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How much sound leaks out of the HD 558s vs HD 449s?

Poll Results: HD 558s or HD 449s?

 
  • 0% (0)
    HD 558
  • 0% (0)
    HD 449
 
post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm looking at getting new headphones and have narrowed it down to the Sennheiser HD 558s and the 449s. I'm torn between these right now though because I can't decide on the open or closed design of the two. I've never really had great headphones (previously just used my Razer Carcharias for gaming and music for 3 years since I'm a cheap college student), so I don't have much to start from. 

From what I've read, I like the descriptions of the 558s' sound more than the 449s, but I'm somewhat scared by the fact that they're open and leak some sound. About 95% of the time I would be using them sitting at my desk at night listening to music or playing games. I've got pretty good speakers too so I basically just use my headset for when my girlfriend is over studying or at night not to disturb my flatmates. The other 5% would be when in the car with my parents on a roadtrip or something. However, I'm a year from being out of college, so I imagine the days of me riding when them on roadtrips are almost over. I never walk around town or campus listening to music.

 

Most things I've read say they leak sound at higher volumes, but I do not listen to music super loud (though not quiet either) and I do not like a heavy bass so I do not know how much they really would be leaking.

 

How much sound do the 558s leak? If the leakage is so much that it'll disturb people studying in my room then that may be too much, but if they are no more than regular leakage from cheap headsets then that's fine. I've got a mechanical keyboard so I generally make a lot of noise typing anyways haha.

 

Also, how does the comfort compare between the two? My Carcharias had the velour pads and I know I like the comfort of them. I also have glasses, so I'd prefer not having anything too squeezing.

 

The 558s are $128 on Amazon now and the 449s are $85. Of course I would rather spend the lower amount, but I am more than willing to spend the higher amount for the 558s if they provide that much better sound quality. I am looking at these for the long run.    

 

Thanks!! :)

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Just found out the Carcharias I've had are open design as well, and I've never had anyone complain about noise leakage so at my volumes it might not be too much of a problem. I'm completely new to quality headsets haha

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Realized my post was in the wrong board earlier. Anyone here have thoughts about these sets?

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sollared View Post
 

Realized my post was in the wrong board earlier. Anyone here have thoughts about these sets?

The HD558s come with black rubber tape on the insides of the cups, covers about 40% of the opening.

Normally I would recommend to remove it, but you can always leave the tape inside.

 

How close are your flatmates to were your sitting?

Do they like your music?

Are your flatmates ok with a tiny little bit of music floating around the room?

Or they do not want to hear even a little bit of your music?

post #5 of 11

Unless they're within a meter or you listen to your music very loud I don't think it will be an issue.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yeah my roommates are usually in a different part of the apartment so they shouldn't be a problem then. I know removing the tape from the 558s helps it sound better, but does that then allow more sound leakage? 

I guess then, would it be worthwhile to spend $180 on some 598s? Comfort-wise and sound-wise is it worth the extra $50 over the 558s (particularly if removing the tape on the 558s makes it sound more like the 598s but leaks more sound then)? Whatever I get I'll be keeping for a long time, so a little higher than what I'd like to spend now isn't too bad.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sollared View Post
 

Yeah my roommates are usually in a different part of the apartment so they shouldn't be a problem then. I know removing the tape from the 558s helps it sound better, but does that then allow more sound leakage? 

I guess then, would it be worthwhile to spend $180 on some 598s? Comfort-wise and sound-wise is it worth the extra $50 over the 558s (particularly if removing the tape on the 558s makes it sound more like the 598s but leaks more sound then)? Whatever I get I'll be keeping for a long time, so a little higher than what I'd like to spend now isn't too bad.

I think it's a better value to get the HD558s and remove the tape, over the HD598.

If the roommates are usually in a different part of the apartment, then I do not think you will have an issue.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 12/8/13 at 11:59am
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks! 

 

One last thing, I probably won't get one for a couple months anyways, but how necessary would a portable amp be with the 558s? I've just got the onboard audio in my desktop (Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H motheboard, haven't really seen anything special about the audio with that). And away from the desktop I'll be plugging it into my PS4 and cellphone. I've seen many people talk about the Fiio line (mostly the E11 and E17 I think). 

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sollared View Post
 

Thanks! 

 

One last thing, I probably won't get one for a couple months anyways, but how necessary would a portable amp be with the 558s? I've just got the on-board audio in my desktop (Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H motherboard, haven't really seen anything special about the audio with that). And away from the desktop I'll be plugging it into my PS4 and cellphone. I've seen many people talk about the Fiio line (mostly the E11 and E17 I think). 

 

If you where thinking of adding a sound card to the computer, might as well go for a Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), sometimes it has gone on sale for $65.

Technically the Xonar DG sound card is a great value option ($17 after mail in rebate), but motherboard audio gets better every year and I've never listen to your motherboard VIA 2021 audio chip set, so it's hard to say it will make a noticeable difference, but it's only $17 (after rebate) to find out.

For the price you pay for a decent portable headphone amplifier, you could just get some (32-Ohm) JVC HA-S400 folding on-ear headphones.

Nice audio quality and their closed and should be easy for a cell phone to drive.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 12/8/13 at 12:52pm
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice!

post #11 of 11

I own the HD598s and enjoy them but they leak like crazy and sound like a mini speaker to someone else in the room.  With the 558 being a similar open design, I'd be surprised if they were much quieter than the 598s.

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