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How much better are Sennheiser HD598 compared to Sennheiser HD558 - Page 2

post #16 of 25

There are entire threads on this board dedicated to the HD 600 and/or HD 650.  You can check them out if you have sufficient interest.

post #17 of 25
I have read some of those threads. I wasn't trying to turn this into an HD600/650 thread, but was just looking at those models within the context of our discussion about powering the 598.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiacomoHoldini View Post

I have read some of those threads. I wasn't trying to turn this into an HD600/650 thread, but was just looking at those models within the context of our discussion about powering the 598.


 In summary for the 598: the issue is--will these work OK unamped?

 

In summary for the HD 600 & 650: how powerful of an amp and what brand/model/type of an amp will I need?

post #19 of 25
Well, I just pulled the trigger on a pair of 598s from Crutchfield. Thanks for all the help.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiacomoHoldini View Post

Well, I just pulled the trigger on a pair of 598s from Crutchfield. Thanks for all the help.

 

Let us know what you think of them after burn in and some ear time.

post #21 of 25
Will do.
post #22 of 25
I’ve been listening to the 598s steadily since they arrived June 29. My points of reference with higher-end 'phones aren’t varied enough for me to be able to give a full review of these in audiophile terms; however, I do know what I like, and I sure do like these. Generally, I find them to be very well balanced. Highs are clear without being edgy or screechy. That right there is an accomplishment, since other headphones I’ve listened to don’t get the balance right: either they are bright and harsh, or laid back and veiled. The 598s manage to straddle that line very well. Mids are forward, but (usually) not in a way I find obtrusive. (Although, they do show up recordings that already have a mid-forward sound signature. On those, I do find some EQ-ing is necessary to bring down the upper bass/low mids. On most recordings, though, they sound excellent with tone controls set to flat.) Bass is very present. I was concerned about reports that these are bass-shy headphones, but I do not find them to be at all. Deep sub-bass isn’t well accounted for, but everything above 40 or 50 Hz is full and impactful, provided there is sufficient amplification (see below). These sound great with every genre I throw at them, especially classical and jazz; but rock sounds great on these, too. Clarity, resolution and soundstage are exceptional.

I will say, though, that amping is crucial. I have never had a pair of headphones that exhibited such different bass-response characteristics on different amps. I am not using dedicated headphone amps, but I have used three different receivers, in addition to op-amps on my CD player and iPod (for reference). The 275 ohm spike at 100 Hz really makes itself known; if there isn’t sufficient power, the frequencies around this peak attenuate significantly. An iPod plays the 598s plenty loud and clear, but leaves them utterly gutless in the bass. If you’ve only heard these using an iPod or laptop out, it would be easy to assume they don’t need extra amplification, but are just bass-shy headphones. Not so, on either count. I absolutely would not recommend these if your primary aim is to use them with the op-amp on a portable device. You simply won’t get the full performance they are capable of delivering.

Anyway, I feel I made the right choice. I don’t know how these compare to the 558s, but the 598s are quite splendid in all aspects, except, maybe, the color scheme. I’m still warming up to that. That’s hardly a reason not to be thrilled with them, though.
Edited by GiacomoHoldini - 7/10/12 at 3:13pm
post #23 of 25

I'm glad that you are enjoying them.

post #24 of 25
I just got these the other day. They are awesome. I drive them with an Eximus DP 1 and they are very well balanced and open sounding. Nice top end sparkle and they seem pretty neutral sounding. Bass is there as long as its in the recording. They go pretty deep and are detailed in the bass, mids and highs. Very clean sounding. I can't imagine if the 598s are so good how much better the 600 series could be. I did hear the 800 and it's a different league but they seemed bass shy and soft though had an expansive soundstage. The 598 is much more balanced, though the 800, I heard on a Woo audio amp and maybe they need SS to shine idk.
post #25 of 25

Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I had to correct something here.

 

Receivers generally use a 300-ohm or some other high-impedance resistor on the main speaker circuitry to provide a suitable output for headphones. In brief, it is in a series circuit with the headphones. Since the receiver output is such high-resistance, it has an effect on headphones: the frequencies that have a high impedance then get a high voltage, and get a huge bump in volume. The 5x5 5x8 have a huge hump in impedance in the bass range, and that's why you suddenly hear more bass when you plug into a receiver. You actually want your amp to have as LOW impedance as possible to minimize this effect.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiacomoHoldini View Post

I will say, though, that amping is crucial. I have never had a pair of headphones that exhibited such different bass-response characteristics on different amps. I am not using dedicated headphone amps, but I have used three different receivers, in addition to op-amps on my CD player and iPod (for reference). The 275 ohm spike at 100 Hz really makes itself known; if there isn’t sufficient power, the frequencies around this peak attenuate significantly. An iPod plays the 598s plenty loud and clear, but leaves them utterly gutless in the bass. If you’ve only heard these using an iPod or laptop out, it would be easy to assume they don’t need extra amplification, but are just bass-shy headphones. Not so, on either count. I absolutely would not recommend these if your primary aim is to use them with the op-amp on a portable device. You simply won’t get the full performance they are capable of delivering.
 
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