A500 Or HD555?
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stranger

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Hello Head-Fi'ers,
I've been lurking the pages of head-fi for a few weeks, researching my options for a new pair of phones for under $150. My curiosity got the best of me and I finally found another good free email service(Yahoo isn't allowed for some reason
), so I could sign up and here i am. I mainly listen to underground hip-hop, but I also listen to most other types of music. I favor more tight deep bass over the rest of the spectrum, but still want to hear the rest. Contrary to what others might believe or say, Rap/Hip-hop listening can benefit from better audio equipment. Rap has deep bass, synthesized and live instruments, strings, brass, guitars, pianos, singing and rapping, and of course percussion. I will NOT buy an amp(hopefully). I'll usually listen from my computer(SB Live5.1) and sometimes form a pcdp. Now here are my questions: How much better is the bass on the A500? I'm wondering if the A500 will fit me right and create a good seal. Does anyone know the diameter of the ear-cups? Will I be able to listen to them in the car with a headrest? Which pair should I get? I can get them for about the same price. Any other suggestions? Uhh I feel like i'm forgetting something. . . Oh don't worry bout my wallet, Its my grades you should apolagize to!
 
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lindrone

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Two things that tips me off... you ask about creating a good seal.. so I'm assuming that you're in search of some isolation from your environment? If so, HD555 is an open-air headphone, it wouldn't offer you any isolation at all.

Second, you want to run it without an amp? HD555 is okay without an amp, but it's not nearly as efficient as A500 without an amp. A500 and A900 are two of the most easily driven, forgiving headphones without an amp (I would assume A700 is as well, but I haven't tried it myself).
 
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I second the A500's. If you are not planning on using an amp, then the A500's will be perfect for you. They really don't need an amp, and they will still sound very good. I use the A900's out of my computer, and i've heard that the A900's and the A500's both sound very similar to each other sound wise, so the A500's will probably sound great as well. I had the 555's, and used them without an amp. They did not sound too good to me; the bass was kinda weak, and the treble was a little distorted. Granted it was from out of my soundcard, but the A900's sound much better from my soundcard, without an amp. Plus, the A500's are cheaper as well.
 
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Jasper994

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Also, the 555 has respectable bass but I wouldn't consider bass to be one of its stronger characteristics. Also in terms of bass, do you like powerful bass or clean detailed bass. In this price range you often have to choose...

BTW for what it's worth I prefer the HD 280 pro to the 555 for all aspects other than soundstage and comfort.
 
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daveman_84

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I run the 555's on my shelf system without an amp with no problem; it has no problem powering them and I think they sound great.
 
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Go for A500's, you won't be disappointed. Just bear in mind that they are quite big.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by lindrone
you ask about creating a good seal.. so I'm assuming that you're in search of some isolation from your environment?


I asked about the seal because I wanted to make sure that the a500's would sound like theyre supposed to on my head. I would like isolation if and only if it doesn't sacrifice the sound and comfort(overheating). So, the sound is more important than isolation for me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasper994
do you like powerful bass or clean detailed bass. In this price range you often have to choose...


I'm not sure? what do you mean by powerful and clean detailed? I looked at a few audio glossaries and I still don't know. If powerful bass is loud but dirty and undetailed, then I'd choose clean and detailed. But I'm not sure what powerful bass exactly means.

I am leaning towards the a500's. Oh, and thank you for all the input.
 
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3lusiv3

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I had the 590's, not the 555, and I found they had great bass. Bear in mind that the Senn HD 555's are very open. I would think that open headphones would always sound better than closed headphones of a similar price. If the bass response of the HD 555's is as good as the A500's I would think the 555's would be the best of the two because they probably are more detailed and have a better soundstage than the A500's. I'm only speculating though.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stranger
I'm not sure? what do you mean by powerful and clean detailed? I looked at a few audio glossaries and I still don't know. If powerful bass is loud but dirty and undetailed, then I'd choose clean and detailed. But I'm not sure what powerful bass exactly means.



Often times in this price range you'll have to choose between a headphone with a lot of bass and one that has less bass where the bassy headphone will be boomy (sometimes in the worst cases to the point where it all sounds like one note) and the one with less bass will sound a little lite in the bass department but the bass it produces is very good. At the $150 mark you should be able to get a decent combination of the two but make sure you ask a lot of questions regaurding the specifics of the headphones you are considering. Good luck.
 
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lindrone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 3lusiv3
If the bass response of the HD 555's is as good as the A500's I would think the 555's would be the best of the two because they probably are more detailed and have a better soundstage than the A500's. I'm only speculating though.


Actually, the reviews on the HD5x5 series (the few there are) has been very mixed, I think right now it's about a half/half split between people who liked them and people who preferred the older 580/600/650 series. I really wouldn't make that speculation at all.

I've been hesitant about trying one of them out... but anyway.. I just wouldn't make that speculation.
 
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so can anyone tell me how the bass is on the A500's? Is it powerful or clean and detailed or what? And does anyone know the aproximate measurements for the earcups?
 
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