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Very Disappointed in My Sennheiser HD598's

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

First, let me say this is the first really expensive set of headphones I've bought, although I wanted a nice pair for years.  These Sennheiser HD598's were intended for listening to classical music.  They sound great on jazz, everything sounds quite good -- up close and detailed, but for classical they just sound veiled, distant, muffled, flat.  Everything just sounds far away unless I fiddle with my equalizer in my Foobar player.  I've tried them on 5 different computers/laptops.  I have a cheap Boosteroo amp which only makes it louder.  I don't have a DAC, but I understood these hardly need one, and I can't see that clearing up the problem.

 

I've been putting music and pink noise through them for about 24 hours now, slightly higher than listening volume, as I've seen recommended.  I think there's been some improvement, but I really can't see any amount of "burn in" making these headphones great, and I have two weeks until I'd need to return these.  Ironically, where many people complain about lack of bass, I thought that was actually fine.

 

So I'm quite disappointed.  I got them for $190 on eBay.  I've had a pair of headphones for probably 15 years that I likely spent no more than $25 on which I think sound superior.

 

Andy

post #2 of 21

Laptop headphone sockets tend to be terrible with headphones like these and sound exactly as you describe. A Boosteroo or other cheap amp is not going to help as you've discovered. This is why the Head-Fi unofficial slogan is "Sorry about your wallet", as there isn't a very cheap way to improve the performance.

post #3 of 21

What files do you use (eg. quality, bitrate)? Have you tried out of something as simple as a smartphone/tablet?

If everything sound like really distant, muffled and muted it might be because of a bad plug.


Edited by davidsh - 10/10/13 at 3:55am
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

I've been playing FLAC files and hq 320k mp3's, and getting pretty much the same result.  I don't have a tablet/smart phone but I can borrow one from a friend today and see how they sound with that.  As far as the amp is concerned, I am willing to buy a DAC for $100~ or so and listen via USB, but these would likely need to be returned before it had time to arrive.  The plug and adapter seems OK.  As I said, jazz?  Sounds wonderful.  But I got these because they were recommended for classical.

 

 

Andy

post #5 of 21

Dunno then.. Try some other headphones if it doesn't work out for ya..

post #6 of 21
See if there is a beat buy Magnolia stores by you they usually have a dac on display that you could try plugging the headphones into. When I hay my dragonfly I brought my own headphones into the store to listen and see if I liked it and they had no problem with it

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 4
post #7 of 21

Maybe you just don't like the sound signature of these headphones. Nothing wrong with that. Try something different

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy9279 View Post
 

I've been playing FLAC files and hq 320k mp3's, and getting pretty much the same result.  I don't have a tablet/smart phone but I can borrow one from a friend today and see how they sound with that.  As far as the amp is concerned, I am willing to buy a DAC for $100~ or so and listen via USB, but these would likely need to be returned before it had time to arrive.  The plug and adapter seems OK.  As I said, jazz?  Sounds wonderful.  But I got these because they were recommended for classical.

Do you by chance have access to a receiver you could plug the HD598 into, see if there is much change (improvement) in the audio quality?

post #9 of 21

Try to find a Schiit Magni for sale.  It should liven things up.

post #10 of 21
You should try Grados, the other extreme.
post #11 of 21
How about the DT660? Never used them myself but the reviews seem good for Classical
http://www.head-fi.org/t/559542/i-truly-believe-these-are-one-of-the-best-classical-music-headphones-ive-ever-heard
post #12 of 21

^David Mahler really likes that hedphone for classical as well

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for everyone's advice.  I've given these well over 72 hours of "burn in" time, they seem to be settled into being what they're gonna be.  Still playing music and pink noise through them though.  (For anyone interested, I didn't notice a big difference after the first 24 hours.)

 

When I up the up the EQ settings on these around 10KHz I think they sound quite good for classical.  Not sure if a DAC would help?  From what I've read it sounds a DAC would add a bit more bass and volume.  I just prefer more clarity, and the instruments more up-front I suppose.  The big sound stage is maybe not my thing, or not what I'm use to.

 

 

Andy

post #14 of 21
If you don't really like the headphone DACs and amps won't help much.
post #15 of 21

Yeah, just return them and choose from one of its many competitors.

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