Today I’m very excited to bring you this comparison review of the Sennheiser HD 598 vs. Momentum headphones! There are some really big differences between the two, and hopefully by the end of this article you will have a better idea of which suits your needs better!
Before we get started, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
color: ivory and maroon, or special edition black!
There is something about these headphones that just puts me in a trance. 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, but still remain an extremely enjoyable listen. 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 go with 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 may 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.
Color: black, silver, brown, red, ivory (depending on which model you are looking at).
Note: There are 5 versions of this headphone:
Momentum (original, over-ear): The one I am reviewing today.
Momentum 2.0 (upgraded, due to ear-cup complaint, outlined below. There are models for both Apple and Samsung devices).
Momentum 2.0 (on-ear version)
Momentum 2.0 (wireless, over-ear version)
Momentum 2.0 (wireless, on-ear version)
What you need to know is that the complaint with the original is that even though they were marketed as circumaural (over-ear), they do not adequately deliver this feature according to the majority of reviewers. Most people complained of an uncomfortable fit, and that they only sufficed for people with very small ears.
The Momentum 2.0 (upgraded) fixed this problem by:
Modifying the ear-cups, making them larger.
Modifying their portability, making them fold-able.
The third version, 2.0 on-ear (supra-aural) is the same headphone, but they do actually rest on your ears and are meant to.
Wow, all that said, let’s get into the actual review of the original Momentums.
So I bet you can guess what I’m about to start off with. These aren’t made for people with big ears!! Lol. An almost universal complaint regarding the Momentums, they aren’t good for long listening sessions. People frequently complained of discomfort after a short time.
The sound however is the saving grace with these. Just be aware that they aren’t for those looking for a flat frequency response. The bass isn’t overpowering, but it’s there and it’s tight & well extended. The headphones themselves are light, compact, and sport genuine leather for the ear-cups. There isn’t much padding on the headband, but because they are light enough people didn’t really notice or care.
They are a closed back set, but aren’t noise cancelling. They do have elements of sound isolation, and really do well on the go. Just don’t expect them to compete with a pair of Bose headphones in this regard.
Tight, controlled bass. Not in your face or cheap.
Very light and compact, but very well crafted.
Ear-cups are made of real leather, headband is metal.
Crisp highs, clear mids. Highs aren’t shrill or sibilant.
Precise and accurate. Subtle details heard in the music.
mobile friendly, great for travel.
Good sound isolation, though not noise cancelling.
Can handle bad sound sources well.
They do well with a variety of genres.
They don’t need an amp.
Ear-cups are too small. They don’t fit people with larger ears.
They aren’t comfortable over a long period, or even a short one.
Leather headband may initially making creaking noises when it’s bent. This goes away after a few months of breaking them in.
They aren’t fold-able or collapsible.
They don’t do well for people with glasses.
They need some EQ for the best possible sound.
A known issue is counterfeit models. I read that this issue only pertains to the red model. The brown model has been known to be safe.
Included Case is a bit bulky. Headphones need to be adjusted to smallest size in order to fit inside.
Check out the video review!
At 16 Ohm, none!
Who these headphones benefit?
They are a very versatile set of headphones, doing well with a wide variety of genres.
The mid-range is really well defined, and they sound great playing back:
people who like their music LOUD. These have been known to handle max volume very well. They don’t get shrill or bright.
A light, durable, and exceptional set of headphones sound wise. The comfort factor and ear-cup issue does turn a lot of people off. They are very versatile, and don’t “get in the way of the music” as Lance puts it in his video review.
Similarities & Differences
They are both Sennheiser. Lol. It doesn’t seem like it though right?
They both have a similar bass response. Tight and controlled, but not in your face over overpowering.
Both have nice highs and a great, well defined mid-range.
Both are pretty versatile with many genres.
They both have detachable cables.
Color & Aesthetic. Both of these puppies look radically different at first glance. The 598’s are ivory and maroon, while the Momentum’s are black with either hints of brown, ivory, or red, depending on the version.
Materials. The Sennheiser HD 598 sports velour ear pads, a leatherette headband, high gloss burl wood detail, and premium metal mesh grilles. The Momentum’s by contrast have genuine leather ear cups, and a metal headband with minimal padding and a stitched presentation.
Headband adjustment. The Momentum’s adjustment is rather unique, with the ear-cups themselves moving up and down in relation to the headband. The 598’s have more of a traditional adjustment pattern.
Impedance. The 598’s have been known to benefit from a portable Amp/DAC combo, and come in at 50 Ohms. The sound, while amazing on it’s own, is in fact improved. At 16 Ohms, the Momentum’s do not benefit even in the slightest with amplification.
Comfort and Type(open vs. closed). The 598’s are some of the most comfortable headphones you can buy. They utilize that amazing velour padding, and are the true definition of an Open back circumaural set. The Momentum’s, while advertised as circumaural, are not. They are closed back and do feature genuine leather padding, but aren’t very comfortable at all. This is perhaps the main concern with them. They have a tendency to rest on your ears, and only do well with very small eared peeps. 😛
Sound signature. The 598’s are more of a neutral, open, and airy set of headphones. They are at their best in an isolated studio environment, and won’t fare well around other people because they leak a lot of sound. They also won’t do well on the go. The Momentum’s by contrast will travel with you quite well, and have a somewhat more “fun” sounding signature. They aren’t noise cancelling, but do provide decent sound isolation.
Sound-stage. The 598’s have it in spades, the Momentum’s don’t.
If you do prefer a livelier, more “fun” sound, I would go with the Momentum’s, but I wouldn’t purchase the original ones. As mentioned, the upgraded version does improve on all of the qualities that the originals lacked, but you will pay a bit more for it should you choose that route. The sound signature of the upgraded version is also known to be even better, and they are rated higher as well (with less reviews however).
If you prefer a more neutral set of cans, and need a set that thrives in a studio environment, look no further than the HD 598. It’s one of the most comfortable headphones around, and even though it’s sound is even across the spectrum, it remains a fun & enjoyable listen. These will be an exceptional introduction to your mixing/reference cabinet, as they boast an honest signature. The clarity in the mid-range is startling, and they utilize an amazing sound-stage.
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?
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I truly hope you have a good idea about the similarities and differences between the Sennheiser HD 598 vs. Momentum.
Which of these headphones would you be more likely to go with? Let me know!!
If you have any other questions, or need me to clear something up, don’t hesitate to reach out by leaving a comment down below. You can also Contact me directly! I very much look forward to hearing from you..
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.