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Upgrading from Sennheiser HD 202 IIs

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi, 

 

Im relatively new to audiophile-ness, as you can probably tell from my current choice of headphones. Prior to these, I've had only $10 Sony over the ear earbuds.

 

That being said, I absolutely love my 202s. They're pretty great but I'm getting to the point where I'm looking for that extra little bit of clarity in the middle of songs. 

 

A friend of mine recommended HD 598s, but sadly these are beyond my price range. I'm looking for a set of full sized, closed, over the ear headphones. I can really only shell out about $100.

 

Is it worth it to upgrade to a $80-$100 pair of headphones from my 202s? Will the difference be enough to warrant the cash? 

 

In that price range, does it make sense to buy something like a midrange Fiio to go along with it?

 

I primarily listen to alternative rock (think Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), though I listen to many other kinds of rock (Aerosmith, Van Halen, Foreigner, Springsteen, etc). Most of the music I own is in FLAC format with the rest being in 320kbps MP3. I'll be listening on my PC and on my HP Touchpad (Android 4.0.4, I use poweramp for the flac files). I'm not a huge fan of bass and really like a crisp, defined midrange.  

 

In short, should I upgrade to something near the $100ish range? If so, should I buy a small combo dac/amp? Is the difference when jumping up only several tiers worth the upgrade?  Thanks in advance!


Edited by siestacat - 9/3/12 at 9:53pm
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by siestacat View Post

Hi, 

 

Im relatively new to audiophile-ness, as you can probably tell from my current choice of headphones. Prior to these, I've had only $10 Sony over the ear earbuds.

 

That being said, I absolutely love my 202s. They're pretty great but I'm getting to the point where I'm looking for that extra little bit of clarity in the middle of songs. 

 

A friend of mine recommended HD 598s, but sadly these are beyond my price range. I'm looking for a set of full sized, closed, over the ear headphones. I can really only shell out about $100.

 

Is it worth it to upgrade to a $80-$100 pair of headphones from my 202s? Will the difference be enough to warrant the cash? 

 

In that price range, does it make sense to buy something like a midrange Fiio to go along with it?

 

I primarily listen to alternative rock (think Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), though I listen to many other kinds of rock (Aerosmith, Van Halen, Foreigner, Springsteen, etc). Most of the music I own is in FLAC format with the rest being in 320kbps MP3. I'll be listening on my PC and on my HP Touchpad (Android 4.0.4, I use poweramp for the flac files). I'm not a huge fan of bass and really like a crisp, defined midrange.  

 

In short, should I upgrade to something near the $100ish range? If so, should I buy a small combo dac/amp? Is the difference when jumping up only several tiers worth the upgrade?  Thanks in advance!


Yes-if you pick wisely--or even close to it--you will hear an amazing difference.  I suggest that you start with the buying guides linked in the opening post of the Recommendations thread in this section of the forum.  Having done that, post on that same thread, stating (in addition to what you've already shared) what equipment you have and the sound signature you prefer.

post #3 of 15

i had a hd202 as well, then i felt the need for added refinement, and went straight to the hd558 (since the hd598 was too expensive for me)

you can get a used pair of hd595 for around your budget price, or a pair of hd518, they should have the properties you like
or even better a used hd555 and mod it and it will be like a hd595 (hd558 modded is NOT hd598, there is a noticable difference)

hope this helps^^

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Are the 519 worth it? How can you modify a 555 to be a 595

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by siestacat View Post

Are the 519 worth it? How can you modify a 555 to be a 595


There is no 519.  Do you mean the HD 518?

 

Be aware that the newer HD 5x8 line is an improvement in both sound and build quality over the older HD 5x5 line.

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by siestacat View Post

Are the 519 worth it? How can you modify a 555 to be a 595

 

The HD518 got fine reviews, 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/sennheiser-hd-518/reviews

 

you can find videos showing how to mod the 555's btw. 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yes, I was referring to the 518s. Upon closer inspection, they're a bit pricier than I'd like to spend. How do they compare to some of the phones in the 400 series?

 

Are the 518s nicer than the Shure 440s? I read that the 440s are uncomfortable. The 518s certainly looks a lot nicer. 

 

Would a Shure 440 with a Fiio e6 be a good combination? How does the Shure compare to something like the 439, both of which are priced similarly?

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by siestacat View Post

Yes, I was referring to the 518s. Upon closer inspection, they're a bit pricier than I'd like to spend. How do they compare to some of the phones in the 400 series?

 

Are the 518s nicer than the Shure 440s? I read that the 440s are uncomfortable. The 518s certainly looks a lot nicer. 

 

Would a Shure 440 with a Fiio e6 be a good combination? How does the Shure compare to something like the 439, both of which are priced similarly?


The open 518 is the entry level to Senn's audiophile cans.  The Senn 400's are not in the same class.  The Shure SRH 840 is close, but the 440 is not.

post #9 of 15

personally i disliked the senn hd4-8/4-9 series. didn't audition it enough to identify exactly why, build quality feels a little flimsy too i would state, if you can just go to the 500 series, its a lot better there

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

So I should really save for the 518s rather than waste money on the 440s or  a sennheiser 400 series set?How  much better are the 558s/595s?

post #11 of 15

i havn't heard the hd595 but i know the hd558 is a significant improvement in soundstage and detail over the hd518 but then again the hd518 has a more powerful bass,
srh440 is lacking bass as far as i can remember, but the detail is pretty good on that one, about the same as the hd518

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by siestacat View Post

So I should really save for the 518s rather than waste money on the 440s or  a sennheiser 400 series set?How  much better are the 558s/595s?


Stay away from the HD 5x5 line.  Each step up in the 5x8 line will give you a notable improvement.  The 558 has the same drivers as the 598.  All are good.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post


Stay away from the HD 5x5 line.  Each step up in the 5x8 line will give you a notable improvement.  The 558 has the same drivers as the 598.  All are good.

What's wrong with the 5x5 line?

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster View Post

What's wrong with the 5x5 line?


They are inferior sonically to the later 5x8 line and their build quality caused the headphone to break apart in more than a few instances.  Read some of the reviews at Amazon if you want more information.

post #15 of 15

they used to have hd555 for ipod previews at apple shops until they replaced it with the goddam studios...

the hd5-8 line looks a lot better too than the bleek silver and grey 5-5 line 

moral of the story, buy the one you can afford the most (take my path and go straight to the hd558biggrin.gif)

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