Sennheiser HD 598 Review
Fantastic performers overall, but these cans stay near the computer.
We typically scoff and prepare for the worst whenever we see the word “audiophile” in the marketing for any headphone that we see cross our desks, because we’ve been exposed to some of the crazythings that people will buy simply because it’s branded as such. That being said, the Sennheiser HD 598s are actually a very decent set of cans for home use. Their open backed ear cups allow for unhindered speaker movement, and they are certainly easy on the eyes. Their pricetag is a little high, but their performance might be enough to justify the cost for some discerning audiophiles, as many shudders as that word may give me.
Comfort Design & Features
Designed for indoor use, the HD 598s also offer some good maintenance options.
As the Sennheiser HD 598s are open-backed, there are certain precautions that you need to take in order to preserve your high-priced cans. Because the electronics are essentially bare to the elements, you should not take the Sennheiser HD 598s outside, nor should you let them come into contact with humid air, as this may over time damage your cans. The good news? Even though cables are often the first things to break on headphones, the Sennheiser HD 598s allow you to replace the 10 foot, robust and well-insulated monstrosity easily should it break or suffer unacceptable internal wear and tear. This is a great feature to have, as I can tell you from horrible, horrible experience.
Sennheiser really sunk a lot of time and effort into making the HD 598s appear as opulent as their pricetag would suggest. With a creamy beige casing with burlwood accents, the Sennheiser HD 598s look like they were carved out of an audiophile’s dream, and sold online. This rather extravagant detailing may not be for everyone, however, especially if you have a rather strong distaste for the bourgeoisie.
When we put the HD 598s on our heads for the first time, we noticed right away that they gripped our skulls firmly, but the thick padding on the ear cups eliminated any discomfort we would feel. Simply put, for our size heads, the Sennheiser HD 598s fit us well and are very comfortable to wear. Keep in mind though, you may or may not have a differently-proportioned head than we do, so try these on before you take the plunge.
Opulent audio to match the package.
For those of you out there that are very demanding with your headphones, the Sennheiser HD 598s are fantastic. The bass frequencies and the beginning of the mid-tones are ever so slightly emphasized, but overall the Sennheiser HD 598s will give you an equal representation of all sounds along the range of audible frequencies.
There is a tiny bit of distortion in the lower end of sounds, but on the whole it's not eminently audible, more of a minor imperfection. Similarly, each speaker maintains an equal volume, but with very teeny-tiny errors that are well below the threshold of a normal human's hearing. Overall, there's nothing much to complain about, and these headphones offer a performance to match the fancy casing.
Stunning headphones, another good showing from Sennheiser.
Our final verdict? These headphones are great. Not only do they provide a flat frequency response and clear sound, but their open soundstage helps provide a very realistic sound. Though these cans aren’t perfect (we’re still waiting on that to happen), they do field a strong performance, and should satisfy a large swath of audiophile consumers. They aren’t able to go outside, but really, they were never intended to in the first place. Good show, Sennheiser!
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