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Best entry level Audiophile headphones!

A Review On: Sennheiser HD 518

Sennheiser HD 518

Rated # 13 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $100.00
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Pros: Very comfortable, Rich and Laid back bass, industrial looks

Cons: None so far

I was initially confused between HD 558 and HD 518 at the time of buying, but then some articles and forums on Head-fi helped me to decide for HD 518 as these were best bang for the buck and HD 558 did not justify their cost premium over these in terms of quality. Out of the box they did not sound boring. After few hours of burn in the became a little bit more tighter in sound. I tried them with Fiio E10, did not feel the significant change apart from tighter bass, so i think they might not necessarily require Amp/DAC to sound great. Any ways my impressions on the basic metrics of headphones review goes like this:

Design : For some it may look ugly but i liked the industrial looks of these over too much sophisticated design. Cord is detachable so that also adds value to design. Body is made up of plastic, so they are very light when you compare them with their looks. Plastic used for these is good quality plastic. Head band gives a little scare but you have to handle it roughly to snap it. It's not delicate, just not as strong as it should be. The grilled design is unique and looks charming according to me.

Comfort: Head Band cushion and ear pads are very soft and you won't feel sweaty or uncomfortable for listening sessions even more than 3-4 hours. So pretty much comfortable.

Audio Quality: Bass is more in presence considering Audiophile standards but it's deep and perfectly rich. Does not sound too aggressive so these headphones won't be fatiguing to ear drums for longer sessions. Bass heads won't like it but these are entry level audiophile headphones so should not expect colored music from them. Treble sounds slightly recessed but that's how i prefer anyways. Bass and midbass are just excellent. Lows of bass not so prominent. HD 518 is also good for movies. So in terms of Sound quality, it's genuine all rounder. I did not feel them significantly different with Fiio E10. The Mid bass improved slightly and Treble too, but only slightly, not so significant. So i do not know whether Fiio E10 are not good DAC+Amp or HD 518 does not necessarily needs an Amp or DAC to shine or the Amp/DAC in my laptop is of sufficient capability to drive these. Any ways, in short these headphones are just good enough as they are out of the box.

Value: 5/5 without a doubt. I got it just under 100 USD so it was a steal for me. Very nice pair of cans for those who do not want to invest a fortune but still want audiophilic standards. By no means these are the best around, but there are no best headphones. It's your budget and liking and kind of music you mostly prefer that dictates best choice for you. If you are not sure which headphone is good for your type of music go get these ones without doubt. Coz i listen to many genres and these are always up there in terms of quality irrespective of the music i throw at them.

Hope to see these headphones ranked in top 100. Soundmagic E30 is ranked higher than these which is injustice to these wonderful headphones. Not saying E30 are not good but HD 518 are definitely better on all grounds than E30.


Good review, good choice for a buddy audiophile looking for an all-round can
i have one of these, i'm very happy with them
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