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Sennheiser HD 598 or HD 650 advice

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all.  Long time lurker, first time poster.  A little background -- I've been happily listening to my UE TripleFi 10s for the past several years, blissfully ignorant of the whole audiophile headphone world (headphone amp? what's a headphone amp?!?).  I primarily used my IEMs at work so kept them in my laptop bag along with my work laptop.  Then I started using them more often at home to listen on my iMac, but that is 3 floors away from where I store the laptop bag (we have a walk-up attic, half of which serves as my home office), and I started thinking I could avoid some extra up and down trips by just buying some headphones for the home office.  So that idea lived in the back of my mind for a bit, and I would poke around Amazon every now and again without much purpose or direction.  Then one morning, in the office early for a software release (I work in IT as a Project Manager), I noticed a pair of Sennheiser HD 598 on a co-worker's desk.  I asked him if he liked them.  He said that he did and offered them to me for a couple of hours to try out.


Damn him.


I especially enjoyed the wide soundstage and the comfort, Oh the comfort!  The headphones sounded fantastic the longer I listened as I excitedly flipped through different songs on my iPhone.  Now I had some purpose.  I hit the internets to read a bit more about the 598s, and came across Head-fi.org.


Damn you.


Headphone amps? DACs? Vacuum tubes, seriously?!!!  So more reading in the forums, considering budget, and I'm looking for advice.


As I said earlier, I'll be playing my music on an iMac (mid 2011) using iTunes.  All of my music is 256k or 320k mp3, and while I've been thinking about ALAC, I really don't want to re-rip and re-tag all of my CDs (roughly 1,000).  I mostly listen to classic rock and classical, but will venture into more modern tunes and some indie rock. 


I've pretty much settled on the Schiit magni and modi out of consideration for my budget and thinking that staying low cost on the amp and DAC and putting more money into headphones is a better idea.  Where I'm really struggling is choosing between the HD 598s and the HD 650s.  I've listened to the 598s and enjoyed them quite a lot (as I mentioned); however, I really wanted them to have a bit more bass.  In my reading, the 650s seem to fit the bill there, but may sacrifice some of the soundstage that I loved so much in the 598s.  And there is the additional cost.  I'm struggling with the rationalization to my wife who finds this whole thing a bit crazy.  I don't have access to the 650s, and I'm a bit nervous buying them without hearing them.  Also, I'm wondering if bumping the low end using an EQ is a viable solution with the 598s.


So, after all of that, any thoughts from any of you knowledgeable folks?  598s and adjust EQ?  Just go for the 650s and don't look back?  Maybe go with the 598s and put more money to the amp/dac?


Oh yeah, and any advice on how to pull this off and remain happily married would be very, very helpful.  :)


Thanks all for any help, and, again, damn you.  My wallet bleeds.

post #2 of 5

The Sennheiser HD558 uses the same driver as the HD598, and the HD558 is a little more bassy.

The Fiio E10 ($62-$75) USB-DAC-Amp can plug right into your Mac.

post #3 of 5

So you're collegue listens to open headphones at work? Doesn't that leak too much sound to the environment?

post #4 of 5

I would vote for the 650. I would always get the best headphone I could before going for amp/dacs. You can find them used for a decent price if you keep a look out on the forums. After that like you stated the magni/modi will be a good start on a dac/amp. I would also suggest maybe the O2 combo as well. 



post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

PurpleAngel: thanks.  Do you know the E10 compares to the Magni+Modus?


colaturka: He doesn't sit near me, so I don't know.  If it was a problem, I'm sure his boss, who sits in the cube next to him, would tell him to stop.


KCxSmacker:  Thanks for the note.  I'll look into the O2 combo.

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