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Newbie looking for advice. Please Help! - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by morijinal View Post

 



Oh man, I am as lost as ever...I had a conversation with streetdragon about headphones - and now I can't even decide on open or closed!blink.gif

 

Now I am leaning towards 840's and Seinnheiser 558 

lol sorry about adding fuel to your burn of dillema redface.gif

well actually open or closed in this case means soundstage or isolation.

M50 has the worst soundstage, SRH840 has decent soundstage and HD558 being open has very good soundstage (depends on if you plan to mod or not)

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
it looks like I am stuck between the srh 880 or seinnheiser 558am leaning toward the shure, as if iI want open headphones iI might pick up cheap set of grados.
post #18 of 29

i say go with the srh840, from what i read on this thread so far i think it suits you better

post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
oh man, looks like the budget is about 130 looks like the m50 now lol
post #20 of 29

budget cut? mmm anyway the M50 has good bass and sharp but sibilant treble, but bad bad soundstage, other than the really narrow soundtage it is a pretty good set

post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 

I am pretty happy right now. I was looking through Amazon reviews when I stumbled upon one saying that if I am patient enough I should be able to find a set of Shure SRH 840 for $105 - $130 from authorized sellers on Amazon with open-box deals.

 

I am glad because I am convinced I will be happiest with the SRH-840. If the 840 falls through I'm not sure because there are a lot of choices, but it's so hard to pick when you can't compare them side by side. I liked the 440, BUT I also read that people say you should buy the 840 ear pads to make them comfy, which would raise the price by about $15, making them very close to the cutoff where I could just have the 840's if I find a good sale. I'm looking forward to trying the 840 because from what I can tell it's clear, and is capable of reaching all the way down to 5khz, which will be tons of fun when hyping it with the eq when i want heavy bass.L3000.gif I will post if and when I find some cheap ones. So far the cheapest I have seen is $150.

post #22 of 29

if you like the SRH440 you should like the SRH840, they have the similar sound signature you Shure-ly would recognizebiggrin.gif

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 

UPDATE!

 

I have decided on a headphone

 

I've ordered a set 558's off Amazon for $114 shipped, and I can't wait to try them on!

 

 

I remember testing headphones at Best Buy, and not finding the Audio Technica, Shure, Superlux, etc. models that I wanted to listen to, but since I was there I noticed a pair of Senns that I tried just for the hell of it - and they were my favorite. I didn't give them a second thought because they weren't the ones I was looking for. I forgot about them the moment I left the store.

Fast forward 2 months and I'm researching open headphones online and I keep running into the HD 5XX. I remember the great set I tried at Best Buy. I give them a call and sure enough, the ones I tried were the 558s.

 

For my preferences,

 

I liked the sound from the Grado 80i, but I was looking for something over-ear and more substantial. If I decide to go Grado in the future it will be the 60i.

 

I liked the AKG for their clarity, but the sound was a little "thin", and the price was over my head.

 

I liked the look and tank-like build quality of the Shure SRH880, but in the end they were too much money, leaving the SRH440 as an option, which are supposed to be very life-like and clear. However, in my research I found that open models offer the best bang for the buck for life-like reproduction. I decided that if I wanted another set of closed headphones I would get bass heavy model to take advantage of the closed style.

 

There is nothing I liked about the V-moda I tried. The bass and treble were exaggerated to the point of being annoying.

 

I used an Audio Technica M50 for a week in my home setting, which I feel was a definite step up from my current HD 202s in all areas, but if I go Audio Technica it will me the M50.

 

Now comes the difficult wait for the Amazon package...

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by morijinal View Post

UPDATE!

 

I have decided on a headphone

 

I've ordered a set 558's off Amazon for $114 shipped, and I can't wait to try them on!

 

 

I remember testing headphones at Best Buy, and not finding the Audio Technica, Shure, Superlux, etc. models that I wanted to listen to, but since I was there I noticed a pair of Senns that I tried just for the hell of it - and they were my favorite. I didn't give them a second thought because they weren't the ones I was looking for. I forgot about them the moment I left the store.

Fast forward 2 months and I'm researching open headphones online and I keep running into the HD 5XX. I remember the great set I tried at Best Buy. I give them a call and sure enough, the ones I tried were the 558s.

 

For my preferences,

 

I liked the sound from the Grado 80i, but I was looking for something over-ear and more substantial. If I decide to go Grado in the future it will be the 60i.

 

I liked the AKG for their clarity, but the sound was a little "thin", and the price was over my head.

 

I liked the look and tank-like build quality of the Shure SRH880, but in the end they were too much money, leaving the SRH440 as an option, which are supposed to be very life-like and clear. However, in my research I found that open models offer the best bang for the buck for life-like reproduction. I decided that if I wanted another set of closed headphones I would get bass heavy model to take advantage of the closed style.

 

There is nothing I liked about the V-moda I tried. The bass and treble were exaggerated to the point of being annoying.

 

I used an Audio Technica M50 for a week in my home setting, which I feel was a definite step up from my current HD 202s in all areas, but if I go Audio Technica it will me the M50.

 

Now comes the difficult wait for the Amazon package...

congrats on your purchasebiggrin.gif
looking forward to your impressions

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

Just got the 558's - great shipping from Dahmart at Amazon - I ordered them on the 31st. My impressions will come as I create themL3000.gif

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 

My thoughts on the Sennheiser 558

 

First, off, I would like to begin with the standard "I am not an audiophile" disclaimer.

 

The package came from Dahmart and on time - within 2 days of ordering with expedited shipping. The headphones were in mint condition but without the box. As I looked at them it became increasingly harder not to plug them in, and so I did. Thus starting my first lesson in "enthusiast grade" headphones. In the coming week I would learn a lot about the headphones I had ordered, sound signatures, and the kind of sound I was after.

 

Believe me, I spent hours scouring the internet for information on the 558, and there is plenty of it. And so far I have yet to find a review that truly shows the Sennheiser 558 for what they are. I stumbled upon threads about how to do the foam mod to make them sound like the 598, claims that they have the "Sennheiser veil", claims they are absolutely amazing, and claims they are over-rated. Lets sort through it all and dive into the HD 558.

 

When I put them on they were easily the most comfortable headphones I have worn, then I listened to them. One word comes to mind when I think of the first time I heard them: underwhelmed. I had a playlist of different music to try with them when I first got them. There was no aggression to the music, the bass was too polite (read passive and recessed), and I didn't feel engaged by the music. I close my eyes actively searching for qualities above my old headphones, a year old pair of Sennheiser HD202s. And there was. As I focused on the music I noticed the lyrics easier to hear and understand, and presented more harmoniously with the instruments. I try hard to imagine I am listening to a live concert, as I have read they sound like, but it doesn't work for me. They do sound more "outside my head" than closed headphones, but only just. If you try really hard you can try to convince yourself that the music is playing in the room, but even that takes effort. By this time I am frightened about my purchase. Within 15 minutes I desperately perform "foam mod" surgery on only the left side, and wore them for 20 minutes to see if I could tell a difference. I liked the results, it seemed to enhance what I then perceived to be the strengths of the headphones. They sounded a little more airy and detailed - although the bass seemed to take even more of a backseat it was amazing for some genres (Inception soundtrack comes to mind). I took the other one off and stuck the foam pads onto the top of a CD in one of those cylindrical plastic blank CD packages and put the lid on to keep dust out. I then proceeded to leave them running even when I wasn't listening to them in case they needed to "burn in".

 

By this time I was truly worried that I had made the wrong purchase. I checked the Dahmart return policy, which sucks by the way. They will gladly take any return for a 20% restocking fee. I wasn't about go for that. I tested my Sennheiser 202 again, and then it happened. They sounded sloppy, unrefined. The bass was boomy and didn't seem to know its place. It would impede on the other sounds. The vocals were not as clear. I realized then that what I first recognized as "lack of bass" was not a lack of anything. The bass on the 558 simply knows its place and isn't loose at all, it's tight and smooth; something I knew nothing about before I put on the 558's. In fact, the bass on the 558 is every bit as powerful as the HD202 - even with the foam mod. I spoke with StreetDragon and we shared thoughts about them. We largely agree the they are not in-you-face engaging, but they have a very musical, beautiful sound. He was kind enough to share some of his equalizer settings with me to bring out certain qualities that may be lacking for some kinds of music, like electronica. I am starting to realize that I might be a "basshead" due to what I want out of a headphone. I wanted a headphone that was clear, with prominent mids, and quality bass, and that's what I got, but the saying "be careful what you wish for" was prominent in my mind. The headphones were by no means bad, but not what I was expecting.

 

Fast forward 1 week of nearly constant listening....

 

 

I'm not sure if it's me or the headphones, but they sound better every day. Fuller, more detailed, more engaging. I don't know if I believe in burn-in, but the sound I get from them is different than it was when I first got them. I am accepting them for what they are, and what they aren't. They are good at most any kind of music with even with a flat EQ. They excel at music that is less aggressive and less dense. They seem to do best with laid back music. They are somewhat revealing, some music sounds bad due to sloppy mixing (read 50 cent "get rich or die trying" as a prime example). But, keep in mind no genre fails with these. If you have a hardware based EQ you should be able to make them sing with just about anything. With the EQ set as flat is a good way to start - these headphones are very mellow with a flat setting. I keep thinking about the "veil" because they sound very warm with some sacrifice to highs, but you can remove the veil easily with a simple EQ tweak.

 

Fast forward to today...

 

The headphones are getting warmer and warmer. I notice some of the otherwise great bass control in some songs, and I realize it's time to put the foam back on. I perform the necessary surgery, and find that the foam I put onto the CD has become very much fused to the surface. I had to be very careful not to tear the foam on account of how stuck it had become to the CD. Once again I did the mod only to one side (right this time), and I liked what I heard. The sound was more forward - more aggressive. The bass cleaned up and gained additional punch. The sound stage closed up a little, and it lost some of that "airy" quality it had. I whole heartedly agree with the opinion of a poster from another forum that the mod doesn't make it sound better, just different. As much as I would like to think that Sennheiser purposely crippled the 558's with the foam because it uses the same drivers as the 598, I'm not so sure that is the case. I'm taking the "Sennheiser knows best" route, and leaving them in for the time being. The undoing the mod makes them more up front and engaging. It almost seems like the mod tries to make the headphones be something they are not. I would suggest everybody who has a pair try them with the foam again if you have taken it out.

 

Conclusion -

 

If you have read this whole post, I hope it was enjoyable and worth while. Now for a word on my rating scale: I don't rate on a curve. If the ratings seem low to you it's because I'm not rating them for their price, I am rating them for the criteria and the criteria only. I have seen $20 headphones get 10/10 and 5/5, I feel that reflects off the fact that they only cost $20, and I save the value rating for the value rating. So, without further ado, here it is:

 

Comfort 9/10 - The plush earcups and headband are great, they don't heat my ears up, and even my wife who thinks expensive headphones are a total waste of money gave a nod of approval and wanted to know more about them. They clamp ever so slightly on the firm side, but are very stable on my head. I don't think there is any combinations of movements I could do to knock them off save using my hands. I can wear them with glasses and/or a beanie without problems. Very nice.

 

Sound 7.5/10 - I am rating these on what they are, not what I think they should be. After almost 2 weeks of listening for hours every day I know what these are about, and they are quite good at what they do. The 558 includes listeners of classical, jazz, new age, etc. In fact, I would say they are geared slightly toward those listeners, as the sound is designed to be beautiful and relaxing, not aggressive and adrenaline-inducing. The 558 can be poured into just about any mold and successfully thrive with some EQ tweaking, but it seems to prefer to be mellow. If you listen to rock, techno and rap, and want a sound that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, there are probably better choices depending on the sound you are after because they lack what I will call the adrenaline element. Like I said, they are mellow and beautiful - you may be inclined to sway back and forth (as I frequently do) and hold your lighter high during some live performances because they are capable of truly making music sing, picky as they may be, as they are uniformly good, but every once in a while they make me pause and close my eyes to savor the sound. They are an easy 8 when in their element, a 6.5 or 7 for some fast, dense, heavy music.

 

***IMPORTANT*** Source is a Xonar DGX internal sound card streaming 320kbps music from the subscription service MOG. My opinions are based on this source.

 

Value 5/10 - I'm giving this a 5 for one reason: I bought them for $115 shipped, but I am assuming that the reader will pay the full price of $179. For just over $100 I am very happy with them and would gladly give them an 8 star rating. If I had paid full price for these I would feel like my money could been better spent. If you can get them for under $120 shipped then go for it, but if you are thinking about paying $179 for them I would make good and sure that you know what you are looking for in a headphone.

post #27 of 29

nice review morijinalbiggrin.gif 

alright, i guess i would want to put a word or 2 of my own into this pair of headphones,well i took the same route as morijinal which came from the HD202 to the HD558
when i tested the headphones at the shop 4 months ago, i picked the HD558 over the DR150 due to its technical superiorities and its soundstage, i didn't know about the 'fun' factor (didn't know headphones had fun and soothing varieties at that time)
so when i pulled the trigger and brought these home i was almost half dissapointed, i played with the eq and tried to get it to sound as good as possible because it just didn't sound engaging. nevertheless i let it burn in over the next few days at moderate volumes. a day later i tried the foam mod and i loved what it did to the sound the airy feel of it was superb with its transparent, wide soundstage. i did have a dilemma between modded vs unmodded, but i picked modded because i missed the airyness of the sound.

2 months later i found out that my phone was a crappy source, and shifted my music listening to my laptop which was clearer and provided a better soundstage, then i managed to find a 250 band eq by accident after reading about the electri-q eq software around here. after extensive tuning everyday (it still changes now as i type) it sounds wonderful. one aspect i would pick on is the grain in the treble, i wish it had more detail, bass lacking concentration, and lacking adrenaline induced experience. so as a result of that, 2 weeks ago i bought myself an Alessandro MS1, mainly for portable & exciting use

comfort:8/10 
very comfortable, but the inside of the ear touches the bulging piece at the back, can cause a little pain after a few hours (note my ears are small, they can fit completely inside the HD202)

build quality:7/10
cable detaches which is nice, the cable housing seems quite durable too, the headsize adjusters are quite hard to slide, no markings on it too(had to draw them on myself with silver pen), plastic seems quite nice and hardy too, though a little hollow feeling

sound quality:(comparing to similarly priced headphones at retail price. again only in my opinion, do take this with some salt:P)

highs:5/10 
weakest point imo of this pair, sounds a little harsh and blunt, but its good that it isn't fatiguing at all (but then again i like grado treble)
mids:9/10 
lovely mids, the vocals are very lifelike and natural
bass:7/10 
the bass amount is right, but it lacks subbass and impact, but then again this gentleness makes it a very soothing headphone
soundstage:8.5/10 
very wide and seperation is really good, though would be bested by some of the more expensive counterparts
overall impression:
soothing and very immersive, kind of surrounds you and seduces you into its musical depths

value: 6.5/10
not a bad value but not the best deal either,comfort, soundstage and mids are its strongest point, tonality maybe be too plain for the average modern music listener, and veiled it feels, detail and bass could had better from other headphones

without eq this pair would be less than ideal for my music which happens to consist mostly of EDM, i feel that when i remove the eq it becomes a little dull and muffled, but still sounds good for classical and instruments at flat.

add on: i do not know if burn in had an effect cause i was playing with the eq from day 0.1


Edited by streetdragon - 11/13/12 at 12:42pm
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 

It looks like we both feel pretty much the same about them. Nice review.popcorn.gif
 

post #29 of 29

You should definitely try out the Soundmagic HP100s if you're ever looking for another set of cans. I recently bought a pair based on the few reviews I could find and I'm not disappointed one bit in these phones. They're so detailed yet so smooth and full of body but still quite neutral. The bass has enough impact and depth but is definitely not boomy or for bassheads. I consider this a very special headphone for it's price due to just how good it sounds in this price bracket.

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