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Sennheiser HD 598

  1. voja
    An excellent option, not much to complain about
    Written by voja
    Published Dec 5, 2019
    Pros - Soundstage
    Build quality feels nice and sturdy, it's not cheapish
    Quality long cable
    Easy to drive, don't need an amp
    Full body mids
    Very comfortable
    Cons - The stock cable with the adapter is just bulky, it's sticks out quite a lot
    They are open-back, and are not suitable for places where you need to be quiet
    They lack in bass and don't provide the punch in the low end
    The Sennheiser HD598 is an entry-audiophile headphone, in the sub 200 USD category it's a king of its own. If you catch these at a discounted price, they are a steal. It truly is a great overall choice, it's non-fatiguing, very comfortable and enjoyable to listen to.

    Build quality

    They are made out of plastic, but don't worry, it's not one of those cheap plastics. Sennheiser made sure to feature a sturdy plastic. I don't have to worry about them breaking. The whole headphone is in a beige color, mixed with a nice dark chocolate brown, which is present on the earpads and the high gloss burl. Overall it's has that retro feeling to it. In my opinion the colorway is what makes the HD 598 authentic to an extent. The leatherette headband feels nice, nothing to complain about, especially when you put them on. Each ear piece features just enough tilt and pivot to let the HD598 adapt to your head, and make them a comfortable fit. The cable included is 3m long, and has a 6.3mm jack, the 3.5mm adapter is included. The cable is tangle free from my experience and it's an overall nice thick cable which you don't have to worry about.. especially because of the 3m lenght. Besides, if you don't like the cable you can replace it, because the cable is removable.


    Not a lot needs to be said about the comfort. They are simply amazing, very comfortable. The velour pads just disappear after a certain period of time. I didn't find any itchiness with the pads, very comfortable and pleasant to the skin. The headband isn't the softest, it's rather semi-rigid, but this is only to the touch, when you put them on the headband has similar qualities to the pads, you just forget that it's there. You can wear these for hours without complaining, there is not much else to discuss.

    Sound quality

    What can you say about an open-ear headphone? Simply beautiful.

    Bass is lacking, these are definitely not for a bass-head. I myself love to feel the thump from the bass, and the HD598's definitely don't do that. I didn't find that to be too big of a problem, though the open-back design gives you a different feeling from the usual closed-back headphones, it's definitely an enjoyable experience. This being said, if you are looking for that punch and thump, you are better off with a closed back headphone. I think just as some other members said, the lack of low end is what makes the HD598 itself. They will not provide the rumble, punch or thump some are looking for, but this being said, it kind of let's you focus on the vocals and other aspects in the music that you probably didn't focus on before, that's what I found interesting with the lack of low-end.

    Mids. Nice full body mids. They are sweet, in fact they are ear candy. They are on the warmer side, and you will find yourself enjoying the vocals and instruments for days. They never fail to satisfy you with their mid-range capability and performance. I found myself completely absorbed by the music when I had these on (p.s. the long cable helps you with showing off your dance moves, and how well you can play a guitar... without a guitar). The mids are where the HD598 shine, this is their special ability. They are smooth, and sweet just like a good Baklava. Should I also mention the clarity, absolutely amazing. They are very clear, just play a song where the guitar is plucked, and you will understand what everybody is talking about. The detail is also there, so you don't have to worry. I mean I think you get the point, this is their sweet spot.

    Highs are a place where I am sensitive to, I absolutely can't stand bright and piercing sound. These didn't show any problems, I find them enjoyable with violins and high female vocals. Not much to complain about, they definitely deliver the a pleasant experience. I think that they could be a touch brighter so the highest notes hit a bit harder, I found the highest notes from the Stevie Wonder's mouth harmonica in "Stop trying to be God" from Travis Scott a bit lacking, especially at the peak. Overall none of these issues are something that can't be changed with an EQ.

    Soundstage is as expected, simply well done. They are enjoyable to use for both music and gaming. While it's not the widest, it's very enjoyable, as it should be with an open-back headphone.


    For it's price, the HD598 gets many things right, and nowadays you can find them for great deals. They are overall a pleasant experience and a headphone which you can put on when you are in your chair, play some music, and just fall asleep. Relaxed is the best word I'd describe these headphones with, they aren't the most lively and crazy experience, these are elegant. They are easy to drive, I didn't find any problems with driving them on my Mac of Samsung S8. Overall a very good option, if you find them for a good deal and haven't experienced the open-back sound, these are a great option to do that for its price range.
  2. Rafique
    Almost very good
    Written by Rafique
    Published Jun 24, 2018
    Pros - Almost very good sound, very comfortable, durable, vocals are almost natural sounding
    Cons - Slight graininess, plastic construction
    I can wear it all day with no problems and it can last for years.

    Sound: Depends on the song and takes time to adjust to. ( 1 day or so )
    It can be deep, rich, and tight or simply present in mild quantities but pleasantly so. It can also be lacking and recessed but this is compensated nicely by the almost very good mids and highs.
    Generally, vocals either have very good tonality/timbre and good details or vice versa. In some cases, vocals are just good. Instrumental timbre is very good. In the case where tonality is good but detail is very good, there is mild graininess.
    Forward and bright. Instruments have a nice texture, a lot of details, and are sparkly and rich with the exception of cymbals, they lack detail but timbre is still acceptable. Computer generated beats like those found in pop and EDM sounds good. Also, it is not fatiguing to listen to.
    Overall presentation
    Rich, deep, bright, forward, clean, clear, smooth, crisp, and dark. Not veiled at all. The dark sound is not overly so and with it's bright forward signature, it makes these really nice sounding.
    It's wide and deep and has good positioning and imaging.

    Amplification: Good amps like the Fiio e10k or those found in MacBooks and iPhones is needed for it to sound good. Without a good amp, you should look into other headphones such as the Sennheiser Urbanites or ATH M50X.
  3. drjoms
    HD-598 very happy with them
    Written by drjoms
    Published Oct 30, 2017
    Pros - Superb quality, comfy
    Cons - Not particularly for person on the go
    In a nutshell, not an audiophile.

    However, best sound I have ever experienced in my life. I have not experienced much.

    Many hours of computer gaming + MP3s, compfy at all times. So good in fact I forget to take them off sometimes.

    You can hear through them.

    I am technically minded. One aspect I was curious about, what I am able as audiophile. And apparently, while I am not, I found out that I can hear slightly below 20Hz, probably 18-19 or so. I did sound test using those earphones, as they provide lover sound frequency below 20Hz. Upper level, I am as standard as it gets.

    I had those for years. I had moved a lot. They survived me moving to 2 other countries. So if that's not great German quality, than what is? I have them for least 3 years. No wear and tear. I use them 6-8 hours daily, 7 days a week.

    They designed for a proper PC DAC or even AMP/stereo system. Casual MP3 player/Phone won't cut it.

    For gamers, explosions do sound satisfying. Blowing sh** up became a lot more enjoyable. Together with PCI-E Asus Xonair that seems like great combination.
  4. theminstrel
    A true audiophile experience for under £200
    Written by theminstrel
    Published Jan 17, 2017
    Pros - Natural, wide, clear sound, comfortable, not too expensive
    Cons - Lacking in impact and bass, ugly
    A reasonably priced pair of premium Open back headphones. They are well made and super comfortable and have a luxurious appearance well suited to home hi fi use. Unlike other hi fidelity phones they have a relatively low impedance and don't need a huge amp to sound good or loud,although one usually helps for sound dynamics.
    They have a great sound quality, very natural in tone, bass, mids and treble all clean and clearly represented. Soundstage width and precision are all superb and detail is fantastic.
    A very good buy if you don't want to spend silly money on truly audiophile headphones for the home. However models such as the HD650 provide even more depth and balanced tonality with more impactful bass.
  5. Cybrupt
    Nothing but Mids
    Written by Cybrupt
    Published Jan 12, 2017
    Cons - No Bottom End, No Top End, Overly Pronounced Lower Mids
    These are my first pair of headphones since almost 10 years ago. I am used to using studio monitor speakers to judge microphone frequencies. This headphone has a similar mid and lower mid frequency response to a Blue Baby Bottle microphone. Had I known this I would have never bought them. They also have the "sennheiser Veil" This means at around 9khz it drops off the map all the way until 20khz past human hearing. Basically this has a worse frequency range than a shure SM58. No top end frequencies. Overly pronounced lower mids to give it thump since it cant reach sub bass below 100hz. This seems to be a pattern with open back headphones. These are not good for anything other than a toy. It's hard to enjoy these knowing that everything sounds like it was recorded with a Blue Baby Bottle microphones. These are like the opposite of a V shaped headphone. I decided to buy DT770 and sell these. Hopefully I like the DT770.
    1. Dexter22
      What amp did you use with these? 
      Dexter22, Jan 12, 2017
    2. Paulus XII
      Couldn't agree more. lol.
      Paulus XII, Jan 12, 2017
    3. chicken beer
      I agree there's no top making those headphones sound dull. But no low end probably means you did not break them in for long enough time, or you did not have proper amplification at the low end parts. If you had not sold them yet, I suggest you try to EQ and see if it'll change your mind. The drivers of HD598 are capable of generating soundwave in sub-bass and bass frequencies.
      By the way, I also like the DT770 pro-80ohm better than HD598 to my ears for music.
      chicken beer, Jan 13, 2017
  6. Amodymous
    Very airy, spacious, and realistic headphones, perfect bang for the buck.
    Written by Amodymous
    Published Jan 5, 2017
    Pros - Very realistic and large soundstage, excellent imaging, positional accuracy, lush, smooth mids, non fatiguing highs, tight bass, good all rounder.
    Cons - Bass can have more thump, but good enough for a compromise between competitive and casual gaming (with a little EQ, can have more bass).
    - Overall this headphone has to be the best under $200 price range. Sure, some may argue AT AD900X have more soundstage and better for gaming, but have less bass from my experience and 3D Wing isn't the most reliable for comfort. Also, ear pads were not the best for me. Furthermore, HD598 have a more immersive sound than AD900X, more bass rumble and warmth to sound, AT sounded like a tin can trying to be a subwoofer; but that's not to say the AT is also a fine pair of headphones, it just wasn't right for me. The need to not require an amp to power the HD598 was also a plus, since can power it through onboard sound with ease for those who don't want to invest too much in audio equipment. Overall, HD598 very good for movies and games and should be an investment everyone should be satisfied with. Because of these headphones, that's what got me into being an audiophile and continue to continue trend up HD line, such as 600's.
      ganzosrevenge likes this.
    1. ganzosrevenge
      The HD598 was my first proper "audiophile" headphone, and they served as an eye-opener for me.  For an approximately $150 headphone, they do neutral sound very well.  Even though they've been superseded by my HD700 setup, I still use them for portability when traveling and staying outside of my house  I think Sennheiser has become aware of the HD598's status and began offering a custom edition with shorter cables, and even a closed back version (HD598cs) for those who love the HD598 profile and soundshape, but need less impedance for iphones, and want a twinge more bass (and less sound leakage).  If you want to open them up a bit, their great weakspot is a very cheap cable - pales in comparison the HD6xx / HD700 series that are made in Ireland (the HD800-series are another story altogether).  A thicker cable helped my 598s get a bit more bass and clarity out of them.  
      I will say though, interesting use of the HD598s for gaming.  Keep us posted on whatever mods you do to the 598s!
      ganzosrevenge, Jan 6, 2017
  7. SoundTown
    The Cool & Detailed Sketch Artist – In-depth Review of the Sennheiser HD598 Headphones
    Written by SoundTown
    Published Aug 19, 2016
    Pros - Clear and transparent sound, excellent separation, detailed with precise imaging, tall sound stage, comfort, light weight
    Cons - Severe roll-off in mid to sub-bass, narrow overall sound stage (feels square), flimsy feeling build, headband presses slightly on head

    For the Sennheiser HD598, or any of the HD series for that matter, there’s almost no need for introductions. Asking an audio enthusiast if they’ve heard of any of the Sennheiser open back series, from the beginner-friendly HD518 to the legendary HD800, is like asking anyone on the street if they’ve heard of Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga or Madonna – they’ll look at you funny and ask you, “Are you crazy?”

    Of course you’ve heard of the HD598, it’s one of the most popular headphones on Head-Fi for a reason – people love this headphone.
    “So Josh,” I hear you ask, “what the hell are you writing this for?”
    Simple. I’m here to add my two cents and answer the question you might have – Is the Sennheiser HD598 worth buying?
    Despite what some people might tell you, the answer shouldn’t always be “YES”.
    1)      I got my HD598 used in a trade for one of my mechanical keyboards. Other than the headphone, the trader had given me the Sennheiser 3 metre cable and the ¼ inch to 3.5 mm jack. The headphones were, and still are, in perfect working order.
    2)      When using the headphone, I used the 1.2 metre straight cable that came with the Audio Technica ATH-M50x.
    3)      All testing was carried out either using my iPhone 5S or through Foobar2000 w/ Wasapi Event > Fiio Q1 as a source.
    Sennheiser HD598
    It shouldn’t come to you as a surprise for me to tell you that the HD598 is pretty darn comfortable. All of the HD series headphones are. The velour pads in particular are just right for the price, soft and breathable but certainly not comparable to pads that, for example, you might find for $60 a pair from Shure or Audeze.
    The HD598’s clamp is relatively light and the headphone itself is rather light in weight too. The only gripes I have with the HD598’s comfort lies in the pads being on the shallow side, so your ears might press against the inside of the ear cup or pads. The headband’s thickness also means the headphone tends to press on the top of my head just a little, a somewhat noticeable reminder that I’m wearing headphones – it never quite feels like there’s nothing there.
    That said, I’ve worn the HD598 for hours and hours with minimal complaints, so most people shouldn’t have terribly major issues either, just some minor gripes.
    What Sennheiser would tell their customers is the HD598 was designed to be as light as possible. “With the right combination of strong yet light plastics, the HD598 were fashioned to be as light and comfortable as technology would allow.” … Or something like that.
    What I think is more likely to be the case is that Sennheiser wanted to blow their profit margins through the roof, which is why you don’t see so much as a single gram of metal in the build whatsoever. The HD598 is entirely made of plastic and in my opinion, it feels flimsy, insubstantial, and even a little cheap for its price.
    The HD598’s plastic ear cups
    For one, I’m almost certain the ear cups would sport some nasty splits and cracks if you sit on or drop the headphones. The ear cup’s swivel mechanism also makes a squeaky noise when adjusting the cups, but thankfully this doesn’t persist once the headphones are adjusted properly on the head.
    The headband also doesn’t inspire much confidence in me. I’m fairly certain it’s not metal (certainly doesn’t feel like it), and while you most probably will never have to stretch the headband very wide given the HD598’s very accomodating shape, it’s just the principle of the thing – it would’ve been nice if the headband at least were a flexible metal of sorts.
    While I can’t say I expected top notch build given the street prices, especially from Sennheiser and their extraordinary markups, I can also safely say the build was far from blowing me away. Simply put, the build of the HD598 was rather underwhelming, especially when I sat it side by side with the similarly priced Audio Technica ATH-M50x. There’s no contesting it, the M50x kick the living hell out of the HD598 in the build department.
    In short, if you own a pair of the HD598, you’re probably going to want to be a little careful with where you place it or how you treat it.
    Quick note on the cable, I can’t say it’s poorly built, but the ¼ inch plug definitely makes it a hassle. The provided ¼ inch to 3.5 mm adapter also seems to affect the sound, with what I perceive to be detail muffling and loss when the adapter is used. For this reason, I used the 1.2 metre straight cable provided with the Audio Technica ATH-M50x, which actually fit, much to my surprise.
    The HD598 with the 1.2 m Audio Technica cable (a much neater solution)
    Buying a new pair of the HD598 Limited Edition, if I’m not mistaken, would also now get you a shorter straight cable that ends in a 3.5 mm jack, so that’s nice to see Sennheiser adding that small touch.
    Overall, the HD598’s build isn’t the end of the world or a deal-breaker, but Sennheiser certainly could do better. Improvements in build would definitely be something I’ll be looking out for should the HD598 ever get a proper successor of any kind in the future.
    Some people say the HD598 gives beginners the “true audiophile” experience, especially if they make a significant enough jump from something that was much worse. Truthfully, this statement isn’t exactly wrong, but there are several reasons why a “true audiophile” experience like the one the HD598 offers wouldn’t be the type some people might be looking for.
    Most notably, the HD598 has very little bass quantity, rolling off very severely and sharply from the mid-bass onwards. Though roll-off in the sub-bass is common on open headphones, the HD598’s lacking bass extension is comparatively drastic, even taking into account other bass-shy open headphones. If you’re coming from any typical set of headphones, or even Sennheiser’s lower-end HD518 or HD558, the lack of bass will be extremely apparent, even jarring for some.
    Some people interpret the lack of bass to be “tight” bass, but I think I have to say, very respectfully, that I don’t think that’s a very helpful way to put it. The simple truth is that the HD598 has extraordinarily shy mid-bass and pretty much no sub-bass, which means it’s not that the bass can’t really be “tight”, because it’s essentially not even there.
    In other words, having very little in quantity of something does not mean it is of a “higher quality”.
    That said, there is a decent amount of upper bass, which means male vocalists aren’t anemic sounding and electronic beats, drums and the like can still be heard and sometimes felt, depending on their extension and pitch. Kick drums and deep synth bass, however, would be examples of sounds that tended to be missing from the equation, often needing the bass boost on my Fiio Q1 to come to life and be present in any significant capacity.
    In practice, this bass presentation means the HD598 doesn’t have punchy, rumbly or, dare I say, accurate bass. It’s the kind of low-end you can hear and, on particularly powerful bass notes, there’s a little bit of umph to be felt, but the HD598 really is the quintessential Basshead’s nightmare. You hear the bass notes when they come and go, but it lacks presence. It’s really not quite ‘there’, if that makes any sense.
    Personally, I don’t mind the lacking bass quantity. To some degree, it’s what makes the HD598 what it is. However, I do wish the bass didn’t roll off so quickly, very much wishing it would’ve extended evenly into the mid-bass at least. I’m not an audio engineer, so I can’t begin to tell you if it’s the housing or the driver design, but something is at fault here and I wish it just had some deeper-digging (not necessarily pronounced) bass to keep things sounding grounded.
    There’s not much to say other than the HD598’s mids are pretty much as close to top-notch as you’re probably going to get at the price. Vocals, guitars, and anything in the mid band is extremely well-articulated and very even, creating a detailed yet smooth experience.
    For my preferences, the HD598’s mids are a tiny touch thinner than I’d like, since I prefer more lushness, color and/or energy to my mids. For instance, the HD598’s mids are just a bit thinner than my E-MU Walnut’s, which is, at the moment, the headphone I own that I find produces the most natural sounding vocals. That said, both the HD598 and Walnut produce equally detailed and enjoyable mids, I just have a slight preference for the more bodied and lush E-MU Walnut’s rendition.
    With all that in mind, there’s practically nothing to complain about, just some splashiness on poorly mastered tracks. Other than that minor hiccup, the mids on the HD598 are really nothing short of great in its technical ability.
    A lot of HD598 users gush about this headphone’s detail and clarity. I’d have to say their feedback, in this instance, is no lie.
    The HD598 strike a very good balance between crisp and detailed, yet not being sharp or painful. The treble is mostly very smooth, with some hotter tracks sometimes producing marginally startling peaks at louder volumes, but nothing close to being tizzy or painful.
    The HD598’s treble extension and clarity means detail is very much discernable but never harsh or uncontrolled, a feat some headphones that try to go for detail at this price point like the Grado SR125 and AKG K612 aren’t quite able to do.
    The HD598’s treble also means separation is pretty excellent – instruments are very well-blended and easy to discern with well-mastered tracks. Again, with very hotly mastered tracks, separation can get a little smeared, but it’s nothing I think a US $150 headphone should be yelled at for.
    Sound Stage
    We come back to things I find misleading – some people say the HD598 has a “wide sound stage” and I have to respectfully disagree.
    Sure, the AKG K612, when I tried it, produced a wide sound stage. The Fedilio X2, K7xx and *insert other headphones I haven’t heard* might have wide sound stages. The HD598 does not.
    Instead, the HD598’s sound stage isn’t very wide, never ‘extending’ beyond the cups, but it does have a height I find very unique – certainly haven’t encountered anything similar in other headphones. This means imaging, for me at least, is confined to a sort of square box, kind of like a picture on Instagram.
    In practice, elements in a track, in my experience, sound quite a bit larger than they normally would on headphones of this size. Vocals close to a mic, for example, sound like they’re coming from a mouth stretched vertically. For me, this sounded kind of strange at first but it didn’t take me very long to get used to it. The sort of weird sound staging does not, however, affect positioning. Like I said, instruments are very easily picked out and imaged, just that recordings would perceptually seem to have slightly different dimensions when compared to some other headphones.
    Overall Sound
    The HD598, despite my waffling about on each component of the sound, is truthfully not difficult to describe as a whole.
    The HD598’s goal is to focus on clarity, clarity, clarity. Separation is great, detail retrieval is effortless, instrument placement and playback is very well articulated and never strident, sibilant or harsh – the HD598 is just very nice for painless critical listening. Everything’s transparent, even and defined, reminding me quite often of the audio equivalent of a tastefully detailed pencil sketch.
    That said, the sacrifice obviously comes with the bass. While upper bass is sufficiently present, with a decent amount of heft and meat, mid and sub bass is very lacking. To get the most out of electronic music, dubstep, or even some bass heavy rock tracks, the HD598 simply does not cut it without an EQ or bass boost. And even with the bass brought up, it’s not a perfect solution, since I’ve noticed the bass boost on my Q1 with the HD598 can make some (not all) tracks sound just a bit wonky and loose, sometimes producing a strange reverb, trembling sound. The HD598 without EQ lacks warmth and color, again, similar in concept to a pencil sketch.
    In short, the HD598’s bass isn’t very good. That would turn a lot of people off, but for those left, the HD598 could still be a very attractive option, taking into account the headphone as a whole.
    The Target – Who is the HD598 for?
    The HD598, for one, excels at comfort. While the HD598 may be considered a step back in comfort from the HD518 and HD558 due to its overly thick headband padding, it still is more than acceptable for long hour usage.
    It’s traditional headband design also means it’s going to be less fussy than AKG’s and Audio Technica’s auto-adjust systems on the K612 and AD900x respectively. Both are similarly priced competitors to the HD598 that I found rather clumsy to put on, given my small-ish head size. So, if comfort is important to you, that’s a point for the HD598 over its competition.
    Another point in the HD598’s favor is the Sennheiser name. Being a brand with global distribution, obtaining the HD598 at retail and getting warranty would not be a challenge for most. For those who want major convenience, that’s another score for the HD598.
    Finally, the HD598 is just a good sounding headphone for detail freaks. This is a headphone I’d strongly recommend for people to demo first, because people have varied reactions to the lack of bass and detailed presentation. Some people don’t mind it at all, many clearly love it, while I bet a sizable number of people would not find it to their liking one bit.
    Is this headphone’s sound for everyone? No, but that’s why it’s kinda cool and kinda special.
    The HD598’s sound I felt was quite the unique experience. It wasn’t neutral (if you disagree, sue me), it wasn’t quite lean like an AKG, it wasn’t quite tizzy like practically every Grado, it wasn’t warm and relaxed, and it certainly wasn’t the V-shape signature that most people love.
    It was, based on my experience, uniquely HD598.
    Zeos of Z Reviews, when describing audio purchases, puts it best, sometimes, you just want something different. And the HD598, for all its minor flaws, is still a worthy headphone in my book.
    A more than good option for those who want a crisp, clear but non-piercing or harsh sound, the HD598 is, and probably will be, still a great, easily obtained option for many an audiophile to come.
    About Me, Josh Tseng:
    A self-proclaimed “boring person”, I’m interested in audio gear, music, current events and having thought-provoking conversations with people I meet. Right now, SoundTown is a personal passion project of mine to improve my writing skills while being able to explore all things audio. I also happen to be visually impaired, which is why music has, for me, eventually become one of the most important forms of media I can consume.
    If you want to talk to me, feel free to email me at soundtownmail@gmail.com or you can also find me on Twitter at @JoshSoundTown. PMs on Head-Fi, for now, would be rather challenging for me to access so that’ll have to be something I’ll have to work on. Oh and by the way, all feedback on my writing would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for reading and happy listening![​IMG]
    1. Bansaku
      Great review! 
      Bansaku, Aug 19, 2016
  8. TravAndAlex
    Indeed a classic, as much as the luxury cars from which it borrows styling cues.
    Written by TravAndAlex
    Published May 27, 2016
    Pros - Comfort, design, balanced and natural sound, amazing value for the money.
    Cons - Large and non-foldable, long no button cord, plastic feeling headband cushion.
    COMPANY:  Sennheiser
    MODEL:  HD598
    COST:  $299 CAD - $250 USD – Note: often on sale for much less
    TYPE:  Open, Dynamic, Over-Ear
    DRIVER SIZE:  40mm neodynium
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE:  12 Hz – 38.5 kHz
    EFFICIENCY:  112 dB
    WEIGHT:  270 Grams
    COLOURS:  Ivory with Burl Wood or Black (SE Edition)
    Headphone Adapter – 6.35 mm to 3.5 mm
    Headphone Cable – 3-meter OFC (Oxygen Free Copper), 6.35mm with single sided 3.5 mm bayonet type connector with twist lock to ear cup
    Cardboard box with plastic window
    Build Quality, Aesthetics and Comfort
    Drawing on the reputation of fine German automobiles, the Sennheiser HD598 offers a distinctive design focused on luxury and refinement.  The unique colour combination of cream with polished burl wood accents is an opulent departure from a world of black and silver headphones.  Large, chocolate-coloured, velour ear pads and a thickly padded headband complete the retro design.   The shape is very reminiscent of the iconic Sennheiser HD600, while the new styling updates the classic look.
    The HD598 are universally praised for being extremely comfortable and well suited for extended listening sessions.  They grip firmly without clamping, and the velour pads provide the right amount of cushion, are large enough to encircle the ear and avoid feeling too hot (too often experienced with leather type pads).  The mostly plastic construction (with metal side grills on the ear cups) makes for a very light headphone, however the fake leatherette cushion on the headband feels a bit plastic, and does not provide a convincing leather-like feel, which hurts the luxury image a bit.  In addition, while the headband cushion is made of soft comfortable foam, the height makes the whole band about an inch thick, which definitely does not make a svelte visual footprint on your head.
    Size adjustment is good, with two plastic extenders hidden in the frame of the headband, and each ear cup slightly pivots for a better fit.  It is worth noting that earlier production models experienced cracking in the headband around the extenders, although Sennheiser has reportedly fixed this with a change in the plastic material for this part. 
    Overall these are a large, chunky headphone, and do not fold, nor collapse down.  Neither case, nor bag is included with the HD598, so clearly Sennheiser does not intend these for portable use.
    Sound Signature and Quality
    The HD598 features Sennheiser's E.A.R. - Eargonomic (pun very much intended I assume) Acoustic Refinement technology, which uses acoustic baffles inclined at a 60 degree angle to position the small triangular transducer to the optimal listening position and to enhance the width of the perceived soundstage. The technology appears to be derived from Sennheiser's flagship headphones. 
    The real star of the HD598 is the sense of spaciousness, allowing the listener to picture the depth of the room where the music was recorded, and to appreciate the separation between instruments.  Overall, the sound is very balanced and clean, without distortion and with plenty of detail.  Vocals are warm, and the whole sound signature is easy to like.  Those looking for a more hard hitting or aggressive presentation may end up feeling a bit flat, as the HD598 presents a composed, laid back, and refined sound (picture more Bruce Banner and less Hulk).
    Midrange presents a warm tone, especially with vocals.  Generally the mid range comes across as natural and realistic. 
    Treble sounds a little brighter and more detailed than previous generation Sennheisers.  Again, there is a feeling of space and clarity. 
    Bass is adequately textured and individual notes are retained.  Upper bass and lower mid range frequencies are marginally emphasized, which is a good thing in my book.  There is decent impact and power when the music calls for it.
    Overall, the Sennheiser HD598 remains very true to Sennheiser’s much loved house sound signature.  It provides a smooth and balanced presentation without overemphasis of bass or treble, and is housed in a very unique, stylish and retro-cool design.  There is a sense of clarity and spaciousness, with real sounding dynamics and detail.   An excellent value when purchased at regular price, when considered that it is often discounted on Amazon (and can be as low as $100), the HD598 provides almost unbeatable sound quality for the dollar.  The next step up the line (the HD600) is usually 2-3 times the price.  The HD598 is my first recommendation for those considering improving their listening experience, or those who have never heard high quality headphones before.  Although somewhat difficult to drive (and they do improve with a modest headphone amplifier) they can be enjoyed by anyone with an iPod or smartphone – keeping in mind that they aren’t very mobile friendly with a long non-button cord, non-foldable design and rather large size.  Having been around a half-decade or so, the HD598 is indeed a classic, as much as the luxury cars from which it borrows styling cues, and remains a terrific budget audiophile choice.

      H T T likes this.
  9. snapacap
    It's like an HD558 with style.
    Written by snapacap
    Published Mar 2, 2016
    Pros - Build, look (SE version), complete sound, comfort
    Cons - can occasionally be a bit fatiguing, inside touches my ears.
    For me the HD598 was a hope that I could get nearly the same sound as the HD558 with more comfort. In short, mission mostly accomplished.
    Impression/build/: The first thing I noted straight out of the box is how premium the HD598 looks (SE version) and feels The headband is bound by leatheryness, the earcups have mesh, unlike the felt-like material of the HD558 earcups. Putting them on my head, it was clear to see the lesser clamp force compared to nearly every other Sennheiser I have tried (barring the HD700). The pads also felt a bit softer as well. I prefer this headband pad to most others I have used. One thing that I am sure some people have run into is hair getting stuck in velour/fabric headbands. The material used on the HD598SE solves this entirely.
    Looks: However unimportant, the HD598SE looks sexy. The stealth-black color scheme, the mesh grills with the logo just underneath, the headband with the leathery goodness. *drool*
    Features: adjustable headband, removable (but proprietary) cable, overall very modular. All of which are standard features that should be available on all headphones. (I do realize some headphones have auto-adjust headbands). Just for kicks, the G4me Zero pads fit on these as well.
    Sound: Very good. I cannot say they are significantly 'better' than the HD558. In fact, I preferred the sound of the HD558. There is an increase in soundstage, which was already good. The real difference between the two is that the HD558 is darker, and brings musicality to the mid-low end. The HD598 puts the focus solidly in the mids. The effect is musicality on different aspects than the HD558, and possibly a bit better overall. The sound is still warm, but not overbearingly so. I clearly detect the 'Sennheiser veil' that many others have spoken about. This is the reason that they are not objectively the best headphones in the price range. Smooth musicality is where Sennheiser excels for me.The people who I had audition these said that they were 'pretty good' but not the best they had heard. The winning feature was still the musicality. One person said that of all the stuff they tried, they would pick these regardless of their shortcomings compared to other headphones like the SHP9500, Fidelio X2, and SE-A1000. The music was "just so music-y".
    For me, I prefer the darker sound of the HD558, but also think that most people would find these an improvement over the HD558 in sound. At street prices, I think the price difference is worth it for the build difference. They just feel, look, and are more premium, and are more comfortable than the HD558. The downfall of these for me is I finally got a hold of the HD700, and those make most things (including the HD598) sound like i am listening through a pillow. 
    If someone is looking for a singular pair of headphones to do everything with, I recommend these highly. They are not sterile at all, they are balanced enough to please most, and clear enough to not be a problem. The soundstage is good, and work great for games like CS:GO. The sound carries music in a very enjoyable way. I find that pretty much every genre is quite good on the HD598. I was particularly pleased with metal, and heavy rock. The top end is good enough for the vocal and guitars, and is still warm enough to carry the bass and drums.
    Recommended song:
    Wrong Side Of Heaven - Five Finger Death Punch
    In the end, these are great headphones. They are musical, warm, fairly clear, fairly comfortable, premium feeling, good looking, and not overly expensive at street price. I highly recommend the Sennheiser HD598SE, especially if you can only have 1 pair of (open) headphones.
  10. thriceattack
    Fantastic cans
    Written by thriceattack
    Published Jan 16, 2016
    Pros - very balanced
    Cons - overrated
    These headphone are good, but in my opinion, pretty overrated. A pair of cans i can pick up for $50 more sounds way better than these.
      Abramz likes this.
    1. cuiter23
      Lol, overrated and better sounding headphones at $50 you still gave it 4.5/5 stars. You must have very low expectations.
      cuiter23, Jan 16, 2016
      SnobbyNoob likes this.