Sennheiser HD 558 Over-Ear Headphones Review

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Editor rating

4.7/5 on January 7, 2016 Reviewed by: Peter Alexander

User's rating

1,114 reviews

PROS

  • One of the most comfortable pairs of headphones
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Neutral sound signature
  • Removable cable

CONS

  • Lack of sub-bass impact

VERDICT

Aspiring audiophiles should look no further than this. The Sennheiser HD 558 Over-Ear Headphones are the excellent way how to get into high-end sound quality without spending too much. They offer an unprecedented level of comfort and acoustic performance that isn’t matched by any other pair of headphones in this price range.

The Sennheiser HD 558 Over-Ear Headphones are audiophile-grade open over-the-ears headphones that promise to provide an outstanding bass and vocal projection. When you mix in Sennheiser’s traditionally high level of build quality and comfort, you get a recipe for success.

Design and build

The 558s closely resemble other headphones in the 5xx range. High-quality plastic materials are primary building blocks used for the construction of these headphones, and we never managed to find a single flaw when it comes to build quality and general, everyday comfort. The lightweight construction and super comfortable earpads make these headphones a real pleasure to put on after a long day at work. It takes just a few minutes for you to completely forget that you are actually wearing them. Their open construction lets air pass freely to your ears, which prevents them from getting too hot or sweaty.

The Sennheiser HD 558 Over-Ear Headphones give you the option to remove the cable and replace it with an alternative one. That’s especially useful because the included cable is geared toward desktop stereo setup and stationary amplifiers. If you use a portable amp and DAC, you will probably want to invest into a shorter cable that ends with a regular 3.5mm audio jack.

Sound quality

These headphones are often described as entry-level audiophile headphones. This means that you can expect a great degree of sound clarity, detail, and fantastic acoustic performance through the frequency range.

The sound is very natural and neutral. No part of frequency spectrum dominates over other parts, which makes for a very relaxing, non-fatiguing listening experience. However, if you would prefer a bit more bass, you will be pleased to hear that the HD 558s respond great to equalization.

Being an open back headphone, a wide soundstage is largely expected. Nonetheless, we were still shocked just by the sheer openness and sense of audio positioning. Complicated instrumental pieces were absolutely immersive, and so was gaming.

The only thing missing was a proper sub-bass. Unfortunately, these headphones simply don’t have the guts to deliver a head-shaking sub-bass. We believe that most users who listen to bass-heavy music genres wouldn’t put the Sennheiser HD 558 at the top of their list anyway, which makes it be much less important than it would be if these headphones were marketed as bassheads’ headphones.

What is in the box?

The Sennheiser HD 558 Audiophile Headphones ship with a 3.5mm plug adapter and warranty. You can purchase additional cables and accessories from Sennheiser themselves or one many third-party manufacturer.