upgrade from HD497 to HD555 ?
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sebb

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Hi,

It's been a long time. Maybe time for upgrade... (I know, sorry 'bout my wallet...).

I have my Shure E2C for travel. No need for change, better sound quality would be useless given the listening conditions (airplane, mall, ...).

I have my HD497 for home listening: 50% from laptop, 50% from my iRiver H140. All music is well-encoded 192+ kbps MP3. Here maybe possible to get better sound for reasonably amount of money. So the question is:

Given my sources and MP3 quality, given I don't want an amp, would the HD555 provide significant sound quality improvement ? And second question, would the HD555 be as efficient as my HD497 ? (I know the impedances are different, but I've read about the decent efficiency of the HD555).

Thanks for your opinions on this.
 
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phonatic

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sebb
Hi,

It's been a long time. Maybe time for upgrade... (I know, sorry 'bout my wallet...).

I have my Shure E2C for travel. No need for change, better sound quality would be useless given the listening conditions (airplane, mall, ...).

I have my HD497 for home listening: 50% from laptop, 50% from my iRiver H140. All music is well-encoded 192+ kbps MP3. Here maybe possible to get better sound for reasonably amount of money. So the question is:

Given my sources and MP3 quality, given I don't want an amp, would the HD555 provide significant sound quality improvement ? And second question, would the HD555 be as efficient as my HD497 ? (I know the impedances are different, but I've read about the decent efficiency of the HD555).

Thanks for your opinions on this.



You'll get a bit more from HD 555, probably. Both of your players can drive the 50 ohm version decently. If you can find a good price on HD 595, you might just go straight to it. If you like HD 497 sound, you will like the 555 or 595 too.
 
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jerryg

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HD-497 is pretty good, top of the sennheiser 4XX series , I wouldn't say buying a HD-555 is called an upgrade, there isn't much significant improvement, you should at least get a HD-595.
 
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spike33

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jerryg, I am shocked at your comment. 555 is a HUGE improvement over 497. 555 is closer to 595 than 497 is to 555. For ampless, I'd definately recommend 555 over 595.
 
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porschemad911

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Hi. I had Senn 497 until around two weeks ago, when I upgraded to Senn 595. It was a huge improvement! Night and day difference!

Of course, I don't know how much better than 555 the 595 is, but 497 to 595 was a huge jump. Many people place the 555 just below the 595, so whether the price difference is worth it to you is something for you to think about.
 
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jerryg

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hmm.. it look like so many ppl here ownes a HD-555, no wonder ....

but before you guys saying how much better is HD-555,i doubt you guys haven't even tried a pair of HD-497.
 
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EdipisReks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jerryg
hmm.. it look like so many ppl here ownes a HD-555, no wonder ....

but before you guys saying how much better is HD-555,i doubt you guys haven't even tried a pair of HD-497.



i have heard both the 555 and the 497's extensively.
 
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jerryg

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me too, but i don't hear significant improvement,at least not significant enought to purchase another pair, what was ur sound source and what type of music u have tried on?

Quote:

Originally Posted by EdipisReks
i have heard both the 555 and the 497's extensively.


 
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S_Dedalus

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I'd say that either the 555 or 595 would work fine, although I haven't heard a pair of 497's in 2 years. Whenever I get the chance to listen to the 5X5 series, I can never tell the difference between amps aside from flavor and noise level, I don't think they really need a great amp to sound like what they should sound like.
 
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EdipisReks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jerryg
me too, but i don't hear significant improvement, what was ur sound source and what type of music u have tried on?


iPod with Xin Supermini playing Lossless, mostly. the music has been everything from classical to progressive metal.
 
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jerryg

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i tired on a CD player, HD-555 sounds darker and distant.
 
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sebb

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Thanks for your replies.

I forgot to say that another reason would be to go from supra-aural to circum-aural for improved comfort.

Anyway, lots of different opinions here, although a slight agreement on significant sound quality improvement. Going to 595, given the price, is not an option for the moment (same is for an amp: I don't want to open the gates to infinite upgrades...).

About efficiency, can people owning (or having owned) both headphones tell me how they compare ? I mean if I plug them to my iRiver player with volume set on 20/40, will they both give the same audio power ? I'm asking that because I sometimes listen to my 497 on iRiver with volume on 25/40, and I would not like to go a lot higher with a 555, risking audio distortions...

Thanks again !
 
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EdipisReks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jerryg
i tired on a CD player, HD-555 sounds darker and distant.


that is merely because the 497's are fairly bright, forward phones. it really doesn't tell us anything about the overall quality of each, however. to me, the 555's have more extension, are smoother, are more detailed and have better soundstage.
 
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sebb

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HD555 ordered !

I know, it would have been much wiser to go for some extensive listening tests, but it's hard to find shops proposing that, and no available time in the next 14-days, so... I made it, inspired by all the discussions about the 555's in this forum, and provided I like the overall Senn sound...
 
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