Pros: Comfort, Soundstage, Sex Appeal, Clean Highs, Stable Mids, Balanced Lows
Cons: Plasticy, soundstage could be a bit better defined, 1/4" jack a problem for many
This is my first review for Head-Fi. I'm already sorry about my wallet... (snicker )
8 hours I spent laboring throughout the night deciding what headphones to spend my Christmas money on, and I certainly found a worthy competitor (or champion, rather).
I am a humble amateur audio enthusiast who has owned, hear me - TWO sets of headphones. The first was a pair of Koss Portapros, highly regarded by audio-nuts, and I definitely agreed. But let me tell you something - THE SENNHEISERS BLOW THE KOSS OUT OF THE WATER...
I will cover several aspects of the headphones, including:
2. Construction quality
4. Audio quality
5. Overall opinion
1. Delivery - 5/5
The Hd595's were well packaged - a blue box not much larger than the headphones themselves. A small purple slat at the top unlocks the box's two flaps to reveal the treasure inside. And must I say, thank god there arent any plastic restraints to cut out, because I hate those. Instead, a simple plastic cover that pulls off with little pressure is all that lies between you - and audio bliss.
2. Construction Quality 4/5
I have doubts about the HD595's longevity; they are made mostly out of plastic, and thus it seems that with too much pressure on the hinges which allow freer movement of the driver enclosures, that they could possibly break. However, all doubts are mostly relieved, simply as the design of the 'phones are modern and well-colored.
The cable is very long (too long for portable purposes unless you want to wrap it up) and it ends with a gold plated, oxygen-free, 1/4" jack. For most people, an 1/8" jack that is found on most consumer electronics would be more suitable. Luckily a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter is included to provide compatibility. Too bad that it is too bulky for the trouble (it won't fit in the volume control indent on my Logitech Z-2300 system). Might want to purchase a more flexible adapter like the one Grado offers. I recommend it.
Happily, the earcups aren't that crappy foam that most of us are accustomed to. Instead, the HD595's use velour, a synthetic velvet-clone. I will address those shortly. There is also a well-padded headband made of fake leather along the scalpline. Lastly, the driver enclosures are sided by large ventilation grilles, which allow air to freely move in - and out, of the headphones. This will prove to make the headphones versatile in their musical suitability.
3. Comfort 5/5
These are COMFORTABLE!!! The headphones give just the right amount of pressure to the sides and top of your head to create a nice seal on the earcups, yet provide long-lasting comfort (I am currently wearing them; have been for seven hours straight with only the slightest discomfort). As well, I have a large head, and these phones fit perfectly! My ears are completely encompassed by the earcups.
To mention though, these can get hot in warm weather. I rollerblade all the time (in Phoenix, AZ, mind me), lately whilst wearing these headphones, and the velour does get sweaty and slightly uncomfortable. However, this is a minor problem.
4. Audio Quality 5/5
Ah, the most important part of the review! One word is all I need - WOW...
These headphones, being open, allow sound to flow freely in and out of the driver enclosure. This enables the HD595's to provide a more open, and thus more natural, soundstage. Listening to a FLAC lossless version of "Move Along" (as I write this) by the All American Rejects, I can clearly separate the drums in the background with that of the singer. The separation of instruments is well-done, though general soundstage could be done better. If you are looking for that, I recommend the Audio Technica ATH-AD700. Those probably are much better in that regard.
For games, I played FEAR (the only FPS I have at the moment) and was amazed at my ability to actually hear THE FOOTSTEPS of the incoming Replica Soldiers. This enabled me to ambush them so much more effectively. However, I was not easily able to tell WHAT DIRECTION the footsteps were coming from, only that they were close. Again, soundstage has a lot to do with this, and the Audio Technica's might be a better choice. Regardless, I was impressed.
Lastly, the Bass on these headphones were rather good - once I had burned them in for about 20 hours. At first the bass was too flat and not strong as the Koss Portapro were, but with usage, they became even better. By better I don't mean they were as strong (the Koss had srong, punchy bass), but that they were balanced correctly and just punchy enough not to distort the original recording (I am a drum 'N bass and metal fan, and I personally thought the bass was pretty good). People will say the bass isn't good on these headphones. Compared to higher-end headphones, maybe. But these headphones still sound great for anyone but bassheads (of which I am not a member). An amplifier will bring out the bass in these headphones, so if you are a bass enthusiast, I recommend you purchase one.
5. Overall Opinion 5/5
Yes, these definitely rank as superb. I was impressed, and I probably will be even more once I dish out for a nice amplifier (an amp will truly make these headphones shine, though they definitely sound great without one. :P). They are comfortable, built pretty nicely, and sound great. What's more to ask?
The one-step-down model, the HD555, are also great (and $50 cheaper), a popular model. But if you are willing to edge just a little more cash, these are totally worth it. The bass and soundstage, according to my research, have improved on the HD595. Some may say that there is really no difference. I can't verify whether this is true or not, but my ears are happy regardless.
Your audiophile in arms,