The Good: The Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones create a wide spacial sound. They have great balance and powerful bass. The cream color and dark wood accents give them a high-end look and feel. The velour ear pads are uber comfortable.

 

The Bad: The 598’s don’t include a carrying case or pouch. They also don’t have a microphone or remote control.

 

Summary: The Sennheiser HD 598 provides audiophile sound on a budget. You’re probably going to either love or hate the retro styling. But the one thing you have to give Sennheiser credit for, is that they’re not afraid to make a statement. The 598’s manage to do this with both their appearance and sound quality. It’s crystal clear acoustics and wide sound stage make it a great buy for anyone looking for a new set of headphones at a reasonable price.

 

Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear Headphones – Ivory

Price: $156.55

4.6 out of 5 stars (3033 customer reviews)

29 used & new available from $135.00

 

 

Sennheiser HD 598 Review

Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones Review

Design

The Sennheiser HD 598 headphones resemble the interior of a luxury sedan. This isn’t a coincidence. This is exactly what Sennheiser wants you to think when you pull the 598’s out of the packaging. The leatherette headband alludes to a leather wrapped steering wheel. The Sennheiser 598, with its dark brown glossy accents and cream coloration, would look right at home sitting on the opulent seat of a Mercedes. The cream/brown color scheme gives the 598’s a retro vibe that’s reminiscent of Polk’s Hampden Computer Speakers. The retro look won’t be for everyone, but personally I think they’re a nice departure from the black/white/silver coloration we’re accustomed to with most headphones.

 

The 598 is designed with comfort in mind. The underbelly of the head band offers ample cushioning. The velour covered ear pads wrap around your ears like a warm fuzzy blanket making it ideal for long listening sessions. The Sennheiser 598 is a feather weight at only 9.5 ounces which also makes them easy to wear for long periods.

 

Accessory and feature wise, the 598 is a little light. It doesn’t include a microphone or a remote control. The replaceable 10 foot long cord of the Sennheiser 598 terminates with a gold-plated 6.5 mm connector. Sennheiser also includes a 3.5 mm adapter for use with mobile devices and computers with a 3.5 mm output. The cord uses a twist-lock mechanism which prevents the cord from accidentally detaching. The 598’s aren’t an “on the go” set of headphones. They’re designed for home use which explains its lack of a carrying case or pouch.

 

Acoustically, the 598 relies upon aluminum voice coils and powerful neodymium magnets. They also feature an open back design. Which means some sound leakage will happen when played at medium or high volumes. So you do run the risk of disturbing those around you, if you enjoy loud music.

Sennheiser HD-598 Headphones

 

Performance

The HD 598’s performed well across the board in our listening tests. The opening trumpets from Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now” sounded detailed and powerful. And more importantly, accurate. The sonic character of the trumpets were almost life-like in their performance. The 598’s extreme detail, revealed subtleties that are imperceptible on lesser headphones. The music bounced around from ear to ear creating the illusion that we were in the middle of an orchestral performance. The open back design made for a spacious sound stage.

 

The Sennheiser 598’s also proved themselves to be quite adept in the bass department. Cuing up Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony’s E. 1999 Eternal album, the 598’s provided copious amounts of deep powerful bass. The one thing about the HD 598’s that became readily apparent, is that they have a very natural sound. Bass isn’t overly pronounced and the same can also be said for its treble response. If you compare them to a set of Beats headphones, Beats has a tendency to over accentuate lower frequencies. Which, for some types of music like Hip Hop, is fine. However, sometimes you want a more balanced sound stage. The 598’s performance reminded me more of Bose headphones in that regard. Both of which provide a balanced listening experience across the board.

 

When testing the Sennheiser 598 with movies they were equally impressive. The battlefield in Lord of the Rings Return of the King was lively and exhilarating with every sword clank easily perceptible. Dialogue was clear and precise and never drowned out by background noise. The open back design created a wide sound stage making it appear that we were right in the middle of the battlefield. While the bass output was good for movies, we felt it needed a little more impact. When the Oliphaunts came marching onto the battlefield, each footstep landed with a heavy boom, but just a little more force from the 598’s would have made the scene more visceral.

 

Conclusion

The Sennheiser HD 598 headphones have a wonderfully balanced sound. The mid-range is smooth and silky. Treble and bass is precise and powerful without being over accentuated. Anyone looking for audiophile sound on a budget should give the 598’s strong consideration.

 

Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear Headphones – Ivory

Price: $156.55

4.6 out of 5 stars (3033 customer reviews)

29 used & new available from $135.00

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