Sennheiser HD 595 Headphones

WhiskeyJacks

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Detail, clarity, mids that grab attention. smoother treble
Cons: Bass is detailed but lacks body and impact, soundstage is a bit closed in for open phone(fixed with mids)
First of I have been using the DT 990 pros and a soundMagic HP100 for a while now at least 4 months. I have had time to break both in and happened to think both did what they did great. The HP100's got sold though because at the time I needed the funds being out of a work with health issues. It wasn't that I like the HP 100 less but more of the fact that the DT 990 was a gift from my girl. That left me with one headphonethat I was listening with and for the most part I was happy have a couple of DACs to toy with and a couple amps to pair and see what sounded best. 
 
  I found the HD595s used(but very lightly used) for a great price, and at this point I knew I had to check into them because I have mixed reviews. I started talking to the guy that was selling these and realized I am going to go for it because I  wanted to try a Sennheiser Headphone. I was originally looking at the HD 580 but new that was never going ot happen right now alas I am still out of work. I went through with the buy and they arrived after the weekend, and after pairing them with the CDAC+ and Vali amp....they sounded like many people wrote laid back, clear, shining in the mids, sound stage not as big as some open headphones and more to the forward like standing a couple rows from the stage, and finally not much bass impact. All in all a good headphone especially for someone coming into better audio gear. I took more time because this headphone has not been burned in much, and it did open up a bit more and get more musical than the initial listening. I would say that I would they are not as enjoyable as my DT 990 pros, but that is purely preference, but what they did seem to excel at was classical, instrumental, and folk/acoustic.  
 
I had read there was a mod to do with the little brother of this headphone for opening sound stage and increase bass response I believe. Now I checked out a couple threads and after videos to see if my amateur hands were capable. Thankfully the mod is relatively easy if you have worked with any kind of gadget that need basic screw driver, and in my case wire cutt/ pliers. The one bad thing about this mod before doing it is that it is irreversible...so if you do not like the changes you are out of luck. I read reviews on how the mod had sounded for the HD595, and after I felt confident enough with the responses I gathered my tools. The next section will be a more detailed reviewing of the HD595 with the mod accomplished and I am sorry if this is the wroing place to review it, but I did not know where else to. So here is my impressions after 24 hours...
 
The mod was basic and the only real hardship through the whole process was removing the plastic internal grill that is under the drivers. Once I had completed then reassembled the headphones I sat down and did some more serious listening. Now as far as sources go I used Foobar2000 and Mediamonkey with using 24/96khz flac and 16/44.1 flacs... so nothing to scoff at. This was also listened via CDAC+(improved isolation, and separate psu for ODAC) and the Schiit Vali, and then again on the Fostex HP-A3 using both internal amp and Vali. I must say I was surprised to hear such a difference immediately afterwards and that I can definitely say that the stage spread out a bit, and while opening up became more clear and placing the instruments was more distinct. I was kind blown away because though the sound stage was not as wide as my DT990s it may have been more deep and the sound more clear. Now I put on different types of music, from classical, to instrumental, progressive rock, indie/alternative, hip hop, and binaural+ tracks as well. And honestly every artist I listened to from Arcade fire, to radiohead, to pink floyd, to Aesop rock, to Adele sounded good.  I did not have to eq any of the lower frequencies which was a nice change because I do have to apply eq to the higher frequencies with the DT990s on some tracks after the 2k range.
 
I actually had my girl who is not a enthusiast by any means, but more so one of the most honest unbiased people I know, and she actually just started realizing things such as burn in which I never told her about. She brought it up about a month or so after she bought her headphone, she looks back at me and goes " babe I know this is going to sound silling and maybe a bit strange but I swear my headphone sounds better than before . Like maybe something is wrong with my hearing" I just started chuckling and got a stern grimace of "what the hell" from her. 
Welll I had her listen to the headphones prior and she did not care for them that much being  more of fun headphone lover, and I had her sit down and really listen, and immediately she said she could hear where everything better and it does not sound so close. She then after some more serious listening  said she prefers CDAC+ and Vali with this unit and that she feels like she can move more to the music than before not understanding why, I then explained I had removed the inner cloth and grills.  
 
So main story is I absolutely still love and enjoy my DT 990s but now I do not have any reservations about buying the HD595. I do not know if it just placebo that I am noticing difference, but after to bringing my girl into listen i highly doubt it. I think most people out there prefer the HD598, HD600, HD650...well understandable I actaully want a HD600. If though you are like me, and on a budget you can find this hp normally on ebay for around 100-120$, and if you keep an eye out you can get them for below 100$ like I did.  I have actually been listening to the HD595s ever since this mod and I do not regret buying them because I really believe they are a great pairing in contrast with the DT 990 pros. I know this is not my best review and impressions but I hope someone finds it useful. 
 
View attachment View attachment View attachment View attachment View attachment
 
 
                                                                                                                                                      My daughter likes them quite a bit...hah.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These are some photos of the HD595s and how they look, and plastic build put aside I happen to think these are great looking headphones. Also, I like the way the driver looks showing through the grill like this, because it kind of gives it a cool and unique look.

beepover

New Head-Fier
Pros: Polite headphones
Cons: Lacking bass
Only 3 headphones in my collection are better thank HD595: AKG-Q701, HD600, HD650.

Compared to HD595 For sound AKG-Q701 is a superior buy for the price. It has good comfort and decent fit and finish.

All open Senn headphones have Superior comfort, fit and finish. Althought the HD595 is a step down in sound from the AKG-Q701 it has everything else beat.

But I would say if you have 200 bucks, get the AKG-Q701. For the price, I have to admit the AKG are a fantastic value. Spending anything more, get the HD600 series. The Q701 is $250 bucks for HD600 series sound.
xtitan1
xtitan1
I have not heard a better system than the one I currently have (budget reasons, but am attending a meet soon!).
 
I am using HD 595s with a uDac 2 and I agree that they lacking bass. I also have had issues with sibilance. Who knows if this is the phones or something else in my chain.
 
I equalize, and with a boost to the low end and a dip at 8K, both of these problems are solved to my satisfaction. Again, maybe this isn't valuable since I may not know what I'm missing :)
 
However, I CAN talk about the comfort of these headphones. I have had these for about 4 years. I am so used to wearing them that I put them on when I'm at the computer regardless of whether I'm listening to something or not. They go around year and rest on your head instead of resting on your ear, and I can (and have) worn them for 24 hours straight. They're amazing in this regard.

MrMateoHead

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Supreme comfort, supreme long-term listening, works with most music, easily amped by common sources
Cons: A little too "repressed" for rock n' roll, atrocious 1/4 to 1/8 adapter
I've owned these Senns for over 3 years, and don't plan on getting rid of them either, even having bought an audibly superior set of phones from a competitor. Hopefully that says a lot - these are too good to just abandon, but not quite good enough to have satisfied me til death do us part. I have discovered that they fare even better with a quality Amp/DAC solution, which was a nice surprise. With better equipment, they certainly hold their own against my HE-400s, and call the value of the extra-costs of buying the HE-400s into question. But, without question, their performance has some limits which coaxed me to finally  move on.
 
I find these phones to be extremely enjoyable for low-moderate volume listening and long wearing periods. They are very comfortable, light, and the 1-sided cord doesn't get in the way often.
 
The design is tasteful. The headband and velour pads are soft, supportive, and overall a sense of quality is conveyed. The cups adjust to your head 'automatically', though I have noticed that positioning has an effect on the overall sound - it is easy to fall in and out of the 'sweet spot'. Stock cord includes a 1/4 inch plug, which should have been a 1/8 since I've never in my life used them with something that had such a jack. The adapter sucks - put it on and you have a stiff 4 inch long plug hanging precariously off your laptop, phone, Mp3 player, or computer. I was too cheap to replace this, and luckily no accidents so far. I never cared for the color scheme, which is somewhat too drab for me. But these are light, comfortable, and have proved durable. Minimal signs of wear in the years I've had them, and absolutely no issues.
 
Sound quality is superb across a wide-range of music formats, with a very detailed sound, fairly textured bass, good vocals, and a slightly forward (but polite) treble response. I think the sound is best at low-mid levels, as they can seem a little too forward and "fall apart" a bit at high volumes. They otherwise have a nice punchy mid bass with most music, and a slightly aggressive presentation which is more spacious than most other phones I've tried. They are well balanced, and the sound is generally never fatiguing if volume levels are kept in check. They are excellent for very-long listening sessions. I can't recommend them for rock and metal, as they are a little too laid-back to make those their best formats. I can't recommend them for "bass heads", as these cans are geared more toward those who appreciate a balanced presentation.
 
These are an excellent choice for those who want to experience a high end sound at a reasonable price, and who want to avoid investing in expensive audio equipment to enjoy them. As a result of owning these, I would not hesitate to purchase other higher-end Sennheiser product. I would simply be cautious about choosing among them, as I like headphones that presents modern rock, pop, and metal in a more transparent and energized fashion, and Sennheiser seems to err on 'comfort' over exitement.
XxDobermanxX
XxDobermanxX
Good review, did you know this was a standard for halo competitive gaming?
MrMateoHead
MrMateoHead
Lol. I've gamed plenty with mine. I've only played Halo once, loved it. Too poor for Xbox + Live + HD TV + 3 friends.

RollaJase

New Head-Fier
Pros: Comfortable and geat sound
Cons: lacking bass before burn in and stock cable
I have had these headphones for around 3 years now and love them. When I first got them I admit the bass was a bit weak as most people point out but with some burn in they really started to liven up. They are also very comfortable, I can wear them all day with no discomfort and sometimes forget I even have them on. My only issue with them was the stock cable. The stock cable is quite long, not overly flexible and is terminated in a 6.5mm jack. All of these things combined make for uncomfortable portable listening. I upgraded the stock cable with a custom cable made by Double Helix and haven't looked back.
 
Highly recommended at a reasonable price.

DudeAbides

New Head-Fier
Pros: Amazingly Comfortable, Great Detail and Balance, Attractive Design, Minimal Distortion
Cons: None Yet
These were the first pair of over-ear Sennheiser headphones I purchased, and I had no idea how much detail I had previously been missing in the high and mid range. I also had no idea how comfortable a pair of headphones could actually be. I've owned them for over four years now and haven't experienced any quality issues. The headband and all aesthetic aspects of the headphone look as good as new, and the sound quality is as fantastic as ever. I found the bass of these headphones to be accurate and sufficient without sacrificing balance and detail. You probably shouldn't get these if you're looking for heavy bass or noise isolation but if you want great comfort, detail, and balance then these really are hard to beat at this price range.
XxDobermanxX
XxDobermanxX
Also very good for gaming....FPS anyone ?
juantendo8
juantendo8
Yes, fantastic all-around headphones that were my first open circumaural. Neutral and inoffensive enough for music, and spectacular for gaming. Especially considering I got mine for $80.
XxDobermanxX
XxDobermanxX
@juantendo8 $80 bucks? woooow!!!!

silverstone

New Head-Fier
Pros: Comfort
Cons: build quality, drivers, etc.
 

My trust in Sennheiser is gone

 
For more detailed review on the sound itself there is alot of other really good reviews..this review focus on value for money.
 
Short said... Don't buy
 
 
 
Been a fan of sennheiser for many years...my trust is now completely gone!!!
I own 4 pairs of sennheiser, HD650, 595 and two pairs of in-ear... always use my HD650 at home and the in-ears when im on the move. 

A few years back i spend money on a pair of hd 595's to use on the move but never really used them because the in-ears is easier to carry with me.
I put my 595's in the 650 casing where they have been for two years since i dont use them. The 595's are as new... the cord has the same folds as when i brought them... even the new smell is still there.
The other day i decided to give them a try...and so i did.
I noticed a faulty resonance in the left driver so i opened them and found to my surprice that the driver was not in "shape" so i carefully corrected the driver. It turns out that it was not the cause of the problem... the driver was simply defect. 

Since the 595's was as new i decided to search for a new driver for them... and hopefully free of charge from sennheiser since i never used the headphones (even the 24 months warrenty is over i would expect sennheiser to deliver free of charge as good costumer service since this clearly is defect caused before it was packed)
I searched the internet for a spare driver and found posts from people with same problem. 
Also found out that my Sennheiser 595 headphone holds same driver as hd555!!! only difference is that sennheiser adds a piece of foam in 555 to block some of the frequency. So if you remove the piece of foam on the 555 you get a pair of 595. 
On top of that i find the build quality og 555 to be better than 595. I allways had the belive that the money spend extra on 595 was put in the drivers... not true!!! Sennheiser cheats.

This link clearly shows the driver is the same:
http://mikebeauchamp.com/misc/sennheiser-hd-555-to-hd-595-mod/

Been told that the price for the 595 driver is higher even its the same driver as 555!? which means that sennheiser is selling the same driver at two different prices.

Have always recomended Sennheiser to my friends etc. but that is now in the past. MY TRUST IN SENNHEISER IS COMPLETELY GONE.


To correct...Sennheiser now sells the 555/595 driver at same price....57$ each!!!!! that's 114$ for a pair of  spare drivers (without shipping)!!! 

XxDobermanxX
XxDobermanxX
Sennheiser is the pound for pound king, and the hd 555 and hd 595 dont sound the same even with the mod, if you want to know the word overrated check the Ath-M50
beepover
beepover
I have had two HD555 and I have an HD595. The HD555 even with the mods do not sound half as good as the HD595. You are out of Warranty. You should have caught defect within the 2 years. I have many headphones. HD600, HD650, AKG Q701, SR-60, SR-80, Ultrasone HFI-780, ATM-50s, Bose QC15 to name some. Sennheiser by far is the most comfortable headphones out there and has excellent style, build and durability.
TontoGoldstein
TontoGoldstein
This review is nonsense. I have 595's powered by a tube headphone amp and they sound amazing. I don't know what the HD 555's are nor do I care, and I find the 595's to be good value. I've had them for 5 years and they still look new. Really if you need more bass go buy some Beats by Dre, these are high quality headphones. 

Necrontyr

Head-Fier
My best set of cans to date : Summary of my opinion
Pros::
 
Top Notch sound
Superb soundstage
Can be driven by iPods Very comfortable
 
Cons::
 
A detachable cable like the HD485 would have made these my #1 
Could have a more durable headband. 
 
audioTinkR
audioTinkR
Are these the newest iteration of the the second best Sennheisser headphones available? I mean if the HD800 had a detachable cable as does the HD485 why wouldn't these unless they are old...I am really debating between Sennheisser's or AKG Q701 or some other version. Thanks and great review, also how was the sub-bass???
Necrontyr
Necrontyr
I do believe the second best available are the hd650's , the reasoning behind these being fixed cabled I do not know, although the cable is user replaceable with care, just open the unit and insert the end point pins into the slot. This model hasn't changed since its inception that I know of.
If your going to buy I recommend checking ebay first , i have bought many pairs of cans that way and as far as i can tell all Audiophiles care for their phones amazingly well.
The Sub-bass hasn't got the best response for my current setup, driving it from an ipod Touch 4g , but i'll be able to give you a better verdict when my amp arrives next week (headphone amp fiio E7) . Atm i find bass understated but still there, it wont judder your head but it is tight and well controlled, for instance listening to Du Hast by Rammstein or Deep by PJ are both a pleasure but not as strong as the bass response from my HD 485's , (but they are easier to drive so I cant make a direct comparision)
A
alexsj
These are great cans for the money (and you got a really good deal at $70). They are very light and comfortable but do feel a bit flimsy. They are very neutral and accurate but I like, on balance, the Audio Technica ATH AD700s better in this price range. I find that they bring out more detail in my music.

Kroc

New Head-Fier
Pros: Looks, Comfort, Crispy, Comes with Desk Mount
Cons: Lack of Bass, Large, Have to use converter to get to 3.5mm
After building my new PC system I figured I would be missing a whole front if i excluded the audio portion. I added a X-Fi Titanium HD soundcard (after reading much about sound cards, i game alot so this was the obvious choice.) and i replaced my old HD202 headphones. (The best 20 dollar headphones you could ask for<3)  I trusted the sennheiser brand so i was looking down their product line looking for a suitable pair of headphones.I didnt want to break the bank, i didnt even know what high quality cans sounded like, i was only going off reviews. My budget was around $200, seemed to be on the starting side of audiophile-esque headphones. Low and behold after much reading i found a pair of these for about $99 (open box return.)  What i got was exactly what i needed, some **** great headpones.

What i listen to mainly is Rap, Dubstep, Movies, and i play lots of PC games.  This is where i went wrong(ish.)   The bass on these cans is quite pathetic.  You can hear the SOUND of the bass, but you cannot FEEL the punch of the bass. Rap, Dub, and Games bass is a huge part which im missing out on.  The mids, and highs sound great (to an audiophile in training), super crisp, chilling at times. I love it. These are my first time trying open-air headphones, now i dont ever want to go back, i love how they feel, i dont feel smushed between 2 speakers, but more immersed in the sounds. Super comfortable pair of headphones. Comes with a desk-mount headphone holder, works alright, but i just picked up a banana holder to use as a headphone stand right here off amazon. (It should be arriving soon.  Exciting!)

Conclusively, if these are in your budget, looking to get into some higher quality headphones instead of the typical  $20 step on / break / buy another pair   type of headphones go for it.  Even for my type of music i would still be very happy with these, i am going to continue to use these until i can find a suitable replacement, some with some punchy bass. Until then though, i will be still rocking my dubstep, listing to some crisp crisp music, and loving every second of it. The only reason its 4/5 is the lack of bass punch.

Worth the money!
 
(Posted this on Amazon reviews too)

deadspider187

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Lively and involving. Good for any genre. Great for female vocals
Cons: Muddy bass. Highs rolloff a little early. Not the best musical detail.
Great for any genre you can through at it, they would suit a starter really well.  I overpaid for mine.  If you are interested in these, you are better off buying the HD555's and doing the foam mod (same drivers).  The soundstage mod greatly enhanced the airyness to them and I highly recommend it.  They sound great with electronic and rock, but lack some detail compared to other cans in this price range.

Pantoboy

New Head-Fier
Pros: Excellent Treble, and the most comfortable headphones ever? (Better than the HD600 in my opinion)
Cons: Cracks appear after 6 months- Some may think the bass to be lacking
They may be my first entry into Audiophilia, but they aren't the only headphones I've listened to. HD 600's they are not, but for the price ( especially now that they are discontinued), they're great. I have the 50 ohm model, and it can be powered by an iPod, without an amp, though one is always recommended.
 
This review is beginning to sound like an exercise in common sense, and unlikely to  win anyone over, so I think I should try a different approach. In a fight between a Panda and a Bear, these headphones would make you forget about the battle, and think about something else entirely. Too long have audio reviews been filled with boring comparisons, and bland words like 'soundstage' and 'burn-in'. These do require 'burn-in', and they have a great 'soundstage', but it's far more important to give real world examples. 

If these headphones were an animal, they would be the Honey Badger. They may be small, they may be an odd black and Dark grey colour (so the Headphones are more green in real life, just run with this analogy) and God help them, they aren't the most fearsome or scary of creatures, but when things get going, they'll take down a lion (here's looking at you overpriced and Bass Heavy headphones). (Really, they can take down lions. They know no fear.)

I know this wasn't what one might expect in a Headphone review, and I know many purists will hate it's lack of detail, and boring phrases, but for the entry audiophile, you could do a lot worse, and if you slag them off, I'll send a swarm of Honey Badgers to your house and they'll show you what they can do.
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moblin
moblin

qoochet

New Head-Fier
Amazing sound. No need to say.

tuan0r

New Head-Fier
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.

redmonddad

New Head-Fier
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.
linuxid10t
linuxid10t
With the whole burn-in thing I completely agree. The HD 595s take absolutely forever to burn in. I was pretty disappointed when I first listened to them. Gave them a few days to burn-in and I was wondering if they were different headphones.

linuxid10t
linuxid10t
I reread this review (having now been exposed to far more headphones (including the Grado SR-225i) and had some thoughts on it. I guess my first thought would be that I find the Grados to not necessarily have more detail than the HD595, but have more treble which gives the illusion of greater detail.

Troy Davis

New Head-Fier
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 
wink_face.gif
)
 
 
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... 
atsmile.gif


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... 
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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? 
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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. 
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Cheers! 
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Your audiophile in arms, 
Troy Davis
MrScary
MrScary
My 595's fell apart after about a year the plastic just cracked and I even used J&B weld to try to hold them together to much plastic in critical areas. I threw them away sad for what I paid for them they sounded ok

Troy Davis
Troy Davis
I'm planning on upgrading to the Denon AH-D2000. Magnesium and plastic; much more durable, though I have heard about problems with a screw coming loose.
Esoteriz
Esoteriz
They are going for cheap after the HD598 was introduced. After comparison with the Allessandro MS2i and AKG K702, I returned it with no reservation. However, it was probably more comfortable for long hour of listening out of the box.

Tatakai All

New Head-Fier
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.

ffdpmaggot

100+ Head-Fier
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.  

Timestretch

100+ Head-Fier
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." 

Typhoon859

100+ Head-Fier
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...
Typhoon859
Typhoon859
So, what you're talking about is already a factor in the recording. The sound dissipating or not is a choice made by the engineer and that stays in the recording. What you're talking about for speakers actually isn't a good thing because it's adding the characteristics of your room to the sound it's trying to reproduce that was captured. It's why that is always attempted at actually being removed as a factor. Similarly, the sound characteristics of open headphones work opposite to what happens with speakers in a room. You accurately applied your logic based on the observation of the effect you've likely noticed that open-back headphones have on the sound but really, here it is: in a room, treble is actually what dies much quicker and is much more directional because the size of the waves are much smaller. Bass is what lingers and floats around the room - yet again, more reasons why speakers in contrary tend to sound "fuller". And for most recordings, that's actually more the standard of how it's intended to be heard since that's how it's generally expected to be played back (or at least definitely was with all recordings only a little ways back). Bass also gets around obstacles much more easily. In turn, the result of open headphones is the opposite where bass ends up not having any containment especially while more trebly sounds tend to go directly in you ear anyway since there's barely even air between the drivers and your ears. Well-balanced "neutral" closed-back headphones would in the mentioned case be the most accurate in showing what the recording actually sounds like, just, not the only factor to be taken into consideration when actually creating a mix and therefore arguably not necessarily the idea behind that it is also best for casual listening (although IMO, use them with a tube amp, and that settles that). We could talk more in PM and I wish I could personally show you by actually giving you samples to listen and you vice versa. That really is a productive conversation and I wish things were more uniformly agreed upon in this industry because there really is right from wrong and I'm not always right, point being, that when that is the case, it's hard to come by that information without really knowing your s*** in depth like I've been doing at an accelerated rate lately.
beepover
beepover
You are a headphone rookie. You bashed before you knew what was really out there. These are open headphones. Get a headphone amp.

Collection, SR-60, SR-80, HD555, HD595, HD600, HD650, ATM-50S, Bose QC-15, Ultrasone HFI-780, AKG-Q701.
Typhoon859
Typhoon859
Nice job going around on every bad Sennheiser review and trying to defend your precious pretty headphones, just recently having registered as well.
 
But wait, you CAN actually criticize me for blindly buying something without knowing exactly what it's meant for (although as consumer-based headphones on Amazon, there shouldn't really be much to think about; it's damn headphones; they perform one function which you then try to subjectively measure), although I should add that it's because of people like you and lack of reviews like the kind I attempted to make that people make the decision for buying this crap in the first place - of course with additionally deceiving marketing in place.  However, what you CAN'T say is that I "bashed" something, or in other words just gave a critical review, before having tried anything else.  Regardless of any newly gained understanding of whatever it may be, the sound, which is what was critiqued, will remain to be as is, especially for people interested in a similar kind of sound to what I was looking for at the time.  Even if I've heard absolutely no other pair of headphones like this, and they all had those similar characteristics which I disliked, it wouldn't make these any less bad to my taste.  Yes, ALL headphones for all I could've known may sound like that, in a way I didn't like.  Obviously that's not the case, but it could be, and it wouldn't matter anyway.  One thing being as "bad" as everything else doesn't imply this can't be the case since nothing else currently exists that's "better".  Either way, this wouldn't be a reason I shouldnt have made this review.
 
In any case, as it turns out, I actually don't particularly like open-back headphones for many reasons (sound and otherwise) and I especially don't like Sennheiser; that's that.  FYI, I have several headphone amps, which is btw a ridiculous thing to ABSOLUTELY need to have for a pair of headphones (like most Sennheisers) rather than it being a choice for more a accurate and/or slightly fuller sound.  There are other characteristics as well but it should remain to be a choice for quality/potential comfort if coming with an integrated DAC with additional digital functions.  There's no reason to have as high an impedance as on the Senn cans EVER is the point...  
 
Anyway, learn not to be as much of an ass.

SMASHerJOSH

New Head-Fier
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.

aorbinati

New Head-Fier
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
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