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A brief review of Sennheiser's HD 518s

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I didn't find any reviews of these headphones on here, so I figured I'd order a pair and attempt to give the community a sense of the sound signature of these.  I paid about $100 for them from Razordogdeals on eBay. I think that with a bit of equalization, they are worth their selling price.  I probably wouldn't pay retail for them, though ($180).

They are fairly comfortable, though not as comfortable as my HD 580s.  This is for a few reasons:  they clamp more, and the earpads are stiffer, in addition to having a bit of a ridge on the interior of the earpads (see picture), as opposed to the more curved, sloping design of the 580s' earpads.  The velour on the 580s is nice, too.  They're still quite comfortable, though, and can be worn for a few hours without too much unpleasantness.  The drivers are angled, and there's plenty of room for my ears in the earcups.

Out of the box, they were fairly messy, sounding hollow and muddy (poor combination).  But I'm starting to believe in burn-in.  After a couple hours, they've tightened up a bit.  These are still warm and bassy headphones.  The impact is a bit wooly.  In comparison with the Denon D1100s, I would say these are like lying in a bathtub of warm water, whereas the Denons are like lying in a bathtub of chocolate pudding inundated with large chunks of Hershey's bars.  The bass warmth and impact isn't as powerful.  The HD 518s are very inoffensive and non-fatiguing, with very little, if any, sibilance to be found.  They are still quite forward and detailed, though, with good clarity.  Those impressions are of the Sennheisers with no equalization.  I tried a bit of equalization, and I've found the Acoustic setting on iTunes to be quite good.  It seems to tighten things up more, while bringing more impact to the table, and they become more engaging and lively.  I've got them running from my Fiio E9.  I like the fact that the cable is a straight 1/4" (it comes with an adapter), and it's detachable, which is a nice touch.  This review is a bit disjointed, but I wanted to give some impressions of their general sound signature.  Feel free to ask questions, and I'll try and answer them as best I can.  Pictures:

DSC01116.JPGDSC01117.JPGDSC01118.JPG

post #2 of 8

Ah!  I've wondered how the new HD518s compared to my HD515s.  They were my first pair of open air headphones, I found them to be actually pretty good and I feel they're a bit underated.  Granted I've haven't listened to many brands, but I felt the HD515 were an excellent entry into audiophillia(especially at its current price!).


Edited by Digital-Pride - 2/10/11 at 4:00pm
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Yes, I understand the 518s are an upgrade from the 515s.  I haven't heard the 515s, but Headroom says as much.

post #4 of 8

Can you compare these with the HD555 or HD595?

 

It's a bit weird the HD555 is usually found cheaper than the HD518.

But both the HD555 and HD595 are being discontinued and should begin to disappear soon, I think...

 

Thanks ;)

post #5 of 8

How does the 518 stack up in comparison to the 558 or even the 598?

post #6 of 8


This.  I tried a friend of mine's HD595, and they were just so light and comfortable.  I wanted to know how do these compare to HD595 and the HD280 Pros as far as comfort and sound goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitor Machado View Post

Can you compare these with the HD555 or HD595?

 

It's a bit weird the HD555 is usually found cheaper than the HD518.

But both the HD555 and HD595 are being discontinued and should begin to disappear soon, I think...

 

Thanks ;)



 

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Haven't heard the 595s, and it's been a long time since I heard the 555s.  I think the xx5 series is more comfortable, though, because the inner part of the earpads are rounded, not edged like the 518s.  But they're both fairly lightweight and I think they have a similar amount of clamping force.

post #8 of 8

Have you tried the HD280 Pro?  If so, would you say in terms of sound and comfort, the 518s are better?

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