It’s fair to say that in the process of doing my Sennheiser HD 25 illustrations and ASPECTS images, I got more up-close and personal with the ubiquitous headphones than ever before.
And while I could talk about the plethora of unique features, I was left with one key takeaway.
Literally in bits
The first thing that struck me, after I had each piece laid out before me on my kitchen table, was that I could break the HD 25s down into their constituent parts. The entire pair literally comes apart down to component level. And easily too.
And having fondled more pairs of cans over the years than I can remember (why has nobody ever done a better DJ headphone group test?), this is a pretty unique feature.
I suspect that being so fixable has made them a firm favourite for DJs and musicians who traditionally abuse their stuff. Many conversations around HD 25s have a variation of “I’ve had mine for years”. Indeed, I had one at a family gathering just this weekend.
And while Sennheiser can supply every original part, third parties happily offer a wide range of alternatives.
Zomo sells a colourful range of replacement pads. Oyaide offers the cable in a range of colours. And because of the complete replaceability of every part, some specialist companies offer custom 3D printed designs.
Hitting the zeitgeist
The most striking thing for me is that almost 35 years after launch, they absolutely tap into the environmental and sustainable need for repairing rather than replacing. I suspect however that this is a more lucky side effect than having a crystal ball when pencil first hit paper on the Sennheiser drawing board.
Given the design and availability of official spares, it’s clear that Sennheiser wanted people to buy and keep their HD 25s. And this ethos makes them more relevant than ever before.
A true industry standard
I love that such a simple product can inspire such loyalty. In a time of rapid DJ gear revolutions and evolutions, it’s nice that there can be a constant throughout a DJ’s career and maybe even life too.
Like Technics, people will brag about how long they’ve had them, and remember the associated good times too. My Adidas editions certainly have memories, not least being one of the key products to spark the birth of The Worxlab.
But what about you?
Are you an HD 25 evangelist? How long have you had your pair? What memories do you have of them?