Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread
Feb 21, 2015 at 5:34 PM Post #4,622 of 7,528

Stanfoo

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I'm looking to upgrade my DAC/AMP for the 598 (currently using Fiio E17 & E09K, nothing wrong, just want to upgrade for even better sound). Narrowed it down to the NFB-15 or NFB-11. Does anyone have any idea which one would pair the best with the 598?
 
Feb 21, 2015 at 6:37 PM Post #4,623 of 7,528

chimmycham

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  I'm looking to upgrade my DAC/AMP for the 598 (currently using Fiio E17 & E09K, nothing wrong, just want to upgrade for even better sound). Narrowed it down to the NFB-15 or NFB-11. Does anyone have any idea which one would pair the best with the 598?

 
 

I'm in the same boat as you. I was comparing those NFB models for awhile too, but decided to order the Schiit Magi 2 Uber / Modi 2 Uber instead.
 
I'm waiting for the shipment, but I feel it was the right good choice for my HD598s
 
The NFB-15 has 2 WM8741s in it, while the NFB-11 has one ES9018.. This is one major difference.
 
Feb 21, 2015 at 10:20 PM Post #4,624 of 7,528

serman005

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I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I have a new 598 playing from an iphone and ipod shuffle and I'd like to improve the sound, if possible. The shuffle is the weak l;ink, but I just love that little thing for its insane portability. It is sooooo small! Anyhoo, recommendations are requested from you wise elders and juniors. Bring me some wisdom, please...amp or DAC or both?
 
Feb 22, 2015 at 4:44 AM Post #4,626 of 7,528

NZheadcase

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  I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I have a new 598 playing from an iphone and ipod shuffle and I'd like to improve the sound, if possible. The shuffle is the weak l;ink, but I just love that little thing for its insane portability. It is sooooo small! Anyhoo, recommendations are requested from you wise elders and juniors. Bring me some wisdom, please...amp or DAC or both?

 
Heya Serman005. Maybe let's begin with your budget. How much are you willing to spend?
 
Owning the headphone myself, I do enjoy the HD598 direct from my iPhone 4S. However, I do find more satisfaction on most songs when I use an external amplifier. I currently run with a iPhone4s(line out)>FiiO E17>Misc headphones/iems for on the go listening. 
 
For the price, it's a steal. 
 
Better sound than iphone (and the shuffle for sure)
As DAC/AMP for laptop or PC
Ability to adjust Bass and Treble to suit your taste
Excellent battery life
$140 new (and cheaper in the for sale thread here)
 
Is it the end all and be all in portable Dac/amps? Not at all, but for the price? That's a lot of gadget for the price. And we know it will satisfy that first thing that you need - better sound on the headphone compared to the iPhone/Shuffle sound q.
 
Of course if you are willing to shell out more, then you have heaps of options. Oh, and that ATH M50 of yours will love the bass and treble adjustments on the E17. 
 
All the best!
 
Feb 22, 2015 at 11:47 AM Post #4,627 of 7,528

serman005

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Heya Serman005. Maybe let's begin with your budget. How much are you willing to spend?
 
Owning the headphone myself, I do enjoy the HD598 direct from my iPhone 4S. However, I do find more satisfaction on most songs when I use an external amplifier. I currently run with a iPhone4s(line out)>FiiO E17>Misc headphones/iems for on the go listening. 
 
For the price, it's a steal. 
 
Better sound than iphone (and the shuffle for sure)
As DAC/AMP for laptop or PC
Ability to adjust Bass and Treble to suit your taste
Excellent battery life
$140 new (and cheaper in the for sale thread here)
 
Is it the end all and be all in portable Dac/amps? Not at all, but for the price? That's a lot of gadget for the price. And we know it will satisfy that first thing that you need - better sound on the headphone compared to the iPhone/Shuffle sound q.
 
Of course if you are willing to shell out more, then you have heaps of options. Oh, and that ATH M50 of yours will love the bass and treble adjustments on the E17. 
 
All the best!


Thanks, NZHC. I would say I am willing to spend up to $200, if that will get it done. If it won't, I can up it to $250. If that won't get it done, then I will just reevaluate things, I suppose. Thanks for the assistance!
 
Feb 22, 2015 at 9:58 PM Post #4,628 of 7,528

chimmycham

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  I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I have a new 598 playing from an iphone and ipod shuffle and I'd like to improve the sound, if possible. The shuffle is the weak l;ink, but I just love that little thing for its insane portability. It is sooooo small! Anyhoo, recommendations are requested from you wise elders and juniors. Bring me some wisdom, please...amp or DAC or both?


You're using iTunes with your 598?
If you aren't using lossless files (.aiff) then what's the point?
My entire iPod is .aiff files, but I would still don't use it with my HD598s..
 
I would also recommend the E17, for portability. 
 
Feb 23, 2015 at 12:49 AM Post #4,629 of 7,528

uli87

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You're using iTunes with your 598?
If you aren't using lossless files (.aiff) then what's the point?
My entire iPod is .aiff files, but I would still don't use it with my HD598s..
 
I would also recommend the E17, for portability. 

 
The difference between modern high bit rate AAC/mp3 and flac is a very controversial subject, and far from day and night difference. Hearing a difference is close to impossible, and if possible requires intensive a/b comparisons that might end up being placebo anyway if not done with blind testing. 
 
It has been mentioned by many that the 598 doesn't improve that much with better amp/source. It sounds great out of my Nexus 5, and slightly better on my iBasso DX90. The E17 would be a nice match because it isn't too expensive. You can purchase one of the NFB models and that would pave the way for a nice set up if/when you purchase higher quality headphones in the future.
 
Feb 23, 2015 at 2:12 AM Post #4,630 of 7,528

playingwithfire

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You're using iTunes with your 598?
If you aren't using lossless files (.aiff) then what's the point?
My entire iPod is .aiff files, but I would still don't use it with my HD598s..
 
I would also recommend the E17, for portability. 


I can't hear the difference when I A/Bed between lossless and Variable bitrate mp3 around 200. I guess that's why I don't think I'm moving beyond what I have. I just need a sound signature that please.
 
Feb 23, 2015 at 2:47 PM Post #4,632 of 7,528

Hoagie

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I don't the dac will work with either Apple device. I think you are limited to an amp only. My experience is the my iPods do well with an external amp when you use a line out connection

Using a mini to mini connection adds volume, but does not make much difference sound wise.

I would get an e11k or an e12 and a line out for the phone and leave the shuffle alone
 
Feb 23, 2015 at 4:05 PM Post #4,633 of 7,528

Krutsch

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I don't the dac will work with either Apple device. I think you are limited to an amp only. My experience is the my iPods do well with an external amp when you use a line out connection

Using a mini to mini connection adds volume, but does not make much difference sound wise.

I would get an e11k or an e12 and a line out for the phone and leave the shuffle alone

 
An Apple iDevice (like a newer iPhone) + FiiO E11K + HD-598 is all you need. The E11K will knock out your fillings, if that's what you want, and I think the combo sounds great.
 
Beyond that, IMO, save your money for new headphones, if what you want is significantly better sound.
 
Feb 23, 2015 at 9:48 PM Post #4,635 of 7,528

serman005

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An Apple iDevice (like a newer iPhone) + FiiO E11K + HD-598 is all you need. The E11K will knock out your fillings, if that's what you want, and I think the combo sounds great.
 
Beyond that, IMO, save your money for new headphones, if what you want is significantly better sound.


Thanks to everybody for their guidance. I am taking notes on all of this. Looks like an E11K is probably in my future. I am happy with the 598 for now, so will be holding onto them for the foreseeable future. Many thanks!
 

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