Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Apr 29, 2016 at 01:38 pm
Sennheiser HD 598 Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
5.6
Mixed Usage
7.8
Neutral Sound
4.7
Commute/Travel
5.7
Sports/Fitness
5.3
Office
4.9
Wireless Gaming
6.7
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

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.

Our Verdict

5.6 Mixed Usage

The Sennheiser HD 598 are made for critical listening. They're not versatile enough to be good everyday headphones.

7.8 Neutral Sound

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.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
4.7 Commute/Travel

Not designed for commuters. Open design lets the loud ambient noise seep into your audio.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
5.7 Sports/Fitness

Not intended for sports use. They're big, bulky and too unstable.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
5.3 Office

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 Office recommendations
6.7 Wired Gaming
1.7 Phone Call
  • 5.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Neutral Sound
  • 4.7 Commute/Travel
  • 5.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.3 Office
  • 4.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.7 Wired Gaming
  • 1.7 Phone Call
Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable design.
  • Sturdy build.
  • Good audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation, by design.
  • Leaks a lot of sound, by design.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

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.

8.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.55 lbs
Clamping Force
0.68 lbs

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.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use N/A
Feedback N/A
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control N/A
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons N/A
7.4
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 3.1 C
5.6
Design
Portability
L 7.48 "
W 6.69 "
H 3.35 "
Volume 167.56 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

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.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

6.5
Design
Stability

The Sennheiser HD 598 maintain a stable fit during casual listening sessions. Unfortunately, they are not designed for sports and are unideal for use during high-intensity activities. They will slip off your ears while running or jumping.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones
  • 1/4" to 1/8" Adapter
  • Audio cable (x2)

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-4.72 db
Treble Amount
-1.41 db
7.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.57 dB
Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.31 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
48.96 Hz
Low-Bass
-5.61 dB
Mid-Bass
0.47 dB
High-Bass
3.49 dB
8.6
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.82 dB
Low-Mid
2.84 dB
Mid-Mid
1.08 dB
High-Mid
0.42 dB
8.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.84 dB
Low-Treble
1.93 dB
Mid-Treble
0.38 dB
High-Treble
-2.38 dB
7.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.4 db
Dips
1.27 db
8.5
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.27
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.45
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.82
Weighted Phase Mismatch
7.89
7.4
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.33 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.66 dB
PRTF Distance
10.37 dB
Openness
9.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
8.3
7.2
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.163
WHD @ 100
0.519
Isolation
1.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-2.81 dB
Bass
-0.05 dB
Mid
1.32 dB
Treble
-9.37 dB

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.

2.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
61.7 dB

Poor leakage. These open headphones leak a lot of sound throughout a broad range of frequencies. The leakage starts to become noticeable around 300Hz and remains so up to 20KHz.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
N/A
In-line
N/A
Boom
N/A
Detachable Boom
N/A
0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A
0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A
Active Features
N/A
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
N/A
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
N/A
Charging Port N/A
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.4 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

Compared to other headphones

See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, the best wired headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.

Sennheiser HD 599
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sennheiser HD 598 and the Sennheiser HD 599 are both very good critical listening headphones, but the HD 599 are marginally better. Though they look pretty different, they’re nearly identical in terms of comfort and build quality. The HD 599 do sound a bit better, with less underemphasized bass, but the difference will likely be negligible for most. The HD 599 also seem to isolate the wearer better than the HD 598, but neither of them isolate very much since they’re both open-back headphones. They’re very similar headphones and your personal preference will matter most in your decision.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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 HD 598 do. However, they might sound a bit sharp for some and are a bit tight on the head. Also, the HD 598 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 DT 990 PRO.

Sennheiser HD 600
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

Philips SHP9500
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

Sennheiser HD 598 Price

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