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Co-branded fashion headphones are becoming quite a rage, with Beats by Dre and Skullcandy Skullcrushers Snoop Dogg series being prime examples. While there is a premium attached with these headphones, consumers do seem to be lapping them up. With Sennheiser making them, the HD 220 Adidas headphones do have a distinct advantage, straightaway.
Look & Feel
As is the case with most of these fashion accessories umm headphones, the looks will not be to everyone’s liking. However, the HD 220 walks a slightly different line. The colour inspiration has been taken from the Adidas logo itself - a mixture of blue and white colours. Made of plastic throughout, the HD 220 does get some fake leather treatment for the ear-pads and the headband wraparound. While plastic does increase the risk of damage on the move, the positive side to that is the amazing comfort the lightweight build offers.
Interestingly, the ear cups to a certain extent for the extra comfort while wearing them, but do not completely fold away. Increases the risk of damage when moving them around. Speaking of which, a smart pouch is provided by Sennheiser to carry these around in. And following the colour combination of the HD 220, the carry case is also dressed in blue and white.
Features & Performance
In case you haven’t figured this out already, the HD 220 is essentially a remixed version of the HD 218. And the HD 218 did offer very good performance without costing a bomb. Admittedly, the HD220 will cost a bit more then the HD 218 in the market, but that is the premium for the Adidas branding and the stand-out-in-the-crowd looks. What we get with the HD 218 is a sound that is soft on the ear and not heavy either on bass or treble. Without the booming (and in most cases residual as well) bass, you can actually enjoy the notes at the higher end a lot better. While the HD 220 does have that pristine audio quality or the bass punch of a slightly more expensive Sennheiser headset. What is on offer is sound that is consistently warm and is an attempt to handle the lows and the mids better than most headphones in this price bracket. While those who are looking for thumping bass will be turned off, the HD 220 does appeal to a bigger demographic for a variety of listening purposes.
The comfort of wearing these headphones is immense. Since I am using the much heavier HD 415 headphones, the HD 220 was a huge change, for the better. While the HD 415 is heavier, it uses cloth over the ear-pads, which is very light on the ears. The fake leather treatment on the HD 220 did raise a few apprehensions about how the ears would heat up due to the tighter sitting over the ear. However, these apprehensions were blown to bits quite quickly. The HD 220 sits well on the ear, without really pressing in. That allows for the critical amount of breathing space. It doesn’t have a preset groove for the ear, which is usually uncomfortable in most cases. However, despite the lack of that (thankfully!), the ambient noise does get blocked off to a certain extent.
This is one fashion sound accessory that doesn’t cost a bomb. And manages to not look ghastly either! Sound, as we always say, is something every individual deciphers in a different way. From what we concluded, the HD 220 walks the middle path quite well. Neither is it bass heavy, nor does it have the bias towards treble. While music aficionados will turn up their noses at this one (well, they would at most audio equipment anyway!), we believe that it works well in most listening scenarios. You can check this out, and will cost you about Rs 3.2k in the market, or you can also check out its sibling, the HD 218 that will cost about Rs 2.9k.
Price: Rs. 3,490
Ear coupling- Supraaural; Frequency response- 19-21000 Hz; Sound pressure level (SPL)- 108 dB; Impedance- 24 Ω; Cable length- 1.4 m; Connector- 3.5 mm; Weight- 90 g