- 18,862 Posts. Joined 12/2011
- Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Finding the perfect starter headphones - comfort and balance - Page 2
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I actually read a review for the X1s, thinking they were the L1s, and fell partially in love with them. Shame they are more than just a bit outside my budget :(
To be honest, if I were to stretch my budget at all the HD598 would be the first on my list to test out. Maybe someday I'll look into a nice $300+ pair of phones but right now I'm more interested in dipping my toe in the audiophile pool and discovering more about what type of sound I really enjoy.
I just placed an order for the HD558s. Heard they have a nice sound stage (open) and are incredibly comfortable. Might be lacking in the bass department but I'll soon find out first hand!
Thanks for the suggestion, the price is a bit more than I'm looking to spend but I'll check them out just in case. Sounds like they would be a decent option for me (warm and punchy), though a lot of folks comment that they are a bit uncomfortable sometimes.
Yeah, a bit too rich for my blood.. for now
My $150 budget already includes my "stretch" budget. I'd really like to keep the phones in the $100-120 range but I would consider something up to $150 if they were just perfect.
My HD558s should be on my doorstop when I get home today. I will give them a good listen over the weekend and hopefully be able to make a decision soon.
- 897 Posts. Joined 10/2013
- Location: Leeds, UK
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Well I have the AD700s and yes, they are so comfortable! I can wear them for hours. I liked them so much that I even took them on holidays with me. Even though they are huge, I just used their original box and that has lasted me 2 years and the box is now starting to fall apart a little. If you say you don't like very sharp high frequencies, these are extremely bright sounding headphones. About the soundstage, I have seen quite a few people say is is quite hard to beat the soundstage of these for the money. The only thing that I don't like about them is the lack of bass. I have a solution for that though, I find that the Fiio E11 headphone amp really helps give them more punchy bass and it adds more warm sounding mid range too. The amp also seems to cut out the overly bright and sharp high frequencies a bit.
One other thing that I shouldn't complain about these headphones really is their sound leakage. Anyone who is anywhere close to you will clearly hear everything you are listening too unless you listen to it very quietly. You would expect this with most open headphones though.
So my HD558s were delivered on time and I was able to test them out a bit today. Here are my first impressions..
Sennheiser HD 558:
+ SUPER comfy! Ear pads are big enough to accommodate my piercings and the material is nice and cool
+ More bass than I expected, on par with my Bose AE2
+ Soundstage is much larger than on the other phones (except the AD700)
+ Removable cord can lock in place
+ Easy mod to make it sound more like a 598 (will try if I keep them)
- 6.3mm plug
- Included 3.5mm adapter is too thick to be practical (high quality at least)
- Clamping is a bit tight, hope it loosens up
- Cups do not fold, not portable
- Bass is adequate but not punchy like the s400, think I can adjust though
- Certain highs have a strange crackle to them, like turning on your VCR (if folks remember what that's like)
Overall I'm very pleased with how they sound right now. I hope that a couple days of burn in will diminish that artifact on the highs, I hope I didn't receive a defective pair. Also, once the clamping loosens up a bit these will easily be the most comfortable pair I have tested so far. The CAL!2 were a great pair of cans but the HD558 offers more of what I am looking for at the cost of some bass. We'll see if I still feel the same after the weekend!