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What would be a worthwhile upgrade from the HD555?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

So I bought the HD555 headphones about a year ago, and now i'm considering to upgrade them to a higher end model while at the same time buying a new sound card, which is Asus Xonar Essence ST and use it instead of my current on-board card as i'm probably not going to buy an external amp for the new headphones...

 

I am considering getting the HD600s, but is that a considerable improvement? A lot of people seem to prefer it over the HD650s, and the HD800s are really out of my price range... Perhaps other manufacturers?

 

So basically i'm looking for a worthy upgrade to a higher end open headphone, with about 300-400 dollars to spend... What do you guys recommend?


Edited by vlad951 - 8/10/11 at 6:31am
post #2 of 12

The HD600 has more bass and are harder to drive

 

The HD650 isn't a upgrade like in the numbers but a good can with better treble

 

The HD598 are also a great choice because they dip into the center of both

 

Why get a soundcard? They only are good for computer audio. Check out a FiiO E7+E9 combo routed Via USB at your price. 

That ant the HD598 are $400 together

post #3 of 12

Heya,

 

The HD600 is a huge improvement in all areas, and your Essence ST will drive it very well. It's a neutral headphone that is laid back. It's excellent for gaming and long sessions of listening. It can do every genre pretty well. Anything it cannot do super great, well, EQ it a tad and you'll be good to go. It's an excellent `all around' can in that price range if you like the Sennheiser sound (laid back, rolled off highs, easy going).

 

If you want something more forward and aggressive, the HD598 is the one to try, it's different from most Sennheisers.

 

But, at this point, I would also say start looking at other headphones too, not just Sennheiser. Check out Beyer DT880's/DT990's, Ultrasone 2400's//Pro 780's, AudioTechnica AD900's, Shure SRH940's, Denon 2000's for example.

 

Very best,

post #4 of 12

I think BotByte has it backwards for the HD600 and HD650. Every thing that I have read indicates that the HD600 has more treble and the HD650 has more bass. That said, both cans are fantastic, just pick one based on your tastes. If you want to save some cash, the HD580 is essentially the same as the HD600, so you could look into those. Both BotByte and MalVeauX describe the HD598 pretty accurately, though. It all depends on how much you want to spend.

 

I would also suggest buying a standalone desktop amplifer instead of a new soundcard if this is purely for the headphones. The previously mentioned E7/E9 combo does surprisingly well for the price, and it covers the DAC portion as well.

 

If you like the Senn sound, then go for it. Just curious, what will you be using your headphones for? Gaming, movies, music (if this, what genres)?

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusedpro View Post

I think BotByte has it backwards for the HD600 and HD650. Every thing that I have read indicates that the HD600 has more treble and the HD650 has more bass. That said, both cans are fantastic, just pick one based on your tastes. If you want to save some cash, the HD580 is essentially the same as the HD600, so you could look into those. Both BotByte and MalVeauX describe the HD598 pretty accurately, though. It all depends on how much you want to spend.

 

I would also suggest buying a standalone desktop amplifer instead of a new soundcard if this is purely for the headphones. The previously mentioned E7/E9 combo does surprisingly well for the price, and it covers the DAC portion as well.

 

If you like the Senn sound, then go for it. Just curious, what will you be using your headphones for? Gaming, movies, music (if this, what genres)?


I'm planning to use them on exactly those things you've mentioned. Genre-wise, I listen to many different genres; rock, metal, classical, electronic music, hip-hop, etc... So I guess that in this case a more neutral can should be considered, am I correct?

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad951 View Post

Hello everyone,

 

So I bought the HD555 headphones about a year ago, and now i'm considering to upgrade them to a higher end model while at the same time buying a new sound card, which is Asus Xonar Essence ST and use it instead of my current on-board card as i'm probably not going to buy an external amp for the new headphones...

 

I am considering getting the HD600s, but is that a considerable improvement? A lot of people seem to prefer it over the HD650s, and the HD800s are really out of my price range... Perhaps other manufacturers?

 

So basically i'm looking for a worthy upgrade to a higher end open headphone, with about 300-400 dollars to spend... What do you guys recommend?


if you get HD600 or HD598, the improvements in sound will be fairly small, in my humble opinion.

I think you might be better served going a different route completely.

Something like a HifiMAN HE-300. 

Or perhaps Shure SRH940.

Basically, one of the better bang-for-buck headphones under $400.

 

As the HD600 is now a 15-year-old design, i find it to be a bit overpriced.  That doesn't mean it's not a nice headphone.  lots of folks here still really love it.

But, in todays crowded marketplace, there are emerging products that can perform a bit more impressively...

my 2 cents.

post #7 of 12

HE300 ? :>

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Any other contributions to this thread would be greatly appreciated.

post #9 of 12

What about the AD900's? or do you want sennheiser strictly? 

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWuss View Post
if you get HD600 or HD598, the improvements in sound will be fairly small, in my humble opinion.
 

While I agree there are other possibly better alternatives to the HD600's, I think the 600's are a huge upgrade over 555's.

 

I upgraded from 595's to 600's, and cant imagine going back. They do everything better. Much better. I cannot imagine driving them with a sound card though. As soon as I got the 600's, I stopped using my soundcard pretty much altogether because they showed me how bad it was. 

 

I like the idea of the HE300's. Wish they were around when I was shopping.
 

 

post #11 of 12

I had an HD558 (similar to your 555) and sent it back for my HD650s. The difference was massive, I was having a hard time justifying the 558's price but I feel the 650 is EASILY worth its price (I paid more than double the 558's price for the 650 which should tell you how much more I like it). 

 

The HD600 definitely has less bass than the 650, the 650 is on the darker, bassier side of neutral but this works well for me because it has just enough bass to be ok for electronic music while the 558 was completely lacking IMO.

post #12 of 12

Would be nice to know which cans op decided to go with, if any :]

 

Sorry to put my ears in to your post, but seems quite dead, old and suitable.  My 555 are breaking down and still trying to figure out what to do. So I'm kinda in the same spot here. 

 

My candidates (with my PC's integrated card & Denon AVR-2307):

 

AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-AD900 - 220€ (Doesn't need amp?)
Ultrasone HFI 2400 - 210€ (Goes ok without an amp?)
HiFiMAN HE-300 (?)

 

Tried my best to stay under 200€ with cans and not willing to buy DAC/amp (at least just yet anyhow).

Seems like either $250 or under and next stage is $550+ cause of the need for amp.

 

My usage would be:

1. Movies

2. Music

3. Games

(in that order)

 

Would be using these strictly indoors (hours a day), so no need portable / closed cans. Do like some bass with dnb & dubstep and appreciate good soundstage / roomy / surroundness... if that makes any sense :S

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