Sennheiser 555 VS 595
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Reck45

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Ok I've seen a lot of debate over this. Can we get an official word which is better? I'm about to buy some new headphones and I don't wanna turn around later and be like you know pissed off I could have got something better. I've narrowed it down to these 2 models. I know that they have pretty much the same sonic signature but is the 595s really worth twice as much? Is there anyway to kill the placeabo that's so prevalent around here?
 
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boodi

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today i listened to hd555
I'd say they are mid-fi headphones , highs tamed and bass deep but not deepest , detail ok ( sure not overdetailed ) , comfort great , a bit on the microphonic side .I expected a bit more from the readings here and I would try to get hd595 if they do things a bit better .
hope that helps
 
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wctkdman

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I am also on the verge of getting these cans, and am wondering the same thing. I have searched the threads, but the answer still isn't very clear. How would they compare unamped from a portable source? I think there wouldn't be too much difference until an amp comes into play, but this is all just a guess.
 
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Jasper994

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If Good Guys would get there act together I'd let you guys know but unfortunately it's taking them a while to get me my 595's... When I do have them I'll do a review probably two weeks after I get them.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by boodi
today i listened to hd555
I'd say they are mid-fi headphones , highs tamed and bass deep but not deepest , detail ok ( sure not overdetailed ) , comfort great , a bit on the microphonic side .I expected a bit more from the readings here and I would try to get hd595 if they do things a bit better .
hope that helps



This is exactly what I would say about the HD 555 after listening to them in a shop. I wasn't in an ideal listening situation. I haven't heard the HD 595.
 
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pp312

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I feel for you guys. It's frustrating when you're trying to decide and everyone's giving mixed signals. I'm just glad I ordered my 595s before I read any of these comments, because if I had I wouldn't have...ordered, that is. I can only repeat what I've said in other threads, that after listening to phones since the late 60s and owning probably a couple of dozen good ones I'm very glad I bought the 595s--my search is over for some time. These are definitely NOT mid-fi phones, as comments from Headroom and Jan Meier will confirm. So I can only say that if the 555s sound like mid-fi phones then the 595 is MUCH better (assuming the 555 was burned in and the source was decent). The 595 IS microphonic, though. This is the worst aspect of these phones and something Sennheiser should have addressed. I'm in the process of experimenting with ordinary gaffa tape in an attempt to tame the microphony; I may post later on that. Meantime I'd urge you to either re-read the more professional comments on the 595 or be prepared to wait for one of the mags to review them--or else wait till the reviews start building up on AudioReview. Personally I've always found the reviews here oddly contradictory, which may be to do with the expectedly idiosyncratic nature of people who would persistently post to a headphone site over a long period. Usually when I want to get an overall picture of a phone I look to AudioReview and hope there are more than fifteen reviews. However, with the 595 that may be a long time.
 
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Reck45, I think you would be happy with both the 555 and the 595 but if you can stretch your budget I would go for the 595 because it would stop me wondering what I missed out on and stop the urge to upgrade later. In the end it comes down to what you can afford and whether you would be happy with yourself, with that purchase. I think I will end up getting the HD 595, or if I can afford it I may go for the HD 650 but that's a different price jump again. I think the price difference between the 555 & 595 is greater than the sonic difference between the two headphones, from what I have read here, and the two are marketed at different segments of the market. The 555 is probably slightly underpriced while the 595 may be slightly overpriced. This makes us think there may be a big sonic difference but really it's a matter of whether the difference is important to you. Some people claim that the two are very close in sound so Sennheiser is taking advantage of those of us that want the best and are willing to pay for it.
 
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Reck45

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Thanks for the replies. What do you mean by "microphonic"? You mean like tunneled? I searched around someone was saying the 555 sound a lot better than the 497s and yet they bothe have A THD of %0.2, the only adavantage I see in the 555s over these is that the have greater frequency response, that shouldn't even be detectable to the human ear. So it seems like the specs don't mean much. That's why I've been searching for the seemingly elusive answer here. Oh and boodi that's pretty contradictory to what gs said, he said they have lots of detail... I really wanna find out if the 555 do indeed sound tinny...
 
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pp312

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Reck45
What do you mean by "microphonic"? You mean like tunneled?


Microphonic means it acts like a microphone--that is, if you tap the shell or casing (or even cord) of the phone it seems to amplify the sound. Very annoying, though I guess if you're going to sit still while listening it isn't all that much of a problem.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reck45
I searched around someone was saying the 555 sound a lot better than the 497s and yet they bothe have A THD of %0.2, the only adavantage I see in the 555s over these is that the have greater frequency response, that shouldn't even be detectable to the human ear. So it seems like the specs don't mean much.


You're right--the specs don't mean much. Take them with a grain of salt. The frequency response CAN tell you something, but only in terms of relative level of the different bands--don't take too much notice of all the high frequency wiggles, they're mostly a result of the sheer difficulty of measuring headphones. As for 497 v. 555, you're comparing phones in two different quality categories. If the 555 is half as good as the 595, then it's four times as good as a 497. Simple maths really.
 
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I just came across this thread whilst looking for reviews etc on the Sennheiser HD 555 and 595.

Having read the comment about the 595's being microphonic, can I assume that they would be of no use with a personal stereo. I would imagine from what has been said that every knock of the wire, as you walk around, would constantly interrupt your listening experience.

In which case, is it safe to assume that if I were looking at a pair of Sennheisers for use with my Hi Fi, and occasional use on a personal system, would I be better off going with the 555's?

The only other concern I have is about the size of these cans. They look pretty big in most of the pictures I've seen, and I haven't had an opportunity to audition either set of headphones. Are they ridiculously large for personal stereo use?
 
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I think they are too big for portable use and, being open, they let sound in and out.
 
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pp312

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hier
Having read the comment about the 595's being microphonic, can I assume that they would be of no use with a personal stereo. I would imagine from what has been said that every knock of the wire, as you walk around, would constantly interrupt your listening experience.


Not really. Depending on what you were listening to you'd be unlikely to be bothered. I found the cord annoying while wearing a jacket as the collar kept rubbing on it, but then I listen to softer music (sometimes!). Microphony is more an occasional irritation than a reason not to buy a particular headphone.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hier
In which case, is it safe to assume that if I were looking at a pair of Sennheisers for use with my Hi Fi, and occasional use on a personal system, would I be better off going with the 555's?


Not really. The 555 is more or less physically identical with, presumably, the same faults and virtues. It comes down to more refined sound vs. higher cost. Some say there's hardly any difference; some say there's a large difference. Go figure.

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Originally Posted by Hier
The only other concern I have is about the size of these cans. They look pretty big in most of the pictures I've seen, and I haven't had an opportunity to audition either set of headphones. Are they ridiculously large for personal stereo use?


They're surprisingly petite by Senn standards, actually quite slimline. Still large enough to attract looks though, but at least you could content yourself that you're not wearing AKG 1000's. (There's a thread here somewhere with some bad-ass looking dude wearing a 595. Worth checkng out).
 
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Hier

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Thanks for the responses.

If the size isn't much of a problem, and the microphony won't really interfere with more dynamic music, then it will have to be the 595's: especially as most of my listening will be done at home. As it is I will have to invest in an headphone-amp to use these with the new Naim Nait5 amplifier I just ordered: so I suspect that the 595's are going to benefit most from this set-up.

Yes I might look ridiculous with a big set of cans attached to my personal stereo, but assuming the 595's are circumaural, at least my ears will be warm. As pp312 said, they could be AKG's.

With regard to them being open-backed, that's something I'm going to have to live with. I recently auditioned a set of closed back Sennheiser HD25's and I just didn't like the in-ear sound at all.

The only other thing that is now holding me back, is the question of whether or not a portable stereo will be able to power the 595's. I recently read some comments that the HD 600's were near impossible to drive from a personal system, and I was wondering if the 595's would suffer from the same problem.

One last thing. Do the 595's have a straight cable, or is it coiled?
 
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Bantai

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The cable is straight.

Fellow HD595 users, did you notice an abnormal vibration in the right earcup at low frequencies? Note that I have used them about a week, a lot hours a day.

I am somewhat dissapointed with them, but maybe mine are a bit defective...? They sound a bit muddy here, even though I tried several sources (m-audio fw audiophile, yamaha ax-492 and others) and besides thatit seems like the center is just a tiny bit left from the center - as if drums are more punchier at the left.

Sine Sweep 20 - ~148 Hz

I hope it's not my negative imagination..


Hi, by the way.
 
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