Best Sennheiser HD 558 Black Friday 2020

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Deal Score0

The Sennheiser HD range houses some legendary headphones – the HD 650 and HD 800 are two of the very most praised sets in the world, and today they have a new-born brother. The HD 558 is a mid-range model, retailing for about £130. Let’s find out if indeed they deserve to hold around with the big boys.

The Sennheiser HD 558 look nearly the same as the others of Sennheiser’s new-breed headphones, the HD 518 and HD 598. Sitting between your middle of both, they’re not crafted completely out of luxury materials, nonetheless they offer the main factors – comfort and sound quality.


Each ear pad is lined with soft, very comfortable velour, as may be the headband. The leather and wood trimmings of the HD 598 are absent, however the two are comparable regarding comfort. You can wear these headphones the whole day without even the slightest hint of discomfort. They clamp on your head fairly securely, in order to avoid slipping when moving, or dancing around, and at 260g they’re very light for a full-size pair.

The large cups surround your ears, so if you don’t have particularly large lobes, the HD 558 should only conclude touching your mind, not your ears. Like Sennheiser’s other over-the-ears models, the headband is manually-adjustable, clicking into place at defined increments. It doesn’t manually modify to your mind size.

Aesthetically, the stand-out feature of the Sennheiser HD 558 may be the outer covering of every cup. This oval speaker grille is covered in translucent black mesh material, surrounded by a silver plastic trim. It’s less inclined to offend compared to the slatted look of the HD 518 headphones’ backs, but also looks a whole lot cheaper compared to the full metal grille of the HD 598. This defines the HD 558’s gameplan – the substance of the bigger model, without each of the styling tweaks.
The trunk grille here does flex just a little under great pressure, but otherwise construction is top-notch. Apart from the padding, all the obvious surfaces are plastic, however the headphones are tough and largely creak-free.

The cable pipes-out from underneath of the left cup, and is removable. The two 2.5mm jack is kept set up with a fasten included in the rubber-coated jack, rendering it easy to replace the cable in the event you stepped on it with an office chair one way too many times. Cables are designed for under £15.


The 3m cable leads to a full-size 6.3mm jack, but a 3.5mm converter is bundled within the package. With this tacked-on, the jack housing is huge though, reinforcing that can be an at-home set, not just one to be exhausted and about.

If you do opt to take the Sennheiser HD 558 out with you, passers-by should be able to hear what you’re hearing as they’re open-backed headphones. The perforated back grille of every cup leaks sound, and in addition implies that they offer hardly any isolation from the noise of the exterior world. They’re next-to useless on public transport, unless your aim is to annoy your fellow passengers.

As an at-home pair though, they’re utterly brilliant. With an in depth, smooth and balanced sound, they are able to undertake all genres of music and delight the ear. They trade away a number of the bass thickness of the cheaper HD 518 set, however in return provide superior separation and dynamics, and a far more robust mid-range. Complicated musical arrangements remain coherent, which stepping-away from a far more low-end focused approach makes better still make use of the airiness made available from an open-back design. The treble is detailed and refined, only the bass could do with a lttle bit of a tightening-up.


To progress sound within Sennheiser’s HD range, you’ll need to intensify to the HD 600/650 – which cost at least twice the purchase price. With them should come more musicality and greater dynamics, but that’s never to advise the HD 558 won’t gratify discerning ears.

These lower-end 5** models also use lower-impedance 50Ohm drivers, instead of the 300Ohm 6-series models, lessening the necessity for a dedicated headphone amplifier. An excellent amplifier can still increase the sound – our test valve amp added just a little low-end power – but these cheaper headphones certainly are a great choice if you need to keep your setup simple, and affordable.


Clarity fiends may choose to consider the AKG K271 MKII, and bassheads something similar to the Ultrasone HFI-680, but as an all-rounder that may accommodate nearly all tastes, the Sennheiser HD 558 are incredibly tough to beat at the purchase price. Their fairly neutral sound can skip between rock and classical tracks with out a slip, and in addition makes them an outstanding choice for sticking right into a television set or receiver for late-night TV or movie-watching.

Verdict

The Sennheiser HD 558 are an outstanding entry way into high-end audio. Detailed, refined and smooth-sounding, they never offend the ear and don’t spend any moment on surface level details just like the HD 598. They skip between genres, and between music, movies and TV, easily, and so are supremely comfortable to wear.

Score in detail

  • Value 9
  • Design & Features 8
  • Sound Quality 9

Features

  • Type Open Air (Circumaural)
  • Wireless No
  • Noise Cancelling No
  • Microphone No
  • Inline Volume No
  • Number of Drivers (Times) 1x
  • Modular Cabling No
  • Remote Control No

Pros

  • Refined, detailed sound
  • Detachable cable
  • Extremely comfortable


Cons

  • Grille looks just a little cheap


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £130.04
  • 15 – 28,000 Hz frequency response
  • 50Ohm impedance
  • 3m detachable cable

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