Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Sennheiser HD558 upgrade advice.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sennheiser HD558 upgrade advice.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey all just looking for some great advice and this looks like the place to ask :)

 

I'm currently using 558's with an Xonar Essence STX for mostly games with some music and the odd movie. Probably looking at a $500-700 dollar budget, or sub 500 if doable.

 

Regarding music, I'm finding the 558's not so great for alt-rock, which i listen to. The sounds kind of all mash together, there's not much separation and its a metallicy sounding mess basically. It reduces when listening to flac a little. It does sound quite loud, maybe the Essence STX is too much for the 50ohm 558's? I probably have no idea what I'm talking about lol.

 

I use just stereo, meaning I don't use Virtual Surround or Dolby Headphone because from what I've experienced it just makes games sound not as clear and like your in a room with an echo, weird and unnatural.

 

I'm looking for some high end headphones with more clarity and bass than what I currently have, I tend to be sensitive to high pitched sound so went for Sennheiser's. I don't want to lose the great vocals of the 558's and also don't want my ears bleeding over long sessions. They would also need to have a similarly good or better soundstage as 558's and go well with an Essence STX.

 

I don't know a lot about audio, but is there an additional piece of equipment I can purchase (in the $100-300 range) that would give me a lot better experience than just using an Essence STX?

 

I've been considering the HD650, Beyerdynamic DT990(Premium 250ohm) or Ultrasone Pro 900

 

Sorry for the rather long winded questions lol, thanks in advance for any advice!


Edited by drac079 - 2/28/13 at 11:48pm
post #2 of 18

Heya,

 

If you're sensitive to treble, avoid the DT990 and PRO900. They're quite bright.

 

With your budget and your description of what you're after, I would move into ortho territory.

 

Hifiman HE-400.

 

The STX can power them well enough. But if you want to go dedicated, the Schiit Modi & Magni would be a great start ($200 for the stack). I would not say that it's going to be a "lot better experience" than the STX, but that's because personal preference is a huge bias from person to person. I personally don't care for sound cards, even if it's just a psychological thing, for example.

 

Other headphones to consider:

 

AudioTechnica AD900X or AD1000 or AD2000.

HIfiman HE-500

Sennheiser HD650

 

The HD650 might be good for your if you're sensitive to treble. It's fairly dark, but has excellent mids, and is warmer, but not "bassy." It's a warm neutral.

 

But I would definitely say to put a lot of thought into the HE-400.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks MalVeauX, the HE-400 look really good. The only downside I can see is they're apparently heavy? Could be a winner.

 

I'll check out the others you mention also. Thanks again.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thinking of getting the HE-400 but prefer the look of the HE-4, the HE-4 also look smaller and are lighter.

 

How does the HE-4 compare to the HE-400? The HE-4 is slightly more expensive.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Ah never mind, found the thread comparing both, here on head-fi.

post #6 of 18

Hi.  I currently own the HD598s and after MUCH reserach, I've decided on and ordered a pair of the HE-400s.  There was really no other option going to sway me in the end, although I nearly went for the HD600 and DT880-600ohms.  In the end, I decided that both might be a side-grade and plumped the cash to go for the HifiMans.  They haven't arrived yet, but I'll be sure to post my thoughts when they do.  I will also be running them from an STX..

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Nice. Yes, please post back. Comfort is my only concern with them really, everything else looks perfect.

 

I'm just trying to track down a place to buy, they're not really common here in Aus. Going to get Velour Pads for them also, I read they're more comfortable compared to the leather ones they come with and there's no negative impact on sound.

post #8 of 18

I've been fishing for an upgrade from the 558s as well and my tastes are quite similar to yours- lots of alt rock as well.

 

Been looking at the HD650 and the HE-400s as well, and so will be watching this thread with interest.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by drac079 View Post

Nice. Yes, please post back. Comfort is my only concern with them really, everything else looks perfect.

 

I'm just trying to track down a place to buy, they're not really common here in Aus. Going to get Velour Pads for them also, I read they're more comfortable compared to the leather ones they come with and there's no negative impact on sound.


The velours have a definite impact on sound as well, for the better by most accounts. I've ordered a pair with mine, so will be sure to do a comparison too.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

If you're sensitive to treble, avoid the DT990 and PRO900. They're quite bright.

 

With your budget and your description of what you're after, I would move into ortho territory.

 

Hifiman HE-400.

 

The STX can power them well enough. But if you want to go dedicated, the Schiit Modi & Magni would be a great start ($200 for the stack). I would not say that it's going to be a "lot better experience" than the STX, but that's because personal preference is a huge bias from person to person. I personally don't care for sound cards, even if it's just a psychological thing, for example.

 

Other headphones to consider:

 

AudioTechnica AD900X or AD1000 or AD2000.

HIfiman HE-500

Sennheiser HD650

 

The HD650 might be good for your if you're sensitive to treble. It's fairly dark, but has excellent mids, and is warmer, but not "bassy." It's a warm neutral.

 

But I would definitely say to put a lot of thought into the HE-400.

 

Very best,

 

Hi MalVeauX, I think I'll stick with the Essence as DAC, but I've been looking at the Matrix M-Stage amp to go with my Essence and HE-400, how would this compare to the Magni amp? Looks like its made in China so not sure I trust the quality.

 

Cheers for any info.


Edited by drac079 - 3/1/13 at 10:36pm
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post


The velours have a definite impact on sound as well, for the better by most accounts. I've ordered a pair with mine, so will be sure to do a comparison too.


Would be interested to hear. :)

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Too many damn amps to choose from!
 

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Decided on the M-Stage, after much reading.popcorn.gif

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Alight so, I finally got my HE-400 fresh off the production line and the latest revision, so free from any problems of previous revisions. The m-stage is still on order so this is just a quick option of them with the Essence, from a sound noobie.

 

They do live up to the hype sound wise, pretty amazing with loads of detail and instrument separation. I straight away noticed that it sounded like I wasn't even listening to a headphone, like I was just there with the sound around me. The bass is as great as people say it is also. Although what people say about the mids may hold some truth, they so seem a bit distant, although not hugely and that may change after plenty of burn in time (like it did with my 558's).

 

Volume wise the Essence amp seems to just keep up but could probably use a bit more. I'm guessing these would definitely benefit from a good amp and probably sound even better, although they at least work well with the Essence amp.

 

The problem is they hurt my head triportsad.gif I think I got a bit of a headache actually after a while. They're a heavy headphone with strong clamp that just is too much for me. Maybe my head is too big or something lol.

 

So anyway, I'm now looking for something else that is lot more comfortable and is as light as possible while still being high-end. Luckily the place where I bought them has a 20 day exchange policy, so I'm all good there.

 

The search continues...

post #15 of 18

The HE-400 headphone signature change will not occur with burn-in.  That has been my actual experience with a few pair that I've had, as well as other HifiMAN headphones.  Being that it's comfort you seek, the Sennheiser HD-650 (as suggested by MalVeaux) is a great option.  The bass will not have quite the impact, but it will also not be an anemic bass response that you get.  However, if you can try the HD-600, too, it might be worth it.  Again, same fit as the HD-650 with similar lightweight features and a slightly different sound signature.  I happened to have both the HD-600 and HD-650 at the same time.  I felt there was too much repetition in my headphone collection, so I sold off the HD-650.  I personally love the HD-600 and use them with my HifiMAN HE-5LEs when I desire the ortho experience.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Sennheiser HD558 upgrade advice.