Audiophile music lovers finding themselves without a dedicated headphone amp should have fairly few worries; the HD599's rated impedance of 50 Ohms combines with sensitivity specs hovering around 102dB~108dB to allow use with most home or portable audio sources. Of course, we always believe a good headphone amplifier can add significant detail resolution power, dynamic range extension and musical definition to any quality headphone, so serious listeners will want to hear the HD598's full timbral accuracy and quickened dynamics under the drive of an amp. But it's nice to know you won't absolutely need a head-amp right off the bat just to get useable volume levels and good tone from this terrific-looking can. But for all you tech heads, our HeadRoom lab testing discovered quite high impedance peaks around 250 Ohms at 100 Hz, meaning for best bass response a dedicated head-amp is highly recommended.
Perhaps reminiscent of a swanky Jaguar or Porsche interior, the Sennheiser HD599 come in a creamy taupe color featuring real burl wood accents around the headband frame and identical thin burl flashing encircling the earcups. We think it's the most attractive and classy-looking headphone Sennheiser has released positively oozing 'high-end'. The HD598 earpad cushions are brown velour and semi-oval in shape and should rest comfortably around the earlobes on most wearers. The similarly deep-padded carbon fiber headband is secure fitting without being overly tight and provides good wearing comfort as it keeps proper 'E.A.R' linear azimuth between the driver elements and your ears. The HD598 cord extends about 9ft and terminates in a full-size 1/4' stereo plug. A plug adapter to a 1/8' [3.5mm] 'mini' jack is thoughtfully included in the Sennheiser package.
What's In The Box:
Perfectly splitting the sonic balance between 'lively' and 'warm', the Sennheiser HD599 open-back headphone sounds just as great as it looks. As engaging on the outside as it performs on the inside, the HD598 brings sumptuous style and luxurious sound quality to a well-priced mid-tier headphone suitable for demanding audiophile ears. The Sennheiser HD599 use a new proprietary DuoFol diaphragm and driver geometry that claims to minimize inter-modulation distortion while delivering a very fast frequency response extension. The rapid transducer response time equates to a smooth, detailed listen that allows you to rediscover the hidden secrets of your favorite music. Although not quite as full-toned and buttery as the HD650 in the lower-most registers, the HD598 possesses a smoothly singing, open tonality in the mids & highs that render it a superb partner for vocal recordings, electric jazz & rock, and well-produced singer/ songwriter music. Bass response is leaner and more delineated with an emphatic clarity of the upper bass instead of the thicker bottom-end impact heard in the HD650. The depth of the HD599's soundstage image remains superior to lower-level cans with an airy sense of dimension that accurately reproduces room sound textures and nuanced spatial acoustic effects, an especially desired trait for classical, orchestral or symphonic listeners.