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Sennheisers HD 518 not exciting. Do I need an amp? Need advice.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello.

 

I have a budget of about 250$ to spend on open headphones.

 

Recently purchased HD 518 and I reeeealy tried to like them. I think I might end up selling them though.

The purchase was a bit silly, I gave the Sennheisers another chance after briefly owning HD 515 a few years back. I remember the experience to be quite similar to HD 515, which is probably an older version of the model.

 

 

What I like?

 

 

They are comfortable and seem durable, which is a big deal to me. They are open, I can heave them on my head for long time.

The sounds are very nicely separated. And is seems like there is quite a lot of space in the sound.

Some music styles sound great. I listened to Arcade Fire's 'Reflector' Album and it sounded awesome. I think wherever there are multiple non electric instruments involved, the headphones sound great.

Then moving to some more rocky rock music, I quite like how Pearl Jam sounds on these, but it did not sweep me off the chair. They play warmly, which suites this particular band I guess. Starting to feel that some punch is already missing here.

 

So what is wrong?

Well the rougher music I move onto, the worse it gets.

Lets try Muse's 'supermassive black hole'. It just does not hit me. No impact. Its too warm. Too natural? Does not excite me. The bass does not reach me, I can only describe it as clear.

And then I've got this thing for thrashy metal and metal in general... Seems like the headphones are playing at wrong frequencies for this kind of music, its got no impact at all.

Seems like vocals are too distant.

 

Previously I owned Koss R/90 and I was very happy with these, until they fell apart.

With these sennheisers I dont know, I think I need advice for something else (other then advice to stop listening to thrashy music).

Unless I am missing something, becasue these headphones seem like they could play better, but they wont.

My source is a PC (usually FLAC) with a soundblaster card and this amp:

http://www.roland.com/products/en/MA-15D/

Pardon my ignorance, but do I need a headphone amp with these? The headphone amp idea is a mystery to me.

 

Well there it is. I am wondering if someone will understand me here and could point me in the right direction.

About 250$, open, DURABLE, exciting. Available in europe.

For metal and hard rock and sometimes dubstep : P

Sorry classic music people, I am an animal.

 

Thanks.


Edited by Madyoss - 2/9/14 at 3:45am
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Bump.

My post seemed to have moved to page 3, before it got approved by admins.

post #3 of 11

it is the headphone not the amp

 

some hp's that come to mind are 

 

sound magic hp200

philips x1(but it is more distant but better quality easily, but NOT durable)

the he400 now sells for 299 brand new and you can find some used ones for cheaper. 

Sony Ma900 (probably the best bet)

Yamaha HPH-200BL Headphone


Edited by grizzlybeast - 2/9/14 at 5:58pm
post #4 of 11
I would increase your budget a bit and try the V-Moda M100. The downside is that it is so V-shaped that the mids seem to get a bit lost. It does have boom and sizzle in spades...
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I would increase your budget a bit and try the V-Moda M100. The downside is that it is so V-shaped that the mids seem to get a bit lost. It does have boom and sizzle in spades...

he said open

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much. : )

 

I guess I will give the sound magic hp200 a try, because I can have new ones for less then 150$

Not sure if spending twice as much is justifiable, but I will keep this list somewhere safe, just in case.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well I tried the sound magic hp200. Gave them a quick try since I had an option to try them inexpensively.

 

So, these sure are exciting. I think exciting to a fault.

I like the bass and mids. But the highs are so strong. I had to bring the trebles on my amp way down, otherwise they irritated me. Too bright for me.

Currently its fun, but I think I might get tired with it fairly quick.

 

Also, I really wanted open headphones, but these don't feel like open headphones I tried before.

For gaming, it is more difficult to speak, since I get the effect where my voice is locked in, like in closed headphones.

I wish they had non leather-like pads, but I guess they help the bass sound better.

 

So don't get me wrong. I appreciate the advice and the journey.

However, I would like to try something else, as soon I'll be able to sell the HD 518 and hp200. I miiight even keep the hp200 because some stuff sound amazing with these.

Too tiring to be my primary all rounders though.

So until some time, I'll definitely enjoy the hp 200 and gladly take some more advice.

 

I guess I would like headphones that are darker (Starting to learn some terminology).

I'd like high female vocals to sound as thrilling. I would like highs to be there when needed. But perhaps little less sparkle then hp200. Darker, perhaps more lush.

post #8 of 11

x1 or sony ma900 then both are darker and more open than the hp200

post #9 of 11

I know that you mean, if you read my review of senns hd 518, you will see that I was hearing the same thing as you - really not good and vocals too distance. The thing about these headphones is that they benefit very VERY VERY VERY VERY highly from equalization. After founding the right equ setting, they started to sound very impressive. The bass became nicely controlled and powerful (as open headphones can let), vocals come to their places, female voices started to sound amazing (I listen to cardigans, holly brooks, massive attack, nina simone, metric etc.) not distant anymore, and after maybe 5 month of use they really opened up and soundstage became as wide as sumo wrestlers butt. I know that you coming from, I had the same first impressions of hd 518 - they sounded, well, terrible. But now then everything fall into places it is amazing and I'm glad I sticked with them. If you didn't sold yours yet, give them another chance.

post #10 of 11

The darker headphones are for heavier music with more bass. Sennheiser headphones tend to not exaggarate and are better for classical and such. I think a bassier headphone and headphone amp could benefit you.

post #11 of 11

Headphonia did a piece on a few different superlux offerings in case you are interested, which do cover a wide variety of different sounds. With a budget like $250 it might be better to buy two $100 headphones rather than one $250 pair so that you can figure out what you like. You might want to look into getting an amp like a CMOY or an O2 from JDS labs. I good amp will definitely make you 'phones more aggresive. 

 

Headphonia articles on superlux. 

 

http://www.headfonia.com/the-new-superluxes-are-good-the-hd330-hd440-and-the-hd660/

 

 

http://www.headfonia.com/superlux-hd668b/

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