Sennheiser HD530


Member of the Trade: Kaldas Research
Pros: Made In Germany
Cons: Garbage Bag Earpads
Yes, HD530.
Before I start I want to go over some things, Sennheiser is one of the big names that really let themselves go. They went from making very good, I'm not going to say great but good headphones. 
Their current line except a few is almost hilarious, they went from making HE-60s to then giving us the HD800. 
The HD650 was my first HiFi headphone, sentimental value aside all Sennheiser headphones are insignificant. 
I'm known to be harsh so if you want a ruthless yet honest review then keep on reading or else leave, just saying cause I've made a lot of owners upset in the past. 

Anyway, the HD530 is a Vintage. I have a thing for "Vintage German Dynamics". So that's why I have it. The HD530 has very little information. 
Apparently, there are two impedance versions. One being the 600Ohm which this should be - wait I'll come to it. The 300Ohm version have a 300Ohm label. 600Ohms don't, from that information I should have a 600Ohm but the seller tells me that they are 300Ohm. I'm not sure. 

These are part of the early 5XX series which was way better than the crap Sennheiser is selling today. The HD530s were launched back in the early 90s. 
Like all German headphones back then, all parts serviceable and interchangeable. The Ovation headphone parts are all replaceable with this HD530. From the velour Earpads of the HD540 Reference II to even the Headband.
The HD530s are quite large, it is the largest headphone in my collection which is odd . They are indeed quite big. 
They are mostly plastic but they feel solid, headband has the same system as the k812 or should I say the k812 has the same system as the HD530 and others.
The Earpads of the HD530 are same as the 280 PRO in that they are the Garbage bag material.
But...they are not uncomfortable as the 280s were. They are larger and clamp much less. Although they clamp less, the Garbage bag material is still not my friend, after some time of use the parts where it makes contact on my head really feels assaulted, the pads molest those parts. It's not fun. 
Headband works, I would have liked a bit extra adjustment but I have a long head so it shouldn't be a problem for most people.
So how do they sound?

Well, bass is rolled-off. It drops off at 150Hz but still lingers with some presence till 80Hz then there is no information unless the mastering has emphasis. It seems to be fairly even till 4khz then there is a massive spike resulting in shrill upper halves of male presence. Audibly I am going to say it's a 4-6db spike. It's quite noticeable and is honestly annoying with poor recordings. On a good revealing system it will be more noticeable with good recordings too.
8Khz is not smooth as well, more 4-5db emphasis there as well. Presence is always thin because of that, it doesn't have the body because of the response. Going up after that is good, there is enough extension up top. 
Now like all BoPET diaphragms, it has oodles of grain making it a low-fidelity for me.  
Compared to other Sennheiser phones - 
1) HD650 - 
Of course, we all know how the 650 sounds like. The HD530 is the same fidelity. Other than the obvious darkness of the 650, IMO the HD530 beats it in overall separation too.
The HD530 images much better and seems to be more intimate and involving. I do wish the HD530 had the 650 bass which would have made it much, much better than the 650. 

2) HD600 
I don't like my HD600, it's probably the least used headphone I have because my NOS HD580 sounds better than it, although they supposedly use same drivers the HD600 is different from either the 530 or 580. 
600 sounds congested and grainy-er than the 530. I don't like the HD600 

3) HD580 

HD580 is the best Sennheiser dynamic. It far surpasses the HD800 and HD700 in terms of realism and visceral tactility. The HD530 can't touch the HD580 neutrality. The HD580 images better and is overall much higher fidelity. 
530 can't compete. 

4) HD800 

HD530 sounds less neutral than the HD800 but has better centre imaging than the HD800. It doesn't have the diffused sound that is common with the HD800 on older recordings. Same problem with the K7-Series. 
Both the HD530 and HD800 are equally grainy. 


Overall, Sennheiser, if any one the current workers at Sennheiser are reading this review then up your game folks. Lot of work to be done.
BTW - This HD530 was Made In Germany. Excursion for automated gluing is excellent with almost negligible tolerances. 

They go for less than 100 Euros which is a fantastic price of something like this. 
I highly recommend skipping current Sennheiser offerings. Get the old stuff...
  My YouTube Video review -

Apparently people here think I'm a troll so - 


Sorry, misread.

Thanks for the information!
Thank you for your review, I'm big vintage Sennheiser fan :)
If you want extended bass, try HD530 II - they have a similar sound, but bass goes deeper.
Like the Mercedes of the same era it is actually German and is better than most of the new stuff.