The top HD range from Sennheiser is the brand’s home audiophile range, but the pivotal word is ‘home’. Open backed designs that need good upstream amps and DACs to drive them, the HD 500, HD 600, and HD 800 series are not really models for travelling and commuting: I do know someone who travels with a Chord Hugo powering a pair of HD 800, but he uses that rig in the hotel room rather than in transit. The HD 630VB is the exception – it’s every bit a part of the HD range, but folds away, comes in a travel case, and even includes an in‑line microphone.
The rounded, closed-back, over ear HD 630VBs are neatly finished in (mostly brushed) silver and dark blue-grey, with red contrasting cloth inside the ear-cups. The cups and headband are high-grade ‘pleather’, which is both hard-wearing and not aromatic. The overall look is one of sophistication and elegance, aided by the single gimbal headphone band connector. It’s not a heavy headphone either to carry or wear, although the large black cake-tin carry case does add bulk to the package. The HD 630VB has a captive lead (with in-line microphone) and a stereo 3.5mm TRS jack plug (a mini-jack to 6.3mm jack plug adaptor is supplied in the case).
The business end is all on the right ear cup. There is a little switch marked ‘I/G’ by the cable strain-relief, to switch between Apple iDevice and Google Android use. The centre of the right-hand ear-cup is given over to track and phone-handling options normally assigned to an in-line pod. This means volume adjustment, track handling, and call handling can be assigned bigger and more easy to use buttons than the tiny ones on a cable pod. It also allows listeners to access Siri and Assistant voice commands. The captive cable is mostly very good at eliminating conduction noise, although the cable around the microphone is itself slightly microphonic.
The HD 630VB is based around a single transducer said to be able to deliver sounds from 10Hz to 42kHz. The headphone is rated at an impedance of 23Ω, which – coupled with a suggested 114dB sound pressure rating (measured at 1kHz and at 1Vrms) – means the Android/Apple implementation isn’t just for show and the headphones will comfortably work straight from a phone. The 50Hz bass end of the frequency response features a +5dB boost or a –5dB cut, thanks to the variable bass controller, on the rim of the right hand ear-cup. This is infinitely adjustable, although there are marks on the side of the ear-cup denoting 12 steps above or below ‘flat’.