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Sennheiser HD 490 PRO Open-back wired studio headphones

Item # 416HD490P

Among the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn, with a well-rounded sound I could enjoy for hours.

Among the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn, with a well-rounded sound I could enjoy for hours.

Item # 416HD490P

In stock
$399.00

About the Sennheiser HD 490 PRO

Jeff Miller

Studio headphones built for the long haul

Sennheiser primarily designed the HD 490 PRO open-back headphones for mixing, mastering, and producing in the studio. I found that many of their performance traits translated well for listening to music as well. That includes the well-balanced "Sennheiser smooth" sound and their secure, well-cushioned fit and feel — these are among the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn.

Studio headphones built for the long haul

Sennheiser primarily designed the HD 490 PRO open-back headphones for mixing, mastering, and producing in the studio. I found that many of their performance traits translated well for listening to music as well. That includes the well-balanced "Sennheiser smooth" sound and their secure, well-cushioned fit and feel — these are among the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn.

Straight ahead view of Sennheiser HD 490 PRO

Studio-friendly design touches include a single-sided cable and raised braille bumps to quickly identify the left ear cup by touch.

That's certainly key in the studio, where you can spend hours wearing headphones to create and fine-tune a track. Sennheiser includes two sets of purpose-built ear pads, one covered in a soft velour that lends a warmer sound and one with a denim-like material designed for more technical work. You also get virtual mixing software from Dear Reality with a plug-in that can add different studio settings and presets to your DAW.

Wide soundstage with spot-on imaging

These headphones have a very open-air design, where sound travels in and out freely, so they aren't made for use around a live microphone. The outward-facing metal mesh grille is shaped to properly direct airflow and help prevent standing sound waves from muddying the mix. Performance-wise, my closest frame of reference is the classic Sennheiser audiophile headphones like the "HD 600" series — and these have some notable similarities and differences.

The HD 490 PRO headphones boast an outside-the-head soundstage that's in-between the intimate, immediate presentation of the HD 660 S2 and sprawling HD 800 S soundstage. True to Sennheiser form, they have precise imaging, so you can pick out and place individual instruments and vocals.

A tale of two ear pads

It's interesting how the two different sets of pads help shape the sound. With the denim pads, it sounded even and cohesive — with the highs standing out a bit more. With the velour pads, there was more bass presence and higher-pitched vocals sounded a little tamed compared to the other parts of the midrange. I thought it was worth the trade-off for listening to music, but it's nice to have a couple options if you're creating it.

Stays in place and accommodates eyeglasses

I also preferred the pleasant texture of the velour pads. I personally like the fit better than the HD 660 S2 — named one of our top 5 most comfortable headphones. The earcups are held snugly in place, but the pads offer such a light touch that I barely felt any pressure.

That includes where the pads met my glasses — a tricky spot for almost all over-ear headphones. If you run your finger around the parameter of each pad, you'll notice Sennheiser designed a little extra "give" to the cushioning to avoid pressing on the frames.

I listened to over half of a four-hour, 41-song James Brown Qobuz playlist created by Christian McBride. I was so caught up in the vibe, that I didn't realize I was 25 tracks deep — without a trace of listening fatigue.

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Product highlights:

  • over-the-ear professional studio headphones
    • designed for mixing, monitoring, and producing
  • open-back, metal mesh covered ear cups for proper ventilation and transparent sound
    • helps reduce internal sound reflections and standing waves
  • includes dearVR MIX-SE "virtual mixer" software from Dear Reality
    • plug-in for your DAW that simulates an acoustically treated mixing studio
  • designed in Germany
Sound details:
  • 38mm dynamic drivers deliver a smooth, well-balanced sound
    • tuned for even, articulate highs, mids, and lows
  • spacious soundstage with precise imaging
  • cylinder magnet design for tightly controlled diaphragm movement and extended bass response
Build and comfort:
  • lightweight, secure fit for long sessions of music listening and creation
  • strong, flexible metal headband with soft, padded lining
  • two sets of soft, detachable ear pads built for different studio uses:
    • breathable velour "producing" ear pads designed for warmer sound with bass emphasis
    • denim-like "mixing" ear pads for more linear, accurate sound
  • each set of pads shaped to avoid pressing on glasses frames
  • earcups fold flat for easy storage
Accessories and specs:
  • detachable 71" cable with 3.5mm connector
    • single-sided cable that can connect to either earcup (4-pin XLR connection)
  • 1/4" adapter included
  • frequency response: 5-36,100 Hz
  • sensitivity: 105 dB
  • impedance: 130 ohms
  • weight: 10.8 oz.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • MFR # 700286

What's in the box:

  • Over-ear headphones (black)
  • 71" Audio cable (4-pin XLR on one end and straight 3.5mm on other end)
  • Screw-on 1/4" adapter (installed)
  • Two pairs of ear pads (1 pair installed)
  • Quick Guide
  • Safety Instructions
  • "No More Plastic" card
  • Dear Reality promo card

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More details on the Sennheiser HD 490 PRO

Mark G.

Features & specs

General
Fit Style Over-the-ear
Earcup Type Open
Earcup Width x Height 3.438" x 4.221"
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Bluetooth Version N/A
Single-earbud Operation ---
Mic For Taking Calls No
Voice Assistant Access
Amazon Alexa No
Google Assistant No
Siri No
Connectors
3.5mm Yes
1/4" Yes
Lightning No
4.4mm balanced No
XLR4 balanced No
2.5mm No
Other None
Specs
Frequency Response 5-36.1k Hz
Sensitivity 105 dB
Impedance 130 Ohms
Weight 10.8 ounces
Cord Length 71"
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research

Features

Overview: The Sennheiser HD 490 Pro (700286) Professional Reference Studio Headphones have an open-back design for a wide soundstage and accurate sound reproduction. The headphones come with two pairs of interchangeable ear cups, one designed for mixing, and the other for producing. The included 71" cable has a 3.5mm plug with a screw-on 1/4" adapter.

Design: The headphones feature Sennheiser's proprietary Open-Frame Architecture which limits reflections and avoids standing waves that color the audio signal. The 38mm dynamic transducer is accurate, with a wide frequency response from 5Hz to just over 36,000Hz. The drivers feature state-of-the-art neodymium magnets and an innovated low-frequency cylinder system for powerful low frequencies. The back of the ear cup has an open-mesh metal covering that keeps the headphones cool with natural ventilation. The left ear cup is marked in braille on its hinge (3 vertical dots to spell out "L") to indicate the proper orientation. The ear cups can swivel 180° to fold flat for storage.

Ear Cups: There are two sets of purpose-built ear pads for the HD 490 Pro. One pair of ear pads has a velvety material for producing, while the other pair features a denim-like fabric for mixing. The producing ear pads give extra warmth to the low frequencies, and are soft and comfortable enough to wear for long listening sessions. The mixing pads help provide a more accurate sound for critical mixing decisions. Both types of ear pads can be washed and air-dried to keep them looking new and help them last longer. The pads also feature a specially-built channel to accommodate eyeglasses to prevent the headphones from pressing in on the frames.

Cable: The HD 490 Pro comes with a 71" (1.8m) cable with a straight 3.5mm plug. A 3.5mm (1/8") to 6.3mm (1/4") adapter is included for mixers and other professional equipment with 1/4" connections. The headphones feature 4-pin connections at the bottom of both left and right ear cups. The cable can plug into either ear cup, whichever side you prefer to use. The unused connection can be covered by the provided rubber plug to prevent dirt and debris from entering the headphone. The cable is straight, except for a short portion near the ear cup end that is coiled to eliminate contact noise that enters through the cable.

Packaging: The headphones feature eco-friendly packaging with sustainable and plastic-free materials. The box and internal bracing are made with recyclable cardboard and paper that can be reused multiple times to decrease environmental pollution.

Dear Reality Plug-in: The HD 490 Pro headphones come with a plug-in for dearVR MIX-SE from Dear Reality. The software turns your DAW into the ultimate virtual mixer with advanced spatial audio technology, allowing you to be in the sweet spot while you mix your audio tracks. It simulates an ideal mixing studio with its carefully-designed acoustics, and keeps the sound consistent, even when mixing on different systems.

Specifications:

  • Transducer Size/Type: 38mm/Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz to 36,100 Hz (-10dB)
  • Impedance: 130Ω (1kHz)
  • Sensitivity: 105dB SPL (1kHz/1Vrms); 96dB SPL (1kHz/1mW)
  • Max Sound Pressure Level: 128dB SPL (1 kHz; 5% THD)
  • Distortion: < 0.2% (1 kHz/100dB SPL)
  • Power Rating: 300mW (100h, noise IEC 60268)
  • Dimensions:
    • External: Width 3.438", Height 4.221", Depth 1.955"
    • Internal: Width 1.987", Height 2.648", Depth 0.94"
  • Weight: 10.8 ounces (w/cable)

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