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Sennheiser HD 599 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated May 30, 2017 at 03:23 pm
Sennheiser HD 599 Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
5.3
Mixed Usage
8.0
Neutral Sound
4.1
Commute/Travel
5.4
Sports/Fitness
5.0
Office
4.7
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 599, like the HD 598, deliver a comfortable critical listening experience. They're lightweight, not too tight on your head, and have a well-balanced audio reproduction. However, like most open headphones they're not suitable to use outdoors or in noisy environments.

Our Verdict

5.3 Mixed Usage

The Sennheiser HD 599 are critical listening headphones that aren't versatile enough for other use cases. They leak a lot, they don't block any noise in loud environments, and they're not portable enough to carry on you at all times. However, they deliver in the sound department with a balanced and open audio reproduction ideal for critical listeners.

8.0 Neutral Sound

The Sennheiser HD 599 are great headphones for neutral listening. They have a better Bass than the HD 598 and sound good with instruments and vocals. Their Soundstage feels spacious thanks to their open-back design, and overall they deliver a well balanced audio reproduction. However, the slight emphasis in high-bass/low-mid makes them a bit boomy and muddy with some tracks.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
4.1 Commute/Travel

Subpar for commuting. The open design lets the loud ambient noise seep into your audio.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
5.4 Sports/Fitness

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

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
5.0 Office

Poor 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 Calls
  • 5.3 Mixed Usage
  • 8.0 Neutral Sound
  • 4.1 Commute/Travel
  • 5.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.0 Office
  • 4.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.7 Wired Gaming
  • 1.7 Phone Calls
Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable design.
  • Great audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Sensitive to ambient noise, by design.
  • Leaks a lot of sound, by design.
  1. Update 2/4/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/6/2019: 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. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Sennheiser HD 599 do not change much design-wise from the HD 598. The headband has been slightly improved with a better padding and a more premium look and feel. The ear cups also have some minor changes, with more metal around the cups but a cheaper plastic grill when compared to the HD 598. However, apart from the silver branding on the HD 599, it's difficult to distinguish them from the HD 598 at first glance due to the similarity in their design.

8.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.6 lbs
Clamping Force
0.71 lbs

The Sennheiser HD 599 are incredibly comfortable headphones to wear for long listening sessions. They have large oval ear cups that are well padded and fit comfortably around most listeners ears. The padding is coated with a microfiber fabric that's soft and feels nice on the skin. The headband is also amply padded and not too tight on the head. You will rarely feel any fatigue even after having the HD 599 on for hours.

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 3.3 C
5.6
Design
Portability
L 7.5 "
W 6.7 "
H 3.4 "
Volume 170 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like the Beyerdynamic DT 770, the Sennheiser HD 599 are bulky and don't fold. Therefore, they're not portable and they're a bit cumbersome to carry around on your person without a bag. Unfortunately, they don't come with a good carrying case so they may get scratched or damaged if you just throw them in your bag with all your other things, 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 build quality of the Sennheiser HD 599 is about the same as the HD 598, with minor changes to the headband. The headband is now covered with a more premium leather coating and there's a bit more metal used on and around the ear cups. However, the frame still feels a bit weak when compared to some other headphones especially at the hinges.

6.5
Design
Stability

The Sennheiser HD 599, like the HD 598 and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, are not stable enough for sports but should be fine for casual listening. They also have a detachable cable that will disconnect if it gets hooked on something unless you lock it into the ear cups. However, they're not made for sports and aren't as tight as some of the other models from Sennheiser so the ear cups will sway a lot and slip off your ears if used while running.

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

  • Sennheiser HD 599 Headphones
  • 1/4" to 1/8" Adapter
  • Audio cable (x2)
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.79 db
Treble Amount
-2.76 db
8.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.38 dB

Excellent consistency. The Bass Range of our Over-Ear and On-Ear headphones are measured on 5 different human subjects, 5 times each. The Sennheiser HD 599 shows very good consistency in the Bass Range, since their open-back design allows them to rely less on an air-tight seal to create their low-end. The Treble Range also shows good consistency, but depending on the positioning, there could be up to 3dB of variance at 3KHz.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.19 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
45.55 Hz
Low-Bass
-4.32 dB
Mid-Bass
0.89 dB
High-Bass
4.3 dB

Very good Bass Range performance. Low-bass, which is responsible for low-end thump and rumble is slightly lacking. Also, high-bass is overemphasized by an average of 4dB, making the sound of these headphones noticeably boomy. See our recommendations for the best headphones for bass.

8.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.13 dB
Low-Mid
2.47 dB
Mid-Mid
0.13 dB
High-Mid
-1.95 dB

Very good Mid Range performance. Mid and high-mid are reproduced nearly perfectly. However, the bump in low-mid, which is the continuation of the high-bass overemphasis will make the Mid Range slightly muddy.

8.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.87 dB
Low-Treble
-0.07 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.91 dB
High-Treble
-8.87 dB

Excellent Treble Range performance. Low-treble is reproduced consistently and is within 1dB of our target which is very good. The small bump around 9KHz however, could make the sibilant sounds slightly sharp.

7.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.6 db
Dips
0.81 db
8.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.2
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.27
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.31
Weighted Phase Mismatch
3.78
7.5
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.26 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.06 dB
PRTF Distance
9.5 dB
Openness
9.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
7.9
0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.123
WHD @ 100
0.372
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
1.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-3.21 dB
Bass
0.04 dB
Mid
1.42 dB
Treble
-10.72 dB

Poor Isolation. Due to their open-back design, it is natural for the HD 599 not to isolate well. They achieve no reduction up to 2KHz, and above that, they only achieve about 10dB of isolation, which is poor.

3.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
58.17 dB

Poor Leakage. The significant portion of the leakage is from 400Hz to 20KHz which is a broad range. The overall level of the leakage is loud too, which is a consequence of the open-back design of these headphones.

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 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

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Sennheiser HD 599 are both great headphones for critical listening, but the HD 599 are more comfortable for long listening sessions, while the DT 990 PRO are noticeably better-built and feel more durable, but feel tighter. Also, while both their sound profiles are very similar, the HD 599 might be slightly more open-sounding than the DT 990 PRO. The DT 990 PRO come with a non-detachable coiled cable while the HD 599 come with two thin and detachable audio cables.

Sennheiser HD 598
Unavailable
B&H

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.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Sennheiser HD 599 are two great sounding headphones but should be used in different situations. The ATH-M50x pack a bit more bass, which is due to their closed-back design. They’ll be a better option than the HD 599 if you’re looking for great sounding headphones to bring on the go. On the other hand, the open-back design of the HD 599 will be better-suited for quiet listening environments, and they are very comfortable for long listening sessions.

Sennheiser HD 600
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Sennheiser HD 600 and Sennheiser HD 599 are very similar headphones in performance, and the HD 599 might offer better overall value. Their sound profiles are fairly similar, but the HD 599 are noticeably more comfortable and don’t feel as tight as the HD 600. On the other hand, they don’t feel as well-built as the HD 600. Some may find the HD 600 sound a bit more neutral.

Philips SHP9500
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

Both the Philips SHP9500 and the Sennheiser HD 599 are both very comfortable headphones that are great for neutral listening. The Sennheiser deliver more bass for those who prefer a bit of extra punch, but the Philips sound less boomy.

Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee
Unavailable
B&H

The Senneheiser HD 599 and the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee are very similar headphones with very small differences. The HD 58X has a slightly more accurate sound profile, but the soundstage of the HD 599 seems to be slightly more open-sounding. However, the HD 599 are noticeably more comfortable to wear for long periods.

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Sennheiser HD 599 Price

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