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VINE VOICEon 22 November 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As befitting the brand (and the price), the sound quality you get from these headphones is near perfect. But it's not an all-rounder. The box promotes the bass sound you get from these headphones, and you certainly get it. A bit too much at times, in fact. It depends on what you're listening to. Whilst it never sounds like a large truck going past, as can happen with cheapo headphones, the bass can somewhat overwhelm the other levels in particularly bass-heavy music. It's better for bringing out the bass in music that's already balanced. If you can try before you buy, do.

Apart from that, I don't have any major complaints. They are comfortable to wear, don't make your ears get hot after a long time listening, and twist in all sorts of directions for those of us with oddly shaped heads. It's a minor thing, I know, but I've had headphones where the jack just flies out of the socket at the slightest turn of the head, so I was pleased the one attached to the lead here had some resistance.

My wife also wants me to point out that these aren't very suitable for using on a train unless you want an ASBO. It's not their bulky size that's the issue (because they're lightweight with it), but the fact that whilst they're very good at keeping other sounds out, they're not quite so good at keeping the sound of what you're listening to in, even at reasonably low volumes. So mainly for home use, then.

On a sidenote, I plugged these into my Marshall practice amp to see how they fared, and they are by far the best headphones I've ever tried. They pick up levels just lost in the background when using the amp's own speaker. So guitarists who play hard rock or metal should add an extra star to my rating above.

Includes: 3m cable, 3.5mm adapter for the jack
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on 14 February 2012
Where do I begin.

I have had 4 sets of Sennheiser In-Ears over the past 3 years, none of the pairs were replaced due to breaking but because I started wanting more from my audio experience and so I went up the price range and started to notice subtle differences as I did so. I went for the HD 518's after needing a set of Over-Ears for late nights coding/photo editing and for use with my Guitar Amp. I have also purchased the FiiO E5 Headphone Amplifier - Black for use with these headphones. I have now owned them for 2 weeks and have had them playing a burn-in cd for 40+ Hours when I haven't been using them.

At first when I put these headphones on I thought that the padding around the ears was a little too stiff, I persevered with the notion that they would soften up with use and low and behold they have done just that. I am now able to wear these for 6-7 hours and long into early hours of the morning without the slightest bit of discomfort.

These headphones are open back and yes they do bleed sound but then that is the negative point of Open-Back Headphones. You can hear these headphones from roughly 20 feet away at full volume on an iPod if there is no background noise present. I also have the ability to be able to hear people if they are talking to me while wearing the headphones and listening to music, this is either a positive or negative point, it just depends how you see it.

Sound Quality
I will have to agree with most people when listening to your first set of true over-ear Headphones, I have heard instruments in songs I have never noticed before, it's just subtle backround music but now I know it's there I listen out for it when I can. As previously stated I have let these headphones burn-in via a cd that runs through the whole frequency range plus songs from different genres with a break every 1 hour. I have listened to these from new, after 10 hours, after 20 hours and finally after 40 hours of burn-in. I can tell you that the sound just keeps getting better. The Lows seem deeper and alot smoother. The sound stage on these headphones is out standing due to their open-back design. They have very crisp Highs, clear Mids and very deep controlled Bass.

These are by far the best headphones I have owned to date, they are very comfortable and the sound is very well balanced, they are worth every penny.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 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.
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on 2 January 2014
I chose these headphones for 2 main reasons; sound quality and comfort. I am very pleased to say I am not disappointed!

The overall sound quality are amazing with rich bass and crystal clear highs. They took around 50 hours of breaking in before they really shined. By this time I was blown away by the quality. Even at extremely loud settings they are completely clear. Very impressed indeed!

The headphones rest around your ears, not on them. This is brilliant as they do not cause a ache on your ears. However, the headphones were a bit of a strain on my head at first due to them being too tight (I do have a big head mind). The padding was also tougher than I expected and would cause discomfort after an hour or so of use. Because of this I decided to stretch the headphones around the box they came in over a few nights. Once I had done that they were completely comfortable. Also, once I had worn them for around 15 hours in total the felt became much softer and much more comfortable. Now, after having them for a few months and wearing them for hours daily I almost forget i'm wearing them! 5/5 for comfort.

The headphones themselves are open ear. This means that people around you can hear what you're hearing if they're loud enough and you can hear them. This means that they are not designed for public use. They are much more suited for home use. Also, outside sound can easily be drowned out by increasing the volume slightly. Very useful indeed.

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better pair of headphones! They are perfect in my opinion.
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on 21 November 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Initially these seem darker in tone than some headphones with slight bass emphasis. This impression soon passes. They quickly become invisible with a wide range of music. This is assisted by light weight, and excellent long-term comfort from the large, spectacle-friendly ear-pieces. Some plastics look a little cheap but the overall construction is durable. These are open headphones and this is apparent in the natural and unwearying sound

The 5m cable can pick up interference from some electronics. Otherwise they are an excellent choice for silent musical practice with realistic reproduction with no obvious constriction.

Primarily of course they are for the reproduction of music and they perform this task with a subtlety that belies their price. Listening over a long period it is difficult to be analytical as, with good quality source material, they successfully draw you into a realistic sound stage. Clarity and placement of individual instruments is wonderful, and nothing is lost of the bite and attack of spirited performance. In particular the reproduction of stringed instruments is as good as anything I have heard.

There is a price to be paid for this - poor quality recordings are ruthlessly exposed. It can be disconcerting to listen to music that has been ineptly manipulated or digitally 'enhanced'. When compared with lossless material mp3 sounds like a recording - the original remains a performance.

So why pay more? In comparison with Beyerdynamic DT 880 (not mine unfortunately and more than twice as expensive) there is a marginal loss of clarity in loud passages. And classical solo piano music simply lacks the presence of large floorstanding speakers. The HD 518s are very, very good at providing tightly controlled and extended bass but the very lowest frequencies are occasionally noticeably absent.

But these headphones comfortably pass the subjective test - musicality - soon you are lost in the music...
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on 11 January 2013
I really wanted to like these very well built and I got a really good price but I returned them as I felt after quite a lot of testing against my other headphones that they had a dull and muffled sound. I want to replace a pair of old cheap vivanco headphones but could not believe that they actually sounded so much clearer and nicer than these sennheissers. Perhaps they needed to 'burn in' for a while but they were so far away from being good sounding that I couldn't wait for that.
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on 1 January 2014
So I got these headphones for 69.99 pounds on Black Friday! They are awesome for that price. I already own a pair of Sennheiser HD449 which I will now mainly use for traveling and outdoor use.
These headphones are not good for use outside of your home as they are open back and therefore leak a lot of noise.
The wire is also very long so that is good if you are gonna use them with a sound system or tv which is at a distance from where you are sitting. If however use them with my computer and have therefore ordered a shorter cable from ebay. Furthermore I use the headphones with my my Fiio E10 DAC. That use a 3.5mm jack and not the 6.3mm. The converter that come along with the wire is bulky and annoying so my new cable will also have a 3.5mm so I don't have to use a converter. It is a nice touch that the cable can be changed as I find the cable to otherwise be too long. This solves a lot of problems for me and it is difficult for me to find any other faults.

Personally I like the ear-cups of the headphones but if someone would rather have leather ear-cups they can be changed with aftermarket ones! It is worth noting that you do need a DAC to use the HD 518's full potential. Mine cost me almost the same as the earphones, which some people might find annoying. With most high-end headphones needing a DAC for their full potential to be reached this can not be criticized.
The sound of these headphones is very good! The open-back design give the headphones a great sound stage. Without an EQ, the headphones emphasis the lows (not at all to the same levels as basshead headphones (Beats)) but if you are looking for flat sound then you should go for the HD558 and HD598. I do however like the sound of these headphones which I would classify and warm and alive!
These headphones are great! I can only recommend them!
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on 20 September 2015
My onboard soundcard wasnt really able to get the most out of this amazing product. I would like to thank the nameless forum poster who recommended DFX Audio Enhancer to go with it. I say this on the back of knowing that the output impedance of the soundcard should be around 5-10 times smaller than that of the headphones themselves. I have yet to buy it (but I will) but the DGX apparently goes very well with these cans and has a built in amp. . it's also cheap as chips so :P

Now I have mentioned a number of products but in my defence, the 50 omh headphones really only truly shine (and oh sweet baby jesus do they) when you punch them up with software or hardware.

I guess i'll mention some other things about them that i really dont consider too important myself, because Im all abourt the sound quality. They fit just wonderfully. Most comfortable set maybe ever (but im not an audiophile). . . I will say tho that these headphones want to make me want to me an audiophile.

I've redownloaded some of my favourite albums into FLAC format and before i didnt see the difference. . . well ;)

The things you hear about this product will be a bit here and there as people have bvarious setups. I've heard from some that they have a decent base but not enough.. . honestly I find that when i dont have the choice of an EQ, they can have too much. Then other times, they just have so much mid. Everyone describes this pair as a "dark" set but I have had many times where ive had to drop the treble a bit. For me they give a very well rounded sound that is of course very slanted towards the base end but really only just.

I have to wonder if some of the posts aginst this headset were maybe disingenuous, as I am no longer worried that i wasted 115 euro but instead feel that I have stepped up a big notch.

anyway, I hope that helps guys. That said, I have not tried any of the other audiophile level headphones. . Im only saying that my first tow in the pond has been very nice one.
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on 17 September 2015
If you are a easy listener these cans are very good indeed, give a smooth sound with good bass middle & treble without sounding brash,my previous cans same make bought 15 years ago for £150 were good but after a few days i prefer these although very different sounding bring sounds i have not heard before (library music cd`s) so am well pleased and at the right price!
They come with a gold 6.3mm jack,with a adapter to bring this down to a smaller jack so will fit iPads and the like.....
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on 26 June 2014
Perfect for PC I'm using these with my onboard HD audio which is excellent ( most new and recent motherboards have very good onboard ) but what concerned me, was, would i need a headphone amp to get the best out of these hd 518 headphones.
The answer is no
I use windows media player for playback of music and the volume control was at around 70% with my old Sennheiser 201 phones but with the 518 phones it's only at between 25% - 30% for the same level of sound a comfortable medium loud - So you can see the 518's pump out a higher volume and you have loads more room for increased volume. So pointless getting an amp as these work fantastic without one.
I thought the 201's were good but these 518's are so ,so, much better
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