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2012 Head-Fi Holiday Gift Guide (Amps & Other Gear)
Edited on 12/28/12
- 2012 Head-Fi Holiday Gift Guide (Over-Ear)Edited on 5/13/13
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- 2012 Head-Fi Holiday Gift Guide (Over-Ear)
Sennheiser HD 598 Appreciation Thread - Page 119
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Just bought these headphones. They are my first "proper" over-ear headphones that i have bought. Previously, i was using the Sony CD950 from my dad. But i found them a bit heavy/warm and couldn't wear them during long periods.
I just tried the HD598 and for some reason, the are very uncomfortable to wear on my head. I'm actually starting to wonder if i'm doing something wrong. The head band is pushing on the top of my head and when i loosen it, it isn't tight enough anymore to fit my ears. I don't think i have particulary large ears but find the ear fit not that comfortable either. It's like the headphone is not able to fit my head, whatever i try. The Sony CD950 fitted a lot better.
Also, the headphones feel very rigid in a sense that they don't adapt to the shape of the head, if that makes any sense?
Any tips? Something to get used to?
Clamping force can be a bit strong for some at first, until it stretches out. It i notable to mention that this headphone and the 558 have the least clamping force of any sennheiser models. Also, for people with bigger than average ears, the ear cups may be a bit uncomfortable. My ears are slightly big so they do touch the insides but with proper alignment, it's not too bad. These are however, far from being warm or heavy. Well I guess it's all relative. But compared to other headphones, they are extremely light and their velour pads disperse a lot of the heat out.
Like many music lovers, the arrival of children means that headphones are a must for me. Generally I'm not so keen, preferring the soundstage and impact of a really good set of speakers. I have worked as a semi-professional sound engineer in the past, so I like an analytical sound, but not so clinical that it detracts from the pace and excitement of the music.
I auditioned the HD598 against BeyerDynamic DT880s, AKG K701s and Grado SR125s - with a budget of around 200 pounds. Comparative auditioning was conducted mainly using the headphone output of my Cyrus Pre, with extended listening impressions for the HD598s using the headphone amplifier output of a Xonar Essence ST audio card in my media PC (with losslessly encoded CD rips as source).
For my personal taste I found the AKGs to be extremely analytical, but slightly 'thin' and lacking excitement. They are known to be difficult to drive, and I suspect that my Cyrus headphone output was not really up to getting the best from them. I suspect they would be astonishing for mainly Jazz listening with a dedicated headphone amp, but that's out of budget, and Jazz only forms about 10% of my listening. I would also add that they made poor mixes (I'm looking at you, Oasis) almost unlistenable.
The Grados were almost the polar opposite: a sound which immediately grabs you by the scruff of the neck, and sounded great with edgier material (Arctic Monkeys, White Stripes). I felt that they were rather coloured - they made a bit of a meal of Beethoven Piano in G Major, for example. Easy to drive, they make great rock headphones, and I nearly purchased them. I should note that I personally found them the least comfortable of the four pairs, and probably the least well constructed.
The DT880s were extremely comfortable and appeared very well put together. I liked the sound on more acoustic material such as 10,000 Maniacs 'In My Tribe', but lacking a bit of punch compared to the HD598s on the Arctic Monkeys 'Whatever people say, that's what I'm not'. I personally found the DT880s to be less analytical than the Sennheisers.
So to the HD598s themselves. First impressions are very good - I like the slightly 'retro' looks and colour. They are immediately very comfortable, and I have subsequently found that listening sessions of several hours are no problem at all.
Starting with Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue', the HD598s showed a very open soundstage - not quite what I get from my ProAc speakers, but outstanding for a pair of headphones (for me, the best of all of the auditioned 'phones), and without any sense of being 'artificial'. Moving to more acoustic material (10,000 Maniacs again), every element of the mix (which is a technically and musically outstanding piece of work) was revealed in detail, yet without this detracting from a wonderful 'foot tapping' sound. The Arctic Monkeys and White Stripes material showed plenty of attack and aggression - perhaps not to the same extent as the Grados, but there was more detail here as compensation.
I've had the Sennheisers for a month or so now, and have yet to find anything they don't cope with very well. I find them particularly well suited to rock, but (as I'd expect at this price) they are very comfortable with Jazz, acoustic and orchestral work as well.
One final point worth considering: compared to many phones at this price point, they are pretty easy to drive - they are quite acceptable with my iPod at lower volumes, for example.
In short, I am extremely pleased with my purchase, and would recommend them to anyone.
I would highly recommend xonar ST (STX) owners who look for more details and air between instruments to try LME49990 opamps instead of default ones. I've used HD598 with ST (3xLME49720) and then switched to 49990 and was shocked by how awesome instrument separation was.
Best headphones I have tried so far. Easy to drive, amazing in instrumental music, great in many other areas, and still sounds better than ATH-M50s on music that the 598s aren't meant to play. No paragraph required, for $250, they sound amazing.
Had my HD598s for a good few months now and I really am enjoying them! They do definitely improve with some slight amping (I use a small E7) just to get a bit more out of the lower end and improve the separation of the tracks, but I think maybe the DAC actually makes a bigger difference. It's more likely a combination of the 2, but I'm happy as hell with them and that's the main thing.
Probably my main advantage over the SR80i's which I was using before (and plan to modify now) is the comfort. I've got pretty small ears so the cups just fir right on top and I hardly even notice they are there half of the time compared to the on-ear SR-80's that did prove quite fatiguing at times.
I have had my HD598s for over a week now, loving every second! Like other people said, they were slightly tight for about 5 days, then suddenly loosened up to the perfect point. They also burned in during that time. The bass was recessed at first, then became very good, with a balance of punch, and body. These are forward enough for rock, but if you only listen to rock/metal these might not be your best choice. With acoustic, jazz, classical, soft rock, country, and blues, these are incredible. With really fast paced metal/rock these might not be perfect. All in all, these are great all around headphones for people with eclectic music tastes. BTW, these are supremely comfortable.
not really too neutral, just has a mellow presentation (due to gentle treble mostly), grado's are normally reccomended for rock and metal for their more energetic treble
They sound a bit smooth for metal. But it''s not like I don't enjoy my AC/DC albums with the 598. I think there are good numbers of headphones that do rock/ metal better than Grados, which includes the 598.
They handle it well enough. Maybe not excellent, but that comes with being a generally good all around headphone. In fact for some bands I prefer the 598 over my SR-60i. Especially some of the older bands out there are better suited to the Sennheisers.
I recently bought this headphone and wanted to share a few observations.
1. I had read some on this site looking for a shorter 3.5mm cable for mobile use. I personally contacted Sennheiser USA and had them custom a 3' vresion with a 90degree 3.5mm jack. This jack is the best 3.5mm jack I've ever seen, solid metal casing and works very well with the stock cable which they use to do the customizing. Mind you $50 for cable, customizing and shipping is a bit pricey but worth it IMHO.
2. I saw the picture of the Oyaide cables in the article FujiyaAvic 2012 Autumn Headphone Festival in Tokyo report by Currawong . I contacted them and they provided me right away with a Canadian Distributor, Planet of Sound in Toronto. This is what they provided for those who wish to know
We have just released the HPC-35/62HD598 headphone re-cables for Sennheiser HD598.
35 stands for the cable with 3.5mm mini phone plug and 62 stands for the cable with 1/4" phone plug.
You can get it through our authorized dealers in Canada soon.
Please contact our Canadian distributor, they will help you how to get it.
their e-mail address is email@example.com .
But please remember that the cable length is only available with 1.3 m (about 4' 3") or 2.5 m ( about 8' 2").
So you can't order 10' length one. ( about 3.0 m).
3. My impressions of this headphone are damn fine beast. I listen primarily to Blues, Folk and Rock and it's fitting the bill for each and all both on my Blackberry RIM, to and from work, as well as my recently acquired Burson Soloist. I especailly love the sound through the Soloist, it's so clear and impactful that I am looking forward to listening to many of my favorites in my library all over again. I am waiting on a recently ordered Centrance Audiophile Desktop system and will update my impressions of the sound once I can compare this DAC/Headphone Amp against the Soloist.
New Forum Member
You are not alone, I also think that for the genres you listed the HD598's are great!
I definitely would like to hear your impressions on the pairing with your new amp.
Welcome to Head-Fi and sorry about your wallet!
I have the same question. I've got my HD598s for 2 days now and i wonder if a DAC or amp under 80 euro would make any significant difference.
- Sennheiser HD 598 Appreciation Thread
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