Sennheiser HD 500 Fusion Stereo Headphones Review - The DVD Test
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Next on the list was the DVD test. For this test I onceagain found myself at my Dell Dimension, since all I have is a Playstation 2for a DVD player and a Toshiba TV, neither of which is equipped with aheadphone jack. I decided to test the headset with what's quite possibly one ofthe most aurally demanding films today: StarWars II: The Clone Wars. I know of no director more precise with sound onfilm than George Lucas, which makes StarWars perfect for this type of test. I forwarded the film to the scene whereObi-Wan Kenobi is on the rainy planet of Kamino. If anything shows thesensitivity of speakers, it's the sound of rain. What I found was that theheadset delivered a marvelously crisp, Dolby5.1 surround sound, making me feel as if I was in the midst of the raindrops themselves. In fact, I began feeling cold and drowsy by just listening tothe scene. The Sennheisers were no less intense with any other part of themovie. The limiting factor, much to my surprise, seemed to be the Sound Blaster card in my system.
As I looked at the documentationincluded with the headset, I began to understand why the sound seemed so muchclearer when compared to other headphones I had encountered. The headphones'are built with a duofol diaphragm, which reduces standing waves, which lowerthe general quality of sound. Even though these use a dynamic, as opposed toelectrostatic transducers, the quality is quite high, due to a specialdampening element which is supposed to reduce diaphragm oscillation. Thedifference between dynamic and electrostatic is explained in the followingpassage from the included technical manual:
“Unlikedynamic transducers whose diaphragm is driven from the center in ring waves bya moving coil, the diaphragm of the electrostatic headphone is driven over theentire surface area... A diaphragm moved in this way follows the soundfrequency with excellent high fidelity... An electrostatic headphone offers avery impressive precision of the music reproduction.”
Finally, we must take into consideration the cableconnecting the headsets to their sound source. Often times, this is a muchoverlooked limiting factor in the quality of sound received. Sennheiserpackaged a low-oxygen copper cable (OFC, or Oxygen Free Copper), which makesfor improved quality by lowering the amount of signal loss between the soundsource and the headset, a good move on the design team's part. Another goodmove was the modularization of the headset, which allows a user to change thepads and the cable. I discovered this when I accidentally stepped on theapproximately ten foot long cable and yanked the connector from the headset.Good thing the cord is lined with Kevlar.
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