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.
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!!
FiiO E10K or K3
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. 😛 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!
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The 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).
Here I discussed the updated Atom. Definitely worth a look!
Audioquest Dragonfly Red
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.
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?
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.