Most helpful critical review
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Rich, warm and disappointing.
on 20 November 2010
Sennheiser make quality gear. I work In the broadcasting industry where their microphones are standard equipment for location sound recording, and their consumer products include a great range of quality headphones - I particular like the lightweight PX100 headphones, perfect for iPods. So I had great expectations for the HD 518.
In their favour - solidly made, comfortable to wear, they feel like a quality product. The box declares their "deep rich bass sound" and, indeed, bass is what these headphones give you. I would describe the sound as warm, rich and smooth but on many tracks that "deep rich bass" takes over and smothers everything else. What is lacking is openness and separation - in particular drums and percussion seem almost muffled and there's an overall dullness which holds the music back from being really involving and exciting. I'm listening as I write to Jeff Buckley's 'Grace' which on my B & W speakers just explodes with emotion but now, on the HD 518's, it all seems a little dull.
Obviously this is a totally subjective judgement, and many might like the sound these headphones deliver. In a way they remind me of listening to my parents' huge old radiogram - solid, reassuring and a bit dull.