Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H6 (2nd Generation) vs. Sennheiser HD 598 Cs - A Newer & MORE POWERFUL Sith Lord Emerges??
Nov 17, 2016 at 4:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 427

RockStar2005

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**NEWEST UPDATE (8/27/2019): Per the urging of a trusted audiophile friend, I decided to give the Cs another try, this time making sure NOT to use EQ and comparing it to my beloved (and custom EQ'd) Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro. After some back & forth over about a week's time, I came to the conclusion that the Cs sounds more "engaging" to me than the 1770, and it requires less amp power (23 ohms vs. 250!) as well.

I feel that my friend is correct in stating his belief that the Cs is superior to the 1770, even in comfort (though with the Dekoni sheepskin pads, I found my 1770s to be VERY comfortable). He stated that the 1770 still arguably had better soundstage and sub-bass sound, but I honestly felt both were equal to me anyway. So I will be selling my 1770s and Dekoni pads as well within the next week.

The Cs will actually be my OFFICIAL travel headphones. In this past month, I ALSO tried out the PHENOMENAL Grado RS2e open-back headphones. They basically take everything any closed-back can do (even the Cs) to the NEXT LEVEL! I was truly blown away by these headphones! I can't recommend both the Cs and especially RS2e ENOUGH really!**


**UPDATE: I NO LONGER have the Cs. They are great, but I've decided to go with the AKG K551. See this post for more info. I thank all those who have contributed to this thread, and I welcome those who would like to keep it going.**


Released only a couple months ago, the $199 Sennheiser's HD 598 Cs are the long-awaited closed-back version of the ever-popular HD 598 and HD 598 SE, both being open-back headphones. The differences don't end there either, as you will find out below. But the Cs DOES continue the high quality set by the original ivory-colored 598, and that's important to this review. The original 598 were my FIRST pair of premium headphones, but issues with comfort led to my returning them only weeks after I'd bought them. It wasn't until my THIRD pair of premium headphones (the second being the God-awful and very overrated Audio Technica M50x), the AKG K550, that I'd finally found headphones that hit the mark! Still, my growing desire for portability and convenience led me to try out other headphones over the last 2 years, and that ended with me getting the $299 Bang & Olufsen 2nd Generation H6 'phones only about 2 months ago (the H6s came out in January, while the Cs came out in September). But after doing some research on the Cs, I decided they were worthy of a trial vs. my H6s.

I gave the Cs headphones roughly a 24 hour burn-in time over 2-3 days. I then spent 3 separate listening sessions with both them and my H6s. I listened to my usual mix of hard & soft rock music. Let's review all aspects of what I'd observed...........................

Looks/Design: The H6s have a great sleek look about them. Very high-class in terms of the parts they consist of. The headband is made of cow leather, the frame of aluminum, the ear cups of sheep leather, and ear cup "shell" of anodized aluminum, to keep it from rusting and retain it's shine for years to come. B&O truly went ALL OUT on the look & design here. The headphones are easily adjustable, and feature removable ear cups. The Cs headphones looks are less extravagant, but still quite classy. The headband is made of padded leatherette and the ear cups of a very soft velour material (also replaceable!)l. The frame appears to be comprised of a very nice-looking high quality plastic with a "hint" of metal here and there, including on the ear cup shells. I think both headphones look great, but I will give this one to B&O. The H6 IS a $100 more, so it'd be wrong of them to have a more plastic frame.

Comfort: I originally stated I found the H6s to be quite comfortable. Unfortunately, over time I realized this wasn't actually so true. The H6s are listed as over-ear headphones, but IMO, they BARELY fit into that category, much like how my ears BARELY fit into their ear cups. Sure, they DO fit, if I adjust the ear cups enough, but over time and especially on my left ear, it felt similar to wearing a shoe that was apparently a half size too SMALL on you. I don't have big ears either, so I don't know why this was an issue. It wasn't obvious at first, but even after stretching out the headband to relieve some of the pressure from the ear cups, I still felt it.

However, with the Cs, I did NOT have this issue at all thanks to the very SPACIOUS ear cups on those headphones. My ears had plenty of room, and that actually played into the sound quality too (more on the below). It's ironic because again with the original 598, my big issue with them was comfort. The headband was different..........it had a more ribbed design to it, where the Cs' headband is smooth from left to right. I don't know if Sennheiser made the Cs' grip less tight or not, but that's very possible. When I got the 598 SE (which have the exact same design as the 598) earlier this year to try out, I discovered that if I simply angle the top of the ear cups inward that the pressure that used to annoy me would disappear. But open-back headphones are not for me because I travel at times etc with headphones, so I did not keep them either (but it was cool to try them out). I also noticed that if I momentarily put the volume way up, that they'd distort a bit, where my AKG K553 (SAME sound as the K550) did not (and neither do the Cs). Anyway, the comfort issues from those 2 headphones were non-existent. The smooth headband (vs. the ribbed one) meant no more feeling like the headband was "pointing" into my skull. And the apparent decrease in grip/tightness also played into it too. Vs. the H6 (as well as the 598 & 598 SE), the 598 Cs headphones are ULTRA COMFORTABLE IMHO! I have fell asleep with these on, even when I decided to wear my glasses vs. contacts. They are THAT comfortable!

Instrument Separation & Clarity: I've never really had an instrument separation category listed before in my reviews, but I decided it was important to now.......even more so because the instrument sound separation of the Cs has been criticized on Head-Fi already by one member. To test this out, I listened to a few different Hi-Res Led Zeppelin tracks with multiple guitars playing on them. On songs like Babe I'm Gonna Leave You and Your Time Is Gonna Come, as well as That's The Way and Tangerine, the Cs' more spacious ear cups gave me a more satisfying listening experience than the H6s ever could. I believe that because the Cs' earcups are more spacious, they may give the "impression" that there's less separation, but if you listen, it's THERE! I could easily tell apart the various instruments and vocals (of course part of that was because of the high quality of these tracks to begin with), and again, the extra space allowed for the music to BREATHE more freely, and so I could really hear echos and things for a short but sustained period of time vs. missing out on them completely.

NO clarity was lost on the Cs that I could detect, and the same goes for the H6. Since the Cs has a higher sensitivity (115 DBs vs. 97 DBs) and a lower impedance (23 ohms vs. 30 ohms) than the H6s do, they also are louder with less volume, and that plays into it as well. (As long as you have good ampage though, that really doesn't matter, but it does take more effort to turn up that volume dial for the H6s lol).

Bass: Both headphones performed about the same here........which was incredibly well! They both had a great bass "punch" to their sound, only sounding a bit "too bassy" on just the most bassiest of tracks. But like my comparison of the 2nd Gen H6 vs. the AKG K550 MK II (K550 MK II also having the same sound as the K550), the bass on the Cs was JUST as tight & refined as the H6s. So even though a VERY small # of tracks sounded bassy, the overwhelming majority of songs that I used to have to enable the "Bass Boost" feature on my Oppo HA-2 for no longer require that. The ones that do.......I just assign a custom-made EQ preset I'd created to them which Poweramp lets me do, and they're all set!

As much as I prefer less bassier headphones, I learned with the H6s that a "touch" of bass above what the K550s offer is in MOST cases a GOOD thing. The problem is most headphones I've tried were simply TOO bassy on ALL tracks and although I have no issues EQ'ing down the bass, I do however have issues with raising the treble.

In the past using presets like "Rock" on my Poweramp app resulted in many songs "popping" or making funny random noises when using presets like that where the treble was raised above 0. So that's why about a year ago I came to realization that simply leaving the EQ on "Flat" made for a well-balanced, natural sound. With exception to the really bassy tracks, my default EQ is "Flat". (Even my custom-made EQ with the lowered bass that I use on those few bassy tracks still leaves the mids and highs in "Flat" position.) **Update: On the Cs at least, I no longer am using Flat, but instead have gone back to Rock. It appears that Flat is good for some headphones, but not these.**

Mids: Excellent on both! No "V-shaped" garbage with the recessed mids on either.

Highs: Also excellent on both! Any detail lost was noticed only on the "very bassy" songs, and that again was quickly resolved after applying my custom EQ to those particular tracks.

Soundstage: The soundstage of both headphones is fantastic! I can't really say that one excels over the other here. The angled speaker drivers of the Cs I believe lend to it being so proficient in this category.

Misc: Both headphones come with a detachable cable, something my K550 MK II headphones were lacking. Both headphones had the option to purchase an upgrade (proprietary) cable, but the circumstances were different for both. For the H6, the upgrade cable was necessary only because the stock cable was just awful! Maybe mine was just defective, but you could only get sound out of both ear cups if you held the cable connector in place. So it was more necessary to buy. For the Cs, I only got the 598 series upgrade cable b/c the 2 that come with it weren't up to par for me. One was too long (10') and had a 6.3mm fixed connector where I needed a 3.5mm one, and the other was just the right length (about 4') but had an in-line remote with it, which I've been told on here by multiple people can introduce a mild amount of distortion into the music. So both headphones are quite portable, which is awesome! I only wish you didn't have to buy the cables braided. I prefer regular/non-braided, but whatever. **Update: I have returned the braided cable, and found a non-braided cable for half the price here. It's a very nice cable. It has the indent for "twist & lock" on Sennheiser headphones, but for some reason it won't actually lock like the braided one did. I however could care less since it still does snap in, and that's ALL that matters to me.**

Verdict: When it comes to headphones, you never really know what to expect. As sure as you might be that what you have can never be outdone without paying an OBSCENE amount of money, sometimes things go the other way. This is what happened with the Cs..........for $100 less than the H6s, I got a pair of quality brand name headphones that not only let me enjoy a more spacious sound signature, but also greater comfort than what the H6s could offer up. The H6s do look somewhat nicer, but these are headphones.........the main point of buying them is to hear and enjoy music, not show off your new toy to people. The Cs headphones still look great and they do stand out in a way that even B&O's headphones don't. I think it's the oval-shaped ear cups (and pads) that really help separate them from all the rest. Most if not all other headphones have either a circular or rectangular shape to their ear cups, but Sennheiser's decision to go with the oval-shaped ones gives the 598 series headphones their own unique identity & look in the headphone arena, and that's never a bad thing! (Just ask Blue! lol)

So with all that being said, I'm officially selling off my H6s after a 2-month run and KEEPING the Cs headphones in their place! I am thrilled Sennheiser released these headphones and that they wisely made the physical modification necessary to make the 598 Cs not only CLEARLY the most comfortable headphones of the 598 series, but arguably, the most comfortable ones I've ever tried (even as good if not better than the AKG K550's)!!

I hope you enjoyed my review! Feel free to comment or ask questions below!



Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H6 (2nd Generation):

h6v2.jpg


Sennheiser HD 598 Cs:

a78a5ee7-7f58-4293-98d7-76d9d28cf30b.jpg._CB278715913_.jpg
 
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Nov 17, 2016 at 5:44 PM Post #4 of 427

aertus

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wow what a banger pair of headphones for the 200 dollar price range. I've been waiting for the perfect pair of headphones in this price range I'd be willing to spend hundred dollar more but I've always been skepctical in spending 300 dollars unless im getting NC like Sony's. 
 
but damn these sound like the perfect pair for 200 dollars. Thanks for the write up. 
 
Nov 17, 2016 at 6:00 PM Post #5 of 427

RockStar2005

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  wow what a banger pair of headphones for the 200 dollar price range. I've been waiting for the perfect pair of headphones in this price range I'd be willing to spend hundred dollar more but I've always been skepctical in spending 300 dollars unless im getting NC like Sony's. 
 
but damn these sound like the perfect pair for 200 dollars. Thanks for the write up. 

 
hey aertus, 
 
I'm glad you liked the review! Thanks for commenting!
 
Well you may wanna wait just a BIT longer lol.................Amazon just announced a Black Friday sale on them! You have to check EVERYDAY (better in the morning) between tomorrow 11/18 and next Friday 11/25 (Black Friday)........they won't tell you exactly when the price will drop ahead of time. But yeah..........if you're diligent, you can get them for only $100! If I catch them, I'm gonna return mine and get those. haha! 
 
I mean, it just depends. If the 598 Cs was made of more metal and less plastic, I might be inclined to spend the extra $100. Fortunately, the Cs still really nice IMHO and I'm VERY happy with not just their looks but esp their comfort & outstanding sound quality! 
 
You're welcome! Lemme know if you buy them or other ones here. 
 
P.S. I'll give you more info on upgrade cable and case for 598 Cs by this weekend. Actually, the upgrade cable........I have a link to it in my review. Check there. If you get the Cs, get that cable too. Much more convenient than the 10' one that only works on amps, and the shorter one that has the mehh in-line remote. lol
 
Nov 17, 2016 at 10:37 PM Post #6 of 427

akg fanboy

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I absolutely love how you completely trashed the m50s lol, very overrated indeed. I tried the hd598 before and I actually liked them but I can confirm they weren't exactly the most comfortable headphone I've tried (but more comfortable than most closed backs). I might try the h6 1st gen which has a bit less bass than the 2nd gen so it'll be interesting to see how that turns out. Kind of funny how you retired your h6 right when I gained interest in them
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 2:43 AM Post #7 of 427

RockStar2005

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I absolutely love how you completely trashed the m50s lol, very overrated indeed. I tried the hd598 before and I actually liked them but I can confirm they weren't exactly the most comfortable headphone I've tried (but more comfortable than most closed backs). I might try the h6 1st gen which has a bit less bass than the 2nd gen so it'll be interesting to see how that turns out. Kind of funny how you retired your h6 right when I gained interest in them

 
lol..........they were the worst. Though comfortable, the design sucked, they had a really narrow & crappy soundstage.........it was like listening to music after you'd just spent 5 minutes racing to the top of a tall building while in an elevator........ and HADN'T swallowed yet. lol 
 
Yeah once I figured out that angling the ear cups on the 598 and 598 SE inward fixes the comfort issue, both 598 headphones were a lot better in that respect. 
 
The 1st Gen H6s are supposed to be great too. They say the 2nd Gen has more bass but also better mids & highs too supposedly. Check this review out for more info. 
 
Yeah. Sometimes that's just how it goes! lol 
 
If you're really that interested in them, I'd buy them and the Cs at the same time, then just return the one you like less. I really think they're both great, but the Cs just happened to give me more "bang" (no pun intended, seriously lol) for the buck. 
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 11:31 AM Post #8 of 427

akg fanboy

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lol..........they were the worst. Though comfortable, the design sucked, they had a really narrow & crappy soundstage.........it was like listening to music after you'd just spent 5 minutes racing to the top of a tall building while in an elevator........ and HADN'T swallowed yet. lol 

Yeah once I figured out that angling the ear cups on the 598 and 598 SE inward fixes the comfort issue, both 598 headphones were a lot better in that respect. 

The 1st Gen H6s are supposed to be great too. They say the 2nd Gen has more bass but also better mids & highs too supposedly. Check this review out for more info. 

Yeah. Sometimes that's just how it goes! lol 

If you're really that interested in them, I'd buy them and the Cs at the same time, then just return the one you like less. I really think they're both great, but the Cs just happened to give me more "bang" (no pun intended, seriously lol) for the buck. 


That's a cool anology, my head feels upside down just from your explanation :upside_down:

My problem with the hd598 closed is that it costs double the price of the open hd598s which I'd have trouble justifying. And I'm certainly not going to pay full price for an h6, I'll probably be getting them second hand for a lower price than what the hd598 closed costs. It seems in your impressions they are pretty comparable so it should just be a matter of the cheapest one
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 11:34 AM Post #9 of 427

lightforce1911

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That's a cool anology, my head feels upside down just from your explanation :upside_down:

My problem with the hd598 closed is that it costs double the price of the open hd598s which I'd have trouble justifying. And I'm certainly not going to pay full price for an h6, I'll probably be getting them second hand for a lower price than what the hd598 closed costs. It seems in your impressions they are pretty comparable so it should just be a matter of the cheapest one

double? They gonna be 99 on amazon in within a few days hopefully :)
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 11:39 AM Post #11 of 427

RockStar2005

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That's a cool anology, my head feels upside down just from your explanation :upside_down:

My problem with the hd598 closed is that it costs double the price of the open hd598s which I'd have trouble justifying. And I'm certainly not going to pay full price for an h6, I'll probably be getting them second hand for a lower price than what the hd598 closed costs. It seems in your impressions they are pretty comparable so it should just be a matter of the cheapest one

 
Glad you liked it. lol 
 
Double? lol Where did you see that? The HD 598 is selling for about $150 on Amazon and the HD 598 SE for about $145. The Cs is currently $199.99, but as I'd mentioned in my post above, if you keep checking on Amazon, sometime b/t RIGHT NOW and next Friday night (aka Black Friday), Amazon said they will put the Cs on sale for ONLY $99.95! How long that lasts and how many are available are 2 factors I can't tell you, but you have a chance to score them at a really low price if you're diligent. I'm keeping the tab for the Cs on Amazon open on both my PC and phone and checking it like every hour or two. lol I will make an effort to post here if I catch the sale, but you all (I'm talking to you TOO aertus lol) should be checking frequently through Black Friday evening. 
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 11:42 AM Post #12 of 427

RockStar2005

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Yes, the 598se goes for $100 sometimes and I hear it will go for that price again on black Friday. If the closed backs drop to $100 then I'll consider them

 
akg, 
 
It IS true that LAST Black Friday THE 598 SE did in fact go on sale from like $150 to like $70-$80. But again, see my post (#5) above. The announcement they released for this year's Black Friday 1-week event mentions only the new Cs, not the SE. So I wouldn't expect to see the SE's price drop (though I guess anything is possible). 
 
I mean, if you really want the SE open-back more, then yeah, go for it. But there's been no word that I've seen on it. Only the Cs.
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 11:49 AM Post #13 of 427

akg fanboy

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akg, 

It IS true that LAST Black Friday THE 598 SE did in fact go on sale from like $150 to like $70-$80. But again, see my post (#5) above. The announcement they released for this year's Black Friday 1-week event mentions only the new Cs, not the SE. So I wouldn't expect to see the SE's price drop (though I guess anything is possible). 

I mean, if you really want the SE open-back more, then yeah, go for it. But there's been no word that I've seen on it. Only the Cs.


Something tells me my wallet is about to empty itself again after this black Friday @_@

No I'm not that eager to get the open backs actually lol, I'll be watching that 598 closed back for a $100 sale!
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 12:46 PM Post #14 of 427

RockStar2005

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Something tells me my wallet is about to empty itself again after this black Friday @_@

No I'm not that eager to get the open backs actually lol, I'll be watching that 598 closed back for a $100 sale!

 
Haha welcome to the holidays AKG. lol
 
Yeah me neither. I don't need or even want to really hear what's going on around me while I'm listening to music, and I definitely don't want people on the train to hear what I'm listening to either. lol
 
Cool. 
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 3:35 PM Post #15 of 427

RockStar2005

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Something tells me my wallet is about to empty itself again after this black Friday @_@

No I'm not that eager to get the open backs actually lol, I'll be watching that 598 closed back for a $100 sale!

 
If you REALLY wanna empty your wallet this holiday season, AND love AKG lol..................there's always the brand new closed-back version of the open-back AKG K812...............the $1499 AKG K872. I bet even compared to the Sennheiser HD 800 S it prob sounds INCREDIBLE
 

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