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Sennheiser HD-598

94% Positive Reviews
Rated #5 in Over-Ear


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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: 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.


Pros: Clarity, Comfort, Soundstage

Cons: Could be a bit tighter fitting. (I do have a narrow head though)

These are just wonderful.

I had no idea what I was missing.

I've always listened to lossless music, but had no idea it could sound like this.

I run my music directly out of my 2011 Macbook Pro, and into these, using Audirvana Plus (iTunes integrated mode).


I also use these with my PS3.

I plug the PS3's optical audio out in to my surround sound system (Yamaha Amp), and turn the settings to 'straight'

and plug the headphones into the Amp's 1/4in headphone output jack.


Call of Duty is about 10x as addicting now.

The soundstage allows me to hear almost precisely where others are.


If they broke, I would just buy another pair of these same headphones.


Pros: Amazing soundstage, airy treble, warm mids, natural bass, comfort, stylish, serious bang for the buck.

Cons: none !


When I ordered these, I thought they would sound ok. maybe a little better than my previously owned HD 518 but wouldn't be that great as they share the same drivers.

My expectations weren't high. Firstly let me say - this review is not about the technicalities . It is mostly about my experience.


To begin with -

I am not someone who wants to hear the last bit of detail in the music.

I was pretty happy with my Grados. They gave me moderate details, clarity and superb mids with punchy bass.

One day when I was surfing headfi , i came across the HD 598. People praised highly about their soundstage.

after reading about it, i got very tempted to have that experience.

Initially I decided to go with the HD 558 considering it has that huge soundstage I was craving for with a cheaper price tag . but on the other hand - I read that the people who owned them always felt an urge to upgrade to the HD 598.

They were enjoying the huge soundstage of their 558's already and wondered how good the soundstage and the highs would sound on the HD598 . In the end, they ended up spending more and buying the HD 598.

I didn't want that experience - I waited for another month , collected some more cash and bought the HD 598. 


Also I had considered the AD 700 before. but then I read - they were extremely bass light.

I'm not a bass head. not even close

but if I were paying a huge price for some headphone, I would atleast want some thump in my music . So I dropped the idea.


coming to my experience -


when I tried these for the first time, I was completely floored. 

I had an instant smile on my face, that happy feeling I really can't describe. They just sounded perfect.


I listened to some light rock music and acoustics on them. And they sounded heavenly.

Also I played some uplifting trance. And wow, it sounded out of the world. The soundstage was very airy and huge, it created an euphoric atmosphere around my head. when I closed my eyes, It felt like I was in another world. I never had this feeling with my Grados.

I watched gravity with these phones and I really enjoyed the experience. 

There were many times I got goosebumps while listening to music on these.

for the price I paid , I don't think I could have gotten a better sounding phone.


I have read loads of posts about the HD 598. Some people claim that these are the best sounding headphones under 500$ .

Sennheiser higher end headphones are better sounding but they have their cons


HD 650 = a little veiled and thick sounding. some people hate such kind of a sound signature. 

HD 700 = muddy bass for their price.

HD 800 = too much highs.

but the HD 598's? not a single con except they sound slow , but not as slow as the HD 600.



Infact, i don't find them slow at all. They are fun to listen .

They are excellent for gaming and watching movies. They are all rounder headphones altogether.

+ these don't have high impedance like the other high end sennheiser cans. And that is another terrific thing about them .You can easily drive them with your ipod.  

If you are a basshead , then stay away from them. It doesn't mean they have meh bass, they have a perfect amount of bass for the music, though it's not overly emphasized like in bassy cans.

All in all, if you get these under 200$, buy them in a heartbeat. you can't get a better sounding headphone at this price.

I am glad and more than happy that I got these instead of the SRH 840.

Best purchase ever made.


Pros: Soundstage, excellent mids, tasteful bass, active but smooth treble, great on vocals, classic rock, less aggressive electronic music

Cons: Not the fastest or most crisp sound, bass could be a smidge tighter; Sennheiser house sound isn't for everyone

My chain: FLAC/320kbps MP3 -> Foobar 2k WASAPI Output-> HiFiMeDIY Sabre DAC -> E11 -> HD598


My first taste of the Sennheiser house sound came in the form of the HD439, which I purchased while looking for a balanced all-rounder for casual listening on the go and in coffee shops while writing. I enjoyed the signature, so when it came time to look for an open headphone, the first place I looked was Sennheiser.


I usually favor phones that have slightly elevated bass and are a bit darker, and after reading reviews saying that the HD5x8 series shared the same drivers, I decided that the HD558 was likely the best way to go, assuming it wouldn't sacrifice anything to the HD598 in terms of technical ability. While I enjoyed the HD558 (my review can be found here: http://www.head-fi.org/products/sennheiser-hd-558/reviews/8544), they didn't quite feel like a keeper; the bass felt a bit loose and tended to bleed into the mids, and I felt that the highs were lacking. I returned the 558s and found a good deal on the 598s, and here we are.


For those deciding between the two models, my best advice would be to try them; failing that, it would mostly come down to preferred sound signature and choice of genres. While the 558s and 598s share the same drivers, they are obviously tuned with different listening styles in mind. Both maintain the Sennheiser house sound, and everything that goes with it: a well-layered but cohesive presentation, fantastic mids with a tasteful but not overdone lushness, slightly elevated bass, and smooth treble. They share a very similar midrange presentation and level of detail, but the HD598 has a slightly more open and euphoric sound given the added treble emphasis, whereas the HD558 is more seductive and enveloping. Personally I find the bass on both to lack some control, but noticeably moreso in the case of the HD558; the 598 isn't what I'd call tight either, but has less tonal emphasis while maintaining similar impact and extension. The HD558 is definitely what I would call a dark sounding can; the HD598 is brighter but not bright, still warm, and feels more balanced and natural to my ears. It essentially takes everything the HD558 does right, and refines it.


But let's forget about the HD558. Right now I'm listening to The Rain Song and the intro sounds smooth and subdued, just like it should, with just enough crunch in the acoustic guitar to separate it from the rest of the music nicely. Vocals are top-notch; if I was a female I would be swooning, I feel like Robert Plant is wooing me right here in my living room...but seriously, acoustic guitars sound great here, I can't see how I might prefer them any other way  These probably wouldn't satisfy a metal head who needs real crunch and punchy bass for electrics and kick drums, but for me they do just fine.  Over the Hills and Far Away is another track that these really do well, the touch of warmth again makes acoustic guitars sound positively seductive, while keeping them appropriately separated. There could be a bit more pluck to them, but only some of the time; that would be my only complaint, if anything.


Speaking of metal, moving on to Aerials by System of a Down. The intro is given sufficient drama; when the guitars drop, you really feel the sound come from all around you. Very impressive. Not as dynamic as it sounds on my D2k, but the vocals have even more emotion, less harshness, and are much more intimate. Guitars, as expected, don't sound as immediate and textured, likely due to the "Sennheiser veil" consisting of a dip in the upper midrange/lower treble. Moving on to Sugar, it becomes more obvious that drums aren't quite what they should be; they are there, but not with the realistic weight/pound of the D2k, or the punch the DT770 LE give them. They're there, just there. Not bad, but not great.


Now for Infected Mushroom. The soundstage on the HD598s does wonders for these guys: they are world-class producers and all of the dynamic and spacial elements they've tweaked in there are very clearly audible. Listening to Sa'eed, and again the bass could use a little more punch to be realistic. It's not underwhelming, but not noteworthy either. The dynamics needed for this song are here, but the thickness in the lower midrange makes it feel not quite as lively as it does with some other phones, like the DT770 LEs, which are faster and have slightly tighter bass. Moving to Change the Formality, the bass feels better suited here. Also the synthesized textures and tiny nuances are really there and alive, the superior treble and resulting increase in the precision of imaging is noticeable here vs. what I remember with the HD558; still a bit thick at times, but noticeably more energetic. Vocals are great, of course. On to I Wish, again those little synthesized textures are really audible here. The vocals are a little closer than I would like with a euphoric and minimalistic track like this, I'd ideally like a slightly more open feel with slightly less chesty vocals and tighter bass. Still this is all nitpicking; overall the sound signature works well here, with the bass being appropriately tactile, the midrange doing full justice to vocals and synths, and the treble coming out just enough to give the appropriate euphony and compliment the warmth. This track doesn't need warmth, but it doesn't hurt either. Bust a Move sound great too, the acoustic at the beginning sounds just right to me ears, not too much crunch, not too warm, just right. Bass is tactile enough to be felt, just barely. The warmth of the HD598 does impede the dark energy of this track ever so slightly, but still, everything is there, it sounds good, just not amazing.


As for Medeski Martin & Wood, well, this is where these cans shine brightest so far out of anything I've listened to. The slight warmth works with the jazz feel, and polite nature of the 598's bass keeps it out of the way on Anonymous Skulls, which has lower bass tones that can be a bit overbearing with my DT770s and, to a lesser extent, the D2000s. This is one of my favorite songs of all time, probably in the top 20, and the 598s do both instruments and synthesized tones full justice to my ear. On End of the World Party, I would like a little more subbass coming through on...whatever the hell that instrument is! It still sounds great, but just doesn't quite have that full throatiness my D2000s and DT770 can give them. I love MMW, they do stuff nobody else is doing, at least that I've heard; if you like them, these cans do them justice: they still sound jazzy and light, but don't miss out on the fullness that the electronic elements add.


Ott is another band that the 598s are really doing full justice to. Queen of All Everything has this great laid back but euphoric sound, all of the natural textures come through with full realism and even a certain crispness. The bass feels just right here; if it was any tighter, it would actually distract from the soft nature of the track. This is a real pleasure to listen to. Rogue Bagel is coming through nicely too, everything is well-layered, bass isn't getting in the way of vocals or strings but still has a nice heft to it that is appropriate for the reggae-psydub sound. Everything sounds much more alive and 3-dimensional than either of my closed cans.


Overall I have to say I really do recommend the HD598. I had a harder time saying as much about the 558s, just because they were too dark to be all-rounders and had sloppy upper bass that held it back from excelling with my more vocal-centric music. The HD598 is a definite step up, not necessarily in detail, but definitely in presentation and overall refinement, balance, and realism. If you are looking for a solid open can with a smooth sound sig, tasteful warmth, and a great soundstage, look no further.



Music used for this review:


Infected Mushroom:

Poquito Mas


Change the Formality

Bust a Move

I Wish


Led Zeppelin:

No Quarter

The Rain Song

Over the Hills and Far Away


System of a Down:




Medeski Martin & Wood:

Anonymous Skulls

End of the World Party



The Queen of All Everything

Rogue Bagel

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

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