Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee Review & Measurements
Jul 7, 2018 at 1:22 PM Post #1,201 of 4,623

annasoh323

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Here is my revised review, one week after my first experience with my new Sennheiser HD58X:

I just got the HD58x and had one week period of listening sessions with my iPhone X and Audioquest Dragonfly Red (with its 2.1V max output rms). The setup,i’m using is the same as the setup I normally use with my HD6xx and HD600 in portable mode (when i’m not using my living room headphone amp).

So here are a few comments so far:
- Bass is firmer than with HD6xx. Bass is heavier than HD600.
- It’s also without the famous HD650 mid bass bump, the sound is less thick.
- the sound is dryer, yet more dynamic, imaging as good as HD6xx or HD600.
- the highs are similar in level, maybe a little different, but comparable, without any sibilance. The HD58X are a little brighter in the lower treble than either the HD600 or HD650/6XX. HD600 is also bright. HD650/6XX seems to have more harmonics and better high treble extension.

But the thing is the mids are not as good as either the HD650/6xx or HD600. For now, they lack emotion, they lack sweetness, they lack the air, the harmonics that the HD600 or HD650/6XX are capable and have been famous for. The HD650/6XX is a lot more euphonic than the HD58X to my ears.

I tried a few songs from jazzy/soul/pop Canadian singer Charlotte Cardin and some of the emotion in her beautiful soul/jazz voice is gone. The mids are not only pushed back (less forward), they are also slighty shouty in the high mids(1khz),

I felt the same listening to The Chain from Fleewood Mac on Rumours and listening to Dire Strait’s Private Investigations. These two songs are famous for their acoustic sound qualities. They give me goose bumps when I use the HD6XX and even with my closed back HD25-1II. None of this with the HD58X. The harmonics of the strings on the guitars are not spectacular as they are on the HD650. There is a loss in harmonics, in the mids and also in the highs. Less musicality with the HD58X, yet more sub bass presence. The voices of Stevie Nicks in The Chain are simply not as outstanding on the HD58X as they are on the HD650/6XX or HD600.

Don’t get me wrong: the mids on the HD58X sound a lot better than many of my other headphones I own (better than HD25/Amperior, better than HD4.40BT, better than ATH-50X, better than PX100i and probably at par but still sounding different with less emotion than Momentum 1 and Momentum Wireless), but they are definitely a step backwards to the HD600/650/6XX. I cannot compare with HD660S because I never had the chance to hear them.
I cannot complain for the price I Paid, at 149$ they are very good, just not as good as the HD650/6XX. Everything else apart from the mids and the harmonics is « very good », but the mids are only « good », maybe because they are slighty « cold/dry » and slightly « shouty » compared to its 600 series siblings. The problem is than most of the emotion in the music I listen to is in the mids. I guess that if you are into EDM or rock concert type music, the HD58x are up to expectations, but even EDM music and rock benefit from good mids when there are singing portions in the music (most rock songs have some singing).

I must state that on my first day of listening my opinion was even more drastic against the HD58X. Over time I recognize the relative sound quality provided by this 600 series open air high quality headphone. But to sum it up: they are good, I even recommend them for the price, they have very good tight extended bass, but they would never be a remplacement to my HD6XX’s with its fabulous musicality and mids.

Just Adding a comment: slightly raising the 400hz and slightly lowering the 1khz sliders on my music app (I use Spotify or Apple Music most of the time) does restore part of the naturalness of the mids. They are then smoother and less shouty. Maybe the lack of emotion I find on the HD58X is something like a slightly too shouty (1khz) sound, which seems to be in common with the HD660S according to Tyll. Maybe I’m biased by many hours passed with my HD600 and HD6xx to truly enjoy the HD58X mids at this time. But I nevertheless give it a 4 star rating because of the overall sound quality, good firm bass (reminds me a bit of the HD25-1II bass although less firm since it‘s an open headphone contrary to the HD25) and fantastic pricing. I cannot think of a better headphone at this price. It’s also better sounding to me than most 500 series Sennheiser headphones, just not as musical and euphonic as the other 600 series headphones to my ears.

One more word on the built quality. I do not agree with many comments that say the built quality is not at par with other 600 series Sennheiser headphones. In fact, they have the exact same build qualities. you may or may not like the colour choices of the the grills and headband, but I assure you that the construction, build quality is identical. The finishing and colour is a bit more basic, I agree, but they remind us of the original HD580 finish. There is no doubt in my mind that these headphones will last as long as a new pair of 600/650/6XX/660S.

I recognize that my review is not in line with many other positive reviews on this site or on other headphone forums, but they are my sincere opinion of them, for the better or the worse, and I was able to do a direct comparison with my other headphones I currently own in my living room, such as the HD600, HD6XX, HD598, HD25-1, etc.

Thanks for the detailed thoughts. I appreciate it because you address a number of things that intersect with my interest. I joined the drop nearly as it first opened knowing that the 6XX drop was open concurrently. It was a risk I took and your writeup speaks to that. I also have the Momentum 1's so that's another point you touched on that I'd like to take some time to consider. The hard part there, I think, will be volume matching. I expect that I'll have to adjust volume back and forth quite a bit which skew things.

My ace-in-the-hole is that I have a friend who has a pair of the 6XX. Time to schedule a mini-meet...

There are things the HD650 does better, no doubt, but unless you like that presentation...slightly veiled treble, weaker bass, and mid-centric sound... it's not necessarily a better headphone.

When we review headphones we have to make sure and look at it on a basis of neutrality because otherwise comparisons mean very little.

How does the 58X sound when EQ'd to match the HD650? I imagine the 650 is more resolving, but possibly less dynamic.

You have a fair point too. IMO, PeteMtl was clear enough that his preference for music favored the presentation of the 6XX over the 58X or rather that he favored the presentation of the 6XX of his music over the 58X. My belief is that neutrality becomes extremely difficult to quantify once the phones leave the test stand and hit a pair of human ears. I think that on some level, comparisons with appropriate disclaimers still provides value to the reader, er, listener. Good thoughts, and hoping to see the answer about EQing.

Hopefully my friend is willing to set up a comparison meeting... He's been into pool lately so I'll probably have to drag him away from his cue sticks to make him take responsibility for the fact that I'm now hundreds of dollars sunk into audio and it's his fault...
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 1:22 PM Post #1,202 of 4,623

WilliamLeonhart

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So, you wrote a review on a pair of headphones without even owning them for 24 hrs? And with just a phone/laptop as sources?

OK... At least you put a "disclaimer" on the review. :confused:
I don't expect it to turn into a HD660s or a HD600 after 24 hours. If you would care to do some measurements to show me that the sound will somehow change after 24 hours, that'd be great. Anyway I do intend to update the review when I got home to my "proper" sources.

And yes, I did the review with my laptop and phones. I know that wouldn't apply to a lot of members here, but it is what it is. Guess I shouldn't mention that the next time, but considering here's what another member commented, and here's what Massdrop advertised, I guess some one could relate to my current, not-so-ideal situation. And you know, I was being truthful and all.
Yes. A big advantage of the 58x is that it does sound great modestly powered, unlike the 6XX. On the other hand, the 58x's don't scale nearly as well compared to the 580/6XX line.
jppo.jpg
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 2:03 PM Post #1,203 of 4,623

Anarion

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It's extremely hard to be objective if one prefers certain type of sound. For example I'd take my MX 760 earbuds over K712 Pro any day because I just prefer how they sound. (I don't probably even have to tell which I think is better HD 595 or K712 Pro).

I don't think that there is absolute truth when it comes to headphones. There are just so many different factors. Everyone has physically different ears so I doubt that everyone hears things the same (especially when it comes to sound blasted close to ear). Different sources and amps play a large role too.

If someone absolutely loves a headphone that sounds like HD 650, can that person love a set that sounds somewhat different? I know that I like certain type of sound and if something sounds different enough that I consider ideal, I don't like it. I don't like it but that doesn't mean that it's worse. It just means that I think it's worse for me.
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 2:07 PM Post #1,204 of 4,623

Megazine

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I understand what you say, and you can read my full revised review of the HD58X published today in this thread.
I believe for the reasons explained in my review that the HD650/6Xx is a truly superior headphone compared to the HD58X. I recognize that the HD58X is 50$ cheaper than the HD6XX. But I also believe that in certain cases like in this case the last few dollars will make all the difference. If you are willng to pay 150$ for a pair of good headphones, maybe you should pay 50$ more for a pair of outstanding headphones. The 50$ difference is worth it in my opinion. That doesn’t mean that the HD58X isn’t a good headphone: read my review for details in the comparison of both headphones. And there are other reasons some will prefer the HD58x, like lower impedance, higher extension of sub bass, colour sheme, etc. But in my opinion 50$ is not a lot to get a great headphone that you may enjoy for many years, compared to a fair headphone that will never be as euphonic, musical, with accurate timbre of the mids as the HD6XX. It’s only my opinion, and I respect others’ opinions.

I disagree, with your main argument on 6XX being superior due to mids. One can argue 58X being superior due to bass, and here is why: in Hip-Hop producers like No I.D and Kanye West focus on drums and snares to give that deep punch, while DR. Dre and Swizz Beats use lots of bass. 58X produces more of that original studio sound, and can be a better representation.

Does this mean 58X are better overall? No, it comes down to preference. But we can say that 58X performs extremely well, up against 6XX in many categories which seems to be one of the biggest compliments.
 
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Jul 7, 2018 at 2:08 PM Post #1,205 of 4,623

cujobob

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Thanks for the detailed thoughts. I appreciate it because you address a number of things that intersect with my interest. I joined the drop nearly as it first opened knowing that the 6XX drop was open concurrently. It was a risk I took and your writeup speaks to that. I also have the Momentum 1's so that's another point you touched on that I'd like to take some time to consider. The hard part there, I think, will be volume matching. I expect that I'll have to adjust volume back and forth quite a bit which skew things.

My ace-in-the-hole is that I have a friend who has a pair of the 6XX. Time to schedule a mini-meet...



You have a fair point too. IMO, PeteMtl was clear enough that his preference for music favored the presentation of the 6XX over the 58X or rather that he favored the presentation of the 6XX of his music over the 58X. My belief is that neutrality becomes extremely difficult to quantify once the phones leave the test stand and hit a pair of human ears. I think that on some level, comparisons with appropriate disclaimers still provides value to the reader, er, listener. Good thoughts, and hoping to see the answer about EQing.

Hopefully my friend is willing to set up a comparison meeting... He's been into pool lately so I'll probably have to drag him away from his cue sticks to make him take responsibility for the fact that I'm now hundreds of dollars sunk into audio and it's his fault...


Everyone is absolutely entitled to their opinion and preferences for sound quality/presentation. The issue we see sometimes is that people who are looking to purchase one or the other get confused by which product is better instead of realizing that two headphones can be of similar quality but with different strengths/weaknesses.

Sennheiser seems to be marketing the 660S/58X line as having superior drivers that are easier to drive while still having the same magnet strength and so forth. I'd really like to see how these drivers respond when 'tuned' to similar responses to previous versions of the 6 line. A lot of times people think that the mids sound better on one set of speakers/headphones, but that's because the veiled treble and weaker bass response isn't clouding/distracting their ears from focusing on the mids. We are trained to notice what stands out.
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 2:14 PM Post #1,206 of 4,623

annasoh323

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Everyone is absolutely entitled to their opinion and preferences for sound quality/presentation. The issue we see sometimes is that people who are looking to purchase one or the other get confused by which product is better instead of realizing that two headphones can be of similar quality but with different strengths/weaknesses.

Sennheiser seems to be marketing the 660S/58X line as having superior drivers that are easier to drive while still having the same magnet strength and so forth. I'd really like to see how these drivers respond when 'tuned' to similar responses to previous versions of the 6 line. A lot of times people think that the mids sound better on one set of speakers/headphones, but that's because the veiled treble and weaker bass response isn't clouding/distracting their ears from focusing on the mids. We are trained to notice what stands out.

That would be an interesting experiment: tune the 58X driver to matche the FR of the 600 and/or 650 for as much of an "apples to apples" comparison as possible. I don't know if that's a possiblity in physical terms but I'll bet that Sennheiser has one in their lab somewhere. Essentially, if I'm understanding you correctly, you'd like to know what the characteristics of the drivers apart from frequency response are.
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 2:27 PM Post #1,207 of 4,623

turbomustang84

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It's extremely hard to be objective if one prefers certain type of sound. For example I'd take my MX 760 earbuds over K712 Pro any day because I just prefer how they sound. (I don't probably even have to tell which I think is better HD 595 or K712 Pro).

I don't think that there is absolute truth when it comes to headphones. There are just so many different factors. Everyone has physically different ears so I doubt that everyone hears things the same (especially when it comes to sound blasted close to ear). Different sources and amps play a large role too.

If someone absolutely loves a headphone that sounds like HD 650, can that person love a set that sounds somewhat different? I know that I like certain type of sound and if something sounds different enough that I consider ideal, I don't like it. I don't like it but that doesn't mean that it's worse. It just means that I think it's worse for me.


Everyone likes what they like case in point
I Had the HD414s and the HD424s but never really fell in love with any Sennheisers until 93 when I bought my ,HD-580s,
Then I purchased the HD600s and absolutely hated them and I did not like another Sennheiser till the HD650 .

But a friend of mine absolutely loves the 600 he is always trying to show me how great they are but wants me to listen to specific tracks that I don't like and would not ever listen to to prove how great they are .

The 600s are still the only Headphone I've ever returned to the store .

All the people that love the 600s are not wrong nor am I for not liking them but I'm not going to change what I like to make a set of Headphones show what they can do I made that mistake with Magnepan Speakers yes they had great highs but sucked on all Tool albums so they had to go lol
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 2:36 PM Post #1,208 of 4,623

heliosphann

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I don't expect it to turn into a HD660s or a HD600 after 24 hours. If you would care to do some measurements to show me that the sound will somehow change after 24 hours, that'd be great. Anyway I do intend to update the review when I got home to my "proper" sources.

And yes, I did the review with my laptop and phones. I know that wouldn't apply to a lot of members here, but it is what it is. Guess I shouldn't mention that the next time, but considering here's what another member commented, and here's what Massdrop advertised, I guess some one could relate to my current, not-so-ideal situation. And you know, I was being truthful and all.


First, I appreciate anyone taking the time to post their thoughts on gear here on Head-fi. That's what makes this community so great, regardless of how much experience one has. Just reading this thread over the past few weeks has reminded me of when I started out in this hobby, still wet under the ears. (kinda pun intended) :smile:

My main issue is posting a "full review" with so little time with the product. I'm not claiming they will change after 24hrs (or even longer), but according to your review comments you couldn't have listened to them for more than a handful of hours. That seems like enough time to get some impressions, but hardly enough for a meaningful review. And yes, reviewing them from a laptop/phone source is acceptable and indeed advertised by Massdrop/Sennheiser. I'm sure that's helpful to a lot of users, but you also said you were going to update your review at a later date with better sources. Why not just hit the save button, gather all the pertinent information you want to contribute and then post your finished review. What's the rush? That's all I'm saying.
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 2:49 PM Post #1,209 of 4,623

heliosphann

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I disagree, with your main argument on 6XX being superior due to mids. One can argue 58X being superior due to bass, and here is why: in Hip-Hop producers like No I.D and Kanye West focus on drums and snares to give that deep punch, while DR. Dre and Swizz Beats use lots of bass. 58X produces more of that original studio sound, and can be a better representation.

Does this mean 58X are better overall? No, it comes down to preference. But we can say that 58X performs extremely well, up against 6XX in many categories which seems to be one of the biggest compliments.

Also it should be said that just because there's more bass, doesn't mean it's better bass. For example I played Run The Jewels "Call Ticketron" on the 58x and 660 and the 58x had more "quantity" of bass, but the 660 easily had more "quality" bass.
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 2:54 PM Post #1,210 of 4,623

MixMasterMan

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Everyone likes what they like case in point
I Had the HD414s and the HD424s but never really fell in love with any Sennheisers until 93 when I bought my ,HD-580s,
Then I purchased the HD600s and absolutely hated them and I did not like another Sennheiser till the HD650 .

But a friend of mine absolutely loves the 600 he is always trying to show me how great they are but wants me to listen to specific tracks that I don't like and would not ever listen to to prove how great they are .

The 600s are still the only Headphone I've ever returned to the store .

All the people that love the 600s are not wrong nor am I for not liking them but I'm not going to change what I like to make a set of Headphones show what they can do I made that mistake with Magnepan Speakers yes they had great highs but sucked on all Tool albums so they had to go lol

That's pretty crazy, since the 650's and 600's are so damn alike. Why didn't you hate the 650's as well?
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 3:04 PM Post #1,211 of 4,623

turbomustang84

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Also it should be said that just because there's more bass, doesn't mean it's better bass. For example I played Run The Jewels "Call Ticketron" on the 58x and 660 and the 58x had more "quantity" of bass, but the 660 easily had more "quality" bass.

The fact you two are debating about a pair of Audiophile grade Headphones that you can own both for less than $350 .

Thanks Sennheiser and Massdrop what a delema
That's pretty crazy, since the 650's and 600's are so damn alike. Why didn't you hate the 650's as well?
The 600s had imho no Bass to speak of and they both had different drivers so their sound to most are very different
 
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Jul 7, 2018 at 3:09 PM Post #1,212 of 4,623

WilliamLeonhart

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First, I appreciate anyone taking the time to post their thoughts on gear here on Head-fi. That's what makes this community so great, regardless of how much experience one has. Just reading this thread over the past few weeks has reminded me of when I started out in this hobby, still wet under the ears. (kinda pun intended) :smile:

My main issue is posting a "full review" with so little time with the product. I'm not claiming they will change after 24hrs (or even longer), but according to your review comments you couldn't have listened to them for more than a handful of hours. That seems like enough time to get some impressions, but hardly enough for a meaningful review. And yes, reviewing them from a laptop/phone source is acceptable and indeed advertised by Massdrop/Sennheiser. I'm sure that's helpful to a lot of users, but you also said you were going to update your review at a later date with better sources. Why not just hit the save button, gather all the pertinent information you want to contribute and then post your finished review. What's the rush? That's all I'm saying.
The rush? None at all. It's just that I'm 14 time zones away from home, I don't have a car and there's not a lot of things to do. I was quite surprised at how good the HD58x sounded with whatever stuffs I've got at the moment.

Why not wait until later? I work in software. There's a mindset that delivery should be done in incrementals if each one is meaningful enough. Obviously I don't speak for people with better sources - but like you said, it should be "helpful" to people who don't have a proper DAC/amp. So why not now? I should wait till I've got a proper DAC/amp so that I can tell my findings to people using phones/laptops???

And please clarify more to me how "a handful of hours" isn't meaningful enough for a review :) This is a pair of headphones we're talking about, there's not a lot of functionalities to explore. They output sound, that's all. A couple is more than enough for anyone's "review playlist", if you've got such a thing. Also, as I mentioned repeatedly in my review, it doesn't sound hugely different from other Sennheiser HD6s, which I am quite familiar with - as you are. If this were a review for the HD800 or the HD630, surely I'd take more time to "re-explore" my music, because they are different enough from the HD580/HD600/HD650 (IMO anyway). But once again, no, and I'd been using the HD6xx for months. I'd love to put the HD58x into a "entirely new" category, it just isn't.
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 3:20 PM Post #1,213 of 4,623

turbomustang84

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I personally don't have enough time with these to give a complete review of these but I feel safe in saying

Fire Bad...... HD-58X Jubilee's Good :)

And they are not presently available but if they were yes buy them
 
Jul 7, 2018 at 3:52 PM Post #1,214 of 4,623

PeteMtl

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There are things the HD650 does better, no doubt, but unless you like that presentation...slightly veiled treble, weaker bass, and mid-centric sound... it's not necessarily a better headphone.

When we review headphones we have to make sure and look at it on a basis of neutrality because otherwise comparisons mean very little.

How does the 58X sound when EQ'd to match the HD650? I imagine the 650 is more resolving, but possibly less dynamic.

This review I made was to transmit my own impressions regarding the new HD58X compared to its two sisters the HD600 and HD650/6XX.

Yes I will mostly favor, to a certain extent, quality of the mids timbre over quality or quantity in the bass or sub bass. Yes I favor mid-centric sound because most of the music I listen to is mid centric. In fact, that is true of most music genres out there except maybe drum’bass, rap and similar genres. I will also favor in general to a certain extent musicality, timbre, harmonics, euphonics and balanced sound over the concept of neutrality, which is a rather imprecise in the headphone world.

My review was a personal opinion done in comparison to other headphones that I own, that I know, that I use regularly. You may or may not agree on my opinion, that’s okay. People are free to take my comments into consideration or not, depending if they may relate to my findings.

For your question related to the HD58X sound when EQ’d (slight increase at 400hz, slight decrease at 1khz), I have already answered that in my review: it restored part of the naturalness of the mids, making then smoother and less shouty. But it didn’t make then sound that much closer to the HD650/6XX. It maintained its own HD58X personality, but with some rounding of the edges.

If you read my review carefully, I still recommend the HD58X for what it is. I like them a lot more than on the first day. But it will never take the place of my HD650/6XX (or my HD600 for that matter) and I gave three examples of music which in my opinion it is better transmitted over by the HD650/6XX than through the HD58X and I explained why.

Best regards,
 
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Jul 7, 2018 at 4:21 PM Post #1,215 of 4,623

heliosphann

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Why not wait until later? I work in software. There's a mindset that delivery should be done in incrementals if each one is meaningful enough. Obviously I don't speak for people with better sources - but like you said, it should be "helpful" to people who don't have a proper DAC/amp. So why not now? I should wait till I've got a proper DAC/amp so that I can tell my findings to people using phones/laptops???

And please clarify more to me how "a handful of hours" isn't meaningful enough for a review :) This is a pair of headphones we're talking about, there's not a lot of functionalities to explore. They output sound, that's all. A couple is more than enough for anyone's "review playlist", if you've got such a thing. Also, as I mentioned repeatedly in my review, it doesn't sound hugely different from other Sennheiser HD6s, which I am quite familiar with - as you are. If this were a review for the HD800 or the HD630, surely I'd take more time to "re-explore" my music, because they are different enough from the HD580/HD600/HD650 (IMO anyway). But once again, no, and I'd been using the HD6xx for months. I'd love to put the HD58x into a "entirely new" category, it just isn't.

I understand where you're coming from and this actually explains a lot. A good friend of mine also works in software and he has a similar mindset on such things. And that's totally fine if you feel comfortable coming to such conclusions with the time you've spent with the product. Everyone's process is different, and at least you did make it clear in the review about your sources/time frame. Personally I would need a lot more time to get a feel for the headphones before forming any final thoughts.

I also see you updated your disclaimer, which I think is very good idea. Since you've already assigned a score to the headphones, I think it's important to let people know that your review is still in-progress and could change.

Any way, let's get this thread back on topic. Let us know when you updated your review down the road. Cheers!
 

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