Am I crazy? HD555 are the ultimate headphones?
Oct 31, 2015 at 7:48 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

freak

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Posts
46
Likes
10
I extensively compared a couple of high quality cans (at the same time) and strangely I found my old, worn out Sennheiser HD555 to be the best.
I compared them with Sennheiser HD650, AKG K-712, HiFiMAN HE-400 and Beyerdynamic DT150 and HD555 wins in almost every genre. The cans I remember were better than HD555 was K-701 but mostly in good quality instrumental rerecordings. K-701s bass was so great, tight extended and well controled and treble so natural and precise. Sounstage in K701 was also huge. K712 sounds nothing like K-701 to me. Smaller soundstage, lower quality bass and treble. Worse in every aspect IMHO.
HE-400 are also not very good sounding headphones with mudded bass and pierceing treble. Heavy and not very comfortable.
DT150 mids sound recessed to me with too much bass (especially upper bass/lower midrange) Its soundstage is a bit better that HD555s though.
HD 650 is definitely very laid back with smallest soundstage of all the headphoneses tested. Treble is really mild and ressesed. It may be good for poor quality harsh recordings. On the other hand they are extremly comfortable.
 
I mean how is it possible that headphone that were a few times more expensive sound worse to me than an old worn out HD555?
 
My amplifier is Pro-Ject Head Box SE II and my source is ARCAM rDAC. Maybe amplifier is not good enough but I doubt it.
BTW. My HD555 have their inner foam removed.
 
Oct 31, 2015 at 8:50 PM Post #3 of 26

tomatoshoe

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 2, 2011
Posts
311
Likes
65
But in all seriousness. Sound is all subjective and all comes with personal preferences. Whatever you think sounds nice, go with it. 
L3000.gif

 
Oct 31, 2015 at 9:07 PM Post #4 of 26

Music Alchemist

Pokémon trainer of headphones
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Posts
20,092
Likes
2,099
You're not crazy. But after you listen to many more headphones, I'm sure you'll find something you like even more. On my profile, I rank headphones I've owned based on preference. Notice how some of the more affordable ones are ranked higher than more expensive ones, simply because I enjoyed them more.
 
Oct 31, 2015 at 9:39 PM Post #8 of 26

Music Alchemist

Pokémon trainer of headphones
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Posts
20,092
Likes
2,099
  ~ 300 USD

 
Well, I haven't heard the HD 600, but the general consensus is that it's similar to the HD 650, but less warm/dark. So if you disliked the HD 650, you probably wouldn't be satisfied with the HD 600.
 
Outside of electrostats, my favorite headphone in that price range is the Yamaha HPH-MT220. It doesn't have the Sennheiser sound signature; it's much, much better, in my opinion. Very exciting, but still fairly accurate.
 
Check these out:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/658673/yamaha-hph-mt220-thread-merged
http://www.head-fi.org/products/yamaha-hph-mt220bl
 
There's another option if you want a serious upgrade: STAX electrostatic earspeakers. They are by far my favorite out of any headphones, regardless of price. (Even compared to stuff that costs thousands.) They sound significantly more realistic to my ears. But you'll have to get lucky to get a good STAX system for only $300 on the used market, unless you go with 1980s electrets, which aren't as good.
 
Oct 31, 2015 at 9:59 PM Post #9 of 26

freak

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Posts
46
Likes
10
   
Well, I haven't heard the HD 600, but the general consensus is that it's similar to the HD 650, but less warm/dark. So if you disliked the HD 650, you probably wouldn't be satisfied with the HD 600.

I didn't really dislike them what I mean is they are very specific and don't sound very "high end". They are laid back, musical and easy to listen to, but lack all these bells and whistles when it comes to sound quality.
 
I will read about Yamaha HPH-MT220.
 
Oct 31, 2015 at 10:18 PM Post #10 of 26

tomatoshoe

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 2, 2011
Posts
311
Likes
65
I've listened to the HD555 with the 598 mod... They did sound good but I would never regard them as an "ultimate headphone", whatever that means lol.
 
At the budget of $300. I'd go with either: Philips Fidelio X2, HiFiMan HE-400S (with focuspads), or a Sennheiser HD600 (on sale). These are some of the most popular for that price range.. Search those up, read information on them. See what music works best with which one. I personally own the X2's and I think they are superior in every way over the HD555. I've only had the HD650, so I can't say from personal experience on the HD600... But I can tell you that the HD650 may sound laid back on lower end gear, but on certain (more expensive) amps it will not sound veiled. Some say that the HD600 is the more neutral of the two... Other's say that more recently the newest revisions make them both very similar. Take what you will.
 
Also take a look at this (very informative):
http://www.head-fi.org/t/766529/new-2015-hifiman-he400s/1680#post_12008062
 
Nov 4, 2015 at 10:14 AM Post #11 of 26

freak

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Posts
46
Likes
10
I went with your recomendations and purchased Yamaha HPH-MT220 and Sennheiseer HD600. To be honest I'm not impressed with them either. I don't find them better than HD555 especially considering their price.
 
I didn't buy Philips Fidelio X2 because I didn't find a good deal and I'm not buying anything new for obvious reasons.
 
Now I'm sitting there with a pile of headphones (7 sets altogether) and still chosing the HD555 as my favourite. I hope my family don't see it. I need to test them under cover of night. :D
 
Ok so I'm no going to buy anymore headphones. My last try will be to buy a new headphone amplifier. What do you guys recommend as good universal amp that can properly power headphones like HD650. My budget is around 300 USD/EURO for the amplifier.
 
Nov 4, 2015 at 2:24 PM Post #12 of 26

Music Alchemist

Pokémon trainer of headphones
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Posts
20,092
Likes
2,099
  I went with your recomendations and purchased Yamaha HPH-MT220 and Sennheiseer HD600. To be honest I'm not impressed with them either. I don't find them better than HD555 especially considering their price.
 
I didn't buy Philips Fidelio X2 because I didn't find a good deal and I'm not buying anything new for obvious reasons.
 
Now I'm sitting there with a pile of headphones (7 sets altogether) and still chosing the HD555 as my favourite. I hope my family don't see it. I need to test them under cover of night. :D
 
Ok so I'm no going to buy anymore headphones. My last try will be to buy a new headphone amplifier. What do you guys recommend as good universal amp that can properly power headphones like HD650. My budget is around 300 USD/EURO for the amplifier.

 
What was your amp/DAC before? These headphones may not sound their best from some sources.
 
Nov 4, 2015 at 3:46 PM Post #14 of 26

tomatoshoe

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 2, 2011
Posts
311
Likes
65
The reason I named the Fidelio X2's first for my recommendations was because they are fairly easy to drive. And they sound true to what Philips what you want to hear through a lot of amps. The Sennheiser HD600 would need a better amp to sound better. Schiit equipment is always nice. Maybe someone can comment on if the Asgard 2 is good with the HD600's?
 
Also, what type of audio files do you listen to? 320kbps? Variable bitrate?
 
Nov 4, 2015 at 4:49 PM Post #15 of 26

freak

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Posts
46
Likes
10
   
What was your amp/DAC before? These headphones may not sound their best from some sources.

My source is ARCAM rDAC with upgraded power supply. It is well regarded british DAC.
My amplifier is Pro-Ject Head Box SE II. The opinions about this amp are divided.
 
  The reason I named the Fidelio X2's first for my recommendations was because they are fairly easy to drive. And they sound true to what Philips what you want to hear through a lot of amps. The Sennheiser HD600 would need a better amp to sound better. Schiit equipment is always nice. Maybe someone can comment on if the Asgard 2 is good with the HD600's?
 
Also, what type of audio files do you listen to? 320kbps? Variable bitrate?

FLAC, mp3 320 and AAC 320 on TIDAL.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top