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Sennheiser 598 or 595 or 558 (or maybe AT AD700)?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Here's the scoop.  Whatever I get is to be used with a NAD amp for home use.  I will buy an IEM for going out of the house.  I would love to buy a pair of 598's but they stretch my budget.  I have found them used as low as $180.  The 595's which seem nearly as good I have seen as low as $135 to $160.  The 558's can be had as low as $98 a pair.  I consider myself an audiophile in taste though I've never had the money to truly achieve that in reality.  I love soundstage and accuracy.  I want to hear the pages turning in the orchestra, the nuances of people plucking strings or gliding bows across them.  I want to be able to visualize where the person playing first chair violin is sitting.  I want as realistic (for lack of better term) a reproduction as I can afford.

 

First:  Are the HD 598s worth their price even retail?

Second:  Are they really better than the 595s and if so how and how much?  How much better or worse is also relative to cost diffs.

Third: If I can pick up a pair of HD 558s that are listed in Senn's audiophile group, for $100 what does another $80 to $100+ buy me with the 595/598 models?

 

I really appreciate people at Head-Fi and value any feedback.  Oh, and two things.  When people say Senn's are "dark" what do they mean?  And,do the ATH-AD700s compare to any of these Senns? The Senns not only get high praises for sound, but also for comfort which I don't see as much on the AD700s

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbux48 View Post

First:  Are the HD 598s worth their price even retail?

Second:  Are they really better than the 595s and if so how and how much?  How much better or worse is also relative to cost diffs.

I only tried the hd595. But by reading many reviews, my conclusion was  that the hd598 offers a genuine improvement. However if you dislike the hd595, you might not like the hd598 too.

Also the hd598 do not have a great built quality , and at their price, I'd think it's a better idea to invest on a hd600, or an other headphone.

 

Quote:
 When people say Senn's are "dark" what do they mean?

It's mostly for the hd650 that I  read this.

I  understand it as emphasized mid bass, and recessed high.

Lot of people love a "dark" signature anyways.

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbux48 View Post

Here's the scoop.  Whatever I get is to be used with a NAD amp for home use.  I will buy an IEM for going out of the house.  I would love to buy a pair of 598's but they stretch my budget.  I have found them used as low as $180.  The 595's which seem nearly as good I have seen as low as $135 to $160.  The 558's can be had as low as $98 a pair.  I consider myself an audiophile in taste though I've never had the money to truly achieve that in reality.  I love soundstage and accuracy.  I want to hear the pages turning in the orchestra, the nuances of people plucking strings or gliding bows across them.  I want to be able to visualize where the person playing first chair violin is sitting.  I want as realistic (for lack of better term) a reproduction as I can afford.

 

First:  Are the HD 598s worth their price even retail?

Second:  Are they really better than the 595s and if so how and how much?  How much better or worse is also relative to cost diffs.

Third: If I can pick up a pair of HD 558s that are listed in Senn's audiophile group, for $100 what does another $80 to $100+ buy me with the 595/598 models?

 

I really appreciate people at Head-Fi and value any feedback.  Oh, and two things.  When people say Senn's are "dark" what do they mean?  And,do the ATH-AD700s compare to any of these Senns? The Senns not only get high praises for sound, but also for comfort which I don't see as much on the AD700s

Does the NAD amp. come with a DAC?

What source(s) are you plugging the headphones into?

I would say to get the (used) HD558s, they are the cheapest.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

The NAD amp does not come with a DAC, however, I am buying an HRT MusicStreamer II Async DAC to run between source Mac & the NAD.  The headphones will be plugged 99% time into the NAD as I'll just run the Mac sound through the HRT into the NAD.  

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbux48 View Post

The NAD amp does not come with a DAC, however, I am buying an HRT MusicStreamer II Async DAC to run between source Mac & the NAD.  The headphones will be plugged 99% time into the NAD as I'll just run the Mac sound through the HRT into the NAD.  

DAC is covered, cool.

Still say get the HD558s for now, in the future you can always sell them off for your next headphone upgrade.

post #6 of 15

I love my 598s. Worth every bit I spent on them. Of the ones you listed I say go fro the 598s. I have experienced the others but I agree that the 598s are lacking in build quality a bit. The plastic is makes it feel bad, but I have them with me all the time in my backpack and have not had any issue with them. I dont feel the ad700s compete at all with the 598s. Also I cant even tell they are on my head they are so light. 

 

as for what dark means, this may help with that and more:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary

post #7 of 15

hd 598 is the best headphone out of those and the best for your classical tastes.  I used to have the hd 558 but exchanged it for a hd 598 and never looked back.  $100 for hd 558 is a really good deal though and a better value than gettin the hd 598 at full retail price which i think is around $240.  I got mine for $170 before Sennheiser started to strictly enforce the full retail price.


Edited by ztreb185 - 9/23/12 at 2:58am
post #8 of 15
The HD598 is an improvement over the 595. Really great all around open headphones. Worth the price. I find the pads more comfy than 595 and the soundstaging more natural. Have not heard 558.
post #9 of 15

the HD598 are really great, for classical music and accoustic are awesome. The soundstage is huge you can locate in your head where the sound of each instrument comes from, and the level of details is amazing, listening classical music sometimes i can hear the musician breathing is weird but cool. Usually i listen metal and rock too and they can handle those just fine (dream theater sounds great, queen too, even dimmu borgir the orchestration on the songs sounds great) but lack some bass. Currently I'm using the fiio e10 and I use the bass boost all the time. I haven't tried the HD595 or the HD558 but I recommend the HD598 100% you wont be disappointed.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbux48 View Post

Here's the scoop.  Whatever I get is to be used with a NAD amp for home use.  I will buy an IEM for going out of the house.  I would love to buy a pair of 598's but they stretch my budget.  I have found them used as low as $180.  The 595's which seem nearly as good I have seen as low as $135 to $160.  The 558's can be had as low as $98 a pair.  I consider myself an audiophile in taste though I've never had the money to truly achieve that in reality.  I love soundstage and accuracy.  I want to hear the pages turning in the orchestra, the nuances of people plucking strings or gliding bows across them.  I want to be able to visualize where the person playing first chair violin is sitting.  I want as realistic (for lack of better term) a reproduction as I can afford.

 

First:  Are the HD 598s worth their price even retail?

Second:  Are they really better than the 595s and if so how and how much?  How much better or worse is also relative to cost diffs.

Third: If I can pick up a pair of HD 558s that are listed in Senn's audiophile group, for $100 what does another $80 to $100+ buy me with the 595/598 models?

 

I really appreciate people at Head-Fi and value any feedback.  Oh, and two things.  When people say Senn's are "dark" what do they mean?  And,do the ATH-AD700s compare to any of these Senns? The Senns not only get high praises for sound, but also for comfort which I don't see as much on the AD700s

Senns are usually dark (recessed treble range). The HD650 is simply the darkest headphone I've listened to, especially due to slightly bloated bass and midrange presence. But the HD598s are unique in the Sennheiser line because it has a slightly bright signature, closer to neutral actually. The HD800 on the other hand was quite bright.

 

The HD558s are definitely a far better value than the 598. This isn't to say the HD598 isn't worth the retail price because it is: When you consider the fact that this headphone has very little flaws, it's a far better value than most headphones out there. 

 

Both the HD558/598 have one of the best soundstages of any headphones. No exaggeration. Bigger and deeper than the HD6xx series and better integration of left and right earcups (imaging/ instrumental separation). Definitely far better than any open headphones from the Audio-Technica or the AKG lines... The AKGs and ATH both suffer from abnormally large soundstages with a lack of depth (3D layout). All the AKGs I've listened to have awful left and right coordination which makes them ridiculously good for positioning in games but artificial for music. I know a HE-400 owner who still uses his HD598 for live music, which he says the HE-400 can't compete with for that kind of soundstage-demanding music. 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Senns are usually dark (recessed treble range). The HD650 is simply the darkest headphone I've listened to, especially due to slightly bloated bass and midrange presence. But the HD598s are unique in the Sennheiser line because it has a slightly bright signature, closer to neutral actually. The HD800 on the other hand was quite bright.

 

The HD558s are definitely a far better value than the 598. This isn't to say the HD598 isn't worth the retail price because it is: When you consider the fact that this headphone has very little flaws, it's a far better value than most headphones out there. 

 

Both the HD558/598 have one of the best soundstages of any headphones. No exaggeration. Bigger and deeper than the HD6xx series and better integration of left and right earcups (imaging/ instrumental separation). Definitely far better than any open headphones from the Audio-Technica or the AKG lines... The AKGs and ATH both suffer from abnormally large soundstages with a lack of depth (3D layout). All the AKGs I've listened to have awful left and right coordination which makes them ridiculously good for positioning in games but artificial for music. I know a HE-400 owner who still uses his HD598 for live music, which he says the HE-400 can't compete with for that kind of soundstage-demanding music. 

 

Hi,

 

I've got two questions.

 

1. What kind of very little flaws does the HD 598 have?

(Plasticky built, not enough bass for rock,...)

 

2. Have you heard the controvertial  AKG K550?

Does the K550 have an unnatural  and artificial soundstage?

Have you heard/noticed the infamous peak int the upper mid-range?


Edited by JakeJack_2008 - 11/26/12 at 10:33am
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeJack_2008 View Post

 

Hi,

 

I've got two questions.

 

1. What kind of very little flaws does the HD 598 have?

(Plasticky built, not enough bass for rock,...)

 

2. Have you heard the controvertial  AKG K550?

Does the K550 have an unnatural  and artificial soundstage?

Have you heard/noticed the infamous peak int the upper mid-range?

1. HD598's build is solid, but the materials used are not. It has enough bass for rock but will probably not satisfy most dubstep / electronica lovers. The HD598 doesn't resolve quite as well as more expensive headphones, although that doesn't affect my enjoyment of the music in most cases. The treble is slightly more than what I'd perceive as neutral, but this is a very small shortcoming considering the other cans (DT880, DT990, Q701, D2000, etc.) all have far more treble. Ergonomics wise, the HD598 has an annoying cable and an inconvenient 6.5 mm jack. The jack often puts great stress on line-outs. I bought a Grado adapter and now it's much better. As for the cable, it's still annoying. 

 

2. I have never heard the K550. It's a closed design so I don't expect it to sound exactly like a typical AKG, but close. I've heard of problems regarding getting a proper fit but other than that... 

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeJack_2008 View Post

 

Hi,

 

I've got two questions.

 

1. What kind of very little flaws does the HD 598 have?

(Plasticky built, not enough bass for rock,...)

 

2. Have you heard the controvertial  AKG K550?

Does the K550 have an unnatural  and artificial soundstage?

Have you heard/noticed the infamous peak int the upper mid-range?

It has enough bass for rock, rock needs tons of sub bass? no , and its a headphone with little fault and a great allrounder (hd600 also has little faults), if you wanted a  faulty headphone....take a look at the ath-m50 and the ad 700 lol 

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by XxDobermanxX View Post

It has enough bass for rock, rock needs tons of sub bass? no , and its a headphone with little fault and a great allrounder (hd600 also has little faults), if you wanted a  faulty headphone....take a look at the ath-m50 and the ad 700 lol 

 

Thanx, and I like this:

 

 

Quote:

if you wanted a  faulty headphone....take a look at the ath-m50 and the ad 700 lol 

 

I think that's a positive side of the  ATH-M50 is their rather low price and they're foldable.

I've listened to them in Best Buy for a few minutes and they've sounded as they've sounded.

Nothing to write your grandma about. - Ha, ha, ...

 

JJ

 

P.S.

By the way, I love my HD 595 (50 Ohm), but I also love the looks of the HD 598. They look gorgeous!


Edited by JakeJack_2008 - 2/19/13 at 1:32pm
post #15 of 15

I have lived with HD595 for five years and briefly owned a pair of HD558 which I sold on eBay within a few weeks after buying them. I recently acquired the HD598 because they look great on a photograph and I was hoping that they were an improvement on my well liked and very respected 595s. I listen to various sources of music for extended periods, some times for whole days and into the night. I feel reasonably comfortable to answer your question sincerely. I must admit that I cannot hear any wow difference between the 595/598, for any practical purpose they sound identical. The 595 is a lot more comfortable maybe being much older and worn in. I have never had the urge to change the ear-pads, maybe the new ones would be the same as the 598 and therefor less comfortable. The 558 on the other hand was very much the same as the 598 concerning comfort. However, the sound quality of the 558 is thick, bassy and in my opinion wooly not having nearly the same resolution and opennes as its bigger brothers.

 

For the extra expense the 598 appears more attractive in the advertisement than they really are. If you had both pairs 595/598 in your hand then choosing one above the other is difficult, but the 598 is remains unusual. Although 598 feel stiffer and less flimsy than the 595 they are an order less comfortable in my opinion. Both the 595 and 598 are easy to listen to, vocals are very lifelike and convincing. Mid bass a little smeary and treble is bright but not fatiguing in way. Although first impressions may indicate a thin low bass, it is definitely present, crisp, accurate but never boomy or overwhelming. The 558 on the other hand, I did not like at all, it gave the impression of being designed for a portable player that that lacks punch although it uses the same driver than its siblings, the closed cup sounds congested, thick and boring to me.

 

That is my take on the situation I would say buy the 595 and keep a few bucks in your pocket. If you are a bass freak then the 558 may be your phones.

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