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Sennheiser HD598 vs 600?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by natslx, Jun 27, 2013.
  1. Natslx
    Hi, my recent headphones/set (siberia v2) finally broke and I decided to invest in some top end headphones.
    My question is, what is the difference between the HD 598 and HD 600s? I would be using them for gaming/music (mostly hip hop/garage), and has anyone got any recommendations for other headphones? 
    I can also buy a dedicated sound card, read that some headphones need amps, and I know the Xonar Essence STX has an amp built in, any recommendations for that?
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    With the HD598 (50-Ohm), a headphone amplifier is optional (but preferred).
    With the HD600 (300-Ohm), you want to use with an amp.
    The Essence STX can easily drive these headphones.
  3. fabio-fi
    HD600's deserve better amplification, go with the Lower impedance ones (598). 
  4. Lord Voldemort
    If you find the price difference negligible, I would get the HD 600 because they are more of a vintage item. In addition, many recordings have been audio engineered using HD 600. 
    But if you consider the price difference, the HD 598 is by far the superior purchase. The HD600 does render timbre slightly more realistically but it does most other aspects of the music worse. It is agreed universally that the soundstage on the 598 is far superior to both the 600 and 650 (in fact, one of the best of any headphones I've heard). Admittedly, I previously believed the 598 had better imaging than the 600 but the 600 does have the win there; then again, this isn't too surprising since its diaphragm has the potential to move faster with an amp. This would result in more closely obtaining the signals, resulting in more distinguished placement of sound. The HD600 has slightly more bass impact but neither are particularly "wow" in that regard. 
    A common complaint with the 600 and 650 are that they are sometimes boring. This is most likely due to a somewhat lackluster treble presence. The 558 and 598 have both worked on making music sound more live, without sacrificing the bass and midrange. I would even look into the HD558 if I were you, since it is considerably cheaper than the 598. 
    Another thing to consider is your music taste. For gaming, 598 is fantastic. For those genres though, it is somewhat questionable. Some have had no problems but others have complained. If gaming is priority over music, then definitely go with the 5x8 since music wise, they are good all-arounders anyway. 
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    To save a few dollars.
    Sennheiser HD558 headphones (used, $117 at Amazon)
    Asus Xonar DG sound card ($20-$30)
    So for under $150 you would have fairly good sound.
  6. devhen
    ^ Good advice. I recently got a pair of 558's for a friend, refurbished, for $112. They were like-new in every way and sounded great. And they don't need much amplification at all. I have the Xonar DGX and its more than enough to power the 518/558/598, especially at the mid and high gain settings. In fact, at the highest gain setting the DGX (same card as the DG but with a pci-express connection) has plenty of power and volume for the 300 ohm HD600s and even gets my 600 ohm 770s surprisingly loud and full sounding.

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