HD 558 vs. 598 | THE BETTER OPTION?

Hi friend and Welcome!!

Today I will be bringing you a comparison review of two great sets of headphones … Specifically the Sennheiser HD 558 vs. 598!

Sennheiser HD 558 vs. HD 598

Sennheiser HD 558 vs. HD 598

Before we get started though, grab a snack, sit back and relax because ..

You’ve come to the right place!!

Check one two take off your effing shoe!

Check one two take off your shoe!

One two one two, take off your shoes, and hang up your overcoat in the closet, Mr Rogers style!

What I will bring you in this review

of each headphone

  1. Specifications
  2. Summary
  3. Pros
  4. Cons
  5. What they are good for/not good for
  6. Consensus/Conclusion
  7. Similarities/Differences
  8. Final Word

So without further ado,


The Sennheiser HD 558

Sennheiser HD 558

Sennheiser HD 558

  • best price: check amazon! | check eBay!
  • type: dynamic, open
  • fit: circumaural (over ear)
  • impedance: 50 ohms
  • frequency response: 15 – 28,000 Hz
  • material: plastic, velour ear pads.
  • color: black


An open backed model, the 558’s sport a tight bass response that knows it’s place. The sound only gets better the more you listen with them. A revealing set of cans, you will start to notice a bad mixing job from a good one. They tend to excel at more laid back music, and struggle with aggressive, dense tunes. They do really well with classical and jazz. They do not particularly do well with rap/hip-hop, so buyer be warned. What they will make you do is sit back, close your eyes, and relax. A warmer, more beautiful sounding set.

A secret to getting a better sound-stage and a bit of a punchier, more pronounced bass is modding them. The ear pads on both sides can be taken apart and a small piece of foam can then be removed. Check out this video on how to do it! Really easy! Some people say that doing this enables these headphones to sound identical to the HD 598, while others claim it does not at all. It does however make a difference in sound regardless..

Check out the video review!


  • great clarity
  • tight, smooth bass response
  • neutral and balanced
  • immersive music, movie, and gaming experience
  • *extremely comfortable*
  • comes with adapter
  • lightweight and durable
  • impressive sound-stage
  • good channel separation (instruments can easily be picked out and listened to)
  • replaceable cable


  • Chord is a bit long; can get tangled easily.
  • Clamp force will squeeze your dome piece when you first put them on. Takes a bit of time to get used to.
  • The 1/4″ to 3.5 mm adapter is awkward, since usually it’s the other way around.

What they are good at/for

  1. These have been praised mightily for being very versatile. They do great with fps gaming, music, as well as movies. Also, there have been numerous nerds reporting that these things are great for CSGO. I had to look that up; it is the name of a game called “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.” The sound-stage for gaming will knock your effing socks off, no joke. You will be able to tell where every sound is coming from with pinpoint precision and accuracy. Guy shooting at you from behind? 360 spin and WASTE HIM!
  2. They do well with laid back genres like classical and jazz.
  3. Also do well with rock
  4. They are very open and have an airy, laid back sound. A beautiful sound.

What they aren’t good for

  1. They are not for bass heads. Please don’t buy these expecting to be blown away by the low end. The bass will however improve with time/burn in.
  2. These are open backed, and not for noise reduction or noise cancelling. People will be able to hear what you are listening to at higher volumes. They are best suited in an isolated studio environment where you can really critique a mix or game out in your underwear. 😛


A really comfortable, versatile set of cans that handle a variety of applications such as gaming, music, and movies well. The cable however is a bit of a liability, and the 6.3 mm jack is a bit of an inconvenience for the casual listener.


Sennheiser HD 598

Sennheiser HD 598

Sennheiser HD 598

  • type: open back
  • fit: circumaural (over ear)
  • impedance: 50 ohms
  • frequency response: 12 – 38500 Hz
  • material: high-gloss burl wood detail complementing premium metal mesh. velour ear pads, leatherette headband.
  • color: ivory and maroon, and also a choice of all black


I’m gonna be honest. Just going by pure aesthetic, I want a pair right now! They look so creamy and delicious.. MMMMM…

Anyways, swooning aside .. right off the bat you should know that these provide exceptional clarity and sound-stage, and are a seriously durable, comfortable, and precise set of cans.  They are designed to give the same output levels across the entire range of frequencies. If you’re looking for hard hitting bass, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a predictable and even sound, and want longevity out of your purchase, you may want to consider these!

They are open backed, and do well in an isolated studio environment, absent of any extraneous noise and distraction. Please don’t buy these and expect them to be noise cancelling. They ARE NOT. 🙂

The 6.3 mm jack is odd for the casual listener, but is meant to be plugged into a good amp. These benefit greatly from a good source to power from, but also can be used with the provided 3.5 mm adapter to power everyday devices like iPods and such.


  • impeccable reproduction of sound at it’s most natural and transparent state
  • exceptional sound-stage and channel separation. You will frequently take them off to see if the sound came from outside of the headphones
  • tight and controlled bass response
  • sparkling highs, great mid-range (their bread and butter)
  • so comfy that you forget you’re wearing them!
  • neutral sound signature
  • double as ear-muffs in the winter (Who knew?)
  • longevity. They will last a long time. Reviewers have frequently come back to amazon to give a glowing update years later on these babies.
  • durable, and not prone to breaking down in the slightest
  • detachable/replaceable cable


  • Cable is a bit long for some peoples taste (the casual listener). This can be remedied by buying a shorter one. If you don’t want to buy a shorter one, just use the twist tie that the original comes with.
  • no provided case
  • having to buy a separate, shorter cable is a bit of an annoyance.
  • The 1/4″ plug to 3.5mm adapter is a pain, but the black version of these headphones come with 2 cables. One is the standard 3.5mm to 1/4″, the other is the awkward 1/4″ to 3.5mm.

What they are good for/with:

  1. classical and jazz, generally providing you with the illusion that the sound is actually surrounding you. One reviewer noted that they are especially creepy when watching scary movies late at night! Hehehe
  2. They benefit from a DAC/amp.
  3. A good amp/dac combo to go with these:
  4. mixing in an isolated studio environment
  5. critical listening
  6. acoustic tracks
  7. video games, providing those subtle sounds that gamers crave

What they aren’t good for:

  • noise-cancelling or sound reduction
  • bass-heads


Reviewers rave about every aspect of these puppies. From their uncolored, natural sound, to the unbelievable comfort, to pure aesthetic. The sound-stage they provide is nothing short of exceptional, and as an open backed model you will be able to immerse yourself in the music, literally. It feels like you are there! Just be aware that pairing these with an amp will bring out their full potential.

Check out the really sweet video!!

Similarities & Differences


  • Both are open backed.
  • Both are circumaural, and go around your ears.
  • Both benefit from an amp or DAC (digital to analog converter), although neither “require” one. Having a good audio interface remedies this as well. Check out my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review!
  • Both have an impedance of 50 ohms, and do fine on portable devices.
  • Both have been praised for being extremely comfortable.
  • Both do well with classical and jazz music, as well as movies and music.. and have a similar sound-stage.
  • Both have the 6.3 mm jack with 3.5 mm adapter, but the HD 598 comes with both as a convenience.
  • Both bass signatures are more subdued, (598 a bit tighter and punchier).
  • Both boast a flat frequency response, conducive to dissecting a mix in an isolated studio environment.
  • both have detachable cable.


  • Price: The 598’s more expensive than the 558’s.
  • Color: The 598’s sport an ivory and maroon color scheme. The 558’s are black, although you can now get the 598’s in black as well. 🙂
  • The 598’s are more refined than the 558’s, and the frequency is also smoother.
  • The 598’s are brighter and more upfront than the 558’s
  • The frequency response is a bit different. The 558’s go from 15 – 28,000 Hz. The 598’s extend from 12 – 38500 Hz. This explains the slightly punchier, tighter response by contrast, and the differences in the treble frequency/highs.

Final Word

I would go with the HD 598’s! Even though the mod for the 558’s has been proven very effective, I think the 598’s are a better set overall. The frequency range is improved, and the sound is more refined. If you’re looking for an amazing overall set of headphones for nearly everything, the HD 598’s more than fit the bill. Just know that they aren’t going to be bass heavy, so bass-heads take note.


Well that’s about it for today folks! Hope you enjoyed my comparison of the Sennheiser HD 558 vs. 598!

Are you convinced that the 598 is the better option? Let me know!!

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss something? Let me know below or Contact me! I would love to hear from you..

All the best and God Bless,

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Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful articles!

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  1. I guess if I ever got a sennheiser i’d need the 598, because I make hip hop music and would need to be able to hear the bass and everything else perfectly when making music in my home studio. You heard my music by the way? I have an album coming out august 15, make sure you check it out! Also, I might buy the 558 for my father’s birthday coming up, he said something about headphones!

    Matt TheDopestMatrix

    • Hey man!

      Yeah I like your sounds, super catchy and what not. Hope you end up getting the 598’s for your pops. Like you said they are really good in studio!! I am actually thinking about getting a pair!

      Thanks for stopping by .. come back any time!


  2. wow very impressive and enlightening article right here. Didn’t know there was much difference between these two headphone brands. But your post has given me a better idea. I guess i can now make an informed decision as to which product I will be going in for.

    Thanks for sharing this info

    • Fidel,

      Thanks much for stopping by!! Hope you end up purchasing one in the future!!


  3. Hi Stu

    I never knew there was anything different about the sennheiser models! Thank you for elaborating that so clearly. I love the video you put as well as I have two sets of these and most times I get frustrated when they don’t deem to plug in properly. So it was awesome to know this. Thank you for such interesting article. Loved reading it. Keep ’em coming!


    • Hey Jelly B!

      Thanks for commenting and recognizing the work i put into this review! Lol. It was quite a task. Anywho, thanks for stopping by as well and I hope to hear from you soon..


  4. I would love to own a pair of either of these sweet headphones,

    I would mostly use headphones for podcasts and listening to music. I love bass-y music so I would want something that can handle a lot of bass. What would you recommend?

    I agree that the HD 598′ look superb, I love the cream color and the velour ear pads, I bet they are super comfy!

    • Hey Andrea!

      If you want a lot of bass, these aren’t the cans for you.. While the bass is accurate and tight, it’s not punchy or “colored”, as folks like to say. A great option for you would be the Beyerdynamic DT 990’s! While they have a U shaped curve that accentuates both the low and high end, it isn’t overly ridiculous or unnatural sounding. Check ’em out!!

      If you want those but don’t want to buy an amp, check out the Audio Technica ATH M50’s. I’ve had ’em for 2 1/2 years and have spoken highly about them ad nauseum. Lol. If it’s your first time listening to higher grade cans, these will blow you right out of the water!

      Hope that helped. If you have any other questions let me know..


  5. Very detailed review of these two headphones. I currently own a pair of JVC harx700, and they are pretty good compared to what I’ve used in the past, but these two products “sound” like they would suit me better. You said that both of these models could benefit from being plugged into an amp, correct? Is there an amp you would suggest for them?

    • Hey man!

      A great amp/dac combo for The HD 598 would be the Fiio E10K. Very affordable. The E17 has also been known to work good with them as well. Being 50 Ohm, you don’t need to go too crazy and buy anything more expensive. Hope that helped! Let me know..


  6. Hi Stu

    Great article, I really enjoyed reading it!
    I didn’t know there where so much differences between these two sennheiser. In fact I never use them, but I husband love this kind of things as he is a musician . I’ll bring him here to see your products and I am sure he will love it!
    Thank you for this awesome review

  7. Hey there.

    Jeez, after reading this post and seeing all the benefits from this product I feel like I’ve been missing out greatly, hahaha. I use the crappiest ear phones out there because I guess I never really thought about investing in something better.

    But I have no doubt that there is a huge noticeable difference in the sound quality. They’re not that expensive either compared to some of the ones I’ve seen

    • Hey Michael!

      Yeah, The HD 558 and 598 are both great places to start for open back headphones. I do recommend the HD 598 overall, since it’s overall sound and sound-stage is better and more refined.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  8. You say the 598 aren’t for bass heads, but do they accurately reproduce bass? I produce hip-hop and am seriously thinking of buying these but I want to make sure my hip-hop mixes accurately translate to other speakers.

    • Yeah that’s one of the great things about the 598’s is that the bass is accurate, and tight, but don’t expect it to blow you away. It’s not a bass heads can, but considering you need them to mix, they will work phenomenally because they are honest and accurate. So they will also translate well.
      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. Which one would be best for mixing hip-hop? I need the most accurate ones so that my mixes translate well to other speakers.

    • Honestly they are very similar, but the 598’s are better overall. I think both would translate well to other speakers because they are very flat and neutral overall.

  10. Stu,

    I believe you are writing about what you have read, not experienced. I have Owned both, 558 and 598. 558 had waaay more bass than the 598. A better sounding headphone in general but was a bit muffled sounding to me. 598 a bit clearer. Hard to make a general statement as to which is better. My experience. And, too many people just reading the frequency chart and numbers and then trying to make an intellegent analysis.

    • Cool, thanks John!

      I agree. The frequency response graphs can be misleading at times, but they are very helpful when comparing two sets of headphones. I don’t generally use them in reviews, but I do like to take a gander from time to time.

      If you were implying that I made a general statement, I really don’t think I did since I went into great detail about each of these, and then gave my opinion based on a ton of research. It’s the same exact process I would go through myself if I was considering buying one of these (which I am). While both the 558 and 598 have nearly identical sound signatures, the 598 edges out because of a more refined sound, a little more sound-stage, and cleaner bass. From what I’ve read, the 598’s only have slightly less bass, but of course everyone has their own opinion! 🙂

      Anyone else reading this, try the 558 mod if you don’t want to spend the extra dough on the 598, then adjust accordingly! As for me, I’ll probably just go with the 598..

      Thanks for stopping by John!


  11. With anything involving the senses, perception can be as much of a factor as experience when it comes to forming an opinion. Just another characteristic that defines us a ‘individuals’, and as such we may fall far from each other on a Bell Curve in some areas.

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