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Sennheiser HD 518 Headphones (Black)
|Price:||$159.82 + $5.18 shipping|
- Open, circumaural headphones
- E.A.R. Technology ensures accurate channeling of Audio signals
- Duofol diaphragms reduce unwanted resonances to a minimum
- Padded ear pads & headband cushion provide outstanding wearing comfort
- Highly optimized, field-strengthened neodymium Ferrous Magnet systems for excellent dynamic response
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|Sold By||NHeStore||Loop Savings||Precision Audio||Shake_Light||Amazon.com||Red-Tag Pricing|
|Item Dimensions||9.45 x 3.94 x 8.07 in||4.33 x 6.69 x 7.48 in||7.4 x 4.17 x 7.87 in||3.6 x 8 x 9 in||5 x 11 x 88 in||9.45 x 3.94 x 8.07 in|
|Item Weight||1.2 lbs||0.66 lb||7.8 ounces||—||0.58 lb||0.6 lb|
|Additional Features||Dj-Style||50mm neodymium Drivers Deliver Full Spectrum of Sound, 3m cable gives you freedom of movement for indoor use||ios-phone-control||ios-phone-control||lightweight||lightweight|
The Sennheiser HD 518 open, circumaural headphones prove that quality and affordability can go hand in hand. They are fitted with Sennheiser’s innovative E.A.R. technology to ensure accurate channeling of audio signals into your ears while their sophisticated Duofol diaphragms reduce unwanted resonances to an absolute minimum. And to amplify your listening pleasure even further, their ear pads and headband cushion provide outstanding wearing comfort, even for long listening sessions.
From the Manufacturer
The Sennheiser HD 518 open, circumaural headphones prove that quality and affordability can go hand in hand. They are fitted with Sennheiser's innovative E.A.R. technology to ensure accurate channeling of audio signals into your ears while their sophisticated Duofol diaphragms reduce unwanted resonances to an absolute minimum. And to amplify your listening pleasure even further, their ear pads and headband cushion provide outstanding wearing comfort, even for long listening sessions.
Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement (E.A.R.) for High Performance
These high-end open circumaural headphones use E.A.R. technology for outstanding sonic accuracy and clarity. Sennheiser's innovative "Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement" (E.A.R.) design channels audio signals directly into your ears. State-of-the-art, advanced Duofol diaphragms deliver transparency and minimal distortion, while highly optimised, field-strengthened neodymium ferrous magnet systems yield an excellent dynamic response. A surround reflector creates an extended spatial sound field for the lightweight aluminium voice coils chosen for high efficiency and excellent dynamics. The special diaphragm geometry reduces intermodulation distortion, while highly constant, compressed cellulose fleece reduces total harmonic distortion.
For more than 60 years the name Sennheiser has stood for the highest quality products and customised solutions across all areas of sound recording, transmission and reproduction. As one of the world's leading providers of integrated solutions for electro-acoustic products, systems and services, Sennheiser constantly meets the challenges of developing creative answers which satisfy the requests and requirements of customers.
What's in the Box?
Sennheiser HD 518 Audiophile Headphones, 3.5mm plug adapter, warranty.
- Transducer type: Dynamic, open
- Headphone type: Circumaural
- Frequency response: 14 - 26,000 Hz
- Total harmonic distortion: < 0.2% (1 kHz/100 dB SPL)
- Sound pressure level (SPL): 108 dB
- Impedance: 50 Ohms
- Cable length: 3m
- Jack plug: 6.3mm
- Weight: 255g
Top customer reviews
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Before buying, I spent a lot of time reading reviews of several different brands and models. I tried to find a store that had them available for live listening, but didn't find them. As a general aside, finding a place where you can audition different headphones, side by side, is getting harder and harder to do. In any event, this set won out for me on several counts:
1. Around-the-ear means more comfort, better sound delivery and "soundstage" as audiophiles like to say. I also think that the large pads that sit around the ear, provide a crucial offset wherein the sound can develop before it hits your ear. So in a way, there is less immediate pressure on those sensitive ear drums?
2. Replaceable pads.
3. Replaceable cord!! One of my major gripes about headphones is the fragile, thin cable you often see. If you or somebody steps on it, you're headphones are screwed, unless you're pretty good with detailed soldering. Or buy these.
4. Full sound. The quality of your listening is going to be limited by the medium and recording quality, for sure. But good headphones like these at least help ensure the limitation isn't on your end!
5. "Being there". Well, again, depends upon the delivery medium before it hits your headphones. But with live radio/tv and live performance, I get a pretty good listening experience.
6. "Realistic" sound. That is, I detect no special rigging of the headphones to artificially sweeten or beef up the sound. The sound range (low to high) is quite good and bass sounds neither superficial or overwhelming. I suppose if you like your bass strong enough to cause convulsions, then these are not your headphones.
-To be picky, no carrying bag. I do take these back and forth to work each day. I just stick them in my work bag, along with all of the other junk. I think I'd have paid a bit more to get a carry case.
-No inline volume control. Well, I'm not too lazy that I can't lean over and adjust the volume on whatever I'm plugged into.
These are really fine headphones. If you have a more refined aural sensibility (I'm jealous!), you may quibble over more issues. That's fine. These are not HD headphones. But, they are darned well great headphones at this price range and I bet you won't find anything better, if headphones like these are what you are looking for.
Over the years I've owned many different sets of high-quality headphones. My last pair were Sennheisers as well and I payed about the same as I did for these. If I didn't leave them on a plane and lose them I'd still be very happy with them.
I am very happy with the cost to quality ratio. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a pair of quality over the ear headphones and yet, I also didn't want to just settle....i digress...
I love the look and design of the ear cups. The soft velvety material makes these very comfortable to wear for periods of 2 hours at a time. I have a large head and there's plenty of room for adjustments to find the sweet spot. I listen to all sorts of music, Metallica to Mozart and blink 182 to Brian Eno. I am by no means a audiophile, however I know what sounds great and what sounds good. My pair of Bose Noise Canceling BT over the ear headphones sounded downright epic, as they should for what was a 350 dollar investment.
These sound good. Bass is clear, midrange is crisp and energetic and highs are good enough. The cord has gotta be 6 or more feet with a very awkward 3.5mm adapter. These are not really meant to be taken on the go. Construction is good, they've held up being packed into my backpack without scuffing or any scratches. Very roomy over the ears, not too tight on my head. I got exactly what I payed for and I am comfortable with that.
Sound quality to me is a solid 7.7\10.
The next time I'm in the market for audiophile quality headphones... It'll be a large investment, until then- I am very pleased with my purchase.
These headphones offer an impressive combination of quality and comfort, especially for the price. Excellent for home use, but not a very good choice for use in public, and you will want an aftermarket cable for mobile use. If you are new to high-quality headphones like me, you will probably be quite satisfied with these. If you don't care about bass too much, I suggest you go up to the HD 558s, as they will be more comfortable and have a wider soundstage. Or maybe even the HD 598s. These headphones are not very bassy, nor very bright; If this signature is not what you are going for, I would suggest you give a look at Sony, Shure, Grado, and Audio-Technica models in the $70-$150 price range, as they also look to be very smart options for both closed- and open-backed headphones.
+ Impressive clarity and soundstage with a balanced and relaxed blend of bass, mid-range, and treble, the latter of which is not sibilant at all
+ Requires no additional hardware, such as amplifiers or sound cards.
+ Very comfortable cloth padding which offers a firm fit, even during exercise
+ Interchangeable cables with a locking mechanism
+/- Build quality seems good for what it is made out of, but it doesn't feel particularly tough
- Default 3.5mm adapter is bulky, as is the separate HD5x8 3.5mm cable from Sennheiser, hindering mobile use
- Leaks more sound than some other open-backed headphones
In-depth review + background:
For starters, I am not an audiophile in the least. But I will probably be one, some day. I purchased these headphones as a replacement for my old and reliable Logitech H390 headset. If you want you can skip this paragraph, which is just a background and the difference between the 5x8 models. I've put many, many hours into researching headphones in order to make a smart purchase. I originally was looking for those great bang-for-your-buck headphones in the $30-$50 range, like the Panasonic RP-HTF600S, JVC HARX700, and so on, and I almost bought the Panasonics! But I felt that there were too many sacrifices in that low budget range (and indeed there will still be with these, but not enough to make me regret anything). I could get something fun, but it wouldn't have all the features that I wanted, and vice versa. Then, I found the HD 5x8 range just sitting there right outside of my budget. The 518, 558, and 598 all have the same sound drivers, and the main difference between them is a gradual shift from bass to treble and with each succeeding headphone having a wider soundstage and more comfortable fit. I wanted as much bass as I could get out of this line, so I opted for the 518. The price difference also may have had a part in that decision.
There may be objectively better sounding headphones around this price range. There may be funner headphones around this price range. But I think that these headphones have one of the best combinations of sound quality and features you can get without investing more money into additional hardware. Do you need an amp for these headphones? No. I have yet to put my volume higher than 50% on both my PC and my smartphone, at least in regards to music. (But I have heard people recommend an amp for boosting the bass) Do you need a sound card? No, I put some time into that as well. A budget sound card shouldn't make much of a difference at all. If you're getting a higher end sound card, why are you using it with these entry-level headphones? These are just great with onboard audio, assuming your motherboard is relatively modern.
SOUND SIGNATURE AND QUALITY: When I was looking for headphones, I was looking for a sound signature that did not have any artificial-sounding bass, nor should it have any sibilance in the treble. I wanted headphones that had a respectable oomph to the bass when the song called for it, and I also required a wide soundstage to offer great instrument separation. I listen to a lot of jazz, swing (classic and electronic), funk, r&b, soul, 70s-80s pop, new age, meditation music, a bit of choir, opera, and classical, and a whole lot of metal (traditional, thrash, death, black, sludge, doom, progressive, experimental, you name it). But most importantly, I listened to a lot of music with reverb, lots of instruments, and/or a lot of intricate layers. I wanted to explore the music, appreciate every instrument, and discover little vocal tracks or ambient noises hiding underneath the surface. Either incidentally or intentionally, a lot of music I listen to has a dirty recording (I was worried I would hate everything that was intentionally low-fi. But that was not the case).
These headphones delivered EXACTLY what I was looking for! Or at least after some burn-in. And if the above description sounds like what you are looking for too, then yes obviously I highly recommend these. Right out of the box, cymbals were sharp and layers sounded melted together, but these issues reversed rather quickly. Everything sounds crisp, and each sound gets its own corner. These headphones deliver a pleasurable, but not emphasized, bass to satisfy many people. I realize how flat and boring headsets sound now, these Sennheisers offer a TEXTURE and suddenly my music has mass. Hidden bass riffs are revealed, downtuned riffs sound visceral, and bass kicks more like bass punches you know what I mean? If you are looking for bass that you could swim in, these are not for you unfortunately. I could focus on so many lesser sounds in my music that I struggled to find before. Lyrics, which may have been hidden before, are now clear. My situational awareness in first-person shooters is also heightened now. Before I could only tell the vague direction in which an enemy was moving about. The binaural sound was so effective that at times I thought one of my drivers failed. Explosions and gunshots, if properly produced, sound quite a bit more forceful too. I am not big on the sound production in movies, so I can't really speak for that audience. On the matter of ASMR, the bass response and soundstage benefit the microphone manipulation and 3D audio considerably. Perhaps it would sound 100% genuine if the artists had professional production skills and/or equipment and/or more creative techniques. Not to say that they are bad; it's not about the authenticity anyway.
CORD & MOBILE USE CONSIDERATIONS: These headphones have a open-backed design, and I shouldn't have to tell you that these leak a lot of sound. However I kinda do, because these leak a lot more than other open-backed headphones I've come across. On a volume that I consider normal and fun, and in a controlled environment (completely silent house), I was able to faintly hear the sound from my room out in the hallway, over 25 feet! Of course that was with the door open, too. I would NOT recommend these for use in libraries or any similar quiet place that requires productivity unless you are going putting the volume rather low. In which case, somebody sitting next to you shouldn't notice.
The cord (thank the lord) is detachable and locks into place. This was one of the features I wanted when considering my options. The default cord feels pretty solidly built, but it is just normal rubber. A deep plastic sound is heard in the left ear when it is manipulated. About ten feet in length, ending with a 6.3mm plug and it comes with a 3.5mm adapter. In my environment, that is great because I can do yoga, operate my elliptical or exercise bike, and lay on my bed across the room while still listening to my music or whatever. More on the fit during those actions later. Sennheiser makes a 4.5 foot cable with a 3.5mm plug and 6.3mm adapter, however it looks just as bulky in width, which will probably stop you from plugging this into your smartphone if it has a case on it. Yes, you will have to take the case off for a proper connection. And if you do, the 6.3mm + 3.5mm adapter will induce an unsightly ~3 inch protrusion upon your mobile device.
HOWEVER, there are third-party cables being made by NewFantasia and sold here on Amazon. These appear to be of high quality and come in an unnecessary amount of lengths, ending in normal-sized 3.5mm plugs, and may come with braided cables or an in-line mic + volume control (the latter one does seem to affect sound quality and it's pretty short so I find the short cable + away-from-the-desktop controls to be useless). If you are going to take these for mobile use, I suggest you add one of NewFantasia's cables to your shopping cart as well.
BUILD QUALITY & FIT: It's all a bunch of hard plastic and it's fairly light, but it doesn't necessarily feel flimsy. I imagine it could take a few drops, as my flimsy H390 have taken many beatings over the years and still work great. Manipulating the headphones does not cause any creaking noises, which is good, and I do not feel like they will break in my hands. The earcups have a nice bit of movement to adjust to your head near-perfectly. At first the fit was a little tight, but they've broken in quite nicely. The soundstage seems to be best when you adjust the headphones so that your ears sit in the back. I wear glasses, and these will make a sort of squeaking noise if I move my head around certain ways due to the glasses rubbing against the cloth earpads, but it doesn't bother me often, and you can just hold the headphones in place when you move your head to the side to stop them from rubbing together. Oh yeah the earpads. They're cloth. And they are rather comfortable, firm but a little squishy.
These headphones aren't uncomfortable in the least. I usually wear them for the good part of my day, being a total nerd. But I do feel pretty relieved when I take them off. Unfortunately the ear cups are too big to wear these headphones around my neck comfortably. I feel like I have a neck brace on when trying to move my head about. I mentioned I do yoga with these, and lay down with them on as well. Yes you can do these things, and comfortably! The ears may get warm during exercise, but they will not get as hot as if you had leather or pleather earpads. These will stay on up-side down, but they will slide back if you tilt your head backwards. Wearing these backwards or wearing the headband towards your forward remedies this, however.
Verdict was at the beginning of the review. If you're still reading this, I am sorry.
Most recent customer reviews
Will use them for spare parts