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Sennheiser HD555 and HD595 internal comparison shots

post #1 of 128
Thread Starter 
Thanks to ivant for supplying pictures of the insides of his HD595's in my previous thread (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/hd5...e-mods-403497/).

Here are some comparison images between the insides of my HD555's and ivant's HD595's.

QQQ said that the HD555 and HD595 share the same drivers, and they certainly appear identical.

This just leaves the actual construction of the two headphones to justify the price difference. The ONLY construction difference I can see is that the HD555's have a piece of foam stuck onto the inside of the rear vents blocking about 40% of the vents. In marketing terms, this would be the "special internal Surround Reflector, which generates an extended spatial sound field,making it the ideal headphone for home theater,as well as music."









Mike
post #2 of 128
Very interesting. I wonder what they sound like with-vs-without the foam.
post #3 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky View Post
Very interesting. I wonder what they sound like with-vs-without the foam.
i de-foamed my 555's and actually preferred them as they were, they sounded harsher without IMHO, a bit thin.
post #4 of 128
Very nice pics and comparison. Thank you. I have owned the HD555 and HD595 (120 Ohm, not the 50 Ohm) at different times. I ran the HD555 from a SB Live Value sound card with a $100 portable amp and the HD595 from a Harmon Kardon receiver, and they sounded quite different with the HD595 a noticeable step up. I'm a little surprised to see the internals appear to be identical except for the foam.

The "special internal surround reflector" is the triangular piece of plastic protruding into the diaphragms of the HD555 and HD595, not the foam in the HD555.

From this thread and my experience with these two headphones, I now attribute the factors responsible for the HD595's superior sound to be its ear cups, possibly different cables (?), what I plugged them into, and their Ohm ratings. Between the two, the HD595 seemed much more capable of scaling well with better associated equipment. I would be surprised to find them sounding similar if I compared the two 50 Ohm models side by side with the same equipment, especially with a better source and amp than I used. Hopefully those who have compared both in this way will post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebeauchamp View Post
This just leaves the actual construction of the two headphones to justify the price difference. The ONLY construction difference I can see is that the HD555's have a piece of foam stuck onto the inside of the rear vents blocking about 40% of the vents. In marketing terms, this would be the "special internal Surround Reflector, which generates an extended spatial sound field,making it the ideal headphone for home theater,as well as music."
post #5 of 128
Quote:
The "special internal surround reflector" is the triangular piece of plastic protruding into the diaphragms of the HD555 and HD595
No, it's not it.

If there's "reflector" in 595, show me the descryption or advertisment where it stated.
post #6 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ View Post
No, it's not it.

If there's "reflector" in 595, show me the descryption or advertisment where it stated.
Oh really? That's new to me. Then I stand corrected. You seem quite positive, so I see no need to go looking around for proof. Thank you.
post #7 of 128
Thread Starter 
Last night I took the foam out of one side only and swapped the headphones around on my head while listening to some music outputted as mono (thanks for that option rockbox).
I actually noticed that removing the foam slightly decreases the treble, which I initially thought was bad (considering I find the HD555's to lack high-end). On further listening though, I found that the added treble of foam piece (excuse me, I mean "surround reflector") just sounded messy and blurry anyways. But it was damn subtle...

That's as far as I'll go into the audiophile jargon, as I'm more interested in just comparing the internals of things and debunking the justification for the high price tag of things like the HD595's.

Mike
post #8 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ View Post
No, it's not it.

If there's "reflector" in 595, show me the descryption or advertisment where it stated.
Yeah, guy at sennhiser also told me that only the HD555 has the surround reflector.
post #9 of 128
According to Sennheiser, both contain a 45 degree angle to the transducer to emulate an in-room speaker's relationship to the ear:

UltimateAVmag.com: Heads Up

I don't know whether this is the same as the "reflector" mentioned in their marketing literature. Other models with this feature:

HD 800
PXC 350
PXC 450
HD 595
HD 555
HD 515
PC 350
HD 380
post #10 of 128
I've owned both 555 and 595 and they sounded the same to me on classical/orchestral music. If I buy either again, and I'd like to, it'll be the 555.
post #11 of 128

Hi,

 

It seems to me the magnet system is quite different. The back of the 555 looks like a cover made of pressed steel while the 595 seems like one solid block of neodymium...

 

I can tell from experience that a frequency response curve doesn't say anything about decay and impulse behaviour of the driver, the 595 might still have the edge in the driver quality there...

 

Usually poorer impulse behaviour shows in a deeper looking bass response in the frequency curve, this is mainly due to the higher Q of the driver, making it swing further because the driver 'motor' has less grip on the mass of the moving system. The 595 would then be more precise and possibly more dynamic.

post #12 of 128

I can see what you mean about the magnets, but the issue here may be that the driver was updated over time, which is a possibility due to the age gap between them (over 2 years). A retailer in the UK sells the same part for both the HD555 and HD595 as replacement capsules.

post #13 of 128

A retailer... wel that's not a reliable source of information at all, they might just find that convenient.

 

I'd rather trust the Sennheiser distributor.

 

I can get this information, no problem. I'll give the Dutch distributor a call tomorrow if I see a chance during the day...
 

I ordered five pair of the 555 today for the company I work for, so I'll open one up when they arrive to see what driver is in there today. That'll happen in about 10-15 days as they said they were still in parts on the assembly line at the moment, at least that gives us a 'fresh' specimen...

post #14 of 128

It'll be interesting to find out for certain. Let us know your findings!

post #15 of 128

x2 The sound reflector is the triangle piece of plastic, not the foam. Foam is for damping not reflecting sound.

 

Manufacturers don't publicize every single feature in thier descriptions, and they also like to infer differences in products so that this very thing doesn't happen; People believing them to be trying to pull a fast one on them by offering two seemingly identical products at wildly differing prices. Did you think every model headphone actually has a different driver in it?

 

The construction of the frame on the 595's with its leather headband and chrome trim is enough to differentiate it. Put a piece of foam in the back of the less expensive model and it sounds different too, and there you have it. Buy which ever one speaks to you.

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