Originally Posted by achyudhk
Thanks StoneJack! HD 449 is probably cheaper than 518, so I may afford it. Do you think the extra cost of a HD 518 is worth it? Are the improvements in SQ that great over a $10 difference in the list price? ($119 vs 129)
As one who doesn't own 518, I can't say but for me HD 449 is certainly very good model (it seems to be most expensive in 400 line of Sennheisers). It had or developed a great bass (not for bass heads, but bass in songs I hear sometimes makes me wonder if anyone would need more bass). You can also modify it easily so it can even more bass heavy if you want. Its very precise and mids and treble are very good as I understand.
Having said that, I listen to HD 449 through DAC USB, or Creative Omni Surround 5.1 usb card, which costs about 80 dollars and has 600 Ohm resistance jack for headphones. You can also drive it by iPhones, but given large size of HD 449, its not that mobile.
I assume that for both 429 and 518 to get good results, you may invest in USB or PCI-E sound cards, which are better than onboard realteks which cost like 3 dollars. Both also can be driven by onboard audio but Creative USB card has given me multiple options such better bass, crystalizer option for improving sound of MP3, surround in headphones, etc. Since I use Macs, USB card was only option for me; if I had Windows then probably I would invest in PCI-E sound cards.
Finally I bought HD 449 because I was curious how higher price cans sounds and it didn't dissappoint me. After that I gifted my cheaper HD 202 II to a friend, Philips SHL 3000 to wife and now I listen on computer to HD 449 and on mobile to Beyerdynamics dtx501p, a light phone with awesome bass and sound quality. I understand that HD 449 has slightly better SQ than 429, so it may actually be not of much difference.
Try listen to Train's "Following Rita" (I converted it from CD to Apple lossless format with about 1025 kbps, 25 mb file and check sound by listening to intro, and I think HD 449 sounds great. I suggest you put that file on your mp3 file and maybe check the 429 in shop if you have such chance.
Edited by StoneJack - 12/30/13 at 11:27pm