Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
HD 598 are aesthetically pleasing but they also provide great sound quality and very, very good comfort. These beige-coloured, open, circumaural headphones come with high-gloss wood parts and matching earpads for a sophisticated finish. With Sennheiser's E.A.R. technology, audio signals are directly channelled into your ears. HD 598 feature a special diaphragm geometry that minimizes distortion while delivering a great frequency response range. A compressed cellulose fleece helps to hold harmonic distortion to less than 0.1%.
Their high-quality leatherette headband and velour earpads provide excellent wearing comfort and luxury, even for long listening sessions.
HD 598 feature Sennheiser's Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement (E.A.R.) design which channels audio signals directly into your ears. Advanced Duofol diaphragms are built for transparency and minimal distortion; highly optimised, field-strengthened neodymium ferrous magnet systems are there for an excellent dynamic response; and surround reflector brings extended spatial sound field. Lightweight aluminium voice coils brings high efficiency and excellent dynamics, and special diaphragm geometry reduces intermodulation distortion.
Impedance is 50 ohms, frequency response from 12 to 38500 Hz, and sound pressure level (SPL) is declared to 112 dB (1 kHz/1 Vrms). First thing you can notice it that's about a very comfortable headphones. It is obvious that designers spent a lot of time perfecting the shape, material, and production to come with the product that can be enjoyed for a long time without pressure that follows some cheap headphones. Well, even some high-end headphones (won't mention the name here) are uncomfortable, so HD 598 are our favorite in the field, no doubt about that.
Regarding the sound, their sound is excellent. Of course, we are entering a subjective area here but not much. For that price range, it is almost impossible to find something better. Sound stage is well-defined, vocals have their natural definitions, and instruments are distinctive. HD 598 work very well with complex sound material, so they are much more than "movie and game" headphones.
One of the most common complaints is lack of the bass. However, we don't agree completely here. While bass is not so aggressive as in some other models, the question is do we want an aggressive or precise bass? We vote for the option No2; an aggressive bass is for an action movie, not for some serious music. Also keep in mind that HD 598 need a good amplifier, you'll have to experiment a bit here, but that's the characteristic of the good headphones: they reproduce what they here, so don't expect miracles with a crappy amp. ■