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Sennheiser HD58X Review – Wonderfully Flawed?

by Stuart Charles Black
Sennheiser HD58X Review

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Greetings mate, and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear), all over again, so…

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In The Box

Sennheiser HD58X Headphones

1/4″ (6.35mm) adapter

Manufacturer’s 2-year warranty

Not included but pictured: 2.5mm balanced cable

Specs/Graph

Shoutout to Rtings for the graph!

Sennheiser HD58X Review

Sennheiser HD58X

  • Price: Check Drop!
  • Massdrop x Sennheiser
  • Materials: Glossy black headband, gray metal grilles
  • Fit: Over-ear (circumaural)
  • Type: Open Back, dynamic
  • Impedance: 150 ohms
  • Frequency response: 12–38,500 Hz (-10 dB)
  • THD + N: < 0.1% at 1 kHz, 100 dB
  • Sound pressure level: 104 dB at 1V, 1 kHz
  • Connector: ⅛ in (3.5 mm) gold-plated stereo jack plug
  • Cable: 6 ft (1.8 m) OFC, detachable
  • Weight without cable: Approx. 9.2 oz (260 g)
  • Origin: Made in Romania

Introduction

Sennheiser HD58X Review

I finally got my hands on a 58X thanks to a cousin of mine who decided he was tired of his baby messing around with the cables and ruining his life.

“I treat my headphones like glass, man. Can’t be having any of that.”

LOL. Joe Pesci don’t f around.

He told me his plan was to invest in some sort of speaker setup and perhaps revisit headphones at a later date.

It seems babies are all the rage these days and everyone’s having ’em, but they don’t mix well with audio. xD

Another of my audio homies, Luke, told me his baby recently stepped on his HD598 and destroyed it. So there’s that as well.

Darned babies. You can’t trust ’em.

Anyways, let’s get into the Senny HD58X review and find out what it’s all about.

This article will attempt to cover anything and everything you could ever want to know about the Drop/Sennheiser collaboration.

We’ll discuss build, comfort, sound, Soundstage, Amplification, genre, gaming, reference, some quick comparisons to other headphones, and anything in between.

By the end, you should know exactly whether or not this headphone is for you.

So let’s get rolling!

Build & Comfort

Sennheiser HD58X Review

The Sennheiser HD58X retains all of the qualities that made its predecessors great.

It’s lightweight but solid, it’s not overly bulky, and all parts are replaceable.

Bob (my cousin) even included a 2.5mm balanced cable into the mix which pairs very well with the FiiO K3 that I have here at the crib. More on that later.

I’ve already dropped it a few times and it’s completely fine.

TAKES A LICKIN’ AND KEEPS ON TICKIN LIKE MICK FOLEY.

YEAH! WOO!

Unlike Bob, I don’t treat my headphones like glass. It’s more like a frisbee.

Here, boy! Fetch!

*Throws 58x for the doge to fetch*

Just kidding.

We’ve got the standard 2-pin termination into each of the cups, and a 3.5mm at the business end + 1/4″ adapter. Pretty standard stuff.

The same oval-shaped velour ear cups make their return, and the headband boasts the cratered pad that was present in the original HD650.

HIFIMAN Sundara vs. HD650 vs. HD600

Sennheiser HD58X Review

The cratered pad makes yet another return.

Unlike the speckled blue finish of the HD600 and gray metal flake of the 650, here we have an all-black profile that looks rather sleek and elegant.

The fit is still north of snug (read: it can feel like a vice grip at first), but does open up over time.

The headband adjustments are still thin metal and adjusting it results in a rather satisfying click for each side.

They aren’t numbered, so if you’re OCD like me or @Metal571, you’ll have to collapse both into their starting positions and then count, sort of like this:

Haha, see what I did there?

MWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAA (ahem). Just make sure to look like a maniacal lunatic while you’re doing it and don’t be a boring tightwad!

The HD58X is another headphone that should theoretically last you a long time given proper care.

Replace the pads when they wear down, experiment with cables, and you can even take them apart and clean the headphones if that’s your thing.

I happen to have a really neat soft bristle brush that came with my Nikon D3200 that I use to get the dust and particles out every so often.

Just keep in mind that the headband has been known to snap under pressure like Henry Hill in Goodfellas.

You’re a funny guy.

Comfort is extremely good on any 500/600 model, and the 58X is no different.

In fact, these are ranked rather highly on my most comfortable headphones of all-time list, and I’ve always likened them to receiving a warm hug from an old friend.

They just feel right.

Clamping force is good, there’s hardly any headband dig, and you can wear them for long hours with minimal adjustments.

This isn’t a headphone you’ll be worrying about much. It doesn’t feel like air, but it’s also not that noticeable when it’s sitting on your head.

COMFORT SCORE: A

BUILD SCORE: A+

How does it sound?

Sound

Sennheiser HD58X Review

What’s interesting about this headphone is that you can’t really tell it’s flawed until you put it up against a perfectly tuned headphone like Sennheiser’s HD560S.

The catch is that these same flaws actually work in the headphones’ favor (for the most part).

In other words, the 560S is almost too correct if that makes sense, while the HD58X adds some coloration to the mix (more on that in a bit).

I’ve had this discussion with quite a number of people and most seem to agree that even despite the 560S’ almost perfect sound signature, there’s something missing.

This has always been apparent in 500 line headphones dating back to the earliest iteration, and the 560S, though a subtle upgrade from its older brothers, still mostly sounds exactly as you would expect; a bit dull, a bit boring, a bit.. meh.

The 58X takes that kind of drab sentiment and kicks it up a notch like Emeril F’ING LAGASSE!!

BAM!

GET HYPED!! WOOOO!!

But how are the headphones flawed, you ask?

BECAUSE I SAID SO! ?

No, here’s the thing about the 58X.

As I was sitting down to do a mammoth back and forth gaming comparison with the Zen V2 and my PS4 playing Fallout 4, I noticed something that really jumped out at me.

The 58X has this weird, sort of overly holographic character to it. It can sound kind of jarring when you’re going back and forth between it and the 560S, and it’s most definitely colored to an extent (as the kids like to say).

There’s this sheen of aggressiveness that the 58X has (as if it’s trying to tell you it’s a fun headphone), and the kicker is that it is!

I really do enjoy it if I’m being honest.

In fact, in some ways, I kind of prefer it over my HD600 as crazy as that may sound to some. Blasphemy!

The HD600 sounds a bit more relaxed than a 58X, and the 650 even more so. The 58X is definitely the most “fun” or “colored” sounding out of the 3, while the 650 is assuredly the warmest and most “syrupy”.

The 58X is not a perfect-sounding headphone which is precisely what makes it good.

Sennheiser HD58X Review

I would liken the 58X to a girl, who, on the surface isn’t really your type. It’s only when you open up your heart to her that you fall in love.

It’s only when you stop being a shallow insensitive douche canoe do your preconceived notions of attraction fly out the window.

In the case of the 58x, its flaws, while apparent, don’t ruin the experience for me when I’m just listening to it on its own. As in, you may not really care that it’s flawed. You may come to adore its idiosyncrasies.

Those same issues that manifest in a back and forth comparison with other headphones actually enhance my overall enjoyment when I’m just listening to music, doing some gaming, or watching a film with the 58X.

Still, you’ll notice the mid-range tends to jump out at you more so than a 560S, and vocals, in particular, can sound a bit gruff and almost overly forward. I discussed this a bit with regard to a track like Common’s “The Light”, one I’ve heard hundreds (if not thousands) of times since it came out in 2000.

His voice is a bit too in your face while the 560S sounds more natural and organic.

Likewise, Emily Rowed’s voice on “Let Me Hurt (Acoustic)” is a bit too forward, but this could be the track itself and not the headphones.

Still, the pattern manifests itself on quite a number of songs so I’m inclined to think the 58X is just a little overexcited at times, like your 8-year-old who just drank an entire 2-liter of Surge and won’t stop talking. ?

Bass & Treble

Sennheiser HD58X Review

Fortunately, everything else is mostly right, which is what has allowed me to keep these on my head almost indefinitely since I received them.

One difference you’ll notice here vs. others in the line is the bass; there’s more of it for sure, but it’s still not over the top.

There’s less roll-off into the sub-bass regions and perhaps a smidgen more mid-bass emphasis. If we’re being realistic, the mid-bass isn’t that much different from the HD600 and 650, but the sub-bass certainly is. This is what gives it that extra weight.

It adds an extra bit of special sauce to the compositions; a running them here. The 58X simply gives you a little more of everything. Some people may like this, others may not and that’s completely fine. Don’t @ me.

The treble isn’t going to get out of line which is perhaps the most important piece to this. If you’re super sensitive to it as I am, you’ll find that it sits nicely in the mix without sounding essy or sibilant; an issue in other headphones like the 400 series from HIFIMAN, M40x, DEVA, etc.

This, in addition to comfort, are what makes the 58X perfect for long listening or mixing sessions.

Reference

Speaking of, the 58x can work well for mixing and reference, but still, keep in mind that the HD600 is the preferred option here due to its more neutral profile.

While you won’t be compensating for a lack of sub-bass, the overall signature is just a bit too colored for serious mixing duties although it can still theoretically work.

Again, I’ve always said that you can technically mix on any headphone if you understand frequency response, and the 58X is no different. It’s probably a slightly above average choice here all things considered.

Soundstage, Gaming, and Film

Sennheiser HD560S Review

Soundstage is one of the most peculiar things about the 58X, and something I was fairly surprised by.

It’s definitely not wide like a K702, but it can be out of your head; more so than an HD600 or even a 650.

It’s just a smidgen narrower than a 560S, but by and large the Soundstage on these 2 are pretty comparable.

The 58X, like the 560S, does a very good job of filling in the missing gaps to the northwest and northeast of your dome piece, whereas the K702 is very wide but sometimes lacks the all-important center image.

With the 58X, at times, you’ll definitely be wondering if what you just heard came from the track or outside of the headphones (i.e. in your apartment, outside the apartment, etc.), but not nearly as often as you will with a K702.

It’s comparable to something like a Sundara or 400 series headphone – above average in terms of Soundstage, but not exemplary. In fact, I would rank the 58X slightly above average and venturing towards completely above average. It’s a notch below a Sundara or 400 series.

Here are some rankings that will help:

Screen grab was taken from the video review.

HD600.

Below average. Poor Soundstage, but good overall separation of instruments.

HD650.

About average Soundstage. For whatever reason, I found the image here significantly wider than that of an HD600, especially in playing Fallout 4. Sounds seemed to be spaced out better.

Sennheiser HD58X.

Sennheiser HD58X Review

Slightly above average. This is starting to veer towards 560S territory, but it’s not quite there. Still, the 58X is more than a viable candidate for gaming and does really well all things considered.

HIFIMAN Sundara/400 series.

Firmly above average. Another step-up from a 58X.

Not quite as good as a 560S or K702, but heading in that direction.

Sennheiser HD560S.

Excellent. Soundstage here is a bit better than a 58X. There are more out-of-your-head moments and your dome will certainly be on a swivel the majority of the time.

Highly recommended gaming headphones.

AKG K702.

Excellent-exemplary. I personally prefer this more than all of the others, but your mileage may vary.

Some don’t like it for FPS, but I found it so realistic that I had to stop playing Call of Duty Warzone altogether.

The soundstage is super wide, and you’ll hear pretty much any and every sound you could possibly imagine in-game.

The problem for some is that the direction of said sounds can be a bit hard to pinpoint, but I personally don’t have much of an issue with it.

Film

All of the same applies in film. The 58X may actually be better because it has that spicy flavor that makes the film more lively and engaging.

The distinction from headphone to headphone is kind of subtle, but I’d probably take the 58X or K702 for film over the others.

With the 58X, you’ll notice everything just seems a bit louder, with a little more oomph and sparkle.

If I could use an analogy, the sound of the 58X is like a photograph that has just a hair too much contrast. As in, you can tell it’s doctored and seems just a smidgen overly drenched in color and lushness.

Again, this isn’t really a bad thing per se, it’s just immediately noticeable when going back and forth and seems flawed in that respect.

Amplification & Genre

Sennheiser HD58X Review

The neat thing about the 58X is that its 150 Ohm Impedance is actually half that of the others in the line. All of the others remember what they were, and pay for it daily.

Wait I’m not The A.I. Colonel Campbell from MSGS2 lol (Sorry, flashback).

The 6XX, 600, and 650 all have a 300 Ohm Impedance and are harder to drive. Both the HD660S and 58X come in at 150.

You can imagine then what a great pair the K3 + 58X is due to the K3’s semi-limited power output out of the unbalanced jack. While you can still run an HD600 with it, driving a 58X is much easier.

In fact, the 58X is incredibly easy to get pumping, so I wouldn’t worry about it much. Good pairings include the iFi Zen, FiiO K5 Pro, FiiO BTR3K, E10K/K3, DragonFly Red, etc. (All linked above)

Sensitivity wise it also sits a bit higher than the HD600 @ 104dB vs. 97.

All in all, you’re almost never going to have an issue with any Amp/DAC paired with a 58X – something that makes it a great first purchase for budding audiophile snobs. Choosing one should always be easy!

To give you a visual, with the HD600/6XX/650 you’ll likely be around 1-2 ‘o clock on the Zen’s dial with power match on. With the 58X and 660S, you’ll be around 10-11 with power match.

Genre

Like the HD600, you’ll be listening to pretty much anything and everything, though the 58X works incredibly well with Rock, Hip-Hop, and Indie Pop music in particular. The bulk of my listening sessions comprised these 3.

While it can and will work for lighter genres like Jazz and Classical, I may not use it full time for those as I believe the K702 is a much better all-rounder for delicate compositions and lighter acoustic strumming.

Final Word

The 58X is a fine entry into the series and a headphone that I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would.

It may not tonally superior to an original HD600, and it’s certainly not tuned as well as a 560S, but none of that really matters much as it could be more enticing to a newbie audiophile (plus, it sounds great and that’s really all that matters at the end of the day).

In other words, the sound signature may be more appealing and accessible to the average person who knows absolutely nothing about the audiophile hobby and prefers more bass out of their experience.

Then again, it may not. Back in 2019, a friend of mine fell in love with my HD600 when I let her borrow it and she knew pretty much jack squat about audio (probably a good thing, lol).

So in reality, the differences between the 58X and the HD600 may not matter much to you in the grand scheme of things. If you do prefer more bass and a somewhat livelier sound, try the 58X. If you’re into a more neutral, honest portrayal of music and also need something for reference work, the HD600 is your boy.

As for my opinion/go-to? You’ll have to click to see:

 

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sennheiser HD58X Review/Shootout and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

Would you invest in a 58X? What is your experience with these headphones? I would love to hear your thoughts. Until next time…

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!

Photo Album

Media

More to come!

Henry Green – Half Light (2018)

Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story (2019)

Gustav Holst, Lorin Maazel, and Orchestre National de France – The Planets (1982)

Kinnship – Commensality (2020).

Helium – Homeshake (2019)

Emily Rowed – Crying in Cars (2021)

Skyzoo – All The Brilliant Things (2021)

Statik Selektah – 8 (2017)

Hi-Tek – Hi-Teknology (2001)

Skyzoo/Pete Rock – Retropolitan (2019)

Anderson .Paak – Venice (2014)

Marco Polo – Port Authority (2007)

Honne – Love Me / Love Me Not (2018)

Toonorth – Aftersome (2021)

Nas – King’s Disease II (2021)

Field of Dreams (1989)

Seabiscuit (2003)

The Road Warrior (1981)

Sennheiser HD58X

4.8

Build

5.0/5

Sound

4.8/5

Comfort

4.9/5

Soundstage

4.3/5

Value

5.0/5

Pros

  • Great build
  • Extremely comfortable for long sessions
  • Balanced sound
  • Surprisingly good for gaming
  • Perfect value, especially for newcomers

Cons

  • Sometimes overly holographic sound

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2 comments

Oliver August 31, 2021 - 11:46 pm

I have these and I really enjoy them, they’re great all-rounders and I use them for everything, they are comfy for long sessions and are light, they also fit fine on my small head. I got hi-fi he4xx after these and I just keep going back to the 58x, maybe it’s a amp/dac issue though (smls ad18 and fiio e10k) you have to let us know if balanced did anything for you, it’s a factor I’m considering for when I get a dac/amp upgrade.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black September 1, 2021 - 3:27 pm

Yeah man, thank you for reminding me! I forgot to include balanced impressions in here as I used them with the 2.5mm cable into the K3. 🙂 Will update you soon.

Reply

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