The Sennheiser HD 598 are comfortable open-back headphones with good studio quality sound. They're well built and feel durable but offer no control options for your audio. The open back design also leaks a lot of sound and doesn't block any ambient noise. They're not designed for commuting and may disturb people around you.
The Sennheiser HD 598 are great headphones for neutral listening. They're comfortable to use for hours, and they sound excellent with most tracks. They have a balanced bass, mid and treble response and their open design create a spacious soundstage.
Not designed for commuters. Open design lets the loud ambient noise seep into your audio.
Not intended for sports use. They're big, bulky and too unstable.
Poor isolation not designed for office use. They don't block the office chatter and everyone can hear what you're listening to.
See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, the best wired headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 599 are marginally better audiophile headphones than the Sennheiser HD 598, but both are great for neutral sound and you may prefer either. They're nearly identical in terms of comfort and build quality. The HD 599 sound a bit better, with a less underemphasized bass response, but it's a small difference and may not be noticeable for all listeners. The HD 599 also seem to isolate the wearer better than the HD 598, but neither of them isolate you from very much noise since they’re open-back headphones.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 598. They are noticeably better-built headphones and feel sturdier. They also don’t lack sub-bass like the Sennheiser do. However, they might sound a bit sharp for some and are a bit tight on the head. Also, the Sennheiser are more comfortable for long listening sessions, thanks to the nice padding and large cups. We’ve also measured that they were more open-sounding than the Beyerdynamic.
The Sennheiser HD 598 are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 600, mostly due to comfort. The HD 598 have a better over-ear fit that does not clamp your head and feels very comfortable. They also have a slightly more elevated high bass which some may like since it adds a bit more punchiness than the HD 600, and they come with an additional cable in the box. On the other hand, the HD 600 are more balanced and will not sound boomy on some tracks like the HD 598. The HD 600 also have a slightly better build quality which should last you a bit longer than the HD 598s.
The Sennheiser HD 650 and the Sennheiser HD 598 are very similarly-performing open-back over-ear headphones. The 598 are quite a bit more comfortable, thanks to their better padding, and less tight-fitting design. Both headphones are quite well-balanced and accurate, though the 650 are more accurate in the bass-range, as the 598 are slightly over-emphasized in high-bass. The 650 also feel a bit better-built and durable.
The Philips SHP9500 offer better value than the Sennheiser HD 598. Both headphones perform almost identically and there are only minor differences in their audio quality. Both are very comfortable, but the Philips are slightly heavier and bulkier. For most people, the affordable Philips SHP9500 will be a better option.
The Sennheiser HD 598 and the Beats Solo Pro Wireless have different strengths, and you may prefer either. The Beats are more versatile Bluetooth-only headphones. They have a better build quality and a more stable, breathable fit. They have a great ANC feature, leak much less sound, and also have a more bass-rich sound profile, which some may prefer. On the other hand, the Sennheiser are wired headphones with an open-back design and a much better passive soundstage performance.
The Sennheiser HD 598 are stylish and look premium. They have an all-black color scheme and silver accents around the large, oval open back ear cups. The padding on the ear cups is a suede-like material, which adds to the premium feel if the headphone. They also come with an ivory and brown color scheme that may be more appealing for some.
The Sennheiser HD 598 are very comfortable headphones. The padding on large ear cups is soft and coated in a suede-like material that feels nice on the skin. They easily fit around most ears and do not apply much pressure to the head, contrary to the Beyerdynamic DT 770. The ear cups may be a little too large for some, but that's the only downside to an otherwise very comfortable listening experience.
The Sennheiser HD 598 are not designed to be very portable. They're bulky, and the earcups do not lay flat to take up less space. They also do not fold up into a more compact format. They are not as big as some of the higher-end models of the same series but are still too cumbersome and will occupy a lot of space in your bag. They also don't come with a case or pouch, which is slightly disappointing.
The Sennheiser HD 598 have above-average build quality, but weak joints. The headband is reinforced with a metal frame, and they feel sturdy enough to withstand a fair amount of physical stress. Unfortunately, the swivel hinges feel a little weak and susceptible to damage. If you want better-built audiophile headphones, the HiFiMan Sundara 2020 feel sturdier.
Poor isolation. These headphones don't isolate any sound below 2KHz, which is typical of open-back headphones and by design. Above 2KHz, they perform very poorly, failing to achieve more than 10dB of overall attenuation in the treble range.
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