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Sennheiser HD 598 as first pair of headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jm2392, Jan 16, 2011.
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  1. jm2392
    Ive been lurking on this forum for a bit trying to find a solid pair of headphones for my birthday.  Ive decided on the sennheiser hd 598's but i have around a month before my bday so I have time to change cans if i need to.  im mainly looking for comfort, headphones that i can wear for hours without them hurting my head or ears.  I was at the apple store and they had the beats (not really a fan) and some bose quitcomfort 15's which were insanely comfortable and the noise cancellation was unreal but im not looking for that kind of style.  I dont know much about headphones but as i keep buying upgrading i will learn more.  anyways my real question is, are the HD 598's a solid buy? i really like the brown and tan color scheme but i have no idea how they would feel so anyone that has purchased these any input would be appreciated.
  2. junebug654
    As someone who just bought the 598s about a few days ago, I can tell you they are pretty good.  Comfort wise, it's the best.  My 598s don't even touch my ears, just around the sides, so it doesn't even feel like you're wearing headphones.  Sound wise, it's pretty good also especially for the value.  While they are around $170-200 they are well worth the price.  And I agree with you on noise cancelling headphones.  I can't stand them.  Anytime I use noise cancelling headphones for a prolonged pierod of time I always end up feeling dizzy and lightheading.  It's that frequency that they give off, sadly for me I have very good hearing and I can still hear that frequency louder than my own music and that also kills it for me.  I prefer the open style headphones that take the approach of drowning out the noise.  Which brings me to the point that the 598s leak...a lot.  Becareful where you're blasting these headphones. 
  3. MRiNiCK
    I have these cans since x-mas and bought them for my x-mas.
    And also this is my first audiophile headphone.
    i bought 3 stylish headphone WESC, V-moda, and Zumreed all stylish and sound wasn't best when i was comparing it.
    I was like the sound on the 598s were by far superior.
    THESE are open and might not be best used outside. but you can if your in a quiet place like a park.
    I brought these cans outside for work and i live in NYC, and there plenty of noises. I had to put the volume all the way up and took off my headphone and it was blasting loud.
    So yeah you can use this cans outside but it all depends on your preference.
    the comfort on these is incredible wont even notice it on you.
  4. NikoHDP
    The HD598 are a solid choice. Comfort is good and sound, too. If they are your first high class cans I think you will like them a lot because they are good allrounders for most kind of music. And they are easy to drive, they even sound good with a stupid ipod.
    Can't do much wrong buying them, especially if you can get them for 170 bucks.
  5. tdockweiler
    Can't go wrong with the HD-598. Sennheiser seems to have gotten everything nearly right with this headphone. The price is a little high if you pay retail, but for $170 these are a fairly good deal and worth it. I especially love the very slightly forward mids and the soundstage on them. They just don't seem like the usual Sennheiser headphone. I actually got these and was probably going to return them, but definitely not now. I didn't expect to like them as much as I did.
    Some negatives...I hate the color, but no big deal. Perhaps someday I'll force myself to like it. I am also not a fan of it's plug and wish it had the smaller one. It does include an adapter though. This is not a negative, but the cable is VERY long, so it's as if they're trying to have people not use them as a portable headphone.
    It sounds perfectly fine out of my Ipod Touch without an amp. I need to set the volume at 90%. Using these from a tiny Mp3 player such as a suffle, clip or fuze may be a bad idea. Know how many Sennheiser's have that easy-listening or laid-back sound? These don't seem to have that and that "veil", whatever it was is gone. They even are fairly bright compared to the HD-555, 600 and 650. That's a huge plus. They don't take any of my music and try to make it easier on my ears. If the audio track is normally very bright and harsh, then it's exactly like that on these. With my HD-600 that wasn't always the case.
    They're also absolutely perfect in nearly every way for gaming. I'd use them over my K702 for gaming anyday, but not my ATH-AD2000 of course.
    Now lets hope more online sellers will actually sells these at a decent price. Last I checked they were going for $250 nearly everywhere. Totally not worth more than $200. $170 is perfect, but not the best deal ever considering it uses LOTS of plastic. BTW I wish these came in black with the small plug. Perhaps the color would hurt sales if many people didn't like it. Who knows. Or am I the only one who finds them kinda ugly? Not too badly. Reminds me of an old yellow computer case. Yuck!
  6. glac1er
    Anybody notice the slight grain that the HD598 has on top of its sound? It was noticeable to me compared to the HD580/600. 
  7. zmd
    I have the HD558 and, to my ears, the grain goes away with burn-in. They used to crackle and pop, honestly, but now they don't.
    And it's not really something you could get used to, either, so I'm blaming the cans for the change, not my ears.
  8. Slaughter
    Ugh, how many times does it have to be said, just get the 555 and save yourself some money. Why are people so anti saving money? Costs more, so it is better, right?
  9. tdockweiler
    Have you actually tried the HD-558 or 598 before saying this? HD-598 (and probably HD-558) sound nothing like the HD-555. I never liked the 555 much and the 598 is such a huge improvement so it's worth the extra money. Don't just assume they're the same old headphones with a new model number. They're aren't. I can understand why someone might think this.

  10. Blindness
    And why are you so butthurt about the 595/558/598? I've been following these topics since I own the 598 and you turn up all the time and post a rant on them. I highly doubt you've ever tried these headphones. And you may remove the foam, add more foam, dismember the whole case, add golden cables, still they'll be different phones, white different sound, and to answer your question, yes, they're more expensive because they're better.

  11. helluvapixel
    I just received my HD598 cans, and they are still going through burn-in but out of the box I was quite surprised. Very appropriate across a broad spectrum of music, and very attentive for the finer genres of jazz, classical too. I was a bit worried about the bottom end, but it's quite tight and isn't too warm or mid-ranged.
    Definitely a good compromise if you were resisting breaking the bank and going for the HD650s. I definitely like the open design.
    I can't speak about these vs 555s cuz I don't have any 555s. I vote for the HD598 purchase, especially if you are getting them for $170. Unfortunately being in Canada, there was no way to match that price.
  12. helluvapixel
    I forgot to mention, the fit is awesome. I got the point I forgot I had them on. Obviously being muffed your ears get a little warm. Nothing too bad though.
  13. agogo
    AMEN to THAT!  I've just unboxed my Senn HD598 after biting the bullet and getting it on amazon.co.uk AND I LOVE THEM!  It is my first pair.  Totally correct about it being an all rounder.  Particularly good on accoustic, jazz and baroque music like IL DIVO (tenor vocals), Celtic Guitar (accoustics), Alicia Keys Unplugged (female vocals), baroque (Jarrett/ Petri - Handel Sonatas), Operas ... etc but most surprisingly the bass came through strongly, beautifully in Black Eye Pea's rendition of "Where is the Love" like I've not properly heard before.  Thus very pleased.  Strong contender at the time was the AKG 702.  The HD 598 won because (now verified fr personal experience) is was not "as" difficult to drive - I've listened to above on both my ancient minicompo as well as an unamped iPod Classic and there was little difference.
    Hvg said that Jamiroquai's single 7days7nights came through rather thin.
    This was my Amazon review...
    As a newbie to the HP scene (ie being a token HF person), it was a daunting task to sieve through the plethora of hps available on market with all it's technological "advances" or "non advances". Product comparison posed a challenge as well as my country (where I am from) trails in model availability and most shops carry a limited range. Hence this purchase was a leap of faith based on review findings and forum discussions. I was really just searching for a simple but quality pair of headphones for my new clavinova whose 40Wx2 speakers did not do full justice to it's true sound capability - hence the hp... but then, it got bigger than ben hur. Keeping to a narrow focal range, it was a toss between the AKG K271MKII, K702 or this. I had needed something that had excellent SQ in all registers (but did not need doosh-doosh bass), accurate reproduction, sound separation, some spatial soundstage yet which doubles as a listening hp for my repertoire of music driven from the new (now old) i-toys (pod,phone,pad). Repertoire comprise mostly accoustics, baroque, tenors, jazz, light rock, and a little bit of everything else except heavy metal & hip hop. Thus the consideration that it should not be too difficult to drive. Priority was for unplugged/ accoustic music (piano, flute, guitar), jazz, tenors, operas, baroque classics and and some legacy audiophile music to sound amazing.

    Here's the take.
    The packaging & product visual was high quality ...with made in China (miC) sitting subtly at the bottom flap.
    UPS topped themselves again with a record delivery time of 4days fr order date (to Australasia). The touch & feel was quality. However, tempting as it maybe, I would not want to fall asleep in them as one wouldn't want to risk turning over and stressing the headphone joints...
    First sound impression (on the clavinova) driven fr the clavi was disappointing - results were varied depending on the instrument type used or accompaniment style. Though touted as not needing breaking-in, I found that the hps quickly improved within 2-4 hours.

    From the following sampling on the HD598 (unamped), personal finding as follows: (to be continued)

    Exquisite: Il Divo (shivers!), Amici, Michal Hromek's Celtic Guitar (bliss...), Dire Straits (Love/Gold)Harry Connick Jr, Buble, Alicia Keys (Accoustic), DECCA World of Vivaldi, Puccini's Turandot & Handel's Six Recorder Sonatas (Jarrett/Petri) & The Messiah (Trevor Pinnock)...et cetera & probably Stairway to Heaven;

    V Good/Ordinary: Freddy Cole, fourplay, Michael Harrison & Friends (already sounded like on the the old hifi which I haven't yet hooked up or tried on the hp), Eagles (except Hotel California), Celine Dion, John Williams,(vocals slightly veiled)...must try Clapton unplugged, Sting, U2 & BonJovi on this as well (update later)

    So-so: Jamaroquai Seven Days Seven Nights

    Bad: when playing mediocre recordings.

    This hp excels in making intimate quality recordings of vocal jazz & tenors, accoustics, audiophile recordings & great for HDtv shows eg UKTV The Bill (surroundsound effect eg brings to life ambient sounds within movie).

    Where it falls short is where recording is not par excellence - may not be suitable to noisy rock subject to recording quality (perhaps this is where it may need amping - let's hope sound quality improves with it). The abv were testdriven unamped on my old Sony mini-compo (I guess that's cheating) - but then I was still very happy when I hooked it up to my old iPod Classic'07.

    I have another miC HP coming - the closed AKG K271MKII but what I really want is to get my hands on the love-it-or-hate-it K702 or K701 (looks better) that everyone sings about or thinks severely overrated. As for now I am still getting a hang on what "coloured" "neutral" "balanced" "airy soundstage" sound like. And what amping potentially does to a pair of HP. Hv a pair of FiiOs E7/E9 coming as well to see what wonders it can do to the 598, if at all.

    That said, I'd gullibly paid full price for this from amazon ...and since I have no comparison, can't verify if it's true that the HD598 is really just a modified ver of the cheaper HD558 (with pads taken out) or the HD595s which are currently very steeply discounted & a real steal. I would hv EXPECTED Sennheiser to do better than that! If so, cosmetically, I think a $90-100 premium is not worth it HOWEVER, it is a great pair of headphones & I have grown rather fond of it overnight. Be nice if AKG would send me a pair of miAustria K 702s for reference. How do these ppl get freebies?!

    Meanwhile...am off to assess other music/ genres on the HD 598
  14. Slaughter
    As much as I like Jamaroquai, his recordings sound terrible, so probably not the best to evaluate cans with, but still good info. I can't listen to any of his music on high end cans
  15. codeninja
    I'm also loving acoustic and vocals.  Even Hotel California that OP mentioned no good sounds good to me. [​IMG]  I agree that some rock music that are less than optimally recorded won't sound as nice.  What surprised me is that Chopin's piano piece that I enjoyed very much with M50 wasn't as nice sounding with HD598.  I plan on adding M50 back to handle music that can use extra bass thump.
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