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Sennheiser HD 518 Reviews

Positive Reviews


Great Headphones for a great price


Pros: Comfy, Good for long listening sessions, Great sound

Cons: long cord

First off id like to say i am not an audiophile and this is the second time on this forum that ive wrote a review.   Now with that said these headphones are really great and well worth the money i paid for em. The sound i bright and the highs and mids are clear and crisp and the bass is not at all overpowering which i personally love about them. They are quite an improvement from the HD 202s that i have.   When i first got these i put them on and at first it didnt seem all that different from my 202s till i went and put my 202s on and realized that i was very wrong. The highs and mids seemed to muddled due to the bass. So i put the 518s on and i could just hear how...
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People need to discover this gem.


Pros: Embraces all music genres, super comfortable, not so expensive.

Cons: After 6 months of use, still haven't found any.

First of all, I still didn't have the opportunity of using an HD 598, which is the 500 series flagship. So I can only compare what I know about the 518 with what people talk about the 598.   Many reviewers say the HD 598 has a great soundstage with beautifully fluid highs and mids, but lacks punch in bass. A lot of users say these same things about it, so I assume these characteristics are true. The 598 was my first option, but sincerely I think those body colors are ugly, and they still cost too much for my possibilities. So, when I saw the 518, with the same appearance but nice design/colors and promise of almost same sound quality without spending too much, I didn't think...
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Negative Reviews


Great for the price.


Pros: Treble, Soundstage

Cons: Bass- too much of it.

  Sounds: FLAC 96/24, 192/24, DSD64 and DSD128 Currently own: Beyerdynamic T1, T90 (Current Favorite), Sennheiser Amperior (First headphone), Momentum 1st Gen, HD 414 Anniversary, Mr Speakers Mad Dog, Fostex T7, Aurisonics Forte IEM, Audioquest Dragonfly Red DAC Testing Chain: Toshiba Satellite Laptop; Foobar 2000 running flac and DSD codec; amiMusik DS5 Headphone Amp.   Really was curious how this one would sound and I have to say I'm surprised. I generally rotate all my headphones and I love them all. I didnt audition this one before I purchased, I just went on the reviews of others. Fair to say this was an impulse buy- it was on sale in my local office supply store....
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A way to stumble


Pros: Nice feel

Cons: Generally bad and muddy sound with lack of resolution

Another review of a product I rejected after a brief test at a store. You may overestimate some headphones at first sight and regret buying them later. But a feeling that something is very-very wrong from the start is rarely deceiving. Wouldn't have written this review if I hadn't seen most of you adore them. Muddy upper bass interfering with mids is unbearable. I really don't remember what was with the treble, but I clearly got the impression of cheap, muddy sound. Even if treble was flawless fault points limit would still had been reached.   The only reason to buy them is to try modding them into some kind of HD 598. Sennheiser just gone too far purposely debilitating sound...
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More Reviews


HD 518 impressions


Pros: Big step up from HD 515, Mids and Highs are clear and vivid, Bass is more pronounced but still laid back, Comfortable for long listening sessions.

Cons: Plastic material (still feels and looks good though)

Design - The louvered design is something people will either like or hate. I personally like it since it gives it a very engineered look, just like a German car. The color combination is stylish and gives it a high end feel, very nice use of graphite and black with some silver highlights. I personally prefer these colors versus the 598.   Comfort - The velour pads have an edge in the inside but are still very comfortable, but the 558 pads are still a little bit better, they're rounded on the inside edges and are not as 'springy'. I can still listen to these cans for hours on end though. I also wanted to add that one of the reasons (I assume, aside from making it more...
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Comfy (after a couple weeks of long wear), sound pretty good, have some issues.


Pros: Solid highs, earpads that breathe very well, removable cable

Cons: Boomy bass, lacking mids, dumbest cable ever, cups don't turn into the shape of a "V" enough, too closed

I got these on a killer bargain from Fry's late last month. After two weeks I can say that my initial impression of them has improved but, in short, you should get the 558s and do the foam tape mod instead of buying these.   First thing I noticed was that these clamp HARD to the top of your head if you have the right (or, I suppose, wrong) shape of head and it's extremely fatiguing and uncomfy. After two weeks of frequent wear and about 4 hours of "stretching" with pillows they have gotten significantly more comfortable and I can say that with one of the most sensitive heads around. However I will be replacing the earcups with HD 558 earcups as they have more give and, I think...
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A Great Open Backs for Multimedia and Beginners


Pros: dark, smooth treble, strong bass impact, very comfortable, easy to drive, sounds good with cheaper amps, excellent for movies and video games

Cons: annoying 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch adapter, bass is a bit obese and undistinguished, not the best transparency in mids, vocals are a little veiled

I purchased the HD518s for a good price lightly used, and have been very satisfied with them. They are darker Sennheisers, and have the signature Senn smooth sound. I have never owned Senns before, so these were my first pair. I am fairly used to how AKGs sound, so when I first listened to the HD518s, they initially wowed me with how smooth their mids and highs were, and how strong the bass was. There definitely is a "wow" factor when you first listen to them, especially if you listen to brighter, leaner sounding headphones. They are all plastic, but feel well made. They have that Sennheiser vice grip on the head, but you get accustomed to the grip, they do not present a comfort problem....
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Quality headphone


Pros: Large soundstage, Clear airy sound, Great mids

Cons: For the price - none. Fairly anemic bass however

I'm standing on the precipice of turning my in rotation headphone collection over and now seems like a good time to write a HD 518 review.  My HD 700's and 598's are in the mail and instead of listening to those I'm back on my back up pair the 518s.  These were the first open backed headphones I ever heard.  They are also the first headphones I ever did an ounce of research into and started my love of the Sennheiser sound.  I've owned them for several years and since then I've also listened to most of the rest of the HD line.   The amazing thing about these 518's is they truly are about 85% of anything else in the entire lineup.  After listening to the...
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Thymen Frederik

Great entry level headphone


Pros: Comfort, balanced, decent soundstage

Cons: long cable, 6.3mm plug (adapter included)

This is my second review on Head-Fi so it won't be the review you'll ever read. I will try to use as much terms that are described in the "describing soung glossary". Please note that English isn't my native tongue, so there will be a few grammar and spelling mistakes.   Build Quality:   These headphones are made out of plastic entirely (except the earpads of course), but they don't feel cheap. I think this is due to the fact that the plastic is high quality and has a nice finish on it. The plastic doesn't make annoying sounds like on some headphones that are even cheaper.   Comfort:   All headphones in the 500 series are really light and the HD 518 is no...
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Great Sounding Headphone


Pros: soundstage, amazing bass and mids, non fatiguing, great all- arounder

Cons: highs are slightly veiled

I'll keep this review short, im a beginner, and this review are all my own opinions so please bear with me.  thank you!   This headphone sound so good for its price.   For me, its sq is almost excellent that every time i put this on, i always have a smile on my face. Others may not appreciate this because the sound is warm or dark.   It really shines on its soundstage, bass and mids.   Soundstage- big or wide, lots of airiness, because of its open back design and the E.A.R., it makes you feel that you are in a live recording, or you are sitting in front of high end speakers.   Bass- Its not lacking neither overpowered. it's deep, controlled bass,...
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Sennheiser HD 518 Impressions (EDIT 2014-03-04 fiio e10 impressions)


Pros: Bass, soundstage, comfy, great all-arounders

Cons: Vocals in music (fixed with eq)

Hello,   I would like to share my impressions of my first a bit more decent headphones - Sennheiser HD-518. I'm no audiophile, so this review will be more for a "normal" people, who want to use it not just for music, but for games and movies too.   Build quality and design     Headphones is all plastic, so no suprises where. It have strange grills that could look a bit silly, but hey, you will not go out with them outside. You could and I did it few times, but cable is just too long, you end up in wire mess + headphones are open, so no isolation from outside noise, you just don't enjoy your music with these outside.   Pads are made just for me. They...
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Amazing Value


Pros: Decent base, open back, comfortable

I saw an article that showed the sound output of the 518 vs the 558 and 598. I was amazed to see that the sound signature for each headphone was practically identical. So I decided to take a shot a but a pair. I have NOT been disappointed.   Comparing the three headphone for myself I can tell you they all share a very similar sound. The HD 518 have a slightly stronger bass, the 558 a bit more highs and the 598 a bit more neutral of the three. As a gamer the extra bass is welcome to my gaming experience and I find I personally prefer the sound of the 518.   The open back, teamed with solid bass results in an incredible PC Gaming experience. The reasonable pricing means these...
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Audiophile sound


Pros: Value, Comfort, SQ

Cons: I don't like the grille design; sounds muffled on low volume.

This cans are not that expensive, but I'd say the sound quality is already in or very close to the 'audiophile' range.   The first few hours will not impress you, but once you get used to it, you will understand what you've been missing all this time and you won't settle for less. You would also want to crank up the volume to actually enjoy them and to discern the differences.   The transient response is amazing. Music sounds detailed and reproduced with an agility I've never heard before on a sub-$100 set of cans.    Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, and the likes sound stellar on these.   Bass is just about the right amount, but it's a...
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Roy Lay

Awesome Bang For Your Buck!


Pros: Amazon just dropped price to $50. Thumping bass and good soundstage.

Cons: There are better headphones, but you aren't likely to find them for near the price. Lacks some punch in the midrange.

I paid $65. for these, and thought they sounded as good or better than headphones I've heard that cost twice that.  Now, you can get them on Amazon for $50., which makes them a great deal.  One warning -- as these are over the ear headphones, glasses can become uncomfortable to wear with them for a long time.  When they start to bother me, I just pull them up above the earpads.  It doesn't seem to effect my ability to read, which is all I use glasses for.  Anyway, if you are looking for headphones with a lot of soundstage, that can thump on the bass, and that won't hurt your pocketbook,  you are looking for these.  When the price went down, I ordered...
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