ath m50 or hd 558
Feb 23, 2013 at 2:24 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

MysticKnightGR

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I have a question for you guys. Should I go for the m50(audio technica) or the 558(sennheiser). Other than the open back and different sound impedance the rest of the specs are equal. I'm on a 200$ budget, I listen to literally every kind of music(have like 8000 songs in my library, listen to all of them) and I will be using these with a fiio e6. Also, what is your opinion on both of these when it comes to watching movies or playing games? Thanks
 
Feb 23, 2013 at 2:33 AM Post #2 of 8

Trashcan Ghost

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I can't speak for the 558's in terms of sound quality, but I know that my ATH-M50s sound great and I'm very satisfied with them. I don't know if you will really see much more out of them with a headphone amp.  In terms of comfort, the M50s are comfortable and I can listen to them hours at a time without noticing any discomfort (and I have a fairly large head), but I've heard that the 558s have superior comfort.  Price-wise, the M50s on Amazon are a deal, starting at $125, I think.  The 558s are just over $200.  
 
Feb 23, 2013 at 9:44 AM Post #3 of 8

Magicman74

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558 no doubt!!   Just got a set:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/652295/thank-you-mr-postman#post_9188235
 
I've owned the M50's before and it's no contest. The M50's are entry level and the Senns I would say are going right in at Mid-level.
For watching TV and games the 558 is great. Nice Soundstage and imaging!!  Both cans are for sure different in their sound.
The M50's are more V-shaped but for me the Bass is Loose, Sloppy and too Uncontrolled. The Mids are sucked out and the Treble has way too much Sizzle.
 The 558 on the other hand, is nice and smooth.  The Bass doesn't hit as hard but has so much better texture and decay, The Mids are creamy smooth (Details Galore here) and the Treble has a nice clean sparkle.  It does taper off a little too soon for me (I like a little more sparkle), and the Soundstage, The M50 only wishes it has this much.  The 558 IMO have better stage then the 600/650.
 
 Another thing is comfort, Forget it. 558 hands down. With the nice soft velours and hardly any clamp ( After some use).
 
 If you are in the States I recommend ADGTRON/DAKMART for a Factory Refurb 558.  They run from $99-$129 depending if bought from Amazon or Direct from their websites.  I took a chance and went right off ADGTRON's site for $99 and it was a perfect transaction.
Just email them first to see if they are in stock ( They don't list how many they have).
 
Mine were $105 shipped to my door. 
 
Feb 23, 2013 at 2:48 PM Post #4 of 8

streetdragon

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Personally for me i managed to A/B the M50 vs the HD558 at the shop. and you can see in my signature which one i ended up buying.
Overall the M50 has very little soundstage, kind of less than grados of its price. meanwhile the HD558 has a very wide soundstage.
For games and movies the HD558 is better no doubt, since the sound is more natural, immersive and transparent, and also does vocals very well and lifelike.
The M50 can be quite prone to sibilance, while the HD558 is known to lack subbass if you do the foam mod. (but both can be fixed with eq tuning)
Imo the only benefit of the M50 is isolation and portability, and maybe a more 'fun' V shape sound if you like that kind of sound sig.
and also as stated above, the M50 doesn't hold a candle in terms of comfort. The M50 comfort is decent, but the HD558 has huge valour earpads and a very deep earcup. makes most headphones out there seem uncomfortable in comparision.
last note: the postitioning of the HD558/HD598 headphone on your head is very important in its soundstage presentation, so play around with the placement (all directions, up down front and back)
 
Feb 24, 2013 at 7:33 AM Post #5 of 8

MysticKnightGR

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thanks guys your opinion is really appreciated and helpfull. Unfortunately I won't have the chance to try either of the headphones before I buy them. However, I will probably go with the 558 as I have a very positive experience with sennheiser in the past with cheaper headphones. Btw, what do you think about the foam mod? What are the pros/cons of it?
 
Feb 24, 2013 at 8:28 AM Post #8 of 8

streetdragon

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Go right to the higher end, better clarity and soundstage
 

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