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Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee Review & Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Dec 20, 2017.
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  1. LazyListener
    This sounds right up my alley, except for the lower treble, which someone else posted that it's actually higher in the 58x than the 6xx.

    And that's a real shame, because I'm a huge fan of imaging and soundstage. Going from HD 598 to HD 650 was a step down in soundstage for me. It's unfortunate that the 58x would be an ever bigger step down in that aspect.

    That's another can I'm considering, the HE-4xx. How does the 4xx, in stock form, compare to the 58x?
  2. Tuneslover
    I have the HD598SE (black) headphone and although I do enjoy it, I find that the wide soundstage can come across as a bit unrealistic sounding. Over the years as I have listened to the HD650 and HD58X with their more intimate (forward) soundstage, to me, sounds like how it must have sounded in the studio as the track was being recorded. When listening to live recordings on the HD598SE I feel like I am sitting somewhere in the middle or further back of the concert hall. Conversely the HD58X sounds like I'm sitting much closer to the front of the stage, perhaps within the first 10-20 rows. I have no difficulty "seeing" the entire stage and distinctly locating each of the musicians playing their specific instruments.

    I suppose it's a matter of a listener's perception and taste but whenever I attend a live music concert I tend to buy tickets that move me closer to the front of the stage rather than further away from it. Not only does the visual physical closeness to the front of the stage make the experience more exciting and enjoyable but I also feel more connected to the players on stage.
    charlescc2 likes this.
  3. DavidA
    Unfortunately here in the US prices for the HD660S is still about $100 more than the HD650 and about $120 more than the HD600. During sales the price of the HD650 has been $275-290 and the HD600 as low as $230 so for me the HD660S is still a bit over priced. With the HD6XX at $200 and the HD58X at $160 the $420 for the HD660S is a bit of hard sell for many and more so for those that already have a decent OTL/hybrid amp but for those that don't want to deal with amps I'd say the HD58X is about as good as it gets for anything under $200 and if you want a bit better refinement then the HD660S might be worth the price difference.

    I used to think my K7XX was boring but out of my HT receiver they are quite good for movies, almost as good as my HD700 but the HD700 wins the comfort battle for me so it gets more use. I think the impedance of the K7XX is a bit weird so its a bit picky when it comes to amps while the HD58X is pretty much the same with almost anything that I connect it to, just not as clean/clear due to the slight grain that I hear on mine.
  4. LazyListener
    You're absolutely correct that the 598 is more of a "surround sound" experience whereas the 650 is more "in front." I actually prefer the wide, surround sound of the 598. I also had a Q701 for a while and you want to talk about unrealistic, that one takes the cake. Very wide but very artificial sounding soundstage.

    In any event, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the 58x at some point. Read too many good things about it that I like not to give them a try.
  5. LazyListener
    How do the 58x compare to the Hifiman He-4xx? Would love to read some impressions from anyone who's had enough head time with both.
  6. DavidA
    While I don't have the HE4XX I have a HE400i which some say is fairly close to the HE4XX but I would think with all the revisions of the HE400i I suspect my original SMC/back plate version is quite different from the HE4XX so don't put much weight into my impressions.
    To me it depends on the level (loudness) that one listens at and the genres which would make me favor HE400i or HD58X. If I'm in the mood for rock/pop then I'd more often go with the HD58X, its just a more fun engaging sound with these genres but for classical and jazz I'd almost always go with the HE400i due the cleaner upper mids / highs, better imaging and soundstage and slightly better sub-bass over the HD58X. Using FLAC files, Bimby and Ember (low output impedance, EH 12AU7 tube) for both headphones when doing this comparison.
    LazyListener likes this.
  7. tafens
    Yes, to my ears the HD58X has more treble than HD6XX.

    I wrote some impressions earlier on in this thread regarding the HD58X and HD6XX, back in post #1794, describing the soundstage difference in more detail:
  8. Guidostrunk
    I wouldn't take one persons word regarding soundstage and imaging. I absolutely don't hear it the same. Me personally think that the 58x is better balanced in a more 360° dimesional space. The depth of the 58x reminds me of the hd700, which I've owned 4 different times. The 650&600 never had that effect on me. Their stage presentation seemed more out in front of you with the mids right in your face. The 58x also attacks, and decays like the 700 , just not as extended out. Way better dynamics than the 600/650 imo.
    As far as imaging goes. Definitely not on 700 levels, but I feel that the 58x gets close enough without sounding like cardboard cutouts in different areas like the 600/650's did.
    I've said it previously in this thread. My two favorite cans that I've owned were the HD700 , and HE500, but they had flaws that drove me nuts. Always wished I could find something to combine the two. Bought the 58x may of 2018 and never looked back. Imo, they get me as close to my seach as I'm willing to spend time finding. The icing on the cake is they cost me $130 shipped new from here on the for sale thread.
    It's all subjective though. Definitely not saying that what that persons hearing isn't true , but definitely not my truth.

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    LazyListener, Deftone and Tuneslover like this.
  9. Tuneslover

    I bought an updated DAP upgrading from my FiiO X5ii to the new FiiO M11. Using the headphone output of this DAP presents a much better overall sound than my X5ii. I wasn't surprised by this, however what did surprise me (PLEASANTLY) is that using the coaxial out from the M11 also improved the sound of my headphone setups (all 3 of them). The only thing that changed is the DAP, all other equipment, cables, amps and headphones remain the same.

    My K7XX was out on loan with one of my friends, he returned them today so I decided to give my boring K7XX a listen. Ummm, the boring statement to describe the K7XX I made in my earlier post needs to be retracted. Gone is the dull boring sound, these headphones have come to life (just like my other headphones). The bass is still a bit thin sounding but on good recordings with decent bass, my K7XX is producing ample good quality bass. For the moment my plans to sell them will be on hold.

    What is puzzling me though is why the digital transfer of 1's & 0's out of the X5ii is different (much better) from the M11. I thought digital is digital and that the external DAC is responsible for converting those 1's & 0's to an analog signal that gets passed on to the AMP. That being the case (if I understand this right) there should be NO difference in sound. But there is.????
  10. Mouseman
    Part of it is probably that you're feeding them more power, plus a better file quality or yes, the input. Different DACs handle signals differently, and the resulting sound differs. I'm glad you aren't giving up on the K7XXs. I had a similar experience where the Jubilees replaced them until I got my Burson Playmate, which transformed them. I'd also suggest new pads - I have the Dekoni hybrids and they help the bass (and the comfort) of the K7XXs.
  11. cswann1
    So I've been listening to and thoroughly enjoying my HD58X's for the past year. Tonight I saw my Alessandro MS1's sitting on a shelf and thought "Oh yeah....I have those. They used to be my go-to rock/pop cans." So I thought I'd do an impromptu A/B of the two, which makes sense to me as they are in the same (roughly) price range and seem to want to fill the same niche in the world of HPA.
    I don't do long-drawn-out analysis. And this was literally not worth a second song (I used this to compare/contrast: ) to find out what I wanted to know.

    The Grado/Alessandro MS1 are still a solid $100 can for most listening. They have that great "rock" sound that is so easy to want to crank up and jam to (thankfully with more tamed treble energy than the Grado SR-60/80 that makes those too fatiguing to my ears). For listening un-amped to most pop music from say, a laptop, these serve very nicely.
    But, HOLY-HELL the HD58X just took things to a whole new level, especially in the bass energy/extension realm.

    Several years ago I sold all my "expensive" cans (including HD650's, Stax SR-404 [running preamp from a Little Dot MKIV to a class-T amp feeding a Woo WEE...which was effing-amazing], Denon AH-D7000), and got back to basics with only my Sennheiser HD-580's, Alessandro MS1's, and my Ultimate ears Triple-Fi 10's for otg listening from my phone. I hadn't planned to buy any other FS headphone ever (except for maybe gaming headsets with a mic), but the Massdrop HD58X was something I couldn't resist and am I ever glad I let my inner-headphone-geek spend that $160.

    I have frequently found myself going to bed much later that I usually do because I keep finding another song I want to listen to with the HD58X. They don't offend in any way and just let me really enjoy music....for hours at a time, due to the comfort. This was EXACTLY why the HD580's stayed as a permanent resident. I have 2 pairs (one hasn't left the closet in a decade because they are backups), and I am likely going to buy a second pair of HD58X's to keep as a backup pair.

    I've chased the dragons tail in headphone audio (and have been to a few head-fi meet ups and spent quality time with multi-kilobuck rigs) and I'm only interested in one thing these days: bang-for-buck. The Alessandro's stayed with me because I think they have a lot of that. But these new HD58X's are far and away the best value I know of, as far as FS cans.

    I have followed headphones for a lot of years now, and have been fairly dismayed to see the prices of headphones skyrocket to the point that "budget" started to mean "under $500" for headphone enthusiasts. I honestly didn't think I'd see such a big name making such a great headphone for this price. I'm probably horribly biased, having settled on the HD580 as my choice of FS can's, but whatever. We all like what we like for whatever reasons are meaningful to us. I'm pretty conservative with cans. Style means nothing, comfort is king (I've listened to can's that made my jaw drop but can only tolerate them for a few minutes at a time) and audio fidelity is more about "don't piss me off" than "take me to audio heaven", and I don't want to spend money that makes non-headphone people say "are you stupid or what?". The HD58X's pretty much fit me like a fine calf-skin glove.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    charlescc2, Evoke, Tuneslover and 3 others like this.
  12. LazyListener
    Thanks for the link to your impressions. After reading YOUR impressions, I would sooner buy the 650 again instead of the 58x, primarily because of your comments about more soundstage depth and better detail resolution and separation. Still, I can't buy the 650/6xx again - a bit too hot in the mids for my taste. I prefer the slightly more v-shaped tonality of the 58x that you described in your impressions post.
    Deftone and tafens like this.
  13. aisalen
    I joined the 56x drop today which will start tomorrow, I have both 600 and 650 but sold the later as the highs is not enough for my taste and the mids is too much for me sometimes. I like the 600 very much and I hope that the 56x compliment it. Let's see.
    Deftone likes this.
  14. Shane D
    My used 58X are out for delivery this morning. I really want to compare it against my HE4XX's, but I don't have a balanced Senn cable. I was going to order a balanced cable from Amazon, but I figured I should hear the headphones first before I spend more money.

    Just watching for the Purolator truck.

    Shane D
  15. Shane D
    Pretty impressed with these on my first day! Started off by running my "new to me" 'phones through a chain of ZX-300 (DAP) to SMSL SU-8 (DAC) to Schiit Loki (EQ) to Burson Fun-Classic (amp).
    I figured the correct way to do this was to run it through the EQ untouched to compare apples to apples.
    Then I thought "Who are you kidding?" I am now an EQ addict and can't stop. Unless the path is balanced.
    Shuffling through a playlist of 90's rock. I have added mucho bass, a little mid bass and a chunk of midrange to bring those vocals out. The treble is below zero. The only headphones that I remove treble from.

    The sound is Great. Sounds much more clear and clean as compared to the HE4XX's, via SE.

    I then spent almost an hour on my phone (LG V30) scouring Band camp looking for new music. These sounded incredible through my phone. The quality of the files may be better than my internal files since the music is all new. The phone had no problem driving these headphones at my normal volume level.

    I think the next comparo will be the HE4XX's balanced from an LCX vs 58X through the Burson Fun-Classic, via SE, with no EQ.

    I paid $206.00, in Canadian $'s for purchase, shipping and PayPal fees. So, about $156.00 in US funds, landed.

    I am VERY happy with this purchase and look forward to different set-ups. I did find a balanced cable on Amazon.ca for $71.00. I will be ordering this tonight or tomorrow.

    Shane D
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