Previously on Audio Appraisal, we took a look at Lindy’s HF-100 premium hi-fi headphones. Lindy’s HF-40 is a more budget-oriented model. It’s a closed-bak, over-ear, circumaural design with a self-adjusting headband and a removable 1.5M cable. 40MM drivers with neodymium magnets claim to offer a powerful and detailed sound, while soft protein leather ear pads ensure comfort for long periods and help to isolate external noise.
In the box, you’ll find the headphones themselves, along with a simple draw-string carry bag. The cable and pads come pre-attached, so you can start using them out of the box.
Out of the box, the headphones feel solid – and, thanks to their soft rubber and leather textures, very luxurious. The single-sided cable is attached to the left ear cup, and terminates in a 3.5MM jack with a screw-on 6.255MM adapter. The cable is solid with excellent strain relief, and thanks to its removable design, it’s less prone to becoming damaged during heavy usage.
The headband features an elasticated strip which sits atop your head to keep the headphones in place. This works well, and keep the headphones firmly in place so they won’t inadvertently fly off whilst head banging to your favourite tunes. It also means there is no mechanical adjustment mechanism to ware out, and if you frequently share headphones with other people, you won’t have to adjust them for each person.
Just like on the higher end HF-100s, the HF-40s soft leather ear pads mean they’re reasonably comfortable, even for long listening sessions. They are tight though – and, in my case at least, the headband caused the left ear cup to press harder against my ear than the right, sometimes resulting in a slightly unbalanced sound. The large ear cups do completely enclose the ear, and do a decent job of blocking out any outside noise.
Straight out of the box, the HF-40s offer up rather closed, boomy sound. I left them to run in for a few days, and the sound improved greatly.
Listening to the HF-40s, it becomes apparent the mid range boost you’ll find with some headphones, especially budget models, is also present here. This makes them sound a little boxy and boomy, particularly when listening to rock / metal. They’re more suited to electronic, classical or orchestral compositions than modern rock or pop music.
On a positive note, they do manage to bring out the best in a recording, effectively hiding a recordings lesser qualities, and of course the deficiencies in your playback equipment. A good example of this is during vinyl listening, surface noise is kept to an almost indistinguishable minimum, allowing you to hear more of the music.
Unfortunately, however, the sound left me wanting more. In fact, that boomy midrange, coupled with a slight channel imbalance and a rather lacklustre performance in the bass made them difficult to listen to for any great length of time.
The HF-40s are solidly built, well-specified headphones. However, they’re let down by an unnatural, boomy sound. If your priority is sound quality, you’ll opt for Sennheiser’s cheaper HD-202s instead. If you’re after a pair of rugged headphones for studio use, the HF-40s would suffice – but then, so would the Sennheisers. Audition first.
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