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Review of the sennheiser HD 598 CS (close version)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by guides, Nov 11, 2016.
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  1. Guides
    Hello Head-Fi members, today I will present you my personnal review of the pretty new Sennheiser HD598. I am still new to the audio world, but I already have listen to a good amount of stuff. My first headset was a Sennheiser HD 201 back in college. For a new guy I was pretty satisfied by the quality of the sound (back in this time I was listening to mp3, berk I know). After that I was tempted by upgrading my headset the Sennheiser HD 380 pro. This made a hella difference in term of comfort, noise isolation (as I was travelling in bus as a student) and of course of sound quality. After that, I replaced my mp3 library with CD and high quality files from different HD audio providers. Again, this made a hella difference. Now I am at a point I want to upgrade again my portable audio setup. My first tought was Sennheiser HD 650, but at 300 ohm I would need a portable amp… So I looked for the Sennheiser HD 598 seems like perfect, great sound, good reviews, low impedance, light, comfortable, etc. But of course the drawbacm of an open headphone. 2 weeks ago I saw on amazon a new model of Sennheiser HD 598, the Sennheiser HD 598 CS (close design). For a breaking price of 136$ instead of 300$, I couldn’t resist. I compared them a bit and noticed a differents specifications. After some research I found the HD 598 cs is pretty much a HD 569 with some cosmetic differences. Anyway why not test them ? So here’s my appreciations. *Sorry for bad english, I am a canadian french guy!
    Test setup
    ·                    Nad T751
    ·                   Nad 513 CD player
    ·                   Ipod Classic 7e generation
    ·                   Epos Epic black 5
    ·                   REL T Zero
    ·                   Sennheiser HD 380 pro
    I choose to compare them to my HD 380 pro because they both are close headphones and for me the HD 380 pro is the best bang for the buck on the market. They are very neutral like pretty much all Sennheisers (a sound signature i really love), punchy bass, clear low and good mids with decent highs. I would’nt compare them to HD 598 because it’s like comparaing apples to oranges. I don’t have a high resolution portable player but Ipod classic is probably an ok overall portable player. I will also test them with my home setup with my NAD amplifier to have an idea when they are amplified.
    I listened them with bad and good audio files and pretty much all variety of music except country. After using them for 3 weeks, switching between my two headsets, here’s the audio conclusion.
    Hd 380 pro
    Very neutral, without any coloration, like pretty much all Sennheiser headphones. I find them pretty good with classical music and electronic music. It’s perfect to mix music or recording purpose as they are clear and precise. To reach their full potential you need good quality source and audio file. They are painful with bad records. You will need a good power source to drive them although they are 54 ohms. They have a good separation between each instruments and your ear will feel pretty close to the audio signal. They have good noise isolation, when I listen to music I barely ear background noise and people around won’t hear my music. The pads can get sweaty if wore long sessions or the ambient temperature is warm. A bit bulky.


    ·         Impedance                                                                                                                                                                 54 Ω 
    ·         Connector                                                                                                                                3.5 mm Jack, straight 
    ·         Frequency response                                                                                                                              8 - 27000 Hz 
    ·         Max. sound pressure level                                                                                              110 dB (1 kHz, 1 Vrms) 
    ·         THD, total harmonic distortion                                                                             < 0,1% (1 kHz, 100dB SPL) 
    ·         Ear coupling                                                                                                                                            circum-aural 
    ·         Cable length                                                                                                    1 m coiled, extendable up to 3m 
    ·         Transducer principle                                                                                                                      dynamic, closed 
    ·         Power supply                                                                                                                                                    500 mW 
    ·         Weight w/o cable                                                                                                                                                220 g 
    HD 598 CS
    They have a coloration (warm), they are less precise than the HD 380 pro. You hear less distinction between instruments (the sound seems all packed) but drum and distortion are very fun to listen. The bass is really punchy, that’s make them enjoyable and lively a bit in your face music. They are really easy to drive with their 23 ohms and 115 dB SPL, I have to crank volume at only 60-70 % on my ipod. So if you have low power source they are definitely a good choice. I found they were better with rock music, pop, rap and some jazz. Pink Floyd too! They are more merciful with bad recorded files and mp3. They will be less painful than Senn 380. The overall sound seems to be coming from far (I guess that is what you call sound stage).

    ·         Impedance                                                                                                                                                                   23 Ω 
    ·         Connector                                                                                        3.5 mm straight plug & 6.3 mm straight plug 
    ·         Frequency response                                                                                                                    10 – 28,000 Hz 
    o    Sound pressure level (SPL)                                                                                                   115dB SPL (1kHz/1Vrms) 
    o    THD, total harmonic distortion                                                                                           <0.2% (1kHz, 100dBSPL) 
    o    Ear coupling                                                                                                                                                      Circumaural 
    o    Cable length                                                                                                                                                    1.2 m & 3 m 
    o    Transducer principle                                                                                                                                              Dynamic 
    Note: A strange thing I noticed is from the ipod the Sennheiser HD 598 CS was better and more fun than HD 380 pro but from the good amplifier I had the opposite result.
    First of all, WOW. Second, re-wow. This is by far the most comfortable headphone I’ve ever owned/tested. They are different from the HD598 open and in my opinion comfier. They have large pad (I have large ear and I don’t suffer of discomfort at all) made of soft protein leather. The almost non-existent pressure on the head will make you forget you are wearing them. The only thing which reminds me I have them on the head is the music going through my ears. Another difference is the headphone cups have a soft texture on the plastic. Comfort 10/10
    Not enough tight on the head, I feel like I can lose them if I shake my head or run (I almost lost them just looking at the sky). Very easy to drive. And more than enough power, you won’t need to put your portable device volume at 100% maybe around 60%-80%. You don’t feel the weight of the headphone. Leak more sound than the HD 380 pro. Seems to be solid. Maybe hard to carry if not wearing since you cannot fold them. Would have been cool to have a transport case like with the HD380 pro. Light cable, and a nice remote control with microphone!
    Build & Design
    Almost identical to the HD569, and pretty close to the HD598 SE. They have a modern look and very good looking (like all the Sennheiser headphones I have owned).
    Something I find weird about this headphone is they created a portable version of the HD 598 open but in my mind it’s a bit contradictory because the HD 598 is a bit of layback design with the comfort he offers (very comfy pads without any noise cancelling or attenuation, no pressure on the head, no possibility to fold and the HD598 CS is more heavy than the original version).
    For portable use normally your looking for those specs/features:
    ·         Light weight
    ·         Solid build
    ·         Low impedance
    ·         A good SPL
    ·         Low distortion
    ·         Noise attenuation/noise cancellation
    ·         Tight on the head (if you don’t want to lose them while moving)
    ·         Not a long and heavy cable
    ·         If you have a phone, remote cable is always fun
    ·         Not too big headphone to look like an idiot each time you see yourself in a glass or a window
    ·         Maybe, get them a better noise attenuation/cancellation.
    ·         Possibility of folding them.
    ·         Include a transport case.
    ·         A bit more pressure on the head?
    ·         Lightier? Even if you don’t feel the weight, on paper they are heavy.
    ·        Pretty good sound pressure
    ·        Easy to drive
    ·        Very comfy
    ·        Have a sound coloration
    ·        Phone/ ipod remote with mic
    ·        Good looking
    ·        Affordable
    ·        Short and light cable
    ·        Solid build
    ·        Punchy bass
    ·        Sennheiser
    ·        Merciful with bad recording
    ·       Sound leaking
    ·       Lack of pressure on the head
    ·       Not the deep bass I was expecting
    ·       Not enough clear sound with good recorded music
    ·        No transport case
    ·        No possibility of folding them
    Final thoughts
    It’s am amazing headphone for portable use if you pay less than 150$. More than 150$ you have better option. They lacked a bit of the Sennheiser standards in my opinion. But nice to see finally a phone/ipod remote! Would I recommend them? Yes, for portable use, no for home/work use.
    Note: I am wondering why did they call it HD 598 CS, I mean they maybe have the same design of the HD 598 without the metal flesh but in term of specs they have the same as the HD 569 and practically the same design without the aluminium ring around the cups. I know it’s an amazon specific channel but when I look at that I am wondering if its only a marketing ploy to sell more headphones. I have not heard the HD 569 but I am pretty sure I won’t notice a difference. The price of the HD 569 is 179,95$ and the HD 598 CS is 199,95, are we paying 20 more $ only for the aluminium ring and the tag name? Maybe. I lack of information about the model to be sure. Maybe Sennheiser can justify the name use and the price difference.
    Guillaume Deshaies
    22 years old informatics student
    christsreturn and nicoX like this.
  2. SHAMuuu
    Didn't know they had a closed version!
    Wonder if clamping force is weaker than shp9500s
    Too bad these loose claming headphones dont have metal inside so it can be bent. Hate that feeling of possibly slipping off
  3. JoetheTerrier
    Would like to see a comparison to Fischer FA-003 or other Yoga driver headphones...
  4. Sennheiser
    Thanks for sharing your review, @Guides!
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  5. lightforce1911
    would these headphones perform  better than my beats pro? I got the beats pro as a gift years ago. Ive loved them since, but Im looking for a new pair.
  6. Guides
    Totally better! you will enter a new world, true definition of audio quality. Beats headphones are just boomy cans with poorl clarity. This headphones will bring you good higs, mid and punchy bass. You will maybe need some days of adaptment. But there will be no turning back after that. You will listen to your beats headphones and throw them in the garbage XD.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  7. lightforce1911
    I been looking for good headphones. I liked the 598 se but they were wayyyy too quiet compared to my beats. Hows the loudness on these?
  8. Guides
    you were comparing open headphones (hd598 se) with closed headphones (beats) but the hd 598 CS is a close version. The spl of the beats pro is 115 dB but cannot find impedance. In fact u can barely knows specs of them (probably they are ashame to offer this «audio quality» for the 400$ price. The spl of the HD 598 CS is 115 dB too with an amazing low impedance: 23 ohm. This means you do not need a a lot of power to drive them and they will sound loud. Probably louder or the same as your pro. The HD 598 open had a lower spl with higher impedance.
    As you can see in the graph really boomy low but no high, you start losing higs at 10k. That is disgusting! Sennheiser are really more neutral they have almost a straight line. Means balance headphone.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  9. lightforce1911
    ok I hear ya. Someone told me the beats pro are 18 imp. So the cs are pretty close. I just love loud headphones and good bass. I hope im not setting myself up for dissapointment. My cousin got the 598cs last week. Im gonna take a listen to his before I order. 
  10. Guides
    i heard some beats and i disliked the bass quality compare to sennheiser HD 380 pro. So i took the HD 380 and I had them for 2 years now, I recently wanted to upgrade to something better and since i wanted close design for portable use i chose the 598 CS. At first listen i didn't like them compare to HD 380 but after few session i now prefer them for on the go use but still like the hd 380 more for home use. What I'm trying to say first impression can be a bit disapointing, especially if you used them a lot and for a long period. You lost your neutrality. Im sure you will like them, and if not give them a try for a week if possible. 
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  11. lightforce1911
    Ok I will thanks!
  12. lightforce1911
    My cousin just posted his review of the CS too. I cant wait to try them next week and compare them to the beats pro.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  13. RockStar2005
  14. Shane D
    I just ordered these this morning. Looking forward to these!

    Shane D
  15. xanlamin
    I ordered one too yesterday. Can't go wrong at this price. Hoping it would sound as good as the HD599 which is kinda overpriced now.
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