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Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones
- Audiophile-grade over-ear, open-back headphones
- Twist and lock single-sided cable eliminates tangles and simplifies exchanges
- Gold-plated 1/4" plug with 1/8" adapter
- Highly optimized, field-strengthened neodymium ferrous magnet system
- Internal Sound Reflector immerses the listener in rich audio
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Featuring an internal surround reflector, the HD 558 audiophile headphones are able to generate an extended spatial sound field for a listening experience that immerses the wearer during music and movies. They are outfitted with Sennheiser’s innovative E.A.R. technology which ensures accurate channeling of audio signals into your ears, as well as sophisticated Duofol diaphragms which reduce unwanted resonances to an absolute minimum. The HD 558 come with plush, luxurious velour ear pads and headband cushion which provide outstanding wearing comfort, even for long listening sessions.
From the Manufacturer
Featuring an internal surround reflector, the HD 558 audiophile headphones are able to generate an extended spatial sound field for a listening experience that immerses the wearer during music and movies. They are outfitted with Sennheiser's innovative E.A.R. technology which ensures accurate channeling of audio signals into your ears, as well as sophisticated Duofol diaphragms which reduce unwanted resonances to an absolute minimum. The HD 558 come with plush, luxurious velour ear pads and headband cushion which provide outstanding wearing comfort, even for long listening sessions.
Movie and music aficionados will definitely appreciate what the new HD 558 has to offer. Not only does it feature Sennheiser's E.A.R. technology and optimized Duofol diaphragms, but also a Surround Reflector that generates an extended spatial sound field for an enhanced audio experience.
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 optimized, field-strengthened neodymium ferrous magnet systems yield an excellent dynamic response. A surround reflector creates an extended spatial sound field for the lightweight aluminum 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 customized 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 558 Audiophile Headphones, 3.5mm plug adapter, warranty.
- Transducer type: Dynamic, open
- Headphone type: Circumaural
- Frequency response: 15 - 28,000 Hz
- Total harmonic distortion: < 0.1% (1 kHz/100 dB SPL)
- Sound pressure level (SPL): 112 dB
- Impedance: 50 Ohms
- Cable length: 3m
- Jack plug: 6.3mm
- Weight: 270g
Top Customer Reviews
But there is one thing that I don't like about it. The cable. I am not talking about cable quality. The quality is very good. The problem is the plug. The cable comes with 6.3 mm plug. I don't understand what Sennheiser people are thinking, but this is a really stupid design. Though the package also includes a 6.3 to 3.5 mm adapter, but it extends the plug a lot and is very inconvenient (see the picture for how it looks when plugged into a Surface). First, I believe a lot of HD 558 users will drive this cans with a mobile source, such as a phone or a mobile player. There is no mobile device with 6.3 mm jack. Even for desktop amps, not all of them have 6.3 mm jack. Many amps also have 3.5 mm jack. I totally don't get what's the point of using 6.3 mm plug on this headphone. Ironically, HD 600, which is much harder to drive, comes with 3.5 mm plug. Second, even if in many cases this headphone will be plugged into a device with 6.3 mm jack, it still makes more sense to use 3.5 mm plug. An adapter from 6.3 to 3.5 is a disaster, but from 3.5 to 6.3 is perfectly fine. Eventually I replace the original cable with a Fiio one that has 3.5 mm plug, but it cost some extra dollars. It will be great if Sennheiser offers a 3.5 mm plug cable in the first place.
As is my custom, I will start with design first. The HD 558 follows Sennheiser's typical over the ear design. The cover my ears completely. The plush of the headband and earpads help offset the slight clamping of the headband. I have a larger than average head, and I would prefer a little looser fit, but these are the best in terms of comfort that I have found in audiophile quality headphones. Casual/home users will want to be aware of a couple of factors related to the chord. It is about 10 feet long, and I keep a good amount of it folded and secured with the twist-tie from the packaging. The bigger issue is with the plug. Since these are targeted at serious users, the normal plug is 6.3 mm. While Sennheiser includes a 6.3 to 3.5 adaptor, the resulting compound plug is close to three inches long and somewhat heavy. I recommend buying an additional adaptor that has a short chord between the female and male portions. Perhaps in future models, Sennheiser will switch to a right angle adaptor or one with a chord that will provide relief to the stress points I mentioned. Surprisingly the 50-ohm drivers are easy to drive at fairly low volume levels without the use of an amplifier on my laptop (volume at 15 out of 100).
However, it's really all about the sound, right? I had never tried a pair of open back headphones before these, and I had no idea what a difference this makes. My wife likes it because she can still get my attention when I'm in an extended listening session. I like it because the soundstage is much more expansive than the closed models. Sennheiser's site says that the E.A.R. technology in the 558 produces "outstanding bass and vocal projection", and I would say that they deliver on this promise. I used the test songs listed below, and I was pleased with the performance across all genres. The K'Naan and Alicia Keys tracks had supple bass with punch, but it never seemed unnatural. The whispering crowd at the beginning of "Chinese Democracy" seemed larger and more spread out than on any other headphones I've used. It made it seem like a larger group. On "Let's Face The Music And Dance", I could easily pick out the harmonica, stand-up bass, piano, and drums during Willie's first guitar solo. For pure ear candy, I love "Automatic Systematic Habit", and the 558 performance made me want to play my entire collection from Garbage - "Push It" and "Only Happy When It Rains" in particular. If vocals are what you crave, you would love the warmth and richness that I heard from Chris Cornell and Willie Nelson on my sample tracks. Both have very unique voices, and the 558 brought out nuances in the songs that I had not heard before. However, the biggest winner in the open design was "Moderato". Classical enthusiasts will greatly enjoy the rendering of full orchestra compositions. The orchestra hall is recreated in a way that would require more speakers (i.e. not headphones) to beat.
As I said earlier, I am done. Game over. The Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones have made me a casual audiophile, and I look forward to consuming my music through these for a long time to come. I cannot recommend these enough for maximizing value and sound.
K'Naan - "ABCs" (bass)
Alicia Keys - "Listen To Your Heart" (bass)
Guns `N Roses - "Chinese Democracy" (clarity)
Evanescence - "End Of The Dream" (detail)
Amy MacDonald - "Don't Tell Me That It's Over" (detail)
Garbage - "Automatic Systematic Habit" (detail)
Willie Nelson - "Let's Face The Music And Dance" (detail)
Chris Cornell - "As Hope And Promise Fade" (clarity)
Miles Davis - "So What" (jazz)
Tchaikovsky - "Moderato (Swan Lake, Act II)" (classical)
Take my advice, don't mod these unless you're absolutely tired of them and want to experiment with a new sound. In stock form, they are well worth their price tag. The only downside I can think of is the stock cable. That POS requires you to plug in the adapter it comes with in order for it to work with 3.5mm jacks (which, mind you, means just about everything). Get the 1.2m replacement nylon-braided audio cable for these and you are good to go. And, honestly, I'm not deducting a star for that reason solely because even if the stock cable did not require the adapter and came stock with a 3.5mm head, I would still buy that replacement cable as it is just that good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I then purchased a pair for myself.
Mine were the limited edition pair.Read more