Sennheiser is a German company that specializes in producing a wide range of high-end audio products such as headphones and microphones.
Founded in 1945, this company has made rapid strides in the world of audio products and in the process has embraced many advanced technologies that have shaped this industry.
This hard work is evident in all its products, including the two that we are going to compare today, namely HD 558 and HD 598. Though it may seem that only a few numbers separate the two models, the reality is that there is a world of difference between these two 500s, and this exactly what we’ll explore in this post.
Table of Contets
- 1 Sennheiser HD 558 vs 598: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 2 Sennheiser HD 558 vs 598 – Final Verdict
Sennheiser HD 558 vs 598: Pros & Cons and Verdict
We will now compare these two Sennheiser models on different parameters to get a better understanding of which scores better in what category.
There is nothing similar in design, except that both of them come from Sennheiser!
HD 558 is slick and has a full-black look while HD 598 comes with an ivory and maroon combination, though the later editions come in black as well. When you look at HD 598 for the first time, it looks exquisite and flamboyant, especially if you are used to a toned down design in headphones. These bold colors are a step away from the ordinary design colors of headphones. That said, HD 598 by itself looks great and can make eyes turn when they see you wearing it.
But, if you want to use it as an accessory, you’ll not be able to come up with many outfits that would match the color of HD 598 headphones.
Moving on, the ear cups of HD 598 are large and can sit well on any ear size. The ear cups both front and back as well as in and out help it fit well on any size and shape of the head. In addition, there is a mechanism to adjust the headphones too, and this also helps in giving a great fit, regardless of your head and ear size.
When it comes to HD 558, they are all black and that’s again good and bad. Some people prefer to pick black over other colours because it matches with most outfits they wear. At the same time, all-black can also be a turn off to some and they prefer some metallic embellishments. So, it is more of a personal choice here.
The adjustments are perfect in HD 558 and come with a nice click and adjust mechanism that is smooth and easy to handle. Also, the headbands can be adjusted to suit any size head, as they move to a really large height.
Another salient aspect of these headphones is that there is a distinct R and L on each ear cup to make it easy for you to identify. Suppose you are in a dark place and can’t see the lettering, don’t worry. There is a raised bump on the left side, so all that you have to do is move your hand just above the ear cup to know if that ear cup should go on your left or right ear.
Both the headphones come with a nice 3.5 mm adapter that you can plug in at any time to other devices such as your laptops. This is a handy and convenient adapter to have as it sits well on the 1/4″ adapter that comes with the cable. It also comes with a short 1. 2m cable for users who prefer to use their headphones with a portable music player.
A good thing about these cables is that they are replaceable. This means, if the cable breaks or if you lose it, you can just buy a cable and it will work well. This greatly enhances the longevity of the headphone.
There’s also a downside to these cables. If you tend to plug into a device such as a phone or a laptop, you may want to get a different pair of cables. Typically what happens is, you have to insert a 3.5mm adapter over the 1/4″ inch to be able to connect to phones. This extra adapter is heavy and can cause the cable to break down quickly. Also, there is a possibility to bend the adapter to adjust to the weight of the cable and this could cause the adapter to bend. To avoid these problems, it is best to get a cable that ends in a 3.5mm adapter.
Another downside is that there is no volume control. But that is acceptable in a way because these headphones are designed to be used with amps primarily. However, it would have been nice to have a set of volume controls, so they could have been more versatile. Somehow, most users don’t find this a drawback though.
The build quality of both these headphones is nice and sturdy, as they are made of high-quality plastic. Though users think using plastic gives a cheap look and feel to the headphones, it is nevertheless necessary to keep the weight down. Otherwise, you’ll have clunky headphones that feel like a rock on your head. So in this sense, the material sued in these headphones is good and durable.
Which of these two is the winner in this category? We definitely like the toned down looks of HD 558 better than the flashy HD 598 because the former just goes well with any costume. The new HD 598 stands out in a crowd and this is not something that makes everyone feel comfortable. So, if you like the bold colours of HD 598, go for it. Otherwise, a safer choice would be HD 558.
A salient aspect of HD 598 headphones is their cable. For one, the cable is detachable and replaceable, so you don’t have to replace the entire device if your cable breaks and that’s a great thing. The other most important aspect with respect to cable is their ease of use. You can simply plug in the cable into a small hole in the right ear cup.
All that you have to do is plug the cable end into the hole, twist it a bit to get the right fit and you’re all set to go! It doesn’t really get easier than this. There are no messy adapters and there is no need to spend time identifying the right hole for the cable and other hassles. Just plug, twist and go! This comfort is truly priceless, especially if you have tried other headphones with messy cable points.
When it comes to wearing them, HD 598 is super comfortable. The padding below the headband is soft and cushiony while the padding on ear cups are plush and give a comfortable feel to your ears. You can wear them for long periods of time without feeling any fatigue whatsoever. In fact, they are so comfortable that you may at times forget that you are wearing these headphones in the first place.
It also means that you will feel airier as the padding of HD 598 encourages air circulation. It doesn’t give you a tight fit, but it is comfortable enough and doesn’t make you rear warm or your head sweaty.
HD 558 is not any lesser when it comes to comfort. First off, there is a little bit of pivot on the earcups to give you a comfortable fit. The padding on the ear cups is soft and luxurious to give you a good feel on your ears. Likewise, the padding under the headband is also nice and luxurious and this gives a super comfortable feel.
Like HD598, this headphone too has a single cable that plugs into a hole in the left ear cup. You simply have to push it in, twist and you’re ready to use them. This feature ensures that the cable doesn’t fall off the headphones at any time.
One aspect with HD 558 is that it clamps down a little bit while the headphones are new. As you get used to wearing them, it loosens up over a month’s time and feels better. In these headphones, the clamping force is not such a negative aspect as some of the headphones that really hurt your ears. In this case, though, the clamping is tight to start with and as it loosens a bit, it is not just comfortable, but also gives a snug fit. Due to these aspects, this headphone is perfect for a workout too, as long as you don’t mind having a cable dangling from it.
Both these headphones have ear pads that can be removed, and this means, you can wash them once in a while. Also, the nice aspect is that both these headphones are comfortable to wear with glasses. They don’t interfere with the glass at all, unlike some headphones that press down really hard.
Which of the two is better? HD 598 scores slightly over HD 558 as it gives a snug fit without clamping down on your head. It takes a little bit of time for HD 558 to settle down to your head. Also, since the adjustment is not large enough, it may not be ideal for everyone.
3. Sound Quality
Sound quality is fantastic in both the headphones, though HD 598 sounds more refined of the two. The bread and butter of HD 598 are its mid-range tones which are natural, smooth and are a pleasure to listen to.
Also, these headphones are more fun to listen to as they add a slight bit of brightness to the sounds. Also, what you hear sounds refined and overall, you have a good time listening to the sounds of your choice.
HD 558 is more of a traditional headphone when compared to HD 598. It has a laid back feel to it and there isn’t much in terms of brightness. This is both good and bad. When you want to listen to sounds as they are, this is a good choice, but they don’t add any fun element to your experience.
That said, both the headphones have excellent clarity and detail and they make it possible for you to listen to certain parts of the music that you’ve never heard in other headphones. They bring out every element in a track, be it vocal or instrumental. This will truly enhance your listening experience.
Though they offer good clarity, the sound quality in both the headphones is not the same. HD 558 tend to score better on bass as they output it with some measure of punch while HD 598 scores high on treble quality.
Now, let us do the sound leak test. We tested both the headphones with 50% volume and they didn’t leak much sound. But when you crank up the sound, it does leak a lot. Remember these headphones are meant to be used at home to listen to music, watch a video or to play a video game. They are definitely not intended to be used in a library unless others want to share music with you!
One more aspect that we should talk about is noise cancellation. Both the headphones are not good at it because they were never intended to be used in such a noisy environment. Also, Sennheiser doesn’t really specialize in making noise-cancelling headphones, so it is not fair to expect that feature from these headphones either.
So, which of the two should you buy? Depends on what kind of music you like and how you like it.
Generally speaking, HD 558 is good for movies while HD 598 is good for music, as you can hear the sound just as if you were in concert halls. This applies to both vocals and instrumental, thereby giving you a whole new feel to the music that is played.
Also, 598 is a good choice if you like a balanced tone with neutral lows and mids along with great highs. In fact, these headphones are ideal for certain genres like classical, rock, country, jazz and folk. They are not your best choice when it comes to acoustic and metal. For that, you’re better off with HD 558.
Another aspect is the soundstage. Though both the headphones offer a good measure of the soundstage, we think HD 598 scores over HD 558 in this aspect. When we tested different tracks, we felt that we could hear single instruments from exactly the location from where they were intended to be heard. it was almost as if we were sitting in a live concert and hearing instruments being played. That was the soundstage effect of HD 598. If this is something that matters to you, 598 is the obvious choice.
There is a reasonable difference in cost too. Sennheiser HD 598 costs a bit more than HD 558. While the retail price might be high, if you go to sites like Amazon, you’re sure to get them for much lower rates as they constantly have some discount or the other going on.
But, going back to the retail price, there is a big difference. is it worth it? We would think yes because the soundstage effect is better in HD 598. Also, the sound quality is slightly better and clearer when compared to HD 558.
That said, if you don’t like the flashy colours of HD 598, you can either opt for the black version or HD 558 and you’ll not feel much of a difference.
When it comes to the winner in this category, we think HD 598 is worth the additional money.
5. Sennheiser HD 558 vs 598 – Pros and Cons
Both Sennheiser HD 558 and HD 598 come with their own share of pros and cons, and it is good to know them to make the right choice.
Sennheiser HD 558 Pros
The pros of Sennheiser HD 558 are as follows.
- Excellent clarity and detail.
- A good bass response that tends to be smooth and tight.
- The overall tone is neutral and balanced.
- Offers immersive listening experience and this makes it ideal for movies, music and gaming.
- Super comfortable to wear.
- Comes with an adapter.
- The build is solid and durable.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Top notch soundstage.
- You can identify different instruments played in the song.
- The cable is replaceable, and this is a huge one.
- Ideal for genres like jazz, rock and classical.
- They are the best ones for gaming, thanks to their extensive soundstage that gives you a completely immersive experience.
- Provides an open and laid-back sound.
Sennheiser HD 558 Cons
Despite those great features, there are still a few shortcomings that come with Sennheiser HD 558. They are:
- Chord is quite long. It can be a pain to handle and could tangle easily as well.
- The fit is so tight that it could clamp down on your ears. It may take some time to get used to them.
- In most other headphones, the adapter tends to be 3.5 mm to 1/4″ and here, it is the other way around. This may also take some time to get used to.
- Not a good choice for bass heads.
- Do not have any noise reduction or noise cancelling mechanism which means others can hear what you’re hearing, especially at high volumes.
Sennheiser HD 598 Pros
Sennheiser HD 598 comes with a ton of benefits, and they are listed below.
- Sounds are natural and transparent.
- Soundstage is truly exceptional.
- Channel separation is good too, as you can identify instruments in any medley.
- Bass is good and tight.
- Highs are good and clear.
- Great for classical, jazz and acoustics.
- Mid-range tones are simply awesome.
- Extremely comfortable to wear, so much that you’ll never forget that you’re wearing them in the first place.
- Sound signature is neutral and balanced.
- You can wear a hat or cap over these headphones.
- They are highly durable and could last a long time.
- Cable is replaceable and even detachable.
- Ideal for critical listening.
Sennheiser HD 598 Cons
Sennheiser HD 598 has a few drawbacks too, and they are as follows.
- Cable is long.
- Doesn’t come with a case.
- Sounds better with DAC/amp.
- Not the best choice for video gaming.
Sennheiser HD 558 vs 598 – Final Verdict
Now we have come to the final verdict and it is time to decide which of the two you should buy.
Overall, HD 598 is a good choice and scores better than HD 558 in most aspects. While this doesn’t mean HD 558 is bad, it is just that 598 is better when it comes to comfort, sound stage and sound output. That said, if you like bass, go for HD 558 because this headphone has a better bass output than HD 598. On the other hand, if you like to listen to classical, jazz and country, HD 598 is a good choice.
Summary Sennheiser HD558 and HD598 are two popular, top-notch and well-built headphones that are highly-rated among users and reviewers. If you’re looking for a quality pair, you have to choose between these two.
Sennheiser HD558 and HD598 are two popular, top-notch and well-built headphones that are highly-rated among users and reviewers. If you’re looking for a quality pair, you have to choose between these two.
The design is subjective. If you like a toned down colour and something that would go well with any costume, HD 558 is the obvious choice. On the other hand, if you like flashy colours, 598 is your choice.
When it comes to cost, HD 598 is more expensive than HD 558, but we think it is worth the price.
|Headphones||Sennheiser HD558||Sennheiser HD598|