HD 558 Amp vs No Amp
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Lumos

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  Without an amp, how are they? Are they good/better than the M50's? I ordered the 558's and I hope they're good.
I have very limited experience with M50 hence take it as a grain of salt.
However it will have a way less bass and only advantage I might think is a bigger soundstage, probably more warm, less upper mids- less pronounced vocal. 
 
Better is very subjective term and phones in this price range are not better in general. They just do different aspects of sound differently so you have to find which is right for you
 
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  I have very limited experience with M50 hence take it as a grain of salt.
However it will have a way less bass and only advantage I might think is a bigger soundstage, probably more warm, less upper mids- less pronounced vocal. 
 
Better is very subjective term and phones in this price range are not better in general. They just do different aspects of sound differently so you have to find which is right for you
Ah, interesting. I've heard others say that the 558's are better/more enjoyable as well. I'll probably try the Momentum's next.
 
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  You seem a bit self loathing there hahaha... I think were allowed to call it crap xD  The guy owns his own blog, he doesn't post sources or any factual data, it's all just biased opinions.
 
You might call my article crap - I will accept it - but you shouldn´t assume that it´s just biased opinion.
 
It´s a simple, measurable fact that a high output impedance of any amp will cause a more or less strong frequency deviation on susceptible headphones. Many headphone outputs of stationary amps (and I didn´t mean stationary, dedicated headphone amps) have an output impedance of 120 Ohms or more. The HD-558/598 are very susceptible headphones - as proven by the impedance/frequency relation measured by headroom.com.
 
Meaning: with some (many?) amps the HD-558/598 will sound way more bassy.
 
Do you like that deviation? Do you like neutrality more? Those are questions you have to answer yourself. But don´t call my article biased just because you don´t understand the relation of output impedance vs. headphone impedance response.
 
I assumed knowledge about issues as these to be commonplace; obviously, I was wrong.
 
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You might call my article crap - I will accept it - but you shouldn´t assume that it´s just biased opinion.
 
It´s a simple, measurable fact that a high output impedance of any amp will cause a more or less strong frequency deviation on susceptible headphones. Many headphone outputs of stationary amps (and I didn´t mean stationary, dedicated headphone amps) have an output impedance of 120 Ohms or more. The HD-558/598 are very susceptible headphones - as proven by the impedance/frequency relation measured by headroom.com.
 
Meaning: with some (many?) amps the HD-558/598 will sound way more bassy.
 
Do you like that deviation? Do you like neutrality more? Those are questions you have to answer yourself. But don´t call my article biased just because you don´t understand the relation of output impedance vs. headphone impedance response.
 
I assumed knowledge about issues as these to be commonplace; obviously, I was wrong.
Sorry didn't write that with the intention of you reading it.  In hindsight I shouldn't have called it crap.  I read it all and enjoyed it, I was more trying to get purpleangel to say if the info was crap or not. Thanks for the information, and sorry if I offended you, it wasn't my intention.
 
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  Without an amp, how are they? Are they good/better than the M50's? I ordered the 558's and I hope they're good.
 
Yes, a thousand times yes, I much prefer my 558s to my M50s. I haven't picked up my M50s since I got the 558s, the sound is much more detailed, and fun to listen to for me.  I've heard people say that they are lacking in bass, but I find it's satisfactory for most music (this is coming from a basshead mind you), it's definitely not a bass cannon, but you don't miss anything, it's just not as pronounced as bass centered cans such as the M50s. I've listened to EDM & other bass heavier stuff with them, and could hear everything just fine. You can see from some of the discussions that they can sound cleaner through computer output as to having them amped, so no worries there!
 
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Yes, a thousand times yes, I much prefer my 558s to my M50s. I haven't picked up my M50s since I got the 558s, the sound is much more detailed, and fun to listen to for me.  I've heard people say that they are lacking in bass, but I find it's satisfactory for most music (this is coming from a basshead mind you), it's definitely not a bass cannon, but you don't miss anything, it's just not as pronounced as bass centered cans such as the M50s. I've listened to EDM & other bass heavier stuff with them, and could hear everything just fine. You can see from some of the discussions that they can sound cleaner through computer output as to having them amped, so no worries there!
Thank you for the info, dude. I also enjoy a little bass but I think the 558's sound pretty good. And I'll definitely be using them with my computer mostly. Might be trying the Momentum's/HD 650's next. Do you also know anything about them?
 
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  Thank you for the info, dude. I also enjoy a little bass but I think the 558's sound pretty good. And I'll definitely be using them with my computer mostly. Might be trying the Momentum's/HD 650's next. Do you also know anything about them?
 
Keep in mind I have no first hand experience with the 650s or Momentums, but I'll post anyways from what I've read.It sort of depends on how you like the feel of the 558s.  The HD650s will be open backed like the 558s, and similar in sound signature but with more bass, and improved details in the mid to high range.  The momentums are going to be closed back, so less detail, a smaller sound stage/less instrument separation than the 650s. On the upside though they have a much stronger bass/sub bass.  Keep in mind if you get the 650s, you will need an amp, there's no question about it, but the momentums can easily be driven by ipod/phone/computer. Hope this helps a little bit! 
 
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Keep in mind I have no first hand experience with the 650s or Momentums, but I'll post anyways from what I've read.It sort of depends on how you like the feel of the 558s.  The HD650s will be open backed like the 558s, and similar in sound signature but with more bass, and improved details in the mid to high range.  The momentums are going to be closed back, so less detail, a smaller sound stage/less instrument separation than the 650s. On the upside though they have a much stronger bass/sub bass.  Keep in mind if you get the 650s, you will need an amp, there's no question about it, but the momentums can easily be driven by ipod/phone/computer. Hope this helps a little bit! 
I've also read some people saying that the 650 are a big improvement over the 558's and that they require an amp. Can you explain why exactly you can't just use it out of the box without an amp? And what an amp does exactly? And what's the best type to get? And have you used one? And I think I may get the 650's for home use and the Momentum's for on-the-go usage when I'm out and about. Thanks! 

 
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  I've also read some people saying that the 650 are a big improvement over the 558's and that they require an amp. Can you explain why exactly you can't just use it out of the box without an amp? And what an amp does exactly? And what's the best type to get? And have you used one? And I think I may get the 650's for home use and the Momentum's for on-the-go usage when I'm out and about. Thanks! 
 
I'm not the best to explain this, so if anyone sees something off please correct me.
The HD650s require more current to produce a "loud enough" signal.  An amp takes a signal and amps (amplifies/boosts) it.  Technically speaking a solid state amp is the best type of amp if you're looking for accurate representation of music, but some people like the sound of tube amps, there really is no right or wrong here.  Yes I have used one, I have the Shiit Magni.  If I were to recommend any amp to someone starting out, it would be this one.  It's solid state, and allows for a wide range of different headphones to be used with it. ie. high impedance cans such as the HD 650, down to low impedance cans such as Denon AHD2000, ATHm50s, etc.  The best part is that it's only $100 and comes with a 2  yr warranty.
 
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I'm not the best to explain this, so if anyone sees something off please correct me.
The HD650s require more current to produce a "loud enough" signal.  An amp takes a signal and amps (amplifies/boosts) it.  Technically speaking a solid state amp is the best type of amp if you're looking for accurate representation of music, but some people like the sound of tube amps, there really is no right or wrong here.  Yes I have used one, I have the Shiit Magni.  If I were to recommend any amp to someone starting out, it would be this one.  It's solid state, and allows for a wide range of different headphones to be used with it. ie. high impedance cans such as the HD 650, down to low impedance cans such as Denon AHD2000, ATHm50s, etc.  The best part is that it's only $100 and comes with a 2  yr warranty.
Thanks so much for your fast response! :D
 
What you said makes sense. I've heard that the amp takes a signal and boosts it. I've been curious if I should get one for some time and as soon as I have a bit more money, I'll be buying some 650's, a Shiit Magni and possibly some Momentum's. I like the sound of the warranty and the 100 dollar price tag too. Very cool stuff. I'm certainly gonna check this out.
 
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  I've also read some people saying that the 650 are a big improvement over the 558's and that they require an amp. Can you explain why exactly you can't just use it out of the box without an amp? And what an amp does exactly? And what's the best type to get? And have you used one? And I think I may get the 650's for home use and the Momentum's for on-the-go usage when I'm out and about. Thanks! 
 
I'm not the best to explain this, so if anyone sees something off please correct me.
The HD650s require more current to produce a "loud enough" signal.  An amp takes a signal and amps (amplifies/boosts) it.  Technically speaking a solid state amp is the best type of amp if you're looking for accurate representation of music, but some people like the sound of tube amps, there really is no right or wrong here.  Yes I have used one, I have the Shiit Magni.  If I were to recommend any amp to someone starting out, it would be this one.  It's solid state, and allows for a wide range of different headphones to be used with it. ie. high impedance cans such as the HD 650, down to low impedance cans such as Denon AHD2000, ATHm50s, etc.  The best part is that it's only $100 and comes with a 2  yr warranty.
 
HD650 = Higher impedance = greater voltage swing required. Planar headphones = Lower impedance (and sensitivity) = more current required. 
 
Without requiring a great technical understanding of how amps work, the easiest way to figure out whether you are getting good results from a high impedance can through any device is by listening to a good acoustic recording both on a known good amp and the device, using a decent source. On a very good amp the perceived soundstage will be wide, with instruments clearly delineated. On a poor amp the music will come across as just a "blob" in the middle. An improvement over whatever you have now would be less blob and more a wider stereo image. 
 
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  I've also read some people saying that the 650 are a big improvement over the 558's and that they require an amp. Can you explain why exactly you can't just use it out of the box without an amp? And what an amp does exactly? And what's the best type to get? And have you used one? And I think I may get the 650's for home use and the Momentum's for on-the-go usage when I'm out and about. Thanks! 

I also have read this ,,impressions'' and bought HD650 after HD598 and 558. I don't find HD650 really ,,better'' sounding. Yes they do have more bass but it is not very articulate and tight. hence they are more warm and expensive, not really clear and fast.
 
In your case I would stay away from Sennheiser and spend my money on AKG  K712/Q701 or Beyerdinamic DT880 600 (600 Ohm preferably) or possibly used HE500 or newer HE400i
 
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  Sorry didn't write that with the intention of you reading it.  In hindsight I shouldn't have called it crap.  I read it all and enjoyed it, I was more trying to get purpleangel to say if the info was crap or not. Thanks for the information, and sorry if I offended you, it wasn't my intention.
 
Don´t worry about it. I´m used to the fact that people regard some of my articles to be crap :wink:
 
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  Thank you for the info, dude. I also enjoy a little bass but I think the 558's sound pretty good. And I'll definitely be using them with my computer mostly. Might be trying the Momentum's/HD 650's next. Do you also know anything about them?
 
Might I chime in?
 
The Momentum is a very nice headphones. Lots of bass, but not too much. In comparison to the 558 it lacks a bit of air. I liked most of the sound when I reviewed it... the reason why I didn´t buy it in the end was the small size of their earcups. And... the stage sounds - to my ears - wrong: wide yet shallow -> http://marlene-d.blogspot.de/2014/04/mini-reviews-sennheiser-momentum.html
 
Instead of the HD-650, why don´t you have a look at the HD-600? The HD-650 tends to be too warm on occasion, the HD-600 is more neutral. Both aren´t the fastest headphones in the world (if that´s your thing) but both are famous for being fairly neutral (and rightly so). To be at their best, they need to be amped though, they need lots of power to be sufficiently loud. An amp like the FiiO E09 is perfect for them.
 
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I also have read this ,,impressions'' and bought HD650 after HD598 and 558. I don't find HD650 really ,,better'' sounding. Yes they do have more bass but it is not very articulate and tight. hence they are more warm and expensive, not really clear and fast.
 
In your case I would stay away from Sennheiser and spend my money on AKG  K712/Q701 or Beyerdinamic DT880 600 (600 Ohm preferably) or possibly used HE500 or newer HE400i
  Thanks so much for your fast response! :D
 
What you said makes sense. I've heard that the amp takes a signal and boosts it. I've been curious if I should get one for some time and as soon as I have a bit more money, I'll be buying some 650's, a Shiit Magni and possibly some Momentum's. I like the sound of the warranty and the 100 dollar price tag too. Very cool stuff. I'm certainly gonna check this out.
 
I can definitely vouch for Hifiman, used to have a pair of He-400s, and the details were amazing, with a very nice bass.  You can get a used set of He-400s for around $250 on the for sale forums, which I think is an amazing deal.  They're also easy to drive, so you can put off getting an amp a little bit longer if you want :p
 
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