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Sennheiser HD 518 vs HD 558.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 



I've been thinking about grabbing the HD558 lately, but because of the price, I've recently become more interested in the HD518. I was wondering if people could help me figure out just how much sound quality I would be losing by going down to the HD518. I like all kinds of music so I was hoping to pick up a good all-arounder in the HD558, but I'd rather not spend that much. I like dubstep so I don't think the additional bass will go to waste, but will I be giving up a lot of the other too much mids or highs? Will I be giving up much soundstage? I do occasionally do some casual gaming.


I understand that they are less neutral and more bassy compared to the 558. I've seen the frequency response graph comparing the two:



I've took a look at some comparison threads, but I can't really nail down the general opinion. On one hand, I've heard they are quite similar and that the HD518 can be EQ'ed to sound almost exactly like the HD558/HD598. I expect that is an exaggeration. But on the other hand, they don't appear to be in the headphone buying guide over on Head-fi. I'm wondering if maybe I'm missing something about the headphones and they are actually not very good.


1. How comfortable is the HD518 compared to the HD558?
2. How large is the difference in sound quality between the two headphones?


I'm a pretty big stickler for price/performance so I'm basically wondering if the 558 gives enough of a boost to the sound quality to justify $50. Are they the best in their price class? And if I was looking to move up in money spent($$) what would be the next "best in their price class"?


I guess what I worry about most is the fairly significant dip it takes in the mids around 2k and if that affects the vocals too much.


Thanks you.

Edited by Orion519 - 12/19/13 at 4:15pm
post #2 of 4

I would get the 558s. You can mod them with the foam (you can't do that with the 518s) to make them similar to the 598s. The 558s probably have more bass too, which is vital for dubstep. Although neither will likely be bass monsters. I have the 558s but not the 518s so I can't really compare the two. Just remember that on Amazon the 558s go for $130 which is a bargain.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I think I'm psyching myself out of the HD518s. I just canceled my order. All of the reviews are glowing and 4 or 5 stars, but then nearly every first impression thread on head-fi acts like they are complete trash.


I understand that it has a different cup and grill design, but it has the same driver so I don't see where the fairly sizable discrepancy in user opinion is coming from.

post #4 of 4

They have different drivers. The HD 558s and 598s might have the same drivers, but the 518s and 558s definitely don't. The grill design is less open which is going to reduce the soundstage on the 518. The difference in price is easily worth it to upgrade if you can afford to.

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