, and comprehensive, intro over at Head-Fi.

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About Scot Hull 1062 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.