Sennheiser’s New HD558 and HD598

Sennheiser just released the new HD558 and HD598 headphones, which are successors to the mid-level HD555 and HD595 headphones.

The HD558 now wears a slick, all black look, while the HD598 took an extreme direction with tan color, wood-look trims, and leather headband pad. Both headphones remain largely faithful to the Sennheiser signature which I find to be one of the most music-friendly sound signatures around.

The HD598 in tan color with some wood look trims and brown pads.

 

The HD558 in a more orthodox black.

 

The HD598 is clearly the more refined sounding of the two, and with a slightly brighter presentation and fuller mids, with clearer background details. People who have had difficulties in getting the Sennheiser sound should find the HD598 easier to appreciate, as the slightly brighter presentation and the fuller mids really make the HD598 a more fun headphone to listen to. Compared to the HD650, it’s evident from the superior refinement and technicalities that the HD650 is the upper model in the line up, yet the HD598 is generally the more fun model, with less emphasis on the low frequency and more midrange. If the HD650 feels out of place with alternative rock, the lighter tune HD598 actually works very well with the music of the British band Oasis. Though having a generally lighter tone, the HD598 doesn’t go over the edge with the treble, and still remains very composed and easy on the ears. It may not be as refined as the HD650 or HD800 that I’m used to listening to, but the HD598 would have a wider genre bandwith than either of the two. Apparently the engineers at Sennheisers have started to listen to alternative and indie rock music lately.

The HD558 remains a more conventional Sennheiser, when compared to the HD598. It is not nearly as dark as the HD650, but the same laid back feel is there. It’s less fun than the HD598, however, mostly because its midrange are not as full as the one on the HD598. Although overall the HD558 is a good headphone, and I like the all-black look very much, yet the HD598 is clearly the star here.


Sennheiser’s New HD558 and HD598
4.5 (90%) 4 votes

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225 Comments

  • Reply September 3, 2010

    Professor00179

    hehe – I just wanted to ask you if you could do similar mod 595 mod (on the HD558) to those headphones but you have explained it clearly in the last photos. How does HD598 compare to HD600? I know headroom used to say that HD595 is a good alternative to HD600 and even thought it is far from truth it makes me wonder whether HD598 would come closer in performance.

    • Reply September 4, 2010

      Mike

      If we were just talking about tonal balance, sure the HD598 can be a good alternative to the HD600. It's even in some ways more fun than the HD600. However, the refinement and the little things, the HD600 is reference-level, where the I would consider the HD598 more of a Hifi grade. The HD600 requires a serious amp though, where the HD598 doesn't.

  • Reply September 3, 2010

    Eric

    Actually I meant the opposite: position your ears in the center of the earcup, then move the headphone backward so your earlobes touch the front of earcups, then adjust from there. You may have to look to find where the driver is in relation to your ear canal as the driver will be close to being lined up with the entrance of the ear canal when in the sweet spot.

  • Reply September 3, 2010

    thuantran

    And here I've just got my HD595 for a few months. But, music I listen to is mostly instrumental music, orchestra, celtic folks and the like. I'm in my twenties but I can't enjoy heavy metal, hip hop and trance, the few songs I do like with the HD595 sounds like they have no energy thus I stopped listen to them, too. I guess (hope) that I don't miss out much by skipping these and upgrading to a headphone in a different class instead of going for something a little different.

    • Reply September 4, 2010

      Mike

      Sounds like you need more bass?

  • Reply September 4, 2010

    Eric

    @thuantran, have you experimented with the placement on your ears with the HD595? I used to have the same opinion of my HD595's, but I found a placement position that seems to make the sound brighter and more detailed while still preserving bass response, towards the middle of the earcup and with the earcups moved so that the side of my ears towards the front of my head are almost touching the earpad. This made them more enjoyable, especially with orchestral music.

  • Reply September 4, 2010

    thuantran

    What I meant by lacking energy is not about bass response but I feel that the HD595 on my rig is too laid back and docile, need it a little more edgy and sparky to be enjoyable for these types of music. It's not a big issue though as I don't normally listen to these genres.

    @Eric: I haven't. You meant first position my ears in the central of the earcup, then move the headphone forward so my earlobes touch the back of the earcups?

  • Reply September 4, 2010

    Shawn L

    Would you consider labelling the photos? Without closely reading the text, I'm not sure which one is which! Otherwise, great pics!

    • Reply September 6, 2010

      Mike

      Okay, I'll add that in. Thanks Shawn!

  • Reply September 4, 2010

    Professor00179

    Thanks for the response Mike.

  • […] Sennheiser's New HD558 and HD598 | Headfonia […]

  • Reply September 7, 2010

    Mike

    I added some additional notes between the HD598 and the modded HD558. And a HD558/598 soundstage performance in comparison to the HD650 and the AKG K501.

    These headphones are truly great new mid-fi headphones. Easy to drive, and great musicality that blends well to many types of music with great soundstage performance.

  • Reply September 7, 2010

    Eric

    Thanks for the additional info in your update. I have been looking for some headphones to complement my K701 with Equinox recable for portable use (as the K701 is very inefficient) and while my HD595 didn't really do the trick due to their somewhat constricted imaging width, lack of overall dimensionality and constricted dynamic range, it seems from your latest comments that the HD598 vastly improve in those areas over the HD595. One question though that I am curious about that isn't addressed in your article is if the headband is made out of a more impact resistant and less brittle plastic than the older generation HD5X5 series? As the shape of the headband is overall the same, I am a little worried of the issues with cracking that occurred with my HD595 and older HD555 headphones reoccurring with the new series. Does the headband on the HD598 and HD558 seem to be fairly durable?

    • Reply September 7, 2010

      Mike

      Hi Eric, I can't be totally sure about the material of the headband. Briefly it looks the same, but upon closer looks, Sennheiser may have changed the plastic composition and we still wouldn't know it just by touching it. I've emailed Sennheiser about this though. I'll let you know when I receive an update from them.

  • Reply September 7, 2010

    Eric

    Thanks for the reply. If they haven't changed the headband, at least I have a headphone bag to protect them in. Thanks again for the great review.

  • Reply September 9, 2010

    Noal

    Heya Mike, thanks for the (p)review, very interesting phones! any word on pricing yet? And how do they compare to ATH-M50?

    Thanks!

    • Reply September 9, 2010

      Mike

      Hi Noal, no word on pricing, but it should be close to the old HD555/595 I suppose. Compared to the M50, briefly, the HD558/598s are open, so that will give an advantage of a more natural sound than the M50. The M50 has a fuller midrange body, but I do think that the HD558 mod or the HD598 already has a good amount of midrange too. The M50’s bass is a bit boomy, while these two Senns give a tighter, but less powerful bass. I personally like open designed phones better due to the more natural sound, so that’s what I’ll take.

  • Reply September 13, 2010

    Kelvin

    Hey Mike!

    Just wanted to point out to you that the mod you’ve prescribed above is exactly the same as the so-called “555 to 595” mod. As shown in the YT link below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvQ8PzBrHXE

    Did you try doing the same to the 598 (if it also has the said rubber/foam/neoprene piece as the 558)? Any improvement in that respect?

    The present 555 (that I have) doesn’t seem to want to punch low enough and the drivers (I’ve to admit, mine are about 8 years old – so they’re pretty tired already) tend to make bass notes a bit of a generic rumble (with some harmonic artefacts) and not stay tight enough (compared to say, Grado SR225i). Did the 598 or 558 improve on this? Also, which would you reckon if both models can be modded (we already know the 558, need to know the 598).

    Cheers!

    Kel

    • Reply September 13, 2010

      Mike

      Hi Kel, thanks for the video link! No, the HD598 doesn’t have that foam piece, so I can’t do the same mod on the HD598. You can, however, do other things to the housing to alter the sound further, but I haven’t really done other experiments with the HD598 so far. As compared to the older models, I haven’t got them around to compare (although I did own a 555 before), so I can’t say for certain about the low-bass issues you’re having. But I’m pretty certain that the newer model improves on the soundstage performance of the old ones. The HD598 is actually pretty impressive, and in a lot of ways the soundstage performance is better than the HD650!

  • Reply September 13, 2010

    Kelvin

    Thanks for the response, Mike!

    I hope I'll get to try both soon and see which ones I'll really like!

    By the way, I tried fooling around in Audacity for playback. Turns out that if I set the project sample rate to 96 KHz (even if my source files are 44.1/48), the bass harmonics issue is minimised by a lot (but the "woolly bass" is still there). Really makes me wonder what is going on here… Haha!

    I hope spares are easy/cheap to find for the 555, might be worth slightly reconditioning them for resale!

    • Reply September 14, 2010

      Mike

      That is very interesting.. perhaps if you can try to replicate that 44.1 > 96 effect on other headphones but same recording, then we can have a case. 🙂

  • Reply September 14, 2010

    Noal

    Thanks for your comparison with M50 Mike, definitely helped me to base my decision and hopefully to others too.

    • Reply September 14, 2010

      Mike

      You're welcome, Noal. 🙂

  • Reply September 14, 2010

    glac1er

    Thanks for the review, Mike.

    I'm very interested in these babies. Since Sennheiser discontinued the HD580 (they realized $120 was too cheap for its sound), there is a large gap in the $100-$200 range open-backed headphones. I never love closed headphones as much as open ones.

    I am even more interested when you said they have better midrange than the K501. I remember the K501 having this very resolving midrange (killed my cheap orthos) when I borrowed it.

    • Reply September 14, 2010

      Mike

      Hey dude, yep the HD558 (mod) and HD598 totally killed the K501 in all areas except soundstage width — and even then, the overall soundstage performance is better in the HD558/598.

      Now back to the midrange, midrange clarity is quite good on the K501 — one of its strong points in fact. The HD558 (mod) is just a tad better on the midrange clarity, but it has some bass frequencies that overlaps the mids slightly. That may bother you, as the K501 doesn't have that problem — but the K501 has a very thin sound to begin with. The biggest difference, I feel, is that the HD558 (mod) has a very real midrange body that doesn't exist on the AKG K501.

      On the HD598, the bass frequency is better controlled and doesn't overlap the midrange as on the HD558 (mod). I feel that the HD558 can be improved further by adding some other damping mods into it. What I did so far only removes the black tape on the HD558 — far from a serious mod.

  • Reply September 14, 2010

    odvan

    Hi. Have a question, would this new 598 be good for rock music in common? I understood it play Oasis and indie better than 595.

    • Reply September 14, 2010

      Mike

      Hi odvan, the 598 should be good for rock music in general, excluding the hard-rock and metal stuff. Of course you need to suit the amp to fit the pace of the music as well. Solid state would probably be better if you listen to the faster paced Rock, where tube amps can be used for classic rock and slow rock stuff.

    • Reply December 19, 2010

      Bacci

      I have the 598 and it sounds best with rock, due to its good bass and mid range performance. Sometimes misses a little clarity in the upper range.

      • Reply December 20, 2010

        Mike

        Thanks, Bacci.

  • Reply September 18, 2010

    purrin

    Thanks for the awesome review Mike! Sounds like the HD598 may be a Senn that even Grado lovers like me would like.

    • Reply September 18, 2010

      Mike

      You're welcome dude. Yes, you really should give it a try.

  • Reply September 19, 2010

    Victor

    It's very disheartening to see that you still need a 3.5mm adapter es. But that won't get in the way of getting these phones!

    • Reply September 20, 2010

      Mike

      @Victor: Senn supplies a 3.5mm adapter for the HD558 and HD598. I think the design with the 1/4" plug just goes to show that they were designed for home use.

  • Reply September 20, 2010

    odvan

    Mike, another question cause I really want to buy one of this.

    How they play w/o amp? Does amp change sound huge? Or it's ok for the first time use it w/o amp? Cause I don't have one (planning to buy matrix m-stage after NY, curious about synergy:)).

    Btw price for 558 is around 160 euro, 598 – 190 euro.

    • Reply September 20, 2010

      Mike

      @Odvan: The beautiful thing about the HD558/598 is that they play just fine without an amp, unlike HD600/650. Of course, if you’re used to listening to everything with an amp, then you’ll probably want an amp to go with it. The M-Stage should be good to go with these. The performance that you get out of the M-Stage, for under $300 is pretty phenomenal. Plus you can change opamps and do the Class A biasing to make the sound even better.
      http://www.headfonia.com/matrix-m-stage/
      http://www.headfonia.com/matrix-m-stage-class-a-biasing/

      The AD700 is just a step in another direction. It has a more airy sound, but I really think that it lacks some bottom end.

  • Reply October 4, 2010

    Mike

    Yo Kelvin, thanks for the update!

    I think the mid and upper bass bloom you mentioned is part of the character of the HD558. Gotta move up to the HD598 if you don’t want that.

  • Reply October 5, 2010

    Kelvin

    Mike, just reporting in on the bass harmonics issue I've mentioned earlier on page 3 of the comments.

    I think it's my laptop 😛

    All the other headphones I've tried had the same issue when I tried them at the shop using my own laptop. No such issues when used with better/hi-fi sources or amps, though.

    It's a shame the 558/598 only just arrived and have yet to break in nicely yet. They also seem to be not able punch low enough (there is reach but not a lot of energy, esp. the 598) and the 558 seems to have a lot of mid- and upper-bass bloom and thus suffers for details and upper mid clarity (could be because it's still new). I'll give it a bit more time before I go back and try them out again.

  • Reply October 8, 2010

    Sennheiser HD 202

    Very, very impressive!,

    One thing you should know about these headphones is that they are not designed for heavy bass and without eq it is weak. Having said that, with the use of eq the headphones can handle a fair bit bass so it is not at all a problem for me. The reason why the bass is fairly weaker than on most headphones is because they are incredibly natural and produce a flat, accurate sound. This makes them great for any recording work you want to do, while also being fantastic for listening to music. For the price the quality of these headphones is incredible, I can’t get over how natural and clear sounding they are. Put it this way, there is a reason why Sennheiser has such a good reputation. I don’t normally write reviews, but this case is a real exception and I would recommend these 1000x over to anyone!

    • Reply October 8, 2010

      Mike

      Thanks, HD202. Yes I think the HD558 has plenty of bass quantity, though not so much on the punchy side. The HD598, on the other hand is leaner on the bass than the HD558, but overall I think it represents a higher sonic levels. I'd have to disagree on the flat part though, while not heavily colored, I don't think that Sennheiser was aiming for these headphones to be flat. The HD558 has a semi-dark signature, where the HD598 is more neutral, but both have some tweaks along the frequency balance curve.

      • Reply October 17, 2010

        Kelvin

        Beg to differ, Mike. The 598 has to potential to punch deep hard and maybe fast if done correctly. I've personally heard that before!

        • Reply October 18, 2010

          Mike

          Thanks Kelvin, I probably need to hear more amps with the 598. What set up did you listen to that gives this deep and hard bass with the HD598?

          • Reply October 20, 2010

            Kelvin

            That was with a Rega Ear and Arcam rDAC. I'll be trying the same amp but on a different DAC later today to test my suspicions. If there are other amps available, I'll most certainly pounce on them!

            Opinions to come, stay tuned!

          • Reply October 21, 2010

            Kelvin

            Okay, so I could be a little tired that day. LOL. First impressions are usually not a good way to judge character….I really need to remind myself that often.

            To be fair, there was still quite a fair amount of quality bass achieved with the 598 and its tightness/speed can be improved a lot further just simply by the use of better quality interconnects. Of course, with the use of better I/Cs also came a wider and more open soundstage. It certainly made well-recorded classical and acoustic pieces sound beautiful and engaging. (another story for another day)

            The upshot of it, the HD598 is certainly a good piece of kit that will respond very well to changes within your setup. Right now, I would place it as THE cans to audition if your musical tastes lie in more relaxed pieces like jazz, classical or acoustic (in which it really shines).

            I believe it also has the potential to fare well for other music types but that would only come if you explore around a bit with other components in your system.

            • Reply October 21, 2010

              Mike

              I agree with a lot of things you said, Kelvin. The HD598 upscales very well and I've been torn between it and the HD600 a lot. The HD598 is not as clean sounding as the HD600 (it has some grain in the sound), but the HD598 has better soundstage performance (especially on the depth) and an even more forward mid, making the sound more fun and engaging. I think Sennheiser needs to update the HD600 with a HD598 signature but HD600 level refinement.

              However I'm not sure if the HD598 can work with agressive and hard Rock, electronica, dance and such. It may work, but it wouldn't be the best headphone for that music. It'll make a fairly good all rounder headphone though.

              • Reply October 22, 2010

                Kelvin

                Hmm…in any case, those types that you highlighted are definitely not my type of music (otherwise any Deejay 'phone like the M50 would have cut the cheese already). 😀

                I agree that the laid-backness of the Senns probably won't fare too well in stuff that needs a lot more "bite". In particular, percussion pieces (needs more leading edge to keep things from falling apart).

                Funny how I didn't quite notice the "grain" you mentioned. Perhaps only possible if I ever get the HD600s on hand to A/B.

                In the mean time, is it too much to ask for a detailed article to compare the 600s vs the 598? Maybe to make things more interesting, throw the 650 or 800 into the mix if you have them.

                I think we spoke on Skype before, you can MSN/email me (at the address above) or poke me on Skype if you need some interesting tunes to try with.

                • Reply October 22, 2010

                  Mike

                  Hi Kel,

                  I've drafted a 600 vs 598 article. I think the 650 and 800 are way too different to be relevant though.

              • Reply October 23, 2010

                glac1er

                I really need to listen to a properly amped HD598. Last time I listened to it unamped the grain level was quite bad (even compared to the M50). This was also a problem with the HD595.

                The HD598 has nice soundstage but I personally think the HD600 is the ultimate balanced headphone you can get for the price. It's one of the few headphones that has a tonality that I keep going back to, even though it's not the best headphone for rock. I'm much more interested in a HD600 with HD598's soundstage performance, rather than a rednecked HD600 update with HD598 tonality.

                • Reply October 23, 2010

                  Mike

                  That HD598 grain is very real, but it's more evident on some recordings and not so on others. So, some people may notice it, but some other may be perfectly happy. It also varies with listening volume (worse on lower volumes), and also amplifier pairings.

                  HD600 still has the ultimate balance in frequency response, but often I wish the HD600 has the HD598's more forward upper mid, while still keeping a powerful bass impact. I think a HD600 update with a HD598 tonality would do very well with today's crowd and music.

    • Reply December 19, 2010

      Bacci

      I actually have the HD598 and disagree. Bass is quite pronounced on these cans, even borderline for classical.

  • Reply October 31, 2010

    x400

    Oh man… should i just buy the 558s and modify them if i wanted to use them for gaming? :/

    argh decisions decisions and i dont know how to find the answers except ask the experts 🙂

    • Reply October 30, 2010

      Mike

      You do realize that the open design HD558 will leak sound outside, right? Better go with the AKG181DJ or ATH M-50.

      Do a search and you’ll find the 9 closed headphones comparison.

      • Reply October 31, 2010

        x400

        hey again yes thanks for the help

        looking through countless gaming based forums the majority of people seem to prefer the 555/595 (although they feel they lack a bit of bass) but supposedly they're great for pinpointing Where sounds are coming from (mainly for First Person Shooters where you're trying to find the enemy location etc)

        i'll have to do some more looking though i guess (these aren't going to be for me but a gift really)

        thx

        • Reply October 31, 2010

          Mike

          For pinpointing sounds on first person shooters, I think the M-50 would do pretty well.

          • Reply October 31, 2010

            x400

            awesome thanks! they look pretty nice too and it’ll save me some cash

            thanks again Mike

            • Reply December 19, 2010

              Jamie

              The M50 is terrible for gaming, as are most closed headphones. The 555 destroys the M50.

              • Reply December 20, 2010

                Mike

                Thanks for the input, Jamie.

    • Reply April 28, 2011

      lois blanc

      I just modded my 558 and WOW, the difference is huge and new sound is awesome. I really recommend everybody to do so. ( I can’t compare with the 598 as I don’t have one :-))

      • Reply April 29, 2011

        Anonymous

        Nice!

  • Reply December 19, 2010

    HiQualiT

    im in the market for my first set of audiophole headphones and the ones i see most mentioned to newbies are the m50, senn 5xx models, beyer dtxxx and also akg 7xx models. im a car audio guy, i like heavy bass but then again my preference is somewhere in between the 2 realms of pure spl (all out bass with no regard for sq) and pure sq, the in between is what we call sql. i listen to mainly hip hop, reggae, techno/dubstep types and variations of acoustic but thats not all i listen to, those are just the main ones. i need to pick one that is great for the music i listen to and that would be great for gaming also. its hard for me to decide because there is nowhere for me to demo any of these headphones where i live. with car audio i dont like bright speakers or speakers that are too flat or neutral, somewhere in between is good, you call it warm? thats for the mids and highs, as for the bass it doesnt need to be heavy, just has to atleast have some authority, i hope that is enough to go off from to make a suggestion. at first i heard that the senns werent bassy enough but then i heard the new 558 and 598 improve on that area.

    • Reply December 20, 2010

      Mike

      Reading from your preference, I think you should take out the K701 and the DT770-880-990 models. A Beyer DT150 would give you closer to what you need, and you can also go with the Sennheiser HD650.

      Here is a comparison between three of the most popular models, just to give an idea: http://www.headfonia.com/old-school-trio-akg-k701

      • Reply December 21, 2010

        HiQualiT

        would the m50 or tma-1 better suit my needs than the dt150 or hd 650?

        • Reply December 21, 2010

          Mike

          I think you should just get the DT150. Its a great headphone that's hard to not like. 🙂

          • Reply December 22, 2010

            HiQualiT

            reason i was looking for you to say m50 or tma-1 honestly is just because i havent heard nearly as much about the dt150 as compared to the m50 or tma-1. ill look into it though, i like your reviews, the shed new light on a few things for me so for that i thank you.

            • Reply December 22, 2010

              Mike

              The reason that I mentioned the DT150 is that the M-50's bass impact is not too powerful. The TMA-1, while better, is a bit tricky to deal with its attenuated treble. If you follow the discussion under the TMA-1 article, you'll see what I mean. 🙂

              • Reply December 23, 2010

                HiQualiT

                Keep in mind that ive never owned a pair of good headphones and im coming from using crappy $20 iems that have no bass or sq at all. So even though im a car audio bass head the fact that ive only used crappy iems makes me have a feeling that what others say lack in bass wont be much of a problem for me (atleast for a while once i get a good hp). One thing i know about car audio is that you get used to bass over time, so i know eventually ill want cans with more bass (only if they excell in sq also, if they dont then id rather stick with good sound over only bass). Im more of a fan for tight, accurate punchy bass that not only does well in the mid to high bass freq but also the low end freq.

                • Reply December 23, 2010

                  Mike

                  I think you should get the DT150, and that's an honest recommendation. 🙂

                  • Reply December 24, 2010

                    HiQualiT

                    Thanks for the honest recommendation:). But i just noticed that they are an eye sore (not that big of a deal i guess if the sound makes up for it) and also out of my price range for now (id like to play with a few headphones under the $200 mark before venturing into the $200+ realm). Sorry i should have mentioned my budget.

                    • December 25, 2010

                      Mike

                      Try the Shure SRH750DJ. It's got good bass, and it looks pretty good. 🙂

                    • December 25, 2010

                      Mike

                      I think you should be looking at this article:
                      http://www.headfonia.com/closed-cans-shootout-m-5

                    • December 25, 2010

                      HiQualiT

                      yes ive read a bunch of your articles, btw thanks for taking the time to write them. but didnt you favor the m50 in the closed can shootout?

  • Reply December 20, 2010

    HiQualiT

    i just thought of something, the honey comb structure on the grills are obviously different, what if you could also swap the 598 grill onto the 558? being as the holes ont he 598 are smaller i think it would actually make a difference.

    • Reply December 20, 2010

      Mike

      I think the grills are integrated to the housing, but I can be wrong.

  • […] […]

  • Reply January 5, 2011

    Dennis

    Just ordered my HD558 headphones… After reading this post and because of the colors of the HD598 (who has made that? OMG) I decided to go for a HD558 and I think i'm going to mod it right away… Has anybody already mod it?

    • Reply January 5, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Dennis,
      I assume you're talking about the removing the black-felt mod on the HD558? It changes some of the sound, but it's not quite HD598-like. You gain some midrange presence, but you lose bass control at the same time. I ended up liking the stock HD558 better.

  • Reply January 8, 2011

    Dennis

    Have succesfully modded my HD558, It wil cost you some effort (putting back the pads on the right place is the hardest part) But the result is wonderfull. The headphone sound so much better in mid range.

    Thanks for the post!!!

    • Reply January 8, 2011

      Mike

      That sounds good, Dennis.It was pretty easy to do wasn't it? 🙂

  • […] bedst lydkvalitet. Den beige er: Seenheiser HD 598, og den sorte er Seenheiser HD 558. Billede er her […]

  • Reply January 30, 2011

    mr. crowley

    Hey mike,
    So in the endm would you recomend doing the mod on the 558-s?

    • Reply January 31, 2011

      Anonymous

      It’s a nice mod, it adds bass and low mid body while loosening control a
      little. Depends on your personal preference I guess.

      Try the mod out, and if you like it, then stick with it. But keep the
      foam stored well somewhere. One day if you’re getting tired of the
      boomier bass, then put the foam back in. 🙂

  • Reply February 14, 2011

    Rasheed Nazier

    Hi. I have bought the 558. it should come around Thursday.. Just a question. you mentioned that 558 can be like 598. And that was the reason, i spared 50 dollars. man you rock. but iam a little afraid, that I would ruin my phones.. do i have to do this in both ear pads? stupid question i know.. but just in case, one more, if you remove the rubber tape, what effect will it have on the bass? would it become more weaker, because this wouldn’t be dark anymore?

    thanks for this awesome review ! 😀

    • Reply February 14, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hey Rashied, the mod is not that difficult to do. Just have to pull out the earpads, then use screwdrivers to open up the headphone housing. Yes you have to do it on both sides otherwise the sound will not be balanced. The mod will add some mid body, it wont make the bass weaker.

  • Reply February 25, 2011

    HeadBass

    thx for the mod idea. It was the main reason why I decided to settle for the 558. I actually was planning to buy the 595 for a long time and when I saw they are disappearing from shops I wanted to snatch some of those few remaining ones. After reading your review of the new series I decided to go for the 558 or 598 but because I really didn’t like the 598 color I decided to settle for the modded 558 that look almost identical to 595 that I liked so much.

    I haven’t noticed any of the “sacrifice of some amount of bass control, resulting in a slightly boomy bass area” you speak of in the follow up article and the improvement on the mids is really huge and totally transforming the headphones. When I bought them 2 days ago and made a direct comparison on few of my favourite house tunes that I know really well with my old and trusty HD212Pro I was very disappointed with the darkness of the sound and how dead sound (as opposite of alive sound) they had compared to my HD212Pro because of the total lack of mids. The listening experience on the unmodded HD558 wasn’t pleasant at all and if I didn’t know about the mod before I’ve bought them I would be really pissed I’ve spent 190 dollars on headphones that sound so bad compared to my still fully working headphones that apart from like 2-3 new cables sound as good as new and are only kinda worn out on the padding and the can holders and which cost me about 1/3 of the price of 558 many many years ago (probably about 7 years or maybe even close to 10).
    With the 598 mod I am finally really happy with my purchase and I can enjoy the improvements over the hd212pro. The new hd558 have overall much clearer and analytical sound and have much more detailed low frequencies with more depth in the bass.

    As a side note for those planning to do the mod I recommend pulling the outer edge of the cans from the pad ring under the foam and inserting a credit card and going with the credit card around while pushing very gently from the inside. Pushing from the inside alone will not work since you will only be pushing the pad ring against the can outer edge and can result in damaging the padding so be very careful and do not damage your brand new phones.

    • Reply February 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, I’m glad you like the results from the mod!

    • Reply February 26, 2011

      Donunus

      Oh yah I also forgot to mention that my 558s don’t have the tape anymore either. I don’t find the change in the bass anything significant with the mod (the burn in is what changed mine a lot) but the mids do improve a bit IMO and get less nasal. It can be tested to a certain degree by simulating where the tape covers the inner part using your fingers to cover the same portion in the outer side of the cups.

      • Reply February 26, 2011

        Donunus

        I took it out and put the tape back in a few times LOL then actually experimented with cutting the tape in half and moving it around until I settled with no tape at all 🙂

        • Reply February 28, 2011

          HeadBass

          that is what I was thinking of as well to try placing just a half of it or making holes in it…but since I don’t notice any increased boominess of the bass after the mod I think I will stick with no tape at all…the bass was a tiny bit boomy even before in stock form and the mids improved a lot and I really couldn’t go back to stock for because of the dead mids. Especially if you compare it to some other phones that play mids well the improvement is really noticable.

          • Reply February 28, 2011

            Anonymous

            If you are not bothered with the boominess, then I would go ahead and take out the tape and just leave it with that.

    • Reply August 1, 2011

      Sandsvans

      Head Bass, thanks for the tip, just did the mod on my 558 and it worked without having to pry them out.

      I agree with you, the HD558’s sound so much more better after the mod. The mids are nice  and the kind of  brightness the unmodded HD558 have has also gone. I’m enjoying it and cant wait for it to burn in!

  • […] are trashed so i need a new pair of cans what you guys think of these 558 with 598 mod? MOD-> http://www.headfonia.com/sennheisers…8-and-hd598/3/ __________________ Brass Bottom Boys v2 Folding TeamOCN Water Cooling […]

  • Reply March 22, 2011

    David Masson

    Just saying, most things like this they bin. The better performing drivers go to the HD 598 the lesser ones go to the HD 558. It is kind of like many CPUs.

    • Reply March 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      Good point, David. Never thought of that.

      • Reply March 22, 2011

        Donunus

        My theory on the difference between the 5xx cans…

        Besides the slightly different tuning/colorations coming from the slightly different enclosures, I suspect that the 598/595 are pre burned in with more hours than the 555/558 so that they can make sure that the drivers are more tightly matched. Its kind of hard to tell the exact matching of the drivers before burn in since they do still change with more time. This theory is also consistent with my 555, 595 and 558 purchases. When I opened the box, the 595s sounded better than either the 555 or 558 which sounded like junk (bright, bassless and unfocused) before any burn in time. I know people might say that the 595s should sound better since it is a higher model but I have a feeling it has more to do with burn in since the 595s changed much less during its burn in period than the 555s and the 558s. After hundreds of hours of useage, the 555 and the 595 did sound pretty darn similar to each other. I instantly had the feeling that if I transplanted the burned in driver of the 555 into the 595 enclosure that it would sound exactly like the hd595.

  • Reply April 17, 2011

    red_joe

    mike..do you think it would be worth it to get 598 even though it’s almost twice the price of 558 in my country?? i’ve listened to both and i like 598 more..but the price difference is really frustrating here..

    • Reply April 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Indeed the price difference is quite big, but the sound of the Hd598 is quite unique. I cant think of another headphone having a similar sound to the HD598.

      Well, at least you didnt audition the HD800. 🙂

      • Reply April 18, 2011

        red_joe

        hmm..thats interesting..but you said the modded 558 is similar to 598, with only 598 being slightly brighter and less loose bass.. how loose is actually the bass? is it overlapping with the mid?? and since this is going to be my first “high end” headphones (been listening only to ibuds before), do you think i will notice the differences between them??

        • Reply April 19, 2011

          Anonymous

          Well, the loose bass is not that bad actually. A little overlap with mids, but unless you specifically wanted to hear sharp precise bass, I dont think you’ll find it to be an issue.

          • Reply April 19, 2011

            red_joe

            hmm..ok, then which one is better for modern rock music?? like muse, linkin park, my chemical romance, etc

            • Reply April 19, 2011

              Anonymous

              Neither are voiced for that I think.

              The Superlux HD330 (sub ~$110, I’m publishing a review on it soon,
              sounds superbs with Muse), and the HD25-1 are better choices.

  • Reply June 23, 2011

    Arjun Jamil

    Hi mike,
    I am torn between the Sennheiser HD558’s and the M50s, can you suggest which one offers better overall performance. I am looking for durability and comfort, i mainly watch movies and play games. when i do listen to music, i mostly listen to classical (mozart, beethoven, etc) and some new pop/rock genres.
    Which pair will suit me better? They stand at nearly the same price point.

    PS- I like bass, but i’ve heard the HD558’s, they sound good enough, is the M50 a huge improvement?

    I will be shifting to a shared residence, would the 558’s be a problem for the other person? Also, the folding design of the M50’s is appreciated as i have the option of taking them wherever i want, eg- library.

    One more thing, durability- i’m a sorta harsh user, i broke my shp2500’s at bout 6 places, but those are shitty anyway. Which one of the aforementioned has better build quality?

  • […] Ik heb zelf de sennheiser HD558 en ik ben er zeer content van Naar het schijnt is er zeer weing verschil tussen de hd598 en de hd558 zeker als je de "foam mod" doet Sennheiser’s New HD558 and HD598 | Headfonia […]

  • Reply July 23, 2011

    Sands

    Mike, thank you so much for your reviews and inputs it’s made my decision making  a lot easier.

    I just bought a hd558.  I have upgraded from a Sennheiser hd570. However I feel like my older hd570 sounds better.  Am I missing something here. The HD570 is also a lot more comfortable with it not clamping down on my head like the hd558 does.

    In comparision to the HD570, I find the hd558 a tad bright. The hd570 also feels a lot more open and airer than the hd558. I really like the sound of the hd570 and was looking for an upgrade but the hd558 dissappointed me. 

    Would you consider the sound of the hd570 to be neutral? 

    I am not a bass head. Bass equivalent to  the hd570 is enough for me. I mainly listen to pop & hip hop.

    What do you suggest? Here are my options 

    Do i keep the hd558 and wait for it to burn in?

    Do i keep the HD558 and mod it by removing the foam strip?

    Do i upgrade to something elsel? 

    My budget is $350 which should buy me a pair of hd650. I have a budget of $200 for a headphone amp as well. I would rather not spend so much unless I have to or provided I find a marked improvement in what I hear.

    • Reply July 25, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Sands,
      I’ve listened to the HD570 once, and it was quite a brief listening time.

      I can understand the concern about the comfort. I think the HD558 is a
      comfortable headphone, even more than the HD555 or the HD600/650. But
      the 570 does have an even looser clamping force and if you like that
      better then yes, the HD570 would be better in that sense.

      What I don’t remember is how the treble response of the HD570 compares
      to the HD558. From memory the HD570 was open and spacious sounding, and
      I think it’s actually slightly brighter than the HD558. But I really am
      not that familiar with the HD570 and so I can’t comment too much on it.

      I don’t know I personally think that the HD558 is a much improved
      headphone over the older Sennheiser mid-line models, and that detail
      level, frequency extension and soundstage imaging should be better than
      the HD570.

      • Reply August 1, 2011

        Sandsvans

        Mike I went ahead and removed the foam strips off the HD558 and boy did it make a difference, it sounds great! Infact I thought the modded HD558 soounded very close to the HD570 and was better. The mid’s, after I removed the foam strip was defnitely more pronunced and it sounded like the treble was quicker. I love it. It also sounds more accurate than the HD570.

        Donunus when I compare it now (after modding) to the HD570, I can see what you said about the highs. I think the difference between the two is that the treble on the HD570 sounds more warm and it has a hiss to it where as the HD558 (modded) sounds more accurate. 

        After getting the HD558 , I now realize what everyone says about the margial performance gain for a lot more money in the audio world! Could never relate to what people say, but now I get it! The HD558s cost me double of what I paid for the HD570 and sounds marginally better. Its nice and I am happy but it is defnitely not a night and day difference.

        I’d love to hear a HD650 to see how it compares to the HD558.

    • Reply July 25, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Sands,
      I can’t quite say if you’ll find the HD650 to be an upgrade. It’s
      definitely a better headphone than the HD570, but if you find the sound
      signature of the HD570 to be very good then any deviation from that may
      not feel like an upgrade.

      Also, I don’t think burn in or foam strip would change much. Perhaps
      spend more time with the HD558 and try other recordings to see where the
      headphone’s strength and faults really lies.

    • Reply July 25, 2011

      Donunus

      The hd570s had a more V-shaped sound. I actually liked that deep bass on the hd570s I had a long time ago but I found the highs to be boosted in weird places. It could have also been a burn in issue since I returned them within 30 days at the store I bought them at. I didn’t know anything about burn in during the mid 90s when I got them 🙂

  • […] the field of contenders, I kept coming back to the Sennheisers.  Also, after finding out how easy it is to modify them to sound like the HD598‘s, they were pretty much a shoe in at that point.  I had also looked at the […]

  • Reply August 24, 2011

    Adam Saleh

    i dont want to be an a** cause i basically dont know a lot about headphones but according to the sennheiser website and their product sheets the HD 515/555/595 are one series and HD  518/558/598 are another series, which leads to the HD 598 being the seccessor of the HD558, and the HD 595 being the seccessor of the HD555.
    if this is wrong i would like to know where u got ur info from so i can be satisfied :D:D

    • Reply August 25, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Adam,
      I think you’re contradicting yourself.

      “the HD 515/555/595 are one series and HD 518/558/598 are another series, which leads to the HD 598 being the seccessor of the HD558, and the HD 595 being the seccessor of the HD555.”

      • Reply August 25, 2011

        Adam Saleh

        ok, so what i understand now is that the HD 5×8 is the newer version of the HD 5×5,

        and a small question;

        is the HD 598 better than the HD595? and how are they compared to the HD 558 ? cause  i am finding it a little hard to understand the full meaning of the article

        • Reply August 27, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hi Adam,
          So the question is, is the 598 better than the 595? As a whole, yes.

  • Reply September 25, 2011

    Isaac Haas

    After being pissed off and disappointed by Bose for years, I have narrowed down my next pair of headphones to either the 558 or the 598.  On the whole I’m looking for a very neutral sound (not a whole lot of bass).  I don’t know a lot about high end headphones and have been trying to decide between these two for a while.  I listen to a little bit of everything, classical, acoustic, metal, r&b, rock, ska, etc.  I will be using these to listen to music at home as well as on the streets and subways of new york.  Am I on the right track here or should I be looking at a completely different model?

    • Reply September 25, 2011

      Isaac Haas

      My main concern is the price. From what I’ve read to get the full experience you need a fairly good amp for these as well.  If I were to buy the 558 that would leave a lot more dough for me to get a better amp and seeing as there doesnt seem to be a huge difference between the two (and the fact that I’m new to good headphones and probably wouldn’t notice the difference) I was thinking that might be the better option, and as far as the amps go what would you recommend for the 558s? I would really like something portable so I can use it on the go.

      • Reply September 26, 2011

        Anonymous

        Yes, I think you should check out the two headphones I posted below your first comment.

    • Reply September 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      You should be looking at a different headphone, primarily because these headphones are designed to be used indoors.
      While I also don’t think you can get a headphone that would cover all that different genres you listen to, I’d recommend you to try out either the Beyerdynamic DT1350 or the Sennheier HD25-1 for starters. http://www.headfonia.com/adidas-originals-hd25-1/ http://www.headfonia.com/beyerdynamic-dt1350-death-to-the-hd25-1/

  • Reply September 28, 2011

    Anonymous

    Copy and pasted from another comment that I wrote: 

    “Okay for the last time: 
    HD558 mod vs HD598. Still very different, and yes the HD598 is still the better sounding headphone. Sennheiser engineers know what they are doing and a simple foam removal mod isn’t going to do it. As for the HD600 vs HD598, The HD598 excels in certain areas like vocal and soundstage depth, soundstage image. But overall the HD600 is still the higher end headphone. The HD598 is the newer release and I suppose Sennheiser have learned a lot more things from the HD600 days and that’s why it’s able to accomplish some things better like soundstage and vocal but overall it’s still proper that the HD600 earns the higher model number. I would brand the HD598 as a very fine Hifi headphone. It sounds good and among the best sounding headphones I’ve listened to. The HD600 on the other hand is a solid reference-class headphone and in that sense it’s a higher up headphone than the HD598 is. The HD600 still sounds very musical, but on top of the musicality you get added points such as a far more accurate timbre and a more proper bass impact both of which the HD598 doesn’t have. 
    Now interestingly if you happen to have a $2,000 headphone amp, the HD598 scales up better than the HD600.. and again I suspect that’s some of the things Sennheiser engineers have learned over the time which they didn’t quite have when they designed the HD600. But for most people, I doubt they’ll be pairing the HD598 with a $2K amp. “

  • Reply October 7, 2011

    Anonymous

    Hi, i’m looking for buying a new headphone, and I’m thinking between HD 558 or 598.

    Two questions:
    1: a Fiio e9 will improve the sound ? and worth the money ? (95 dollars)
    2: I need a good sound in games, and i know they are good for this, but, who fit better with my music tastes: Rock, Metal, Acoustic, Classical and jazz.

    i want good mids and treble. since later i will get a Grado for my Rock / Metal. for now, only looking to a good game/movie and acoustics headphone, but not too bad in rock/metal.
    Sorry for my bad english 😉

    • Reply October 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes surely an amplifier would be good for these headphones, though not absolutely necessary but they will improve dynamics and punch, and yes the E9 will give you that.
      I think the 558 would be good in games, acoustic, classical and Jazz. For Rock and Metal the Grado, Alessandro, or Senn HD25-1 would be a better choice.

      • Reply October 7, 2011

        Anonymous

        Thanks 😉

        I go with 558 + e9 (235 dollars), soon a Grado/Alessandro, and later, maybe i buy another over-ear, to use with e9 😉
        you have any recomendation in AMP or headphone ?

        • Reply October 11, 2011

          Anonymous

          Check out some of the stuff I’ve reviewed on the front page, Pedro.

  • Reply October 11, 2011

    Wefwe

    Thank you very much for the Mod tutorial, there is really a difference!

    • Reply October 11, 2011

      Anonymous

      You’re welcome.

  • Reply October 19, 2011

    Crane1111

    Hello,

    just wanted to know if I’ll get about the same quality/soundstage/directional precision in sound for movies/games if I choose modded 558s instead of the 598s. Having trouble choosing between the two.

    Also do you think Pioneer HDJ2000 are good for rock/metal?

    • Reply October 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Crane, I think the soundstage performance on the HD558 is very close if not the same as the HD598.
      As for the Pioneer, I think it’s a headphone designed for DJs, not exactly rock/metal.

      • Reply October 19, 2011

        Crane1111

        what about the detail in games? is gonna be about the same? seeing as 598’s still have more open treble

        • Reply October 19, 2011

          Anonymous

          Detail level is actually the same, just more treble on the 598, doesn’t mean more detail.

          • Reply October 19, 2011

            Crane1111

            Doesn’t treble generally accentuate details? like on violins, guitars and instruments?

            • Reply October 19, 2011

              Anonymous

              Yes, although it’s perceived details. Actual detail level is the same regardless of treble response.

  • Reply October 19, 2011

    Crane1111

    Much thanks!  You reply very very quickly.

    • Reply October 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      You’re welcome Crane. 🙂

  • Reply October 20, 2011

    Crane1111

    Hello Mike, sorry to bother you again…. I’ve heard from a source that the Pioneer HDJ-2000s have better sound
    quality than the Sennheiser 598s…do you know if this is true? One is
    closed and the other is open so I had no idea what this guy was talking
    about. I’m a debutante in the audiophile world but my initial thought
    was that since the 598s are open they would obviously have a bigger soundstage, precision and balance
    in sound but apparently I could be wrong. What do you think?

  • Reply October 22, 2011

    John Clare

    Just got a set of 558s (set my budget at $150).  I’m not into colored sound or exaggerated bass.  Therefore I was very careful to go for accuracy.  Firstly I want to thank you for the review, and also for the mod.  Having just performed the mod after listening to the phones for a few days, I immediately notice the improved mids and there’s only a slight (but noticeable) bass increase/spread.  The improved mids and a slight clarity improvement after the mod mean I won’t be putting the foam back in. 

    This is my first set of audiophile level headphones.  I had been using a set of Sennheiser HD 497 headphones since ~2004, and I always thought those were superb, and bang for buck I suppose they are/were.  But one listen to the 558s and I can’t imagine ever going back to the 497s for any reason other than travel, since they aren’t a big investment to risk breaking or losing.  Just like the 497s though, the 558s are going for accuracy and that’s why I can’t ever imagine owning a pair of $50+ headphones made by anyone but Sennheiser.

    Even though these are 50 Ohm phones, anything can drive them well, and they make everything sound better, be it a hifi or a an ipod (don’t turn your nose up at me! I’ve got both ;)).

    • Reply October 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing, John. Glad to see you’re really enjoying the HD558s, they are really good headphones.

    • Reply November 1, 2011

      Seemanta

      50 ohm – so that means that I don’t have to buy a portable amp for it, right ?

      Great review and thanks for putting this up.

      • Reply November 1, 2011

        Anonymous

        Okay, the new rule of thumb on amplifiers, taken from FAQ #5 (http://www.headfonia.com/faq/):
        The new rule of thumb on amplifiers is that if you are using a big circumaural headphone (the one that covers your ears), regardless of the impedance or sensitivity rating, an amplifier in most cases would help. This is extremely true if you are talking about driving the headphones from a portable player, a mobile phone, or a laptop. Even if you can get the volume to go loud enough, a separate amplifier will do a better job in delivering current which will improve bass punch, among other things.
        Medium sized headphones, say like the Sony MDR-7506, Audio Technica M-50, or the Sennheiser HD202 would also benefit from an amplifier. Small portable headphones like the Sennheiser PX100 or the Jays V-Jays can still benefit from an amplifier, but sometimes I skip them since I am not that picky when listening to music from small headphones.

        • Reply November 2, 2011

          Seemanta

          Thanks, for helping out a budding audiophile.

  • Reply November 7, 2011

    Richard

    Thanks for the review Mike. I appreciate it. 

    I have a question. Does the mod void the warranty for the hd558?

    • Reply November 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      You’re welcome, Richard.

      Most probably the mod would void the warranty, yes.

    • Reply November 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      You’re welcome, Richard.

      Most probably the mod would void the warranty, yes.

  • Reply November 7, 2011

    Richard

    Thanks for the review Mike. I appreciate it. 

    I have a question. Does the mod void the warranty for the hd558?

  • Reply November 8, 2011

    GPyrros

    hi my name is george and i listent o heavy metal and rock i am considering buying the 558 could anyone please tell me if they are good with those genres if the diffrence is so big between the 558 and the 598 so i should save and buy the 598 and if neither of them are  good with my taste which should i buy with a budget around 150 euro idurable and a bit stylish not like the hd 25 1
    P.S. do they come with a case.

    • Reply November 8, 2011

      GPyrros

      *i also want them to be durable. im also having some second thoughts as the jack is too big with the adaptor on and i want them for my smartphone(htc wildfire)  and primarily for walking etc

      • Reply November 9, 2011

        Anonymous

        If you want a portable then it’s the HD25-1.

        • Reply November 9, 2011

          Pyrros Inc 13

          not the grados sr225i cause i kinda dont like the  looks of the hd25 1

          • Reply November 10, 2011

            Anonymous

            Alright then, SR225 it is.

    • Reply November 8, 2011

      GPyrros

      *i also want them to be durable. im also having some second thoughts as the jack is too big with the adaptor on and i want them for my smartphone(htc wildfire)  and primarily for walking etc

    • Reply November 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi George, 

      Nope, don’t think they would make good metal/rock headphones.

      Get the Senn HD25-1 instead, or the Superlux HD660 (Thomann.de is a Superlux agent in Europe).

  • Reply November 8, 2011

    GPyrros

    hi my name is george and i listent o heavy metal and rock i am considering buying the 558 could anyone please tell me if they are good with those genres if the diffrence is so big between the 558 and the 598 so i should save and buy the 598 and if neither of them are  good with my taste which should i buy with a budget around 150 euro idurable and a bit stylish not like the hd 25 1
    P.S. do they come with a case.

  • Reply November 11, 2011

    Seemanta Dutta

    Your blog is awesome! I got so many questions answered here! I have another question though. I recently bought the HD 558 for 145$. Now I am seeing the HD598 for sale at 180$. So my question is, if the HD 598 is going to worth the extra 35$ over and above what I paid for the HD558.

    If the improvement is marginal over the HD 558, then I am going to stick with my 558. But if I am going to get some nice improvement, then I can surely think of returning the 558 for a full refund and get the 598 for 180$.

    Once again, I am very grateful to you for maintaining this blog. Keep up the good work!

    regards,
    //S

    • Reply November 14, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Seemanta!

      Between the HD558 and the HD598, I think the HD598 is the better headphone but there is a factor of synergy also. I think the HD558 would be the better all rounder, where the HD598 is more specialized for the vocals.

      • Reply November 15, 2011

        Seemanta Dutta

        I have limited resources and can buy only an amp OR the HD598. I have been auditioning the Fiio e7 for quite some time now, and I find marginal improvement with it on my HD558.

        So should I go for HD558+Fiio E7 or HD598 w/o DAC/Amp. Both are mutually exclusive, though HD 598 w/o DAC/AMP will be about 35$ or so cheaper. Never been in a dilemma before!! Please help this budding audiophile!!

        • Reply November 16, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hi Seemanta,
          Perhaps I wasn’t being clear on the last comment. Between the HD558 and the HD598, the two are quite different in sound presentation. So while on one hand the HD598 is better in terms of overall technicalities, if the presentation of the sound doesn’t fit you then there is no point in getting the HD598.
          Also, what are you going to use the E7 for? the DAC feature or the portable amp feature? If the DAC feature then I suggest the newer E10. If the portable amp feature then I suggest the JDSLabs Cmoy.

  • Reply November 15, 2011

    Gerard Dijkstra

    Wow. Just wow. As far as mods go this is pretty elementary stuff! Low risk for a good general increase in performance. Let’s face it Sennheiser styling of the HD598 and HD600 IS an acquired taste (faux marble and beige and wood effect, lol). I think Sennheiser should have just lowered the price of the HD598 and made it availaible in two color ways, but I guess company’s have to differentiate their product range. Thing is in many international markets the HD598 is 33% more expensive than the HD558 which is not unsubstantial.
    I’m purchasing the HD558’s with the intent of modding and then later upgrading to either the HD600 or HD650 and pairing with an Asgard Schiit amp as I suspect anything below these headphones won’t benefit nearly as dramatically from powering up. I think this is a good upgrade path and introduction to the Sennheiser sound. Do you agree or is there a solid-state amp in a similar price range that would be more suitable?

    • Reply November 16, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Gerard,
      I agree with most things you said. And likewise on the Asgard amplifier, it should make for a nice pairing with the Senns listed here.
      The HD558 modded, however, is not quite the same as the HD598.

  • Reply November 21, 2011

    Paul Brandenburg

    Hi Headfonia – just discovered your site and thinks its really fabulous.  Just wanted to check (and apologies if this has already been asked) if you’d tried the HD518 and, if so, how it compares to the HD558/598 in this review?  I’m a bit of a poor grad student so if the HD518 is nearly as good for just over half the price of the HD598 then would be tempted to the HD518.  However, given that these headphones will (hopefully) last several years I would not want to skimp out on $90 if the HD598 were quite a bit better… Music genres are Top40 (shameless I know) and Classical (for listening to while studying).
    Thanks!!

    • Reply November 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Paul,
      Something short on the HD518 vs the HD558 (the HD598 is a bit different than the two). The HD518 is like the HD558 but with less bass quantity. Do you think that’ll work out for you?
      You can also try the Alessandro MS-1. For about the same price as the HD518 I think it’s a better headphone, and it would do Top40 and classical just fine.

      • Reply November 21, 2011

        Paul Brandenburg

        Thank you very much for the prompt reply.  Given my consumerist tendencies I think I may just go for the HD598.  I see its predecessor (HD595) was released 5 years so if Sennheiser keep with that release cycle the successor to the HD598 won’t land until 2015 and since these puppies won’t be leaving the house I should be able to get good, remorse-free use out of them for 3-4 years, making the $90 price difference relatively trivial over such a time period.  Plus judging by the current street price of HD595 these HD598 should hold their value.  I found the SR80i a bit uncomfortable and think I might prefer the ‘circumaural’ style of the Senns.

        Judging by your glowing review it sounds like I would benefit from the new Fiio E10 since I will be using the HD598 on a very compact laptop (Toshiba R835).

        One more point actually – I plan to stream most of my music using Spotify and was wondering whether given this setup opting for the more expensive ($10/month) service that has 320kbps would deliver a noticeable improvement over the standard Spotify 160kbps quality? This might make for a good post on its own by the way!

        Finally to top it off (and because Micca is pushing me into it through free shipping and a $10 discount when ordered with the Fiio E10) I will probably go with the Soundmagic E10 for the cheap portable solution as my CX 300 II were recently nicked after an enjoyable 2 year stint.

  • Reply November 24, 2011

    ABa

    I’d say the 598 is brighter as the outer grill is metal and reflects the upper range more. The 558 mod has the same air flow and only a plastic outer mesh. Also it has poor flow right behind the vent in the back of the driver. I am tempted to grind the plastic that holds the logo on down a bit to get more airflow behind the driver.

    • Reply November 25, 2011

      Mike

      Yea, that makes sense. I never really realized that the mesh is metal on the HD598.

      Thanks for letting me know!

  • Reply November 25, 2011

    Keldon

    I listen to a lot of ambient and downtempo electronic stuff (neither is bass heavy), which one would be better? I also would like to know if either the 558 or 598 will be very comfortable for someone with glasses: I tend to wear headphones for long sessions of gaming, working, and studying (sometimes 5-6 hours at a time) and the current headphones I have (really cheap $30 Sennheisers) really start to hurt after an hour or two. thanks!

    • Reply November 25, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Keldon,
      I listened to some ambient and downtempo electronic, and I still think that the AIAIAI TMA-1 is best for those. The mood and the music is just perfect with the TMA-1.

      Between the 558 and the 598, I will go with the 558 though.

  • Reply November 29, 2011

    Signe

    I’ve red that the model HD598 have ‘open back’, and that people around can hear.. do you think the model will be able to use for example at the bus or in the train?

    • Reply December 1, 2011

      Mike

      Nope, definitely not ideal for use on the bus or the train.

      Perhaps try something closed and smaller for those uses, like the Senn HD25-1 or the Beyerdynamic DT1350.

  • Reply December 4, 2011

    Rvnd95

    Hey Mike,

    I’m really passionate about music but i’m new to the headphone scene.
    I had recently seen a review of the HD 558 on youtube and i was really impressed.
    But then i read your review and i was hit with a dilemma.

    I couldn’t choose between the 558 or the 598.

    I listen to all kinds of music. I would like to listen with the headphones not just at home but wherever i go ( i heard the 558 was not too heavy).
    Prefer to have a durable set of headphones (doesn’t bend, break or get scratches easily).
    Prefer to listen to my music without disturbing others around me.

    Also my budget isn’t too high (i’m just a student – but i can afford the 558)

    Could you give me some advice?

    • Reply December 4, 2011

      Rvnd95

      Actually, i did a bit more research and found the audio technica ath-m50 to my liking.
      Would you recommend that?

      • Reply December 5, 2011

        Mike

        Yes the ATH M-50 would be a really good headphone.

    • Reply December 5, 2011

      Mike

      Hi,
      The 558 and the 598 were designed to be used at home, even though they are not heavy they wouldn’t make an ideal headphone on the go since: 1. They are an open-back design, meaning sound leaks in and out
      2. They are relatively large for moving around with.
      3. The cables are very long.

      If you can afford it, the Sennheiser HD25-1 would make for a much better portable. http://www.headfonia.com/sennheiser-hd-25-1/
      It’s about $199 on Amazon.

  • Reply December 20, 2011

    Sigmundsartre52

    Dear Mike,
    I’m new to  the audiophile scene and have recently been introduced to the music of jazz labels such as ECM and am looking for a pair of headphones which can cater to this sort of music. My budget is low but the 558s are within my grasp. Would you reccomend these headphones for jazz and classical music as well as rock and acoustic music?
    many thanks

  • Reply December 28, 2011

    Yjbb86

    It seems that it’s hard to find a downgraded model from HD650, which has the similar sound signature as HD650. I love HD650 a lot, laid-back and dark sound for extended listening. Always show the full picture of music, soul of music, ideal for performing Sherlock Holmes’ soundtracks. Also I have a PXC450, with less bass performance, good in detail and space. But it has no soul compared with HD650.

    • Reply December 28, 2011

      Mike

      Yes indeed it is.

      The Goldring DR150s may be close to what you’re looking for, but the fidelity factor isn’t quite the same as teh HD650.

  • Reply January 4, 2012

    Chris

    Hi Mike, Thanks so much for this site and all your writing and answering of posts. I just found the site fairly recently, and I’m really impressed.

    I’m seriously thinking of getting the AT AD900 (replacing my AD700) but after reading about the Senn HD598 am wondering if that would be a better choice. Imaging, instrument separation and soundstage are very important to me. I listen to all kinds of music–classical, jazz, rock, folk. Bass is least important to me, good mids (involvement) and air are much more important. Detail is nice up to a point, but too much will make much of my music harder to listen to. Any thoughts about these two and/or any other phones for less than $300?

    Thanks

    • Reply January 5, 2012

      Mike

      Chris,
      May I ask you to read the AD-series review? It has some points, especially on the section about soundstage. Let me know what your impressions are afterwards. http://www.headfonia.com/audio-technica-ad-series-ad300-ad700-ad900-ad1000prm-ad2000/

      • Reply January 5, 2012

        Chris

        Mike, I had actually read that comparison and found it to be very interesting. I agree with you as to the soundstage of the series (or the AD700 anyway) that it is spacious, instrument placement is ambiguous and at least on the AD700 the soundstage is mostly to the sides or at least not out in front, where I would prefer it to be. What threw me a little about your comparison to the HD598 were the words  “where the HD598 is significantly more closed and narrow.” Closed and narrow sound very negative to me, I picture “hallway and constricted,” although when I think about it you’re just making a comparison and could just as well have said “not as open and spacious,” as the Audio Technicas. I probably wouldn’t have balked at that description.

        I guess my real problem is, I truly like the AD700 and would love it if the AD900 which addresses one of the AD700’s slight shortcomings with a little more body, also addressed the imaging/depth issue. It seems it doesn’t. Unfortunately I don’t live anywhere near civilization so I can’t compare headphones in person, which means I can’t find out what I’ll have to give up (if anything) by going with the HD598. And I’ve yet to see a Sennheiser/AT comparison; if you or anyone has seen one please point me to it.

        Thanks so much for your response.

        • Reply January 5, 2012

          Mike

          Chris,
          I think the issue here is that we are so used to associate good soundstage with a wide open sound.
          The comparison between the HD598/558 and the AD700/900 is the perfect comparison to discuss this. With the Audio Technica, you get a wide open sound, but there is no proper soundstage image, no three dimensionality, no layering. With the Senns, the sound is more closed in, not as wide open, but the soundstage image is very accurate and very three dimensional. So the bottom line is if you’ll ask me which has the best soundstage, it’s the Senns. But if you ask me which has the more open sound, it’s the Audio Technicas.
          Then there is the usual discussion about tonality, which has the better body and so on. Generally speaking the entire AD-line up is about giving an airy sound, not about mid or low end body. On the other hand Senn has always been putting their money on mid and low end body. At the end it’s up to the individual to choose, which sound presentation fits their music better.

          • Reply January 5, 2012

            Chris

            Well, I decided to get the HD598. I went back over your reviews of the HD558/598 and noticed a phrase I hadn’t notice before. You said something like; these phones were born of a marriage between AT and Senn. That and the fact that a refurb pair was available for $150 sold me.
            Thanks again.

            • Reply January 5, 2012

              Mike

              You’re welcome, Chris.

  • Reply February 27, 2012

    James Park

    Would it be sensible to buy this headphone or the fiio e17 first? I have the UE triple-fi, and an old sennheiser HD 438, though the sennheiser is kinda quiet when im listening to it on my iphone. I usually listen to rock, k-pop, r&b, hiphop, and ballads (though im not sure what the specific genre is supposed to be named, but thats what they call it in korea…). Basically I’m wondering if it would be sensible to buy the Fiio E17 first or the Sennheiser 598 first.

    • Reply February 27, 2012

      Mike

      Hi James,
      I’m not sure if the HD598 is suitable for your music. Kpop, R&B, and such. Actually, I don’t think it is. The rule as always is to find the correct headphone first, then add the amplifier after that.
      Try looking at our Headphone Recommendations page for now: http://www.headfonia.com/full-size-headphone-recommendations/

      • Reply March 16, 2012

        James Park

        I’m actually not sure which genre I usually listen to since i tend to listen to completely different types every few months. What i DO want to find right now, is a headphone/earphone that sounds a bit sweeter on the vocal part of The Noise EP album by the Weeknd.(its not a typo). I use the UE Triple-fi almost all the time, and they’re really good, but i feel unsatisfied on the vocals. so.. Any suggestions?

        • Reply March 16, 2012

          Mike

          James, 
          I’m not too familiar with the Weeknd, but the HD598 has one of the sweetest vocals around.

          • Reply March 16, 2012

            James Park

            Awesome. HD598 it is. Nice to finally offset the UE triple-fi with a nice headphone. btw, I’m curious about the amplifiers. Is it a necessity or an option? and if it is a necessity, which one would you suggest? I was thinking about a portable one since i usually listen on the go. 

            Thank you Mike! This site is pretty awesome.

            • Reply March 17, 2012

              Mike

              Hi James,
              The HD598 is pretty easy to drive, but the rule with big headphones is to always add an amp. Even a simple portable amp would work.

          • Reply March 17, 2012

            James Park

            great. I’ll look into some portable amps. Though, I’m not sure if i can find them easily since I’m not used to living in korea 🙁

  • Reply February 29, 2012

    Valerio Longo

    Hi. from my experience of headphone modder i can say that the brigther signature of 598 is given by the metal grills (this happen in my  pioneer se a  10o0 when i remove metal grills, more middles and less treble, and a more open bass)

    • Reply February 29, 2012

      Mike

      Thanks Valerio.

      I didn’t think the grill material on the HD598 and HD558 is any different, just a different hole structure.

      • Reply February 29, 2012

        Valerio Longo

        Yes they’re different! 🙂 I have now under my eyes  a HD 558 and i can assure you that there is only a plastic grill covered with  a thin cloth… while in hd 598 (that I have not but i saw open,  I have an HD 595)  there is a metal grill.
        Sorry for my english but I’m italian 
        Have a nice day 😀

        edit: to be precise there are 2 grills in hd 598, one inside, plasticous, vere large, and one outside , metallic

        • Reply March 1, 2012

          Mike

          Alright, Valerio. I haven’t used them in a while, have to double check, but I believe you. 😉

  • Reply March 2, 2012

    Linzoz

    Mike,  Thank you for your excellence review and comparison of the 558/5968 Sennheisers.  Thanks also to all those who have posted their comments on their experience with the 558/598 and the modded version.

    I have just bought the 558s without having the opportunity of hearing them (no nearby shops with Sennheisers on trial), and my immediate reaction was that while the sound was excellent, the sound was no where near as spacious as my old HD500s.  The HD500s do not have any rubber to block the rear grill. Now since the whole idea of open headphones is to increase the spaceousness of the sound, covering the holes and reducing the “openness” did not seem to make sense to me.  So,  I had no hesitation in  modding the 598s. 

    The results of the modded version of the 558s to my ears was,
    * a much more spacious sound.  (It sounds like my head is swimming in a sea of sound – much like one actually experiences at an orchestral concert).
    * the base was much reduced
    * the mid range significantly increased
    * the left- right definition reduced.  (I found the left right definion on the unmodded 598s too strong for my liking.)

    I am very happy with the modded 558s.  I should mention that I am 64 years old and  I have some  reduction in my hearing that is typical for my age group.

    Cheers,
    Lindsay.

  • Reply March 21, 2012

    Kirk Keepseagle

     I have HD518 that has exact same part number on driver and looks identical to your pictures. In fact looks exactly like HD598 on the inside of cup with milleninum falcon window design except black plastic and no tape and plastic outside grill not metal outside, perhaps the big picture is that Sennheiser use’s same driver solder board but different voice coils that make the difference.
     That being said my HD518 sounds somwhat muffled compared to my other phones, soundstage is ok but alot of120-250hz midbass, lowmids, detuned 2khz-6khz and somewhat sparkly 8-10khz. My Grado SR60i sounds more in your face brighter with 100hz tight bass, while these sound laid back and a little smothered in upper midrange. But overall a high quality sounding phone with a warm sound signature. Also my AT ath-m50 soundstage is about the same width as HD518 (med?) with alot brighter sound along with 110hz thumping bass. Also Klipsch S4 is brighter sound along with 120hz bass small soundstage. HD280pro no soundstage but brighter, flat, and deeper 30-80hz bass. Skullcandy Aviators are also brighter with small soundstage and nice 120-175hz bass. UE350’s are really bright 6-12khz and thumping 11ohz bass smothered mids with small soundstage.
    Thank You for your time.
    A person with 12 headphones and counting <$160. The ATH-M50's are my fav then SR60i.

    • Reply March 22, 2012

      Mike

      Thanks Kirk.
      I think it would be pretty confusing for the assembly line if they produced two different variants of the driver with different voice coils but retained the same part number. That would lead to a lot of mistakes on the assembly line I think, as the workers can’t tell which version should go to the HD518 and which for the higher up models.

      • Reply March 23, 2012

        Kirk Keepseagle

        Thanks Mike,
        Makes me wonder now if HD518-HD558-HD598 have same driver? With diff. backs to do specific tuning? making them sound different. interesting huh if they were the same because Amazon USA prices them at $95-$179-$249  respectivly! So a cheap generic metal mesh could be put in behind driver in HD518 to make it sound like HD598.
        Also I remember there being letters/numbers on clear plastic diaphragm/cone earside speaker, could be how they differentiate drivers on the assembly line? 

        • Reply March 23, 2012

          Mike

          Yes apparently that’s what they do. It’s like taking the same pair of speakers and moving them to different room with different acoustic properties. You would expect the sound to change, wouldn’t you?
          I’ve tried swapping the drivers between the HD558 and HD598 and found the sound to be the same. I don’t recall ever seeing anything different about the drivers.

          • Reply March 24, 2012

            Kirk Keepseagle

            Hello ,
            I just opened up my Sennheiser HD280 pro I bought 10/11 and the speaker does look like HD5XX series and guess what, the solder board on the speaker says 93481 B Exactly as my HD518 does but the speaker is similer design consisting of clear plastic with no little black piece near voice coil vent and no 4 holes back of speaker. So it has metal centerpiece with no 4 vents cut in paperlike cloth behind diaphragm. I still think that sennheiser use’s same speaker magnet basket but use a different voicecoil diaphragm as there are numbers/letters on clear diadphragm to differentiate and make production cost low well still being able to tune speakers for different models. And yes it is true my paradigm monitor 3  v.2 ‘s do sound a little different from room to room, house to house but it still keeps it characteristic sound signature.
            Or they have me fooled and a HD280 pro is the same speaker as HD598 with a voicecoil vent resticter (Black plastic donut) and 4 holes cut into back of papercloth on the backside to allow more diaphragm movement well restricting voicecoil cooling/movment to slow voicecoil.
            Ive heard HD 598 sounds like Grado mids well my HD 518 is not at all like my Grado SR60i’s mids. in fact 2khz is smothered on HD518 and is clear and emphasized on Grado SR60i.

    • Reply March 22, 2012

      Mike

      Thanks Kirk.
      I think it would be pretty confusing for the assembly line if they produced two different variants of the driver with different voice coils but retained the same part number. That would lead to a lot of mistakes on the assembly line I think, as the workers can’t tell which version should go to the HD518 and which for the higher up models.

  • Reply May 7, 2012

    Jeff Wu

    Mike, which senns would you think would fit my type of music most? Because, Ilisten to music in each one of the spectrum. I enjoy my soft and beautiful classical music and the hard hitting dubstep/skrillex mix. So, out of these 2 (generally similar headphones) which should I get….or should I opt out and look for new headphones?.Also there is a high possibility I would be using these for desktop gaming. Thank you for your time Mike.

    • Reply May 8, 2012

      Mike

      Jeff,
      Need different headphones to cover different genres well. But if you want something in between, try the HD558 or the HD600, HD650.

  • Reply May 7, 2012

    Damián Bonadonna

    Hi Mike,

    First of all great blog! I came to it reading the Fiio E17 review. As I have the HD598 I want to know the best DAC+Amp to use with it. I use my laptop and my Galaxy S to listen to music so nothing too advanced but I want to get the best from the HD598. I have a Yamaha EPH-100 that is a nice IEM too but I don’t think it needs any DAC/Amp.I understand that I need a USB DAC to provide better audio quality from the Laptop, rather than the cheap integrated realtek.

    I have a Fiio E5 but I don’t get too much benefit from it.

    I don’t want to spend more than I need but I want to buy something that last and that is not big, as I may bring it to work or use it with the galaxy. I don’t think I am going to purchase anything better than HD598, maybe some closed can in the future or better IEMs but lets say that HD598 is my higher-tier.

    At first I looked for the Fiio E10 but then I read a lot of people having problems/noise with the plug. As I will order it online and returns will cost me money I guess I discarded it.Then I went to the Fiio E17, that according to you is better than E10. But I read some comments that you recommended  the C421. It is only an amp and not DAC for what I can tell.I don’t want to spend a fortune and the price for the E17 is fine for me (although E10 is more appealing). Also a single device seems more convenient for me.

    What do you recommend that can be purchased an shipped overseas?

    Thanks a lot for taking time to read this 🙂

    • Reply May 8, 2012

      Mike

      Damián,
      So the question is mostly C421 vs E17? If you’re going to be listening to a laptop, I would go with the Fiio as it gives me a good USB DAC, which the C421 lack.

      • Reply May 8, 2012

        Damián Bonadonna

        Hi Mike,

        Well those are the ones I’ve been reading. I notice the d-zero also but it seems that for you the E17 is better. The E10 maybe for a new batch is also worth considering but, it seems that again the E17 is better.

        Thanks!

        • Reply May 10, 2012

          Damián Bonadonna

          Mike one more question,

          Is the E10 + C421 noticeably better than E17 alone? We are talking about driving an HD598.

          Thanks!

          • Reply May 10, 2012

            Mike

            On the amplifier section, yes. On the DAC section the E10 is a little behind the E17.

            • Reply May 11, 2012

              Damián Bonadonna

              @headfonia:disqus The more I read you site the worst for my decision! 😛

              If I start with the C421 for the laptop and then I add a USB DAC will I notice the difference from the start (without DAC)?

              I’m asking because of how awesome you and other guys think this C421 is. Then I guess I can add a DAC like Headstage USB cable?

              I’m really getting confused haha. Better go with E17 or C421 + some tiny USB powered DAC?

              Sorry for so many questions but you know way more than me!

              • Reply May 11, 2012

                Mike

                I think the confusion is because there are quite a few products at that price range that offer great sound for a fairly low price.
                Here is how I would break it down:
                C421 + USB DAC (ie the Headstage cable) is a more flexible set up since new USB DACs come out so often. So if 3 months from now someone come up with a new USB DAC for a great price, then you can just upgrade that part.
                The Fiio E17 is a simpler package. For instance if I’m using the rig at a coffee shop, I’d rather have the E17 since it’s less cable, less boxes. Just one box set up and I’m done.

  • Reply May 30, 2012

    Chris Allen

    Hey Mike!
    Seeing as you mentioned Audio Technica, I was wondering how both of these headphones (more so the HD598) would compare to the ESW-9?

  • Reply July 23, 2012

    Anonymous

    […] […]

  • […] Senn ar fi la ora asta HD600. Daca ramai la laptop, ia-ti doar o HD558 (si citeste cu mare atentie pagina asta) si pe urma, in timp, gandeste-te la o sursa mai buna. Bafta. Reply With […]

  • […] 買ったという報告だけではつまんないので軽くレビューしてみます。 ちなみに、http://www.headfonia.com/sennheisers-new-hd558-and-hd598/3/を参考に内部の共鳴シートを剥がす改造を行なっています。(重要)これを行うと上位のHD598とほぼ同じ音になるらしいです。中域がHD558の方がやや出るようですが。 […]

  • Reply October 21, 2012

    Niklas Hörnedal

    Hi Mike! I wonder witch one would you pick for Lord of the rings soundtracks and why? Just curious 🙂

    • Reply October 22, 2012

      Mike

      558, it has the bass to cover the soundtrack. The 598 is more for acoustics, jazz, vocals, singer songwriter type.

      • Reply December 7, 2015

        Heiliger Lakewooder

        Is that the 558 with the mod, or without? LoTR is really a symphony, yes there’s bass, but there’s a lot of high strings as well, as well as some vocals.
        Ideally, what would cover that whole range?

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    John Clare

    Hey Mike, how much darker is the HD 650 compared to the 558 (or modded 558)? Thanks.

    • Reply December 4, 2012

      Mike

      I think mostly the same, but the 650 feels darker due to the thicker bass.

  • Reply December 23, 2012

    fsgb80v7cbwe

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  • Reply December 24, 2012

    lida zayiflama

    Great Content…

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  • […] allows the possibility of users hacking the headphone for better performance (or not!). The popular mod for the HD558 brings it closer to the HD598 but not without setbacks, always something to try for the enthusiast. […]

  • Reply January 25, 2013

    Anonymous

    […] se puede hacer con los hd 558 Sennheiser’s New HD558 and HD598 | Headfonia […]

  • Reply April 20, 2013

    Mohammad

    Hi, thank you for your useful review. I hope you still answer comments here, soon. Are modded HD558 or HD598 suitable for heavier and more aggressive metal music? Unfortunately Grado, Alessandro …headphones are not available in may country, and I want an open headphone.
    Which is better for heavier metal music: modded HD558 or HD598? why?
    How is DT990 premium/pro for metal music?(I guess its boosted bass makes it not suitable for metal music)

    Thank you.

    • Reply April 25, 2013

      Mike

      Sorry for the late reply. These two are not so good for metal. You’ll have a better pairing with the HD380PRO or Fostex T50RP.

  • Hi
    How does HD598 works with portable players like Samsung Galaxy Note ? ( without any amps , straight from smartphone to headphone )

    • Reply May 20, 2013

      Mike

      Should run decent maybe a little lacking in loudness

    • Reply November 23, 2014

      djmuzi

      On iPhone 6 it’s lod enogh 🙂 I heard from ather Samsung owner that it’s not. (Sorry for late feedback 😉 )

  • […] webpage even shows a way to modify the HD 558 headphones to change their sound to more like the HD 598 […]

  • Reply February 6, 2015

    djmuzi

    Everyone who is interested how the HD558 performs vs a HD600 or HD650 can load on iOS the

    Accudio™ Pro App from Golden Ears.

    This app has simulation mode for several popular headphones. First it equalises the frequency response of the given headphone (not every works but the HD558 is in the datbase) and second if you want it can apply the frequency response of the HD600 (and a few more Bayerdynamic etc.).
    So the “HiFi” equalized setting has more trebble and extended bass making the HD558 kinda V shaped (without eq it’s quite the opposite- rolled off bass and trebble).

    The HD600 sounds more bassy, the HD650 even more bassy and fun.

    It’s a matter of taste. After you got used to the HD558 the HD650 will sound like a basshead-headphone in the first moment 🙂

    • Reply February 6, 2015

      dalethorn

      Some of the Accudio settings aren’t matched properly to the target headphone. I don’t have a list with me at present, but I’d say it’s a good app because it has a lot of canned settings, but be prepared to experiment with other settings for any given headphone, since you might get better results that way.

      • Reply February 6, 2015

        djmuzi

        They have a 5 star rating for every headphone for the ability to be equalized. The HD558/598 have 4.5 out of 5 so the EQ is pretty good for them 🙂

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