Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread
Feb 16, 2015 at 4:48 PM Post #4,576 of 7,528

MarcoGV

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  I have been using the HD598 with the Audioquest DragonFly 1.0 for a little over a year, and I like that combination a lot.

Nice. How big/noticeable would you say the improvement over your onboard audio was? Also, I saw one review that said it clips at max volume; is that an actual issue or not really since it never needs to be at max volume?
 
Thanks!


The big difference for me was against the output of my NAD 3120 amplifier, which has a high impedance.  The bass of the HD 598 sounded bloated with that amplifier. This is because the HD 598 itself has much larger impedance at low frequencies than at high frequencies. With the Dragonfly, the bass bloat disappeared.
 
The _Stereophile_ review (http://www.stereophile.com/content/audioquest-dragonfly-usb-da-converter) explains that a pre-production version clipped at higher volume, but the production version does not.  Audioquest recommends setting the volume to max when using the Dragonfly as a DAC that inputs to a separate amplifier.  (I sometimes do that with a small tube amplifier.)
 
Feb 16, 2015 at 5:08 PM Post #4,578 of 7,528

davidbix

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The big difference for me was against the output of my NAD 3120 amplifier, which has a high impedance.  The bass of the HD 598 sounded bloated with that amplifier. This is because the HD 598 itself has much larger impedance at low frequencies than at high frequencies. With the Dragonfly, the bass bloat disappeared.
 
The _Stereophile_ review (http://www.stereophile.com/content/audioquest-dragonfly-usb-da-converter) explains that a pre-production version clipped at higher volume, but the production version does not.  Audioquest recommends setting the volume to max when using the Dragonfly as a DAC that inputs to a separate amplifier.  (I sometimes do that with a small tube amplifier.)

Thanks. With regards to the note in the StereoPhile review about having to manually switch sample rates using iTunes and some other Mac programs...do you know if that's still an issue in OSX? If so, which players work on the fly (preferably free, like VLC)?
 
Feb 16, 2015 at 5:49 PM Post #4,579 of 7,528

MarcoGV

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The big difference for me was against the output of my NAD 3120 amplifier, which has a high impedance.  The bass of the HD 598 sounded bloated with that amplifier. This is because the HD 598 itself has much larger impedance at low frequencies than at high frequencies. With the Dragonfly, the bass bloat disappeared.
 
The _Stereophile_ review (http://www.stereophile.com/content/audioquest-dragonfly-usb-da-converter) explains that a pre-production version clipped at higher volume, but the production version does not.  Audioquest recommends setting the volume to max when using the Dragonfly as a DAC that inputs to a separate amplifier.  (I sometimes do that with a small tube amplifier.)

Thanks. With regards to the note in the StereoPhile review about having to manually switch sample rates using iTunes and some other Mac programs...do you know if that's still an issue in OSX? If so, which players work on the fly (preferably free, like VLC)?


I am afraid I do not have an answer. I have been using the Dragonfly with Windows 7 computers only.
 
Feb 16, 2015 at 11:17 PM Post #4,580 of 7,528

Thinker145

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Just got my HD598 and was wondering from those of you who have them or have listened to them how much better the HD800 is than the 598. What are the differences? Thanks!


They are substantially better. Are they 10 times better? Meh, I don't know it's hard to quantify. But it's along those lines. As far as differences, that I can tell the HD800 has more bass and extends quite a bit deeper and it also has more treble boost, mids are similar but obv sharper and clearer on the 800. The absolute biggest difference is soundstage and imaging, as open as the 598 sound the 800 make them sound closed in comparison, also huge difference in detail retrieval, I've never thought of the 598 as detail monsters which is fine, but the 800 really are. 598 are more laid back and smooth as silk and dont need nor get much better with high end equipment. I think the hd600 is a good middle ground and would be a better buy than both, price factored in.
HD 600 is not considered a real upgrade over the 598. I think HD 700 is minimum if one wants proper upgrade over the 598.

Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk
 
Feb 16, 2015 at 11:25 PM Post #4,581 of 7,528

Krutsch

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HD 600 is not considered a real upgrade over the 598. I think HD 700 is minimum if one wants proper upgrade over the 598.

Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk


Well, as someone that has both the HD-598 and the HD-650, you are dead wrong about that assertion. The 650 is a whole new world, after the 598, even though I love both sets of cans. Many would consider the 650 superior 'phones over the HD-700.
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 12:12 AM Post #4,582 of 7,528

OMGLadyGaga

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HD 600 is not considered a real upgrade over the 598. I think HD 700 is minimum if one wants proper upgrade over the 598.

Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk


I had 600, and currently have 650 and 598. 598 sound considerably more lo-fi than either the 600 or 650. It's a pretty big upgrade in my view. And HD700 sounded pretty bad in comparison to either as well
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 12:29 AM Post #4,583 of 7,528

WilliamLeonhart

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I had 600, and currently have 650 and 598. 598 sound considerably more lo-fi than either the 600 or 650. It's a pretty big upgrade in my view. And HD700 sounded pretty bad in comparison to either as well

I agree that the HD600 and the HD650 are significantly better than the HD598. Of course, that is if they are proper amped. The HD600 and HD650 don't have any "wow factor" - they play everything quite safe IMO. It is the subtle details that keep people coming to these. The HD600 and the HD650 need time to show their true value.
 
No offense or criticizing that anyone here has "noob" ears, but the HD598 is always a solid choice for beginners. With less bass, more details than cheap Chinese headphones but an overally warm sound sig, the HD598 easily wins the heart of non-audiophile. My non-audiophile friends always find that the difference between the HD598 and the HD6x0 to be not enough to justify the price difference. Of course everyone has their own taste, but IMO the HD5x8 line, while offering very good value, can't compete with the HD6x0 in terms of SQ. 
 
However the same goes to the HD700. It need to be proper amped as well. 
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 1:42 AM Post #4,584 of 7,528

Thinker145

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Well, as someone that has both the HD-598 and the HD-650, you are dead wrong about that assertion. The 650 is a whole new world, after the 598, even though I love both sets of cans. Many would consider the 650 superior 'phones over the HD-700.

I suppose I was more talking about 598 to 600 not really being a big upgrade. 
 
Dunno man that sounds a bit ridiculous since HD 700 is twice the price of 650.
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 1:54 AM Post #4,585 of 7,528

davidbix

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I am afraid I do not have an answer. I have been using the Dragonfly with Windows 7 computers only.

Thanks anyway. I'm getting all sorts of mixed advice here and at /r/headphones...one guy just told me specifically to avoid the Dragonfly but didn't elaborate as of yet. It seems like it should be a good buy for $100 + shipping.
 
Or I can stop overthinking and get the Fiio E10K. :)
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 2:00 AM Post #4,586 of 7,528

OMGLadyGaga

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I suppose I was more talking about 598 to 600 not really being a big upgrade. 

Dunno man that sounds a bit ridiculous since HD 700 is twice the price of 650.


HD600 is considered by many a better headphone than the 650. And obviously miles ahead of 598. But the 598 is still a great place to start in the lower midrange segment. And upgrading to 600 or 650 depending on sound signature preference is the logical next step and well worth it. And HD700 being twice the price just means that it's overpriced and there really isn't much correlation between price and actual performance
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 2:37 AM Post #4,587 of 7,528

uli87

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They are substantially better. Are they 10 times better? Meh, I don't know it's hard to quantify. But it's along those lines. As far as differences, that I can tell the HD800 has more bass and extends quite a bit deeper and it also has more treble boost, mids are similar but obv sharper and clearer on the 800. The absolute biggest difference is soundstage and imaging, as open as the 598 sound the 800 make them sound closed in comparison, also huge difference in detail retrieval, I've never thought of the 598 as detail monsters which is fine, but the 800 really are. 598 are more laid back and smooth as silk and dont need nor get much better with high end equipment. I think the hd600 is a good middle ground and would be a better buy than both, price factored in.

 
I understand the 800 have a significantly larger stage than the 598, but statements like these are ridiculous. 
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 2:39 AM Post #4,588 of 7,528

Krutsch

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  I suppose I was more talking about 598 to 600 not really being a big upgrade. 
 
Dunno man that sounds a bit ridiculous since HD 700 is twice the price of 650.

 
Yes... welcome to head-fi ... sorry about your wallet (that's what that really means
rolleyes.gif
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FWIW, while I don't own the HD-700, I've auditioned them and I like them, but the HD-650s are go-to cans for a much larger audience (including many folks that have gone farther up the chain and then back down, expense speaking). YMMV, as always, but the HD-650 is sort-of a head-fi right of passage that you need to experience first-hand to appreciate.
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 2:41 AM Post #4,589 of 7,528

Krutsch

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HD600 is considered by many a better headphone than the 650. And obviously miles ahead of 598. But the 598 is still a great place to start in the lower midrange segment. And upgrading to 600 or 650 depending on sound signature preference is the logical next step and well worth it. And HD700 being twice the price just means that it's overpriced and there really isn't much correlation between price and actual performance


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