Sennheiser HD599 - first impressions.
Jul 16, 2020 at 6:38 PM Post #91 of 108

Luis Mad

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Today I received a balanced cable for my HD599. It shines with my A & K SR25, truly excellent sound. The volume is of course a lot louder but, to my ears it also sounds better than the 3.5 unbalanced. I know this is a controversial subject.
i know quite well the sennheisers after intensive use the last months and I believe they sound better out of the balanced output. More detailed and better bass I would say.

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Nov 28, 2020 at 10:13 PM Post #92 of 108

Neweymatt

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Thinking of getting an HD599 for my son as his first quality headphone, curious what sort of desktop sources folks use with it?
 
Nov 29, 2020 at 3:02 AM Post #94 of 108

Luis Mad

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Thinking of getting an HD599 for my son as his first quality headphone, curious what sort of desktop sources folks use with it?
Hi Neweymatt, your son is very lucky! I’m a big fan of the HD599, particularly for classical, but I believe they do quite well with other genres. I am sure you know of the incredible attention that the new HD560S is getting. There are answers in that thread from Sennheiser that tend to indicate that the HD560s are very similar but tuned differently. The HD599 are super comfortable and have a nice warm sound. Bad thing is they are absolutely open, sound leaks in and out like crazy. You should take that into account. My wife and daughter sometimes complain of the sound leakage. Right now they are on offer in Europe for 93 euros which is a bargain. I hope you can get a similar offer down in Australia!
I generally use the HD599 with my SR25 dap, but sometimes when connected directly to my work laptop I still use my dac Dragonfly Black, the more basic in the family. Result is less subtle and detailed and less soft than the SR25, but not bad at all and with more than enough volume to drive the HD599 as loud as you want. It is also incredibly easy to use, you just connect it to usb, fist time install the drive and afterwards just control the volume from the pc. The result is of course so much better than my pc audio output.
Hope it helps!
 
Nov 29, 2020 at 4:07 AM Post #95 of 108

Neweymatt

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Hi Neweymatt, your son is very lucky! I’m a big fan of the HD599, particularly for classical, but I believe they do quite well with other genres. I am sure you know of the incredible attention that the new HD560S is getting. There are answers in that thread from Sennheiser that tend to indicate that the HD560s are very similar but tuned differently. The HD599 are super comfortable and have a nice warm sound. Bad thing is they are absolutely open, sound leaks in and out like crazy. You should take that into account. My wife and daughter sometimes complain of the sound leakage. Right now they are on offer in Europe for 93 euros which is a bargain. I hope you can get a similar offer down in Australia!
I generally use the HD599 with my SR25 dap, but sometimes when connected directly to my work laptop I still use my dac Dragonfly Black, the more basic in the family. Result is less subtle and detailed and less soft than the SR25, but not bad at all and with more than enough volume to drive the HD599 as loud as you want. It is also incredibly easy to use, you just connect it to usb, fist time install the drive and afterwards just control the volume from the pc. The result is of course so much better than my pc audio output.
Hope it helps!
Thanks Luis, 93euro sounds like a great deal. I'm not so lucky for those kinds of prices here, A$300 seems the best I can find.

AQ Dragonfly could be a good option, but I'm thinking a little desktop dac/amp might be the go, just curious what kind of power the 599 might need. If you get good results from the SR25, then maybe a Schiit Hel or Modi/Magni would go well?
 
Nov 29, 2020 at 5:07 AM Post #96 of 108

Luis Mad

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Thanks Luis, 93euro sounds like a great deal. I'm not so lucky for those kinds of prices here, A$300 seems the best I can find.

AQ Dragonfly could be a good option, but I'm thinking a little desktop dac/amp might be the go, just curious what kind of power the 599 might need. If you get good results from the SR25, then maybe a Schiit Hel or Modi/Magni would go well?
Schitt products are not so easy to find in my country. I do not have a proper desktop amp but I can tell you the HD599 love power. I use them sometimes with my stereo amp, an old but excellent Denon. They shine with power. My favourite setup for these headphones is using the line out of the SR25 to the Denon and then to the HD599. That said, using them out of the balanced output of the SR25 produces excellent result and more than enough power. Your son is very lucky, I hope he appreciates it!
 
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Nov 29, 2020 at 7:33 AM Post #98 of 108

Ivan4you

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Remember that de hd599 need a long burn-in before he sounds great.
 
Nov 29, 2020 at 2:30 PM Post #99 of 108

MatukaHiFi

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Today I received a balanced cable for my HD599. It shines with my A & K SR25, truly excellent sound. The volume is of course a lot louder but, to my ears it also sounds better than the 3.5 unbalanced. I know this is a controversial subject.
i know quite well the sennheisers after intensive use the last months and I believe they sound better out of the balanced output. More detailed and better bass I would say.
Where did you get the balanced cable and how much did it cost? I'm assuming it came with the correct plugs? So that it's plug n play, no modifying the headphone-end connector (which isn't 3.5mm on the HD599, it's 2.5mm twist lock or whatever).

Sidenote: I'm still using my lovely HD599s, using them with an O2 AMP+ODAC combo. The bass isn't as rattly/shaky/boomy with the DAC, it made the sound a bit more neutral/balanced/natural. I guess it's the way they're supposed to sound. They can get a lot louder compared to driving them with no amp/dac. Also that earlier theory about different HD599s, like ones with different sound signatures, it's interesting and slightly concerning.

Anyway, yeah the HD599s are very comfortable which is a major pro. I don't know what headphones to get next after these. I listen to a lot of Hip Hop/Funk/Soul/Rock/Disco. So I need some bass! I guess I'd like something similar but with a bit more bass while retaining details (if not increasing). Not sure if that's possible. I do listen to a wide range of genres but the aforementioned ones dominate (as of late). I don't need to worry about being able to drive headphones anymore as I have the dac+amp which can drive just about any cans I'd want/afford.
 
Nov 29, 2020 at 2:57 PM Post #100 of 108

Luis Mad

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Where did you get the balanced cable and how much did it cost? I'm assuming it came with the correct plugs? So that it's plug n play, no modifying the headphone-end connector (which isn't 3.5mm on the HD599, it's 2.5mm twist lock or whatever).

Sidenote: I'm still using my lovely HD599s, using them with an O2 AMP+ODAC combo. The bass isn't as rattly/shaky/boomy with the DAC, it made the sound a bit more neutral/balanced/natural. I guess it's the way they're supposed to sound. They can get a lot louder compared to driving them with no amp/dac. Also that earlier theory about different HD599s, like ones with different sound signatures, it's interesting and slightly concerning.

Anyway, yeah the HD599s are very comfortable which is a major pro. I don't know what headphones to get next after these. I listen to a lot of Hip Hop/Funk/Soul/Rock/Disco. So I need some bass! I guess I'd like something similar but with a bit more bass while retaining details (if not increasing). Not sure if that's possible. I do listen to a wide range of genres but the aforementioned ones dominate (as of late). I don't need to worry about being able to drive headphones anymore as I have the dac+amp which can drive just about any cans I'd want/afford.
Hi MatukaHIFi,
this is the cable https://es.aliexpress.com/item/32843066350.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.225563c0OfsmzU
it has the same locking mechanism as the stock cable so you just have to put it in and twist it into position. I paid 29 $ for the bronze 2,5 balanced cable. The HD599 is internally prepared to work on balanced mode, so you just have to change the cable. It works fine with my SR25. Let me share with you. I have just ordered another cable for an iem, I just hope it is like the one I got for the Sennheiser!

About your quest of a better headphone, I can tell that I was very happy with the Sennheiser but lately I do not use them so much since I bought recently the Denon Ah-D7200 and these are simply amazing. I listen mainly to classical so I cannot give you advice as to your genres, but in my limited experience I can tell you that there is a whole world of improvement out there...anyway you have to try yourself. Many say the Denon are not that good for classical but I find them amazing. You talk about bass for example, the Denons are in a whole new category with a clear present bass, much better for me.
 
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Nov 29, 2020 at 4:25 PM Post #101 of 108

MatukaHiFi

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Hi MatukaHIFi,
this is the cable https://es.aliexpress.com/item/32843066350.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.225563c0OfsmzU
it has the same locking mechanism as the stock cable so you just have to put it in and twist it into position. I paid 29 $ for the bronze 2,5 balanced cable. The HD599 is internally prepared to work on balanced mode, so you just have to change the cable. It works fine with my SR25. Let me share with you. I have just ordered another cable for an iem, I just hope it is like the one I got for the Sennheiser!

About your quest of a better headphone, I can tell that I was very happy with the Sennheiser but lately I do not use them so much since I bought recently the Denon Ah-D7200 and these are simply amazing. I listen mainly to classical so I cannot give you advice as to your genres, but in my limited experience I can tell you that there is a whole world of improvement out there...anyway you have to try yourself. Many say the Denon are not that good for classical but I find them amazing. You talk about bass for example, the Denons are in a whole new category with a clear present bass, much better for me.
I see, thank you. I may consider getting a balanced cable for my HD599s. Those Denons seem interesting. I think I'll make a new thread in the appropriate section and ask for recommendations for new headphones in my price range and for my needs. With the genres that I (mostly) listen to. You could perhaps call me a basshead, I would really enjoy a nice pronounced punchy bass for Hip Hop (Trap Rap). I love drums in music (especially the hi-hat and bass).
 
Dec 1, 2020 at 5:27 AM Post #102 of 108

kungfuman

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Today I received a balanced cable for my HD599. It shines with my A & K SR25, truly excellent sound. The volume is of course a lot louder but, to my ears it also sounds better than the 3.5 unbalanced. I know this is a controversial subject.
i know quite well the sennheisers after intensive use the last months and I believe they sound better out of the balanced output. More detailed and better bass I would say.

I have ordered a balanced cable for my HD599 which I run with a IFI Hip-DAC. I was wondering in your experience with the A&K is there any increase with floor noise compared to unbalanced? Strangely, the thread on the IFI Hip-DAC mentions a increase in noise when using balanced output on high sensitivity headphones.
 
Dec 1, 2020 at 5:58 AM Post #103 of 108

Luis Mad

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I have ordered a balanced cable for my HD599 which I run with a IFI Hip-DAC. I was wondering in your experience with the A&K is there any increase with floor noise compared to unbalanced? Strangely, the thread on the IFI Hip-DAC mentions a increase in noise when using balanced output on high sensitivity headphones.
Fortunately I have not perceived any more floor noise with the balanced connection. I have read something similar to what you say relation to the Ifi Audio Xcan. Also it seems to happen sometimes with balanced cables and some headphones. In the case of the SR25 the balanced output has double the power and also sounds better in my opinion.
i just found yesterday this interesting article https://www.headphonesty.com/2019/05/balanced-vs-unbalanced-audio-connections/
 
Jan 9, 2021 at 5:21 PM Post #105 of 108

wolfwalker78

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Came across this google'ing something, it's an interesting thought there being possible different versions.
I've been headphone hunting the last week or two and therefore digesting huge numbers of reviews and impressions
of a given model one after the other, spreadsheets may or may not have happened, and my conclusion is that either
every headphone has multiple versions/variance or every human hears things quite a bit differently. There are some really knowledgeable
and experienced folks out there that fairly regularly have significantly different opinions on the sound of a given model.
Makes it mighty tuff to go off reviews for sound quality other than really screamingly obvious traits like a bass deficiency or
something, and even that can vary. I know for instance that right at 4K hz I have, more so in my left ear than right, a lack of sensitivity
of maybe as much as 6db, so what I hear is going to vary considerably in that range from what someone with correctly functioning ears will.
I'd be interested to talk to an audiologist about such variance sometime but have never had the chance.

That said, I adore my 599's, black pair off Amazon. The lows are present but not extreme, almost like you can hear them but not feel them, clear up to 16K where my hearing again ceases to function, and full pleasant mids. I use a little EQ here and there, nothing dramatic, Oratory1990's preset in Peace works well and is fairly subtle.
This is my only open back set so they sound more, for lack of a better term, "open" than my K550's or XM3's or any of the other odd and end closed cans I have.
 

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