Have a read:
Moby - Flying Foxes (192 kbp/s)
At the start I hear very clearly that Moby or the sound engineer used a bit to much the denoiser on the drums and the rest of the sounds. With other headphones of a lower price this never got captured by the sonical awareness of my ears and around 04:50 I hear a few crackles, one after another, on a very low frequency. I suddenly hear things that probably a person who paid money for this song should not hear and I say this now because I hear all kind of things that you don´t hear with headphones of a lower price or quality.
This song sounds on the HD 598 not bad, just more clearly or better, everything sounds almost to clearly, but this is a good thing, because when you are mixing your music or music of others, you really are able to zoom with a very high resolution into the sound of music. I am aware of the fact that this song I have listened now is just 192 kbit/s which is lower quality, but still the quality of the sound is even incredible if you are listening to mp3´s at 192 kbit/s like I just experienced, but of course every artist and sound engineer will mix and master different with different equipment and skills, so you have with headphones like the HD 598 a tool to be able to observe how different tracks got different positive and negative sonical points.
Its great that these headphones give you so many new possibilities to study the nature of sound and mixing skills of different sound engineers and so much more. these headphones are something I was looking for and they even sound a lot better like my Sennheiser HD 595 and HD 555. The HD 595 had some great quality, but not enough for the higher class, because the HD 595 sounded not good in a few ways. I just heard one song till now with my new HD 598 so I need some more music to get some overview. I do this for you and I try to be objective, without saying anything to nice. But till now I feel positive about my new HD 598 headphones, so lets use another track.
Shoutcast IDM Radio (360 kbit/s)
Ok, the song I hear is crazy. You hear a voice that zooms away from the foreground and back into it. The space between the foreground and background never sounded with such an depth of dimension. The bass of the glitched beat sounds punchy like nothing I ever heard before. At the same time the bass is not covering anyhing else, its just sounding like I desire it as a listener. The higher tones sound very crisp and the attack I heard never before fast like that. These headhones have a very fast attack behaviour and thats a very good thing. They sound so much better trough the fast attack like my old HD 595 and HD 555.
The next song is fading in and the artist is Ulrich Schnauss with "Molfsee". Man, this tune fades in with this unbelivably edited beat. Well,now with these headphones, this beat sounds incredible, but before, this beat sounded boring to me. Now I hear all the little things that are sounding between the beats like its some kind of liquid glue with sonical features. You hear so much more that you don´t find the right words. You really hear more.
Its not just a different sound quality, its also more what you hear and this makes it not easy to review, because now every song sounds totally different, like you listen for every song with a complete different headphone. This means these headphones are able to reproduce what they should reproduce. They do not sound in a special way. Not at all. They have no own sound, its almost like that. The only sound the HD 598 have, is the one the artists made their songs sound. Better I can´texplain it.
The bass also sound complete different in each song and can get extremly dry and deep if the song got mixed and mastered to sound like that, but if you listen to a song with a lot highs and less lows, it will give you exactly the output the song deserves. Better I couldn´t say it. These headphones sound totally awesome and better like the AKG Q701 and the Q701 cost a lot more money and some mags said that the Q701 play on the same level of class like the Sennheiser HD 650, so if the HD 598 sound better like the Q701, they also must sound better, at least in some ways, like the Sennheiser HD 650.
I listen now to a song in **** quality with a lot reverb and highs to see if the bass or whatever is to much intense or if something sounds or feels wrong about it.
Well, there is nothing I can say against the HD 598 and I´m aware that headphones exist that are better, but a Sennheiser HD 800 is a bit out of the price range of most people, so the Sennheiser HD 598 is a goot choice, and its sounding so much better like the Q701 from AKG.
Now I will test different genres and if the HD 598 passes the sound test.
Whoa, you have to experience this yourself. The warm sounds just are magical pulling you into the music. The frequencies of echos or hall, you really notice how they move between foreground and background in a way thats just touching your heart and the reverb of the piano is endless, it has strong vibrational sonical behaviour, you feel it like you are listening on large very expansive speakers. This sound is so impressive and incredible awesome, that it sounds like you hear a very good mastering & mixing at a resolution of 192 khz and 64 bit, but what I´ve just heard was just 160 kbit/s. I can´t believe it. I just love these headphones. I love them so much. I´m happy. I don´t want better ones. Its like I have a porsche car. I don´t need a spaceship.
Better things always exist, sure, but really, these headphones go far beyond the desire of what most people would like, so most people will get happy with these headphones here. Of course the HD 800 sounds a bit better, but really, is a porsche not fast, just because a rocket is faster? I think you get what I mean by saying that.
Breakcore, Drill N´ Bass, Experimental
These headphones are unbelivable and I can´t believe it yet how incredible Squarepusher sounds with the song "Rotate Electrolyte". Autechre with their song "Overand" really put some very high frequencies into the beginning and I wonder about that because I never heard these sounds before. The sound of the middles is warm like it got toasted 5 seconds ago. AFX with his tune "215061" sounds totally wonderful. There are no wordds to describe how I hear it now. Its just right, better and it feels like there is no better beyond that. Its just awesome.
Charts Electro Pop
"We Are All Made By Stars" from Moby sounds perfect and I just looked to see what resolution the song has, well, its just mp3 at 192 kbit/s that sound better like everything I heard mastered and mixed at 192 khz at 64 bits on older, but also expansive headphones. Katie Melua with her song "Shy Boy" sounds agaon totally different. Like I say there is on these HD 598 headphones not at all a colored sound behaviour. They sound like the song sounds, not the song sounds like the headphones sound. Better I couldn´t say it to you. The sound is in this song dry like a desert and warm like a beautiful warm day. The bass has such a beauty of finest pressure in deeper areas, not to much and not to covert, just like I desire music to sound. It couldn´t sound better if you ask me. And if, the difference must be little.
Very much details, finest resolutions and it sounds different in every track so the headphones sound like the song and not the song sounds like headphones and thats how it should be. About the highs I can say thath they sound very fine and you hear so much in just one hihat. You hear as a example, if its synthesised or real analogue or the size of the room the guitar played in or stuff like that. Its really unbelivable what a headphone can make you hear. From 10 stars for the highs I will give 9 stars because 10 stars would be just perfect and I don´t think that perfection exists, but of course the HD 598 sounds very close to perfection, but of course I know that different people have different tastes and some people would love a bit more bass or more of this and that. I love the highs.
The middles sounds just like you want them to sound. Its a dream, more I do not have to say. I give the middles from 10 stars 9.5 stars, just incredible they sound.
Ok. Lows can be to low for most people. The more the better. People love bass power. Buuum, buuum! But - there is a difference between "Buuum, buuum" headphones and the HD 598 headphone. The HD 598 has a very deep bass and I love it, but its not a silly and unreal, unnatural, plastic like sounding bass enhancer tool, its a audiophile headphone and if the song has a powerfull deep dry bass with huge dynamics, the HD 598 will give you this sound. "Frozen" from Madonna couldn´t sound better with a "Buum, buuum" headphone. I love the bass of these headphones. I got not the feeling that the lows sound weak or like the lows shouldn´t sound. From 10 stars I give 9 stars away for this lovely sound of the lows.
Stereo & Room & L/R & Location(s)
Awesome. Just incredible. There really is nothing to compare. The Q701 from AKG didn´t sounded that way and the Beyerdynamik 770 Pro also did not sound good like these headphones here. Thats the reason why I bought the HD 598 headphones. Different rooms and stereo effects sound just fantastic over the HD 598, just more that you can desire for a good fun while listening to music.
Are they for music listening or for mixing and mastering?
I have to say that everything I listened to till now and I wrote all this since I put the HD 598 on my head about 30 minutes ago, sounded more then just very good, it sounded incredible and it was all just low resolution mp3 between 128 kbit/s and 192 kbit/s, just one or two songs had 360 kbit/s, so if you want to work as a mixing engineer, you need to be able to zoom into the sound to hear if it sounds right or wrong. Its like zooming into microscopic levels and with the HD 598 you can do this and I would say also that the HD 598 sound very natural. The Q701 from AKG with a much higher price sound not that good.
If you are a hobby audio engineer and working on your tracks or on tunes from your friends the HD 598 will satisfy you 100%, but if Madonna´s or Björk´s agency will ask you to work as a mixing engineer on her latest single, the HD 598 will need to make room for better headphones, of course. But these people prefer sound standards that go far beyond what normal artists and audio engineers need to get a awesome sound quality. If you really want to be pro, get a 3.000 dollar soundcard, a 8.000 dollar mixer, a 1.000 dollar headphone and 20.000 dollar speakers. So you see probably what I want to tell you by saying this. If you want to be a real pro, not a fake pro, you need to get into the money game in highest levels. It makes no sense to ask a question like, is the HD 598 good for mastering and mixing. Of course it is, but there is so much more to it, to make a good mastering and mixing, that just one headphone can´t be the answer.
I would say the HD 800 would be a good headphone for this, but the 598 also sounds nice, but like I say you have to be aware of the situation. Are you working for Moby or William Orbit? If so, you better get a better headphone. Are you working for yourself and friends? If so, you better not spend more money because the differences will be there, but you will just notice them on very expansive audio systems with highly expansive converters and stuff like this.
I hope my short review helped you. I did not write a scientific review. I talk like I talk and I just feel I´ve said it the right way. Of course there are better headphones, but the HD 598 sound so good and till now I´ve just heard mp3 between 128 kbit/s and 360 kbit/s, so I will start now to study how wav, flac sounds in different resolutions from 44 to 192 and from 8 bit to 64. It just can get better.
Thats why I love the HD 598 already at this time now. They not just look awesome, they sound also like that. But what really makes me fall in love with them is the way the highs are sounding. Just incredible, just amazing, just lovely, gentle and wonderful.