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Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

  • High-end circumaural headphones with E.A.R. technology
  • Excellent sound reproduction with deep bass
  • State of the art, diaphragms for minimal distortion
  • Distinctive grille-like ear cup design
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Learn more about the Sennheiser Electronic corp. HD 518

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Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 2 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 2 years


Customer Reviews of the Sennheiser Electronic corp. HD 518

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  • Michael D.
  • 5/21/2015 3:45:51 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsSennheiser HD518

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: Surprising amount of bass for a Sennheiser product. Slight emphasis in the midrange reveals lots of detail

Cons: Plug will not fit my son's tablet or his I phone. At least he can't borrow these headphones.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Kyle B.
  • 5/3/2015 6:10:47 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggsExcellent combination of quality and features for the price. Aftermarket cable recommended for mobile use.

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: + Impressive clarity and soundstage with a balanced and relaxed blend of bass, mid-range, and treble, the latter of which is not sibilant at all
+ Requires no additional hardware, such as amplifiers or sound cards.
+ Very comfortable cloth padding which offers a firm fit, even during exercise
+ Interchangeable cables with a locking mechanism
+ Build quality of the headphones and cable seem pretty good


SOUND: These headphones deliver a pleasurable, but not emphasized and certainly not artificial-sounding, bass and texture to satisfy many people. Downtuned riffs sound visceral, and bass kicks more like bass punches you know what I mean? If you are looking for a lot of bass that you could swim in, these are not for you unfortunately. With the impressive soundstage, I could focus on so many lesser sounds in my music that I struggled to find before. Lyrics, which may have been hidden before, are now clear. My situational awareness in first-person shooters is also heightened now. Explosions and gunshots, if properly produced, sound quite a bit more forceful too. I am not big on the sound production in movies, so I can't really speak for that audience. On the matter of ASMR, the bass response and soundstage benefit the microphone manipulation and 3D audio considerably.

BUILD & FIT: It's all a bunch of hard plastic and it's fairly light, but it doesn't necessarily feel flimsy. I don't want to drop these too much, but I think they should handle some rough handling with little problems. Manipulating the headphones does not cause any creaking noises, which is good, and I do not feel like they will break in my hands. The earcups have a nice bit of movement to adjust to your head near-perfectly. At first the fit was a little tight, but they've broken in quite nicely. The soundstage seems to be best when you adjust the headphones so that your ears sit in the back. I wear glasses, and these will make a sort of squeaking noise if I move my head around certain ways due to the glasses rubbing against the cloth earpads, but it doesn't bother me often, and you can just hold the headphones in place when you move your head to the side to stop them from rubbing together.

The cloth padding isn't uncomfortable in the least. I usually wear them for the good part of my day, being a total nerd. But I do feel pretty relieved when I take them off. I do yoga with these and lay down with them on as well. Yes you can do these things, and comfortably. The ears may get warm during exercise, but they will not get as hot as if you had leather or pleather earpads. These will stay on up-side down, but they will slide back if you tilt your head backwards unless you wear the headband like a crown.

Cons: - Doesn't seem like it would take very many drops
- Default 3.5mm adapter is bulky, as is the separate 3.5mm cable from Sennheiser, hindering mobile use
- Leaks more sound than other open-backed headphones

CORD & MOBILE USE CONSIDERATIONS: These headphones have a open-backed design, and I shouldn't have to tell you that these leak a lot of sound. However I kinda do, because these leak a lot more than other open-backed headphones I've come across. On a volume that I consider normal and fun, and in a controlled environment (completely silent house), I was able to faintly hear the sound from my room out in the hallway, over 25 feet! Of course that was with the door open, too. I would NOT recommend these for use in libraries or any similar quiet place that requires productivity unless you are going putting the volume rather low. In which case, somebody sitting next to you shouldn't notice.

The cord (thank the lord) is detachable and locks into place. This was one of the features I wanted when considering my options. The default cord feels pretty solidly built, but it is just normal rubber. A deep plastic sound is heard in the left ear when it is manipulated. About ten feet in length, ending with a 6.3mm plug and it comes with a 3.5mm adapter. In my environment, that is great because I can do yoga, operate my elliptical or exercise bike, and lay on my bed across the room while still listening to my music or whatever. More on the fit during those actions later. Sennheiser makes a 4.5 foot cable with a 3.5mm plug and 6.3mm adapter, however it looks just as bulky in width, which will probably stop you from plugging this into your smartphone if it has a case on it. You will have to take the case off for a proper connection. And if you do, the 6.3mm + 3.5mm adapter will induce an unsightly ~3 inch protrusion upon your mobile device.

There are third-party replacement cables sold on .. that one inappropriate website, made by NewFantasia. These appear to be of high quality and come in an unnecessary amount of lengths, ending in normal-sized 3.5mm plugs, and may come with braided cables or an in-line mic + volume control (the latter one does seem to affect sound quality and it's pretty short so I find the short cable + away-from-the-desktop controls to be useless). If you are going to take these for mobile use, I suggest you add one of NewFantasia's cables to your shopping cart as well.

Other Thoughts: The 518, 558, and 598 all curiously have the same sound drivers, and the main difference between them is a gradual shift from bass to treble and with each succeeding headphone having a wider soundstage and more comfortable fit. But overall these are not very bassy, nor bright. If this signature is not what you are looking for, I suggest you take a look at Sony, Shure, Grado, and Audio-Technica models in the $70-$150+ price range, as they also look to be good options for both closed- and open-backed headphones.

After many, many hours of researching and cross-referencing headphone reviews and discussions pertaining to budget headphones under $100, I decided on these as a replacement to my modest Logitech H390 headset. They were a perfect match for the sound and features I was demanding.

I would highly recommend these for any music lover who is not willing to invest into additional equipment. These are best enjoyed at home due to the default cable and open-backed design. Gamers may enjoy these headphones as well, though I hear the HD 558s are more recommended for their wider soundstage.

For additional reference, I listen to a lot of jazz, swing (classic and electronic), funk, r&b, soul, 70s-80s pop, new age, meditation music, and a whole lot of metal (traditional, thrash, death, black, sludge, doom, progressive, experimental, you name it). I enjoy all of these so much with these headphones, and the sound quality is actually helping me appreciate new kinds of music as well.

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  • James R.
  • 3/14/2015 7:24:59 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsFinally, asleep with music.

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: I can roll over with these and actually lay my head down on a pillow; the cups actually fit around the outside of my ears. With the low profile they have, this allows me some room to roll over with them and fall asleep on my side.

Single cord to left side.

Cons: Needs plug adapter ( supplied ), had to shave the plastic off of the adapter barrel for it to fit into my Otterbox on my S4.

Venting? causes ambient sound to come in. This might be seen as a pro if you need to be able to hear someone talking to you while your "immersed" ....but these aren't noise canceling so make what you will of that.

Cup material is a sort of fabric that I imagine will be very prone to absorbing liquids ( like sweat ).

Other Thoughts: Aside form the lengthy cord and need for an adapter ( supplied ), these have won my ears.

5 stars for being useful with my SRS out of the box.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • christopher w.
  • 3/13/2015 6:29:54 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat sounding audio

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: Very clean sound in all audio ranges without distortion. Very comfortable to wear. Completely covers my ears without pinching them. Android phone is powerful to drive them. Audio cable detachable/replaceable. Feel very durable, even for being plastic.

The style of music I listen to is everything from Progressive rock to death metal to classical music to techno. These headphones sound great regardless what I threw at them. I was even able to hear faint sounds in the music that I had not noticed was there on other brands of headphones that I've tried (Monster, Apple earbuds, etc).

Cons: Base is heavier than expected, but not overwhelming. You can hear everything outside the speakers; this can be a good or bad thing. Audio leakage at high volume. Audio cord is quite long and the adapter is huge. Not as much bling bling compared to brands such as Beats/Monster.

Other Thoughts: These are an excellent pair of headphones. At the sale price I had purchased them at, you cannot find a better set. At normal price, they will compete with anything else out there.
If you plan on using this for a handheld mp3 player, it is highly recommended that you replace the cable as it is quite long and the adapter is huge. They should have just included a second cable instead of the adapter.
If you plan on wearing these in a public place, I'd suggest finding a way to put a removable cover over the outside vents of the speakers. This will help with outside noise and audio leakage. I had placed my hands over them as a test and the audio was just as good; with just a little less bass. For me, this can give the best of both worlds since at times I still want to be able to hear my surroundings.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • cheyenne p.
  • 3/11/2015 10:10:04 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsI expected something more

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: Light weight
Comfortable
Breathable materials

Cons: Bass is not quite as full and rich as they claim
Standard plug should have been the 3.5 mm
Feel kind of cheap especially in the hinges and pivot points

Other Thoughts: Some of my negative remarks may not be so bad for those who wish to use these for audio playback. I bought these in place of a "gaming headset," which I have had poor experiences with hoping I'd like these more.

0 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • David M.
  • 2/22/2015 4:21:11 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsBought another

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: Waited months for them to go on sale again and bought a second HD518

Cons: At this price?
NONE!

Other Thoughts: This review is supplemental to one below

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  • EDWARD C.
  • 2/20/2015 6:02:42 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsMostly dissapointed

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: They are over the ear (large). The cable is long and thick.

Cons: These are NOT comfortable, they don't sound right and the outside noise is amplified, not reduced. I have a $30 pair of on ear Sony's that are at much, much better. The "vented" design means 100% of outside noise bleeds through and can't imagine anyone enjoying wearing these. The sound quality is at best good, at $10 these would be a good deal for big kids. At $20 or more, I'm sending them back.

Other Thoughts: These are cheap construction, cheap sounding and feel cheap.

0 out of 15 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 2/19/2015 4:48:03 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsgreat sound, great price

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: scooped this up with a promo code. took an extra day to be delivered because it was sent via newegg express.

love the bass and midrange on these headphones. they really pump out sound. using this primarily for music and videos. I have a steelseries for gaming. those headphones are bigger and more comfortable to wear and blocks out background noise better but the sound is tinnier and less intimate.

but the sennheiser demolishes it for music. when you want the jams pumping into your eardrum

I have to test this more for ear fatigue. some headphones fatigue your ears fast. You can achieve a crystalline aural experience with these sennheiser

Cons: none

Other Thoughts: with the cable was braided but no biggie. i want to scoop up another if it goes on sale again

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • David M.
  • 2/13/2015 6:23:17 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsThe Best Headphones That I Have Yet Owned

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: The fit is Lightweight and comfortable. The pads press evenly all around on my oval-shaped head, and, t is a joy to not have them press the sides of my glasses into my head. I wear them almost all day, every day.
The sound is, at this price point, astonishing. Clear, definitive, wide, and full-range. The HD518s are attenuated for bass so make sure your EQ is off - you won't need it.

Cons: With open baffle, someone very close can hear what's playing if the volume is high enough.

Other Thoughts: The beauty of open baffle headphones, like open baffle speakers, is that the free movement of the driver allows more db per watt, and, with a driver designed for OB, full range is achieved more affordably.
Used with Integra stereo receiver DTM-40.4

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Sean W.
  • 10/9/2013 10:01:07 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsA fantastic set of headphones

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: These are, bar none, the best set of headphones I've ever had. They're even better than my Turtlebeach PX3's, and those are fantastic as well. Every nuance of sound is picked up by these things, from the deepest bass to the highest treble.

They are extremely comfortable as well. I've already gone hours wearing these things without noticing them, though nearly jerking my head off when I went to stand up wasn't very good. The cups fit very large ears comfortably, with room to spare.

Cons: There are no cons from what I can see, apart from the fact that the jack is MASSIVE. The product title has it wrong - it's 6.3mm with a 3.5mm adapter, which will cause some problems when trying to plug these things into a tight space. However, the adapter is only as big around as the plug itself - as a rough measure, it's about as big around as two standard pencils put side-by-side.

Other Thoughts: These are some of the best headphones I've ever owned. I hope to get years of use out of these things, and to those audiophiles who already have a thousand dollar set of headphones, these will make for a high-quality backup set.

Sennheiser makes extremely high-quality gear.

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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