Home Open Back Headphone Reviews Should you buy the Sennheiser HD 598? | A DEFINITIVE ANSWER!

Should you buy the Sennheiser HD 598? | A DEFINITIVE ANSWER!

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on

Hi friend and Welcome!

Today I’m going to be swooping in like Batman with another sweet post, this time I’ll be asking YOU a question!

Should you buy the Sennheiser HD 598?

It’s a great question, and I have the answer. But for now, sit back, relax, and grab a bowl of popcorn while I review this unique looking pair of headphones.. I’m will be outlining everything you need to know about these puppies..

You’ve come to the right place!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Specifications/Price
  2. Summary
  3. Pros
  4. Cons
  5. Video Review
  6. Amp/DAC requirements
  7. What they are good/aren’t good for
  8. Consensus/Conclusion
  9. Final Word

Sennheiser HD 598

  • Price: Check amazon! | 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!


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 pretty much a staple in great headphones these days. They are raved about in nearly every review as being some of the most comfortable cans you can buy.

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 check out 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 HD 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. 🙂 They do leak sound, so be aware of that.


  • remarkable 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.
  • detachable/replaceable cable.


  • Cable is a bit long for some peoples taste. 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.

My Video Review

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

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! Hehehe.

What is Soundstage?

  1. They benefit from a DAC/amp.
  2. 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, these don’t necessarily require an amp, but do benefit from one as mentioned above. How to choose a headphone amp!


Reviewers rave about every aspect of these beasts. From their uncolored, natural sound, to the unbelievable comfort, to pure aesthetic. The sound-stage they provide is nothing short of sensational, 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.

Final Word

So as for the question, Should you buy the Sennheiser HD 598’s? I would say that’s a resounding yes.

Brian: “Uhh that would be a yes for me sir”

Principal Vernon: “Sit down Johnson”

Brian: “Thank you, sir.”

-Breakfast club (modified)

Lol but anywho, these are great for mixing as they provide you with proven results in the studio as far as neutrality and even sound. They are an open back model and do leak sound however, so know that you may want to be in a somewhat isolated environment. If not, people will be able to hear what you’re listening to. They aren’t suited for on the go situations and do much better in home.

They also aren’t a bass heads headphone, so don’t expect to be blown away in that regard. They do however provide a clean, tight bass response, are very comfortable, and have a great mid-range and 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 folks! I hope I’ve shed some light on these headphones, and helped you to decide if they are right for you.

If you have any other questions or comments, let me know down below or Contact me!

Are these headphones worth the investment to you? What are some of your favorite models?

I very much look forward to speaking with you..

All the best and God Bless,





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!


Sennheiser HD 598






Build Quality





  • Extremely Comfortable
  • Great Soundstage
  • Amazing Mids
  • Very Neutral
  • Great Build Quality


  • bass may be lacking to some
  • chord a bit long for some peoples taste

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Marcellinho February 11, 2016 - 11:15 pm

Hi mate,

I had the Sennheiser RS120. And now I bought the RS180. I noticed that with RS120 in certain rooms of the house, behind walls etc. that the signal was weaker, but never cut the sound completely. It just made a little noise. With the RS180, there is a slight loss of signal, and it cuts through the sound. This makes using them a little annoying. Why this difference, especially when the RS180 cost three times as much as the RS120?

Stu February 13, 2016 - 10:17 pm

Hi Marcellinho!

Honestly I’m not too sure about that. This article is about the Sennheiser HD 598, so I can’t really comment on those two separate headphones at this moment. Thanks for the information though! I will have to look into it and get back with you.

If you have any other questions about the 598 I’d be happy to answer them!



Frédéric December 1, 2016 - 9:21 pm

The black hd598 se are same ?
Better sound than Fostex Th7 ?

Thank You

Stu December 2, 2016 - 3:53 am


Yes sir same sound. I would go with the 598’s they are pretty phenomenal. Hope that helps.
Let me know!

Lucas Brabant December 1, 2016 - 10:19 pm

Would these be good for producing/mixing? I currently have a pair of ATH-M50Xs, but I want to try open-back headphones, with a balanced sound signature. Also, would the Steinberg UR22 interface work well for amplifying these? It’s what I have right now, and I’m hoping it will be ablt o make the best of the headphones.

Thanks! 🙂

Stu December 2, 2016 - 4:11 am

They would definitely work for mixing because they are pretty neutral sounding. I would also consider the HD600’s for that as well. As for the UR22, unfortunately with it’s Output Impedance of 150 Ohms it wouldn’t work too well as an Amp/DAC. Why? Well Divide the Ohm of the 598 (50) by 8. That gives you 6.25. The output impedance of any source (amp or otherwise) should not exceed 6.25 for best results. What is headphone impedance? The Scarlett 2i2 has an output impedance of 10 Ohm for comparisons sake, and does work better as a DAC for headphones, but still not completely ideal. Your best bet is to get a separate Amp/DAC combo. Let me know if you need some advice on that.


Mark May 17, 2017 - 10:05 am

Between 598se and 598c’s which one is more superior in totality…

Stu May 20, 2017 - 4:31 pm

Hey Mark!

Did you mean to say tonality? If so, I would give the nod to the 598SE. Its open back design allows for more depth of sound and clarity. It also depends on what you need them for. Are you going to be primarily in studio or on the go?

Sagnik August 28, 2017 - 8:09 pm

Hi Stu,
I was looking into wired over-the-ear headphones. I was thinking about AKG 550s. But an amazon review led me to Audio Technica ATH-AD900x. However your review has made me think about HD 598s. I just wanted a neutral response (not that much of a fan of thumping base) and good soundstage and instrument separation. In short something that’ll give me a good music listening experience for extended periods of time. Can you point me in the right direction?

Stu August 30, 2017 - 3:17 am


Yeah from what you’re saying it looks like the HD598 is the right fit. I do like the 900x’s but they’re a bit bright sometimes. The 598’s hit that sweet spot. It’s just an all around pleasant experience, and they do wonderful with softer genres like Jazz, classical, acoustic, etc. The 550’s are also a great option, as they’re very crisp but yet still pretty balanced. Are you looking for an open back or closed? That would determine which of these you go with. The 550 is closed and the 598 is open.

Alexander February 15, 2018 - 3:10 am

Whats the difference between Hd 598 ivory and Hd 598 SR black???. 260 US vs 140 US is a lot of money for same features and specs.

Stuart Charles Black February 15, 2018 - 1:58 pm

The only real differences are the headband padding was updated, and they added an inline mic to the SR version. Sound is the same, so unless you absolutely need an in line mic I would just go with the regular 598. In fact, if you’re really on a budget and need something cheaper, the HD558 does everything that the 598 does, but you’ll have to take out the foam strips on the inside which isn’t very hard at all. I have a tutorial on it: https://youtu.be/FMfNReuRjRo Here is my written review: https://homestudiobasics.com/sennheiser-hd558-review/ Let me know what you decide!


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