HD 598 vs. HD 599 [With Video]

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  • 9/7/19.
  • 9/15/19. Article cleanup.
  • 2/2/21. Article/link cleanup.

1,660-word post, approx. 3-4 min. read

Howdy friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the HD 598 vs. HD 599 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

Today I will outline the HD 599, compare it to the 598, and give a recommendation towards the end. πŸ™‚

Table of Contents

Click to navigate the article!

Specifications & Summary
Pros & Cons
Video Reviews
Amp/DAC requirements
Thoughts from Stu’s Notepad
Similarities & Differences
Amp/DAC Section
Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Sennheiser HD 599



The open back HD 599’s continue in the tradition of Sennheiser’s detailed, rich, lifelike sound, without distortion or muffle. They are supremely comfortable as always, and the headphones themselves have some weight to them.

The sound this time around is tighter, more focused, and boasts a deeper bass response. While the Soundstage isn’t as wide, the overall signature feels like it has a greater sense of purpose and direction.

One thing in particular to note is the bass. It digs down deeper than both an HD558 as well as an HD 559, but not quite as much as the HD600.

What about the Pros & Cons?


  • Good impact, especially for an open-back headphone.
  • Lightweight and comfortable. This is pretty much a given for anything Sennheiser.
  • Comes with 2 cables: One terminates in a 1/4″ jack with a 3.5mm adapter, and the other is a traditional cable that terminates in a 3.5mm jack with a 1/4″ adapter.
  • Easily driven by an amp. The best headphone amp for the money!
  • Good packaging.
  • Detailed in the treble with nice sparkle. Intimate sound.
  • Accurate Timbre. What is Timbre?


  • Though comfortable, they aren’t quite on the level of an HD558. You will notice them more due to the clamp pressure.
  • The adapter is a bit bulky.

Let’s watch a video!

Video Review (HD 599)

Credit to my boy @Metal571. Check him out on twitter!

My Video Review (HD 598)

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Do you need an amp?

Amp/DAC requirements

An amp isn’t mandatory but is recommended for an enhanced overall sound. How to choose a Headphone Amp!

Who these headphones benefit?

Great for:

  • Acoustic instruments.
  • Gaming. They come across as more open and airy in a gaming environment. Great imaging here. Learn more: The Best Headphones for Gaming!
  • Vocals.
  • Watching Movies.
  • Guitars.
  • Classical.
  • Rock.
  • Hip-Hop.
  • EDM.

These will do well with almost any genre though, so fret not!

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • The Soundstage on these isn’t quite as large, wide, or impressive as the HD558 or HD598. What is Soundstage?
  • You may not always need amplification for these, as sometimes the bass can get a bit too overpowering.
  • These aren’t as relaxed sounding as an HD558, or a 598 for that matter.
  • The 599 is very honest and will expose flaws in the recording. This is especially true for Rap/Hip-Hop type stuff.
  • You may need a New Fantasia cable. I have one and it’s really durable! The cables that come with the 599 are a bit on the flimsy side.

What’s the Consensus?


An updated headphone in all regards. The soundstage isn’t quite as big, but the bass, treble, and mid-range, and build are all improved.

Similarities & Differences



  • Sound. The HD 599’s sound is a bit cleaner and more refined by comparison. By and large, the 598 and 599 share about the same sound. The 599 is a little tighter sounding as opposed to the more open 598, but it’s almost not discernible. While the HD 599 will do better with pop music, the HD 598 excels with Jazz and Classical type genres. If your preference is to be right up on stage (or closer to the artists), the 599 works better. If you prefer to be a few rows back, the 598 is better. Basically, the 598 is going to give you a slightly more open sound vs. the more focused sound of the 599. While the HD 598 was pretty flat overall, the 599 is more exciting. The 599 has more impact as well.
  • Bass. The bass here is a bit deeper with more thump than the HD598 but does have a tendency to get boomy at times. For the most part, though, the HD 599’s bass is clean with a lot of impact. The 598 by contrast lacks some of this impact, but still sounds good.
  • Color Scheme. The colors are a bit different than the HD598. The 599’s sport a more modern look vs. the elegant feel of the 598.
  • Fit. The clamp pressure is a bit tighter on the HD599 but does open up over time.
  • Build. The build quality of the 599 is a little better than the 598. The 599 is a bit heftier and doesn’t feel quite as loose. The ear cushions on the 599 are a little stiffer as well.
  • Treble. The treble on the HD 599 is more forward and extends farther. While the 598 could be a bit bright, the 599 is not. It’s smoother by comparison.
  • Mid-range. The mids on both are very similar, but the 599’s are a little more forward and aggressive.
  • Overall. The 599’s will work with a wider variety of genres than the 598’s.
  • Padding. The Headband padding at the top is faux leather, as opposed to the velour of the HD 598.

You won’t absolutely need an amp per se, but these are some great solutions to keep in mind regardless. Comment below if you have any questions!!

Amp/DAC Section

FiiO E10K or K3

FiiO K3 vs. E10K
FiiO K3 vs. E10K

If you only have a Benjamin or less to spend, the E10K is the absolute go-to solution in my opinion. It’s one of the best portable budget Amp/DAC combos. With an output impedance of less than 1.04, it will also power most headphones without issue. I would steer clear of trying to use it with 600 Ohm headphones, as well as power-hungry planar magnetics with their weird drivers. πŸ˜› What is a headphone driver? However, these will work with cans like the HD600, and the amp is more capable than some give it credit for. I love the crisp and neutral sound these provide. Comes with coaxial out, line out, and USB. Very clean signal, lots of detail. You like!


My Video Comparison

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The JDS Labs Objective 2

JDS Labs Objective 2

This is a well respected Amp/DAC by a guy called NwAvGuy. It provides a clean, neutral sound output for your headphones, and is similar to a Magni/Modi combo in that it can power just about any headphone you throw at it. If you’re interested I would go ahead and get the combo. The first iteration was a stand-alone amp, required the ODAC plugged into the front, and generally looked like a science experiment. The more elegant and attractive black version is the Amp with built-in DAC. Much more convenient. See it for yourself here: Objective 2 + ODAC. Here is the standalone DAC that will work with any amp: Standalone ODAC. Here is the original amp: Original 02 with Standalone ODAC (not pictured).


Video Comparison to the Atom

Here I discussed the updated Atom. Definitely worth a look!

Audioquest Dragonfly Red

Audioquest DragonFly Red
A Great Desktop Setup.

Doesn’t really get much simpler than this folks. Plug this little crumb sized wonder into a USB slot, plug in one of those dongles (if you’re using a mic) that I mentioned earlier, and have yourself an afternoon delight. The Dragonfly Red really impressed the snot out of me upon demo, and I actually plan on purchasing one in the future because it instantaneously increases the quality of all my headphones in a matter of seconds, plus I can take it anywhere! The other great thing about this combo is that it powers my HD600’s with ease. I wouldn’t recommend trying to use it with anything over 300 Ohm, but it provides just enough juice for the 600. If you plan on using it with your phone, pick up this adapter which is very cheap and gets glowing reviews.


Video Shootout

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So what’s the final word, bird?

Final Word

Sennheiser took an already great headphone in the HD 598 and made it better across the board with the HD 599. I would say that if you’re looking for a more open sound, the 598 is a bit better, but it’s honestly very subtle and may not even be noticeable to the average person. If you’re digging the more focused sound of the 599, I don’t blame you. Everything is better, from the mid-range to the treble, to the bass, build, and everything in between. Interested in reading some reviews?



Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Sennheiser HD 598 vs. HD 599.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Are you convinced that the HD 599 is a worthy upgrade? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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