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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. jaywillin
    just received my hd598se,  let the burn/break in begin
    i've heard the 598 before, and really liked them, i'd have come close to buying a couple of times, but i hated the look, and when i did find a price i really liked, i just never pulled the trigger 
    for whatever reason, now i'm glad i waited, for $95, they are a steal
  2. drgnfrc13
    I received my HD 598SE a few hours ago, and have been listening to them since I unpackaged them.

    Very first impression: these feel cheap. The plastic does not feel up to the same quality as my Shure SRH840 or my Audio Technica M50's.

    Comfort: Despite the cheap-feeling plastic, these are actually my second most comfortable pair of headphones (only matched/exceeded by my Philips Fidelio X2, by a very small margin). They are incredibly light weight and fit very well, with just enough clamping force to stay in place, while being loose enough that you could easily forget it's even there. The headband actually does feel very nice, and it is very well cushioned, not that you need that much cushioning for such lightweight headphones, anyway.

    Sound: For the $94 I paid, these sound absolutely amazing. At the current price of $170, I'd say it depends on your preference. If you're looking for bass, you won't find it here. All of the other headphones I currently own have a bass hump, to varying degrees, so it took a little while for me to get used to this sound signature. The main emphasis for these headphones seems to be in the mids/upper mids, making them excellent for vocals and acoustic music (for these particular genres, I'm inclined to say that they even sound better than the Philips X2). They do not completely lack bass; it is there when you need it in genres like pop and some R&B, but for genres like EDM, metal, and hip hop, they will not sound as engaging or as heavy as you might wish them to (at least not without some EQ'ing). The detail that these cans bring out is very impressive, even around the $200 price point, and instrument separation is also quite good (much better, I'd say, than my Shure SRH840 or my Audio-Technica M50). I tested these with Aloe Black and Whitney Houston, and with both the male and female vocals, they were able to make the vocals stand out with much more clarity than the X2. Likewise, when I listened to Nickel Creek (a progressive bluegrass/acoustic pop band), I noticed that acoustic guitar, violin, and mandolin sounded much more clear and crisp than what I'm used to hearing. It was a very pleasing listening experience, to say the least. 

    Overall impression: These are not a "jack of all trades" type of headphone, in my opinion, but for vocals, acoustic instruments, classic rock, alternative rock, pop punk, and some alternative music, they perform far beyond their price point. Overall, an extremely good value.

    Note: I've only listened to these on my home setup: 2013 Macbook Air > JDS Labs ODAC > FiiO E9. I can't comment yet on how they sound unamped vs. amped.
  3. willy156
    how about pop?
    I alsoo listen to JRock, Jpop 
  4. drgnfrc13
    These get along very well with most pop. 
  5. Arunabha Lahiri

    A very very good and detailed first impression. And it is more helpful since you mentioned the source too. I mostly listen to instrumental, classical and acoustic, so I believe these will be fine for me. I am waiting for mine to arrive. I will get mine by Wednesday..
  6. arandomguy
    Just some concerns regarding the HD598 and movies and gaming (primary usage).
    I might be overthinking this but I bought the HD598 in the recent round of Amazon headphone deals but I'm concerned over the bass as it pertains to movies/gaming (really only my only usage at home). The HD558 is currently available for the exact same price. This is going to be my first headphones up from using KSC75s for the last 5 years+. $100 is probably not a lot for the enthusiasts on here but I'd consider it a very large expenditure for something like this and hope I can get it right.
    For me I'd classify movies and gaming as the same experience since I only do the latter for enjoyment and not competitiveness.
    While its has many positive aspects, especially sound stage, making it praised for movies/gaming there also seems to be a lot of differing opinions on bass (or lack thereof) especially compared to closed options like the ATH m50x or V-moda crossfade LP2 m100 (although both $50 more expensive) make them much better choices for movies and gaming. Or even that the HD558 or HD518 would be a better choice for gaming/movies due to the higher bass.
    Yet I'm also seeing opinions like this -
  7. ronnel0918
    Anyone tried the SE 598SE with FiiO Q1 or even the FiiO E10K? How's the synergy?
  8. EdenElectronics

    If you need a cheap movie/gaming version of the 598 (which I love more than 650 or any other I have owned) the Takstar hi2050 is $38 at gearbest. I personally haven't tried them, but the reviews are great. Another would be the superlux 668b, or the Gemini / HSR1000 as It is the kingston hyper x gaming headset minus the mic, all at or below 50 bucks
  9. vonseux
    I'm double posting this from the "$95 black friday" thread, sorry for that. I think is more appropriate being here.
    Just got it this morning; Packaging is VERY basic, not a single paper inside. no transparent window like the "normal" edition.
    I made a quick test with it and listened to a few tracks, all on CD or unconpressed Flac on my Denon-M40
    I could only go halfway on volume because it had big sound pressure; the system has a phone amp. There's also a low-frequency booster. I listened to all songs on flat first.
    Overall the phones are on the mid-trebble side, nevertheless the lows will rock your head if the song has it.
    Old Man by Neil Young (pono remaster): great stage and separation as always wth this track. The guitar's strings vibration on this are a neat detail. Tough a "little" white noise / hum is noticeable.
    Watcher of the Skies by Genesis: I was annoyed by white noise / hum specially on the intro I didn't noticed with my speakers before.. Don't know if this is on every version of this record, but I know it was annalog recording so I tried some modern tunes as well.
    Barrel of a Gun by Depeche mode: clean digital sound, deep bass, it just sounds good. Beats have big punch. This is an excellent track to test the low end of any system :wink:
    Secret Society by Europe: that's a hard track to drive, I used this on purpose, to my surprise the HD598 does an incredible job with it, every instrument sits on it's place, you can evel tell the guitar is being double-channelled (a trick to make it sound heavier). The bass guitar sits on the back but it's clear, when I pushed the bass booster it came right into the front of the stage and wrecked the hall. There's a silent break at this song, it's awesome seing how the sound reconstructs from there. I recommend this track if you're testing any setup :wink:
    Rattle That Lock by David Gilmour: crystal clear, perfect, ballanced, special effects flying arround, it seems like the music was made specially for these phones. It actually sounded better than with my speakers.
    Whiplash by Don Ellis: I really love the sound of the eletric bass on this track, being a bass guitar equilized on mid-high and w/ slighty distortion, instead of low-end acoustic bass, it just sound awesome with this phones specially when the performer makes pulls. It sounds clear and confortable with high volume, the bass boost also does a big job here, but i preffer the flat sound.
    that's it, just first impressions straight out of the box  :wink:
  10. drgnfrc13
    ***Reposted due to technical issues***
  11. waleh
    Hello everyone! I picked these headphones up on black Friday for $109.99 CAD (Black special edition version). These are my first higher end headphones and I was wondering where can I find a headphone stand for these at a reasonable price? My banana stand does not fit these. Also, where should I be looking for some burn-in tracks? Thanks!
  12. Arunabha Lahiri

    I am also kinda in a situation like yours. I was researching for my first pair of headphones. But where I live I have no way to audition one. So I was relying on reviews mainly. Anyway a good guy here in head fi recommended me the Sony mdr100aap. And the way they talk as if they are the absolute bang for buck. Anyway as time passes by some criticism too came into picture especially comparison between some really good pairs in the similar price range. Mainly from m50x and beyerdynamic t51p. At that point I became very confused and decided buying the koss ksc75. Then this deal and went along with the HD 598. Though Amazon didn't cancel my koss's order. I will probably give them to my sis as Christmas present.

    For gaming I would say HD 598 is s safe bet. As it's an open back with a very wide soundstage. Closed back headphones wouldn't fare this well in this department.

    HD 598 is by no means a jack of all trades headphones. Metals and heavy rock and electronic will sound better on other headphones. The same can be said for movies as well.
  13. drgnfrc13
    I think​ some personal preference comes into play here, though I can't explain where the perception of "powerful, big, and loud" bass is coming from with these headphones... I personally don't like bloated bass when I'm gaming or watching movies, I just find it distracting.

    Your preferences might differ from mine, but I wouldn't recommend the m50x for gaming or movies, personally. I think the m50/m50x is actually a bit overrated, as their rise to fame was mainly as an alternative to Beats, and they are well suited for the same kind of demographic. They are not bad (epecially for the $80 that I paid for mine), but they sound very forward and compressed, making them more ideal for electronic music, rap, etc. than anything else, in my opinion. For gaming and movies, you probably will want something with more of an open sound, even if it isn't actually an open-back headphone. I can't comment on the other headphones you've listed, but in the same price range, I like my SRH840 for watching movies. They still sound like closed headphones, but they sound much more clear and open than the m50's, but still have a fairly warm sound signature and good bass extension, offering all the bass you need for explosions and such. They're also a bit more comfortable to wear for 2+ hours (though some might find the head band a bit uncomfortable after a while).
  14. Letmebefrank
    Just got mine a bit ago and after a few hours of listening one thing is obvious; they are insanely comfortable! I normally have issues with headphones putting too much pressure on my jaw, but the clamping force on these is just enough to hold them on your head but its so spread out that it doesnt feel bad at all. They are much more comfortable than my ath-ad900x which put too much pressure below my ears on my jaw. and having an actual headband instead of those awful 3D wings is like heaven. Sound quality wise... its really hard to compare these two because they sound so different. They both sound amazing though. Overall I am extremely satisfied with these headphones, especially for $95!
  15. Bansaku
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