Everyone who tried these headphones was impressed by their sound quality, notably more so than for other sets we have recently had in. These are a traditional set of headphones, without the wireless capability that is now en vogue, but without a mic for Skype or phone conversions.

The two speakers rotate on ball sockets held in situ by the rigid plastic headband, so they naturally fit your head shape. They also extend down on hard straps of plastic to cater for different head sizes.

Covering each speaker are flat, soft pads that double as winter ear warmers thanks to their wool-like fabric lining. In the summer these might be too warm, though perhaps not in Britain. We much prefer this padding to the sweaty fauxleather cushioning you get with some headphones.

The padding is repeated under the main arch of the headband and between these three padded sections, the set sits very comfortably indeed.

As for the sound, the first time you put them on the music sings through with a warm quality. However, we noticed that the bass has been given prominence in the overall aural display. To be fair, this is our only complaint, but sometimes the bass can seem out of place with the genre of music playing. Sound quality is about accurate representation of the signal, and not all music lends itself to overexposed bass. (Dub reggae fans may care to differ.)

On the cable is a simple volume control that works well enough, but no other buttons. The HD 435s are ideal for sitting back at home and basking in sound, but they are probably too cumbersome for travelling. They are also good at letting you hear what's going on around you.

This works both ways, though, because sound floods out of them too, and in the office close-by colleagues could hear when we were testing them. James Ellerbeck