There are a few names that stand out in the world of headphones, and two companies that have made a mark for themselves in this field are Sennheiser and Audio Technica. Both these companies are renowned for making top quality headphones that have some of the best output in the industry today.
But which of the companies is better? Specifically, whether Sennheiser’s HD 598 or Audio Technica’s ATH-M50x is better? Let us find out in this review.
Sennheiser HD598 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – A Detailed Comparison
Table of Contets
- 1 Sennheiser HD598 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – A Detailed Comparison
- 2 Sennheiser HD 598 vs Audio Technica ATH-M50x – The Final Verdict
There are many areas where the Sennheiser 598 scores over Audio Technica, and vice-versa. This doesn’t necessarily mean one is bad while the other is good. It is about picking the right pair that comes with the features you desire the most. To help you identify the one that is most ideal for you, we are comparing these two against a host of different parameters.
1. Design and Build
The design and build of Audio Technica ATH m50x are remarkable. It is made of heavy-duty plastic with aluminum on the headband and extenders. This mix of plastic and metal gives a nice touch to the design. Though the materials used are of the highest quality, thereby making them robust and durable, the presence of plastic is a little bit of a bummer.
This use of plastic is more than made up by the plush padding on the headband and ear cups, and they give you a comfortable listening experience. You can wear these headphones for extended periods of time, without worrying about feeling clamped or sweaty in your ear area.
The same is true of the headband too. The padding is thick and comfortable, and it also sits well on your head. The metal extenders are also covered with padding to give a nice plush look to the headphones.
One aspect about these headphones is that they are available only in black. Though some people may see this as a disadvantage, we think this choice of neutral color is ideal because it can be paired well with almost any costume. In fact, the use of silver rings on the outer side of the ear cups and for the company’s name and logo gives a beautiful touch to the overall design. The combination of black and silver is classy as well.
Moving on to Sennheiser HD 598, the design is luxurious and attractive. With a combination of ivory and maroon, this headphone looks fantastic, to say the least. There are also some editions that come in black, but this flamboyant combination is the staple of Sennheiser HD 598. What is unusual is these headphones step away from the time-tested colors and combinations, and this is also what makes them stand out in this crowded world of headphones. Some people opine that this combination will not go well with any outfit and it may not be ideal for slightly older people. But that is totally up to you. All the reviewers on our team love this bright color combination.
Sennheiser HD 598 is not just about looks, but also scores high on comfort. The ear cups are large and sit well on any ear, regardless of shape and size. The ear cups swivel front and back, as well as in and out, to get that perfect fit for you. It also sits nicely on your head, as the sliders help to adjust the size of the headband until you feel absolutely comfortable wearing them.
Another salient feature of these headphones is that there is a distinct L and R marked on either ear cup, so there is no confusion as to which ear cup should go on which ear. In addition, there is a raised bump on the left side that you can feel with your hands, just in case, you end up in a dark place and need to use your headphones for something.
In terms of accessories, these headphones come with a 3.5mm adapter that makes it easy and convenient to plug into any device such as a computer or laptop. It also comes with a 0.25-inch adapter that works well with other devices. The cable comes of two lengths, one short and the other long, to give you a good measure of flexibility.
One good thing about these headphones is that the cables are replaceable, so when you cable snaps or breaks, you can buy a new cable, fix it and continue using the headphones. So, the longevity of the headphone is different from the life of the cable itself.
A major drawback with Sennheiser HD 598 is there are no volume controls on the headphone. Though this may feel comfortable at first, the rationale is that these headphones were designed to be used with amps and not by themselves. Still, it would have been nice to have a basic volume control on these headphones for better usability.
Now that we have talked about the design and usability, which of the two is better? Depends on your personal preferences. if you want to try something different and flamboyant, go for Sennheiser HD 598. On the other hand, if you prefer a standard and time-tested one, Audio Technica is your choice. We like both though because they are very different from each other and excellent in their own ways. In terms of usability too, both the headphones score well.
Though design and build are important, it is the features and sound quality that ultimately determine the success or failure of a headphone. This is why the feature set is absolutely important for deciding the right headphone that is best suited for your needs.
First off, Audio Technica ATH m50x comes with a large impedance and range. Its impedance is about 38ohms while its range extends anywhere from 15000 to 28000 Hertz. This excellent impedance and range have a big impact on the overall sound quality, so the output is really clear and loud.
Another nice feature of ATH m50x is their detachable cables. This is a convenient aspect because you can remove the cables when you’re not using the headphones. It is also easier to carry because you can store the headphone separately and roll the cables and carry them separately too. There are no more messy and tangled cables that you will have to manage every time. The added advantage is the cables last for a long time because the chances to stamp the cables or mishandle them is greatly reduced. For these reasons, the detachable cable is a great aspect that leads to convenience and usability.
A related advantage is that the cables are of a decent size in m50x and this makes them easily manageable. This headphone comes with three cables – one coiled and two straight ones. The straight cables come in the sizes of 1.2 meters and three meters respectively. These varying lengths and sizes give you a ton of flexibility to use the cable that best matches your needs.
However, these cables are proprietary, which means, when your cable breaks, you cannot replace it with a generic cable. Instead, you should buy cables from Audio Technica only.
Another minor aspect with m50x is that there is no hard case that comes with the product. This means, you have to buy a case separately, especially if you plan to travel often with your headphones.
What about Sennheiser HD 598?
Well, this comes with an impressive feature set as well. Sennheiser has put in a lot of research to create excellent sound output and along with providing features that will add to the overall listening experience.
One of the highlights is a surround reflector to tap into an extended spatial field to give you better sounds. it also gives great connectivity with your home Wi-Fi system, so you have more flexibility on how and where you use it. This means you can watch TV shows, movies, listen to the audio, play video games, take conference calls and do so much more with it.
Another feature that makes this headphone stand out in a crowd is its minimal sound distortion. Sennheiser uses state-of-the-art Duofol diaphragms that provide for the highest possible transparency and at the same time, greatly reduces distortion. Also, the presence of compressed cellulose fleece brings down the total harmonic distortions.
So, going by the feature set, we again have two winners because the feature set does not overlap and at the same time, they greatly enhance their usability and listening experience. For these reasons, both the products are great and they are winners in their own way.
3. Sound Quality
Sound quality is the defining aspect of headphones, and they are the ones that greatly determine which headphone you should buy.
Starting with Audio Technica ATH m50x, the sound output has a unique signature. It is definitely not neutral, but at the same time, it is not heavily focused on the bass aspect too. it falls somewhere between the two ends.
The lower ends are quite substantial and there is definitely no drop in clarity at all. At the same time, it is not overpowering enough to wipe out the other aspects. There is good meat in the bass and this makes it ideal for bass lovers. The mid and high range tones are crisp and clear too.
There is also some amount of “oomph” factor in the output, and this is because these headphones have a slightly larger driver when compared to the previous models in this line.
Overall, the sound quality is balanced and makes for a pleasant listening experience. These headphones are most ideal for a fun and engaging listening experience. It definitely adds a bit of color to the sound, so the output does not sound dull and boring. As a result, these headphones are not the right choice if you want to have a critical listening experience.
Moving on to Sennheiser HD 598, the sound quality is top class and highly refined. The staple of these headphones is their mid-range tones and Sennheiser has done a great job on it. These tones are smooth and natural, thereby making it an absolute pleasure to listen.
Like Audio Technica, these headphones also add a bit of color, so the tones are not really neutral. This is what makes for a fun and engaging listening experience. At the same time, it is not ideal for those who want to use it for critical listening.
The overall sound output is laid back and relaxed, and you do not have a peppy underlying tone. This is why these headphones are the perfect choice for jazz and classical genres.
They also offer excellent detail and clarity, even at the highest volumes. In fact, there is no distortion whatsoever, even when you crank up the volume.
One aspect to keep in mind is that Sennheiser HD 598 is not the best choice for bass lovers because the bass output is subdued and not so great. To make up for it though, the treble quality is top notch.
The last aspect is soundstage, and that is truly exceptional in Sennheiser HD 598. You will be able to identify different instruments on a soundtrack, and this speaks volumes about its quality.
Overall, when we compare both the headphones, Sennheiser HD 598 scores slightly over Audio Technica ATH m50x. That said, if the bass is very important for you and you tend to listen to bass-heavy tracks, then m50x is your choice. For a balanced and casual listening experience, Sennheiser HD 598 is better.
Cost is another important aspect that could determine your final buying decision. Every person who goes shopping for a pair of headphones starts with a budget, and this is why it is important you identify the product that gives the best value for your money.
Audio Technica ATH m50x is reasonably priced, and this is a little on the expensive side. Sennheiser HD 598 is also equally expensive but you may often find deals on Amazon to get these products at a lower rate. But for comparison sake, we will look only at the retail price.
The big question is does Sennheiser HD 598 justify the additional cost? No. Though Sennheiser HD 598 comes with great features and excellent sound output, it is definitely too expensive.
Audio Technica ATH m50x gives you the best value for money, so that is the winner.
5. Sennheiser HD 598 vs Audio Technica ATH-M50x – Pros and Cons
Despite a detailed comparison of the features, we felt it is essential to be able to glance at the features and within a few seconds decide if one of the two is the right choice for you. This is most ideal for those who are pressed for time and need to get a bird’s eye view of the benefits and drawbacks of both the products.
Sennheiser HD 598 Pros
Sennheiser is a great brand and is well-reputed for creating some of the best headphones on the market today. So, their products come with many benefits for users. Specifically, here are the benefits that come from Sennheiser HD 598.
- Sound clarity is top notch with a lot of detail
- Bass is smooth and tight and blends well to give a great listening experience
- The overall output is more neutral and balanced
- Gives an immersive listening experience, and this makes it a great choice for listening to music, movies and even for video games
- Extremely comfortable to wear
- Comes with an adapter
- The build is solid and durable and can last for years with some decent maintenance
- At the same time, it is lightweight and highly portable
- Soundstage is one of the highlights of this product, as it is simply superb. You can even isolate the different instruments that feature in any track
- Cable is replaceable and this aspect greatly extends the longevity of the product
- This headphone is most ideal for genres like jazz, rock and classical
- The overall sound output is laidback and relaxed
Sennheiser HD 598 Cons
Though Sennheiser HD 598 is excellent on many fronts, it still comes with a few shortcomings, and they are as follows.
- Cables tend to be really long, and this makes for unwieldy and messy management
- No case comes with the product, so this makes it difficult to carry it around
- These headphones sound better with DAC/amp
- No volume controls on the headphone
Audio Technica ATH-M50x Pros
Audio Technica is another great company known for making the top of the line headphones. So, it is no surprise that Audio Technica ATH-M50x is also in line with the reputation of being a top-notch headphone. Let us take a look at what makes these headphones so good and what benefits it gives to users.
- Very powerful bass thereby making this product a good choice for bass heads
- Good stereo imaging effects
- Soundstage is fantastic and as a listener, you can visualize the exact location of every instrument
- Comes with three cables for greater flexibility
Audio Technica ATH-M50x Cons
Audio Technica ATH-M50x comes with a few shortcomings too, and they are:
- This is not your product if you want to listen to natural and neutral tones
- Sometimes, the emphasis on bass is too much and this takes away the impact of other tones
- Mostly made of plastic, so gives a relatively cheap look
- Noise isolation could have been better
- Proprietary cables, so you will have to get replacement cables from Audio Technica only. Generic cables will not work
We hope these pros and cons list gives you a quick idea of what both the products offer and don’t, so you can make informed decisions.
Sennheiser HD 598 vs Audio Technica ATH-M50x – The Final Verdict
Now that we have come to the end of the review, it is time to decide which of the two is better.
After much deliberation, Audio Technica ATH-M50x scores over Sennheiser HD 598 because its design is universal, sound output is good and there is particularly a big emphasis on bass. The price is also reasonable for its sound output and feature set.
Due to these reasons, Audio Technica ATH m50x is the winner in this comparison.