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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
My Video Review (HD 598)
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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 would be the solution. The only thing is that you can achieve roughly the same sound with a modded HD558. The mod is really easy, and will save you some money if the 598 is the type of sound you’re after. Interested in learning more?
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?
What if you want the best? The Gold Standard. The Benchmark. The Original. The Legend. The headphone that’s been around since 1997. The quintessential studio solution. Well you’d be referring to the HD 600 my friend. It’s time tested and gets my highest endorsement. Don’t believe me?
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.