Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread
May 29, 2016 at 3:14 PM Post #6,331 of 7,528

ElMarcado

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Mmm, poor drivers can't be considered High Fidelity though. Well implement Balanced Armature and Electrostatic drivers never distort, even when playing a 20 Hz sine wave at 120 dB SPL. The friendly and inviting tuning of the drivers is just an excuse. Sennheiser just goes the cheap way with the HD 598, meanwhile the HD 650 has a way better excursion factor. Why? Because they actually cared about it.
 
I'm not hating though. I had the HD 598, I liked it, but the distortion/poor excursion factor is a clear showcase of the cheapness of the drivers and its implementation. For $150, it is laughable and not acceptable at all.
 
May 29, 2016 at 3:42 PM Post #6,332 of 7,528

LazyListener

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  I have heard two pairs of hd598 SEs and can confirm that these are distorted at moderately loud volumes when the music has some powerful bass. They are great though. For the price I paid for them, I still can't think of another more musical pair of cans. Its just the power handling that these totally suck at. I've tried them out of an LHlabs GO1k, laptop jacks, ipads, iphones, a hegel integrated amp.... same thing, they distort at a point that is much lower in volume vs an hd650 thats for sure. I can make the hd650 pound hard before it cracks. Those are nuts! Except I like the tonality of the 598s more hmnmm


My 598 SE would distort at very high volume as well.  My Ivory 598 would hold up much better under high volume.
 
May 29, 2016 at 3:46 PM Post #6,333 of 7,528

LazyListener

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  Mmm, poor drivers can't be considered High Fidelity though. Well implement Balanced Armature and Electrostatic drivers never distort, even when playing a 20 Hz sine wave at 120 dB SPL. The friendly and inviting tuning of the drivers is just an excuse. Sennheiser just goes the cheap way with the HD 598, meanwhile the HD 650 has a way better excursion factor. Why? Because they actually cared about it.
 
I'm not hating though. I had the HD 598, I liked it, but the distortion/poor excursion factor is a clear showcase of the cheapness of the drivers and its implementation. For $150, it is laughable and not acceptable at all.


Fair enough, but how many people actually listen at such high volume for an extended period of time?  I can listen to my 598s at a volume high enough that it's almost painful without hearing distortion.  Once I cross into distortion territory, it's too damn loud too even be listenable.
 
May 29, 2016 at 6:23 PM Post #6,335 of 7,528

donunus

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Whats weird though is that the way these cans distort, they sound almost identical to loudness war album clipping and many times I have to turn down the volume to check if the distortion is on the recording/ mastering itself. Many times its actually the mastering. Example I have 2 versions of styx kilroy was here... the remastered one has some slight break up in sound while the original pressing is clean even when I turn it up. But play music like daft punk's get lucky and just turn it up a little and those drivers fart. daft punk has a little distortion on its own as well even at low volumes but with bassy recordings like this, its easier to tell whats coming from the music itself vs what's from the driver bottoming when the volume is turned up.
 
May 29, 2016 at 6:28 PM Post #6,336 of 7,528

donunus

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My 598 SE would distort at very high volume as well.  My Ivory 598 would hold up much better under high volume.


Just curious, have you ever asked sennheiser if this distortion is something that can be fixed by having drivers replaced? I mean they claim that these are identical to the beige ones except for the color so this should be covered under warranty right?
 
May 29, 2016 at 10:48 PM Post #6,337 of 7,528

Letmebefrank

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I must have a golden pair of 598SE as well because mine don't distort until way beyond comfortable levels and they also have plenty of bass. Listening to daft punks robot rock, cranking the volume I can almost feel my teeth rattling. The same with Purity Rings fineshrine. Listening to some 2112 in 24/192 and Geddys bass is almost tangible, like I can feel the strings against my ear. Maybe it's the Vali 2 imparting some tube warmth into the sound... I'm going back and forth with a jj e88cc gold pin and a electro harmonix 6922, they sound almost identical but I think the jj is a bit warmer.
 
May 29, 2016 at 11:25 PM Post #6,338 of 7,528

LazyListener

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Just curious, have you ever asked sennheiser if this distortion is something that can be fixed by having drivers replaced? I mean they claim that these are identical to the beige ones except for the color so this should be covered under warranty right?


No, I didn't.  I returned my SE pair because they never sounded pleasant to me, even at moderate volumes.  No distortion at moderate volume, but the tonality was off:  bass too weak and treble too bright.
 
May 29, 2016 at 11:29 PM Post #6,339 of 7,528

SirMarc

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I must have a golden pair of 598SE as well because mine don't distort until way beyond comfortable levels and they also have plenty of bass. Listening to daft punks robot rock, cranking the volume I can almost feel my teeth rattling. The same with Purity Rings fineshrine. Listening to some 2112 in 24/192 and Geddys bass is almost tangible, like I can feel the strings against my ear. Maybe it's the Vali 2 imparting some tube warmth into the sound... I'm going back and forth with a jj e88cc gold pin and a electro harmonix 6922, they sound almost identical but I think the jj is a bit warmer.

I'm in the same boat as you, I've listened very loud with bass heavy music with no issues either.
 
May 29, 2016 at 11:29 PM Post #6,340 of 7,528

LazyListener

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I must have a golden pair of 598SE as well because mine don't distort until way beyond comfortable levels and they also have plenty of bass. Listening to daft punks robot rock, cranking the volume I can almost feel my teeth rattling. The same with Purity Rings fineshrine. Listening to some 2112 in 24/192 and Geddys bass is almost tangible, like I can feel the strings against my ear. Maybe it's the Vali 2 imparting some tube warmth into the sound... I'm going back and forth with a jj e88cc gold pin and a electro harmonix 6922, they sound almost identical but I think the jj is a bit warmer.


Amps will make a difference.  When I compared a few portable USB DAC/AMPs, the Audioengine D3 rocked the bass, while others were more neutral in the bass.
 
May 30, 2016 at 12:03 AM Post #6,341 of 7,528

VeggiePopper

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I must have a golden pair of 598SE as well because mine don't distort until way beyond comfortable levels and they also have plenty of bass. Listening to daft punks robot rock, cranking the volume I can almost feel my teeth rattling. The same with Purity Rings fineshrine. Listening to some 2112 in 24/192 and Geddys bass is almost tangible, like I can feel the strings against my ear. Maybe it's the Vali 2 imparting some tube warmth into the sound.


Same here. I have to listen REEAAALLY loud in order to hear some distortion with my HD 598 SE - also, no amps at all. Only going to painfuly, deafening levels I start to hear distortion, and I play them loud already. So either I got golden a SE or my ears are damaged to a point where I cannot discern the distortion anymore.
 
May 30, 2016 at 1:22 PM Post #6,344 of 7,528

Libertad

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listening to my wifes normal 598 on the chord mojo at high volumes i never hear distortion 
confused.gif
.....ever
 

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