Sennheiser HD 598 vs. HD 600 [With Video]

Updates:

  • 9/23/19. Article/link cleanup.

1,929word post, approx. 4-5 min. read

Before we get into the Sennheiser HD 598 vs. HD 600 Comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

I’m Here to Help!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Specifications
  2. Summary
  3. Pros/Cons
  4. What they are good for
  5. What they aren’t good for
  6. Amp/DAC Requirements
  7. Consensus/Conclusion
  8. My Video Reviews
  9. Similarities and Differences
  10. Final Word

Sennheiser HD 598

  • Price: check eBay!
  • Type: open back
  • Fit: circumaural (over ear)
  • Impedance: 50 ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Frequency Response: 12 – 38500 Hz
  • Material: high-gloss burl wood detail complementing premium metal mesh. velour ear pads, leatherette headband.
  • Color: ivory and maroon, or Special Edition black!
Sennheiser HD 598 vs. HD 600
A Classic Original.

Summary

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’ll get 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, Soundstage, and are extremely durable and comfortable! The velour ear pads are to die for.

These are designed to give the same output 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, 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. Related: Open back vs. Closed back headphones. Please don’t buy these and expect them to be noise cancelling. They ARE NOT. 🙂

Pros

  • Impeccable reproduction of sound at it’s most natural and transparent state.
  • Exceptional Soundstage and channel separation. You may 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.
  • Detachable/replaceable cable.

Cons

  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. They benefit from a DAC/amp. A good amp/dac combo to go with these: FiiO E10K
  3. Mixing in an isolated studio environment.
  4. Critical listening.
  5. Acoustic tracks.
  6. Video games, providing those subtle sounds that gamers crave.

What they aren’t good for

  • Noise-cancelling or sound reduction.
  • Bass-heads.

Amp/DAC requirements

At 50 Ohms with a higher Sensitivity, these don’t necessarily require an amp, but do benefit from one as mentioned above. How to choose a headphone amp!

Helpful articles:

Consensus/Conclusion

Reviewers rave about every aspect of these puppies. From their uncolored, natural sound, to the unbelievable comfort, to pure aesthetic. The Soundstage 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 kind of feels like you are there! Just be aware that pairing these with an amp will bring out their full potential.

My Video Review

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


Onto…

Sennheiser HD 600

Specifications

  • Price: check amazon! | check eBay!
  • Type: open back
  • Fit: circumaural (over ear)
  • Impedance: 300 ohms
  • Frequency Response: 12 – 39000 Hz
  • Material: metal grilles, carbon fiber, velour ear pads
  • Color: speckled blue finish, black
Sennheiser HD 598 vs. HD 600
The Original Gold Standard.

Summary

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 in the audiophile community. 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 rediscover long forgotten favorites is something 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?

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 them correctly. At 300 Ohms, it is pretty much mandatory. We will get into amps more a little later!

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Sub bass lacking.
  • The mid-range area around 3kHz has always annoyed me. It’s a bit too forward and “shouty”, as if the vocalist is getting up in your face.
  • A bit “veiled”, meaning the upper registers and treble frequency may be lacking as well.

Related: What is the Sennheiser Veil?

What they are good for/with

  • Critical listening/mixing
  • Jazz and Classical
  • Acoustic
  • Soft rock
  • Instrumental music

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.

Amp/DAC requirements

These are going to need a good amp to deliver optimal sound quality and volume. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed them with all of the following:

Out of these, I think the Atom is a fantastic choice for most people, but all of the above options will work extraordinarily well. Here’s my comparison of the Atom vs. Objective 2.

JDS Labs Atom
Atom with some of his friends.

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.

Consensus/Conclusion

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. A good Amp & DAC is pretty much outright mandatory to bring out the best in these.

Review & HD650 Comparison

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

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • 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.

Differences

  • 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 forward mid-range around 3k that is irritating to many including myself.
  • 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 Soundstage on the HD 600 is more narrow than the HD 598. The HD 598’s Soundstage is larger, has more depth, and feels more “alive”. I would say clarity and resolution are better on the 600 though.
  • The HD 600 is better driven with an amp, while the HD 598 can do without one.
  • 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 your 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.

Final Word

The HD 600 seems to be better in most categories, but the 598 edges it somewhat as far as the Soundstage coming to life, as well as doing better with a wider variety of musical genres. The HD 598 lacks refinement, and is more laid back and relaxed sounding than the more clinical HD 600.

The main takeaway for this comparison is that the 600’s are more professional sounding, with a crisper character and better speed/transient response. This simply means that the attack, sustain, and decay are all sharper, with better resolution and and overall more precise sound.

My Recommendation?

If you’re after a headphone that works better for Gaming, Movies, Jazz, Classical, and overall Soundstage width, the HD 598 is the solution. Do be aware that Sennheiser has since come out with the updated HD 599.

 

The HD 600 is the way to go if you’re looking for that more refined sound; one that will work better for mixing, mastering and reference. It also excels better with a wider variety of genres than does the 598 or 599.

 

 


Well that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed my post on the HD 598 vs. HD 600, and have a better understanding of which is more suited to your needs.

Speaking of ..

Which of these headphones would you be more inclined to go with?

Please let me know down below! If you have any other questions, I would be glad to answer them as well. Just Contact me!

All the best and God Bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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