The t.bone HD 200 is clearly positioned as a newcomer to more budget-friendly end of the headphone market, with an asking price of less than 20 Euros. Listed in the “HiFi” category by its manufacturer, this headphone model can also be found as a companion accessory when purchasing a digital piano.
Look and Feel
The HD 200 is delivered in a plain cardboard box, with the headphone model and its accessories presented neatly inside. Talking of accessories, there’s the 6.3mm adapter and little else. The adapter is nothing special, but the fact that a jack convertor comes bundled in with an item this inexpensive is certainly a positive that many competitors in the price class wouldn’t afford the customer.
With an impedance of 35 ohms and a sound pressure level of just over 100 dB, this headphone model is loud enough to produce some serious sound output when used with mobile devices. As such, I was a little confused initially as to who these headphones were actually aimed at. With a cable length of three metres, the t.bone HD 200 isn’t suitable for use with a smartphone as a music player for workouts and gym sessions, although the cable itself can be folded and clipped to make things a little less awkward. What’s more, with a total weight of 275 grams when you include the cable, the HD 200 isn’t exactly a heavyweight option, leaning more toward listening on the go. These closed, ear-enclosing headphones provide a perfectly acceptable fit, with a snug pressure on the head. Due to the size of the earpieces, however, some of the HD 200 might not prove a good fit for everyone. If you’d rather not be disappointed with a disastrous fit and uncomfortable wear, it’s best to give this a try in person before parting with your cash. Wearing comfort is impeded a little by a contact pressure rating of 588 grams. This makes wearing them with, say, spectacles or shades a bit of a headache. Even brief listening binges can be enough to induce uncomfortable sensations and fatigue. However, this level of pressure brings with it a good amount of shielding, with audio leakage not really a concern and sound intrusion staved off to some degree.
The sound of the HD 200 is pronounced, at least as far as the upper midrange is concerned. It puts singing vocals into the foreground, although the bass is somewhat lacking. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the bass is pretty terrible here. The highs are better, with a good balance that’s not too little and not too much. I can imagine the main demographic for these headphones as beginner musicians looking to polish piano skills or embark on an e-drum learning curve, or those seeking a set of home studio headphones. These aren’t something that should really be sought out for hi-fi applications.
As part of the practical test, I used the HD 200 for recording an acoustic guitar performance. The t.bone HD 200 seals so well, it turns out, that I brought in the rather loud Western guitar into the mix as well. When listening back to the recording afterwards, I didn’t notice any crosstalk, but there was evidence of finger slides over the strings, along with other unwanted intrusions. It has to be said, the HD 200 does show you how many mistakes you’re making while playing.
The t.bone HD 200 is not the finest piece of kit you’ll find on the market. Even for the price class, it’s not a top-tier contender. When tracks become a little busy with the overall composition, things can get a little muddled and the overall sound impression becomes opaque. The HD 200 cuts a fine figure for those after a bit of hardware for a home studio project, or perhaps as a cheap monitoring backup for an amateur musician, or for those looking to produce spoken content like radio plays, podcasts, narrated videos for upload etc. It’s a simple instrument, but as long as you’re willing to acknowledge its limitations, it’s a worth consideration.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance35,55 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)101,71 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head588 g
- Weight with cable275 g
- Weight without cable229 g
- Cable length295 cm
What's in the box
- 6.35mm stereo jack