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Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Headstar, Feb 22, 2011.
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  1. anuveshkumar
    oK, So I'm just a litte bit late for the party, (A lot little bits)
    I recently started research to a good pair of headphones...
    Like hell, the whole internet is filled with hyped Ath m50s, I said.. lets buy it. But I did some more research and I came across this headphone, and well I ordered it in amazon.in..It's overpriced, where I live but everything is when it come to imported techs. VAT+Duty etc etc.

    Order Details

    Order #404-5015362-4891784
    Placed on Saturday, June 27, 2015

    Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear Headphone (Light Brown)
    Sold by Cloudtail
     [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Item Subtotal:Rs.15,391.00
    Shipping & Handling:Rs.0.00
    Total Before Tax:Rs.15,391.00
    Estimated Tax:Rs.0.00


    Order Total:Rs.15,391.00
    Hoping to get It as soon as possible, and needle the music in, and get lost in euphoria and bliss.[​IMG]
    I'm guessing that these cans will be discontinued pretty soon.
    While there will be upgrades, this right here, is one of a kind.
  2. sandt38
    I have a 17 year old who was stuck in the land of Beats. He has a set of the Studios and the Solo 2. I love music, but have been into my home system and car audio for years. I have owned a few sets of cans over the years, just you standard >$50 sets you find at your basic box stores. But I have heard some friends' Senns and was always impressed. On a recent trip I lost my ear buds and there were some Senns in the airport electronics store. I was impressed and let my son hear them, and he was just as impressed.
     A couple months ago I got a bug up my butt to order some Sennheiser Momentum on ears, as they were really cheap. One thing leads to another, and I bought upgraded interconnects, a tube amp (rolling tubes is a fun for me, I love tubes and have them in my cars and home system), a DAC... Well, after listening to the Momentums for a while I wanted more, and of course my research led me to the Senn HD600s. They arrived yesterday and they spent the day on the amp being broken in before I really listened last night.
    Over the past couple months my son has been listening to his Beats and my Momentums on the amp. Over time, I have noticed him using the Senns more than his Beats. He says they just sounded more natural, and that the Beats sounded muffled. He came into my room last night and spent a lot of time with my HD 600s. We hung out listening to various musical genre until 3AM.
    He said the HD600s don't get near as low as his Beats, but they sounded "pure". That was his word, not mine. I think he is starting to appreciate dad's feeling that a neutral sound is the best sound. It may not be what the artist wants you to hear, but it is what is produced. If I want to color my sound, I will do it with my chosen tubes or processing. He expressed interest in selling his Beats and buying a set of Senns.
    I have decided to surprise him with a set of Senns soon, and possibly an inexpensive amp. In knowing that he will be using his iPod and phone for a lot of listening I want to keep the phones capable of being well driven by a low powered device as well. My research has led me to the 598, but another friend suggested the 558s with a better amp. In reading comparisons between the 2 I am really feeling like I want to go with the 598s. But since several of you guys have had experiences with both (hopefully all 3, the 558, 598, and 600s) I was wondering if you could express the differences and nuances between the units. Feel free to be detailed and don't worry about confusing me with typical industry adjectives as I have written many reviews on audio equipment through the years and understand them well.
    Thanks in advance!
  3. douce

    Many people love the 598, and I do enjoy mine…. However…. I never listen to mine without a bell EQ right around 4000hz because I find them to be fatiguing, even painful at higher volumes. Working within the ohm load you have to consider makes it tough, but if he is coming from the “beats” back round the 598 may be a little too much of an opposite flavor as in my opinion they are far from neutral. I know EVERYONE will say have him try them first at a store where he can compare to other cans… as cliché as that response may be, it is by far, THE best advice to give someone.
    I use mine with an Audio GD NFB-15, a warmer DAC/AMP to begin with
    sandt38 likes this.
  4. MarcoGV

    Actually, Sennheiser confirmed that the drivers in the 518, 558, and 598 are the same.  See http://www.head-fi.org/t/609634/hd-518-teardown-with-a-shocking-twist, around post 33.
  5. biggbenn74

    Well, as an owner of the 598's, as well as the AKG Q701, Audio-Technica AD700 AND AD900, Beats 2.0 and soon to be Velodyne's, I know I prefer the HD598's out of my FiiO than I do from my Q's and a Schiit Magni. That's saying something. A $200 setup compared to a $500 setup with cables. Highly recommend these. Especially for jazz music.
  6. Jeputar
    Wow,  I thought I was the only guy in the world who thought the HD598s were bright and analytical. I own them and for a lot of music they sound really nice, but I do not find them forgiving of bright recordings. Cymbals can take your ears off if they are pronounced.
    If the HD600 have a better, less bright signature, I may have to find the extra money and scoot up to them. .
  7. ElMarcado

    Just enjoy them, and report if you find a difference after a hundred hours (Burn-in for some).
  8. Frosty3258
    Or if music file is below 320, you could update that.
  9. Redcarmoose

    The Woo Audio 3 is a great amp for the HD600s to marry with. It is the synergy that allows two products of average nature to rise above and become amazing.
  10. ElMarcado

    The differences between headphones is overly-exaggerated IMO. If you like the HD 598 you maybe will love the HD 600, but the later is different in it's tuning, it isn't superior just because it's technically better. The HD 598 has forward mids with a romantic tone, while the HD 600 is a colder and more neutral can.
    Also, some like to argue that the pricier the better something is, but they are wrong. For example, the soundstage presentation of the HD 598 is different from that of the HD 800, the first one being more intimate and for some ears more natural. Some find the HD 800 soundstage too large and unnatural too, kind of artificial. It depends of you in the end, but more 'technically proficient' doesn't mean better, because the tuning is always different and subjective taste belongs there. A perfect example is the people who own and love the Etymotic ER-4, they say that it sounds more natural and coherent than multi-driver ones, even thought multi-driver BA IEM's costs much more.
    The headphones that I enjoyed listening the most was the Grado SR325is, but they were painfully bright and far from neutral. Treble spikes here and there, a mid-bass hump and a clear lack of sub-bass, with incredibly forward mid-range. Narrow, well-proportionated soundstage and great clarity. Despite all their faults i loved them more than anything i have right now and will have, even thought they weren't the most technically-proficient or neutral ones.
    Real anecdotes:
    1. A veteran audiophile of this forum mocked the HD 800 because he thought that it doesn't sounded as good as a 2ch speakers to him. He said that an ultra-rare and expensive can like the Qualia can 'compare', along with the SR-009. Can you imagine what he would think of an 'inferior' can like the HD600?
    2. Also, a guy here said that he thanks his headphones because they made him know how much good speakers sound compared to headphones, and his benchmark weren't affordable headphones, they were SR-009, HD 800 and W3000ANV.
    So, after all, what you enjoy is what matters most. People who own MBL speakers may make fun of headphone users because they maybe think that every headphone in this planet don't sound as good as a MBL speaker. And it may be true, but who cares?!, Audio is a no-limit research for some, but not for me indeed. You need to enjoy what you have and never mock something like these people do.
  11. Redcarmoose

    I don't think you find as much elite mocking here of MBL speaker owners looking down on the masses? What you will find is folks strictly warning of mass produced generally owned speakers set-ups trumping headphone rigs costing thousands more.

    Many times folks are just explaining their own personal conquest in spending larg amounts of Head-fi dollars, to latter find speakers systems to start becoming a better sonic value after a certain price point passed. This is based on pure sonics only.

    The fact is mid priced audio set-ups both in home speaker audio and home headphone audio, become the best sonic value, regardless of snob appeal?

    Sennheiser seems to concentrate on a number of low-tier/entry modles and mid- tier headphone models which the HD 598 is king of.IMO

    Having all price points and interests covered they sell a bunch of great headphones.
    ElMarcado likes this.
  12. mikoss
    Expensive speaker setups sound great, but they cost a lot. Headphones offer a different presentation at usually a much lower cost.

    My opinion...
    The 558/598's both have the Sennheiser house sound, which to me is a nice midrange and very good resolution. The 600's are more neutral and can sound colder in comparison, but amping is key. The 650's are warmer, with a magical midrange and can scale unbelievably well. With a good amp, I think they do everything the 558/598's can and much more. The 5x8's by comparison are far easier to drive, but sound as good as they can from the get go.

    As for the 800's, I much prefer them to planars, as the dynamic driver offers resolution in a different way from planars. Paired with a very resolving tube amp like something from Eddie Current, they're simply stunning. Woo also makes decent gear, but it's far more tube-like in sound. I'm generalizing quite a bit, but the 800's are for resolution junkies and IMO sound their best with a very resolving setup.

    Planars are speedier than the dynamic Senns, at the cost of euphonics, decay, resolution. You can have a much snappier presentation, with deeper bass or crisp treble, but if you're into the 5x8's, the 600/650/800 is the natural upgrade.
    ElMarcado likes this.
  13. ElMarcado

    Great post. By the way, leaving aside things like frequency response differences, Why most people who tried good headphones with high-end amps like Eddie Current's said that they sounded infinitely better than with almost any other gear, especially compared with cheaper -although measuring perfectly transparent- headphone amps?
    I know that some do prefer the 'tube' coloration, but things like: 'Blacker background', 'Deepest sound-stage', 'High resolution', and others don't have anything to do with tube softness, it's deserved purely to sound quality.
    Take an example of the O2: Here it gets almost no love, except for a few 'objectivists'. Some even describe them as dry, poor, unlistenable with low resolution. But here's the funny thing: they measure perfectly.
    Another example: The Balancing Act from Eddie Current is one of the most loves high-end headphone amplifiers. The people here describe them as the king of soundstage, resolution, realism, speed, etc.
    But, Oh!, they have, for example, 05% THD instead of the 0.1% THD of the O2 (This is just an example, not that I know the real numbers). So, the O2 measures better, but for most people here and in the other sites, they sound poor no matter what, specially compared with high-end amps that measures worse.
    What's your opinion? :)
  14. mikoss
    Most/all gear will "colour the sound" - even the O2. You're using electrical components to try and recreate music. It's inevitable that they will impart their characteristics on the signal that is fed to the headphones. The gear that originally converted the music into an electrical signal, plus all of the gear that was used to master/mix the music also changed the original signal... so even if your music is being presented from a truly transparent amp, there is all the above to consider. 
    Any/most gear will also measure a mostly flat FR... specs IMO only tell a small part of the picture. Tube gear in general has more distortion, but listening to music isn't strictly a science project... we're taking what we have, and trying to recreate the experience of sitting in front of the musician while they were making the recording. (Which is also debatable, since some albums are recorded in a way where this isn't exactly possible...)
    IMO, the O2 sounds fine for driving some headphones... I've listened to the LCD 2.1's driven by it for example, and it actually drove them fairly well. From my perspective, it's far from being a "transparent" sounding amp... I have heard other presentations that are more linear sounding, present more micro details and decay, and have better tonality/body. Perhaps it was the source feeding the O2 while I was listening... I'm not sure. Music is a subjective experience, despite our attempts to objectively describe how an amp sounds. I think it's entirely possible to do a decent job of that after hearing a lot of gear. You start to get an appreciation for how something can sound, presented from many different sources, which all measure objectively quite well in specification.
    The only way to fully appreciate the differences are to listen yourself. Listen to the O2, listen to tube amps, listen to solid state amps. There is also a wealth of opinions on everything here and around the internet, and for the most part, the consensus opinion does a decent job of objectively reviewing how the gear sounds. To my ears, the distortion introduced by tubes can bring out the experience that I hear listening live. It can also bring out artificial warmth and bloom. I think Eddie Current has done a good job somehow reducing the artificial warmth/bloom, while at the same time bringing out the details that other SS amps excel at. 
    As for the 598's, I think the way Sennheiser builds their drivers, a lot of their headphones just sound very nice driven by tube sources - but the 598's have a nominal impedance of 50 ohms, which is low. Tube gear has a tendency to generally have a higher output impedance, and work nicely with the higher impedance drivers (600's, 650's, etc.). Keep that in mind if you're playing with amps and the HD-5x8's... you'll probably need a source that works well with low Z cans. 
  15. titousky
    HD 598 cable connector to the headphone : 3 black circles
    HD 380 PRO cable connector to the headphone : 2 black circles
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