Mid-fi Shootout - HD600 - HD598 - Focal Spirit One - Philips Fidelio L1
Mar 15, 2012 at 1:01 AM Post #16 of 68

tomscy2000

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Posts
5,905
Likes
2,223
Location
On Hiatus
Great writeup! You're a luthier? As a longtime violinist, I have much respect (and an absolute need) for you guys!
 
BTW, my recabled 598 seems to have reached 600 levels of detail, even when it's not a full-on recable of all the circuits... or maybe it's all in my head...
 
Mar 15, 2012 at 1:22 AM Post #17 of 68

supersonic13

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Posts
12
Likes
10
Excellent comparison, has definitely got me interested in the HD598s. I was really surprised to see it beat out the HD600s on a full testbed. I know this test was done with a full setup to really max out the competitors, but can anyone comment on the 598's sound when unamped, like from a laptop or iPhone? Its impedance and sensitivity suggest that it would be fairly efficient even on its own. I'm guessing it would suffer most in terms of bass without an amp? They are a nice overall design, but the colors are somewhat odd, especially for a headphone.
 
Mar 15, 2012 at 1:53 AM Post #18 of 68

lilkoolaidman

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Posts
807
Likes
52
It's funny you say that you prefer the 598 overall to the 600s. Because I heard the 598s and was impressed with them, but I feel that the 600s/580s are technically a superior headphone. I'll have to give the 598s a second listen. They certainly look better than the HD600s
biggrin.gif

 
Mar 15, 2012 at 1:55 AM Post #19 of 68

Maxvla

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Posts
8,565
Likes
637
It's funny you say that you prefer the 598 overall to the 600s. Because I heard the 598s and was impressed with them, but I felt that the 600s/580s are technically a superior headphone. I'll have to give the 598s a second listen. They certainly look better than the HD600s :D


I wouldn't say that :p

And yes the HD600 is technically superior in many cases, but are not as interesting.
 
Mar 15, 2012 at 1:59 AM Post #20 of 68

lilkoolaidman

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Posts
807
Likes
52


Quote:
I wouldn't say that
tongue.gif

And yes the HD600 is technically superior in many cases, but are not as interesting.



They just remind me of a luxury car or something. That off-white and dark wood accents look beautiful to me. The 600s look nerdy in a techy sort of way because of the way the grill shows the drivers. But that's just, like, my opinion man
tongue.gif

 
Mar 15, 2012 at 2:23 AM Post #21 of 68

Mkubota1

In the Happy Place
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Posts
822
Likes
257


Quote:
They just remind me of a luxury car or something. That off-white and dark wood accents look beautiful to me. The 600s look nerdy in a techy sort of way because of the way the grill shows the drivers. But that's just, like, my opinion man
tongue.gif



I thought the same when I saw them in pictures.  But for me IRL, they looked and felt kind of cheap.  I thought the 600/650s, while just as plasticy, were at least a bit toned down so that they didn't call attention to themselves.  I'd would call it a wash in terms of build quality.  Personal preference of appearance is different.
 
Mar 15, 2012 at 4:35 AM Post #22 of 68

tomscy2000

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Posts
5,905
Likes
2,223
Location
On Hiatus
Quote:
Excellent comparison, has definitely got me interested in the HD598s. I was really surprised to see it beat out the HD600s on a full testbed. I know this test was done with a full setup to really max out the competitors, but can anyone comment on the 598's sound when unamped, like from a laptop or iPhone? Its impedance and sensitivity suggest that it would be fairly efficient even on its own. I'm guessing it would suffer most in terms of bass without an amp? They are a nice overall design, but the colors are somewhat odd, especially for a headphone.


I've run my 598 straight out of my laptop with zero problems and plenty of bass, though the bass sounds much more controlled and textured out of my D7... typical changes for a DAC/amp upgrade. The 598 doesn't really need anymore power than a laptop. I've also tried it out of my iPod Touch, though I wouldn't recommend doing that, as it really reveals the deficiencies of the iPod.
 
Quote:
It's funny you say that you prefer the 598 overall to the 600s. Because I heard the 598s and was impressed with them, but I feel that the 600s/580s are technically a superior headphone. I'll have to give the 598s a second listen. They certainly look better than the HD600s
biggrin.gif

I wouldn't say that
tongue.gif
And yes the HD600 is technically superior in many cases, but are not as interesting.


+2
 
Mar 15, 2012 at 4:42 AM Post #23 of 68
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Posts
18,556
Likes
4,247
Dunno if this was mentioned, but the HD598's cord comes off when you twist it off. I only say this because someone mentioned tugging... o_O
 
Mar 15, 2012 at 8:28 AM Post #26 of 68

kAbUZi

Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Posts
93
Likes
12
Very interesting, detailed and documented article. Thank you for sharing.
It should prove especially helpful for new audiophiles looking to make the jump to mid-fi.
I don't know what you think about AKG headphones, but I would love to see the likes of them added to your experience and/or review (eg.: K240, K701, Q701).
 
Mar 15, 2012 at 8:50 AM Post #28 of 68

RPGWiZaRD

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Posts
6,343
Likes
382
Nice review, I will definitely need to try L1 at some point as it seems to have the sound I like but I'm getting somewhat hesitant about Focal Spirit One headphones after this review.
 
There's one line regarding the L1 headphones though, what you mean by "Tonality is often questionable, especially vocals"? You never explained exactly what you think seems off, to me this is a burning question as I personally regard an accurate tonality highly for vocals.
 
Would this have to do with it perhaps:
 

Maybe the 2kHz peak makes the vocals sound shouty, nasal or colored as it's not perfectly even perhaps?
 
Mar 15, 2012 at 9:12 AM Post #29 of 68

astroid

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Posts
1,019
Likes
158
This peaks my interest in the HD598, HIFI S+V slaughtered it when reviewed , saying it was the dullest , most boring sounding headphones they had ever listened to. HIFI S+V are pretty sketchy reviewers though, so i wasnt swayed by this too much.
 
Do they leak a lot, say SR60i levels?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top