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!
Before we get started though, grab a snack, sit back and relax because ..
You’ve come to the right place!!
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
- What they are good for/not good for
- Final Word
So without further ado,
ARE YOU READ-Y?
The 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
- 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!
- They do well with laid back genres like classical and jazz.
- Also do well with rock
- They are very open and have an airy, laid back sound. A beautiful sound.
What they aren’t good for
- 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.
- 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
- 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:
- 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
- They benefit from a DAC/amp.
- A good amp/dac combo to go with these:
- mixing in an isolated studio environment
- critical listening
- acoustic tracks
- video games, providing those subtle sounds that gamers crave
What they aren’t good for:
- noise-cancelling or sound reduction
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.
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,