Reviews of audio equipment and other things, drawn from personal experience.

Sennheiser HD540 Reference

Build Quality

OK, but they broke

Sound Quality



Ok, so these are some of the best sounding headphones I have ever used. They are open eared, so they will not isolate, but it’s rare that high-end headphones are closed-back, so your used to that.

The sound is like the HD600, except extremely useful for mixing, IE, they have dynamics! You can judge levels. They ARE NOT as analytical.

The midrange, and high end are spot on, if the high end is a tad recessed. But the bass is recessed as well, so they sound balanced.

Comfort-wise, amazing. The soft earpads of the HD600 style.

The problem: These were made back in the late 80s or 90s, so they are fucking fragile. I didn’t realize this till my daughter threw them, and they stopped working. They landed on a soft chair, and really, I’m amazed they broke. Going in to fix them, I learned that the wire coming out of the voice coil, had actually broken off from the voice coil. After some serious surgery attempts, I had to give up on them.

Another problem: Litz wire. Sennheiser likes to use this kind of wire, which is essentially a coated wire, so if you have to repair a connector, get ready to melt some shit cuz those wires are basically solder proof. You have to use a solvent, then scrub the wire, while simultanously avoiding oxidizing the wire too much, else the problem of solderability pops up again. All in all, fuck that wire!

It was actually the repair issues above that lead me to abandon these, as if it came to sonics, I’d buy another pair in a heartbeat. But a 20 year old pair of headphones with fragile wires that are resistant to soldering? No thanks.

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Llamatism is a collection of things, a cabinet of curiosities, and reports from explorations on things, by Gary Llama.

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