Thoughts on sennheiser hd 558?

Dunlop0078

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Feb 13, 2014
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Im about to get a new pair of headphones. I was wondering your thoughts on the sennheiser HD 558s. They will mainly be used for gaming and occasional music, I would like some bass for games like battlefield 4 and the occasional bass heavy song but not so much that it takes away from the mids and highs. I have never experienced good headphones like these so im not really sure what I want or what would be best for my purposes. If you have any other recommendations in the 100 dollar price range please let me know.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the hd518/558/598 lineup all uses the same drivers. the difference is in build quality, pads used and design which makes the 518 side a bit more bassy with less soundstage and the 598 side less bassy and with more soundstage. in general the whole lineup can be considered neutral and laid back sounding.

if you want something with enough bass to be heard but not enough to consider the headphones bassy and in general like a neutral sounding headphone they are a good choice and you will likely be happy with them. they are not strong bass headphones by any means but more neutral. bass is there but do not expect super heavy drops like you will find on some bass heavy cans.

the 558 would be a better choice than the hxc (which is based on the takstar pro 80 by the way). the hxc is not bad but i think the 558 will sound a bit better to the op.

yes, there are headphones which are more advantageous for gaming however the op wants at least some bass and advantageous cans are such because hey lack bass so that would not really fit with what the ops wants. an example of said advantageous cans would be the ad500/700/900x lineup, q701, pc363d/gamezero/, mmx300 or similar products.

also its a misnomer that gaming marketed products are better. outside of some specfic examples which are made by headphone companies most gaming products are worse quality and worse sounding than available headphones. the hxc is not bad and does stand above most other gaming headsets (as well as a few others i listed before) though.

if the op is looking for "bass heavy" cans then there are certainly options for those though many as the op also noticed tend to detract from highs and mids.

the best advice would be to try and hear the headphones in person if at all possible. that is the only sure-fire way to know if you will like them as we are only listing conjecture based on what we know of the sound signature of products based on what you have said so far.
 

Pankaikz

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Jun 2, 2014
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My personal experiences with Sennheiser are nothing but postive. I don't have experience with the HD 558 in particular, but with headphones like the 600's. Anyway, the reviews that I have read on the 558's indicate that the bass is actually the headphone's weak point. Overall, I believe that they would be nice headphones for rock, country, classical (if that's your thing), etc., and not so much the bass heavy "urban" music. They wouldn't be bad for gaming, but I also don't believe that they'd necessarily be the best.

Personally, I would recommend a more gaming oriented unit. As of now, I am using a home theater set up, so I haven't been in the market for a gaming headset for a while. Though, I have spent some time reading reviews on them and it seems that the Kingston HyperX Cloud 2 is the all around best value in the $100 range. That is, for a gaming headset, I didn't look into more musically oriented units.

Here's a link to it on the HyperX website.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the hd518/558/598 lineup all uses the same drivers. the difference is in build quality, pads used and design which makes the 518 side a bit more bassy with less soundstage and the 598 side less bassy and with more soundstage. in general the whole lineup can be considered neutral and laid back sounding.

if you want something with enough bass to be heard but not enough to consider the headphones bassy and in general like a neutral sounding headphone they are a good choice and you will likely be happy with them. they are not strong bass headphones by any means but more neutral. bass is there but do not expect super heavy drops like you will find on some bass heavy cans.

the 558 would be a better choice than the hxc (which is based on the takstar pro 80 by the way). the hxc is not bad but i think the 558 will sound a bit better to the op.

yes, there are headphones which are more advantageous for gaming however the op wants at least some bass and advantageous cans are such because hey lack bass so that would not really fit with what the ops wants. an example of said advantageous cans would be the ad500/700/900x lineup, q701, pc363d/gamezero/, mmx300 or similar products.

also its a misnomer that gaming marketed products are better. outside of some specfic examples which are made by headphone companies most gaming products are worse quality and worse sounding than available headphones. the hxc is not bad and does stand above most other gaming headsets (as well as a few others i listed before) though.

if the op is looking for "bass heavy" cans then there are certainly options for those though many as the op also noticed tend to detract from highs and mids.

the best advice would be to try and hear the headphones in person if at all possible. that is the only sure-fire way to know if you will like them as we are only listing conjecture based on what we know of the sound signature of products based on what you have said so far.
 

Dunlop0078

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Feb 13, 2014
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Thanks for the replies. I ordered the HD 558s, they seem to be right fit for my first pair of good headphones from what you have said and all the reviews I have read I don't think I will be disappointed. I have seen some people recommend a headphone amp or a sound card with a headphone amp to get the most out them, do you think that would be worth it?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the 558's are not power hungry and are fairly easy to drive. some portables with poor amps and some very poor onboard audio or laptops may have issues but generally i would say you should not have much of an issue.

as always, i would test with your onboard first to see how they sound. i would only invest in a soundcard if you notice hissing, buzzing, distortion or if you have trouble powering the headphones. in any case even the cheap $30 xonar dg would be more than strong enough and even has features like virtual surround.
 

Dunlop0078

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Feb 13, 2014
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Alright, very helpful. Thanks again.
 

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