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Parkway Drive

Sennheiser 558 + Antlion ModMic 4.0 [Review]

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Just wanted to post up a mini review/first impression on the Sennheiser HD558 and a thanks to the audio forum for all their advice and to @Slick for first mentioning these on the WAN show. I started researching through the web and on the forums after Slick mentioned these on the show and decided into looking at getting a new pair of headphones to replace my Siberia V2 which I loved.
 
With BF4 coming out soon and having a bit of money from tax return I picked up a pair of Sennheiser HD558 for $185 AUD + free express shipping. I previously mentioned on another thread that I have had experience with a lot of other headphones on account that my older brother is a DJ here in Oz and I have used a lot of headsets from guys in my gaming community and our LAN parties. Anyway I really wanted to take the next step in better audio quality and to be honest I didn't think it would make a huge difference from a "gaming" headset...I was wrong. I will say this now before anything else:
 
GET A GOOD PAIR OF HEADPHONES AND A MICROPHONE.

 

 

Background:

So my background with audio is mostly from highschool where I played guitar and drums with some time in a recording studio. As mentioned I have had experience with other headphones but not while gaming and have had experience with many headsets while gaming from razer, corsair, plantronics, steelseries, astros, logitech, thermaltake, etc. I have used or have had experience with atleast one or more pairs of headsets from the list of brands, this is usually from borrowing off friends or members of my gaming community for short periods of time (1-2 weeks).
I am in no way an audiophile, but I did notice a huge step up in sound quality. I'm running them through my ThunderFX which some may not exactly regard as a great DAC but I have found it much better than even the onboard SupremeFX included on my Maximus V Forumla. I have also adjusted the EQ to suit my own personal preferences.

 

Sound Quality: Balanced / Crystal clear sound stage
The 558s are one of the best balanced all-round headphones I've used. When it comes to gaming, the sound stage is a huge benefit over many closed headphones/headsets. The clarity of sound makes it amazing for movies and particular genres of music. I predominately listen to Hardcore/Metalcore and while they don't have the bass of some Sony headphones I've used, they still give a great low end and enough bass to get those double kicks across. I would say these headphones shine particularly well with Jazz and Classical but have noticed that some bands like Karnivool have particularly good use of a wide sound stage on some of their songs which makes the experience overall with music very good but if you listen to hip hop or RnB then I'd recommend looking at some cans with more bass (not that these wouldn't suffice, just that some prefer more bass for those genres, something like the DT990).

These headphones are also great for movies. I tested them out with some action movies like the Avengers and loved the depth of clairty during action scenes. Explosions had a nice bassy thud while still having clarity at producing higher frequencies like cracks of gunfire without sounding broken. I think the immersive properties of having the sound stage also help with with some horror or thillers. They're just great all round headphones for gaming, movies and music.

 

Build Quality: So far, so good

Unfortunately I have not had these headphones for an extended period of time so I can't comment on it's long term durability. In the 2-3 weeks I have had these, they have withstood flexing and stretching without any problems. I have removed and reattached each earcup a number of times and there are no signs of wear so far. The plastic doesn't feel as nice as a metal frame but it is thick and looks as tho it could stand up to a bit of abuse but I definitely wouldn't recommend you purposely do so. I take care of my gear as best as possible and keep my headphones on a hanger near my desk. One issue i can see happening down the line is that the velour on the cups may wear down after a few years of use but there are replacements that can be found online. Overall the build quality is sturdy and light without having the plastic feel flimsy. My early impressions is that if you take care of your gear then it will definitely last longer than you expect.

 

Comfort: Perfect out of the box
Comfort with the circumaural cups are great, they're not too tight but don't flop around either. The velour earpads are also very soft and even now with the bushfires going on here in Sydney and the temperatures getting pretty hot, I am still able to wear them for hours on end. I did notice that when I moved from my most recent Siberia V2 which were also comfortable, I found that having the cups sit around my ear as opposed to slightly on, that it reduced the pressure overall and made it much more comfortable for extended periods of time. The plastic also makes the headphones very light and coming from a pair of Siberia V2 with the suspension headband, these were very easy to get used to, to the point where I wouldn't feel that I had them on at all.
I've noticed a big difference in having the depth of the earcups of the HD558 as opposed to other headsets like the Siberia V2 or other around the ear cups. While my ears arent squashed in the cups of other headphones/headsets, there is a prominent space of comfort in the HD558 cups as the inside of the cups leave ample room for the sound stage and ears to breathe. This was a big plus in being able to wear them for extended periods of time and something I noticed much more comfortable from other headphones that I felt were cupping the ears as opposed to sitting around them as the HD558s do.

 

Add on ModMic 4.0: Who needs a headset

I added a ModMic 4.0 and went onto my gaming community's teamspeak server and did a quick test between the Siberia V2 mic. All microphone settings stayed the same and I just plugged the different mic jacks into my ThunderFX DAC. My friends did say they noticed that the sound was very clear and my voice sounded more natural, that they could hear there was more bass and tone in my voice. Overall it was a better mic. I also found that the output was much greater and therefore was able to turn off the gain on my mic channel which greatly improved that background hiss you usually get from a boosted mic. The clarity was exceptional for a boom mic, I wouldn't say better than a standalone desk mic such as a blue snowball or compressor mic but it can definitely replace any everyday use and definitely better than any headset mic I've experienced.
The setup was easy and I was worried that the pads wouldn't be strong enough but after attaching the mic I was happily surprised that both the mounts and the magnets holding the mic were very strong.

I would definitely recommend the Modmic 4.0 for anyone who looking to turn their favourite pair of headphones into the best pair of headsets they've ever used.

 

Conclusion: Highly recommended sub $200 AUD open headphones
I can highly recommend these headphones (or @MayflowerElectronics, @ShearMe and others may also recommend the AD700X or DT990 depending on your price range) to anyone wanting to make the move from headsets and while you might say the convenience of having a single cable and a mic on the headset is better, I can happily say that I was there myself and making the jump for better audio quality is definitely worth it. It really isn't any trouble having another line for a zalman clip on or another boom mic. The bottom line is: The HD558 + Modmic 4.0 is my perfect headset to date.
 
*** Doing the foam mod does open the soundstage slightly and also makes the bass more airy and less muddy. However, some FPS gamers may like having the foam kept in as it adds a slight punch to explosions and gunfire. It doesn't sound exactly the same as a pair of 598 as some may expect. However, if you are looking for a very similar experience as the 598, then these are definitely the pick. ***
The final result, a "headset" under $200 AUD with better audio and immersive experience than ANY headset I've ever used.

 

 
198_2_zps9f7e42e7.jpg

 
Again thanks to all the guys on the forums and to the guys who always have great advice, you know who you are cause I like all their posts  ;) Cheers.

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Thanks to the audio section regulars, I too have purchased a pair of 558's recently and added a boom mic (mine from an old headset which I did surgery on) to complete the gaming headset effect. It has to be said that the 558's is the best purchase I have ever made. Cannot recommend this pair of headphones enough. 10/10


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Again from what i believe if you want the best headset up to the HD558 level get the pc360's. They are 166$ on amazon. Same price as you would spend on a mod mic + Hd558's, But that's only american pricing so that could be very different somewhere else.

 

But then again there are alot of different headphones out there and the 558's are not the end all be all, So if you like those headphones already and want a single cord mic+headphone combo get the pc360's.

 

But then again you can't get any Ad700X headset :P

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Glad you're enjoying your games! 

 

 

Again from what i believe if you want the best headset up to the HD558 level get the pc360's. They are 166$ on amazon. Same price as you would spend on a mod mic + Hd558's.

 

Unfortunately, they're not always so cheap, especially for non-'muricans. Let's hope that changes.

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Glad you're enjoying your games! 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, they're not always so cheap, especially for non-'muricans. Let's hope that changes.

I forgot the price changes around the world. Fixing my post as we speak.

 

I hate that price is so different in other places. If only the retail world would be equal.

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I forgot the price changes around the world. Fixing my post as we speak.

 

I hate that price is so different in other places. If only the retail world would be equal.

 

And it used to be over $200 here....  I still have my reservations about integration, but at least it's now at a reasonable price for people who don't agree with me.  :)

 

Edit: Oi, OP, you can't hide your edits from me! Besides, I recommend the Pioneer SE-A1000, not the ATH-AD700X.  :P

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I'm going to be doing a similar thing with these:

 

PIONEER SE-A1000

<http://www.toppreise.ch/prod_289248.html>

95.00 CHF or £65

 

 

With as you said a flexible mic of eBay or something like this

 

 

Thanks to @ShearMe ;) and others...

 

Mainly because it's so cheap! xD

 

 

Glad @Parkway Drive that you're enjoying good audio quality xD


PROFILEYEAH

What do people even put in these things?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Again from what i believe if you want the best headset up to the HD558 level get the pc360's. They are 166$ on amazon. Same price as you would spend on a mod mic + Hd558's, But that's only american pricing so that could be very different somewhere else.

 

But then again there are alot of different headphones out there and the 558's are not the end all be all, So if you like those headphones already and want a single cord mic+headphone combo get the pc360's.

 

But then again you can't get any Ad700X headset :P

Cheapest I can find here in Australia is around $210 from DWI, but they're just a Hong Kong store with an online .au website. Most of the stores here have them around $260 - $300 for the PC360.

 

Unfortunately Amazon doesn't ship most of their stuff to Australia, we're living on an island here.  :D

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Cheapest I can find here in Australia is around $210 from DWI, but they're just a Hong Kong store with an online .au website. Most of the stores here have them around $260 - $300 for the PC360.

 

Unfortunately Amazon doesn't ship most of their stuff to Australia, we're living on an island here.  :D

Yeah it seems anybody from australia get's royally nailed when it comes to prices. Sad thing it is.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Yeah it seems anybody from australia get's royally nailed when it comes to prices. Sad thing it is.

 

Yeh even more so for our crappy net and ancient infrastructure.

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and yup, im receiving my HD 558 tomorrow. Cant wait for the first baby step into the audiophile world.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

and yup, im receiving my HD 558 tomorrow. Cant wait for the first baby step into the audiophile world.

I'm sure you won't regret it, welcome to better audio.

Thanks this has just convinced me to go for these. I had not been able to find any review that had comments about comfort.

 

Glad I could help. I wish everyone could understand how much better the audio quality is going to a dedicated pair of headphones, but it's really something you need to try in person before you believe it is true.

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I am in line for buying a pair of HD558, too. I want to use this mic with it. Does this fit into them? They do have a detachable cable, but I read somewhere, it is a special connection.

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I am in line for buying a pair of HD558, too. I want to use this mic with it. Does this fit into them? They do have a detachable cable, but I read somewhere, it is a special connection.

 

aint going to fit without some modification

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if they are like the 595's they have a 2x2 connector inside the headphone. to get at it you need to remove the driver from the left cup.

to get the detachable boom mic, like beyer or vmoda offer, to work, you will need to add your own 1/8" jack.


Will work for electronic components and parts


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I am in line for buying a pair of HD558, too. I want to use this mic with it. Does this fit into them? They do have a detachable cable, but I read somewhere, it is a special connection.

Yeh unfortunately you'll need to do some modification to get that jack to fit. The sennheiser jack has a twist lock that stops the cable from getting pulled out and it also sits pretty far into the headphone as you can see from the photo. So you'd need to work around that if you modify the mic. And yes they have a 2.5mm 4pole jack. Otherwise you'll need to do what t0wer suggested and add in your own jack. I personally was going to go with the later and add in my own extra 3.5mm (1/8") jack for the boom mic but haven't brought myself to fitting in another jack and the way I have it configured at the moment has been working fine for me.

 

558_Cable_zps32d5dcb6.jpg

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Okay. I am not a great fan of modding new products. So I decided to go with the Zalman ZM-MIC1. They should be as good as any other Headset mic, when amazon reviews can be trusted, and I will just use it for in-game chat anyway. 

But with the money saved on the mic, the HD598 are in my pricerange again.

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A Karnivool fan, yay!


"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."


- Albert Einstein

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