Sennheiser HD 598 Impressions Thread
Nov 28, 2016 at 4:43 AM Post #6,751 of 7,528

GoodBoy

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Regarding 598CS bad amazon reviews after black friday deal... Went to 598SE amazon product page, scrolled back to november 2015 reviews, where these were offered for 99$ at the time. Guess what? A plethora of one-three star reviews trashing 598SE! I believe there's a logic in this :)
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 4:45 AM Post #6,752 of 7,528

Blurry

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  Regarding 598CS bad amazon reviews after black friday deal... Went to 598SE amazon product page, scrolled back to november 2015 reviews, where these were offered for 99$ at the time. Guess what? A plethora of one-three star reviews trashing 598SE! I believe there's a logic in this :)

 
Great investigative mind! You happen to have the link for the lazy?
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 4:52 AM Post #6,753 of 7,528

Shawn71

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Regarding 598CS bad amazon reviews after black friday deal... Went to 598SE amazon product page, scrolled back to november 2015 reviews, where these were offered for 99$ at the time. Guess what? A plethora of one-three star reviews trashing 598SE! I believe there's a logic in this :)


So that logic you meant was the people's reviews at amazon?......or its about the HP themselves?like CS too didnt take off as SE?:confused_face_2:
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 4:55 AM Post #6,754 of 7,528

GoodBoy

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Great investigative mind! You happen to have the link for the lazy?

Sure thing, it starts around here this is the time people begun receiving black friday deal https://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-598-Over-Ear-Headphones/product-reviews/B0126HISOO/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_paging_btm_122?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=recent&pageNumber=122
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 5:01 AM Post #6,755 of 7,528

GoodBoy

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So that logic you meant was the people's reviews at amazon?......or its about the HP themselves?like CS too didnt take off as SE?
confused_face_2.gif

No, the logic is whenever amazon offers big deals many people snaps them just for the sake of it, without really knowing what they're getting. Then those people post negative reviews because they thought they would get something more average consumer friendly, which 598SE definetly isn't.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 5:10 AM Post #6,756 of 7,528

Spider fan

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Whats worse is most of the 1 stars were people thinking they were fake because they Sennheiser product verifier website wasnt showing them as real because the database hadnt updated for the special edition.  Most of the rest were people complaining other people could hear the music they were listening to.  Alot of the black friday buyers are clueless.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 5:22 AM Post #6,757 of 7,528

GoodBoy

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  Alot of the black friday buyers are clueless.

This + most of them probably don't have amps, much needed with cans like 598SE, which doesn't show full potential when pluged to smartphones. When we look at the current reviews, from people who bought them for 150-200$, there's basically no one posting 1-3star review. Reason being there's much less random clueless buyers at the ~200$ price range, so the people who got them for MSRP or much less dicounted price compared to black fridey new exactly what HD598SE can offer, posses amps, read reviews on such forums like head-fi etc. I foresee same thing will happen to 598CS amazon reviews.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 7:14 AM Post #6,758 of 7,528

MRK1

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The main issue with the 598 is that despite what many say the sound is not balanced but it's skewed towards the mids and highs. The bass is lacking, there's no way around it. I'm not even a basshead but even I found the bass unbearably weak on the open 598,and still pretty weak on the new model. Then there's the morons who complain about sound leak but you should disregard them completely.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 8:23 AM Post #6,759 of 7,528

Blurry

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Whats worse is most of the 1 stars were people thinking they were fake because they Sennheiser product verifier website wasnt showing them as real because the database hadnt updated for the special edition.  Most of the rest were people complaining other people could hear the music they were listening to.  Alot of the black friday buyers are clueless.


Omg, my open backs are leaking sound and no isolation.

I chuckled
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 11:12 AM Post #6,760 of 7,528

Denon2010

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You ordered headphones that you wanted, read something bad that someone said about them, and cancelled the order?  Now you're hoping they go on sale so you can buy them again?  There is a lesson here somewhere
normal_smile%20.gif
.
 
If you're looking for a HD598-type signature in a closed headphone then the HD598CS look interesting.  I won't comment on them too much as I haven't held them in my hand; just to say from the specsheet it looks like the Sennheiser development team were tasked with creating a similar, cheaper to produce (poorer materials) headphone than the HD598.  That is fine of course, but not when the original often goes on sale at the same price.

 
Yeah unfortunately I should not have canceled them. I assumed the guy was a pro and knew what he was saying when he said it has no bass or sound stage.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 3:23 PM Post #6,761 of 7,528

erich6

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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

 
I truly am sorry if there was anything I did that would imply I am a "pro" because I am not.  That said, I stand by my initial impressions (I bolded the statement above saying these were "initial" and "impressions" and not the result of a rigorous test). The base and soundstage were lacking to my tastes and I commented as such.  Several others have noted the same so I'm not alone in that opinion.  Also, to be extra clear, this applies to the HD 598 Cs (closed back) only.  It seems others are confusing the specs with the special edition open-back version.  The Cs is highly efficient and doesn't need a high power amp to be driven effectively.
 
Yesterday I was listening to Nina Simone and thought the sound signature of these HPs might be good for those tracks (can't overemphasize her vocals enough imo!) and gave them another try.  After about 10 hours the bass seems to have woken up...quite a dramatic change, more than I've heard change in a headphone burn-in before.  It's still not as rich as I'd like nor as rich as other headphones that run only a bit higher cost than these but better than they were out of the box.  The soundstage opened up a bit...but again, not as much as I'd like or I can get from other headphones.  It's narrow enough that in some tracks it sounds congested to me.  Most tracks sound fine though even if not as spacious as I'd like.  The mids have pulled back a bit.
 
Another note, not sure if it is the sensitivity/low impedance but these phones seem to be very sensitive to the source driving them.  They sound best (to me) coming directly from my iPhone 6s.  My laptop with dolby driver sounds too dark/muddy where with my SHP9500 it sounds great.  My FiiO E12, which drive my SHP9500 very well, makes it too boomy/dark. 
 
Finally, it's possible I just have an "iffy" production unit.
 
I'm still thinking about returning them but I'm going to let them burn-in some more to see if they change further.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 6:19 PM Post #6,762 of 7,528

KopaneDePooj

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Very polarizing opinions which prove for the 100th time that it's all about personal preference:
 
Quote:
The main issue with the 598 is that despite what many say the sound is not balanced but it's skewed towards the mids and highs. The bass is lacking, there's no way around it. I'm not even a basshead but even I found the bass unbearably weak on the open 598,and still pretty weak on the new model. Then there's the morons who complain about sound leak but you should disregard them completely.


vs
 
The only other headphones I think can really match these are my former AKG K550s. Those were the first headphones I ever really loved, and the ones (third in succession) that GUARANTEED my getting into Hi-Fi as much as I have. I feel the bass level on them is great, but I actually realize now they could use a BIT more bass like what the Cs offers. I had to use Bass Boost somewhat often with the K550s, but the Cs never needs it. There's actually a small number of tracks I have to EQ the bass DOWN for them to sound right. 

 
Nov 28, 2016 at 7:28 PM Post #6,764 of 7,528

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Quote:
 
 
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.

 
We all hear things differently, don't we?  To me, the open-backed 598 sounds exactly the way it looks in the measurement graphs I posted in my EQ thread (http://www.head-fi.org/t/826473/custom-eq-for-sennheiser-hd-598-lifting-the-veil-cfg-files-included)...which is to say, the low mids are louder than the upper mids and treble.  I think it's dark, but you are not the first person I've heard say otherwise.  For me, a smooth treble means a flat(ish) upper frequency response without much resonance.  A headphone with resonant peaks in the treble adds a metallic, "tizzy" signature to the sound.  The 598's treble, because of it's supremely flat frequency response, delivers accurate timbre.  So by smooth, I just mean natural, like you said.  The 598 does have a few tiny resonant peaks...the most significant of which occurs around 9000 kHz.  My EQ settings notch it out, while boosting the rest of the treble spectrum.

Thanks for your impressions of the DAC/Amps.  I've noticed that the my 598s have a tad more energy and control when powered by my desktop setup, likely because they don't quite get enough juice from my portable players.  Don't get me wrong, they sound very good without an amp too. But I'm interested in improving my portable listening experience, so I'm considering a Fiio or CMOY design to kick it up a notch.
 
By the way, for those of you who are mentioning disappointment with the 598's low bass, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the capabilities these drivers have to produce respectable bass impact with proper EQ or bass boost.  They can move some air!
 

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