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Sennheiser HD 518 - Worthy choice

Poll Results: What must I do?

 
  • 9% (1)
    Get a HD 429.
  • 36% (4)
    Get a HD 518.
  • 54% (6)
    Save money and get something better.
11 Total Votes  
post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone! 

 

I saw the discounts on a retail website (Indian) and the prices seemed good. I very recently got a Sony MDR XB90EX for my jaunts outside the comfort of my home and when I feel like listening to bassy stuff. However I need a headphone for quiet listening, which need not be portable. I listen to Instrumentals, Soundtracks and sometimes Rock, Pop, Metal too. I prefer some bass. Is HD 518 OK for me?

 

Would a HD 429 suit me better? Would save a few bucks that way.

 

Also how would HD 429 and 518 compare to  Sony MDR XB90EX? Can I expect huge improvemets in SQ? Or is  Sony MDR XB90EX better than these two? If yes, I have to wait for some buy, save more and get a better pair. 

 

Please help! 

 

Wish you all a great 2014!

post #2 of 22

I only can say about HD 449 which is something between those two sennheiser models and I think its awesome. 518 is probably a better choice, but 449 is great for both classic and rock with bass as well.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

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)

post #4 of 22

Think you should consider the sony ma900.

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

Think you should consider the sony ma900.

+1: this precisely!

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by achyudhk View Post
 

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)


i have owned a 518 and an HD448 in past. if 429 is like 448, then 518 is definitely worth it. if you really wanna know what everyone here is talking about (ie soundstage, instrument separation, concert like feel) go for 518.

 

though would suggest proper setup with it ie a portable dac-amp like fiio e10 or audinst hud mini and lossless music. so expense is more than just headphones. if you wanna use just a portable dap or your laptop jack, go for 429.

 

but beware 518 will make you curious about what other better stuff (read expensive) is out there.(atleast it did to me)

 

Also if you go higher than 518, you will need better amps and dacs than these, so choose accordingly.


Edited by vaibhavp - 12/30/13 at 8:45pm
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I checked it out.

At the $200-300 price range, it is pretty much out of my budget. Plus It is not available in india. I think I'll wait...

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by achyudhk View Post
 

Thanks, I checked it out.

At the $200-300 price range, it is pretty much out of my budget. Plus It is not available in india. I think I'll wait...


to buy in India check this site:

 

http://www.proaudiohome.com/

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Will check it out!

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavp View Post
 


i have owned a 518 and an HD448 in past. if 429 is like 448, then 518 is definitely worth it. if you really wanna know what everyone here is talking about (ie soundstage, instrument separation, concert like feel) go for 518.

 

though would suggest proper setup with it ie a portable dac-amp like fiio e10 or audinst hud mini and lossless music. so expense is more than just headphones. if you wanna use just a portable dap or your laptop jack, go for 429.

 

but beware 518 will make you curious about what other better stuff (read expensive) is out there.(atleast it did to me)

 

Also if you go higher than 518, you will need better amps and dacs than these, so choose accordingly.

 Thanks for the advice. I'll better stick with 429. My expenses in the gaming sector keep mounting (that's the only way it is to stay updated), and I dont want to keep spending the same way with audio too. Currently a DAC is out of my budget s I'll stick with a 429.

 

 P.S. My friend is using a HD 518 without a DAC. Is he missing out on quality? I mean, using just a laptop jack reduces the potential of a HD 518?

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by achyudhk View Post
 

 Thanks for the advice. I'll better stick with 429. My expenses in the gaming sector keep mounting (that's the only way it is to stay updated), and I dont want to keep spending the same way with audio too. Currently a DAC is out of my budget s I'll stick with a 429.

 

 P.S. My friend is using a HD 518 without a DAC. Is he missing out on quality? I mean, using just a laptop jack reduces the potential of a HD 518?


certainly. dac-amp gives each instrument its proper place, something very important for separation and concert like feel. though they will get loud enough with phones and laptop jacks.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavp View Post
 


certainly. dac-amp gives each instrument its proper place, something very important for separation and concert like feel. though they will get loud enough with phones and laptop jacks.

 Will I be losing a lot if I get a HD 429 without a DAC? I hate to using a product at less than its potential.

post #13 of 22

Not much. I have not used them but am aware of some other models in that range. they benefit but are not transformed into something much better when using an amp.  

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks! You cleared up a lot of my doubts!

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by achyudhk View Post
 

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
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