Picture Sunday – Sennheiser HD598 – For the love of wood

Today we look at the good old Sennheiser HD598, a good and affordable headphone loved by many of you.

 

The Sennheiser HD598 was an odd headphone but it’s still one my favourite. It’s lightweight, comfy, open-back and was supposed to be a cheaper alternative of the HD6XX series (no, not the Massdrop ones).

Today, this headphone isn’t sold by Sennheiser anymore, since they replaced it by the HD599. But, somehow I achieved to find one, brand new and sealed… so I just bought it.

The first noticeable thing with the Sennheiser HD598 is its design. When all the headphones of the brands match the premium/high-end image of their maker with black or deep blue colours, the HD598 wears a beige/brown robe. Nothing like the Momentum Ivory of course, more like some old Jaguar seats, the ones you can found at 80’ British shows. Yes, those.

Brown velour, beige headband, black grill circled with brown glossy Burr Walnut. A magical association if you ask me and the headphone looking exactly like my previous Mercedes interior. In fact, it’s the most car-like headphone I know, more than Maserati B&W headphones. My friends find it bloody awful looking, but I won’t take advice from people who don’t love wooden crescent.

On their website, Sennheiser explains how much technology the HD598 is embedding. E.A.R (stands for Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement), Duofol membranes, neodymium drivers, velours pads and a pleather headset… Strangely, the brand assures you that the Sennheiser HD598 won’t get you complains from your co-workers, even with the open-back design. As a lone wolf, I can’t say alas, I work alone and my friends left me after I tried to demonstrate how beautiful this headphone was.

Sound wise, it’s one my favorite headphones, even more than the mighty HD650. The bass especially gave me a strong impression, even with some basic amplification. Maybe I’m too accustomed to planars and CIEMs with my recent listening. Dynamic range is good, sound is fairly neutral and it’s a great all-rounder. You can either use it for music or film, or even gaming ! Not that you can’t with a HD800, but the HD598 feels more suited.

For fun, I took out my good old Sennheiser HDVD800. It’s clearly overkill for this headphone but if you could, would you ? I could, so did I. A great experience if you ask me, lovely voices all the way and the combination didn’t feel as emotionless as the HD800 + HDVD800 combo. Another good match was… my iPad Pro. Not audiophile at all but there is something cool if you match both.

I think you’ve understood by now, I really like this headphone. Whenever I just want to grab something to watch YouTube videos, check the news or simply chill in my bed, its been the HD598 theze last days. Sure, there are better options out there, but do they have glossy wood ? I don’t think so.

 

5/5 - (5 votes)

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A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

6 Comments

  • Reply September 23, 2018

    Jothor

    The venerable old HD598. I managed to miss this headphone due to Headfonia and Mike and went right to the HD650 from my first Sennheiser an HD448. I have a quite a few much more expensive HPs now, but the HD650 still gets a fair amount of use. If I could find an unboxed HD598 as you did I would buy it in a hot minute. Very nice write up. Thank you.

  • Reply September 23, 2018

    Clem D.

    Nice piece. These are the first good headphones I bought. I hesitated because I didn’t like the look/colors, but I bought them anyways. I don’t have many headphones, but that’s my favorite and my reference in terms of comfort. I love them!

  • Reply September 28, 2018

    Madhur

    Hi,

    Does this headphone pair well with the Astell & Kern AK 70?

    Thanks!

  • Reply September 30, 2018

    Jurgen Daems

    Ah.. reminds me to get that old HD598 out of the closet sometime soon for some listening sessions and maybe a photoshoot… Great headphone and suuuper comfy.

  • Reply April 7, 2019

    Noni5

    The most comfortable headphones I’ve ever owned. Sound quality is excellent and very enjoyable…brings a smile to my face every time. Hardly use them any more but can’t get myself to sell them!

  • Reply June 26, 2022

    Frans

    Nice to read something positive about de HD598. I own this HP since 2011. Honestly I was a bit disappointed by the quality and left it somewhere and forgot it. But last year I bought the Shanling M3X DAP for my ripped CD’s and purchased HiRes files and the IfI Zen DAC to connect the NAS to my amplifier. Both have the option to connect a balanced HP. I replaced the single ended cable of the RHA T20i IEM’s for a balanced cable and that made a huge difference on the Shanling. I did the same with the AKG N60NC; same result. So I ended up upgrading the HD598 with a balanced cable and that was one of the best investments in audio equipment I ever made. Instead of hearing musicians play behind a curtain in my toilet I got a much broader soundstage; more details, more clarity and a bit more bass. So this classic ain’t going nowhere besides on my head.

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