Sennheiser HD 595 Headphones

Average User Rating:
3.94/5,
  1. qoochet
    4.5/5,
    "Amazing sound. No need to say."
    Amazing sound. No need to say.
  2. tuan0r
    4.5/5,
    "HD 595 - A step ahead"
    Pros - great mids, great overall warmth and detail of sound
    Cons - bass, jack, a bit heavy/comfort
    Background
     
    Up to date I have owned a couple of headphones, including a useless Icemat Siberia, a few Sennheiser IEMs, some mediocre apple products, a pair of bose that I borrowed for a while and finally the Sennheiser HD212pro that I have been using for the past couple years. 
     
    Due to a limited budget, I have decided to stay with my HD212pros since 2009. They were comfortable, light and provided good sound isolation. The base was great for the money I paid, which was a really sweet bonus. Simply superb for studying/work. My interest in headphones was rekindled when two of my friends bought themselves headphones that I have never heard of before: Beats Studio and Beats Solo by Dr. Dre. When I was told that they paid $300 and $200 respectively for those monster products, I felt compelled to try them. My impressions? Not much better than my 3 years old HD212pro, yet ten times more expensive.
     
    I have decided to buy the HD595 primary due to its great cost-to-price ratio. The HP, LOD and amp was just enough for my budget. The reviews on head-fi were favorable enough to convinced me that this will be a good buy. Today, I can boldly say that those are my first real headphones. I love them. 
     
    Review
     
    audio quality: 9/10
    Lacking the bass that could have made this headphones godly. However, great mids and highs make up for this. I listen to a lot of rock music, hence I don't feel it as much yet hiphop or eletronic music fans may feel somewhat disappointed. Also, having a good amplifier does help bring the best out of HD595 but it is not necessary - they are great even without it.
     
    design: 8/10 
    everything is great except for the jack and general connectivity. It it not as annoying as just a small detail. Can always buy a different converter.
     
    comfort: 9/10
    feels great, very, very comfortable and fits perfectly to my head. Haven't experienced sweating around my ears like in the case with some headphones. A little heavier than what I am used to, but it is not a major issue.
     
    value: 8.5/10
    the fairly low price and great quality make those headphones a valuable purchase. Especially for people who listen to a lot of vocal/rock. A very weak bass makes those headphones unsuitable for hiphop or electronic music.
     
    overall: 8.5/10
    I do realize that there are headphones of better quality that do not leak sound and are stronger in bass. However, when comparing the price of a little bit above $100 to $1500 for HD 800s, I consider HD595 a great bang for bucks. This makes them a great overall mid price range headphones.
  3. redmonddad
    4.0/5,
    "Absolutely definitely must burn-in!"
    Pros - Comfort, value, typical Senn sound
    Cons - Steep break-in period, recessed bass
    This is an odd way to start a review on a pair of Senn 595 headphones.  Nonetheless, I'll start by saying that I love my Denon AHD5000 headphones.  Weird start, eh?  So why am I looking at the Senn 595 headphones?  Well, my office listening situation has changed and I no longer need the isolation offered by the Denon's.  In fact, there are times when it is a problem.  Therefore, I've been looking for a new pair of open-back headphones for the office.
     
    I have a pair of Senn 590's at home that I quite like...but I want to keep them at home.  I also have a pair of Grado 225's I occasionally enjoy, but are not a great choice for the extended amount of time I wear headphones at work.  Based on my fondness for the 590's, the generally positive reviews here, and a killer deal at amazon.com ($130), I decided to order and audition a pair of 595's.
     
    Right off the bat, let me say that burn-in is very critical for the 595.  Each of my favorite headphones has benefited from a multi-day burn-in session.  So it's no surprise that the HD595 needed a break-in period as well.  The surprise is how shallow the improvement curve was initially.  The other headphones (HD590, Grado 225, Denon AHD5000) all started out lacking detail and impact, but after a few hours each at least started to reveal their *potential*.  OTOH, the 595's remained boring and flat during two straight days of continuous burn-in (interspersed silence MP3's every few hours).  It was only after 2 days that there was any signficant improvement and it took 3 days for the potential to start to emerge.  If I had stopped the burn-in at 3 days, I would have returned them.  However, it was the weekend (making it inconvenient to return) and by 4 days the 595's were close to the 10+ year old 590's in warmth and probably better in detail.  I'm now well pleased with them and they're not going back.
     
    Comparing the 595's to the Denon's isn't a fair contest.  The Denon's are easily my favorites, even if the bass is occasionally overwhelming.  However, for some types of music the 595's might actually be better for my taste.  Diana Krall, for example, really shines on the 595 whereas on the Denon's you have to supress the bass to bring Diana's vocals and piano out.  In fact, I think I prefer the 595 for many jazz pieces and the bass actually a bit more detailed than the Denons.  On the other hand, throw on some Lady Gago or Daft Punk and I definitely want the Denon phones.
     
    Compared to the 590, the sound is very similar.  My 590's are very old and worn...perhaps that gives the 595 a bit of an edge on detail, but OTOH the 590's are much much more comfortable.  The earpads on the 595 are a bit stiff and plasticy compared to the very cushion-soft 590's; of course, that might just be due to the age of 590's.  The 590 also has a detachable cable whereas the 595 has a fixed cable.  However, to make up a bit for that, the 595 does come with a very nice headphone holder that can clamp to a desktop, shelf, or bookcase side (about a $20 value).  I think I prefer the 590 overall, but it's not a huge gap.
     
    Compared to the Grado, the 595 does not have the detail or clarity of the 225.  However, the bass (after lots of burn-in) is probably better on the 595.  Note that I have modded the Grado's with the circumaural "salad  bowl" pads from the GS1000 as well as a JMoney headband.  I did the comparisons with both sets of Grado pads.  The comfort is way way better on the 595 compared to either the original or circumaual Grado pads. 
     
    Interestingly, even though the Grado probably has better sound quality, the 595 and the Grado occupy the same niche in my office rotation of headphones.  Because of the comfort offered by the 595, I'm going to use it (rather than the Grados) in rotation with the Denons. I am definitely enjoying these...after a good break-in period, of course.
  4. Troy Davis
    4.0/5,
    "Sennheiser HD595 - a great product!"
    Pros - Comfort, Soundstage, Sex Appeal, Clean Highs, Stable Mids, Balanced Lows
    Cons - Plasticy, soundstage could be a bit better defined, 1/4" jack a problem for many
    This is my first review for Head-Fi. I'm already sorry about my wallet... (snicker [​IMG])
     
     
    8 hours I spent laboring throughout the night deciding what headphones to spend my Christmas money on, and I certainly found a worthy competitor (or champion, rather). 

    I am a humble amateur audio enthusiast who has owned, hear me - TWO sets of headphones. The first was a pair of Koss Portapros, highly regarded by audio-nuts, and I definitely agreed. But let me tell you something - THE SENNHEISERS BLOW THE KOSS OUT OF THE WATER... [​IMG]

    I will cover several aspects of the headphones, including: 
    1. Delivery 
    2. Construction quality 
    3. Comfort 
    4. Audio quality 
    5. Overall opinion 

    1. Delivery - 5/5 
    The Hd595's were well packaged - a blue box not much larger than the headphones themselves. A small purple slat at the top unlocks the box's two flaps to reveal the treasure inside. And must I say, thank god there arent any plastic restraints to cut out, because I hate those. Instead, a simple plastic cover that pulls off with little pressure is all that lies between you - and audio bliss. 

    2. Construction Quality 4/5 
    I have doubts about the HD595's longevity; they are made mostly out of plastic, and thus it seems that with too much pressure on the hinges which allow freer movement of the driver enclosures, that they could possibly break. However, all doubts are mostly relieved, simply as the design of the 'phones are modern and well-colored. 

    The cable is very long (too long for portable purposes unless you want to wrap it up) and it ends with a gold plated, oxygen-free, 1/4" jack. For most people, an 1/8" jack that is found on most consumer electronics would be more suitable. Luckily a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter is included to provide compatibility. Too bad that it is too bulky for the trouble (it won't fit in the volume control indent on my Logitech Z-2300 system). Might want to purchase a more flexible adapter like the one Grado offers. I recommend it. 

    Happily, the earcups aren't that crappy foam that most of us are accustomed to. Instead, the HD595's use velour, a synthetic velvet-clone. I will address those shortly. There is also a well-padded headband made of fake leather along the scalpline. Lastly, the driver enclosures are sided by large ventilation grilles, which allow air to freely move in - and out, of the headphones. This will prove to make the headphones versatile in their musical suitability. 

    3. Comfort 5/5 
    These are COMFORTABLE!!! The headphones give just the right amount of pressure to the sides and top of your head to create a nice seal on the earcups, yet provide long-lasting comfort (I am currently wearing them; have been for seven hours straight with only the slightest discomfort). As well, I have a large head, and these phones fit perfectly! My ears are completely encompassed by the earcups. 

    To mention though, these can get hot in warm weather. I rollerblade all the time (in Phoenix, AZ, mind me), lately whilst wearing these headphones, and the velour does get sweaty and slightly uncomfortable. However, this is a minor problem. 

    4. Audio Quality 5/5 
    Ah, the most important part of the review! One word is all I need - WOW... [​IMG]

    These headphones, being open, allow sound to flow freely in and out of the driver enclosure. This enables the HD595's to provide a more open, and thus more natural, soundstage. Listening to a FLAC lossless version of "Move Along" (as I write this) by the All American Rejects, I can clearly separate the drums in the background with that of the singer. The separation of instruments is well-done, though general soundstage could be done better. If you are looking for that, I recommend the Audio Technica ATH-AD700. Those probably are much better in that regard. 

    For games, I played FEAR (the only FPS I have at the moment) and was amazed at my ability to actually hear THE FOOTSTEPS of the incoming Replica Soldiers. This enabled me to ambush them so much more effectively. However, I was not easily able to tell WHAT DIRECTION the footsteps were coming from, only that they were close. Again, soundstage has a lot to do with this, and the Audio Technica's might be a better choice. Regardless, I was impressed. 

    Lastly, the Bass on these headphones were rather good - once I had burned them in for about 20 hours. At first the bass was too flat and not strong as the Koss Portapro were, but with usage, they became even better. By better I don't mean they were as strong (the Koss had srong, punchy bass), but that they were balanced correctly and just punchy enough not to distort the original recording (I am a drum 'N bass and metal fan, and I personally thought the bass was pretty good). People will say the bass isn't good on these headphones. Compared to higher-end headphones, maybe. But these headphones still sound great for anyone but bassheads (of which I am not a member). An amplifier will bring out the bass in these headphones, so if you are a bass enthusiast, I recommend you purchase one. 

    5. Overall Opinion 5/5 
    Yes, these definitely rank as superb. I was impressed, and I probably will be even more once I dish out for a nice amplifier (an amp will truly make these headphones shine, though they definitely sound great without one. :p). They are comfortable, built pretty nicely, and sound great. What's more to ask? [​IMG]

    The one-step-down model, the HD555, are also great (and $50 cheaper), a popular model. But if you are willing to edge just a little more cash, these are totally worth it. The bass and soundstage, according to my research, have improved on the HD595. Some may say that there is really no difference. I can't verify whether this is true or not, but my ears are happy regardless. [​IMG]

    Cheers! [​IMG]

    Your audiophile in arms, 
    Troy Davis
  5. Tatakai All
    5.0/5,
    "First Pair Of High End Cans"
    Pros - Comfortable with detailed sounds
    These are my first real pair of headphones, so this is more of a personal review then an experienced one. I am upgrading from Senn HD 201's and can say that I really enjoyed those headphones and that there is a noticeably nice difference between the HD 201's and HD 595's. I got these HD 595's for a pretty good deal off Amazon and so far, I'm impressed with everything it has to offer. From other reviews that I've read bass is a disappointing factor with these cans, but personally, I like the fact that it's not over powering but complimentary to the mid's and high's. I've paired these with the E7 from Fiio and a L3 for LOD to my ipod and couldn't be happier with my first step in to hi-fi listening.
  6. ffdpmaggot
    3.5/5,
    "First Full Sized Headphones"
    Pros - Comfortable, Clear Sound, Good Value, Attractive
    Cons - Slightly rolled off
    Design - The headphones seem a bit flimsy, but they look nice, and i like the wire only on one earcup. This wire is very sturdy, if a bit stiffer than I'd like, and is excessively long for around the house. I dont like the fact that it has a 1/4 termination, as a mini plug is, IMO, more practical to adapt to a 1/4 than vice versa.
     
    Comfort - The velour pads are extremely comfortable and never get hot, the headband is a bit flimsy and doesnt have very much clamping force at all, I'd say they dont clamp enough.
     
    Audio Quality - A flat sonic signature with clean, impactful bass. The bass is the slightest bit muddy, but it is on par with the clarity I'd expect for the price. Some bass notes, primarily faster ones, are felt but not heard. Mids are warm and largely uncolored, if not the slightest bit on the dark side. Clarity and separation in the mids is very good. Highs are somewhat grainy, but have a nice, warm tone to them and seem to be well defined. Sound stage is large and open, depicting great accuracy in my tests with my xbox. Transient action on these headphones seems to be somewhat slow, keeping up with faster recordings in itunes, but not completely wowing me. Volume is appropriate. Detail throughout mids is good. These did a good job of handling the EP "Unaminity and the Cessation of Hostility" which I use as my testing album for separation and clarity, as well as the ability to handle a lot of "stuff". It wasn't well recorded, and theres so much noise and intentional distortion that none of the IEMs ive owned have been able to handle it (not surprising). The 595 handle the EP gracefully without really letting things "mix" too much.
     
    Value - Headphones over 50 dollars, in my opinion, are a terrible value, gaining less sound quality for more money, buy these when they are under 150 USD, but not over.
     
    Overall - I personally really like the sound on these for the price, but die hard audiophiles will have problems with the coloration, and would most likely prefer to spend more money to get a clearer pair with better resolution and less coloration; typical listeners will probably have issues with the lack of bass.  
  7. Timestretch
    3.5/5,
    "Solid Headphones"
    Pros - sturdy, comfortable, open, easy to amp, affordable, detailed
    Cons - Feels lacking in power; sound not truly impressive
    I bought these in London over the last summer and have used them as my primary music-listening device since then. They are plugged snugly into a value-level Pioneer A/V receiver which is attached to my PC, playing a variety of FLAC electronic, rock, metal and pop music.   
      
     
    It is hard to point to something that these do that I feel is absolutely excellent. Things are clear, nothing's really muffled. If there's a flaw, I feel like the bass is lacking in these phones, but that doesn't mean there is no bass at all - they certainly have enough to make listening to trance/D&B/Dubstep enjoyable.   
      
    However, they are definitely lacking in sound quality. I feel like they are a very meager upgrade over the ATH-A700s I had previously. Of course, most high end audio is a world of meager upgrades. I am looking to upgrade in the near future, though, hoping that another more expensive set of headphones will be more "wowing." 
  8. Typhoon859
    3.0/5,
    "Simply not worth it"
    Pros - Detailed, comfortable (further review upon re-possession...)
    Cons - Pitiful bass, leak massive sound & provides little isolation (I guess as any open-back headphones would) (further review upon re-possession...)
    The Sennheiser HD 595's were on sale on Amazon recently for $150 and I was just furious when I heard them.  Expecting something godly for the price they're originally at, especially considering their size, I got not even a minimal kind of wow factor and rather, instantaneous notations of flaws.  I must say, in the end, I was satisfied IN GENERAL with the sound, but with no complaints maybe if they were priced at $100 AS THE ORIGINAL.  I STRONGLY prefer my $60 Brainwavz M2 IEM's (which I got for $35) in almost every regard, and that's just absurd no matter how objectively you could look at it...

    Further review upon re-possession of headphones...
  9. SMASHerJOSH
    4.0/5,
    "My favorite cans at the moment, not like I've owned very many anyways. "
    Pros - Great Soundstage, Comfortable, and overall nice.
    Cons - Leakage (but not too much compared to other open headphones), the material feels like not that great plastic (would like some metal on it)
    Honestly, for the price, I really don't think that there's anything wrong with these headphones other than the fact that the material it's made of isn't as sturdy as other headphones.  The Sennheiser HD 5x5 seem to get cracks after a year or so.  Other than that, the sound is nice, they are very comfortable, and I like them a lot.
  10. aorbinati
    4.5/5,
    "Great Headphones!"
    Pros - Flat frequency response, uncolored sound - nice and neutral!
    Cons - Some people don't like neutral sounding cans
    I have been using these everyday for about 2 weeks now and here are my initial thoughts:
     
    • The delivery of the musical soundstage isn't distracting in any way. Some people don't like this, as increased bass response or sharper highs are often valued - but I LOVE the flat, neutral sound of these cans. Music sounds as it should: detailed and harmonic. The cans don't get in the way and let the music shine through. Nice job Sennheiser.
    • Some folks have commented on the bass response. Again, this comes down to personal preference. I don't particularly like increased bass response, but prefer a tighter sound in the bass. These cans deliver tight, controlled bass.
    • I listen to all types of music: electronica is energetic and detailed, as are all of my jazz tracks. You can really make out the pluck of the bass and the grumble of the bari sax. I have REALLY enjoyed listening to Tchaikovsky as well, the soundstage is open and again - uncolored.
    • Though I use a small amp at home, I've taken these out with my iPad and was pleasantly surprised. They are efficient enough to sound really great with portable devices.
    • My only gripe about these cans is the amount of plastic used in construction. I realize that they are $300 retail, but I feel like Sennheiser could have made these a bit more beefy - more metal hinges, a metal headband, etc. The ear pads are very comfortable, and the cans are lightweight for all day use - I just find myself being extra careful.
     
    Overall, I LOVE these cans. The neutral sound and wear comfort make them my favorite thus far. I see myself getting many years of happy listening out of them!
     
    Cheers,
    AO