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Hifiman HE-400i (2014)
Sennheiser HD558
See Top Ranked Open-Back Headphones

HiFiMan HE-400i (2014) vs Sennheiser HD558

Analysis:

The Hifiman HE-400i (2014) is a great Open-Back Headphone for its $184 asking price.

The Sennheiser HD558, however, is merely passable at its $299 price point. If you're considering buying a Open-Back Headphone in the $240 range, you might want to check out some of its competitors.

The Hifiman HE-400i (2014) has impressed reviewers from two sources that are among the most highly trusted on the internet, namely Wirecutter (NYTimes) and SoundGuys. It did great in their objective hands-on roundups - it earned the "Top Pick" and "Bang for your Buck" awards from Wirecutter (NYTimes) and SoundGuys, respectively. That's high praise from such reputable sources.

As for the Sennheiser HD558, it wasn't able to earn a top spot in any roundups from trusted sources that conduct their own hands-on testing. Nevertheless, it managed to impress reviewers at Expert Reviews, TrustedReviews, Head-fi, and What Hi-Fi? enough to make it onto their respective shortlists.

When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both Open-Back Headphones, including Head-fi, preferred the Hifiman HE-400i (2014) over the Sennheiser HD558.

We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The Hifiman HE-400i (2014) was liked best by Head-fi, which gave it a score of 9, while the Sennheiser HD558 got its highest, 10, score from Expert Reviews.

Lastly, in order to better compare them to the rest of their competition, we averaged out their review scores. The Sennheiser HD558 managed to get 8.9 out of 10 - considerably better than the 7.8 review average of Open-Back Headphones in general - whereas the Hifiman HE-400i (2014) earned 7.4 points.

It should be said that doing a direct Hifiman HE-400i (2014) vs. Sennheiser HD558 comparison might not be entirely fair due to the difference in their prices - some sources don't put much weight on value for money and thus tend to give better review scores to more expensive products.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
CNET
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Rtings
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
What Hi-Fi?
Expert Reviews
GamingScan
Tech. Specs Comparison
Hifiman HE-400i (2014)
$184
Sennheiser HD558
$299
Wireless
No
No
Has average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
7.4
Avg. Review Score
Score
Higher than average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
8.9
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Audiophile Headphones for Everyday Use” 
Last updated: 16 Dec 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best headphones under $1,000” 
Last updated: 15 Jan 2021

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