Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread
Nov 25, 2016 at 12:28 PM Post #6,692 of 7,528

MWSVette

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 7, 2014
Posts
2,056
Likes
2,301
Location
Orlando, FL
Well those are your opinions based on what others have said. Check back when you have actually heard them.

I would second that comment.   This hobby is all about personal preference.  What do you like and what you do not.
 
I have been told by others many times, you'll like this headphone or dislike that one and have the exact opposite experience when I try them myself.
 
Reviews are great for impressions but there is nothing like hearing them in person...
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 12:50 PM Post #6,693 of 7,528

trivium911

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Posts
562
Likes
127
Location
Canada
  I would second that comment.   This hobby is all about personal preference.  What do you like and what you do not.
 
I have been told by others many times, you'll like this headphone or dislike that one and have the exact opposite experience when I try them myself.
 
Reviews are great for impressions but there is nothing like hearing them in person...

Not trying to step on anyone's toes just simply extrapolated some information from some of the reviews that i read so head-fiers can make informed decisions since there are so few refutable reviews on these. My biggest problem with the amazon reviews is it looks like majority of them are done by average consumers that are getting high priced headphones for 1/3 the listed price, so im sure if the consumers are buying perceived high end products they are more likely to like the sound. Just look at Bose, people love them because they have high prices and have a great name...mostly in due to marketing and again the fact that most people wont know the difference and if they think they are supposed to sound good they will believe it.   
 
I for one would love to try these since i love the original 598's, but i probably wont be buying them this exact minute because there are few reviews and little information other than average consumers going crazy on amazon and other sites. We all know there is nothing worse than spending even as little as $50 on a product we dont like, because how the product was advertised does not necessarily depict how it performs. Not to bash senn as we know they make some great products, but very few companies care about their consumers, Fiio for example are an excellent company. HEAD-FI has helped make Fiio what they are today in north america, they are why im so invested in Fiio and i am very much appreciative of this forum and its community as we all are for helping make those informed purchase decisions. 
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 1:04 PM Post #6,694 of 7,528

MWSVette

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 7, 2014
Posts
2,056
Likes
2,301
Location
Orlando, FL
  Not trying to step on anyone's toes just simply extrapolated some information from some of the reviews that i read so head-fiers can make informed decisions since there are so few refutable reviews on these. My biggest problem with the amazon reviews is it looks like majority of them are done by average consumers that are getting high priced headphones for 1/3 the listed price, so im sure if the consumers are buying perceived high end products they are more likely to like the sound. Just look at Bose, people love them because they have high prices and have a great name...mostly in due to marketing and again the fact that most people wont know the difference and if they think they are supposed to sound good they will believe it.   
 
I for one would love to try these since i love the original 598's, but i probably wont be buying them this exact minute because there are few reviews and little information other than average consumers going crazy on amazon and other sites. We all know there is nothing worse than spending even as little as $50 on a product we dont like, because how the product was advertised does not necessarily depict how it performs.  

I fully agree.  That is why parroting what has been written or said by others may not be very helpful for others trying to make informed decisions.
 
If you do buy them, please come back and let us know your impressions.  When I receive my HD598Cs on Sunday I will compare them to the original HD598 and let you know I think...
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 1:10 PM Post #6,695 of 7,528

CoffeeCutie

Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Posts
70
Likes
39
Location
New England
My impression of the SE (all black version, ? difference in manufacturing) was not great. Airy, but lacked weight and resolution.   I found going up to the hd-600 was a revelation while staying in the Senn arena, coupled with a e12 or little dot mk-ii and voskhod tubes.   I found my 6 month time with the 598se's was also kind of frustrating, because they were too sensitive for big amps, but always sounded starved/not 100%.  They distorted at greater volumes, or songs with a large amount of low end rumble.
 
confused_face_2.gif

my .02.
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 1:18 PM Post #6,696 of 7,528

Tuneslover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Posts
1,859
Likes
843
Location
SW Ontario, Canada
Not trying to step on anyone's toes just simply extrapolated some information from some of the reviews that i read so head-fiers can make informed decisions since there are so few refutable reviews on these. My biggest problem with the amazon reviews is it looks like majority of them are done by average consumers that are getting high priced headphones for 1/3 the listed price, so im sure if the consumers are buying perceived high end products they are more likely to like the sound. Just look at Bose, people love them because they have high prices and have a great name...mostly in due to marketing and again the fact that most people wont know the difference and if they think they are supposed to sound good they will believe it.   

I for one would love to try these since i love the original 598's, but i probably wont be buying them this exact minute because there are few reviews and little information other than average consumers going crazy on amazon and other sites. We all know there is nothing worse than spending even as little as $50 on a product we dont like, because how the product was advertised does not necessarily depict how it performs.  

Fair enough.

I bought the 598SE at last year's Black Friday sale. I didn't really need another pair of open headphones but the price was just too good to pass up. I figured if I didn't care for them I would just sell them. After I received them I burned them in for 3 or so days periodically taking brief listens. I wasn't expecting anything revelatory but to my surprise they sounded quite good, better than expected. Nothing like my HD650'S but they turned out to be a fun headphone nevertheless.

I couldn't really understand why so many head-fi enthusiasts knocked them for a lack of bass and piercing highs because my particular pair had very nice bass and for most music the highs were acceptable. They are very comfortable and only cost me $125 Canadian, shipping and tax included.

This year I was in the market for a pair of closed back headphones for bedside listening and had hoped that the Beyerdynamic DT770 250 ohm would go on sale. They were listed for a very good price of $170 Canadian for a week or so but to my surprise jumped back up to $250 on Black Friday. However the 598CS were featured so I thought why not. Again if after a brief burn in they aren't what I expected then I'll simply sell them. I'm keeping an open mind (open ears?) but I'm making my decision on my actual experience with them, period.
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 8:09 PM Post #6,697 of 7,528

trivium911

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Posts
562
Likes
127
Location
Canada
  My impression of the SE (all black version, ? difference in manufacturing) was not great. Airy, but lacked weight and resolution.   I found going up to the hd-600 was a revelation while staying in the Senn arena, coupled with a e12 or little dot mk-ii and voskhod tubes.   I found my 6 month time with the 598se's was also kind of frustrating, because they were too sensitive for big amps, but always sounded starved/not 100%.  They distorted at greater volumes, or songs with a large amount of low end rumble.
 
confused_face_2.gif

my .02.

I used mine with the O2 amp on low gain, works well but on high gain there was hissing so i know what you mean. Never heard the 600's but its on my long term list to buy one day. Also i agree with the low end rumble getting distorted but only noticed this on bass heavy music on high volume
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 8:46 PM Post #6,698 of 7,528

erich6

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Posts
402
Likes
189
Hey gang, this morning I saw this deal and was not sure if I should jump on it given the lack of extensive reviews on this unit.  However, I'm looking for a  good over-ear closed-back pair of headphones and was leaning towards the Meze 99 classics or the new Bowers & Wilkins P7 (wireless) to get a bit of extra bass but good quality throughout the spectrum...but the HD 598 CS at $99 was too much to pass so I decided to go for it and give them a try (this would also be my first Senn). 
 
Amazon delivered on the same day and I just auditioned these straight out of my iPhone 6s and also from my computer's soundcard through FiiO E12 with bass boost.  I know burn-in usually helps but I think first impressions are usually 90% accurate so here the are:
 
Pro's:
 
+ Transparency: these headphones have good response across the spectrum.  The mids are a bit emphasized though.
+ Speed: they seem to have very good response through transients. Tones decay quickly.
+ Comfort: the pads, the headband, the clamp...all is just right for me.  I think could listen to these for hours continuously.
+ Build quality:  seems very well put together; I can see these lasting a long time.
+ Cables: the cables are removable and of good quality.
+ Efficient: easy to drive without an amp; plenty loud.
 
Con's:
 
- Bass: the bass is there but you have to bring it out with EQ or with an amp's bass boost.  Even then, the bass seems to lack that richness you get from something like Onkyo's H500BT and definitely below the B&W P7W.
- Soundstage: way too narrow even for a closed-back.  Even my Onkyo E700BT IEMs have better soundstage...I would say twice as good as the HD 598.  That's also true of my Onkyo H500BT and certainly true against what I remember from my in-store audition of the B&W P7W.
 
The con's are too much for me so I'm sending them back to Amazon.  I jumped on the 99 classics Black Friday sale at Meze and will see if they answer the mail.
 
Hope this helps
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 9:17 PM Post #6,699 of 7,528

Denon2010

Formerly known as Denon5220
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Posts
528
Likes
55
OMG I just bought these but had no clue the sound stage was so bad What your review has me wondering if to cancel the order. LOL
 
I am reading the sub bass is bad? What so what the hell is even the point of it being closed back? I don't care about sound leakage I piss off everyone around me at will for all I care. If I am buying closed back I want sub bass, else enduring the heat and torture from closed is pointless.
 
Time to cancel this order. Hopefully Monday will have a better deal
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 9:25 PM Post #6,700 of 7,528

Denon2010

Formerly known as Denon5220
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Posts
528
Likes
55
ok after reading reviews here I went ahead and canceled my 598cs order on Amazon. Seriously even for $99 I am not buying a closed back in this hot humid country if I am not getting sub bass. This sorts of defeat the whole point I might aswell buy a open back and enjoy all the comfortable breathable experience.
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 10:37 PM Post #6,701 of 7,528

Shane D

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Posts
4,309
Likes
4,765
Location
Halifax, NS
For $109.00 (in Canada), I think I am going to give them a try.

Shane D
 
Nov 25, 2016 at 10:56 PM Post #6,702 of 7,528

bwelch42

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Posts
5
Likes
11
I just ordered a pair from Amazon.  From all the reviews, it looks like they should be a step up from my old HD497s.  They may need an amp and  I need to figure out what dac / amp would be appropriate, but that's okay.  Worst case, they get sent back to Amazon.
 
Nov 26, 2016 at 4:29 AM Post #6,705 of 7,528

LazyListener

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 30, 2015
Posts
924
Likes
300
  Hi LazyListener,
 
I share your enthusiasm for the polite treble of the 598.  And I'd say that "veiled" is probably a derogatory misnomer for such a resolving headphone.  "Dark" is more like it.  In my opinion, what makes the top end of the 598 so great isn't the fact that it's attenuated...it's the smoothness!  Not even the HD 800 has such smooth treble in the key range between 1kHz and 10kHz.  Boosting that region precisely with EQ brings it up to the level presented by the original recording, and it's still non-fatiguing, but a little more "in your face."  Less distant.
 
I listen to my 598 from three sources:
1) Mac through an Echo AudioFire 2 (a 24 bit audio recording interface with built-in headphone amp).
2) Rockboxed iPod Video 5.5 gen (Wolfson DAC inside)
3) Rockboxed xDuoo X3 (Cirrus Logic DAC inside)
 
They all have a different sound, but not differences in frequency response...aren't all DACs supposed to be razor flat?  I hear differences in timbre, control, and speed.  Briefly, I'd say that my Mac setup is the most neutral and energetic, with the iPod sounding fuller, but also a bit muddy, with lousy bass control, and finally the X3 is the most clinical of the bunch, with tight bass and insane speed and detail, but a little thin sounding overall.  The custom EQ settings I've created make all three sources sound more lifelike and enjoyable.
 
Lazy, what gear has had good synergy with the 598 for you?
 
Anybody out there who wants a more natural frequency response from their HD 598, including more treble presence and bass impact, check out the custom EQ settings I've come up with for these headphones.  I really want to hear what others think, too!
http://www.head-fi.org/t/826473/custom-eq-for-sennheiser-hd-598-lifting-the-veil-cfg-files-included


I don't know that veiled or dark are appropriate terms for the 598, as they do have some boosted treble to my ear.  To me they sound a bit warm/dark in the low mids and somewhat bright in the mid-treble region.  Overall, a relaxed, laid-back, and yes, a bit distant sound.  Definitely not in your face or forward sounding.
 
Please define what treble "smoothness" means to you.  To me, it means full and realistic, lacking edginess or grain.  For many, it means a flat response or a rolled off treble.  I don't know about boosting the treble between 1 and 10 kHz, as the 598 has been measured by multiple sources and shown to have peaks around 5 and 8 kHz.
 
Regarding differences in sound and frequency response of DAC/Amps, I'm no expert, I just know that they can have a very noticeable difference in the tonal balance (frequency response) of the headphones once mated to them (not testing FR of DACs by themselves).  Maybe something to do with varying impedance at different frequencies.  I don't know.  I just know what I can hear.  And from the few portable DAC/Amps I tried, there were very noticeable differences in sound.  Audioengine D3 sounds warm and bassy.  Audioquest Dragonfly v 1.2 sounds neutral with a touch of brightness.  Ibasso D-Zero MKII sounds quite bright with its built-in DAC, but fairly neutral when used with my iphone 6.  Meridian Explorer sounds fairly neutral, maybe just slightly warm.  Fiio e10k sounds fairly neutral.  This is when listening with the 598s, which of course, are not a reference can with dead-flat frequency response, but relative comparisons can still be made.
 
For me, the best synergy with the 598 come with the AQ Dragonfly 1.2 and the Fiio e10k with bass boost on.  The DF 1.2 can sound a bit bright on some songs (although the treble is very smooth), and is a bit lacking in the bass punch, but has excellent detail resolution and a very open, spacious sound.  The e10K lacks the DF's smoothness, resolution, detail, spaciousness, and somewhat more refined sound, but it's a bit more fun to listen to with the bass boost while also easing up on slightly bright treble that can plague the DF on some songs.
 
Thanks for link to custom EQ settings.  I use EqualizerAPO on my laptop, so I'll check them out when I get a chance.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top