Sennheiser HD 518 Over-Ear Headphones Review


Editor rating

4.6/5 on November 30, 2015 Reviewed by: Peter Alexander

User’s rating

583 reviews


  • Good for long listening sessions
  • Great sound
  • Clear mids and highs


  • A very long cord
  • Cheap plastic material that is prone to cracking


The Sennheiser HD 518 are one of the best options for budged-minded audiophiles. They offer a fantastic value, great sound, and plenty of room for additional tweaking thanks to their great EQ response. The addition of good amplifier can help bring the best out of these headphones.

Sennheiser has something for everybody. The HD 518 are open, circumaural headphones that mix quality with affordability. Fitted with Sennheiser’s innovative E.A.R. technology to ensure accurate channeling of audio signals, these headphones are a very good option for any aspiring audiophile.

Design and build

Build in Sennheiser’s traditional fashion, these headphones use a combination of graphite and black with some stylish silver highlights. This gives them a very mechanical and machine-like appearance that will definitely strongly appeal to some people. We definitely belong among those who can’t get enough of Sennheiser’s approach to design.

Unlike most headphone manufacturers, Sennheiser prefers to use velour pads instead of leather. These pads are much slimmer and less springy than their leather counterparts. Sweating isn’t an issue and they are perfect for very long listening sessions. This is partially due to the very light pressure on the head.

The non-detachable cord is definitely made for home listening. It’s very long and ends with 1/4” jack. A 3.5mm adapter is included in the box, but the overly long cord is something that you will have to live with. Many users end up modifying their headphones to add the ability to remove the cable and replace it with a suitable aftermarket alternative. It can be done and it doesn’t require much effort.

The only thing that we really don’t like about the Sennheiser HD 518 is their fragile plastic construction. The upside is that the headphones weight very little, but the downside are frequent problems with the plastic breaking around the place where the headband connect to ear cups. This problem is present across all lower and middle range headphones from Sennheiser and we hope that the company will fix it in the near future.

Sound quality

These headphones are perfect for enjoying little nuances and clearly being able to tell different instruments apart as they are being played. Mids are highs are well articulated and the excellent soundstage will transport you to a different realm of musical enjoyment.

The bass is very well mannered and if you are familiar with any headphones from Sennheiser then you will know that you shouldn’t expect booming sub-bass. These headphones are made with clarity and accuracy in mind.

What is in the box?

The Sennheiser HD 518 Open-Back Around-Ear Stereo Headphones ship with 3.5mm adapter and 2 years long limited warranty.


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