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Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Apr 29, 2016 at 01:38 pm
Sennheiser HD 598 Picture
5.2
Mixed Usage
7.8
Neutral Sound
4.0
Commute/Travel
5.4
Sports/Fitness
4.8
Office
4.6
Wireless Gaming
6.7
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Calls
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

5.2 Mixed Usage

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

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable design.
  • Sturdy build.
  • Good audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation, by design.
  • Leaks a lot of sound, by design.
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.

4.0 Commute/Travel

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

5.4 Sports/Fitness

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

4.8 Office

Poor isolation not designed for office use. They don't block the office chatter and everyone can hear what you're listening to.

6.7 Wired Gaming
1.7 Phone Calls
  • 5.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Neutral Sound
  • 4.0 Commute/Travel
  • 5.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 4.8 Office
  • 4.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.7 Wired Gaming
  • 1.7 Phone Calls
  1. Update 3/2/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  4. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  6. Update 3/1/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.

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
No Controls
Ease Of Use No Controls
Feedback No Controls
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No
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 No

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
-4.18 db
Treble Amount
-2.01 db
7.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.57 dB
Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.9
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.11 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
59.93 Hz
Low-Bass
-7.63 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.41 dB
High-Bass
3.45 dB
9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.34 dB
Low-Mid
1.9 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.01 dB
High-Mid
-0.46 dB
8.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.7 dB
Low-Treble
0.57 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.3 dB
High-Treble
-7.76 dB
7.8
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.56 db
Dips
0.62 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
7.6
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.33 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.66 dB
PRTF Distance
10.37 dB
Openness
9.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
8.4
0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.2
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.163
WHD @ 100
0.519
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
No Microphone
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
No
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
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
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android 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
Analog/USB Audio 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 Non-BT Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

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

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.

Sennheiser HD 650

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.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

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.

Philips SHP9500

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 600

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.

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Sennheiser HD 598 Price

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