Are these just another pair of wireless in-ear headphones? What do they have to offer that sets them apart from other similar models? If you’re wondering where they perform at their best, you came to the right place!
We think it’s important to provide a detailed inside look, rather than simply repeating all the features you can find on the back of the box. Throughout this review, we’ll do our best to help you understand the best and worst features of these headphones, as well as hopefully answering any questions you have!
If you’re anything like us, you probably agree with the importance of having all the facts before you make your decision! Keep reading our Sennheiser HD1 Free Review to see if the really are the best wireless in-ear!
Sennheiser HD1 Free Review – Best Wireless In-Ear?
Basic Features & Technical Specs:
- Around-the-neck in-ear canal wearing design
- Features an in-line mic with 3-button remote
- Ability to pair 2 separate devices at the same time
- One-touch NFC pairing
- Connectivity: Wireless (via Bluetooth 4.2)
- Wireless Codec Support: AAC and Qualcomm apt-X
- Includes: micro USB charging cable & 4 different sized ear tips
- Driver Type: Dynamic
- Battery Life: Up to 6 hours on a single charge
- Frequency Response: 15 – 22,000 Hz
- Dimensions: 3.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
- Weight: 0.59 ounces
Before you move on, take a quick look at the links below that you can use to navigate our review. Each section will provide an in-depth analysis for each individual performance aspect.
Here are the 5 most important features you’ll want to consider before making your decision:
- Build Quality & Battery Life
- Comfort For Active & Casual Use
- Hi-Res Bluetooth Codec Support
- Sonic Performance – How Do They Sound?
- Are They The Right Fit For You?
Now that you’ve taken a quick look at the technical specs, let’s start by examining two of the most important features – build quality and the in-line remote!
Build Quality & Battery Life
As you can see in the picture above, these ‘buds feature a pretty minimal build design that’s also extremely compact and lightweight. The earpiece housings themselves are made of plastic. Each earpiece also has a stainless steel back with mirror chrome logo detailing.
The nozzles that stream the audio into your ears are slightly tilted inwards which is designed to help them stay more securely in place. It’s also worth noting that they weigh less than the V Moda Zn (which are also extremely lightweight in comparison to most in-ears).
There are magnets built into the back of each earpiece, which can make it more convenient to wear around your neck when they’re not in use. You can wear them like a necklace instead of storing them in your pocket or the black leather carrying case.
Black & Red Carrying Case
The included carrying case is a combination of black and red. It’s semi-reinforced and made of leather. Keep in mind that it is slightly bulky (so you probably won’t be able to keep it stored in your pocket).
The leather zip carrying case has red trim threading that matches the ‘phone cable nicely. There is easily more than enough room inside the case to store both your headphones and any extra ear tips you want to take with you. It’s also lined with a soft black felt material that won’t scratch the chrome detailing.
Tangle-Free Cable & In-Line Remote
The cable itself is also black and red. It has a tangle-free design that’s nice for those times when you don’t want to wrap them up neatly and store them in their case. If you’re in a hurry and throw them in your pocket (or on your desk), you won’t have to spend 15 minutes undoing the mess when you pick them up again.
There is an in-line mic/remote combo featured on the right side of the cable that has 3 buttons. At first, the controls may take some getting used to for some, since there are only 3 buttons that control a pretty wide variety of functions. Here are the various functions you can control using the in-line remote:
- Top button – volume up (single tap)/skip forward (double tap)
- Middle button – power on/off (hold down), play/pause (single tap), and access Siri or Google Assistant (3 taps)
- Bottom button – volume down (single tap)/skip back (double tap)
It might seem pretty straightforward seeing it listed out (like it is above), but there is one minor drawback to consider. The actual buttons don’t have a very obvious tactile response which can lead to you accidentally pressing the wrong button.
It would be better if the middle button had a small notch or other tactile marker letting you know where your hand was. Although it is a pretty minor drawback, we think it’s worth keeping in mind.
The built-in microphone is conveniently-placed so it’s right next to your mouth when you’re wearing them around your neck. The actual call clarity is decent although it does tend to pick up some background noise that can be heard on the other end.
As you’re tapping the button controls, you’ll notice that there is an automatic voice prompt guiding you through the process. The voice will keep you on track, instead of forcing you to guess whether you’re pairing them, powering them on/off, or checking to see how much battery life you have left.
Battery Life & Charging
To check how much battery life you have left, tap the bottom button and the same guiding voice will give you a time estimate. After you tap the button, it will say something like, “Between 2 and 4 hours playtime”. While it isn’t the most exact estimate, it’s a lot more convenient than a green LED suddenly turning red then dying within 5 minutes.
A full charge using the included micro USB cable usually takes about 1.5 hours. Although the battery life is advertised as being able to last up to 6 full hours on a single charge – you’ll usually get closer to 5 and a half. This will also depend on how loud you listen to your music as well as how much time you spend using them for calls.
The in-line remote (on the right side) has a very easily-accessible built-in micro USB port. You can charge them using any external device that’s compatible with a standard USB connector. Next, let’s take a closer look at their Bluetooth performance!
NFC Pairing & Bluetooth Transmission Range
These also include the one-touch NFC pairing system that’s commonly included with most newer wireless headphones. To pair using the NFC technology, you can go into your phone’s settings and turn NFC on. After that, you simply hold the ‘NFC’ logo against the back of your smartphone. After a few seconds, you’ll see a notification letting you know they’re paired.
How strong is the wireless connection? Well, the connection itself will remain fully intact at distances of up to 80 feet. If there aren’t any walls in between you and your paired device, you shouldn’t have any issues with the signal breaking up or completely dropping out.
An 80 foot transmission range is easily far above-average. Does the impressive range also contribute to their use for working out at the gym? Read the section below to see if they’re better for active or casual use!
Comfort For Active & Casual Use
As we briefly mentioned above, the cable sits around the back of your neck. They are noticeably more comfortable to wear for longer periods since they don’t also have a plastic neckband that sits behind your neck.
The cable-only wearing design is another reason why they weigh much less than other similar in-ear models. You will also receive 4 different sized silicone ear tips. Out of the 4 included ear tips, you should be able to find a pair that sits comfortably inside your ear canal.
Once you do find the right size, you’ll notice that they provide a good amount of passive noise isolation. This is mostly due to the tight seal that’s formed after you find the proper fit. The earpiece should fit pretty snugly inside your ear. In most cases, you won’t have to adjust them every 5 minutes (which is usually one of the most common issues people have with earbuds).
Sound Leakage & Inner Ear Fatigue
When you’re listening to music, the tight seal allows for very minimal sound leakage. The lack of sound leaking out is especially helpful if you plan on using these anywhere you don’t want to disturb the other people around you.
Since these weigh about half an ounce, you’ll also notice that they don’t pull down or tug on your ears. This helps minimize any inner ear fatigue that you might experience otherwise. If you’re planning on using these at the gym, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider.
Are They Ideal For Use At The Gym?
As you scrolled past the picture of these ‘buds, you may have noticed the battery pack on the left side of the cable. It looks very similar to the in-line remote featured on the opposite side, but serves a completely different purpose. They were designed this way to both extend battery life and conserve space on the in-line remote.
When you hold them side-by-side, you’ll notice that the battery pack is slightly longer than the in-line remote. How does this factor into their use for working out? It has a pretty noticeable effect in multiple areas.
For one, it causes the cable to have an uneven amount of weight distribution. Why does it matter? Well, if you have these in while you’re jogging, the weight of the battery pack will cause the cable to bounce around more than usual.
This makes them much less ideal for active use since the cable movement can become pretty distracting. The wearing design used on the Beats X Wireless is a little bit more ergonomic since the in-line remote isn’t quite as bulky.
The second major factor to consider (in terms of build quality) is the lack of an official water or sweat-resistant rating. When you consider that and the cable movement, you can probably see why they’re not exactly the ideal workout partner.
Overall, compared to other similar models, these are among some of the most lightweight ‘buds. While it does seem pretty clear that a lighter build was more important than an extended battery life, close to 6 hours is usually adequate for most uses.
Hi-Res Bluetooth Codec Support
These earbuds use Bluetooth 4.2 streaming technology and offer hi-res codec support. If you’re not familiar, hi-res codec support basically means that your music will sound significantly better than streaming using a standard Bluetooth connection.
The Bluetooth 4.2 connection results in very minimal lag (if any at all) which makes these ‘buds ideal for streaming videos on YouTube or Netflix. They also support both AAC and aptX codec formats. When you stream using the AAC (advanced audio coding) codec, your music will sound closer to CD quality – except over a wireless connection.
The aptX codec also noticeably improves the quality of your audio, operating on a similar mechanism. It may seem like a minor detail that isn’t worth mentioning, but you’ll definitely appreciate it if you’ve ever used a pair of wireless headphones that sounded more like the speaker on an old portable radio.
Now that you know what to expect from the Bluetooth codec support, you probably want to know how they sound!
Sonic Performance – How Do They Sound?
Most of us agree that a lightweight, comfortable design doesn’t mean much unless you’re also satisfied with the audio playback. How do they sound? Are they v-shaped, or neutral? Take a look at the detailed breakdown below to see where they stand out – and if they fall short!
Bass Response – Sloppy or Punchy?
On most tracks, the bass response is very tight and punchy. With that in mind, there isn’t much depth or extension – which may be a slight downside if you consider yourself to be a bass-head.
If you’re looking for skull-shattering bass that will leave your eardrums clinging on for dear life, these may not be the best option. If you prefer more depth in the low end, you’ll probably enjoy the playback produced by the 1More Triple Driver over these.
Mid Range & Vocal Clarity
In the mid range, you’ll notice that there is impressive vocal clarity and detail. Instruments and vocals in the mid range are slightly elevated and never go unheard. They are very even-keeled and noticeably present.
Overall, there isn’t much to complain about in the mid range. While they are fairly even-keeled, they never become overpowered by the low or high end response.
Highs – Rolled Off or Uncomfortably Sharp?
The highs are also fairly well-balanced on most tracks we use to test headphones. That being said, they do have a slight tendency to become somewhat sharp at higher volumes. For the most part, you can usually avoid reaching an uncomfortable level of sharpness by listening at a slightly lower volume.
The level of detail isn’t the most impressive but does perform as you’d probably expect from this company. Is there anything you can do to make them sound better? Have you heard of the CapTune app?
Things To Consider When Using The CapTune App
The CapTune app is available as a free download with your purchase from Apple or the Google Play store. Once you download the app, you can select one of the EQ presets, or create your own. Within the app, you can navigate to the section that allows you to personally fine-tune the sound of your music.
Although the personalized (or preset) EQ function is an easy way to further enhance your playback, there is one possibly major downside. It’s important to keep in mind that the CapTune app isn’t fully-compatible with every streaming service.
What streaming services is it compatible with? At its core, CapTune is specifically tailored to Tidal users. Unfortunately, if you use Spotify, Apple Music, or any other music streaming service – you will not be able to use the EQ settings.
That being said, it isn’t all bad. If you have other music saved directly on your device – you will be able to access the full functionality of CapTune. Keep in mind that you don’t need to use the app in order to experience their signature sound quality.
They sound exactly as described above right out-of-the-box without making any EQ adjustments. If you made it this far, you probably want to know if these are the right fit for you. Take a look at the final section below to see who they’re ideal for, and who should keep looking!
Are They The Right Fit For You?
The overall build, comfort, and sonic performance these ‘buds have to offer makes them a great choice for casual use. These would be a great fit for you if you just need a pair of in-ears to use on-the-go and don’t want to carry a heavier pair of over-ear cans with you.
Their extremely compact design makes them best-suited as a pair of everyday earbuds that you can use for listening to music and watching videos on your phone. Once again, they’re not ideal for working out since they don’t have an official water or sweat-resistant rating.
Their other main drawback is the weight of the battery pack causing the cable to bounce around when you’re jogging or working out. That being said, the battery pack does allow for a decent battery life that is adequate for most everyday use.
Take a quick look at the review table below to see the main pros/cons as well as how we calculated their final rating out of 10.
Now that you’ve read our entire Sennheiser HD1 Free Review, what do you think? Are they seriously worth considering, or should you keep looking? Are you satisfied with their overall performance? Do they deserve to be called the best wireless in-ear?
If you’d like to see more information before you decide, click the link below!
Let us know what you think by leaving a question or comment in the section below! We always do our best to respond as quickly as we can! Thanks for stopping by to take a look at our review, we look forward to hearing from you!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.
Sennheiser HD1 Free Wireless In-Ear Headphones
Build Quality & Battery Life8.0/10
For Casual Use9.0/10
Hi-Res Bluetooth Codec Support8.5/10
In-Line Remote Functionality8.5/10
- Comfortable & Extremely Lightweight Wearing Design
- Punchy & Tight Bass Response
- Clear Vocals & Mid Range Presence
- Enough Battery Life For Most Everyday Use
- Includes A Quality Carrying Case & 4 Different Sized Silicone Ear Tips
- Battery Pack Causes Cable Movement
- No Official Water/Sweat-Resistant Rating
- Slightly Overpriced (In Our Opinion)