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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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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Learn more about the Sennheiser Electronic corp. HD 518

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 2 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 2 years
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Sennheiser Electronic corp. HD 518

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Showing 23 of 23 reviews - Clear Filters

  • Brenan H.
  • 8/30/2015 1:17:52 AM
  • Tech Level: Low
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggslasted me almost 4 yrs without issues

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: very comfortable, I have big ears and I usually pc game for 3+ hrs at a time and with these my ears never hurt. I bought these for comfort and good quality sound, although Im not a experienced audiophile. I bought these back in September of 2011, and about a week ago I started to notice the sound cutting out or being suppressed in my left earbud. overall these have lasted very long and even the head band padding adhesive held up pretty well. not bad all things considered. its cheaper to buy these here than on the official site at the moment.

Cons: the cord is long, so you have to keep the cord tucked away in a safe place when not in use to avoid tripping up on the dangling cord; which my relatives often did. Another issue is these headphones felt fragile, I take very good care of my stuff so they never suffered anything but scratches, but the casing on the headphones feels like weak plastic that could break if dropped or too much forced applied.

Other Thoughts: these were my 1st real expensive headphones, which to me is $100+ (at the time they were $125 to be exact) and I bought this brand because my research indicated they had a good rep for headphones and I wanted something solid that would last me several years. id say I got more than my moneys worth.

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  • Cameron D.
  • 8/7/2015 11:01:38 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat pair of headphones

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: Great build quality and lightweight. No issues with fatigue after wearing for long durations. Very crisp and clear audio.

Cons: Don't expect a ton of bass from these drivers, as they weren't designed for that. This isn't a con for complaining as much as it is a PSA.

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  • Rayaz A.
  • 7/30/2015 9:34:50 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsBroke after 3 months.

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: Decent sound coming from superlux HD681s.

Cons: Right ear started to sound muffed like they were blown.

Other Thoughts: Maybe this is why they are on sale. Sennheiser let me down thinking they will last me for at least a year. And to repair them at least 50$+, might as well buy new ones for the same price.

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  • Brian M.
  • 7/30/2015 9:09:40 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsLives up to the hype

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: The headset has great clarity and sounds super great. I got it to use with CS:GO and upcoming Star Marine, and I noticed an immediate improvement over my Gamecom 780

Cons: The jack adapter is annoying and clunk, and the cable is like 6.5ft in length or so. I'd have preferred a second 3.5mm cable shipped along with it as others have recommended.

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  • Jeremy L.
  • 7/28/2015 6:07:34 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Headphones for the Price

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: Very comfortable, excellent sound quality, very long cord, great for streamers.

Cons: None as of yet

Other Thoughts: Bought these to use on stream and I'm not disappointed. If you're an up-and-coming streamer on a budget these are the headphones for you.

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

  • Carl C.
  • 6/29/2015 7:04:07 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat headphones under $100

This review is from: Sennheiser HD518 On-Ear Headphones

Pros: Sound great, good imaging, deep, punchy, and tight bass, comfortable, not too tight or too loose (for my head), cable NOT coiled, doesn't feel terribly cheap

Cons: Long and thin cable, large 3.5mm adapter, not very portable, pads could be a bit nicer, ears get a bit warm over time

Other Thoughts: My previous headphones were the JVC HA-RX900 (first "real" set), and then a pair of Beyerdynamics DT770 Pro which I soon traded out for the DT990 Pro 250-ohm for the better sound stage (used for gaming, music, and movies at the time). I wound up selling those a while back, but needed a new set primarily for guitar practice so as not to disturb the neighbors. These HD518's are MUCH better than the RX900, and almost as good as the DT990's. The DT990's are a touch clearer, a touch wider sound stage, but the HD518 have better bass IMO, tighter, punchier and extends a bit lower than the bass of the DT990. Actually from the reviews elsewhere I was expecting very little bass, and was surprised to find them as punchy as they are. I'd even venture to say they're almost as bass oriented as the DT770 I've tried in the past...not quite but almost. I bought these primarily for guitar practice (using a Line6 Flextone III XL) and they sound almost like the amp...not quite, a bit too much bass (which can be EQ'd out a bit), but pretty darn close (but then again this isn't a cheapo practice amp with cheap speakers either). Certainly better than the DT990 which were far too muddy on the bass and way too bright on the high end. I'd put the build quality well above the RX900, but not quite up to snuff compared to the Beyerdyanmics. The velour pads on the DT770/990 and build materials are a bit more premium. However, for the price I paid (less than the RX900 and 1/3 the "on sale" price of the DT990 or DT770), I am SUPER happy with these! Almost Beyerdynamics quality and sound for much cheaper!

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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 4 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.

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

  • 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

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