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Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear Headphones - Ivory
- Premium, audiophile-grade over-ear, open back headphones
- Lightweight with luxurious velour ear pads for extreme comfort
- Compatible with virtually every audio device including phones, tablets, computers and stereo components
- Detachable 3m cable (includes 3.5mm adapter plug)
- 2-year limited warranty only when purchased from an authorized dealer.
- Open-back headphones allow ambient noise for a more natural sound experience. The cable is a bayonet type mount that must be firmly inserted into the input on the ear cup and twisted clockwise until it locks to make sure the connection is intact. Manufacturing website http://en-ie.sennheiser.com/global-downloads/file/717/542504_Audiophile_Spec_GB.pdf
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From the manufacturer
The HD 598 headphones combine impeccable sound quality with unrivaled comfort. This elegantly styled over-ear, open back headphone features ear cups with high-gloss burl wood detail complementing premium metal mesh. Innovative acoustic engineering delivers incredibly natural, detailed and balanced sound. A high-quality leatherette headband and velour covered ear cushions provide outstanding wearing comfort for long listening sessions.
The HD 598 offers unrivaled performance and value. They draw on decades of Sennheiser engineering expertise to ensure the sound quality, reliability and durability and audio industry professional trust. Crafted with precision using premium materials, they exude luxury and quality while delivering exceptional sound quality.
Sennheiser‘s innovative E.A.R. technology is featured in the HD 598. This positions the transducers inside the ear cups to channel audio signals directly into your ears producing a more realistic, spatial listening experience. The transducers employ a special diaphragm geometry that minimizes intermodulation and harmonic distortion while delivering high output and impressive frequency response.
Distinctive styling – Featuring high-gloss burl wood accents and premium black metal mesh inspired by European sports sedans
Exceptional clarity – Open back design contributes to outstanding tonal balance, detail and definition
Extreme comfort – Lightweight yet robust with luxurious velour covered ear cushions and padded leatherette headband
Premium components – Sennheiser engineered transducers use aluminum voice coils delivering high efficiency, excellent dynamics and extremely low distortion
E.A.R technology – “Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement” design channels audio directly into your ears producing a more “in room” listening experience
Compatibility – 50-ohm impedance is compatible with virtually every audio device including phones, tablets and computers
Connectivity – Single sided, detachable 3m cable (Oxygen Free Copper) with gold plated 6.3mm connector and 3.5mm adapter
Peace of mind – 2-year international warranty
Did you know?
Sennheiser invented the open back headphone design in 1968. This design, used in the HD 598, is industry renowned for producing exceptionally natural sound quality.
Sennheiser recommends this headphone for music lovers who are passionate about sound quality wanting extreme comfort during long listening sessions.
The HD 598 is compatible with virtually any audio device with a headphone input: traditional audio components, computers, tablets and cell phones.
The HD 598 headphones are open back, over ear, audiophile grade headphones that combine exceptional sound and comfort. They feature luxurious velour covered ear pads and stylish burl wood parts for a premium finish.
Top customer reviews
Before I delve into the nitty gritty parts of this review let me first say that headphones are SUBJECTIVE. If you like bass heavy headphones (e.g. beats by dre) that vibrate on your head then these are not for you. Now that that's out of the way let's continue. The 598s have a higher 50 ohm impedance compared to the norm of 32 ohms so you might have trouble getting the volume you want out of certain devices. This can be easily overcome with an amplifier. I'm using an Aune T1 tube DAC/AMP combo to drive the 598s since I prefer a warmer sound.
I would say the biggest difference between the M50s and 598s is the soundstage. Now if you're unfamiliar with the term 'soundstage' all it really refers to is the headphone's ability to reproduce sound in a way that tricks your ears into perceiving the music is coming from all around you. Rather than being confined to the space in between your ears and the closed back of the M50s the 598's open back design allows sound to penetrate the back of the headphones which in turn creates a more 'open' soundstage. For me, it opened my eyes to an entirely new listening experience. These things do leak sound (which they're designed to do) so if that is something you're trying to avoid then these won't work for you.
In terms of comfort, the 598s take it by a long shot. I was never able to wear the M50s for longer than 2-3 hours before my ears started to ache. The 598s for one have velour ear pads which help a lot and they don't clamp onto your head nearly as firmly as the M50s do. I feel like I could wear these all day without even noticing they're there.
Bottom line, if you are looking to venture into open back headphones the Sennheiser HD 598s offer a value you won't get out of anything else.
1. Sound Isolation: These headphones are not at all designed to be sound isolating. They are completely open - any other sound in your listening environment will come in, and anyone else around you will be able to hear what you're listening to. That being said, they are not intended to be used on the city bus or subway, or in a library, or in your cubicle at work. These headphones are for listening to music and movies in the quiet seclusion of your home or studio. The openness is what gives these headphones the unmatched sound stage they have. No closed set can even come close, on any price range.
2. The 1/4" Plug: On the end of the HD598 comes a plug size that may not be familiar to many. This is not a set of headphones for your iPod or your laptop's headphone jack. Will it work with the included adapter? Sure. By doing so are you missing out on what these headphones have to offer? Absolutely. If you don't have one already, get yourself a headphone amp with the HD598. You need a good source to bring these headphones to life, and with one you won't have to turn the volume way up to hear the finer nuances.
3. The Bass: Sennheiser is not known for their hard hitting bass. Think of their HD5XX line like German sports cars. Some might think they're boring or soulless, but those looking for a consistent, predictable, and balanced performance get exactly what they want out of them. They are designed to give the same output levels across their entire functional range, and the HD598 leads the group. Bassheads should look elsewhere.
As one last note, there is a bit of concern about the cracking on the band that people saw with the older HD555. I can't speak for Sennheiser's official policy on the matter, but every case I've heard of owners contacting Sennheiser about theirs breaking has resulted in a free exchange. The newer ones are supposed to be tougher, and I can certainly speak for that. After several months of daily (ab)use and moving from house to house, mine look as they did when they were new. No cracks, no scuffs, no dings.
These are damn good headphones, and they're comfortable on my big head, to boot. In a few years when it's time to get something new, I'll be going to Sennheiser again.
Three year update (2014/04/15): I still use these every day, and they look, sound, and feel exactly as good as they did the day I bought them. They show zero signs of wear, despite *thousands* of hours of music, movies, and gaming. My five star review stands - these headphones are exceptional. Keep doing what you're doing, Sennheiser.