This review is spot-on. People who say otherwise either have nothing to compare it with or are simply indifferent to certain qualities of music or they are incapable of dealing with unconventional perspectives. I have owned a Sennheiser HD 595 for years, and while I would still prefer it over many others, and it has great qualities in imaging and is very easy to listen to, I immediately found the Sennheiser HD 598 boring compared to the AKG K550. The AKG was clearer and simply had a different dimension of sound that I was constantly missing with the Sennheiser. Instruments or guitar soli and singing were deeply involving and full-bodied whereas the Sennheiser was content with modestly indicating them. But the AKG was no comparison in terms of imaging and positioning, which is why I wouldn't consider it a serious alternative. You can "see" the orchestra and the pianist sitting at his piano with the Sennheiser, whereas the AKG just throws the sounds at you... They may complement each other but don't replace each other.
I've since tested a Beyerdynamic 880 and despite its great reputation against all the "bigger" names, it was the biggest letdown and the worst of the three. Its sound is dead, unemotional and metallic. It's a bit more precise than the AKG, especially in its "quick", tight bass, which may be a little flabby in the AKG, but honestly I find any words on its more abstract aspects wasted and leave that for people who find merit in it.
In any case I wouldn't praise the Sennheiser for its own sake save for lack of alternatives. Its great imaging and relaxed listening is bought at the price of being utterly boring. Not dead like the Beyer, boring in a "nice" way for sure, but there is no point in blindly (deafly) praising it. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. But it means you won't enjoy certain elements in its presentation as much as you could or should.
What an absolute load of rubbish. To anybody who has put these pair of cans on their shortlist, please disregard this review completely and go audition them for yourselves. I have owned the HD598 for a year and can tell you that these are easily 4.5 / 5. They are my go-to cans for any genre of music you would care to listen to. They are the most comfortable pair of head phones I have ever owned and will allow you to enjoy a broad range of music. Whether you're listening to sparse folksy songs with female vocals or Red Hot Chili Peppers. Live Jazz sessions or even *cringe* dub step. It's all good. A 3 star rating for these cans is an absolute travesty. Boring is not a word i would associate with these cans. I can only imagine the review received a bad pair which weren't burnt in. My cans did open up after 100 hours, so I would advice that. But even before burning in, they were better than 3 star. What's makes the 3-star rating is even more quizzical are the 4 and 5 star headphones on this site in a similar price range, making this review the worst review I have reado on this site. Disclaimer: I own, AKG, Audio Technica, Grado, Creative, Denon & Sony headphones. Sure, some models do certain music better than the HD598, but NONE do most music as well as the HD598. WHAT- HIFI = SHAME ON YOU. This review has seriously impacted my opinion of your magazine.
The reviewer said the Senn HD 598's are boring, yet, You cant find a bad review of the Senn HD 598s online, except for this sight.
What ive noticed is that these cans are often compared to the HD 600s in reveiws, and so many owners of both have determined that the HD 598s have more dynamics, punch, and clarity, then the "laid back" HD 600s...They tend to say that the HD 598 sound like what the HD 600 SHOULD sound like...So, maybe the reviewer reviewed the wrong cans.
I also noticed that this sight reviewed the Focal Spirit One's and claimed they were also dull and tame....Well, I beg to differ as the Focals are amazing, AMAZING, ... much better then Senn HD 600s and better then AKG 702s.....I own all 3, and the Focals are a step -up, tho you do have to give them adaquate time to burn in.
Now i'll get the HD 598s as how can i go wrong now that W-HI-FI has claimed they are only 3 stars.
This English magazine has long ceased to be an authority to me. Their reviews often do not correspond to the truth. HD 598 headphones are one of the best in quality and sound ever created by Sennheiser. This is indicated by all the leading authoritative publication and a lot of casual listeners. These headphones are always at least 4 stars, 8-9\10 points. Nobody rated one for 3 stars.
177 love it!
Is it enough?
Maybe the "What HI-FI"` "experts" have become somewhat deaf in both ears or maybe they are sick with "pure english sound" syndrome along time. It`s very strange.
"The world`s No. 1 home entertainment buyer`s guide online"... Nothing amuses me more than this slogan.
I have one. It’s just amazing cans! Super comfortable and crystal clear detailed, punching, warm, analog, signature sound (wav, cda, flac, ape, sacd, DVD), even HQ-MP3 tracks sounds not bad. Bass may be deeper, but it’s alright for the pure Hi-Fi open headphones. So you can a little improve it with EQ or bass/treble module.
1. This is a true high-end headphones, it require a thorough warming up before listening (at least 40-60 hours!!) (My own HD598 out of the box - just the sound was raw, dry, unimpressive and boring too).
2. They just need a high quality lossless signal sources (WAV, CDA, SACD, FLAC, APE). Work well without an amplifier too. Besides, do not require an amplifier, as opposed to top models. A high-grade home/professional sound card or amplifier is not required but is highly recommend that the headphones were able to reveal their performance, all the potential, full details of sound.
3. This cans work perfect with a computer games, DVD movies and music videos too, especially HD recorded jazz\pop\rock concerts.
Only 9,5 - 9,8/10 POINTS!
I have a Sennheiser HD650 (XLR), this great HD598, Beyer DT990 Pro, CX200-II and even STAX SR-507, I am a music composer and producer, I know what I said.
NOTE! VERY IMPORTANT!
Buy only new version of HD598 with transparent (no color, just embossed) "Sennheiser" name on the headband! With a black one is easy to crack! Be careful.
I`ll hope it`s helpful.
Sorry for my bad English. It’s not my natural language.
Well, first let me say that i dont own these headphones yet.
"yet" means, today, but i'll own them soon.
These and the new Focal Spirit One set
The reason i'll own the HD598s soon is because everyone from Grammaphone to every other headphone "review" site has SHOUTED that these are the best "under $ 500" headphones available.
I own AKG 702 and Sennheiser HD600, and to read a comparison between the AKG 702 and the HD 598 whereby the "respected" ears said the HD 598s are "better"......well, this speaks volumes.
The fact is, you cant find a bad review of these headphones on the internet until you come here.....And what is interesting is that the What-Hi-fi reviewer didnt say they didnt sound great, he just said he was "bored" with the articulate, present, finely detailed sound, that extends deep into the wide stereo field.
In other words, he does not like gold because its "too shiny".
In other words, the reviewer here was having a bad hair day and unfortunately reviewed the HD598 amidst a raging comb over .
Timing is everything.
Going against the grain does take some guts and courage and is not a bad thing. However your review of the HD 598 seems to be more than a little off. I purchased these can's because most sources online mention that this model has a sound signature on the opposite end of 'boring'. I can concur with those reviews after my purchase. However it seems like to me that maybe you got the 598 mixed up with some other product because in a certain light it seems like you have some kind of bias towards the 598. Please do reconsider this review as going against the grain does not hold much merit when the facts are distorted.
No 'bias' I can assure you: we simply report as we find.
I absolutely agree. It's funny you said sr80i because i have both at the moment and the Grado sr80i is falling waay sort of performance compared to the senn. I personally don't think highly of the grado but that's another story.
I don't get it either why the 3 star, i believe this specific sen is one of the best bung for buck headphones available.
This review meke clear once again that "what hifi" guys know nothing about headphones. It was funy that they give 2 star to a headphone and after that headphone appeard as a prodct of another copany rate (the same headphone with different name) to 4 star altough it cost more.
So I really dont know how the thing go here, but it is ridiculous. The senn 598 much better headphone than the "5 star" grado sr 80, and even better than the grado sr 325.
I know it is subjective but I have read so much foolish things in "whathifi" headphones review that i can't stand say some word. I don't know if the reviewer even try the headphones or maybe some company (grado, apple, monster) use this page as an advertistment.
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