This is one of the best all-purpose headphone, and not just for music either. I'm talking music, movies, and games. Their extremely likeable and unfatiguing sound makes them an ace at nearly any kind of music you throw at them; their huge and precise sound stage gives you the advantage in competitive gaming while enhancing any gaming experience; and their unbelievable comfort makes watching hours of your favorite movies or shows a breeze. Due to their insane versatility, these would be the absolute first headphone I would recommend to anyone looking for a solid performer in all aspects. For those looking for just one headphone to use for everything, this is it. They seriously kick butt in just about every regard, making them truly worthy to be qualified as the jack of all trades.
the glowing reviews don't catch your attention, the color sure will.
Arguably the strangest color scheming to a headphone ever made, these
definitely attract a lot of comments. For those of you who think these
look ugly, I suggest holding your opinions until you see them in person.
Yes, they are kinda strange at first, but they really do look unique in
their own way; and the color really seems to grow on you. The grills look better, the headband
material looks better, and the color scheme with wood accents is quite
intriguing to say the least. Build quality wise, they are plastic, but
that was expected. Not much to write home about here, but given their
cheap feel, at least they are incredibly lightweight and are physically
quite small. But lucky for us, we won't be staring into a mirror while
listening to these, so it really doesn't matter what it looks like.
the aspect of a headphone I am most strict on is the comfort. There are
multiple things that need to be done right in order for a headphone to
have good comfort. Sometimes manufactures think they can get away with
awesomely soft pads, while incorporating nearly no headband padding. Or
an innovative headband design and horrible ear pad ergonomics. Luckily,
the HD598 doesn't skimp out on comfort in any aspect. In fact, I'll just
say it now. These are easily one of the most comfortable headphones
I've ever worn. These simply do
not disappoint. I've worn these for hours on end with movies and games,
occasionally forgetting they were even there. Absolutely no complaints
here. Highest marks I can give in this category.
But now, we approach the inevitable. How does the HD598 sound and what makes it so special?
tell you what makes it special; it simply doesn't do anything wrong.
The sound as a whole is well, whole. Nothing is missing, nothing steps
out of line. Bass is here, yet the least present of the sound trio. Many
will complain it's not enough. Well, it's enough. If it had any more
bass it wouldn't be nearly as good of an all-arounder, because it would
start rendering classical, jazz, and orchestral works as overbearing
because of the lower frequencies. The midrange is definitely here and
possibly the most present of the three. Vocals sound stellar on these
folks. And the midrange really makes the entire sound come together as a
whole, giving the music more life and realism. And finally we have the
treble, and it's here too. But it's not your ordinary treble; this is
some of the most special treble I've ever experienced in a headphone.
is known for giving a great sense of detail, speed, energy, and
clarity. But unfortunately, treble in my opinion is one of the hardest
aspects of sound to get right. If it sparkles and has great clarity, it
usually is fatiguing in a form of being too hot or bright. But, if it's
rolled off to prevent that fatigue, then you obviously lose some of that
desired energy and clarity. The HD598 somehow manages to have a
brighter overall sound signature, which gives it a good chunk of the
qualities of good treble, yet it simply does not fatigue. I've never had
it cross into sibilance; never have been irritated by piercing highs;
and I never once thought about wishing it would cool down a bit, like I
frequently think with even the slightest of bright headphones. I
honestly don't know how the engineers at Sennheiser did it, but they
seemed to have pulled of some of the most wonderful treble. It's smooth, it's alive, yet it knows its place and doesn't
bother the listener.
But there is another aspect of sound
besides the main trio that often gets overlooked. Soundstage is one of
the most important aspects of any headphone , as it literally
gives music more room to impress. I find that sometimes I am unsatisfied
with even stellar closed headphones due to their claustrophobic feel,
yet am impressed with even the basic of budget open headphones. How is
that possible? Well, it's the soundstage. (Not to mention the acoustics
of an open headphone compared to a closed one, but that's another
story). It adds new dimensions to the music and gives you more breathing
room. It also seems to envelop you a lot more rather than command you
to its presence. A good way to describe it is it makes the music more
effortless. Freer flowing, if you will. It's just an aspect of sound I
really appreciate. That said, the HD598 excels wonderfully. The
soundstage on these is some of the biggest I've ever heard in any
headphone, and that includes the K701/Q701 and AD700/AD900. Typically,
headphones with huge soundstage that I've had in the past, had bass that
was seriously lacking, but these seem to get it just right by having a
vast soundstage on top of having plenty of bass. That alone is something
I find hard to achieve... enough bass, with enough soundstage; yet the
HD598 once again pulls it off.
So then, is there anything I don't
like about the sound? Well, to get really picky, I wish the bass had
deeper extension. I also wish the overall sound was a bit more resolving
and refined. But that's hardly something to complain about, especially
with everything else it does so well, but I still wanted to mention it
for reference. No, I'm not saying it's lacking, because it's really not.
But you must realize that wherever this headphone is priced, I will
match accordingly. Meaning, it has some fierce competition in this price
bracket against headphones that can do individual aspects of sound
better, yet none can nail the perfect sweet spot of balance between all
aspects that the HD598 can hit. Simply put, the HD598 really is the jack
of all trades, but the master of none. But I would much rather have a
headphone that was great at everything, then excellent at just one or
There is simply too much to like about the HD598. I
classify it as the best all-arounder, multi-purpose headphone that I
have ever had the privilege to listen to. It's just one of those
headphones that are a joy to own, because there is always something that
it can be great at. And it's flexible enough that it can *always* be
used for something, if not everything. Whether using it for its superb
long term comfort, utilizing its expansive soundstage to enrich a gaming
experience, or just simply to enjoy tunes with its very special sound
signature; the HD598 is sure to impress just about anyone in some aspect
or another. Quite the achievement by Sennheiser if you ask me.