Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread
Sep 25, 2014 at 2:38 AM Post #4,021 of 7,528

chowmein83

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  Around here, HD598 owners are expected to think about upgrading to the HD600 or HD650 but is anyone else thinking about the HE-400i?  With the HD650 selling below $400 the Hifiman is more expensive but, on the other hand, it shouldn't require an amp upgrade.

 
HD598 owner here who has upgraded to the HE-400i.
 
Before reading the rest of my post, keep in mind that I absolutely love the Sennheiser house sound (love the tonality of my HD598, have listened to and love the HD650 and HD800). I just think that their headphones sound the most natural - some people may say they have some kind of veil or that their sound is laid-back, but this is what I think gives Sennheiser headphones their realism.
 
I think the HE-400i is definitely something worth looking at, instead of the HD600 or HD650. I personally love how the HE400i sounds (slightly warm of neutral). It's overall tonality actually does sound a bit like the HD650 now that I think about it. Compared to the HD598, everything is much fuller. Everything gains a "bassier" (in a good way) sound that just makes it sound better - basically, the HD598 is "thinner" in its sound. You'll really only notice once you move to headphones like the HE-400i or the HD600/HD650. And the bass is significantly improved from the HD598 - both in quantity and in quality, though I can't say that the 400i bass is any better than that of the HD600/HD650 (based on what people have said in the 400i forum)
 
Soundstage on the 400i is decent. This is something in which I think the HD598 trumps the 400i, because the HD598 simply has a much larger soundstage. Both have excellent imaging abilities (though I'd give a very slight edge to the 400i). I couldn't tell you though how the 400i and 650 soundstage compare to each other, as I simply haven't evalulated the HD650 on my own equipment with which I am familiar with.
 
The one thing that you'll notice on the 400i is that it's a lot heavier compared to the HD598 or the HD600/HD650. The 400i isn't the heaviest headphone around, but once you've been spoiled by Sennheiser comfort it is kind of hard to accept anything less.
wink.gif

 
Sep 25, 2014 at 9:27 AM Post #4,022 of 7,528

Oscarilbo

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  Oh, you have the ATH-A900X (closed).  I was thinking of the ATH-AD900 (open). Your ATs have plenty of bass. I am a goose.
 
I found this youtube vid of the song that happens to have a little frequency bar graph overlaid. The volume starts to pick up at 4:20
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnooGOhLIdM
 
The peaks are at the bottom around 30 Hz and also at 500 Hz according to the readout on my Xonar Essence STX soundcard but not excessive spikes by todays standards and did not cause a rattle. I also tested on Focal Spirit Professional and found a slightly increased bass sound compared to the HD598 which is to be expected. Mind you, i am listening to youtube which even in HD mode is not going to have the impact of the non-lossy track on your cd.

Yeah, I imagine a youtube audio won't mean the same to the HD598 as to an original CD in a onkyo cd player through a denon AVR amping. Anyway as I said it before, it's not a cracking sound or anything that serious, it's just as if that bass line couldn't be reproduced very well. More of a 'thud' or 'cupping' sound, as Bansaku put it.
Thank you for your support 
 
Sep 25, 2014 at 7:49 PM Post #4,023 of 7,528

Bansaku

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thank you so much for that great update on your HD598. Mine is exactly as you describe was yours at the begining, so here's hoping it will be fixed a after a while. In the meantime I'm still enjoying the hell out of them, because as said before it is only on certain very low frequencies on certain tracks.

Thank you again and I'll update when the time comes


Anytime. In all honesty, it was an enjoyable process and no trouble at all; I got a good listening session out of it.
 
Happy listening!
 
beerchug.gif

 
Sep 27, 2014 at 12:41 AM Post #4,024 of 7,528

GiantAssPanda

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How much physically do the HD598 differ from HD595?
 
Because I have really large ears and the vast majority of headphones out there are uncomfortable on my head. My old HD595s have been the most comfortable headphones thus far that I'm able to wear like 4-5 hours before needing to take them off for a while. But now they're falling apart and I need a new set of headphones and thus I was thinking of maybe replacing them with the HD598s since Sennheiser's ear cup shape seems to be a pretty decent fit for my ears. (though it could still be a tad bigger)
 
Also would be nice to know how the 598's ear cup size compares to HD650.
 
Sep 27, 2014 at 1:35 AM Post #4,025 of 7,528

OMGLadyGaga

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After having the 558s foam modded for about a year, I finally got the 598s in as they were "like new" for a good price on amazon. Couldn't really pass it up, and initial impressions are pretty positive. Compared to the 558s they have better clarity and fuller mids while not sounding as muddy. Bass is less punchy but more defined with better articulation. Soundstage is improved but not night and day difference. I am having a bit of an issue with the highs however, they aren't piercing or anything, but they do cause me some listening fatigue that I didn't experience with the 558s. As an example, the M50x is brighter and more peaky in the treble but it doesn't cause me any issues at all. I'm wondering why the relatively "soft" treble is bothering me..... The treble is still very articulate and clear with good definition and full, but the fatigue is a little strange. Maybe they'll settle down with burn in as the set I received does indeed look "as new" clamp force felt like it hadn't even been worn. Listening to r n b with these right now and they sound wonderful, some jazz is up next. Then to figure out some eq for hip hop. 558 coming to for sale forum near you
 
Sep 27, 2014 at 9:22 AM Post #4,026 of 7,528

SunshineReggae

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598 is just not a fatiguing headphone, none of sennheiser headphones are. Therefore it is my guess you just notice a lot the treble and experience it as a bad thing. You experience the other differences as good thing. So it will work out, just need some time. When I go from DT880 to HD598, first thing I notice is ocean of warmth and midrange. Definitely treble on headphones like Beyers is more critical aspect than on 598. Otherwise return to hd558 lol.
 
Sep 27, 2014 at 11:29 AM Post #4,027 of 7,528

Yethal

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Is it possible to mod the 598 to have a bit more bass? Drilling some holes or changing the pads, whatever will it take. I love those cans but I'd like them to be more bassy.
 
Sep 27, 2014 at 7:41 PM Post #4,031 of 7,528

streetdragon

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  Just wondering how do these headphones sound with a tube amp?

a fuller and thicker low end, for me im using the Bravo Audio Ocean tube amp

some headfi reviews here http://www.head-fi.org/products/bravo-audio-ocean
 
Sep 27, 2014 at 7:43 PM Post #4,032 of 7,528

streetdragon

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  How much physically do the HD598 differ from HD595?
 
Because I have really large ears and the vast majority of headphones out there are uncomfortable on my head. My old HD595s have been the most comfortable headphones thus far that I'm able to wear like 4-5 hours before needing to take them off for a while. But now they're falling apart and I need a new set of headphones and thus I was thinking of maybe replacing them with the HD598s since Sennheiser's ear cup shape seems to be a pretty decent fit for my ears. (though it could still be a tad bigger)
 
Also would be nice to know how the 598's ear cup size compares to HD650.

This has been covered in the earpads thread , the HD598 earcups are deeper than the HD650, partly cause the HD650 has a foam layer inside it which cushions your ears, though for the HD598 my ears don't touch anything at all.
They are the same diameter and width, but the HD598 (and 558 and 518) are deeper.

I think hd595 and 598 should be practically identical in sizing.
 
Sep 27, 2014 at 10:33 PM Post #4,033 of 7,528

CharlesC

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HD598 owner here who has upgraded to the HE-400i.
 
Before reading the rest of my post, keep in mind that I absolutely love the Sennheiser house sound (love the tonality of my HD598, have listened to and love the HD650 and HD800). I just think that their headphones sound the most natural - some people may say they have some kind of veil or that their sound is laid-back, but this is what I think gives Sennheiser headphones their realism.
 
I think the HE-400i is definitely something worth looking at, instead of the HD600 or HD650. I personally love how the HE400i sounds (slightly warm of neutral). It's overall tonality actually does sound a bit like the HD650 now that I think about it. Compared to the HD598, everything is much fuller. Everything gains a "bassier" (in a good way) sound that just makes it sound better - basically, the HD598 is "thinner" in its sound. You'll really only notice once you move to headphones like the HE-400i or the HD600/HD650. And the bass is significantly improved from the HD598 - both in quantity and in quality, though I can't say that the 400i bass is any better than that of the HD600/HD650 (based on what people have said in the 400i forum)
 
Soundstage on the 400i is decent. This is something in which I think the HD598 trumps the 400i, because the HD598 simply has a much larger soundstage. Both have excellent imaging abilities (though I'd give a very slight edge to the 400i). I couldn't tell you though how the 400i and 650 soundstage compare to each other, as I simply haven't evalulated the HD650 on my own equipment with which I am familiar with.
 
The one thing that you'll notice on the 400i is that it's a lot heavier compared to the HD598 or the HD600/HD650. The 400i isn't the heaviest headphone around, but once you've been spoiled by Sennheiser comfort it is kind of hard to accept anything less.
wink.gif

 
Thanks. Nice comparison.  Very helpful.  Not sure what I'll do when the time comes. 
 
Sep 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM Post #4,035 of 7,528

BelialSeraph

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 Just wondering how do these headphones sound with a tube amp?

a fuller and thicker low end, for me im using the Bravo Audio Ocean tube amp

some headfi reviews here http://www.head-fi.org/products/bravo-audio-ocean

Nice. I quite liked the 598 when i auditioned it - not quite as much as the shure 1840, but I preferred it over the HD650. I consider the 650 as one of the best all rounders I've heard but it didn't feel like it sounded as good as the 598 when it comes to female vocals (though the 650 had the bass I wish the 598 had). I like how the 598 takes away any harshness/sibilance while not sounding too dark....hmmm...would make a nice complement to a grado or the 1840s. Hopefully I can demo a pair with a tube amp the next time i go to a headphone store (still waiting for the HE-400i so I can do a shootout for my headphone upgrade D: )
 

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