HD 598 vs. HD 599 [With Video]

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Updated 4/3/18

1,906 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. 🙂

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)

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my growing channel! Any support is much appreciated 🙂

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 most 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. 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 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 you’re 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 HD 598, 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 HD 598. 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 HD 599, 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 not quite as loose feeling. 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

The Schiit Magni/Modi stack.

Schiit Magni 2 Review
The famous “Schiit Stack”

The go to desktop solution. Learn more: Schiit Magni 2 Review. These have a minuscule output impedance of less than 0.1 which makes them compatible with nearly any headphone. What is Output Impedance? I’ve been using them on my desktop for quite awhile with a plethora of headphones, and they do not disappoint. You’re getting an incredibly clean, crisp, and neutral response which makes the amp extremely valuable for a wide range of cans. I even got to try them with a Focal Utopia and the sound was absolutely marvelous!


FiiO E10K.

If you only have $100 or less to spend, this is the Amp/DAC combo to get without question. 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’re going to be completely amazed with what this little box is capable of. It’s good! You like!


My Video Review

Please don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my growing channel. Any support is much appreciated! 🙂

JDS Labs 02 with the Modi or a DAC Magic. 

Designed and built by NwAvGuy (Northwest Audio Video Guy), this amp has an output impedance 0.54 ohms. Sound wise, it slightly edges a Magni 2 but this is when I paired it with the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic 100. I have yet to test it with a Modi, but I would still say the Amp provides an ever so slightly cleaner and more resolving sound than the Magni. This may be my imagination though.


Here’s the combo:


My Video Review

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my growing channel! Any support is much appreciated 🙂

Audioquest Dragonfly Red.

This amazing little Amp/DAC combo may be all you ever need, as you won’t want to upgrade for quite awhile. A reviewer on amazon even said it powered his HD800’s phenomenally well too! What I love most about this little stinker is how portable it truly is. If you’re on the go a lot like me, you’ll find it incredibly easy to throw into a laptop bag or even your pocket! Once you reach your destination, whip it out and stick it in the hole! It’s really that simple. If you desire to pair it with your phone, that’s cool too. You’ll simply need this adapter which is very cheap and gets glowing reviews. If you’re interested in learning about the Black vs. Red: Audioquest Dragonfly Black vs. Red.



Oppo HA2.

The Oppo HA2 is the best combo that I’ve personally heard thus far. Sadly, Oppo has since stopped making products. That said, I still recommend this Amp if you can get it at a good price because it sounds absolutely fantastic and provides an all in one solution for your desktop or on the go! It’s the most durable and heavy duty out of all the portable Amp/DACs I’ve tried, and everything feels solid to the touch. I love how the volume knob feels, and it has a bass boost and gain switch in case you’re feeling frisky. To put it another way, after you purchase this beast you’ll likely be set for life!




My Video Review

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my growing channel. Any support is much appreciated! 🙂

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!!

Which of these are you more likely to go with? What do you think about the HD558 foam mod? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

All the best and God bless,





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