Sennheiser HD 555 Headphones Review
Our in-depth review of the Sennheiser HD 555 headphones.
Tour & Design
The Sennheiser HD 555 headphones are over-ear headphones meant for use with a home audio system. The headphones themselves are a mix of black plastic and cloth, with a bit of silver on the exterior of the ear cups.
The cups have a large, black, oval grating over their exterior and removable cloth pads on their interior. Removing a pad lets you peek at the sound element through a thin piece of cloth and a plastic ribcage. This is the closest you'll get to the sound element.
The cups tilt forward and back in a 30-degree arc, and can rotate a few degrees perpendicular to the band.
The band itself is predominantly black plastic and extendible. The top of the band has a pad on its underside that's removable, but uses an adhesive to stick on, so we wouldn't recommend prying it off unless you're looking to replace it.
The cord extends from the left ear cup, and is quite long. It ends in a 1/4-inch jack.
The Sennheiser HD 555 headphones come with a single extra in the box: a 3.5mm adaptor. This adaptor is almost a necessity since, while 1/4-inch ports are common outputs in home theater equipment, it's rare to see them elsewhere; most portable media plauers and an increasing number of audio systems now come with hyst 3.5mm sockets. The inclusion of this adaptor increases the HD 555s' usability significantly.
The HD 555 headphones seem to be fairly durable, but do have some issues. For the most part, everything is made out of some pretty solid plastic. The band isn't collapsible, and is made out of softer plastic so it'll buckle if bent back. This is obviously preferable to simply snapping in two, but this bending could still have an adverse effect on the wires inside. Additionally, bending the band will pop out the panel the padding is attached to, revealing wires.
The tilt and rotation of the cups also feels a bit flimsy. When they're fully tilted/rotated, it feels like just a bit more force could easily snap them off.
The cord is arguably the most durable aspect of these headphones. The cord itself is nice and thick, and feels incredibly strong. Also, the cord guards are exceptionally good. The guard near the headphones provides both good flexibility and protection, and the guard toward the jack is simply one of the best ones we've seen; this cord should last for a good long time.
In general, we like the look of the Sennheiser HD 555 headphones. They aren't particularly eye-catching, but they do look clean and well-designed. The cloth pads certainly denote that these headphones aren't a throw-away pair. The width of the band and the size of the cups makes the set look respectably robust. The grating on the outside and the tiltable cups save them from looking plain. In general, the HD 555s manage to look good without looking garish; they are more about function than form.
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