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Sennheiser HD598 vs Momentum

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I'm new at this... smily_headphones1.gif

 

 
Hi! I need some nice headphones ($200 to $400 range) and I'm hoping someone here can help. I've been lurking here for years, but am just now posting... Just for some background, I'm very much into music; I have very good ears and use both speaker setups and cans a LOT during my day. I don't create music (well, no more than just noodling around), so I'm not looking for perfectly transparent reference headphones... but I'm not just a basshead either, and definitely don't want anything too boomy. I listen to all kinds of music, think Pink Floyd and Radiohead if you want a few examples (though I like classical to rap and most genres in between). What I'm trying to say is I'm after a nice, "shaped" sound with tight, hard, low bass, well-defined midrange, good soundstage, and clear sibilance-free highs. I know, what everyone wants, right? tongue_smile.gif
 
I've tried and found Grados to be a bit bright for my taste if that's any help... I've mostly enjoyed Sennheiser's more 'musical' sound over the years, so my inclination is to stick with them.
 
I've owned the HD 570s, HD 580s, HD 600s, and HD 650s. For various reasons these cans are all gone at this point (sold them, had one pair crushed! etc…) so I'm back to looking for a pair that I can plug into my computer, sit on my cushy recliner, and either listen to lossless (FLAC or ALAC) audio in the dark or watch hi-def movies (w/hi-def sound) on my 27" screen. I should mention I have a mid-2001 Core i7-powered iMac connected via USB to an Audioengine D1 DAC: From there the sound goes to a pair of Audioengine A5+ powered speakers and an Audioengine S8 powered sub. It's probably more than I need for the size of my room but it sounds awesome and I love it. Conveniently, the DAC also serves as a nifty headphone amp, with a convenient plug on the front which will mute the speakers when I plug in. But I need some cans to plug into it for those "quiet" times at night when the speaker setup isn't an option, or when I just want to really enjoy the detail of whatever I'm listening to.
 
So… all that being said, I've done a lot of reading over the past few weeks and I'm intrigued the most by the HD 598s, with their velour earcups, open back, and lower price, and also with the newer Momentum model, with its awesome looks, leather earcups, and closed backs with perhaps a bit more oomph on the low end. The 598s are a bargain right now at about $225 on Amazon (USA), while the Momentums seem a bit steep at $350, though I would pay the extra if I thought it was worth it. I know it has a cool box, etc., but what I'm most concerned with is SOUND and COMFORT.
 
I don't plan on plugging these into an iPod or taking them around town. They're gonna live on my desk and be used in the privacy of my studio/office. And impedance isn't an issue since I'm going to run them off a nice 24/96 DAC (AKM AK4396 chip).
 
Sorry for being so long-winded, but I want this purchase to be my last for awhile, as I've just moved into a new home and have other things besides *ahem* toys I need to spend money on (booo….). So I'd like to get it right. Like I said, I love the Sennheiser sound, but I'm not married to it; for example, I found the 600s and even the 650s a bit sterile sounding, preferring the much cheaper 580s to them for longer listening sessions. Though the cheaper cans were less transparent, they just had a warmer sound without being muddy in the least. I've listened to lower-end models like the 280s and I realize I can't ever go back to something like that.
 
I'm open-minded toward something like the V-MODA Crossfade m-100, or maybe an AKG or Denon model, though I don't have much experience with any of those brands (except that I have some really nice V-MODA earbuds for my iPod Nano that I love). I don't like the Sony or Grado (sorry) offerings at the price I can afford. Nor obviously consumer-oriented models from KOSS, JVC, et al... I'm too spoiled for anything that (I have the disease). And no overpriced crap like Dr Dre Monster Beats. Style is nice, sure, but great sound and luxurious comfort over an extended period of time (both physically and in terms of ear fatigue) are really all that is important to me. Build quality, too, and warranty/customer support – I mean, I'm not hard on my equipment, but it's always nice to have good support just in case.
 
So, what would YOU get if you were in my shoes, looking for that one pair of headphones you'll have to (and want to) live with for a number of years? HD 598? Momentum? Or something else? Thank you in advance for your advice and I'll check back frequently and answer any questions you may have. I really appreciate the help!!!

-Stageon-
 
p.s. Before anyone accuses me of being crazy, there were aspects of both the 600s and the 650s that I really loved. I'm not saying they weren't better headphones than my 570s or 580s, just different, and more demanding on my ears. That's why I often would switch to the 580s for extended listening sessions... they seem more mellow (but not slow or muddy) and less harsh. I do know that accurate highs often demand a bit more from the ear... I guess I'm after a good midpoint, if that makes sense. Not brassy, not boomy. Just nicely EQ'd... Sorry for the length of this post.

Edited by stageon - 3/12/13 at 7:04am
post #2 of 107

about the HD598 vs the momentum:
Comfort wise, HD598 is the clear winner, huge soft earpads, super deep earcups, while the momentum earpads are rather small, you might run the risk of wearing them as an on ear instead of an over ear.
Sound performance too the HD598 wins with its expansive airyness to its sound with a better soundstage. The momentums have deeper more impactful bass (though not too much) while the HD598 has a more gentle neutral bass.
Sound presentation, the HD598 is very relaxing and immersive with its laidback sound, the momentums are more fun sounding and engaging.
Imo the momentums lose out in sound quality performance (but you could like its more fun signature too) simply cause they are made with the intention to be used unamped on the streets as a nice looking portable headphone for the consumer market (which also sounds good) while the other pair is made with audiophiles in mind.

hope this helpswink.gif
 

post #3 of 107

The HD 598 is still probably one of (if not the most) comfortable headphone I've ever tried. It certainly is one of the only ones I've spent an entire day listening to without being fatigued from the sound signature or strained from the physical discomfort.

 

For use at home, I personally have never reached for my Momentums. If I had to pick a single budget headphone to live with, the 598s would be it.

post #4 of 107
Thread Starter 

Ok, so just two responses so far, but I'm leaning toward the 598s... sounds more like what I'm looking for in a stay at home, do it all headphone. Also, I just measure the height of my ears and they're 650mm, which sounds like it could potentially be a problem for the Momentum's small cups.

 

Of course, I could order both and just return the one I like least. But I don't want to splash out that much right now, even if I'd get it back soonish. And I hate returning stuff (I'm lazy). Well, I'll wait and see if more advice comes in. Anyone else? Any Momentum fans out there?

 

Likewise, any Denon or Beyerdynamic cans under $400 that can compete with the Senn 598s on fidelity AND comfort? I know nothing about those brands except the names, and that they make good stuff on the high end.

 

$225 plus tax w/free shipping for the HD 598 is starting to sound appealing...


Edited by stageon - 3/12/13 at 10:47am
post #5 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by stageon View Post

Ok, so just two responses so far, but I'm leaning toward the 598s... sounds more like what I'm looking for in a stay at home, do it all headphone. Also, I just measure the height of my ears and they're 650mm, which sounds like it could potentially be a problem for the Momentum's small cups.

Of course, I could order both and just return the one I like least. But I don't want to splash out that much right now, even if I'd get it back soonish. And I hate returning stuff (I'm lazy). Well, I'll wait and see if more advice comes in. Anyone else? Any Momentum fans out there?

Likewise, any Denon or Beyerdynamic cans under $400 that can compete with the Senn 598s on fidelity AND comfort? I know nothing about those brands except the names, and that they make good stuff on the high end.

$225 plus tax w/free shipping for the HD 598 is starting to sound appealing...
Lol 650 mm? (65 cm)
Also theyre a lot of momentum and hd558/598 earpads dimentions in size matters thread.
Also in terms if sound airyness nothing other than the ADxxx series(has horrible anaemic bass btw) can compete as far as i know.
post #6 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by stageon View Post

Ok, so just two responses so far, but I'm leaning toward the 598s... sounds more like what I'm looking for in a stay at home, do it all headphone. Also, I just measure the height of my ears and they're 650mm, which sounds like it could potentially be a problem for the Momentum's small cups.

Of course, I could order both and just return the one I like least. But I don't want to splash out that much right now, even if I'd get it back soonish. And I hate returning stuff (I'm lazy). Well, I'll wait and see if more advice comes in. Anyone else? Any Momentum fans out there?

Likewise, any Denon or Beyerdynamic cans under $400 that can compete with the Senn 598s on fidelity AND comfort? I know nothing about those brands except the names, and that they make good stuff on the high end.

$225 plus tax w/free shipping for the HD 598 is starting to sound appealing...
Lol 650 mm? (65 cm)
Also theyre a lot of momentum and hd558/598 earpads dimentions in size matters thread.
Also in terms if sound airyness nothing other than the ADxxx series(has horrible anaemic bass btw) can compete as far as i know.
post #7 of 107

Hello!

 

Sennheiser HD598 is your best choice! If not, the HE-400 (under $400 right? Anyone confirm for me?) it is very dark sounding. I was told it is darker than HD650! As formBeyerdynamic, the DT880 seems good but it does carries some sibilants from what I had heard(which I too dislike). If you like closed, open air, slight bass kick, do consider looking at AKG K550. It is a subs for HD598 in a closed form + slightly more bass with GOOD SEAL more neutral to me.

post #8 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post

Hello!

 

Sennheiser HD598 is your best choice! If not, the HE-400 (under $400 right? Anyone confirm for me?) it is very dark sounding. I was told it is darker than HD650! As formBeyerdynamic, the DT880 seems good but it does carries some sibilants from what I had heard(which I too dislike). If you like closed, open air, slight bass kick, do consider looking at AKG K550. It is a subs for HD598 in a closed form + slightly more bass with GOOD SEAL more neutral to me.

I've never had sibilance be a problem with my DT880's.  They are some sweet sounding headphones.

post #9 of 107
Quote:

Originally Posted by stageon View Post
 

 Any Momentum fans out there?

 

Momentum fan here!... get the HD598. 

Momentum is for outdoors. For home you'll enjoy the HD598 A LOT more.

post #10 of 107

momentum vs. hd 25 ii?

post #11 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnosp View Post

momentum vs. hd 25 ii?

Depends on your taste, the Momentums are more relaxed and laidback sounding withh deeper bass and a smoother treble, the HD25 II is more aggresive in sound with more treble and more bass kick. 

post #12 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post

I've never had sibilance be a problem with my DT880's.  They are some sweet sounding headphones.

Probably because of my EQ setting then. Anywhere, what's ur source for it? XD 

post #13 of 107

Aren't the HD598's the "classic car dashboard" model? biggrin.gif

 

People have knocked their appearance, but I think they look pretty damn good.

post #14 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post

Probably because of my EQ setting then. Anywhere, what's ur source for it? XD 

FLAC''s & CD's.

post #15 of 107
I love my Sennheiser Momentums. If you use them to listen to 256 or 320 kbit MP3 files on Spotify on a phone or On a tablet, they sound absolutely delicious! I can't think of a better way to describe them.

The bass Is strong and clear, sbut not overpowering. The mids are clear, and the highs are crisp with no hissing of the letter s.

You hear more of an airy soundstage on the Sennheiser momentum's than the great majority of other closed ear headphones.

Plus, the momentum's don't leak sound unless you haven't turned up all the way. They are comfortable to wear, and they're just more practical than the Open ear Sennheiser 598 HD. Of course, I would like a pair of those also, mainly for listening to movies and for concert recordings.
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