"These have to be mis-priced"4.5 starson by djzoohelp
Pros: Very clear sound - and I think the bass is perfect
Cons: Long 2 sided cable
Summary: I had these included with my Shure se530 order - got them for my oldest son.
I've owned a LOT of headphones over the years. Many Senns, Grado SR60's, HD485, HD414, Koss Portapros, Senn mx75's, Shure se310's - you get the picture. Of all of them, the SE530's win by a landslide - but you'd expect that. The 530's also provide me with a pretty good reference point for other cans. In fact, they've spoiled me for all the others with one exception - you guessed it - the HD201s. And for less than 25 small ones.
Don't get me wrong, I hear the difference between these and the 530's, but these suckers are a lot easier to put on (and remove quickly when necessary), and I love them - imperfections and all.
I have a decent Sony MP3 player and I have to turn it nearly all the way up (which the Sony does quite nicely). I also use the 'clear bass' setting in the eq and boost the highs a bit. When this is done, these cans are very, very satisfying. Bar none.
I hate false boomy bass, and a lot of Senns have this, unfortunately. The bass on the 201's is just how I like it. They go pretty deep without problem, but with no boominess at all. Plenty of punch. I've seen reviews on other sites that complain that the bass is low and highs get distorted. I'm pretty sure the problem with those reviews is in the source, not the headphones. They do require a reasonable amount of clean power, but a good MP3 player can satisfy them no problem.
Detail in the highs is also very good - lots of detail available. Steely Dan has lots of subtle detail mixed in with decent backbeats, and I can hear it all pretty well. Again, my se530's make those details shimmer, but at more than 10 times the price.
From my iPod days, I'd have to say that the 201's will require a cMoy amp (or any heaphone amp for that matter)if you want good bass without distortion when using an iPod. If you boost the iPod bass to try to satisfy them, they will probably distort easily, but that's a comment on the iPod audio quality. Use an amp and that problem should disappear.
Anyway, I'm very very impressed. I ordered a set for myself so number one son can get his back! Most often, for a quick listen, I'm reaching for the 201's over my beautiful se530s. That says something. If Sennheiser had put these out at triple the price, they'd probably have sold like hotcakes.
Recommended and then some.