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Sennheiser HD 558 review

Andrew Williams



  • Recommended by TR
Sennheiser HD 558


Our Score


User Score


  • Refined, detailed sound
  • Detachable cable
  • Extremely comfortable


  • Grille looks a little cheap

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Review Price £130.04

Key Features: 15 – 28,000 Hz frequency response; 50Ohm impedance; 3m detachable cable; Open-backed design; Velour-covered pads

Manufacturer: Sennheiser

The Sennheiser HD range is home to some legendary headphones - the HD 650 and HD 800 are two of the most praised sets in the world, and now they have a new-born brother. The HD 558 is a mid-range model, retailing for around £130. Let's find out if they deserve to hang around with the big boys.

The Sennheiser HD 558 look a lot like the rest of Sennheiser's new-breed headphones, the HD 518 and HD 598. Sitting between the middle of the two, they're not crafted completely out of luxury materials, but they offer the most important elements - comfort and sound quality.

Sennheiser HD 558 4

Each ear pad is lined with soft, very comfortable velour, as is the headband. The leather and wood trimmings of the HD 598 are absent, but the two are comparable in terms of comfort. You can wear these headphones all day long without even the slightest hint of discomfort. They clamp onto your head fairly securely, to avoid slipping when moving, or dancing around, and at 260g they're very light for a full-size pair.

The large cups surround your ears, so unless you have particularly large lobes, the HD 558 should only end up touching your head, not your ears. Like Sennheiser's other over-the-ears models, the headband is manually-adjustable, clicking into place at defined increments. It doesn't manually adjust to your head size.

Aesthetically, the stand-out feature of the Sennheiser HD 558 is the outer covering of each cup. This oval speaker grille is covered in translucent black mesh material, surrounded by a silver plastic trim. It's less likely to offend than the slatted look of the HD 518 headphones' backs, but also looks a lot cheaper than the full metal grille of the HD 598. This defines the HD 558's gameplan - the substance of the higher model, without all of the styling tweaks.

Sennheiser HD 558 1

The back grille here does flex a little under pressure, but otherwise build quality is top-notch. Aside from the padding, all the visible surfaces are plastic, but the headphones are tough and largely creak-free.

The cable pipes-out from the bottom of the left cup, and is removable. The 2.5mm jack is kept in place with a locking mechanism built into the rubber-coated jack, making it simple to replace the cable should you run over it with an office chair one too many times. Cables are currently available for under £15.

Sennheiser HD 558 2

The 3m cable ends in a full-size 6.3mm jack, but a 3.5mm converter is bundled as part of the package. With this tacked-on, the jack housing is huge though, reinforcing that this is an at-home set, not one to be worn out and about.

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Alex R

July 11, 2011, 10:47 pm

Good review, been looking at getting some of these. Question though, how do they compare to the older 595s?
Similarly priced now...


July 12, 2011, 3:26 am

A very good question. Sadly we didn't have a set to give a direct A/B comparison at review. The grille on the old 595s is nicer, but these do have a new "family" of drivers. I think I'd keep an eye out for a clearance bargain on the HD 595 - not that they pop up often, mind.

Both sets offer the great trademark Sennheiser sound signature, but the HD 595 have less of a sense of compromise about them (even though they are still obviously a rung or two below the HD580/600/650).

Richard Alpagot

January 3, 2012, 6:04 pm

The article mentions that the cables can be bought separately but I have been unable to find a 3.5mm -> 2.5mm that will a) fit and b) have the groves in the mould. Do you have a part number or anything? I tried the 091581 - 1 x HD 200 Cable 3m jack 2.5mm to 3.5mm jack but the jack won't even fit the hole on the headphones.


November 11, 2012, 8:46 pm

which model do you recommend between hd 558 and hd 598? I'm undecided and I can not try them. Thanks

Craig Pennington

January 3, 2013, 8:56 pm

Can't compare to any of the other models but I have owned these for over 12 months and the sound is incredible brought some old songs back to life. Also very comfortable which helps when it comes to ear fatigue.


December 14, 2013, 2:32 am

I've got some 558's coming in the mail right now. You can do a mod which consists of taking the drivers out and removing a piece of foam tape and the sound stage is supposed to be on par with the 598's. I know your post was over a year ago but if you've already went ahead and bought either pair let me know what you think of them. I'm waiting for mine atm so I'm excited. As it stands right now everywhere I've looked and read up on is saying the 558's are the go-to headphones for under $200 and then the foam mod pushes them up to 598 quality which is something I'm going to try out.


January 4, 2014, 10:18 am

i think it is the '555's that can have the foam taken out and supposedly would be the same as the 558's i would not do this to these as the drivers are different to the 598's from what i understand so u would be wasting your time.. anyway i don't think the 558's has the foam in the 555's had to have it as a dampener. these don't need that from what i gather,

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