It’s been a long week. I worked 68 hours and there’s seemingly no end in sight. But guess what? I’m still going to bring you this BANGIN’ review. Today I will be comparing the Sennheiser HD 598 vs. HD 600! Is that a banana in your pants or are you just happy to be reading?
color: ivory and maroon, or Special Edition black!
This is a luscious set of headphones to be quite honest. The ivory and maroon is unique and adds a nice overall touch to the look and feel of these babies. What you get from these first and foremost is neutrality. They are an honest set of cans, and will not color your sound source in any way. They also provide exceptional clarity, sound-stage, and are extremely durable as well as comfortable! The velour ear pads are to die for.
These are designed to give the same out-put levels across the entire range of frequencies. If you’re looking for hard hitting bass, you may want to consider the Beyerdynamic DT 990’s! If you are looking for a predictable and even sound, and want longevity out of your purchase, you may want to consider the 598’s..
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. 🙂
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 puppies.
durable, and not prone to breaking down in the slightest
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 a hassle
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! Hehe.
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.
My Video Review
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material: metal grilles, carbon fiber, velour ear pads
color: speckled blue finish, black
What more can be said about these? Well I’ll tell you! For starters, they may be the best reference headphone that you can buy. This is across the board pretty much a consensus among-st audiophiles. I will never forget the first time I read this review on amazon. The reviewer claimed that buying the HD 600 would revolutionize not only the music you may listen to in the future, but also what you already own! It’s a very powerful concept that stuck with me. Being able to re-discover old sounds is something that is truly priceless and timeless. Everyone loves music. Imagine if the feeling you got from an old album was like hearing it for the first time again, only better and completely amazing?
That’s what these headphones provide. They provide the subtlety and details you’ve never heard before in recordings. They also reveal quite a bit of flaws in a mix/master, so be weary that these headphones were made for good quality recordings from good sources. Also make sure to purchase a decent enough amp to power these correctly. At 300 Ohms, it is pretty much mandatory. I will get into amps more a little later!
great bass and low end. It’s not overpowering but rather strong, clear, and well defined.
build quality is solid
Gold standard for neutrality and accuracy in studio environments. Everything sounds exactly as it is, no coloration whatsoever.
airy, open, and detailed but at the same time doesn’t sound thin
velour ear pads make these extremely comfortable
the price to performance ratio is virtually unmatched. Buying these may be the best investment you make, with audio equipment or otherwise.
detachable cable. If your cat decides to munch on your chord, you can simply buy a new one!! 😀
great mid-range, very natural (their bread and butter)
great vocals especially female
sub bass lacking
a bit “veiled”, meaning the upper registers and treble frequency may be lacking as well.
They sound good with just about every type of music, and have been called a genre master..
What they aren’t good for:
they are really honest and will reveal flaws in your everyday recordings. This reviewer mentioned that he was tempted to throw away all of his old badly mastered recordings. Make sure your source is of good quality!
these aren’t really good for bass-heads
office and portable use, etc. They will bleed sound and aren’t really made for on the go situations or where there’s the potential for disturbing others.
These are going to need a good amp to deliver optimal sound quality and volume. I have done a bit of research and a few great options are:
These across the board are considered the go to options in regards to quality and convenience. Of course, you will encounter really high end amplifiers if you look hard enough, but for your first foray into the world of audiophiles, any of these will more than suffice. The Magni/Modi combo in particular is quite popular and of amazing quality! The best headphone amp for the money.
Perhaps the most transparent and honest set of cans you will find. The bass is clear and precise, but doesn’t really hit as hard as some would like. Just be aware of your sound source before passing judgement on the headphones themselves. Also a good amp is highly beneficial, if not mandatory to bring out the best in these.
My Video Review
Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my growing channel. Any support is much appreciated!! 🙂
Similarities & Differences
Both are open back
Both specialize in neutrality and an even sound across the spectrum
Both have a detachable cable
Both sport a circumaural fit (around ear)
Both have velour ear pads and are extremely comfortable
Both are great for classic, jazz, and acoustic
Aesthetic. The HD 598 is maroon and ivory while the HD 600 has a speckled blue finish.
The HD 598’s mid-range is considered their bread and butter. The HD 600 has somewhat of a recessed mid-range that is lacking to some. To others, it’s extremely natural however.
The HD 598 is an overall more fun headphone, while the HD 600 is more analytical and better suited for critical listening
The HD 600’s are more detailed as well as more neutral
The sound-stage on the HD 600 is more accurate than the HD 598, although the HD 598’s sound-stage is larger, has more depth, and feels more “alive”.
The HD 600 is better driven with an amp, while the HD 598 can do without one
The HD 600 is a tad more muffled sounding than the more clear HD 598. A very subtle difference however.
The HD 600’s build quality is a bit better than the HD 598’s, which are lighter and have a more plastic feel to them.
The HD 600 has a more open sound, and there’s also more room in the ear-cups for those Ross Perot ears. 😛
Overall the HD 600 feels and sounds more refined than the 598
The HD 600’s bass response has more impact and hits harder than the 598’s
The HD 600 seems to be better in most categories, but the 598 edges it somewhat as far as the sound-stage coming to life, as well as doing better with a wider variety of musical genre. The HD 598 lacks refinement, but is said to be an overall more enjoyable headphone than the more neutral, and darker HD 600.
That’s a tough call. If you’re looking for a headphone that sounds more “fun” overall, and less critical, go with the HD 598. They are better suited for someone who wants to put them on and enjoy. If you crave that amazing mid-range, the 598 more than delivers as well. It’s sound-stage isn’t as accurate, but it’s larger and feels more alive.
If you’re looking for an open back headphone that won’t break the bank, the HD558 is the solution for you. The HD598 is a little better overall, but there’s a trick that you can employ to make the 558’s sound really open up. It’s the foam mod, and it’s very simple. So if you don’t want to pay the price for the 598, but want roughly the same sound, go with the 558. Interested in learning all about them + the foam mod?
If you’re wanting to be more critical of your mixes, and need an amazing studio headphone, go with the HD 600’s. They are more analytical and excel in giving you that flat, neutral sound that producers crave. The 600’s are at their best in an isolated studio environment, and their sound-stage is more accurate. What is Soundstage?
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.