Sennheiser HD598 for Christmas...not impressed yet.
Dec 26, 2011 at 3:13 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 61

Virtuoso80

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As my flagship Christmas gift this year, I got a new pair of Sennheiser HD598's. I've been listening to them sporadically while letting them run for some break-in; perhaps about 8 hours worth at this point at moderate volume. How much more improvement can I expect vs. what I hear so far? Because really I'm not particularly impressed yet.
 
My main listening headphone before this has been a pair of Grado SR-80's. Bass extension is deeper on the Senn, but the bass so far feels flabby, sporadic, and indistinct. Sound in general is a bit thin and not 'rounded', instruments aren't highly separated, and highs are dull. I know the Grado are a bright headphone, so I was expecting something mellower. But after listening to a few classical pieces, expecting some impressive improvements in atmosphere, I haven't gotten them yet, and I'm starting to worry.
 
I currently listen through an MBox2, which is connected via USB to the computer CD player. I was planning on investing in a headphone amp, but the volume levels of the Senn are just about the same as the Grado at the same settings, so they don't seem particularly hard to drive. So what's the deal? Do they just need more time to break-in, do I need an equipment upgrade, or were my expectations simply too high? (My second choice were a pair of Fischer Audio FA-003's, and I'm seriously considering doing a swap/return if the Senns don't improve.)
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 3:23 AM Post #2 of 61

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
As my flagship Christmas gift this year, I got a new pair of Sennheiser HD598's. I've been listening to them sporadically while letting them run for some break-in; perhaps about 8 hours worth at this point at moderate volume. How much more improvement can I expect vs. what I hear so far? Because really I'm not particularly impressed yet.
My main listening headphone before this has been a pair of Grado SR-80's. Bass extension is deeper on the Senn, but the bass so far feels flabby, sporadic, and indistinct. Sound in general is a bit thin and not 'rounded', instruments aren't highly separated, and highs are dull. I know the Grado are a bright headphone, so I was expecting something mellower. But after listening to a few classical pieces, expecting some impressive improvements in atmosphere, I haven't gotten them yet, and I'm starting to worry.
I currently listen through an MBox2, which is connected via USB to the computer CD player. I was planning on investing in a headphone amp, but the volume levels of the Senn are just about the same as the Grado at the same settings, so they don't seem particularly hard to drive. So what's the deal? Do they just need more time to break-in, do I need an equipment upgrade, or were my expectations simply too high? (My second choice were a pair of Fischer Audio FA-003's, and I'm seriously considering doing a swap/return if the Senns don't improve.)

My dumb brain is try to figure something out.
"Connected via USB to the computers CD player", should it not be connected to the computer's USB port?
 
I believe like 50 hours with loud music is more of a break in period.
 
 
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 3:58 AM Post #4 of 61

Dubstep Girl

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they should improve with burn in.
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 5:04 AM Post #6 of 61
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I'm in the "If you don't like it now, they're not going to transform into something you will like". This burn in mythos is severely blown out of proportion. Burn in might slightly improve certain aspects of the sound, but if you believe its gonna make it, all the sudden, an awesome can... good luck with that.

I didn't particularly like the HD598 myself. Its well balanced, but nothing about it is exciting. Boring, actually. Great can for analytical purposes (gaming), but otherwise, I'd take my chances on the Fischers.
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 5:09 AM Post #7 of 61

Dubstep Girl

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i love my hd 650s for gaming,
 
whats funny is that even though they're not gaming headphones, and while hd 650s aren't well known for soundstage, i can easily tell where someones shooting from, where people are moving, almost like a surround headphone. its crazy good. 
 
i used an optical cable to connect to my xbox 360 and then it went to my dac and amp 
biggrin.gif

 
Dec 26, 2011 at 5:32 AM Post #8 of 61

Digital-Pride

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Virtuoso, the HD598 does sound a bit flat a first, but the bass and overall sound improves a bit with burn-in.  The core issue is the HD598 is not a bass heavy headphone as it is a bit more mid-centric.  The sound may seem thin at first, but with further listening you'll notice that the bass has excellent control, articulation and punch.  Every bass line that is needed is there, it's just not as emphasized as other headphones.  I would recommend investing in a quality headphone amp and DAC combo to really bring out the HD598's sonic potential.  Something like Fiio's E10 would be a great place to start.
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:27 AM Post #9 of 61

apk878

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Camron is that you? Sorry bro I really thought they were going to be good, I almost bought them myself.

If not, you can guess what happened. I recommended the 598's, we listened to them last night and felt that the m50's sounded better.. but were waaay less comfortable and the soundstage was better on the 598's.. but he seemed optimistic about the breakin, hopefully it's not you.
Quote:
As my flagship Christmas gift this year, I got a new pair of Sennheiser HD598's. I've been listening to them sporadically while letting them run for some break-in; perhaps about 8 hours worth at this point at moderate volume. How much more improvement can I expect vs. what I hear so far? Because really I'm not particularly impressed yet.
 
My main listening headphone before this has been a pair of Grado SR-80's. Bass extension is deeper on the Senn, but the bass so far feels flabby, sporadic, and indistinct. Sound in general is a bit thin and not 'rounded', instruments aren't highly separated, and highs are dull. I know the Grado are a bright headphone, so I was expecting something mellower. But after listening to a few classical pieces, expecting some impressive improvements in atmosphere, I haven't gotten them yet, and I'm starting to worry.
 
I currently listen through an MBox2, which is connected via USB to the computer CD player. I was planning on investing in a headphone amp, but the volume levels of the Senn are just about the same as the Grado at the same settings, so they don't seem particularly hard to drive. So what's the deal? Do they just need more time to break-in, do I need an equipment upgrade, or were my expectations simply too high? (My second choice were a pair of Fischer Audio FA-003's, and I'm seriously considering doing a swap/return if the Senns don't improve.)



 
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 9:41 AM Post #10 of 61

vyyye

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Quote:
i love my hd 650s for gaming,
 
whats funny is that even though they're not gaming headphones, and while hd 650s aren't well known for soundstage, i can easily tell where someones shooting from, where people are moving, almost like a surround headphone. its crazy good. 
 
i used an optical cable to connect to my xbox 360 and then it went to my dac and amp 
biggrin.gif

I can easily tell where someone is shooting from whatever headphones I've used, I have yet to use any where I couldn't.
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM Post #11 of 61

shaneotool

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The problem is you are used to the grado sound.  Just listen to the senn exclusively for one week. If you still dont like them, then you will know your are not a senn guy and you can get a higher end headphone with more of a grado sound. 
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 10:42 AM Post #12 of 61

randomstranger

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Your experience may also be hampered by the type of music that you are listening to.  The 598's are great at playing acoustical and classical.  You're used the Grado's house sound that compliments rock and metal.  I'd recommend swapping your cans depending on the type of music you are listening to or waiting longer for the 598s to grow on you. 
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 1:47 PM Post #13 of 61

wind016

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If you think the treble on the HD598 is too much, you may want to cut back on your Grado time and adjust. The HD598 is mid-centric, but I still find them bright. The bass is not flabby on a good DAC, but I still think it is a bit weak quantity-wise.
 
Dec 26, 2011 at 7:31 PM Post #14 of 61

zmd

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I can only agree with previous posts. I have a modded HD558 and a modded SR80i and like them both. Comming from the Grado, the Sennheiser seem a bit slow, dark and dull but after some time, you'll tune in to their sound and appreciate them much more. IMO they are technically better, with a more natural FR and superb sound placement, not to mention the bass, which is really not that great with the Grado, no matter how you slice it. Anyway, I'm really surprised you don't find the HD598s to be better suited to classical music, they (well, the HD558) blow my SR80 away when it comes to headstage.
 
Dec 27, 2011 at 12:55 AM Post #15 of 61

Virtuoso80

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I've recently started trying the reverse of what I've been doing: Listen to music I've never heard before so I can hear what is sounds like on the Senns before the Grados. I have to say, I'm still liking the Grados better thus far. The Sennheiser certainly have more detail and soundstage, but I don't feel the core emotionality of the music like I do on the Grado; it's more like, "oh, that's a cool effect. Oh, now there's another sound from over there. What is this song about again?," whereas with the Grados I'm getting, "wow, this is an awesome song."
 
Maybe it is partially just what I'm used to. I'll give it more time.
 

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