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Great value

A Review On: Sennheiser HD 558

Sennheiser HD 558

Rated # 26 in Over-Ear
See all 25 reviews
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $128.50
Kon Peki
Posted · Updated · 75014 Views · 2 Comments

Pros: Forward, engaging mids. Overall euphonic, non-fatiguing, super comfortable, etc.

Cons: Lacking deep bass extension

At the time of this writing, these headphones cost less than $100 on Amazon.  At that price point, they are an incredible value.  For some reason, these headphones seem to be damned with faint praise in many reviews on the web. 

What the 558 offer:
-Beautiful, natural, relatively neutral sound overall
-Forward, engaging mids (what I like best about these)
-Non-fatiguing highs
-Rich bass with good bass impact but not exagerrated bass (look elsewhere for "bass monsters")
-Wide soundstage
-One-sided, replaceable cable
-Good looks 
-Easy to drive (50 ohm impedance means you can drive these easily with iPod, phone, etc)
-Supremely comfortable on my fat head

What they don't offer (and neither did the HD600):
-Great sub-bass extension

Other points to consider
-As an open design, these do not offer noise blocking or prevent leakage (this is not a con, per se)
-They come with a 10ft (really long) straight cord terminating in a 6.35 mm stereo plug. The 3.5mm adapter is a bit unwieldy for use with phones, etc. However, Sennheiser offers a separately sold inexpensive 4.5ft replacement cable with a 3.5mm termination, perfect for such uses

If you are not using a dedicated amp and are looking to plug headphones directly into your phone/MP3 player/laptop/computer, don't need closed headphones to keep sound out/in, then IMO these are the best Sennheisers available and one of the best choices of any brand at any price point.  

 

The only limitation I find is that the bass extension is not adequate for 2% of my rap and electronic music.  Eg, ODB's "Harlem World" or MF Doom's "Hey".  Otherwise they sound fantastic with all genres (including rock, jazz, pop, and 98% of my rap/electronic).

2 Comments:

Great review ,and we basically have the same set-up.
As far as the HD650 is concerned, (I own both the 650 and the 558) I would say that the 558 gives you 85 or 90 percent of the HD650 performance for less than half the price.  Not a bad value proposition, at all.  And actually, unless you have excellent dedicated upstream electronics (in the case of the HD650, especially a tube amp) the HD650 may not sound any better at all.  
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