Sennheiser HD 580

General Information

The Sennheiser HD580 Over-Ear Headphones are a first-class audio solution ideal for use in recording studios. The diaphragm uses an advanced design to avoid resonant frequencies. The headphones use neodymium ferrous magnets in a system that ensures optimum sensitivity and high dynamic response with minimal harmonic and intermodual distortion. The ultra-light aluminum voice coils also provide excellent dynamic response, and the detachable OFC copper cable is reinforced with Kevlar for extremely low handling noise. Overall, the HD580 delivers natural, spatial sound that's highly accurate.

Latest reviews


500+ Head-Fier
Sennheiser HD580: A classic series of headphones
Pros: Modular construction, comfortable, analytical, beautiful midrange, lack of thickness, wide frequency range, natural tonality, grille patterns
Cons: Nothing significant
Sennheiser's redoubtable HD580 precision is a group of possibly 5 headphones, none of which are identical in sound to the other precision models never mind their HD600 or HD650 models. Because of silent changes the group might be the following:

HD580 precision, flat plate, made in Germany, 1st version
HD580 precision, flat plate, made in Ireland, 2nd version
HD580 precision, raised plate, made in Ireland, 3rd version (dark driver screen)
HD580 precision, raised plate, made in Ireland, 4th version (light driver screen)
HD580 Jubilee
The most produced versions are probably the 3rd and 4th version. If you purchase a HD580 precision today you will most likely receive one of these with the 'HD580 precision' written on a raised nameplate rather than one of the (less produced ?) earlier versions with it printed on. My first HD580 precision was a 3rd version, next after much searching was a flat plate (printed HD580 precision) made in Ireland 2nd version and finally a Jubilee. In each version there will be many Sennheiser designed variables:

grille (different for flat plate/raised plate)
plastic earcup that mounts the driver
driver version
driver screen colour, fabric or paper
foam disc

each one will affect the sound properties, some more than others. These headphones give a quite neutral sound and depending on which one you own the design intent will be closer or less close to neutral. The 3rd version that I owned I found a significant improvement over the HD595, however as I had a warm amplifier at that point it overall sounded too warm (for me I prefer near to a cold sound) and some recordings suffered as a result. Next was the 2nd version. With a more neutral amplifier this headphone was an upgrade, delicate, natural, precise and like the newer version it did contain a little warmth in its upper frequencies (these were I found out later, dark because of the driver's age. Replacing them with a HD600 driver (only) brought back the missing treble that made them feel slightly dark)). Like the HD650 these headphones have an exquisite sound. They are of course exquisite in different ways but once 'tuned in' to the headphone they deliver an experience close to the source but with a little warmth also. Like the HD650's wonderful tonality these offer a more modest sound image but in a similarly charming way. The HD580 Jubilee from 1995 (not the 58x) is an analytical headphone even more than the 2nd version. Since it's a 'blank' headphone it doesn't have a sound signature and it just gets out of the way without any warmth at all. In the world of headphones this is rare like the Jubilee itself. It's a little bright but nothing like a Beyerdynamic's mass produced DT880 (600Ω). If you can put up with bad recordings or even recordings that assume the listener's equipment is inherently coloured then this is for you. Otherwise the non-selection of a sound signature may be confusing. It's not for everyone but the Sennheiser HD580 precision is a class act. Unfortunately they are fairly rare now and mostly only the later versions.
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New Head-Fier
Pros: neutrality, lack of any significant flows, genre versatility, comfy enough, replacable parts, fast and warm at the same time, noble and modest look
Cons: cable connectors prone to defects, scene width is not awesome, some versions only for veiled sound fans, lack of sexy metal grills
I've described my views on HD 580 versions widely on head-fi. The important thing is to be aware of significant differences between them. This review is about (probably) 2nd version: made in Ireland, dark driver screen, flat HD 580 inscription. These headphones are not perfect in every aspect. HD 540 for example are better as far as mids are concerned. But HD 540 can't handle rough music with many instruments playing at the same time. They are not any genre master, but for the price, I guess, it's hard to find so versatile headphones. Also, if you like sound being on the bright side, don't buy them. The sound is not dark, but definitely it's not bright either. High tones are really pleasant, present and smooth. Bass is well described and goes satisfyingly deep down. Mids are not overwhelmed and have a great timbre, not as good as HD 540 though.
good review but i think the mids on 580 is way better then 540 though.
@doyouknowSBmean maybe I like a little bit brighter vocals, maybe it depends on what DAC and amp. one uses.


I gave Jude an Orpheus and all I got was this lousy title.
Pros: Everything. It's the original Hi-Fi headphone, arguably the one that started it all
Cons: No longer being made
There's not much to be said about the HD-580. I've had mine for close to 20 years, and it's still my favorite headphone. AKGs, other Sennheisers, Sonys, Etymotics and Grados have come and gone, but these ones still stay. I've had their headband and earpads replaced, and they still sound as amazing as the day I bought them. They are the only headphone that I have never removed from my gear shelf. They are the ones I use when I try to decide whether any headphone is worth it.
I actually bought an HD-600 to replace them around 2002, because I was afraid they may fail or degrade over time. That never happened, and the 600's are still inside their box ever since then.
Cons? I don't know. Some people talk about "veiled" highs. I suppose they are if you compare them to a shrieking Grado. Some people may complain the cable is not a Kimber. Good for them. Kimber Cables are more expensive than a used HD-580, anyway.
You can get 100% of this greatness by buying a new HD-600, which uses better materials anyway, and that sounds exactly the same (at least my set does). But there's something special about owning a legendary product. The HD-580 is a legendary product, and I'm glad I discovered it. It made me appreciate what a real headphone could do. And today, 20 years later, it still does.
Still the one to beat.
Bob A (SD)
Bob A (SD)
Spot on!  Mine bought in December of 1993 (2nd gen model based on details in the HD580 thread here on Head-Fi) are still singing away although I've tweaked them a tad (HD600 grills, HE5 velour earpads w/thin nylon liner intact, removed Senn foam liner, NewFantasia cables).  I rank their sound just a tad better than my 7 month old HD600s fitted with CustomCansUK ultra low capacitance braided litz wire cables.


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