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Sennheiser HD 558

  • With their special internal Surround Reflector, the HD 558 open, circumaural headphones are able to generate an extended spatial sound field, making them ideal for listening to home cinema as well as music. They are also fitted with Sennheiser’s innovative E.A.R. technology which ensures accurate channeling of audio signals into your ears, as well as sophisticated Duofol diaphragms which reduce unwanted resonances to an absolute minimum. The HD 558 come with skin caressing velour ear pads and headband cushion which provide outstanding wearing comfort, even for long listening sessions.

Recent Reviews

  1. audiophilehe400
    Great Quality and Price
    Written by audiophilehe400
    Published Sep 16, 2016
    Pros - Well Built, Great Price, Long Cable, Great Sound Stage
    Cons - Lacks punch, sound is not colored enough
    These were my first headphones that got me interested in listening to music at a higher level. The sound stage is impressive, headphones are tough and well built. Extremely comfortable with nice and easy adjustments. Great intro headphone into the world of sound. They sell new for under $100 now, definitely recommend, one of the best open ear headphones in this price bracket. Also, the bass is more present in these then the HD598.
      maxpain12 likes this.
  2. Applehusky
    Great headphones for the money
    Written by Applehusky
    Published Sep 6, 2016
    Pros - Sound, Comfort, price, open back
    Cons - kind of creaky, doesn't fold
    -Sound: Compared to my Bose QC35, and V-Moda LP2, these definitely have more depth, which isn't surprising considering they're open back. I've also found the sound to be quite nice. I'd go so far as to say they're much better than my previous favorite, the Beyerdynamic DT880 since they're much warmer, and because of that, less fatiguing.
    -Comfort: I often give comfort priority over sound because I can get used to how headphones sound, given they're not complete garbage, and more than not, a unique sound signature adds to the music I listen to, depending on the case of course. These headphones are incredibly comfortable in both sound signature and fit. I have a normal sized head and, while they do clamp down a bit tightly, something that isn't very necessary considering their light weight, the earpads and construction of the earcups make it easy to wear them for hours on end.
    -Open back: Spacial awareness while gaming is on point.
    -build quality: for the most part, they're plastic, but well constructed. Not as creaky as a lot of headphones, but they're not the most luxurious headphones either. Overall, they're built well enough and seem durable enough to stand up to years of use.
    -portability: Lastly, These headphones don't fold. In my case, I use these with my laptop and often need to take them places. Because of the lack of folding mechanism and/or case, they're not the easiest things to cram into a bag. Folding flat would be a welcome feature.
    -other thoughts: the cable is very long and not coiled which is either good or bad and depends on your use case. One thing I find annoying is that my pair came with a cable that terminated in a 1/4" plug. Since I'm using this with a laptop, a 3.5mm plug would've been better. They do include a 1/4" to 3.5mm adapter, but it'd unbelievably bulky. Luckily I had a short 3.5mm male to female extension to take some strain off the adapter. Just something to think about before buying.
    The cable is indeed removable and locks into place so there's no worry about it coming unplugged and if it were to get damaged, you don't need to buy another set of headphones.
  3. Midgetguy
    Sennheiser HD558 - An Average Guy's Review
    Written by Midgetguy
    Published Jun 29, 2016
    Pros - Relaxed musical signature, earpad comfort, imaging
    Cons - Hard clamp, bad 1/4"-1/8" adapter design
    About Me:
    I'm just your average guy making his way through college with a passing interest in audio fidelity. I'm NOT an audiophile, but I've got a little experience ranging from lower-end products to flagship designs. I don’t make professional reviews and by my own account, I’m not much good at describing what I hear either. But I’ll do my best and we'll just have to see how that goes.
    The Sennheiser HD558 is a full-size open dynamic driver headphone. It has been on the market for several years now, proving itself to be a very capable set of headphones for a reasonable price. Sennheiser has been in the headphone game for a very long time and while it’s very well known for mid-fi offerings like the HD600/650 and flagship HD800, the HD5x8 line is the most recent iteration of their affordable open headphone design.
    I’m not the most eloquent or well versed in describing what I hear, so take my words with a grain of salt. Also keep in mind that everyone hears differently; it’s not bad, it’s not wrong, it’s just different.
    I bought this HD558 over 3 years ago and it’s served me well.
    For this review, the HD558 is connected to a Firestone Audio FUBAR IV Plus, using USB input from a Macbook Air supplying lossless and .mp3 audio files.
    Packaging and Accessories:
    The packaging for these “lower-end” Sennheiser headphones is really nothing special. Honestly, it feels quite cheap. A cardboard box with clear cutout to show off the headphone, the removable 3m cable, and a 1/4” to 3.5mm adapter are all you get from the box. No padding, no felt, no carrying case/bag; the presentation felt as cheaply Spartan as could be. It’s a stark contrast to the nice acoustic foam padded cases for the HD600 series and up.
    Build Quality and Comfort:
    Let’s start off with the build quality. For a set of headphones that costs $120 (when I bought them), they don’t really stand out in any way in terms of build. When I got them, it felt sort of cheap, but now I recognize that it’s almost par for the course. The entire headphone is constructed of plastic; the outer headband shell is plastic, the cups are plastic, and the inner adjustment band is plastic. It’s all made of this solid, but cheap feeling, scratchy lightweight plastic. The adjustment band clicks for adjustment, but no indicators of any sort how many clicks you’ve gone, though it is of a good fine scale. The cable: I’ve got some nitpicks with the cable Sennheiser includes as well as the adapter. The cable is 3 meters long and it’s pretty well relieved, terminating in a standard 1/4” jack. It’s a little rubbery and springy, but not too bad and of appropriate thickness in my book. That concludes the good/okay parts of the cable. Firstly, it’s 3 meters long and while some people like that length, I find it way too long for my desktop use; that’s just for my personal use, I recognize some people like that length but I’m just not one of them. Secondly, the cable is removable, but it’s a proprietary 2.5mm twist-lock connector. In a consumer budget-friendly headphone, what’s the problem with using a 3.5mm stereo connector? Why use a twist-lock 2.5mm stereo connector? Then there’s the adapter Sennheiser supplies with the cable for those who need to plug into a 3.5mm jack. They give you an adapter that essentially creates a 5-inch mass sticking out and hanging onto dear life by the 3.5mm connection plugged into your device (amp, phone, etc.). The reason this pissed me off was because Sennheiser itself makes a better adapter that it could’ve packaged with the HD558. The sleeved cable you see in the pictures is the aftermarket cable I bought, which includes a screw-on 1/4" adapter.
    On to comfort. Sennheiser usually scores very high marks here in my book. Well, at least the higher-end models do. I’m afraid I can’t be as generous to the HD558 in this regard, though it’s not to say everything’s bad news. The headband uses a single large velour pad for where it contacts your head for even weight dispersal and the earpads use the same soft velour. The earcups are adequately large for my ears, but more importantly, they’re oval shaped! Manufacturers really need to realize that human ears are not circular. The problem with these is the clamping force; there’s a lot of it and you feel that pressure the moment you put them on. This clamping pressure is also a noted trait of the HD600/650 line, but those headphones have a metal adjustment band, which can be stretched and bent appropriately to fix the clamping pressure. No such luck with the HD558; the plastic adjustment band has stayed in the same rigid shape since day one.
    Sound Quality:
    Let’s be honest, this section is gonna be kind of a mess. I’m not able to describe sound very well and what I can describe is only going to make sense if your mental references of all the terms are similar to what I’ve got going on in my head. Nevertheless, let’s give it a shot anyway.
    To my ears, the overall sound signature of the HD558 could be described as tonally warm with a slightly mid-forward sound. This sounds like a baby HD600 and at $120, that’s a very good thing. It’s overall laid-back in terms of speed, but the notes feel accurate and cohesive. This versatility helps it be great at most genres.
    Sound stage is pretty average for an open headphone but the imaging ability makes for good placement of sounds.
    Treble is very relaxed; I wouldn’t say it’s recessed, but it’s polite and non-intrusive resulting in a fatigue-free listening experience.
    As said earlier, I feel this headphone has a slightly mid-forward signature and the quality is up to snuff as well. Instruments have the right ring and musicality and vocals are clear and have nice warmth and body.
    The bass is there, but like most open headphones, is lacking in weight and impact. For my tastes, there’s enough quantity and quality is good. Bass response feels relatively tight, though it’s still at little fuzzy at times. The problem it encounters, which I feel many open headphones do as well, is the lower the frequency, the less accurate and resolving it becomes. It stays quite cohesive in the mid-bass area, but gets looser the lower you go and can’t extend into those lower frequencies as well as high-end open headphones. For example, its bigger brother the HD600 does better. Because of this and its bass-light nature (compared to closed headphones), the HD558 doesn’t deal weighted blows and some music, EDM especially, loses a little bit of energy due to the lack of punch.
    Music/songs used during the review:
    Rumours (feat. Mark Johns) by Gnash
    Halo 3 OST by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori
    Clear (feat. Mothica) by Pusher
    Cowboy Bebop OST by The Seatbelts
    Sunday Morning by Maroon 5
    Neon Cathedral (feat. Allen Stone) by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Ants by edIT
    25 to Life by Eminem
    Kick, Push by Lupe Fiasco
    Freaks and Geeks by Childish Gambino
    Flynn Lives by Daft Punk
    Stop and Stare by OneRepublic
    Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
    Lost Stars by Adam Levine
    Beyond Monday by The Glitch Mob
    Darling VIP (feat. Missio) by Said the Sky
    The HD558 is an older headphone now at this point, but for today’s asking price ($100 on Amazon at the time of this review), it’s still a very good headphone. The plastics might feel a little cheap, but they’re sturdy and the pads that contact your head are all very comfortably padded with velour. Overall, I enjoyed the slightly thicker mid body complementing a relatively neutral (with a warm tilt) sound signature. Several years ago, this was the first full-sized headphone that I bought with my own money.  I had hoped that it would be an incredibly good headphone and after several years and even a few upgrades along the way, I’ve come to the conclusion that the HD558 has lived up exactly to my expectations. It is indeed a very good headphone.
      maxpain12, trellus and Hawaiibadboy like this.
  4. starbux61
    Excellent sound for the money
    Written by starbux61
    Published Apr 28, 2016
    Pros - Soundstage, highs, mids, bass.
    Cons - None for me
    For the money they are extremely comfortable, sound great plugged into my Onkyo TX-8255 receiver playing either music or watching videos from my pc through the Onkyo.  I know you can spend many times more (a little more for ex on the HD 598s) and there are some great phones but for my classical and jazz lossless music they are amazing.  I prefer open headphones also so these well as they say "fit the bill".  I'm not saying others may prefer for ex Grados, Audio Technica and others and headphones & speakers are very much individual taste.  I owned some very accurate Grados and for me these are much more comfortable. I will rarely if ever be connecting them to my iPhone (for which I have a headphone amp) so again they fit my receiver phone jack perfectly.
  5. JBombastico
    Best headphones i've used to date.
    Written by JBombastico
    Published Mar 23, 2016
    Pros - Great sound, punchy low end, nice mids, crisp highs
    Cons - Longest cord i've seen come with a pair of headphones
         Oh Sennheiser, I'm in love with these headphones. Honestly. Everything is perfect with these. Before I continue with this review, let me make this disclaimer. I am not a "Professional Audiophile". I am just a guy with a love for audio. Now since this is out of the way, I can get to the review.
      These headphones are really comfortable. Like, REALLY comfortable. This is easily the most comfortable headphones I've worn to date. I honestly can't remember the last time headphones felt like this. I've let my friends use them. One of them exclaimed "What material is this? It reminds me of fabric you'd feel in some kind of car." I can agree to this. The velour feels amazing. From the headband to the earcups, they feel oh so right in every way you could think of. The earcups move back and forth, and side to side a little bit. The headband adjusts 18 clicks, so they should be able to fit every head imaginable.
     You have a removable cable like most headphones these days. I think these headphones look amazing. They are open backed as well if you couldn't tell right away. The design is so good they reused it for the special edition of the 598's. If this doesn't show you how amazing the design of these headphones are, I don't think I can help you. Your vision may not be 20/20.
     It is phenomenal. I don't know exactly what Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement (E.A.R.) is, but whatever it is exactly, it works. I am a huge anime nerd, so I tested these headphones out with the Mushishi soundtrack. My god. Everything was perfect. Highs, Mids, and Lows. It blew me away. Umi Sakai (Unasaka) Yori sounds god like. With it's dreamy plucks, piano, and low bass hits. Everything just melts together perfectly. I could almost tear up just listening to this song. That is how good the sound is on these. This isn't boomy bass though. It is tight and perfect. If you are a basshead, don't even think about purchasing these. These aren't made to push out booming and flabby low end. If you like tight accurate bass, you'll love it. This doesn't mean it's not there. It's just accurate. Electronic Music more your liking? Great! These handle Electronic music nicely as well. If Jazz is more your forte, this are perfect as well. The whole Fallout 4 song list shines on these. Speaking of gaming, these are also great for those! These headphones take anything thrown at them with ease.
    I also tried the mod, but honestly I can't tell the difference at all. Might just be me, but eh. Anyways.
    In conclusion, if you are looking for a pair of open-backed headphones under $100, these should be at the top of your list.
    1. GearMe
      Yeah...great headphone for the $$.
      GearMe, Mar 23, 2016
    2. bikerboy94
      Nice review. They were my first open HP. When your ready step up to the HD600 your jaw will drop. I use the 558 when out on my deck.
      bikerboy94, Mar 23, 2016
  6. snapacap
    My favorite sound signature, minor drawbacks.
    Written by snapacap
    Published Jan 21, 2016
    Pros - SOUND. looks, earcup size
    Cons - A bit clampy, bit inside touches ears, cable
    In my endless search for headphones that fit, and fit, are comfy, and satisfy my sound tastes; my dumbo ears have led me to very few outlets to choose from.
    I chose to try the Sennheiser 558, as it gets rave reviews, and such.
    Before these, I had good, but not great experiences with Sennheiser products, and these changed that for the better.
    My first, and most important note is that these are my new favorites of any headphone in terms of sound.
    1. These have enough bass, and play that they don't sound boring.
    2. There is not too much bass, meaning not too much bleed into other ranges
    3. The soundstage is great for the price
    4. I get pulled into the music without too much detail loss.
    These, for me, hit a special sweet spot. The SHP9500, and most of my headphones, are objectively better and cleaner, but I didn't care (and still don't). I can't put a price on the feeling these give me.
    I can see why someone would find these not-so-good. They can be relatively veiled and uncontrolled, even laid-back.
    I will post the bullet list I made while evaluating these in the order I noted them, and then attempt to elaborate.
    Sennheieser hd558
    1. love the sound.
    When I first put these on, I immediately loved their sound. There is not much else to say. I got lost in the music.
    2. part sticking out touches ear inside cup
    Though the research suggested otherwise, I find that the bit sticking up on the inside of the earcup inevitably touches my epic ears. This is likely not a problem for most.
    3. clamp is kinda tight
    I am a bit sensitive to headphone clamp, and these clamp quite a bit, but I think most will find them acceptable. I have not noticed any loosening of the grip at this point.
    4. proprietary cord kinda sucks
    5. default cord connection should be 3.5mm, since most people with 1/4 inch jack amp would likely invest in more expensive headphones.
    4&5 are very related, thus together. The cord is made of some awful, grippy, rubber-like plastic which clings to everything, and is also a bit springy. The cord is quite long, which doesn't bother me, as they are open. the proprietary connector on the headphone end of the cord is annoying, but can easily be modded to fit most 2.5mm, or adapted for 3.5mm cables. Lastly, the cord has a 1/4 inch adapter... (read 5.)
    6. Keeps clarity while having enough body to pull you into music
    This is the defining feature of the HD 558 for me. I very easily get lost in the music enough to where I forget the ear-touchy thing, and the clamping effect. 
    7. fiio e10 is vast improvement over on-board audio sources for the 558
    After testing the HD558 on portable, phone, decent pc onboard, and whatever else I could find; I conclude that an amp is an improvement for the HD558, even a cheap little FiiO e10. 
    8. they look nice
    I mean... They do to me. [​IMG]
    9. significantly better balance than g4me one, WAY cleaner (to my ears)
    After owning these, I think either Sennheiser used HD 518 drivers, or they tried to make a "gamer" sound signature. Really, I didn't think they were that close.
    I honestly think the HD 558 was superior. Less muddy, somewhat cleaner sound, better soundstage.
    10. SHP9500 objectively better sound, etc
    Compared to my previous daily driver (SHP9500); I think the SHP9500 was more Neutral, cleaner, and just better in purely objective terms. To me, the SHP9500 lacked bass, had a bit much treble, and were kinda dull.
    11. My new Favorite headphone. Period.
    I don't expect this note to be true for long.
    12. Would love to try the hd-650, and better sources for comparison.
    See note for 11.
    13. after getting used to fit, the ear touching bit is a bit less noticeable. (but comes and goes)
    14.Certain frequencies are greatly recessed. Obvious treble spike (only one spike though?)
    15. Clapping at beginning of "Bad Blood - Bastille" sounds awful.
    *clap* sounds more like *clop*
    17. Leather G4me zero pads fit perfectly. Zero pads add bass, decrease soundstage. Ear touches inside thing even more.
    If you like a leathery feeling more than the stock velour pads, the pads for the G4me Zero, and similar headsets, fit perfectly on the HD558. I prefered the pads unside-down, as the inward clamp compensates well for the uneven thickness of these. The tradeoff is the leathery pads add more bass, possibly a tad muddier? and decrease the soundstage a bit.
    18. HM5 pads could fit.
    I would try using the plastic ring from the back of the stock pads, and putting it in the back of the HM5 pads. These have the same effect as the G4me zero pads, maybe even more-so. 
    Conclusion: I wish these were more comfortable, and wish the cord sucked less.  I have decided to put up withe discomfort of the clamp, and the ear-touching simply because I love the sound so much, which is saying a lot for me. Gosh, they do pull me into the special, priceless place where music sounds like music, not like "a good pair of headphones accurately transcribing the sound". They sound like music to my ears.
    The little green bar measuring thing doesn't have a measure for enjoyment, but I would give it full marks. 
      trellus likes this.
    1. gargani
      Hi, Nice Review. I also have larger than average ears. Fortunately they don,t touch that inside piece; I find them very comfortable for the most part.I agree some people might not like the warm slightly less detailed sound;but on the whole I find them enjoyable and very non fatiguing to listen to.
      gargani, Jan 22, 2016
    2. Archer444
      The HD558 is my go-to gaming set of cans! I love the soundstage, and still enjoy listening to music with them. 
      Archer444, Jan 22, 2016
  7. Tshiknn
    Warm sonic ear bath for the relaxation times
    Written by Tshiknn
    Published Oct 1, 2015
    Pros - Lush, spacious, very good at reproducing natural sounds, feels like you're being enveloped in a warm bath of amniotic fluid
    Cons - Mid-bass bleed / wooliness, veiled (only matters if you care), slow overall
    I wrote a review a few years ago but I was new to the hobby then and so the review was not very good. Here is my updated review:

    Before buying the HD558's, I was listening to music on some pretty mediocre noise-canceling headphones by JVC that I think go for around $50. But I liked them, because they had a very present mid-bass that, to me, made music seem very grounded and present. So when my 558's finally came, I was shocked that the music remained grounded in the mid-bass region while seemingly expanding in all directions in the higher frequencies. This was my first taste of what a good soundstage is like, and I was impressed, to say the least. Eventually, I lost the 558's, as I tend to do, but they were my daily drivers for something like 5 years. When it came to getting a replacement, I picked the 599's, because they seemed like they would offer everything the 558 did, but more detailed, more spacious, and faster. This was not the case. I'm not particularly a fan of the 599, so I thought maybe my tastes had changed and upon coming back to the 558 I would find the sound equally unfavorable. But, no, I didn't. I still like the 558 a lot, I find. And here are my findings, but I don't have a unit on hand, so this is mainly as I remember them:

    Bass: The bass is still definitely the weak part of the equation here. They have been classified by many people here as bass-light, and I'm not sure exactly where that comes from, because to me they seem very heavy on the mid-bass, while not offering great extension. As a result, the bass is often quite boomy, and always very present, to a fault. I ended up finally getting relatively annoyed by the bass, but it was never enough to drive me to actually dislike the headphones; it made up for it in other ways, let's say. Just know that if boomy bass bothers you, these headphones might present an issue to you there. And it's relatively slow, too.

    Mids: Mids on these are warm, smooth, forgiving, not terribly forward, although not recessed either. I can't find fault with the mids; they are dark, for sure, which I don't mind, but don't be looking for a huge amount of mid presence or forwardness here. It's just very warm - what more can I say? I wouldn't call them milky, or creamy, or anything like that; they are a little too distant for terms like that. But it's that distance that makes them so enveloping, like a warm hug. That's what you're getting from the 558's, and that's where they excel.

    Treble: Veiled? Maybe. But the treble is not the focus here by any means. It's serviceable, it's not slow, it's not intrusive in any way, it's there just enough to bring out a little detail, but it definitely takes a backseat to other aspects of the headphones. As I recall, I couldn't really find any issues here. The 599 is a headphone that is similar to the 558 in some ways, except with much more forward treble / upper mids, and that doesn't work for me at all, so I would say that the 558 does the treble ideally for what it is.

    Soundstage: Of course, upon first listen, the soundstage blew me away. If you're coming from cheap closed-backs (or really anything under $200 except maybe the DT770), it will probably blow you away, too. Now that I own the K712 I'm sure that the soundstage would seem more intimate than it seemed initially to me, but because the sound is so relaxed, I found that it ended up sounding very spacious anyway.

    Build, comfort, etc.: They are very comfortable, if a bit clampy, as others have pointed out. They were never too clampy for me. The earpads are very nice. It was built well enough that I never felt like there were any issues, and they never broke, so that's good. However, I will say that I was not at all a fan of the cable they came with, and ended up having to replace it. The fact that they only give you a 1/4 inch connector is...what? For a while, I was using it with the extremely unwieldy 3.5mm attachment, and some carelessness ended up destroying my computer's audio jack. Probably factor a replacement cable into your potential costs.

    A note: The foam mod that turns these into 598's, as people claim, is not to be trusted. When I did it, it made the bass much, much worse in exchange for an almost imperceptible gain in treble detail, which is again not even the point of these headphones. It's very easy to do, so I can't blame you for trying, but if you need the extra detail so badly, you really should not be buying these headphones.

    Amp requirements: They do not need an amp. I never owned an amp while using them. However, I do recall one time that I went to the library to listen to a record (yeah, they had record players in the library), and fed through an amp the record I was listening to sounded almost unbelievably fantastic. That's about all I can say about that.

    Overall impressions: This is an important pair of headphones for me, and I may very well get another pair at some point. I can't say that they're perfect, but since they're being sold for around $80 at this point, they perform extremely well for the price point, provided you're OK with the particular sound signature they provide. I am. I like these headphones; really the only thing that bothered me was the bass. If you are looking for a relaxed pair of headphones that will provide a comfortable, pleasant music-listening experience while still maintaining a good overall sonic balance and a fairly spacious, natural presentation, look no further (well, OK, look no further if this fits your budget).
  8. ShayonX
    Amazing Soundstage and a unique Sound Signature!
    Written by ShayonX
    Published Jul 13, 2015
    Pros - Pristine sound clarity for it's price. Very neutral sound having the right amount of everything. Very very comfortable can be worn for hours.
    Cons - Just like any other open back headphone sound is audible to people around you, that's about it!
    When I bought the headphones I was amazed at the comfort level these headphones offer. I must admit this is my entry into the world of premium headphones,[​IMG] and I truly feel pleased with my decision. So it goes without saying I'm NOT an audiophile. [​IMG]
    I'll keep this video short and crisp.
    These over-ear headphones offers premium comfort with near sonic perfection. I was amazed even after keeping EQ in the flattest possible setting in my amplifier these babies sounded so detailed. This meant two things, Sennheiser is truly giving you a neutral sound and if you want you can tweak the EQ to give the bass, mids or highs a little push to make it shine all the more. I plugged into my amp as well as in portable devices and as expected the full blown setup brought out the jewel in it while the portable devices sounded detailed in their own right. Being an open back headphone made my ears sweat less but also made sure everyone surrounding me got a taste of what I'm listening too. So if privacy is you're concern make no mistake it'll be intruded once you get these! [​IMG] 
    A few scenarios:
    Gaming - One of the best headphones for gaming simply because of the wide sound stage and correct frequency response.
    Movies - Again the feeling of having speakers in your room while listening to them makes them awesome for this purpose!
    Music - If you're into all genres of music it is perfect for you! However if you're into only contemporary forms of music (like electronic, trap music and the likes with extended bass lines) and crave for enhanced bass you must look elsewhere.
    So apart from the great sound and supreme comfort in this price bracket what else do I have to say...pretty much nothing!

    If you're a newbie like me just shut your eyes and make the purchase and you'll be fine...actually more than just fine! On the contrary if you're a veteran and want something in this range you'll know better and will be able to define how wonderful these sound!
      LikeABell likes this.
  9. kite7
    A good all around headphone
    Written by kite7
    Published May 19, 2015
    Pros - Engaging, non fatiguing. Enjoyable sound signature. Detachable cable.
    Cons - Cracks developed from suspect build quality
    Note that my impression is with the foam removed from behind the grills.
    HD558 is a very good headphone that I would recommend to everyone to listen to. Easy to listen to, not offensive sounding or dark sounding. Good price.
    No amp required.
    I have had the HD25-II before and the HD558 excels in every aspect except in the bass region.
    Comfort: Pads could be softer, feels noticeably firmer than the pads on a ATH AD900X. Weight is ~260g which is not very light nor heavy, similar to that of the AD900X. Low clamping force. There is a little bulge on the rear side of the inner cups that may touch your ear creating discomfort over long listening sessions but should be fine for most people with flatter ears. Coming from Grado, this is noticeably more comfortable but not as comfortable as my AD900X mainly due to the pads' softness and the steeper angled drivers. HD600 and higher pads are noticeable softer. The pads collect lint quite easily. Acceptable comfort.
    Highs: Does not stand out; does not irritate. Not the loudness nor does it have that sparkle a AD900X does. Cymbal shimmers are not as clear or obvious as on my Grado SR325 or AD900X. I don't think anyone who listens to classical a lot will enjoy these headphones. Highs do not try to grab your attention, not very extended. The highs suit others genres quite well as they are not offending. The highs combined with the forward midrange makes this headphone sound bright. I never get the sense that this is a dark sounding headphone at all. HD 558 is the less fatiguing headphone compared to the AD900x as the highs are not quite as loud.
    Midrange: Forward sounding but not in your face or shouty. Can sound somewhat dry judging from vocals; don't expect liquid mids. For the price , the level of refinement is expected. Not very transparent sounding . There is some graininess and sibilance compared to some higher priced Sennheisers like the HD600. Higher end headphones sound more rich and resolving; it is hard to mistake the mids of the HD 558 as high end but again, considering the price I think most will be happy with the performance. 
    Bass: Midbass is good to add to the engagement of the sound signature however don't expect to hear anything below 50 Hz very clearly and evidently. The bass texture and decay in the lower end is hard to hear but it can be hard for most open headphones to be great in this area. Don't expect these to make your head rumble. 
    Details: Not the headphone that will make small details pop; it's there but I will have to listen to it a little closer compared to a AD900X which reveals tiny nuisances more effortlessly. When the track gets quite busy there is some smearing which is expected for a headphone of this price but really it is not bad at all. I think those who are looking for their first decent cans will be satisfied.
    Soundstage: Not super wide or narrow, could be considered just right depending on where you're coming from. It does not sound artificial like some 3D effect and there is decent depth as well but not very deep. No obvious flaws or gaps. The AD900x is an example of a headphone with a wide soundstage however I feel the HD558 has a more balanced soundstage meaning that the soundstage is more evenly spaced out. The AD900x can make things sound as if the sound is only coming from the extreme end of the soundstage with some voids between the center of my head to the edge of the soundstage. Despite this, the AD900x can sound incredible with the right music sounding completely encompassing where the HD558 will fall behind. It is sort of like a movie theatre experience vs a home theatre surround sound experience.
    I do not like the build quality very much. There are small cracks developing which is a very common issue on the side of the headphones where the Sennheiser logo is near the headband. It is disappointing this has not be resolved since the HD 555 headphones.
  10. Suraki
    Superb entertainer
    Written by Suraki
    Published May 18, 2015
    Pros - Excellent entertaining sound, airy presentation, very comfortable
    Cons - only long cable, not the most detailed sound
    - Airy presentation with good soundstage (great for music and movie too)
    - Balanced, entertaining sound
    - One of the most comfortable headphone what i have
    - external amplifier (or a beefy DAP) is required for maximum enjoyment (necessary for tight bass)
    - Little short of the bass quantity ( few +dB bass boost will help)
    - Not the most exciting highs
    - The sound is not as detailed as the hi-res headphones
    - Only one long cable came with it by default


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