Current Price: $10 from amazon.com
Build Quality (5/10): The all-plastic HO268 looks and feels like a dollar-store headphone but the lack of moving parts means there’s really very little to go wrong. The dual plastic headband flexes just enough to provide a comfortable fit and the single-sided cord is quite convenient for portable use.
Comfort (7/10): The HO268 offers no fitting enhancements aside from the adjustable-length headband but is lightweight and flexible enough to remain comfortable for quite some time. The oval pads are supraaural and a bit larger than those on the majority of entry-level portables. Clamping force is low-to-average.
Isolation (4/10): The HO268 is semi-open and really doesn’t isolate very much. The tight ear coupling provided by the oval pads helps some but the vents on the cups are quite limiting.
Sound (3.5/10): I wasn’t expecting much from a run-of-the-mill dollar-store headphone like the HO238 but compared to the recently-reviewed Coby CV163 found them at the very least usable. The bass is tighter and hits harder. Extension is decent on both ends of the spectrum and the HO238 resolves and separates better than the CV163 does. However it still has severe midrange recession and generally sounds very distant. The mids and treble aren’t as crisp as I would like, partly because the drivers are quite sluggish. On the upside, the sound is pretty smooth and even across the range and the distant presentation gives them a less congested feel.
Value (4/10): The Sentry HO238 is far from the worst headphone I’ve heard and actually competes fairly well with some of the lower-end sets from Earpollution, Panasonic, Philips, etc. Its biggest problem is Coby CV185, which costs about the same but doesn’t have as many faults. If a single-sided cable is a must, the HO238 might be one to take a look at. Otherwise, I’d suggest giving it a pass.
Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
Impedance: 32 Ω
Cord: 3.94ft (1.2m), single-sided; Angled Plug
Space-Saving Mechanism: N/A