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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Sennheiser HD555?

    Hi All,
    I consider myself to be an audio enthusiast. I'd like a pair of cans for use with an iPod or a computer. I can get these cans for $90 new. Mainly, I listen to classic rock, but some jazz, mellow stuff---no rap! Are these the right phones for me? I don't want to invest in an amp, and comfort is a factor...
    Thanks,
    james

  2. #2
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james101
    Hi All,
    I consider myself to be an audio enthusiast. I'd like a pair of cans for use with an iPod or a computer. I can get these cans for $90 new. Mainly, I listen to classic rock, but some jazz, mellow stuff---no rap! Are these the right phones for me? I don't want to invest in an amp, and comfort is a factor...
    Thanks,
    james
    My opinion, using these with an Ipod/comp will result in a really lackluster performance. If you're certain you don't want an amp, move on. Don't look at any set with impedance greater than 32 ohms.

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    Even for my first pair of decent headphones? I have the Grado 60's and I'm not crazy about them. I considered the HD555 because they're a step up. For someone new to audiophile grade headphones- will an amp be absolutely crucial?

  4. #4
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    If you want to use portable devices and a computer to power these HP's, then yes, it's crucial. Crucial if you want good sound. You don't have to, but then again, they won't perform the way all of the reviews you have read, say they will.

    It's up to you man. I'm just giving you the reality of what will happen. You can buy a little amp for cheap man. Here's a geat one that I use... http://www.electric-avenues.com/

  5. #5
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james101
    Even for my first pair of decent headphones? I have the Grado 60's and I'm not crazy about them. I considered the HD555 because they're a step up. For someone new to audiophile grade headphones- will an amp be absolutely crucial?
    I own the HD595 and like them. The HD555/HD595 will play to very loud volume with a mp3 player. They over over ear phones, but NOT closed cans so you can hear what is going on around you. I don't know how the HD555 would compare to the Grados, as I've not heard either against each other.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  6. #6
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    thanks for the advice gentlemen

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james101
    Hi All,
    I consider myself to be an audio enthusiast. I'd like a pair of cans for use with an iPod or a computer. I can get these cans for $90 new. Mainly, I listen to classic rock, but some jazz, mellow stuff---no rap! Are these the right phones for me? I don't want to invest in an amp, and comfort is a factor...
    Thanks,
    james
    I like mine a lot and I do use them straight from the computer. Then again I mainly listen to classical music at moderate levels.

  8. #8
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    555's have 120 ohm's of impedance. There's no way they can deliver the goods without some kind of power behind them. I'm not talking about volume, I'm talking about presentation and sonics.

  9. #9
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    555's have 120 ohm's of impedance. There's no way they can deliver the goods without some kind of power behind them. I'm not talking about volume, I'm talking about presentation and sonics.
    Poppa, I'm sorry but according to Sennheiser these are 50 Ohm phones;

    http://www.sennheiserusa.com/private...dphones_005342

    I knew they could play loud but 112dB?! That's ear bleeding level!
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  10. #10
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    My bad, putting "sennheiser 555 specs" into Google brought me here, the first result...http://www.dansdata.com/hd555.htm

    It's a review, this momo says 120. Should have gone to Senn's site. Anyhow, I still agree with an amp unless the device has really high output, which most don't. My rule of thumb is anything over 32 ohms needs proper power.

  11. #11
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    Poppachubby-
    the amp you recommended...is it a reliable one? Also, how long has it lasted?

  12. #12
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james101
    Poppachubby-
    the amp you recommended...is it a reliable one? Also, how long has it lasted?

    Extremely!! Did you visit the site? Gary has a VERY intyeresting story to tell. He's a great, accessible guy who you can email with personally. He will fix ANY problem that arises FREE of charge. Although, with both units I've had no problems.

    His design is a great one, allows for portability and power. It runs on 1 AA rechargable. He has the circuit wired up so that if you plug a 9V adaptor into the unit, it recharges without having to open or replace the battery. I use mine all the time and rarely have to recharge. Infact, it's never died on me, it will last forever. In turn, your portable device will also, since it now only has to deliver the audio signal, and no power to the cans.

    I hate telling people to spend money needlessly. If you really want to experience a decent set of cans, IMO it's a neccessity. There's more to a set of headphones than volume...

  13. #13
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    BTW, here's a pic of one of my amp's. I love this application. It can be viewed in his archive, 6601 - 6800. Oh and yes, those numbers represent amps sold!! I think he's around 7000 now, all hand made...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    I did visit the site, and I even contacted Gary- he seems like a nice guy. It sounds like the way to go is that amp and the Senn cans.

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    By the way, is it possible to keep these cans at a reasonable volume and use them on the go(airplane) without disturbing others?

  16. #16
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james101
    By the way, is it possible to keep these cans at a reasonable volume and use them on the go(airplane) without disturbing others?
    It depends on what you would call "resonable". With open back cans the people around you can hear what's playing. If your cranking Godsmack then the guy next to you is going to know.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  17. #17
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Even at "reasonable" volumes, you may be disturbing others. I would think an airplane would be the worst case scenario for this. VERY close quarters for hours at a time, people get cranky easily on planes...

    Take a look at the Sennheiser HD 280. I own an old pair of these. Classic Senn.

  18. #18
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    I don't like the isolated sound I would get from the 280s

  19. #19
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Well then, I guess it doesn't matter if anyone gets disturbed, open it is!!

  20. #20
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    Sorry if I seem like a "tough customer," I detect a hint of sarcasm in your above response.
    That being said, most of the time, these cans will be used at home. But, for the annual vacation--I may want to bring these along. So even at a fairly low-mid volume- these can be heard from people clearly?

  21. #21
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james101
    Sorry if I seem like a "tough customer," I detect a hint of sarcasm in your above response.
    That being said, most of the time, these cans will be used at home. But, for the annual vacation--I may want to bring these along. So even at a fairly low-mid volume- these can be heard from people clearly?
    Unless the person is sitting right next to you I dont see a problem.

    However, even though open back cans provide the most realistic sound, the tradeoff is that your going to be exposed to all the ambient noise.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  22. #22
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    No sarcasm at all. Believe me, you're not a tough customer, you're quite a pleasant one. I wouldn't bother to help you if you were tough. Remember, I know I am really awesome at this, but I am unpaid.

    I think the problem is that no, it wouldn't be clear per se. It would be a more irritating, hum or murmur that is unclear, but audible. I figured you were a businessman because of your question. If you're only on a plane once or twice a year then don't sweat it. Worst case scenario you can get something else for travelling and enjoy your 555's at home.

    OK, I think you have enough now. You need to pull the trigger James. C'mon man, don't be afraid. You can do it little guy!!! (Gives you a hug)

  23. #23
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    Okay poppachubby-
    I think I'm going to make the purchase in time for Christmas '09. I appreciate all of your help: poppachubby and geoffcin! Thanks again guys, and I will be sure to let you know how they sound. One final question- I have heard some things about burn-in, can you enlighten me?

  24. #24
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Yep, I am a big fan of burn in. Here's a site that will explain everything, They also have a heap of mp3's for burn in. Try the burn in generator. It's what i use. Hook em up to your comp, run the gen and away you go.

    Good luck and let us know...

    http://www.burninwave.com/

  25. #25
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    Hey guys-

    I went with your advice and got the Senn HD555's. So far, I am very pleased with the clarity, and range of these headphones. I decided not to go with an amp, and I'm still blown away by the sound quality. However, I am realizing that alot of my music is from the 70s and was not recorded with the best equipment...

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