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    Hi, I'm not very experienced at all in the headphone market so I was looking for some advice.

    I've been wanting a pair of open back, circum-aural headphones for some time now and have read a few reviews and shortlisted the Sennheiser HD485's as they were very reasonably priced and seemed to be pretty highly recommended. However, my budget recently increased slightly so I'll be able to afford anything up to about £70 and I found that the Sennheiser HD555's could be bought for this price.

    What I was wondering was, would it be worth it for me to spend the extra money (£80 compared to £50) and buy the 555's. I'll mainly be using the headphones for listening to music on my laptop, gaming on my laptop and also for practising the electrical guitar without annoying any next door neighbours. I listen to quite a wide range of music, mostly Metal but also some Dance and a some more chilled out Acoustic stuff. Which of the two headphones would be most useful for this sort of listening?

    Of course I'm open to other recommendations, as long as the headphones don't exceed about £80, thanks in advance.
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    HD485 are supposed to be more bassy than the 555. To be honest it will probably be worth reading on the head fi forums as youll likely get advice from people who have had both.

    I think the general consensus is that the 555 are worth the extra. Also if you get the 485 you might get a case of upgraditis wonder what your missing and end up buying better ones in the near future anyway!

    I have the HD555s they sound good but I dont really find them that comfortable to be honest a bit clampy on your head. Also the hd485 have a standard mini jack connection, whereas the 555s have a 1/4" which means you have to use a BIG adapter to plug it into a 1/8".
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    (Original post by Lapis lazuli)
    HD485 are supposed to be more bassy than the 555. To be honest it will probably be worth reading on the head fi forums as youll likely get advice from people who have had both.

    I think the general consensus is that the 555 are worth the extra. Also if you get the 485 you might get a case of upgraditis wonder what your missing and end up buying better ones in the near future anyway!

    I have the HD555s they sound good but I dont really find them that comfortable to be honest a bit clampy on your head. Also the hd485 have a standard mini jack connection, whereas the 555s have a 1/4" which means you have to use a BIG adapter to plug it into a 1/8".
    Yeah, I posted the same thing on Head-Fi, it's not gettign many replies though.

    About an hour ago I got to try out the 555's and yeah I noticed the massive adapter you need for the 3.5mm jack, although this isn't a massive issue since I'll only be using them in my room.

    I found that the 555's didn't sound quite as lively as I expect and the bass was a bit lacking, overall though they had a lovely smooth, balanced sound, nothing outrageous and in your face and very clear and detailed. The problem I now have is that I can't get a pair of 485's without actually buying them, so I can't really make a good comparison which is a bit annoying.
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    The reason you'll often get bad reviews of the HD555s, especially on places like Head-Fi, is because in the US the Grado SR60/80s are about the same price, and they are considered to be the superior set of cans by far in that price range for most people.

    The HD555s have gone up in price a lot, gosh, they were like £50 before!

    Another one to consider in this price range is the Creative Aurvana:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-51E...4057348&sr=8-1

    I know, Creative, but these are rebranded Denon D1001s - information about that here. Enjoy!
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    (Original post by freecom2)
    The reason you'll often get bad reviews of the HD555s, especially on places like Head-Fi, is because in the US the Grado SR60/80s are about the same price, and they are considered to be the superior set of cans by far in that price range for most people.

    The HD555s have gone up in price a lot, gosh, they were like £50 before!

    Another one to consider in this price range is the Creative Aurvana:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-51E...4057348&sr=8-1

    I know, Creative, but these are rebranded Denon D1001s - information about that here. Enjoy!
    Yeah I've heard a lot of people talking about the Grados, quite a lot of mentioned though that they can be quite uncomfortable and a bit love 'em or hate em, due to their unique sound and since I''ll probably be wearing the headphones for quite long periods of time, comfort is quite an important aspect for me, of course sound quality comes first but it's a main factor. The grados seem like a bit of a gamble (Considering I can't try before I buy) whereas I know I like how the Sennheisers sound already.

    That being said, since so many people do tend to go on a lot about the Grados, I think I'll research a bit more into them as before I had only glanced at a few of the details and read only 1 or 2 reviews. I'll also have a look at those 'phones you mentioned.

    One more thing though, you didn't mention anything about how the HD485's compare to the 555's, do you know anything about this? Thanks.
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    (Original post by You Failed)
    One more thing though, you didn't mention anything about how the HD485's compare to the 555's, do you know anything about this? Thanks.
    I don't, sorry - good luck to whatever purchase you make.

    As for the Grados, the issue is that they don't have any UK resellers - you'd have to buy them from the US, and you are likely to get hit with import charges, VAT and other stuff, which all ramps up the price sky high... and if you want comfort, it's almost unanimous that the HD555s/595s are extremely comfortable.
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    (Original post by freecom2)
    I don't, sorry - good luck to whatever purchase you make.

    As for the Grados, the issue is that they don't have any UK resellers - you'd have to buy them from the US, and you are likely to get hit with import charges, VAT and other stuff, which all ramps up the price sky high... and if you want comfort, it's almost unanimous that the HD555s/595s are extremely comfortable.

    Ah, that's ok then. I guess Grados aren't really viable then. A lot of the replies I got on Head-Fi seemed to indicate that the HD485's were better than the HD555's for listening to more bass intensive music, such as Dance and some Metal but that the HD555's were smoother and more detailed in every other area. I think I'm just gonna go with the HD555's, considering I'll be using them for more than just listening to music.
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    I had the same dilema before xmas, in the end I did the thing semi-properly and bought HD 595's for £120, after initially wanting to spend only £50 :o:

    With the adaptor, the one which comes with the HD650's (£250 ear cans) has a cable between the 1/8 and 1/4 ends so much less stress is put on the socket. Here is a pic: http://www.headphones.cz/inshop/pict.../b_se92595.jpg It can be got for £10 or less, should get round to this myself really.

    Also does your laptop or whatever you use for gaming have a soundcard, or just the integrated thing that comes standard? To get a good sound you might need to amplify the signal being output. The intergrated sockets in PC's/laptops don't amplify sound. I solved this buy buying some mains powered PC speakers which were around £50

    As for the headphones themselves, they don't clamp, I can listen to films or play games for hours and not find them overly tight, I listen to all sorts of music and films/games and it all sounds great to me. I haven't experienced any base problems, but the speakers I use to amplify the signal have treble and base adjustments.
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    (Original post by dhr90)
    ...
    Wow, the HD595s have also gone up in price - they were going for HD555 money not so long ago. Weak pound, ahh.

    I've never read or considered the HD595/555 to be a headphone that a sound card would struggle to deal with, as I've never heard of anyone using an amp with them - however, having googled, they have an impedance of 120ohms - certainly on the higher end of what is comfortable with weaker amps/chipsets.

    Buy them, you'll know if the sound needs a bit of a boost - if so, then consider an upgrade to your source equipment, if not then just enjoy the music :yes:
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    (Original post by freecom2)
    Wow, the HD595s have also gone up in price - they were going for HD555 money not so long ago. Weak pound, ahh.

    I've never read or considered the HD595/555 to be a headphone that a sound card would struggle to deal with, as I've never heard of anyone using an amp with them - however, having googled, they have an impedance of 120ohms - certainly on the higher end of what is comfortable with weaker amps/chipsets.

    Buy them, you'll know if the sound needs a bit of a boost - if so, then consider an upgrade to your source equipment, if not then just enjoy the music :yes:
    That much cheaper?! Oh my poor wallet...

    I've not tried them off an unamped source yet, I read it was probably more advisable rather than neccesary to amplify them.

    Whatever happens enjoy the sound.
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    (Original post by dhr90)
    That much cheaper?! Oh my poor wallet...

    I've not tried them off an unamped source yet, I read it was probably more advisable rather than neccesary to amplify them.

    Whatever happens enjoy the sound.
    Yup, unfortunately fluctuations and all that. Just the way these things work

    At the end of the day, that is most paramount. There was once a long thread on HydrogenAudio or somewhere like that, on something godawfully boring like ABXing low bitrate codecs to see which one sounded better, or a discussion similar to that, and eventually someone just cracked and thought - why can't we just enjoy the damn music?! It's so true :yes:

    OP, enjoy your purchase.
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    If you are going to use the headphones to listen to your laptop don't bother. These cheap earphones will do the job:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-EP-...4706708&sr=1-1
    If you want decent cans and have a decent Denon DM37 or Onkyo CS515 Micro Hifi then go for these:
    http://www.johnlewis.com/230211536/Product.aspx
    If you've got some mid range NAD or Cambridge Audio separates then these will be just perfect:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...Fc9k4wodlUdHNQ
    To get the most out of top end cans (ie Senn HD650s) you need a headphone amp.
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    (Original post by JamesF87)
    If you are going to use the headphones to listen to your laptop don't bother. These cheap earphones will do the job:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-EP-...4706708&sr=1-1
    If you want decent cans and have a decent Denon DM37 or Onkyo CS515 Micro Hifi then go for these:
    http://www.johnlewis.com/230211536/Product.aspx
    If you've got some mid range NAD or Cambridge Audio separates then these will be just perfect:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...Fc9k4wodlUdHNQ
    To get the most out of top end cans (ie Senn HD650s) you need a headphone amp.
    HD650's are way out of the op's budget!
    Avoid John Lewis, they are expensive.
    The HD595's are what I have and I use them through Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II speakers (the speakers are also very very good) and they sound the same as they did through my dads £600+ headphone amp and CD player.
    Doesn't seem like he is running them straight from a laptop (he/she also wants to use them with his guitar remember) and cheap earphones will also give worse performance than even cheap ear cans as the size of the driver is so small.
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    I have the HD595s too. I use them with my Denon DM37 micro. I got them for £78 from Amazon UK about 2 years ago. But they are £122 now. I use CX300s for my iPhone and used them in the past for a Samsung YP5, iPod Shuffle 2G and iPod Nano 3G.
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    (Original post by dhr90)
    HD650's are way out of the op's budget!
    Avoid John Lewis, they are expensive.
    The HD595's are what I have and I use them through Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II speakers (the speakers are also very very good) and they sound the same as they did through my dads £600+ headphone amp and CD player.
    Doesn't seem like he is running them straight from a laptop (he/she also wants to use them with his guitar remember) and cheap earphones will also give worse performance than even cheap ear cans as the size of the driver is so small.
    You're right. I won't just be running them straight from a laptop, besides I'll be getting a new computer quite soon as well and plan to invest in a decent sound card to go with it and like you said, I'll also be using them with my guitar.

    I bought the HD555's off Amazon for £78, they're nearly burnt in now and they sound fantastic, I would have got the HD595's but I couldn't find them anywhere for below around £95 which was really getting a bit much, considering I originally only planned to spend £40! Aha!

    (Original post by JamesF87)
    I have the HD595s too. I use them with my Denon DM37 micro. I got them for £78 from Amazon UK about 2 years ago. But they are £122 now. I use CX300s for my iPhone and used them in the past for a Samsung YP5, iPod Shuffle 2G and iPod Nano 3G.
    HD650's were indeed out of my budget, by a long shot. I also have no need for that kind of performance and would have had to spend a fair amount then on a good amp to drive them. I have the CX500's for my iPod, they're quite nice, although on more bass heavy tracks, the bass is slighly overpowering, for in ear phones they really are very nice though.
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    (Original post by You Failed)
    You're right. I won't just be running them straight from a laptop, besides I'll be getting a new computer quite soon as well and plan to invest in a decent sound card to go with it and like you said, I'll also be using them with my guitar.

    I bought the HD555's off Amazon for £78, they're nearly burnt in now and they sound fantastic, I would have got the HD595's but I couldn't find them anywhere for below around £95 which was really getting a bit much, considering I originally only planned to spend £40! Aha!



    HD650's were indeed out of my budget, by a long shot. I also have no need for that kind of performance and would have had to spend a fair amount then on a good amp to drive them. I have the CX500's for my iPod, they're quite nice, although on more bass heavy tracks, the bass is slighly overpowering, for in ear phones they really are very nice though.
    Where did you find them for £95?!! I origonally only wanted to spend £40-£50 then went and spent £120:o: Glad I did though.

    My dads got HD650's, they look and feel great, if slightly heavy, sound wise I've yet to directly compare them. He does run them through a Musical Fidelity Headphone amp, CD player and decoder, with upgraded power supply he made as well. There is a good £800 roughly of equipment there, I am very jealous!
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    I never liked the HD555, I still think they're once of the worst headphones I have tried. I haven't tried the 485, bur from experience, I wouldn't get either of them.

    IF you want an affordable open headphone, get some Audio-Techinca AD500, or better yet the AD700. Shure SRH-440 are some very good value-for-money closed headphones.
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    I ordered a pair of HD 228 :o:, hopefully they'll come soon

    Anyone tried these?
 
 
 
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