Sennheiser HD598 Audiophile Headphones with Burl Wood Accents
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S. Hsieh says:
• Unique color palette
• Great, all around headphone
• Impressive value
• Big soundstage
• Headphone cord too long
• Highly unflattering to poor quality audio
How I listen:
PC (source) -_ Aune T1 Amp/DAC -_ HD598
The Sennheiser HD598 is not the best headphone on the market. It is also not the cheapest headphone on the market. It is, however, one of the best values on the market.
When I first listened to them, I was initially disappointed. I expected a massive improvement over my budget cans (a modified Superlux 681). I did not really feel there was much of a difference between the two, which I knew in my heart of hearts that could not be right. I listened to both separately for extended periods, still no real discernible difference. It was not until I did a direct A/B comparison did I realize how wrong I was! The HD598 is smooth, like silk pajamas on silk bedding. The budget cans are good, but compared to the Senns, they sounded horribly muddy and became depressing to listen to.
After feeling vindication for buying the HD598, I tried to understand why I initially could not pick up a difference. I came to the following conclusions:
• The HD598 had similar levels of bass to my budget cans.
• The HD598 has an amazing smooth, subtle sound.
• My initial impressions were wrong in the sense that the HD598 will not brow-beat other cans into submission. They are great, but not in the way I thought they would be.
As I listened to my Senns more, the more I understood how great they are. It is hard to put into discernible words how it sounds- the best I can come up with are “Ooooooh!” and “Wooooaah…” These were the “words” I made while listening to Escort’s “Cocaine Blues.” “Holy schnikes!” was what I uttered while listening to Daft Punk’s “Alive 2007” on Amazon cloud. Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" was met with awed silence.
…and if that was not enough, the HD598 comes in a unique cream color with wood-burl trim! If the sound was not smooth enough, the looks are as well. In a sea of black, silver, white, and obscenely bright colors, this is a welcome change.
These headphones are fairly light but with some clamp to them. For reference, my head is pretty big, so your mileage will vary. After a short while, they do loosen up and are nice comfy.
There are few headphones I can think of that sound outright better than the HD598 and they cost over $1,000. Are those headphones at least four times better? Not even close. The HD598 is a great value with an incredible sound.
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