HD 555 vs HD 595 for unamped mp3 listening
Mar 11, 2006 at 9:29 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 48

musicmind

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Hi everyone

I have been reading the excellent posts on the forum to make my headphone purchase.
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Thanks to all who take time out to post here

Most of my audio is in the form of mp3's of various quality, mostly 128-192kbps, listened to on my ipod photo 60Gb or my notebook computer. My most listened genres are instrumental jazz (eg. wes montgomery, pat metheny, coltrane) and rock. I dont intend to use a dedicated headphone amp, so I am considering the lower impedance headphone models.

I have to decide between various Sennheiser models, because that is the only brand I can find with some ease. I would love to try Grado, Beyerdynamic etc but unfortunately I cant so.

I first considered the HD201, because it was good value, but the unplesant issue of resonant sibilants (esssss sounds) put me off. My impression is that the Senn 5x5 series is much more comfortable, has better bass, treble clarity and better soundstage. They are more expensive than HD201 but I figure it is worth it if u take ur listening pleasure quite seriously
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So I am left trying to decide between the HD 555 and HD 595. I want to make a once off purchase and wont be upgrading, since different models and makes are hard to come by where I live.
The HD 595 is twice the price for me as the HD 555. Even so, having read about the overall improved sound they offer, I am still willing to get the HD 595 for their long term enjoyment.

My question and concern is, will the added clarity and sound of the HD 595 become a "double edged sword" in that it will reveal the imperfections of my mp3's ? I do like high frequency clarity, which can make instruments sound great, but I am wondering whether I am going to have to EQ everything because the phones are too bright and make mp3s sound bad by being "too good" and exposing limitations of mp3 encoded music.

My current headset is the ipod buds which I feel are too bassy or veiled and lack high frequency clarity/air compared to my older pair of aiwa CD player buds.

I dont have the opportunity to test these phones, so I would value feedback from those that are using similar Senn models for unamped mp3 listening
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Many thanks, cheers
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 9:39 PM Post #2 of 48

jagorev

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Get the HD 595 only if you see yourself getting more into this hobby, adding an amp, getting better quality source files, etc.

Otherwise, I don't think your source justifies it. The 555 is more than enough headphone for this setup.
 
Mar 11, 2006 at 10:45 PM Post #4 of 48

musicmind

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Thanks for your replies.

So you guys would say that listening unamped , there is not much difference between HD 555 and HD 595 when listening to mp3 music files?

Both models should be equally easy to drive from an ipod or notebook, both being 50 ohms, so why is an amp needed to hear the difference of the HD 595 over the HD 555 ? Is it that slight a difference between the models?

I guess what I am curious/worried about is whether the improved qualities of the HD 595 over the HD 555 going to work against me by exposing the flaws of mp3 files ?
Perhaps it is a trade-off one faces when trying to go for an "unveiled" uncolured sound, that it may be less forgiving on the source quality...but then one could perhaps use some EQing.

At the moment I'm kinda tending towards the HD595....

Thanks
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 5:31 AM Post #8 of 48

photek

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I own the 555, never heard the 595, but my 50ohm 555s sound great with my mp3s, I listen to mp3s all the time on my computer and my sony mp3 cd player. Anyways if you got the 555 you wont be dissapointed, thats all i can say. But I've never listened to music on an ipod, my sony cd players eq is awesome.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 5:50 AM Post #9 of 48

TheSloth

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Sorry to be a pain, but just get the 595. You can find it at a very reasonable price if you do a bit of hunting around, and it works very well unamped. It's a much better headphone than the 555 in my opinion, that has a legitimate claim on the words 'high-end'. It's right up there with Sennheiser's best, which makes it right up there with everyone's best.

I don't think the source will make the difference between these headphones that much smaller.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 6:39 AM Post #10 of 48

musicmind

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Thanks a lot for your responses.

The HD 595 is no doubt superior to the HD 555 in many ways, and I've "decided" to buy them a few times this week. They look like the best affordable higher-end headphone.
Then I read things like the headroom write-up :

" The detail and depth do come at the price of a fine grain in the sound"
and
"slightly brighter than the HD600s with a livelier, more forward presentation."

(http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-ma...ser-hd-595.php)

which makes me nervous about whether the HD 595 is going to make most mp3's painful to listen to because they are such a detailed set of cans. Maybe this detail would be lovely when listening to a well recorded CD, but I am a bit worried about mp3's, which is my main music source at the present time.

Maybe someone who uses some HD 595's with ipod or notebook can put me at ease, so I can go ahead and by a set
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My only chance is to get them brand new as I dont have ebay etc where I live, and it will be costing a me almost double the price of the HD 555.
What the heck, the included headphone holder should be worth the extra money right?
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Thanks, cheers
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 6:59 AM Post #11 of 48

TheSloth

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The 595's aren't bright. They are just a little brighter than the 6xx, which are considered by many here to be 'dark' (not by me...
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). They are certainly never strident in the high end, and MP3's etc. tend to be somewhat rolled off at the high end, not strident.

And we love the headphone holder. I still have and use the one from my 595's that I eventually sold as I simply didn't need them. Don't be discouraged though, you can see from my sig what I use instead.
 
Mar 12, 2006 at 9:20 PM Post #14 of 48

darkninja67

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I will mirror TheSloth's comments. The 595s are not bright but pretty well balanced on most recordings and encoding I have. It does not need an amp to sound good. I would recommend good rips if you are using PC based playback though.
 

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