At this point, brand faithfuls have become accustomed to the clear, crisp sound signature that Sennheiser is known for and these are no exception.
The HD1 Free successfully manages to provide quality output without sacrificing form or fashion. The compact and ergonomic design transmits impressively low bass frequencies while maintaining and respecting the mastering integrity of the tracks. The dynamic range is also pretty admirable for something so lightweight and slender. To keep in line with the portability of this model, a fantastic carrying case is included. Sturdy enough to protect your device from daily wear and tear, but slim enough to slide right into your pocket or purse.
They rested firmly in place and didn’t irritate my inner ear. They also come with four different eartip sizes for those who may be concerned about finding a comfortable fit. I’ve seen some people complain about the weight of these (stating that are heavy) but I have no issues with these in that regard.
Pairing was expedient and simple. Mine were ready to go with my iPhone right out of the box. I had zero issues with connectivity, nor did I experience an intermittent signal as long as I stayed within the thirty or so feet that is mentioned on the spec sheet.
One of my favorite aspects of these has to be the impressive call quality. The mic is excellent and does a wonderful job of contributing to clarity.
Hands down the greatest strength of this model is what you get from a sonic perspective in such a portable package.
A Few Complaints:
My biggest issue with these is that the battery life is a bit underwhelming. The HD1 Free holds charge up to six hours, but this is somewhat paltry when compared to similar products in this price-bracket. I would have been more satisfied if these maintained charge up to ten or so hours...eight at the absolute least.
Be sure to keep your charger near if you're a frequent traveller or pull lengthy shifts on the job. Idle shut-off would have helped to alleviate some of this model's issues with battery life but that is missing as well.
The flap protecting the charging port is a little flimsy, but you'll be fine as long as you make sure it is fully secure after a charging session.
Having been spoiled by the noise-canceling capabilities that comes standard on many Sennheiser products, it's heart-breaking that, that technology is absent here.
Overall, I have enjoyed my experience with these and will continue to use them. They are very convenient for travel as a result of the outstanding call and mic quality. There are a few hiccups, but I strongly believe this is a great foundation for the next update.
Sennheiser also put together a festival survival guide to help keep you safe and maximize your fun this season. It's definitely worth checking out if you're going to be festival hopping or on the move this summer.
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