Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread
Jun 21, 2011 at 11:07 PM Post #196 of 7,532
I've owned all those listed, I didn't keep any of them except the HD598.  Its pretty amazing and I cant find a damned thing wrong with it except the cable :\
 
love it to death, as a soundstage nerd this is my ideal set, works wonders with the Fiio e9 
 
Jun 22, 2011 at 12:44 AM Post #197 of 7,532
I'm realistically trying to source some cans that are easy to drive whilst I try and fund a decent $200-$400 Amp DAC. Which amp in your sig are you running?
 

 
Both.. the Arrow is my portable amp.. the Audinst functions as my desktop DAC/amp.  At their respective price points, I'd say there's few, if any, comparable that beat them at what they do: clean, neutral, uncolored sound with robust power.  Their sound characteristics provide a lot of versatility (to my ears) as they do a great job preserving the character of whatever phone that is running through them.
 
The 598, when run through the Arrow or Audinst amp, doesn't transform into some magical unicorn.. vs how it sounds amped.. In my experience, the amps improve dynamics, cleans the overall sound up so the microdetails are more easily appreciated, and the sound is simply more robust.  In phones that have a midbass hump, the amps do an excellent job of rounding and tightening that area.. in phones that suffer from shrill or uncontrolled treble.. the amp smooths and sharpens the higher frequencies..
 
Those are the types of things I look for and appreciate in amps.. I'm not looking for a <$500 amp to turn my cans (most of which don't need an amp to sound great, but certainly take advantage of the cleaner signal and/or additional power) from Jekyl to Hyde.. I simply look for improvements around the edges of notes and for a more lifelike, detailed presentation.. the Arrow & MX-1 deliver that in spades.
 
The Arrow in particular is an amp that continually amazes me by just how robust & clean sounding it is.. it a got a gorgeous exterior and the craftmanship put into to it under it's sleek appearance is just as impressive.. at the time, it seemed like an incredible amount of money to drop on a portable amp.. instead of toiling with the plethora of portable amps in the crowded mid-fi market, I'd just suck it up and throw down for what is considered in many circles here as a gold standard among portable amps.. After 6 months of ownership.. I couldn't be more satisfied with my decision.. I'm so satisfied, I haven't even visited the Amp forum in search of upgraditis.. which I suffer none of since receiving the Arrow.  Same goes for the MX-1.. it's been a workhorse at the desktop.. sounding great with every can I've thrown at them.. and I haven't gone in search of an upgrade since buying.. and don't plan on it, either.  It is portable too so if you've got a laptop, it quite compact and unnoticeable if dropped into your bag/backpack.
 
With the Arrow & MX-1, I've no longer had to go in search of bigger and better.. I've taken the money I might have wasted in that venture and instead dropped it into my first set of customs (1964-Q).. 

I don't have $600 or $700+ dollar phones.. 90% of my listening is done with my iPhone.. I didn't see the reasoning in dropping an exorbitant amount of money on an amp or DAC that will be powering mid-fi priced phones (some of which can compete well with hi-fi phones).
 
It's all about keeping your gear and expectations in perspective.  Sorry to get off topic or soapbox-y.. hope my experience and reasoning helps.
 
Jun 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM Post #198 of 7,532
FlySweep, its all good mate, thanks for your explanation. I run my cheap little Fiio E5 accompanied by the MTPC IEM's, and they certainly enhance it slightly, not night and day, but for the price I'm laughing.
 
As you would expect, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I'm liking so many cans at this stage, that the days are going by, and I still haven't got a pair yet. Moved into a city apartment hence why I can't blast my HT system anymore so some nice cans will suffice. I've always been an "IEM guy".
 
At the moment its: Pro 900 > HD598 > D2000. And that's changed orders about 3 times in the last week. More reading to be had!
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 1:25 PM Post #199 of 7,532
To all HD598 owners; with a song with a strong bass line has anyone experienced distortion from an earcup??
 
When listening to 'Angel' by Massive Attack and other similar bass heavy songs, there is a small rattle from the right cup, and not the left on my set. 
 
ATM, I am gonna use the warranty to fix this, but I am concerned that the drivers used for the headphones are very easy to stress.
 
Any feedback is helpful


I just got my 598's and I'm loving them, but of course I've got some complications. I'm experiencing exactly what DrHouse posted about, and this is about all I've seen on the issue. It looks like I'm gonna have to get them exchanged, so frustrating.

For anyone interested, here's the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5qdRI7_mXg
It's pretty noticeable at youtube's max volume. I had this problem with my Beyerdynamic DT 770's but in the opposite ear, too - am I doing something incorrectly? Should I hold off on listening to certain music or at certain volumes? Maybe burning them in would get rid of this annoying rattle.
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 1:43 PM Post #200 of 7,532
This is GLORIOUS. Just wanted to pop in and say that I am thoroughly enjoying my HD598s. You may recall my thread where I worried over whether or not they would sound good unamped out of my iMac, which adapters to purchase, etc. Well, I've been listening to them on my new iMac with the provided adapter, unamped...and wow. It's so hard to pry myself away from the computer. I spend hours tracking down song after song wondering what it will sound like on these amazing headphones. Having spent my entire life up until now with $30 dollar headphones and cheap earbuds, this is a significant step forward and it has already drastically changed the way I enjoy and consume music. Put simply, listening to music has just become a much fuller and more enjoyable experience...

Wonderful.
 
Oh, and they are so comfortable. SO comfortable. Amazing. I love this. 
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 2:18 PM Post #202 of 7,532
After using Ultrasone and most recently going through 4 Superlux headphones (they are awesome) I just sat down with my Schiit Asgard driven HD598 and some nice music through the icon HDP DAC.
 
This headphone is so awesome. It's still my favorite and I don't see any competitor on the horizon. It just rocks. Vocals. Guitars, Electronic, whatever I through at it, it just puts endless smiles on my face. Prof. Sennheiser, I thank you for this pair of phones. It brought back so much musical pleasure to me...
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 2:54 PM Post #203 of 7,532


Quote:
Quote:
To all HD598 owners; with a song with a strong bass line has anyone experienced distortion from an earcup??
 
When listening to 'Angel' by Massive Attack and other similar bass heavy songs, there is a small rattle from the right cup, and not the left on my set. 
 
ATM, I am gonna use the warranty to fix this, but I am concerned that the drivers used for the headphones are very easy to stress.
 
Any feedback is helpful




I just got my 598's and I'm loving them, but of course I've got some complications. I'm experiencing exactly what DrHouse posted about, and this is about all I've seen on the issue. It looks like I'm gonna have to get them exchanged, so frustrating.

For anyone interested, here's the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5qdRI7_mXg
It's pretty noticeable at youtube's max volume. I had this problem with my Beyerdynamic DT 770's but in the opposite ear, too - am I doing something incorrectly? Should I hold off on listening to certain music or at certain volumes? Maybe burning them in would get rid of this annoying rattle.



I just played that track on my Apogee Duet 2, and what did I notice first, that my level meters on the Apogee were clipping heavily, in that the signal from the source material (that video) is highly distorted.  The headphones are fine, the quality of the music is not.  Try listening to better quality music (that is not produced in an awful way, to the point of distortion), and/or turning down your volume and they will sound much better.  Sorry if this sounds blunt, it is more of my frustration with the music industry for producing poor quality music than with anything or anyone else.  --Eric
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 3:12 PM Post #204 of 7,532
I just played that track on my Apogee Duet 2, and what did I notice first, that my level meters on the Apogee were clipping heavily, in that the signal from the source material (that video) is highly distorted.  The headphones are fine, the quality of the music is not.  Try listening to better quality music (that is not produced in an awful way, to the point of distortion), and/or turning down your volume and they will sound much better.  Sorry if this sounds blunt, it is more of my frustration with the music industry for producing poor quality music than with anything or anyone else.  --Eric


I didn't really think about that. I'd heard it on a couple songs, most by that same artist (Afrojack), so I'd ruled that out as an option. I'm not using an amp or DAC, just my computer; that might be worth noting. I'm definitely going to keep this in mind, thanks for the advice! I'm going to explore other genres and see what my results are, hopefully I won't find this problem. I need to expand my musical tastes anyway, I'm in a bit of a musical rut right now.
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 3:14 PM Post #205 of 7,532
Maybe y'all should try a CDP to test your cans instead of questionable youtube videos.
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 3:23 PM Post #206 of 7,532
I'm still hearing the rattle in the same spot from various songs I'm pulling from my library. They're different electronic genres, but it still leads me to believe that the headphones are defective rather than bad production quality being the cause. Maybe I'm underestimating how common the problem is, but wouldn't I hear it from both drivers?
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 3:25 PM Post #207 of 7,532


Quote:
I didn't really think about that. I'd heard it on a couple songs, most by that same artist (Afrojack), so I'd ruled that out as an option. I'm not using an amp or DAC, just my computer; that might be worth noting. I'm definitely going to keep this in mind, thanks for the advice! I'm going to explore other genres and see what my results are, hopefully I won't find this problem. I need to expand my musical tastes anyway, I'm in a bit of a musical rut right now.



No problem, if the problem persists with better quality music that you can confirm is not clipping (use lossless files for this, not youtube), then try eliminating the headphones as the source of the distortion, or your computer as well.
 
As to using CD Players as testing sources, while it is a better source than youtube, nothing can replace lossless high resolution files, or DVD-Audio/SACD/lossless Blu-Ray in terms of overall quality, especially with recordings with a high amount of dynamic range that lies beyond CD's capabilities.  Modern recording equipment is capable of much more than CD is possible of, especially with the bad way that CD's are being mastered currently.  With a good DAC, 24-bit files at least have a chance of not clipping when the volume goes above 0dBFS, whereas you are guaranteed that the signal will clip on CD's when it hits 0dBFS, the maximum limit of the CD format in terms of volume level that the 16bit format can handle.
 
--Eric
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 3:28 PM Post #208 of 7,532


Quote:
I'm still hearing the rattle in the same spot from various songs I'm pulling from my library. They're different electronic genres, but it still leads me to believe that the headphones are defective rather than bad production quality being the cause. Maybe I'm underestimating how common the problem is, but wouldn't I hear it from both drivers?



Are the files mp3's? if so, switch over to lossless files.  MP3's always clip, due to their raising the volume 1-3db during the encoding process.
 
Also, yes, you should hear clipping in both drivers if there is clipping present in both channels.  If this persists, it may be worth while at least having them checked out by the dealer or by Sennheiser.  Sennheiser has the equipment to tell if the headphones are functioning properly, so they would be the ultimate source of proper testing in that regard.
 
--Eric
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 3:52 PM Post #209 of 7,532
Are the files mp3's? if so, switch over to lossless files.  MP3's always clip, due to their raising the volume 1-3db during the encoding process.
 
Also, yes, you should hear clipping in both drivers if there is clipping present in both channels.  If this persists, it may be worth while at least having them checked out by the dealer or by Sennheiser.  Sennheiser has the equipment to tell if the headphones are functioning properly, so they would be the ultimate source of proper testing in that regard.
 
--Eric


I just tried it out on my original reference song for this problem in flac - it was still there. I'll probably give them a bit of listening before I conclusively decide what to do. In the meantime I'll check out lossless options to listen to. Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.
 
Jun 26, 2011 at 6:52 PM Post #210 of 7,532


Quote:
No problem, if the problem persists with better quality music that you can confirm is not clipping (use lossless files for this, not youtube), then try eliminating the headphones as the source of the distortion, or your computer as well.
 
As to using CD Players as testing sources, while it is a better source than youtube, nothing can replace lossless high resolution files, or DVD-Audio/SACD/lossless Blu-Ray in terms of overall quality, especially with recordings with a high amount of dynamic range that lies beyond CD's capabilities.  Modern recording equipment is capable of much more than CD is possible of, especially with the bad way that CD's are being mastered currently.  With a good DAC, 24-bit files at least have a chance of not clipping when the volume goes above 0dBFS, whereas you are guaranteed that the signal will clip on CD's when it hits 0dBFS, the maximum limit of the CD format in terms of volume level that the 16bit format can handle.
 
--Eric

Just trying to help since most folks don't have a DVD-A/SACD/lossless Blu-Ray player plus not having that clipping music on any one of those formats as well as hi-rez files.  I'm sure there are CDs that clip the waveform but what are you going to do?  You get some other really loudly recorded, unclipped music and see if the headphone fails.  I guess.
 
 
 

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