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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. donunus
    They are spec'd to be slightly heavier. Maybe better resonance control/tweaks inside? :D
  2. Bansaku

    I think the added weight is actually the extra cable included in the box and not referring to the headphones themselves. If you look at the specs from Sennheiser the HD598 weigh 270 grams but Amazon lists them at 294 grams. The extra 19g is about right for the second shorter cable.
  3. donunus
    plus the black one looks cool. Who is taking one for the team?
  4. Hammy
    ... the black ones do look nice though, just not sure I'd swap them for my grandpa-coloured set.
  5. dominik78
    I'm about to bite the bullet on the 598s (the retro styled ones), since my 555's have finally cracked do the point where one ear piece is nearly dangling. I looked for replacement parts but found only the ear cups etc. I'm sure I can tape them back into being usable.
    But the materialist in me wants something new and upgraded and the price on HD598s on Amazon seems quite reasonable! Buying stuff on Amazon is like therapy, and equally expensive.
    I tried reading into the 300+ pages on this thread, but I at my current reading speed it might take me a while. 
    I'm only planning to ever use these on my computer for gaming, music and movies (maybe mobile device here or there, but I have Backbeat Pros for that). I used my 555's straight into the mobo soundcard and they seemed to do pretty ok to my untrained ears (in other words, I'd hear the same song somewhere else and realize that I was used to better with the 555's).
    I have 2 questions, if you could indulge me:
    1.) To step it up a bit, should I be looking into getting a better soundcard and moving away from the 5 year old onboard realtek?
    2.) Would I still need an Amp and if so, which would would be recommended? (Only really planning for desktop use, but if portable one is good, why not?). I saw mention of Audioengin and FiiO, but I'm completely green with all this stuff. Perhaps someone could point me in the right direction so I can research some specifics more?

    Thanks for letting me join the forums, I'm excited to learn many new things!
    Bonus Question: 
    What is the limit in audio quality when only using the computer? Would something like an HD800 ever show any potential on (good) computer equipment or is that strictly the domain of highly dedicated audio equipment?
  6. chowmein83
    Here are my answers to your questions, though I'm sure others will have different points of view:
    1.) You should get a better soundcard if your budget allows for it. I mean, the soundcard/source driving your headphones does matter, but by far the biggest difference to sound quality comes from the headphones you hear. To me, there is definitely a difference between onboard sound and an actual decent source even at the level of the FiiO E17 for me to justify spending a decent amount of money to get an upgrade, but it really depends on the person.
    2.) If you get a desktop PC sound card like the Asus Essence STX, you won't really need an extra amp. As far as I have heard, the headphone amp in that is both powerful (more than enough to power the HD598, which really is quite efficient) and is of good quality. If by "sound card" you also mean other audio sources not limited to something that resides within your PC, I'd also recommend the FiiO X3 2nd gen and FiiO X5 2nd gen. You can plug those into your PC as essentially a USB sound card, and they can also work as portable music players away from the PC. They also sound very good too for the price.
    As for the bonus question:
    I would say that something like the HD800 wouldn't really be very close to showing its full potential purely on onboard audio. It'll still sound halfway decent and better than a lot of other headphones, but give it a better DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) and a better amp and it'll really sing. Again, the headphones make the biggest difference, but the DAC and amp can improve the sound of your headphone too (but of course, to a more limited extent than switching between headphones).
    dominik78 likes this.
  7. dominik78
    Thank you very much!
    That helps me prioritize. I will start by researching good sound cards. Once I have that sorted I'll see if I still need anything beyond that to make the headphones come alive or perhaps for portability!
    I'll scour the forums now. Earlier I was looking at reviews of the HT Omega Claro on NewEgg. It seems to be quite popular. The highest rated sound card on amazon (with more than 50 reviews) seems to be the Creative Sound Blaster Z, specifically not the Zx because there are reports of the Audio Control Module affecting the sounds quality.
    Lots to learn!
  8. ronnel0918
    That black HD 598SE looks really good! [​IMG]
    Anyway, just wondering if there's a big gap between the HD 598 and HD 600? The HD 600, as I have read, is highly scalable. How about the HD 598?
    Not that I am about to spend a ginormous amount of money for a DAC/Amp.
    I might use an iBasso D14 if ever. I don't think the HD 600 is sounding its full potential on that DAC/Amp based on the reviews I have read...
  9. donunus
    get a schiit Bifrost multibit and a Valhalla2 and you will be set. Those will be awesome with all the high impedance cans. With the hd598 however, I would get something thats good for lower impedances. An asgard2 will do the trick for example.
  10. Arniesb
    I have HD650 (similar to HD600) and had HD598. HD650 is better than HD598 in every front except HD598 have much better soundstage. I expect HD 650 to lead even more when i whould buy Beyerdynamic A20.... By the way, does anyone have Walhalla 2 and A20 to compare?, even thou i whould buy A20, but it is interesting for me:).
  11. ganzosrevenge
    I have the HD598 and I love it for its soundspace, but I cannot stand the lack of bass it has.  At first I figured it was just "the headphone."  But then I bought a Moon Audio Blue Dragon, and i began to dig deeper.  What I found was that the amount of resistance in the stock cable is about 100 to 150x higher than the M-A cable when I looked at the wire gauge (40 to 46 AWG) of the stock cable vs the 24AWG.  It was about 20ohm for the stock cable vs. about 1/8 ohm for the upgrade.  That may explain why everything was a) louder, b) clearer, and c) I found more bass. 
    As for the 598s themselves, I love them.  Fit nicely, open, big soundstage, and $100 on an Amazon flash sale!
  12. AudioNoob
    I know that the cable is four pole TRRS at the headphone end, but from the photos that people share it seems like the jack in the headphones has three solder points, ie. TRS. Can someone double check this for me? 
  13. Bansaku
     Yes, the plug for the headphones (2.55mm) is TRRS, and the 3.5mm is TRS. So what is your question/worry?
  14. AudioNoob
    I mean the jack in the headphones, as in literally in the headphone cup soldered onto the pcb, the one that the 2.5mm plug goes into, not the 3.5mm plug on the source side.
  15. Bansaku

    Yes, the 2.5mm plug that goes into the headphones is TRRS, however any TRS (standard 2.5mm) plug, assuming it is slim enough or specially grooved for the HD5X8, will work just fine.
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