Sennheiser HD518 Headphones

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Sennheiser HD518
Style: Open.
Ear cups: Circumaural (over-ear)
Frequency range: 14 Hz – 26 kHz
Ohms: 50

Sennheiser is a name associated with the best in headphone brands. They have been at it for decades and do produce fine headphones.

They are noted for their warm signature, what some call “the veil”. I don’t call it that because I feel it is somewhat inaccurate. I just say they have a warm signature by design.

This is my findings on the HD518 model which I have had for the past 9 years or so. Everything is only my opinion, your mileage will vary.

The Sennheiser HD518s are what I consider my first real pair of headphones. I’ve had them now for about 6 years or so.

Build/Comfort: They are all plastic, but don’t feel cheap. I would not assume ruggedness though. Clamping force is firm, but not uncomfortable like the Monoprice cans I talked about previously. Ear pads are covered with a velour material and the cups are deep enough to not have the driver housings rub on your ear lobes. The cups are also big enough to accommodate most folks. Head band is well padded with the same foam and velour covering as the ear pads. These cans have some weight to them, but not enough to effect comfort. I can wear these far longer than I can my Monoprice cans. They also have a detachable cord which can be easily replaced or upgraded and it is not proprietary.

Sound Signature:
Highs: These graph to show a dip between 1 KHz and 2 KHz, but recovers, however, there is a cliff drop at around 9 KHz which does not recover until about 11 KHz. Highs are laid back, non-fatiguing and I hear no excessive or errant sibilence.

Mids: There is good presence and pleasantly forward, female vocals sound laid back, but smooth and pleasant to listen to. Male vocals seem slightly more forward.

Bass/Lows: These cans reach very low, but can be slightly muddy. The slightly forward mids somewhat tame the bass, but not the impact. These headphones may have an appeal to bass-heads as well.

Overall: These have a narrow sound stage for open cans, but great presence. They have a warm signature and details can get somewhat lost at times. As with any set of headphones, it’s all in what you get used to.