Review: Sennheiser HD 599

Sennheiser HD 599

The Sennheiser HD 599 headphones are spearheading the German manufacturer?s HD500 range, which also includes the Sennheiser HD 559 and Sennheiser HD 579 models. The Sennheiser HD 599 is an over-ear, open-back hi-fi model. In other words, the Sennheiser HD 599?s earpads surround the ears and allow sound to filter out. This technique spares the listener from the compressed sound stages which are associated with closed-back headphones and earbuds.

The Sennheiser HD 599 is equipped with 1.5? transducers capable of reproducing a very wide frequency range, from 12 Hz to 38 kHz, with a sensitivity of 106 dB per milliWatt of power. The bandwidth of these headphones is thus superior to that of the HD 559 and HD 579 models, while their distortion rate is twice as low. With its impedance (its resistance to the incoming electrical signal) of 50 Ohms?a relatively low number?combined with its very high sensitivity, the Sennheiser HD 599 can be used with a low-power headphone amplifier (DAPs and smartphones, for example).

Sennheiser HD 599

Sennheiser HD 599: ergonomics and accessories

Sennheiser?s HD 599 headphones feature velour and memory foam earpads and a headband in chocolate-colored faux leather. The model’s structure is made of plastic coated in ivory-colored metallic paint. The headphones come with two detachable cables: one 1.2 meters long with a 3.5 mm mini-jack connector and the other 3 meters long with a 6.3 mm stereo plug connector. A 6.35 mm stereo plug to 3.5 mm jack adaptor is also provided.

Sennheiser HD 599

On the source end, the connector of the Sennheiser HD 599?s cable is in 3.5 mini-jack format; at the opposite end, the connector is in 2.5 mm mini-jack format.

Sennheiser HD 599: test conditions

We tested the Sennheiser HD 599 headphones with the Onkyo DP-X1 and FiiO X1 II DAPs, as well as with a Meizu M3 Note smartphone. We principally used CD-quality and studio-quality FLAC files.

Sennheiser HD 599

The velour earpads are soft to the touch

Sennheiser HD 599: listening impressions

The Sennheiser HD 599 stands out for its spacious and relaxing qualities, which mainly result from its open structure. The drawback of this distinction is that the listener hears ambient noise and, reciprocally, anyone close enough can hear the music being played through the headphones (with the volume turned up loud enough). The restitution isn’t neutral, as there is a strong accent on the mids and particularly on the low-mids. This model’s lack of neutrality could be discouraging for those who aren’t drawn to its excellent timing and ability to provide a relaxing listening experience. After a day spent listening, our ears weren’t the slightest bit tired. The wearing comfort of these headphones is a strong point, as they do not apply a lot of pressure to the head and are very lightweight.

Sennheiser HD 599

The Sennheiser HD 599?s analytical skills are a true asset for jazz

Sennheiser HD 599: conclusion

What we liked: the very wide soundstage, the timing and the absence of listening fatigue, the wearing comfort

What we would have liked: more tonal neutrality

The Sennheiser HD 599s are sure to please those looking for a pair of lightweight headphones which offers an energetic yet relaxing sound restitution, enjoyed in a calm environment.

Sennheiser HD 599

The Sennheiser HD 599?s cable is detachable.

This post is also available in: French

About the author

Tristan Jacquel

Tristan est rédacteur chez Son-Vidé Passionné de musique, d'acoustique et de high-tech, il réalise notamment les tests matériels pour notre blog.

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