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#2135764 - 08/20/13 04:48 AM Sennheiser HD 518 headphones
chessman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/13
Posts: 75
Hi all,

I've been looking at these headphones because I want something affordable but good quality for my digital piano. I'm not into mixing or anything particularly high end - I just want a good pair of headphones that will sound at least as good as the built in speakers on the piano. Amazon currently have them reduced to £70, which seems like a good price. However, I'm not sure that I'll necessarily appreciate much of a difference from my Sony MDRXD100 headphones if all I'm doing is piano. Am I best off just buying something under £40 from my local piano shop?

The amount of choice available for headphones is just staggering, and reviews don't help because you can't tell the 'level' of the person writing - a lot of them seem to be by sound professionals who need high end mixing capability.

Any suggestions?

Cheers.

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#2135790 - 08/20/13 06:42 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: chessman]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1357
Loc: uk south
- I would jump at these, definitely if it's the amazon market-place deal I can see, and moreso if there's the refund offer if you're not satisfied. Amazon themselves are charging £120 from what I can see, so £70 is a huge discount from the rrp of £160.

I've always been very happy with sennheiser, currently using hd595 - they're bliss. I'm sure the 518 will sound very good and certainly run rings round your speakers.


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#2135796 - 08/20/13 07:13 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: dire tonic]
chessman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/13
Posts: 75
Thanks, I just bought them.

I think someone else rather sneakily bought a pair without leaving a reply - there were two in stock five mins before I posted and have been for days, but then a few mins later one got snapped up. Good job I got in there quickly!

Cheers.

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#2135818 - 08/20/13 08:17 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: chessman]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1357
Loc: uk south
- when I looked to check the price, they were showing only 1 available...you got there in the nick of time...

On a cautionary note, a long time ago having damaged a pair of 580s, I picked up a replacement from a well known uk bulk retailer. At the time I remember thinking they were boomy - not nearly as nice - but decided to keep them because they were heavily discounted. On the upside,the 595s I bought a few years back were also heavily discounted and sound wonderful.

The 580s might have had a QC issue. Your 518s should sound clean and honest (check also by listening to some good pro recordings) but if you have any doubts send them back.

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#2135825 - 08/20/13 08:44 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: dire tonic]
chessman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/13
Posts: 75
Will let you know how they sound - excited about their arrival. I've only ever used cheap headphones, so my musical world is probably about to change! I'll probably think I've wasted years of listening through sub-standard phones after tomorrow.

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#2135827 - 08/20/13 08:45 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: dire tonic]
chessman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/13
Posts: 75
Also, for anyone who is interested, Amazon themselves are selling the 518s at £72 - just noticed.

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#2137571 - 08/23/13 07:41 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: chessman]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1357
Loc: uk south
- a follow-up!

I spotted the amazon deal too and decided to pick up a set of their 518s - a spare can often be handy and this seemed like a give-away price...I'm a sucker for a bargain.

However!, I'm sending mine back. They're very boomy, as boomy as the boomiest boom in boomland. I don't know if it's a QC issue such as I described with the 580s I bought years ago but an A/B comparison with my 595s shows instantly a marked difference in soundstage and what I would consider to be accuracy. In short, my set are simply not up to scratch.

Possibly, if it is QC, yours might be ok but I suspect either a batch problem or this is a 518 characteristic. It gets a good rating on amazon so who knows? Maybe this is a personal taste issue? Some probably like a bass-heavy sound but to my ear this is boom rather than bass.

Anyway, having recommended you buy them I felt it would be remiss of me not to warn you. Your market-place supplier must provide at least 7 days to return or 30 if amazon are covering it.

- regards...

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#2137595 - 08/23/13 08:47 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: chessman]
kapelli Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 386
Loc: Poland
Of course they are boomy, all sennheisers are boomy. To be honest I do not understand all the love about them - maybe it's just audio marketing?

Anyway, the best headphones you can get fot that price are Sony MDR V6 or MDR 7506 if you have little more money. The blow out everything in that price range.

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#2137601 - 08/23/13 08:55 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: kapelli]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1357
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: kapelli
Of course they are boomy, all sennheisers are boomy.


When making such sweeping value judgements, no one - other than those equally prejudiced or impressionable - is likely to take any notice of you.

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#2137658 - 08/23/13 10:52 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: kapelli]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: kapelli
Of course they are boomy, all sennheisers are boomy. To be honest I do not understand all the love about them - maybe it's just audio marketing?


The HD595's and friends are anything but boomy. That's basically the last adjective I would ever use to describe them. Sounds like you haven't had much experience with this type of can.


Edited by gvfarns (08/23/13 10:52 AM)

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#2137666 - 08/23/13 11:03 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: chessman]
Jean-Luc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 322
Loc: France
I have both, HD650 and HD800 and they are very far from being boomy, actually, the HD800 has the most impressive soundstage I have ever experienced from a set of can
_________________________
- Please, forgive my bad English smile

Jean-Luc

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#2250438 - 03/22/14 11:49 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: chessman]
Gretel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 31
This is an older thread, but still allow me to share my impressions. I bought these headphones today to use them with my DP. The HD 518 are very boomy. No real piano sounds like what I hear through these headphones. Sure you can EQ it, but I would need different EQ settings for my headphones and for my external speakers, which is not possible with my setup.

Seriously: I am very disappointed with the sound. It may be good for watching movies or for listening to Techno or so, but the sound is so far from "natural" that it's hard to believe. I will try to return them.

Edit: Clarifications


Edited by Gretel (03/22/14 11:51 AM)

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#2250485 - 03/22/14 01:26 PM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: Gretel]
GLR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 42
Whether it be speakers, headphones, or pianos one really has to audition them first and base our purchase decision on what you the one buyer likes, not what someone else describes them as or prefers. We all have different wants, tastes, and expectations and we all hear things slightly different. Sennheiser makes many different models each designed to appeal to different listener preferences and budget, so what you think is boomy someone else may not find them that way at all. Thanks for sharing your preferences with us.

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#2250495 - 03/22/14 01:48 PM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: kapelli]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1743
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: kapelli
Of course they are boomy, all sennheisers are boomy. To be honest I do not understand all the love about them - maybe it's just audio marketing?


This is not the case at all, and while I am suspicious, to say the least, of the almost universal praise for Sennheiser phones, I'd say I'm pretty happy with mine: HD215 but precisely because they rather lack boominess and, indeed, much extended bottom end at all. For this reason, they make very good reference phones for someone on a budget (they were around 80). They are pretty detailed and flat across the frequency range, so you do not get any horrible surprises when you put your stuff on inferior computer monitors, for example.

My gripe with these Sennheiser phones is the construction: they are cheaply made and after just a few months of normal (but quite heavy) usage (no DJing or anything like that) they are held together with insulation tape. My AKG K240's, on the other hand are still going without the need for black tape to hole them together, and I bought those in 1978.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2250810 - 03/23/14 04:54 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: GLR]
Gretel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: GLR
Thanks for sharing your preferences with us.


Thanks for being condescending and sharing your know-it-all-attitude, you are a big help to the forum. All those who can't follow your fairly general advice like bringing their DPs to store to audition headphones may see my post as helpful. Remember: The internet is for sharing experiences, not for saying "you have to find out yourself, and don't share experiences" smile

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#2251059 - 03/23/14 04:53 PM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: chessman]
PianistOne111 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Utah
I know my CA-5 has EQ applied to the piano sound, either in the actual files or before it reaches the amplifier, in order to compensate for the lack of bass response of the built in speakers. This EQ isn't turned off when using headphones, so when I use headphones that sound neutral with other sources on the CA-5, the bass is emphasized. You might be experiencing the same thing.
_________________________
One111

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#2251265 - 03/24/14 05:24 AM Re: Sennheiser HD 518 headphones [Re: chessman]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 453
Loc: Europe
My Sennheiser HD598 in combination with my Roland HP-505 are also excessively powerful in the low frequencies, but I wouldnt call this boomy, because they still sound very clear and precise there.

Indeed, I could regret their excessive power in the bass frecuencies, because each time I now listen to an acoustic piano, may it even be to a large grand piano, the acoustic piano sound to me kind of empty and spiritless in the low octaves.
But as they are very nice for listening to CD music, and for practicing piano playing still much better than any of my cheaper headphones which cost only 30% of the Senheisers, I can enjoy them. In the end I am playing 99.99% my home piano or listen to CDs, and only very seldom have the chance to listen to an acoustic piano. So, I decided to enjoy them. Actually, my headphones give me the powerful (and clear, timbre full) bass, as I would like to receive it from an acoustic but no acoustic so far could be constructed to produce such present bass...
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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