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Archived content 2005-2007

On Sennheiser and How I Learnt to Walk Straight Again

Posted by Tim Riley Wed, 28 Jun 2006 14:21:00 GMT

My history with headphones — nay, my search for personal sound perfection — has been short but troubled. I had never been a big listener of portable tunes until I got an iPod shuffle a couple of weeks after they were released here in Oz.

For quite a while I used the standard white iPod ear buds, which I thought were reasonable enough. When I thought I lost them, I moved, upon Marco’s suggestion, onto a pair of Sennheiser MX 350s. At first I thought these were terribly tinny and bassless, but all they in fact needed was the foamies to be placed around the buds.

Ultimately, however, I decided that buds just weren’t for me, due to a shared tendency for them to fall out of my right ear. So I next bought a pair of Sony in-ear headphones, that come with little rubber tips that sit actually inside the ear canal. These generated great bass, but after a while I developed an unfortunate waxy buildup that resulted in a week of mornings during which I experienced some quite disconcerting dizziness.

So, ears flushed out and my balance restored, I armed myself (or is it eared?) with a pair of, much to Marco’s chagrin, Sony MDR-V500DJs. By this point in time, I was listening to music for several hours each day at work. Now I thought that these were some reaonsable enough cans (that is what you call them in the busniess) for my needs, but I was again mistaken. You see, while I thought the sound was okay, they were supra-aural headphones (sitting on top of the ears), which meant they were quite painful to use for extended sessions, particularly when I was wearing glasses.

After all this, I have finally settled upon some top notch headphones: some Sennheiser HD 555s. After reading this review, there was little doubt left in my mind as to their worthiness. Quality of the sound aside, I want to comment that when Sennheiser writes on its site, ”Extremely comfortable velour ear pads”, they’re not kidding. These things are like one big fuzzy hug for your head. What’s more, they’ve been keeping my ears nice and toasty during these cold winter mornings we have been having lately. There’s nothing like a bit of velour and synthpop to get the day started.


  1. Javeed Shaikh said about 10 hours later:

    I’ve got a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro’s myself!

  2. Tim Riley said about 11 hours later:

    So does omp, I think!

  3. omp said about 11 hours later:

    Yes, I do! :)

  4. Dave Foster said about 12 hours later:

    I hate earbuds, they never stay in my ears.. I survived for many years with a $25 pair of sony streetstyle headphones.. being a hat-wearer these were clutch cuz they went around back of the head, except they suck for listening to music while sleeping.. thats what earbuds are only good at.

    Perhaps I’ll purchase a quality pair of headphones like these ones, although my headphone days are slightly numbered as I no longer walk around the streets of Edinburgh, but I do try to listen to music at work through some tinny usb headset..

  5. postlogic said 1 day later:

    YES ! I thought I was the only one having trouble with earplugs falling out. I’m experiencing it on my left ear.

  6. rezza said 3 days later:

    Yeah, I’ve always hated buds, they always fall out, and when they don’t they make my ears hurt so damn much. My ears must not be the right shape, after a few hours wearing them my ears are ridiculously sore and tender.

    Anyway, for the moment I have some Senn HD497s, but eventually I’m planning on moving to 555s/595s. I wish I could justify the price of the 650s though, wow.


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