Sennheiser Releases the Long-awaited HD 490 Pro

Sennheiser HD490 Pro
Sennheiser HD490 Pro

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These include interchangeable ear pads that adjust the sound quality for your production and mastering needs.

Sennheiser launched the HD 490 Pro and HD 490 Pro Plus headphones at the NAMM 2024, marking a new chapter in studio monitoring. These open-back headphones are designed to meet the demands of modern music production, offering detailed and accurate sound reproduction, and comfort for extensive audio work.

“The HD 490 Pro offer an open-back design with precision sound reproduction that delivers an extremely wide dimensional sound stage to give you the clarity needed when making critical mixing decisions. Not to mention, they also happen to be one of the most comfortable headphones you’ll ever wear.” says Robb Blumenreder, Customer & Market Insights at Sennheiser.

HD 490 Pro Features

Here’s what you can expect from the new Sennheiser HD 490 Pro:

Sound Quality

The core of the HD 490 Pro features a state-of-the-art neodymium magnet and an innovative low-frequency cylinder. Together, they aim to deliver full, accurate bass, essential for resolving low-end frequencies that often cloud clarity in mixes and masters.

Inside view of the Sennheiser HD 490 Pro's transducer (From: Sennheiser)
Inside view of the Sennheiser HD 490 Pro’s transducer (From: Sennheiser)

Equipped with a 38 mm dynamic transducer, the headphones also offer an expansive frequency response ranging from 5 Hz to 36 kHz. This was made to address the need to capture and reproduce the finest details in audio in audio mixing.

Finally, the HD 490 PRO headphones are also designed with Sennheiser’s Open-frame Architecture. It allows for a comprehensive and well-defined audio experience, crucial for resolving panning placement and conflicting frequencies.

“The design of the headphones, while obviously a thing of beauty, isn’t solely about aesthetics. Each choice in the component, overall construction, and even the earpads play a role when it comes to shaping its sound characteristics.” says Blumenreder.

Virtual Mixing Plugin

The DearVR Mix plugin (From: Dear Reality)
The DearVR Mix plugin (From: Dear Reality)

Each pair of HD 490 Pro headphones comes with the full version of DearVR Mix SE plugin created by Dear Reality, powered by Sennheiser AMBEO.

This plugin transforms any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) into a superior virtual mixing environment. It simulates the acoustics of ideal mixing studios, helping achieve a balanced mix across various listening environments.

The plugin also offers four loudspeaker positions and three studio rooms, each with meticulously designed acoustics.

Users have the flexibility to tailor the virtual mix room with AMBIENCE and FOCUS parameters. These parameters allow control over diffusion and balance, providing a realistic and customizable mixing experience.


How the headphones look when worn (From: Sennheiser)
How the headphones look when worn (From: Sennheiser)

The HD 490 PRO headphones are also engineered for comfort and durability. They feature a lightweight, flexible, and sturdy design, with precision-engineered ergonomics that eliminate pressure points.

“In fact, those of you with glasses will be glad to know the earpads even have a special channel built into the padding so they’ll sit comfortably without pushing on your frames.” adds Blumenreder.
Each set of ear pads changes the sound quality to adapt to the needs of a specific activity: producing and mixing. (From: Sennheiser)
Each set of ear pads changes the sound quality to adapt to the needs of a specific activity: producing and mixing. (From: Sennheiser)

Additionally, they come with two sets of switchable ear pads, each offering a unique sound signature for extended mixing and producing sessions.

The producing pads, made from velvet-like material, add warmth to the low end, reducing ear fatigue. On the other hand, the denim-like mixing pads offer a more analytical response (up to 1K), essential for critical mixing decisions.

The pads are both washable and easily replaceable. They can be quickly swapped by aligning the plastic tabs on the inside of the earpad with the clips on the ear cup.

The headphones also include geometrically angled earcups and a patented cable coil structure to block cable-borne noise.

Comparing the HD 490 Pro and Pro Plus

The HD 490 Pro and Pro Plus are identical except for the added accessories. (From: Sennheiser)
The HD 490 Pro and Pro Plus are identical except for the added accessories. (From: Sennheiser)

The HD 490 Pro Plus shares the same core design and performance characteristics as the HD 490 Pro. However, these headphones add some significant extras.

In addition to the standard 1.8m cable, producing ear pads, and mixing ear pads found with the HD 490 Pro, the Pro Plus edition includes a longer 3m cable, an additional headband pad, and a semi-hard travel case.

Availability and Pricing

The HD 490 Pro are priced at $399.00, while the HD 490 Pro Plus come with a price tag of $479.00. For those interested in purchasing these models, they are available directly from Sennheiser’s official website. The HD 490 Pro can be found at this link, and the HD 490 Pro Plus at this link.

Technical Specifications

  • Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.2 % (1 kHz, 100 dB SPL)
  • Transducer principle: Dynamic, open
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz to 36 kHz
  • Wearing Style: Circumaural
  • Max Sound Pressure Level: 128 dBSPL (1 kHz @ 5% THD)
  • Connector: 3.5mm / 6.3mm
  • Operating Relative Humidity: 10 to 80 %, not condensing
  • Operating Temperature: +0°C to +50°C
  • Sensitivity: 105 dBSPL (1 kHz/ 1 Vrms), 96 dBSPL (1 kHz/ 1 mW)
  • Impedance: 130 ohms (1 kHz)
  • Weight: 260 g. (w/o cable)
  • Cable Length: 1.8m (HD 490 PRO Plus: 1.8m & 3m)

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