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Sennheiser HD 598 SE* Review (headphone)

solderdude

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Sennheiser had announced a while back that they now source pads from a different (read cheaper) manufacturer.
They also stated that performance wise they do not deviate much from the older ones.
 

KiyPhi

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I always appreciated the promotional value of that caveat. Because then every curve corrected for uneven peaks and dips means one is using Harman Target Response, just adjusted for bass and treble. Even a flat response.

So all of the other curves should also claim the same exemption about adjusting for bass and treble, and then we can all call them the same thing. For instance, why don't we just call HTR Crinacle's curve adjusted for bass and treble. lol
Not really, this is taking things it if context. If you look at the filters they used for adjusting bass and treble, you'd see that it isn't possible to have flat treble. Bass, yes, treble, no. A diffuse field style ear gain region wouldn't be Harman, for example, neither would anything that changes the overall shape of that region, lacks the notch before the bass region, or adjusts the mids in any way. I don't know crin's target, but if it isn't doable with time controls from Harman, it isn't Harman. The Harman target is what was prescribed, +/- bass and treble with tone controls. And don't forget that the target is only 50Hz-10kHz.
 

DeepFried

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Problem is the pads sold by Sennheiser are not the ones that originally come with the HD598, I've just received mines and the new ones are different from any other original pad I've seen from sennheiser. They're plush and the fabric outside feel like suede.

The 598 originally had velvet pads and they where really soft and comfortable. The ones I've order from geekria are of a similar velvet, but more rigid. Same for the original pads on the HD 560S, velvet outside and hard foam inside, the are the ones I'm swapping with the new "suede" pads.

I'm fairly certain that Sennheiser discontinued the original pads as they were unavailable for ... I want to say years, then they've just reappeared on their website within the last couple of months. So I would not be surprised at all to discover they are a new version. For the last few years the only options available to HD598 owners were HD599 pads or 3rd party pads.
 

Svperstar

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The 590 is a totally different headphone and is closer to the HD580 (original) what the driver concerns.

Much like the 6XX they sound way different with fresh pads. Night and day.
 

Weebster

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The 598SE was my first pair of "audiophile" headphones. While they are not my favourite, I do enjoy them; and since they are easy to drive, lightweight, and come with a mic cable it is a great go-to when using with a phone. With the velour pads they have plenty of bass so I can only imagine the damage done to FR with leather pads.
 

raistlin65

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Not really, this is taking things it if context. If you look at the filters they used for adjusting bass and treble, you'd see that it isn't possible to have flat treble. Bass, yes, treble, no.

Actually, I was responding to your very imprecise claim about the bass and treble. Which is what people often say regarding HTR.

So I responded with a bit of exaggeration. But the point is that if you can greatly adjust bass and treble, then these differences between HTR and other curves, including flat, are not so much. So it's really a bit of a reach to say, "Hey, we have this curve that we've come up with, and you should still consider it our target if you greatly change the bass and treble."

The Harman target is what was prescribed, +/- bass and treble with tone controls. And don't forget that the target is only 50Hz-10kHz.

I don't remember exactly what Harman's claim is regarding adjusting the bass and treble. But I think we need to work with the actual language if you want to talk about it. Let's get at what was actually said since your first statement was over generalized. Make sure we are working with the "context."
 

PuX

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This is a review and detailed measurements of a Sennheiser HD 598 SE with replacement "leather" pads.
I have a HD595 (same shape, older top model of this range) and when I replaced the pads with very similar ones to the original ones, the sound was ruined.
so I suggest never ever measuring any headphones with replacement pads before measuring the original.


Not in my book. These pads are not significantly different either. If there is such massive difference due to pads, then measurements need to use calibrated pressure as to keep their shape in certain manner. And you best use them the same way. You think these are safe assumptions?
in my case it was just a different foam and maybe slightly different velour, and the sound was drastically changed.
I am 100% sure that if you measure this headphone with original pads, the difference will be huge.

also, 598 and 598SE are the same except for the colour.

also pretty sure the difference between 595 vs 598 vs 599 would be much smaller than same pair with original vs these pleather pads. don't know why but you may be underestimating the influence of pad material on the sound.


consider this: 598Cs is widely considered to be horrible compared to other models of the series. why? because it has pleather pads + it's closed, not open.


as for the the exact pads, these might be the ones
https://dekoniaudio.com/product/choice-leather-for-sennheiser-hd598-headphones/

they measured the difference vs stock on another Sennheiser model, it's pretty significant.
 
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KiyPhi

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Actually, I was responding to your very imprecise claim about the bass and treble. Which is what people often say regarding HTR.

So I responded with a bit of exaggeration. But the point is that if you can greatly adjust bass and treble, then these differences between HTR and other curves, including flat, are not so much. So it's really a bit of a reach to say, "Hey, we have this curve that we've come up with, and you should still consider it our target if you greatly change the bass and treble."



I don't remember exactly what Harman's claim is regarding adjusting the bass and treble. But I think we need to work with the actual language if you want to talk about it. Let's get at what was actually said since your first statement was over generalized. Make sure we are working with the "context."
Lol. The claim is in context of the research. Read the papers. They are available if you look. If you don't know the context of my statement, you can't really decide if what I'm saying is accurate or not. And I don't think my claim needs to be precise. The fact of the matter is that the HT does allow for tone controls and your examples didn't fit. I'm not particularly interested in continuing this discussion further unless you read the papers, then we can discuss in PM so as buy to detail the thread more.
 

raistlin65

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Lol. The claim is in context of the research. Read the papers.

I didn't say it wasn't in the research. Your claim was very imprecise. Since you are making the claims, it's up to you to be precise. Shouldn't be that hard for you to do.

And yes, I have read them. But since I'm not an acolyte, I have not memorized exactly what was said. But once again, the burden of proof is on the person making the claims.
 

infinitesymphony

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Not quite, their FR curve is worse at following DF than Harman:
View attachment 138673
Be that as it may, it's in Sennheiser's own marketing materials for the HD600:

Sennheiser HD600 Diffuse Field.PNG


I see your point though, the bass bump in the raw FR would seem to bring it more in line with Harman.
 

KiyPhi

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I didn't say it wasn't in the research. Your claim was very imprecise. Since you are making the claims, it's up to you to be precise. Shouldn't be that hard for you to do.

And yes, I have read them. But since I'm not an acolyte, I have not memorized exactly what was said. But once again, the burden of proof is on the person making the claims.
The burden is on the proof of the one making the claims contrary to the established knowledge. If I said water is wet, I wouldn't have to prove it to you, even if you disagreed. In your case, you are misunderstanding the target on the essential level and it isn't my job to do your research for you or explain why you misunderstood, though I did anyway.

And my claim, if you use precise claim in the sense of "using words specific to the topic," my claim was precise. Just because you don't understand the context doesn't mean I didn't use the proper topic specific terms. If you mean precision like exact and accurate, it isn't needed. I don't have to define the filters any time I say to adjust treble and bass.
 

raistlin65

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The burden is on the proof of the one making the claims contrary to the established knowledge.

First you said, "Don't forget than Harman curve prescribes that one should adjust bass and treble levels to preference. " And then you said it's not to preference, but only a certain amount of bass and treble adjustment can be made.

Given how confused you seem, I can understand you don't know how to reference the research you supposedly know. You just have to admit it. lol
 

KiyPhi

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First you said, "Don't forget than Harman curve prescribes that one should adjust bass and treble levels to preference. " And then you said it's not to preference, but only a certain amount of bass and treble adjustment can be made.

Given how confused you seem, I can understand you don't know how to reference the research you supposedly know. You just have to admit it. lol
Twisting my words is a bad faith argument. I said adjust to preference. In the context of the paper, that was with tone controls. I'm not confused, you are just not understanding. I've stressed over and over that I am talking about the context of the papers and you seem to have not read them. Just because you are confused about what I am saying doesn't make me wrong, it makes you confused. Though I shouldn't be surprised as you have a habit of not wanting to read the papers and misunderstanding the research.

Edit: The tone controls

Show me how to make diffuse field with those filters used to adjust bass and treble to preference. Show me how to make Crin's target (may be doable, don't actually know his target). That fully qualifies my statement of one should adjust to preference, no? Yet at the same time, your straw man that my statements allow someone to make any target count as Harman doesn't fit either. it is almost as if you are the one who is confused and doesn't know what they are talking about. It is almost as if context matters and you lack it because you didn't read the papers. Crazy how that works.
 
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raistlin65

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Twisting my words is a bad faith argument.

Not being willing to admit that what you said was an oversimplification, is a bad faith argument.


You're still confused. That's slide is not Harman's statement about adjusting bass and treble.

Show me how to make diffuse field with those filters used to adjust bass and treble to preference. Show me how to make Crin's target (may be doable, don't actually know his target).

I don't need to prove anything to you. I already admitted to you I was exaggerating a bit in response to your oversimplification.
 

infinitesymphony

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KiyPhi

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Not being willing to admit that what you said was an oversimplification, is a bad faith argument.



You're still confused. That's slide is not Harman's statement about adjusting bass and treble.



I don't need to prove anything to you. I already admitted to you I was exaggerating a bit in response to your oversimplification.
Whatever dude. Twist words and change goal posts all you want. That slide was literally from a Harman presentation on what they used to test bass and treble preferences. Nothing I said was incorrect, you just didn't understand what I said. Those are two very different things. At this point, I get the feeling that arguing with you is going to make me less intelligent so I'm out.
 

Chocomel

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Show me how to make diffuse field with those filters used to adjust bass and treble to preference. Show me how to make Crin's target (may be doable, don't actually know his target).

I'll start by saying i agree with you and that yeah, Harman showed people still have their own preference and that especially for the bass it's good practice to adjust to what you like. But getting to diffuse field is fairly simple with the two filters Harman let the users adjust. The starting point is more or less DF so just removing the filters should do the trick. As for crins target don't think you can get there with the filters, treble might be doable but i think for the bass can't get the right shape.
 

Robbo99999

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Maybe we can wrap up this discussion by linking to the actual presentation from Sean Olive of Harman:

https://www.listeninc.com/wp/media/Perception_and_-Measurement_of_Headphones_Sean_Olive.pdf

The bass and treble controls were provided to control subjects to try to determine listener preferences based on different demographic factors. In that context they were used to guide the creation of the Harman target itself. However, Olive also says:

View attachment 138836
Thanks, that's a great link, I'd seen a few of these slides before, but now I've downloaded the whole pdf.....good to be sure of the specifics!
 

Robbo99999

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Maybe we can wrap up this discussion by linking to the actual presentation from Sean Olive of Harman:

https://www.listeninc.com/wp/media/Perception_and_-Measurement_of_Headphones_Sean_Olive.pdf

The bass and treble controls were provided to control subjects to try to determine listener preferences based on different demographic factors. In that context they were used to guide the creation of the Harman target itself. However, Olive also says:

View attachment 138836
Hey, you don't know where I can get Tilt Tone Control from EqualiserAPO? So given what Olive says about Tone Control and the Circle of Confusion, then I think it would be pretty cool if I could find a Tilt EQ Filter in EqualiserAPO, but I can't find any that would match the effect in the following pic that I circled in red:
Tilt Tone Control.jpg

Anyone got any ideas on how to implement that? It's not a simple High Shelf Filter for instance.
 
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