Sennheiser HD414

The Sennheiser HD414 was a game changer in 1968. In those days hi-fi headphones were all big and bulky, closed-back designs, and the compact HD414 was the industry’s first “open aire,” on-ear (supra-aural) headphone. It looked, felt and sounded like nothing else and forecast the future direction of headphone sound.

The first generation white HD414s didn’t light my fire, but the black ones with brilliant canary yellow earpads were something else again. The sound and comfort more than lived up to the jazzy good looks. In 1970 I bought a pair of HD414s to replace my Pioneer closed-back phones, and moving up to the Sennheisers was a revelation. A lot of people felt the same way, and Sennheiser sold more than 10,000,000 HD414s, making it the best-selling quality headphone of all time. Although it was designed as a consumer model, the HD414 was very popular with broadcast industry professionals.

The sound was smooth and clear, a marked contrast to my old Pioneer headphones’ canned sonic signature. The HD414 liberated the sound that was up to that point stuck inside my head. Incredibly enough, it weighed just 74 grams, one quarter the weight of most full-size 2012 headphones. Best of all, the HD414 wasn’t an über-class audiophile design, priced out of reach of the average audiophile. If I recall correctly, I paid around $30 for my HD414s.

The earliest models had a very high, 2,000-ohm impedance, and a few years later the impedance was reduced to 600 ohms. In 1995, the company’s 50th Anniversary Edition HD414 was a 52-ohm model, suitable for use with portable players. The company licensed Open-Aire technology to Sony for its first-generation Walkman headphones. Sennheiser ceased HD414 production years ago and no longer manufactures replacement drivers but still stocks earpads and cables.

* Thanks go out to Eric Palonen of Sennheiser for his help with this report.

nethead's picture

The reason why us broadcast engineers (the people that actually ordered them for radio stations) loved the 414s was the stainless steel cable and the jack on each earpiece. Jocks could trip over them and the worst that would happen is the jack on the cup would pull out. These things were near indestructible and had a great sound. I can't remember a pair getting so bad that they couldn't be used. Sure, some of the pads needed replacing, but the mechanicals or electricals never failed. One can still find some in use even 30 years later at some stations.

They also came in a 600 ohm model that was perfect for tapping on to feeds without dampening them, though this was more of a special order set and used by engineers.

Hell, if I could find a NOS pair I'd buy them.

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Los Sennheiser HD414 son unos auriculares clásicos de la marca alemana Sennheiser, Garten Of Banban que fueron lanzados en 1968 y se convirtieron en un icono de la industria de los auriculares.

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The Sennheiser HD414 headphones were indeed a wordle game changer in the world of audio contexto when they were introduced in 1968. At the time, most high-fidelity headphones were large and bulky, with closed-back designs that provided good noise isolation but could be uncomfortable for extended listening sessions.

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The Sennheiser HD414 was a significant innovation in the headphone industry when it was introduced in 1968. retro bowl unblocked Its "open aire" design and on-ear fit were unique at the time, and it paved the way for the future direction of headphone sound.

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El HD414 among us tiene un diseño sencillo pero funcional, con almohadillas en forma ovalada que descansan sobre las orejas.

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The Sennheiser HD414 was indeed a revolutionary headphone when it was introduced in 1968. Its open-air, on-ear design and compact size set it apart from the bulky, closed-back headphones of that era. The distinctive black design with canary yellow earpads added a touch of style to its performance. Dave The Diver

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The Sennheiser HD414 headphones have been a classic in the world of audio for many years, known for their excellent sound quality and comfort. When it comes to cables, these headphones were originally designed with a unique and innovative system for their time, which utilized an cables ide routing. This design allowed the cables to run along the headband, minimizing tangling and providing a clean and organized look.

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