5 Excellent monitoring 'phones home users proceed with cautionGoldenishEars | 13/04/2008 | See all GoldenishEars's reviews (1)The HD215's are monitoring headphones, a tool of the music trade and at their price point there is no competition, they offer incredible clarity and sound when fed from a quality source. However they are not aimed at the casual headphone user and will ruthlessly reveal a poor quality signal. These 'phones tell it like it is, and if your source isn't up to much these babies won't hide the fact. A common complaint leveled at PRO type phones is that they have no bass. Only an inexperienced listener would say this, and you have to wonder what kind of front end their 'phones are hooked up to. Possibly part of their appeal is that they look the 'business' designed to withstand rougher treatment than a 'domestic' pair has any right to expect, but they are not toys. Feed them a decent signal from an instrument or high quality source and they sound fabulous, there is proper bass aplenty tuneful and articulate, if it's mid bass bloat you are after, try umpteen alternatives elsewhere, there's none to be found here. Warning, feed them crap and they will reward you accordingly. To significantly improve upon the HD215's you might wish to consider the Beyer Dynamic DT240-80 ohm Pro 'phones. These are superb, but at three times the price of the Senn's so they should be. For £35 approx' the HD215's are superb value for money and are as tough as old boots. Like most PRO phones they offer good isolation from external noises, and being a closed back design won't annoy any body in your immediate vicinity. I hope this review helps you to make the right decision for your needs. For the same money £35 approx' consider Sennheiser's Eh350's these are an open backed design and also offer truly exceptional sound quality, for the money, open, dynamic and well balanced, no mid bass bloat, but more user friendly when it comes to partnering equipment. Like all 'phones they respond well to a good signal and will sound their best when driven by a dedicated headphone amplifier. The EH350's should persuade you to ditch those in ear jobbies, these will prove to be a substantial upgrade, good instrument tonality, clean and tuneful bass, an impressive mid range and nice clear highs. Like all headphones they need a 'burn-in' period before they give of their best, but once run in these beauties are worth the wait. To substantially improve on the EH350's make sure you've £100 or so to spare. The only negative concerns their appearance, A silver headband with black earphones looks tacky, all black or all silver would be so much easier on the eye! Happy listening.