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My Favourite Headphones

A Review On: Sennheiser HD 580

Sennheiser HD 580

Rated # 20 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $80.00
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Pros: Comfort, interchangable/upgradable parts, sonic versatility

Cons: *Slight* lack of HF detail compared to some

I bought these headphones used on eBay in November '07. They were cheap, and were drilled through the headband for a listening post. They came with brand new HD650 cables.


This review will not be 'editorial' quality, because I can't stand the pompous, flowery hifi-speak that most hifi journalists subscribe to. This is more about why I like my HD580s.


I bought them before I had an amp to run them with, and so built one. I'd been using AKG K141s for several months prior to buying these, and was fairly happy with them. However, as soon as I strapped the 580s to my head, I was hooked. This would be a headphone love affair that continued through several purchases, with these always in my no.1 spot.


These particular HD580s have 650 cables and 600 grills fitted, and a custom white with blue spatter paint finish. They look rather splendid compared to standard.


HD580 Spatter03icon.jpg


Anyway, I digress. I have a pair of newish HD600s with which I have compared these, and in all honesty there's not a lot of point in buying the HD600s apart from the fact that they're newer (is that even a reason?!).


The HD580s headband and earcup surrounds are made from a softer, less rigid material than the 600/650s, which some say effects the sound. Personally, I can hear no discernable difference between my 600s and 580s. One massive advantage of the HD580s over the 600s is that the headband is more compliant, and follows a larger radius than that of the 600s. As a result, they clamp FAR less than even correctly adjusted 600s (mine were adjusted by tweaking the metal strips which helped, but they're still leagues behind the HD580s). The enclosures into which the capsules/drivers are mounted are identical to those in the 600s at least, and quite possibly the HD650s.


Sound is fantastically easy going and detailed, but sometimes recordings can sound a little dull. Blues/jazz can lose a little HF edge, especially compared to AKG K701s, which also show the 580s/600s as being just very slightly ponderous (well the K701s are lightning fast, so that's to be expected). If I didn't own K701s, this wouldn't be a criticism.


Female vocals in particular are fantastic with the HD580s, and they do a great job with hip hop (Outkast), rap (Snoop Dogg, NWA, Ice Cube), dance, rock (Rancid, Motorhead, Guns & Roses, Picasso Trigger), reggae etc, but will not turn your mind to a pulp with extreme bass like closed cans will, which may or may not be a good thing.


These are my do-it-all headphones, and despite hankering after a different sound on occasion, I always find myself reaching for these over my other headphones. This is simply because they are comfier, less likely to have me reaching for the volume control due to their slightly laid back sound signature, and more suited to my main listening habits than other headphones I've owned.


For the price that these can be picked up for, you will find it very hard to do better than these. They are ideal fror progressing from HD555s/595s, or for someone looking for a nice, easy listening pair of headphones that won't ever make your ears bleed.


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