My (Unexperienced) Review/Opinion of the Sennheiser HD 598

Much like the title implies, I have very limited experience with high quality audio equipment. That aside, I'm going to try to review my experience with the Sennheiser HD 598, now that I've had them for some time.

Background: My prior listening experiences (prior to these headphones) has mostly had in ear headphones. During this time, bass was all I cared about. Rock and Dubstep is what I listened to most of the time. Ah, high school....
But I've moved on to other genres as well since then (folk, blues, jazz, classical, etc), and so I've invested a little money into what some like to call "audiophile grade" stuff to change the way I listen to music. Mainly the Mayflower Electronics Objective2 with ODAC Rev. B Tek Syndicate Edition and, obviously, the 598's. The only reason I bought the 598's is because I heard they were good, and the there was a sale on Amazon for the all black anniversary edition.
All that aside, on to the actual assessment of the headphones.

Build Quality: For the most part, the build is solid, and that is just about it. I would much prefer something that feels a little more premium. A little metal here and there would make this set of headphones feel much more substantial. However, I feel like that might take away from the overall fit and comfort. And I'll cover that aspect later on in the review. Overall, I would not say that that the overall build quality is bad. Far from that, actually. Considering the price, comfort, and sound quality, I would say the build quality is perfectly acceptable.

Comfort: I knew ahead of time that these were comfortable. I've seen many people stream on Twitch with these, and there are plenty of people that swear by Sennheiser comfort. And as far as what everyone else has said, I can pretty much vouch for that. They are very light on my head (thanks to the plastic construction), and the clamping force is just right. Enough to hold them on my head, but not so much that it cuts of circulation or causes discomfort. Using the velour pads, my head rarely gets sweaty and fatigued from prolonged use. I have shorter hair, so sometimes the velour does catch my hair and pull a little, but I'll occasionally reset them on my head once every hour or so, and that takes care of that issue. Other than that small complaint, I can sit with these for hours on end and still be pretty comfortable.

Sound Quality: Like I said in my intro, my tastes in music and previous experience with audio is pretty limited to closed back headphones and IEM's (in ear monitors). So, right off the bat, the bass was a little underwhelming for my tastes when I listened to Rock or anything with a lot of low end frequencies. The bass is there, and very balanced, but it's at the back of the overall sound. But, after some time, I grew accustomed to them for one specific reason. Sound stage. Using headphones with an open back was like a breath of fresh air when listening to anything that can be performed live. So in other words, anything that's NOT Dubstep, EDM, Trap, or otherwise music created completely in software. Aside from those specific genres, everything sounds like it could be a personal live performance. That's probably a bit exaggerated, but it is hard to explain how an open backed headphone sounds compared to other closed headphones. I guess to most simplified version would be that open backed headphone increase the simulated volume/size of the listening environment. And I mean volume in terms of cubic feet/meters. In the real world my only comparison is the difference between a small practice room, and a concert hall. (I used to be in band/orchestra in high school). But I'm sure at least 95% of you reading this probably know what I'm talking about, so I won't dwell on that too much. Overall, I very much like the accuracy and sound stage of these headphones. My only major gripe is that I just want a bit more bass. Not too much, just a little bit more than these 598's offer.

Price: What can I say, I got these for a steal. For the sale price of $100 dollars at the time, (price is currently US $153 at the time of writing this), I have no complaints on the price. I can't really compare it to anything else in the same price range, cause I don't have that kind of experience. However, I would 100% recommend these to anyone looking into open backed headphones for the first time, as the price is not completely unreasonable for the overall experience and quality.

All things considered, I'm completely happy with these headphones. I would like to branch out into some higher quality sets in the future, but for now I am content with these. Would I recommend them? If you have never experienced open back headphones or other high quality headphones, absolutely. If you are looking for loud, head rattling, obnoxious bass, these are not for you. To be honest, I do kind of miss a more prominent low frequency response on some music, but the great sound stage and balance makes up for that.

That about wraps up my review. Nothing really groundbreaking, but I thought I would give it a shot anyway. Let me know what you think about the review! Is the format pretty easy to follow? Do I ramble or stray off topic too much? I'd love your critique. I like to consider myself a decent writer, but it has been a long time since I have written anything longer than a text message, so I apologize for any bad grammar. haha
I know the product isn't really that interesting, but I would like to do other reviews just for fun from time to time. Perhaps whenever I get a cool new tech thing. Anyway, thanks for reading!

1 Like

I like mine because I can hear my wife yelling at me to get my attention

1 Like

Yeah, they are also good for streaming! It's easier to hear yourself talk with the open backs. That way you don't end up yelling in the microphone.