The Sennheiser HD 4.30G is part of the new HD 4 series launched recently in India. This new series is designed for on-the-go listening which is evident from the devices' foldable design. Variants of the HD 4.30 is available for Android and iOS devices as indicated by the ‘G' and ‘i' moniker in their names.
These premium-looking headphones also command a good price premium, as they cost Rs. 7,990. Do they sound as good as they look? Let's find out.
The HD 4.30G is a pair of closed-back, on-ear headphones with large, cushy leatherette ear pads. The size of the ear cups actually falls somewhere in between on-ear and around-ear, as when you wear them, the upper portion of your ears sit within the recesses of the ear cups, while the bottoms tend to rest on your ear lobes. Available in black or white, these headphones are lightweight and come with a detachable single-sided cord and a carry pouch.
Sennheiser has added some bronze accents to break the monotony of the white. While the headset looks good, it's a real pain to keep it looking new. The ear cups have the ability to pivot and swivel to a certain degree for a comfortable fit. The cushions are incredibly soft and provide good padding. You can fold the cups inwards, making the HD 4.30G easy to stow away when not in use.
The plastic headband on the Sennheiser HD 4.30G doesn't feel flimsy or creak when flexed, but at this price level, we would have expected some metal here for better long-term durability. There's soft rubberised cushioning for the headband which also makes these headphones comfortable, but we noticed minor gaps between the padding and the headband.
The cable has an in-line remote control and microphone for answering calls. The buttons on the Sennheiser HD 4.30G are fairly chunky, which makes it easy to press the right one without looking. The controls on the remote include a middle button for Play/ Pause and answering calls, and there are buttons on either side of it for volume control. A long-press on the middle button activates Google Voice. Although this headset is designed specifically for Android phones, all the functions work just fine on an iPhone too. The only real difference between the two variants seems to be that the 3.5mm plug is L-shaped on the HD 4.30G.
Sennheiser hasn't really specified the size of the drivers it has used, but the frequency response range is 18Hz - 22,000Hz and the impedance is 18 Ohms.
The HD 4.30G is very comfortable, and the headband provides a good amount of tension for a firm fit. The headphones don't jiggle about even when you run with them on. However, after an hour or so, our ears started to hurt due to the constant pressure. Since this is a closed-back design, there's good ambient noise isolation. Sound leakage is controlled at moderate volumes, but a little slips through at really high levels. The cable is also relatively tangle-resistant, which is good. The microphone does a good job with voice calls.
In terms of audio quality, the HD 4.30G delivers good performance with detailed highs and punchy bass. To test it, we used a mix of FLAC files and tracks downloaded from Apple Music. We tested the headphone on an HTC 10, Apple iPad and an Asus Xonar U7 DAC connected to a PC. Focus tracks included Back in Black by AC/DC, Doin' It Right by Daft Punk, and Only When I Sleep by The Corrs.
With Back in Black, the headphones manage to reproduce the lower end frequencies quite faithfully. Bass is tight and punchy without ever feeling boomy. The mid-range is handled well but lacks good separation at times. The headphones aren't very open-sounding, which comes with the territory when you choose a closed-back design. There isn't any noticeable distortion at high volumes but sound does start leaking beyond a point. In Daft Punk's Doin' It Right, the bass has a nice lingering effect as intended, and the sub-bass is also handled well.
In Only When I Sleep, we get to see other frequencies take centre stage. Vocals are clear and well separated from the rest of the instruments, but we would have liked a bit more depth and crispness. If you have high-resolution FLAC files, the HD 4.30Gs won't disappoint you, as the difference in the higher bit-rate audio is noticeable.
The Sennheiser HD 4.30G is priced at Rs. 7,990, which is a bit expensive considering its plastic construction. However, it looks good, has a nice portable design, and sounds great for pretty much all music genres. The highlights of this headset are its good noise isolation and rich bass production. Mid-range performance is also good although we could use a bit more instrument separation and slightly better vocal distinction.
If you wish to save a bit of money, then you could consider the Sony MDR-100AAP, which is another popular pair of headphones with similar features.
Price (MRP): Rs. 7,990
Ratings (Out of 5)