Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Sennheiser HD-598

Sennheiser HD-598

92% Positive Reviews
Rated #6 in Over-Ear


Get the latest news and updates at the Sennheiser sponsor page.


Pros: Soundstage, detailed sound

Cons: Few accessories

The Sennheiser HD-598 Open-Backed Headphone is a great value for how it's priced. Found mine used with only two hours use, and I must say that these babies are a joy to listed to for any most any genre of music.



The sound of the 598 is warm and detailed, with light emphasis on the low mids and upper bass. I find it quite refreshing, especially after my last phones, the ATH-M50s which give preference to the deep bass. The 598, though not being a rattling bassphone reproduces complex bass lines with ease and control. I've quite enjoyed TripHop on these, especially Heligoland by Massive Attack, but also acoustic singer-songwriters (like Laura Veirs and Sara Jarosz) play very well with the detailed mids. The tone and articulation of Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin and Double Bass as well as the vocals are clear and sexual, and drums are punchy without being obtrusive.  Especially with acoustic, the 598 is quite immersive. I've noticed many details with these phones that before escaped my ears. I don't have any major complaints about the sound of these cans.



Not much to say here, I've never gotten listening fatigue from these puppies, as they're light-weight and not too tight. My only quibbles are that they're kind of hard to keep positioned when lying down, but that is because there is not a lot of pressure exerted on the head, which serves as an advantage most of the time, and they get a bit warm if you're in a warm setting, but that's pretty unavoidable.



Now usually I don't give a rip about looks, but the HD598 simply looks nice to my eyes, with the tan frame and accents, and I understand it does have the potential to make you look like they're over 30 years old, but personally I like it.



I've had no problems with these babies yet, but seeing as I've only had them a couple months, I should wait to give an opinion on the durability.



The 598 ships with only the phone itself, the three meter chord and 3.5mm adapter, which is quite inconvenient should you want to use it with a mobile setup. Now I understand that that's not the intended purpose of these, seeing as they're open-backed, but I find myself going on many walks in semi-secluded spaces and I like to take these with me. I had to get the three-foot chord which terminates in a 3.5mm plug by default, with a 6.3mm adapter, because of problems with the stock adapter, but it's no big deal.


That's pretty much it. Love these phones and don't regret the purchase in the slightest.


Pros: Amazing soundstage, extremely comfortable, Outstanding sound quality

Cons: Come with 6.3mm jack plug but you end up using them with 3.5mm adapter most of the time

Note: This is my first audiophile headphones so i can't compare them to any other headphones out there for the same price.


These headphones are well designed, fit your head perfectly and are extremely lightweight. They are made out of plastic but they don't look cheap. They are very solid in my opinion.

You can wear these for a long session and never worry about them.

This is the first reason i decided to buy these.

About the color. You may or may not like it. I love the color combination, they look classy but it's all about personal taste. Since they sound so great you'll forgot about the color soon enough after wearing them. 


Second reason, probably the most important, is the sound quality.

I was looking for open headphones. The soundstage you get from that kind of headphones can't be replicated by another. The HD 598 soundstage is amazing. Period.

They sound leak a lot but this is intended and make them sound phenomenal in terms of soundtage. If you plan to use use them for personal listening at home or in a quiet place you shouldn't worry about that. (By the way these are sold for home listening so if you buy them and complain about the sound leak, that's just stupid).


Out of the box they sound good but i noticed an improvement with each hour of listening. 

The sound quality in general is amazing and changed the way i enjoy music. These headphones work well with different musical genres. I listen a lot of folk, jazz, blues, funk, rock but i tried almost everything with them (even electronic which is my least favourite genre) and they never failed me.

If i had to describe how they sound i would say "smooth and extremely clear". You can ear every single instruments even when there are tons of instruments. 

I love vocals and these headphones make them shine. I almost cried listening to some songs posted in the "best female vocals" in forum music section.


In a word, they are accurate. 


Being so precise i noticed the sound source has to be right to enjoy these headphones to their full potential. You can easily spot the difference if a song is not well mastered or comes in poor quality (song's format matters).

An amp is not needed in my opinion but could be useful. 

I tried them with my pc and an ipod. They sound different on my ipod and not so great. I wouldn't recommend them if you plan to use them only with an ipod or a dap in general. And you shouldn't as i mentioned early these work wonder if you use them for house listening. 


About the lack of bass response someone point out in some reviews. That's not true. The bass is there how he should be. It's not emphatized compared to some headphones out there.


I found almost no cons. My only complain is about the cord: it ends with the larger 6.3mm plug but i use the 3.5mm plug most of the time. However the cord is detachable so you can replace it easily so it's a minor con.


In conclusion, these are quality headphones. Sennheiser quality. You won't regret your purchase and you'll start to enjoy music even more.

I give them 4.5/5 stars even if they are perfect for my needs and they are one of my best purchase ever. 


I would strongly recommend them to anyone who want a great pair of headphones without paying much. I look forward to use them everyday.


Note: this is my first review and my english is not so good. Sorry about that. I hope this could be useful to someone. I'll add some pics as soon as possible


Pros: Natural, airy, unhyped and detailed

Cons: None...except they'll make you realize just how bad MP3s really suck. But is that really a con?

I've had these for about 6 months and I find them to be outstanding.  I think you'd pay double to get anything better.  Natural, unhyped response. Nice full soundstage. VERY, VERY COMFORTABLE. I use them with a Fiio E10 as well as a Focusrite TwinTrak Pro. I have quite a bit 24/96 and vinyl. For reference I also own  AKG K240M (600 OHM), Sennheiser HD439, Superlux HD681 and AKG K55.  The 598s are by far my favorite, no contest.


Pros: never harsh sounding, no sibilance, easy to listen to, wide soundstage

Cons: bass rolls off, not very detailed, a bit muddy, dark sounding, overpriced

Firstly, this headphone is the prime example of something I'd love to hate.

I did like the HD595 as a non fatiguing headphone... and yeah the HD598 is better. But that ugly design and MAP restriction left a sour taste.

I'm still saddened they didn't switch to a 1/8 inch connector as most devices use that nowadays. Another problem is the impedance varies among the frequency greatly, especially in the mid-bass. Don't plug these into some receivers, they will get really muddy.

It sounds like the HD595 with better clarity, and more treble. But again much better can be found for the money.

Supposedly Sennheiser fixed the build quality issues, but we'll see...


Pros: Natty, Removable 4 Conductor Cable.

Cons: Hits Excursion very early, Poor Headband Ergonomics, High Level of Distortion, Overrated and Overpriced.




Want to preface this by presenting this picture, I'm not a TROLL or a A-Hole, I just like to mock the fu** out of headphones I dislike.
This time its time for the "Fehlerhaft HD598".


I'm a fan of the 580-600-650, I own all of them.
The 598 is interesting because it sounds crude. Coming from Senn I was surprised by how bad it sounded..the first day I got them I was certain I had a defective unit, so I went to Senn and was able to convince them I had a faulty pair.
They gave me a new one after a week, I was sure my first 598 was broken and I was expecting the new one to be just fine but...nope, the new one sounded exactly the same.
So then I was sure, these use cheap "Made In China" low fidelity drivers.


Anyway, I'll come to what's completely wrong with the sound soon, let's go over some other things.


Build -


They slightly worry me, they feel solid, nothing rattles but the headband is one of those bendy weird-like its going to break types. The side articulation spot seems to be the most scary one.
I don't think they'll break but they just feel too bendy rather than feeling solid, there is no metal in the construction..from the fake wood to maybe even the headband, its all ABS, the headband maybe some kind of a composite though.
I have to admit, although the wood is plastic, it looks pretty sharp. The grain detail is obviously not like real wood but looks pretty convincing for the most part.


Comfort - 


I never have any issues with Senns, due to the oval pads mostly. The Headband never bothers me but with the 598, the Headband is pretty annoying..it sticks out..the headphones fall from my head when I look up or look down.
If you listen on your Sofa while resting your head, the 598 will be quite annoying.
Ther padding itself is pretty good, the Earpads are great..can't go wrong with Senn Oval Velour.


Cable - 


The cable is removable, its proprietary of course..like we don't have loads of proprietary connectors to begin with.
I found out the cable has 4-Conductors inside, that means you can cut the cable and install a 4-Pin XLR and run it balanced on the HDVA-600 and the HDVD-900, which honestly is quite fantastic.
The stock cable is pretty soft bendy, not one of those sh**** silver conductors which kink and piss you off.
Another advantage is that since it is 4-C, you can make a DIY Microphone contraption, biggest problem the recessed jack on the headphone..the only way I can think of is a CNCd 2.5mm connector or maybe cut the stock cable and solder the wires which is the less elegant way.


Efficeny and Scale-Up - 


I have no respect for IEMs and Low Impedance dynamic headphones, I really hate that Senn is going away from their High Impedance system for the newer models.
They are 63 Ohms or something..correct me if I'm wrong. They aren't that sensitive to be great out of a iPad or a iPhone, with my Nano 7G I barely get any dynamics due to the lack of efficiency, if you make a efficient headphone..fuc**** make sure its efficient..
If you can't do that, then just make a Non-Efficient one, don't fuc***** make one in the middle.

They have some issues with excursion, that can be cured with Amplifers with Low Output Impedances..I have seen some audible improvements in excursion limits, which is good to know.
I'll come to the excursion soon.

So, time for the Sound now..


Bass -


Impact-less, weak, slow, low excursion and all that crap.
The bass is abysmal, the bass is worse than the cheap Nexus 5 IEMs, they have zero impact, no extension to be found here.
Only some Mid-Bass, which happens to be pretty ****ty, the bass quality is so Low-Fi that its funny, they make me laugh...in my existence this is the first time a headphone made me laugh, except Japanese headphones -That's a different story, I should dedicate a segment to explain how shi*** those fuc**** Japanese headphones are.
Anyway, the 598s do Stand-Up, the bits are in the form of the bass they reproduce. 
I hate the bass, if people can complain about accentuated bass, I sure can mock these 598s for having poor bass.

I haven't looked at the graph yet but audibly I think they roll-off severly at 120Hz, there is no sub-bass.
They hit excursion quick too, 60Hz at XX SPL, I am not stating an exact number because I haven't measured them, believe me its at medium volume which is pretty bad.
The driver seem to be cohesive in terms of hitting it, 1db tolerance maximum.
Overall, these headphones can't do bass.


Mid-Range - 



Mid-Range works, its fine..nothing too striking from lower-mids, going to the presence region is clean..mostly, presence region and you have a peak at the lower octaves, adding thinn-ness to the overall sound, the upper-half is slightly uneven too, not the cleanest I've heard.
There is audible Break-Up (Distortion) which takes away from the transparency, overall the Mid-Range is NOT High Fidelity, lacks weight and body, slightly honky and grainy as well.
No Musicality here, very thin and Low Fidelity.


Treble - 


I find the treble presentation to be rather respectable, they extend quite well..detailed high frequency response.
I wouldn't say its having the crazy upper treble resolution because it doesn't but..for the price, its above average in terms of treble presentation.
Like all BoPET membranes, there is break-up and its not free of grain but its not too grainy either.


Separation and Imaging -


Ooo they are angled, I've seen some idiots go crazy and start to believe a headphone sounds 3D if its angled, that's just stupid.
I mean really?
The 598s are just fine, they aren't congested sounding, they image decently. Nothing noteworthy in the imaging department.
Separation is useless to talk about because it depends on the recording, anyway if you are interested, there is speration, Ooooo.


Distortion - 


Now I'm not an Engineer, I don't have much knowledge in terms of types of distortion. I don't know if its THD or IMD or whatever, there is audible distortion..thanks to the awesome drivers, thank you Senn!
















Overall, I don't like them, its better than the hideously offensive and grainy ma900 but the 598 isn't that far from the ma900 in terms of how fu***** bad they sound.
I think the ma900 wins in terms of ****tyness..followed closely by the 598, wooohooo, congratulations ma900!

Get these headphones if you are a crazy headphone collector like me, for listening to music, I would rather just sleep than listen to these.
Also, owners, don't be offended..I'm just being honest..if you can leave some valuable and relevant comments, go ahead, don't comment and try to educate me.

Thanks for reading, here's my YouTube review - 




Pros: Great sound, Comfortable, Well Made

Cons: None

Ive listened to the Ultrasone HFI-780, Sony MDR-V6 (MDR-7506), Grado SR80i, and the Sennheiser HD598. The HD598 wins.

The Ultrasone HFI-780 has absolutely terrible sibilance/sibilant. This is a common complaint with these cans. The 780 has better bass than the HD598, but the sibilance ruins these cans.

The Sony MDR-V6 (aka MDR-7506) are phenomenal cans, but rather boring. These are some of the most popular headphones ever made, for good reason. They do sound incredible, and they are inexpensive. Every sound is fantastic. However, its boring. People in the audio industry refer to them as flat, and flat is the perfect way to describe them. And some people love this sound, however I do not like flat headphones for overall music listening. The MDR-V6 are studio monitors, which mean they are primarily made to be used in a studio or with other professional applications where you can monitor how loud a particular sound is. These cans heavily emphasize the mids, and thats not necessarily a bad thing. Those who love acoustic music or love hearing vocals will prefer these over the HD598. Some treble and some "hissing" can be heard on occasion, but overall these are amazing headphones if you like flat sound.

The Grado SR80i are another great set of headphones, but they are uncomfortable and dont appear to be made as well as the other headphones on this list. Overall they sound great. The bass is almost non-existent, like the HD598. The overall sound signature was not as clean as the MDR-V6. The MDR-V6 is just so clean and precise, very hard to beat. But the SR80i are still great headphones and I would probably prefer to listen to music and game with them more than the Sony's. The Grado's sound like what you are used to, which is not studio monitor headphones.

Now the Sennheiser HD598. I have the least experience with these, but they are so good I dont need extensive experience.


1. They are extremely comfortable. Even more comfortable than the MDR-V6 which is known for being comfortable. I find myself forgetting they are on. Some might say, "Well if you cant tell they are on, then maybe they are on too loose and will fall off." Not true. They are designed so well that they fit on snugly and have no pressure points.

2. They are open air which is a pro and a con, depending on what you want. You can hear most sounds in the environment with these on. The HFI-780 and MDR-V6 do a great job of blocking out noise. However, the open air nature of the HD598 gives better soundstage (you can hear where instruments are; in gaming you can hear where the bullets and the enemy are coming from; it sounds 3D) and better air venting. Your ears are the least likely to sweat with these on compared to all the other headphones listed.

3. They sound phenomenal. Of course there are better headphones out there, but for the $200-$300 price range, these are the headphones to beat. A respected audiophile says these are the best cans under $400-$500. The best way I can describe the sound is "smooth and creamy". One of the best ways to understand this is listening to a song where tons of instruments and vocals are going on. One example that I've used while comparing headphones is Mumford & Sons- Sigh No More. Skip to 2:23 and it starts getting complicated and intense. Many headphones cave under this stress, but the HD598 runs right through it with no resistance. It sounds awesome. In comparing the microscopic definition and exacting reproduction of sounds between the HD598 and the MDR-V6, the MDR-V6 takes the edge. But again, I still prefer the HD598 because it sounds better. With the HD598 you can still here the strings being strung, the reverberations of the instruments being used, etc. Although the MDR-V6 reproduces it more accurately, it also reproduces it more flat boring. Again, this is a fundamental difference between studio headphones (MDR-V6) and regular, fun headphones (HD598).


1. The bass is lacking. I'm not the listener who loves bass and eagerly tries to blow his eardrums at every possible occasion, but I do enjoy some thump. Bass is an essential part of music, without it, sound would be boring. I would say the HD598 gives you just enough bass to satisfy you. Using an equalizer or bass boost does help and does make a big difference. Open air headphones are notorious for their minimal bass reproduction. The bass that is produced sounds great though.

2. The cord, the cord!!! Although detachable, which is a pro, the con is that it terminates into the larger 1/4 plug (which can be a pro for others). I use the 3.5mm plug 99% of the time. The HD598 comes with a 3.5mm adapter turning the terminal end of the cord into a 5 inch plug section. When plugged into a Zune, iPod, etc, it looks ridiculous. Laughably ridiculous actually. I emailed Sennheiser about this and they said that will not make a cord that terminates into a 3.5mm plug for this headphone. Really unfortunate.

So when all things are said and done, after comparing the HD598 against several other well known and popular headphones, the HD598 are my favorite. They are not perfect. The bass is too soft, the sonic clarity is not quite as defined as the MDR-V6 (HD598 just slightly less, you can still hear ALL the detail), and the cord is ridiculous. But these cons are very very minor. The excellent sound and extreme comfort of these headphones, all things considered, are better than anything I've listened to.


Pros: Great sounding, comfortable, reasonable price

Cons: Plastic frame, thin cord

I just got these phones delivered a couple of days ago and have enjoyed burning them in and listening in intervals all weekend.  They seem to benefit quite a bit from burn in, as most headphones do. What length of burn in time optimizes them? I don't know, but hey have improved all weekend.  They didn't sound bad right out of the box, but the extension, clarity and sound stage across the spectrum have all gotten better with each hour of burn in and listening time. They are very accurate, open and transparent sounding to me. 


Some reviews I've read about the 598's  have bemoaned the lack of bass response, but I find it to be just about right for my taste...tight and extended, without the overemphasis of some phones I've heard.  I listen to a broad range of music from blues to rock, alternative, metal, jazz, fusion, funk...and even a bit of country.  They perform well across the genres I listen to.


The only cons I listed (Plastic frame, thin cord) actually also add value.  The cord could be a little thicker I suppose, but it is very soft and pliable, and detachable and user replaceable if damaged.  The plastic frame makes these extremely light and comfortable to wear for extended listening sessions. The color scheme is a bit over the top for my taste, and I wish they came in basic black too, but as I'm not looking at myself in the mirror at all times...especially when listen to music...this is a very minor detail.


I also own a pair of Denon D2000's which sound good to me as well. Compared to the Sennheiser 598, they are heavier, hotter to wear (due to the thick pleather earpads), and are more bass emphasized.  They are both good entries in the mid-priced headphone market, with the Sennheiser's edging them out the Denon's for the money in my mind. I haven't decided which I really like better.


I listen to vinyl, CD's, Apple Lossless, and iTunes Plus (256 kbs AAC).  In my mind, musicality and listening enjoyment decrease slightly with each format as listed, which only becomes apparent when you do a side-by-side listening test. 256 kbs files sound very good to me, although there are certainly deficiencies that become apparent when listening with better headphones, speakers and amps.  Over time and evolution, this has prompted me to re-rip my CD's  into Lossless format, and only buy CD's and rip them to Lossless moving forward (rather than buy downloads from iTunes).  However, even the iTunes downloads sound better...as good as they can, given their limitation...with the 598's over lesser phones or earbuds.


I have only had these headphones for a few days but already I would recommend them to anyone wanting a solid performer without breaking your bank account.  I look forward to many hours of enjoyment from these phones.






Pros: Decent amount of Details, HUGE Sound staging, Good Sound Imaging, Slightly warm, Great Mids and moderately airy highs, Comfort, Vocals

Cons: Sometimes too bright and aggressive (depends what music), Bass is thin, Headphones get rather boring after long periods of time, slow, Grainy

These headphones are a great pair for home use, and use for movies, videos and ect. They deliver great sound quality, but I wouldn't consider it hi-Fi though.

I listen to mostly Metal and Rock music, and I have to say that these do a pretty good job. They sound pretty aggressive on some metal/rock albums I own such as System of a Down's Steal This Album and Toxicity. They preform pretty Warm along with Rammstein albums, Mutter, Reise, Reise, Rosenrot, and Liebe Ist Fur Alle da and sound very analytical with Rammstein's debut album Herzeleid. Theses headphones in my opinion sound very best with Funk, jazz, and music with a lot instruments in the background due to the massive sound staging and amazing instrument separation. You will be amazed if you gave a listen to Dave Matthews Band's Crash album and Santana's famous Supernatural album. You can practically hear every single instrument playing in the song clearly, along with decent amounts of detail, from the crunchy distorted guitars, to the strumming  of the Bass guitar and acoustic guitars. The drums sound pretty realistic with these headphones, but the only thing I'd have to say is a con (at least for me) is that they don't deliver a "cutting snap" sound that you'd hear on speakers and stereo's. The Cymbals sound pretty airy, and well imaged. Lastly, I have to say that these are one of the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn! I could wear these to sleep for all I care and wake up without any headaches!


Pros: Great Sound stages, Clear, Natural Sound, Really Comfortable, reasonable price

Cons: PLASTIC!, not for basshead

This Is a nice headphone. I don't really like the design but this is in my price range, I like to use it at public places(It's weird, I know). Sound leakage is impossible to hide. Soundtage is good but not so well on the more behind sound. High sometimes is too high, mid is good, and the low is perfect. Build quality is not good, almost all of it's frame are plastic, but there's the iron part on the back of the earcup, however. Nice headphone for starters, even for someone who's trying on a cheap(reasonable) audiophile.

Sennheiser HD-598

Not only are the HD 598 aesthetically pleasing to the eyes but they also provide an impeccable sound quality and unrivalled comfort. These beige-coloured open, circumaural headphones come with high-gloss burl wood parts and matching ear pads for a sophisiticated, premium finish. With Sennheiser‘s innovative E.A.R. technology, audio signals are directly channelled into your ears. These headphones also incorporate a special diaphragm geometry that minimizes intermodulation distortion while delivering an impressive frequency response range, plus a highly constant compressed cellulose fleece to hold harmonic distortion to less than 0.1%. And to accentuate the already outstanding listening experience even further, their high-quality leatherette headband and velour ear pads provide outstanding wearing comfort, even for long listening sessions. Features * High-end open circumaural headphones with E.A.R. technology for outstanding sonic accuracy and clarity * Sennheiser's innovative “Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement” (E.A.R.) design channels audio signals directly into your ears * State-of-the-art, advanced Duofol diaphragms for transparency and minimal distortion * Highly optimised, field-strengthened neodymium ferrous magnet systems for an excellent dynamic response * Surround reflector for extended spatial sound field * Lightweight aluminium voice coils for high efficiency and excellent dynamics * Special diaphragm geometry reduces intermodulation distortion * Highly constant, compressed cellulose fleece reduces total harmonic distortion * Premium beige and high-gloss burl wood parts for a sophisticated finish * Extremely comfortable velour ear pads and headband * Excellent connectivity, also with home Hifi equipment * 2-year warranty Delivery Includes * 1 HD 598 headphones * 1 3.5 mm adapter

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

product -4 4 6 7

Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Sennheiser HD-598