Sennheiser HD 590 Headphones

HD 590

The HD590’s are audiophile, open-aire, hi-fi stereo headphones that reproduce harmonic and superbly transparent sound with absolute minimum distortion. With a weight of only 9.4 ounces, a sophisticated design and a new dampening technique, the HD590 is an ideal choice for the professional monitoring of classical music recordings.

User Reviews (78)

Showing 1-10 of 78  
Christian Hansson   AudioPhile [Apr 20, 2011]

have only one word! Great

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Henning   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 24, 2008]
Strength:

You can wear them for hours and forget they're on your head. Recorded sounds are fully present in great depth and detail across the spectrum, beautifully separated and distortion-free at all volumes.

Weakness:

None.

I dropped my 590:s in the floor and broke them recently, after years of intense use, and I'm crushed. I now have only my HD 477 (5 of 5 on this site), and although they are good headphones, they are nowhere close to the 590:s. They seem flat by comparison, thin in the base, and relatively speaking very uncomfortable. This said, the 477:s are very good (and comfortable) headphones for their price range--this is a testament to the quality of the 590:s, nothing else.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Robert Kaplan   AudioPhile [Aug 11, 2006]
Strength:

Bass , Midrange , and Treble are great! Light and easy to wear over long listening sessions.Can play loud for long periods of time with little distortion.

Weakness:

None

I bought the 590s for 119 dolllars at Amazon refurbished and am immensly satisfied with their performance.They were a little bass shy at first but became more full bodied all around when they were broken in over time ( 6 months or so).The treble is to die for and the midrange is spot on.These are great headphones for the money!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
reviewer007   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 20, 2005]
Strength:

Can sound great with the right amp and listening to the right sounds. Lots of bass but almost too much. You hardly know they are on your head as they are so light and well fitting.

Weakness:

I am convinced these phones need to be run in and over quite a long period of time too, as they sound much better now than they did when they were new. Until they are run in, you may get a false impression of them..

I originally bought these phones just about a year ago and even though they were basically better than anything I already owned, I was impressed but not "totally" impressed with them. At the time I thought the bass was a bit lacking but most of everything else was ok... Since then, I have moved on and bought/owned/tried many other headphones which now gives me a much better understanding of "them" and others to compare them to.. Soon after buying the Sen 590's, I bought a pair of 280 Pro's and I was reasonably happy with them. I have to confess to liking the 280's more than the 590's, so I arranged a swap with my brother for yet another new set of headphones (as yet unnamed - as they can be reviewed elsewhere)... Well, as time went by, I bought more phones and revisited older ones and the one overwhelming factor that has emerged is that each one of them sounds different - not only to each other but to themselves on difference amps and listening to different types of music - so much so that I really have no real overall favourite amongst my Koss, Philips, Technics, Sennheiser etc etc etc... Just a few days back, I borrowed back the HD 590's from my brother and mounted them on my head and let rip with the sounds.. Not only was I further confused with these phones, but I have also bought a few more amps etc to throw yet another twist into the equation. Between one of my Technics amps and my Yamaha amp the 590's sound like two different products even with the exact same music... The 590 is so well matched to the Yamaha AX-396 with an EQ that I was in love with them all over again, yet with the Technics and its EQ they sounded miles different,, quite ordinary. I only use Hi-Fi amps and NOT Home Theatre rubbish... On the Technics, the 590 sounded quite bassy but muted in the upper frequencies even when the EQ was ajusted to suit, yet on the Yamaha, it was love at first sound, although it still sounded a tad light in the higher treble end, but the EQ did wonders for this one.. With the 280 Pro's, almost the opposite applied,, they sounded slightly better on the Technics SU-VX700 amp than the Yamaha AX-396. And, if that's not confusing enough,, there was even another twist to it all when I tried them on the Yamaha AX-596 (bigger brother to the AX-396). They sounded, well, kind of neutral. I simply can't figure it out.. Overall, I think that the 590's have quite a punchy bass (almost too much) which sounds best when you back off the bass on the amp. This may also compensate a little for the slight muting of the treble, giving a more balanced overall sound.. Also a headphone amp works wonders with these phones.. I honestly think before you can give an overall score to any headphones, you need to try them on many amps, listening to many sounds and compare them to many other phones, over a long period of time... Are they good..??? Sure they are. A fact is a fact. They are great headphones but they can change clothes when you change the circumstances.. Just like all my other phones, amps, etc etc etc... The best news is about to unfold.. I am now waiting for my Grado SR325i phones to arrive from the importer and this may well throw the cat amongst the pigeons...

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
cristo   Audio Enthusiast [May 08, 2005]
Strength:

Can be driven by a portable player. Superb sound quality. Full range - 12 to 38000 Hz so they cover the useful range of DVD audio.

Weakness:

None.

When I bought these headphones, I anticipated a slight improvement over the HD570s I had already heard - what I got was a large improvement! They are so easy to drive that I can listen to even quiet classical passages on my portable CD in the garden, which is much more relaxing than being stuck indoors. Plugging them into a high quality source reveals every last detail in your favorite recordings. With a well engineered orchestral recording, close your eyes and it is easy to imagine you are actually there! They are also extremely comfortable and have a long enough cable that you can move about among your home studio gear if you're doing a recording. I wouldn't listen to those claiming you need to replace the cable, it is perfectly good quality and I can't imagine it could have negative effects on the signal.

Similar Products Used: Sennheiser HD570.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ckazanci   AudioPhile [Mar 21, 2005]
Strength:

DETAIL, COMFORT, BASS, Overall sound quality.

Weakness:

none.

I have a Sennheiser HD600 for home use. I was about to buy a Grado SR80 for work when I saw that Amazon had the Senn HD590 refurbished for sale at $118 shipped. I was hesitant at first but here's a short comparison to HD600's: 1. I thought it would be a lot worse compared to Senn HD600; but actually they're quite similar in sound. Although the level of detail and the bass is about the same (which is amazing), Senn HD600 sounds more musical and has better detail in highs. Note that the difference is small and I was only able to detect the difference in treble with only a few of the tracks a tested. 2. HD595 is lighter (plastic in construction) and definitely more comfortable. Again this is not to say that HD600 is not comfortable; but HD590 is just better. RESULT: HD590 is easy to carry, comfortable to wear, easy to drive and yet still has 90% of the sound quility of HD600. And the price I got, there's no comparison. If I didn't hear about this, I would get The Grado RS80's with inferior sound and uncomfortable pads...

Similar Products Used: HD600
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Roy2001   AudioPhile [Feb 01, 2005]
Strength:

Comfort, good bass, good soundstage.

Weakness:

Cheap plastic looking and stock cable, slightly muffled midrange,

I dare to call myself an Audiophile since I have a pretty good stereo system which cost 15k. My ear is not bad too. I bought a headphone mainly for gaming and music when I surf oninternet. I choose HD590 due to its 120 ohm imepedence. HD590 does not disappoint me except the mid-range. It sounds like slightly muffled. But I am OK with it since for classical music it is not bad. But what surprised me is its ability to reveal how good is the source. SB Audigy sounds too harsh although I cannot say it is terrible. But it is just lack of musical and smooth. The sound from laptop sounds noisy at high end and boomy at low end. I have to buy a M-audio USB soundcard for it and now it reveals that an amp is required. I also make a DIY cable using canare cable and switchcraft connectors. Difference is not day and night since you cannot substitue the cables inside the phones and cable length for left and right channel are not equal. But I have to admit that stock cable looks like a piece of junk. Soundstage is wide, although lacks the depth (compare to speakers though). Bass is good and tight, but I would say there is a peak around 100hz. Although compare to high end speakers/system it lack the airy but vocal still sounds live and present. So my conclusion? You need a better sound source for it, an amp and a DIY cable (cost only $10) are prefered. It is relatively easy to drive, with very good bass. A little bit bright treble but never fatigue.

Similar Products Used: HD497 SONY V6 MX500/400
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
frenchmann   AudioPhile [Dec 16, 2004]
Strength:

VERY comfortable, warm and deep bass, upgradable (cable), good soundstage.

Weakness:

At this price, not much. build quality is a bit tacky but that's about it!

I was never really a believer in headphones or the sound they portrayed until one day i decided to buy a set of 590's. Indeed, up to this point my exposure to headphones was limited to closed earpiece designs.. my first mistake it would seem. on plugging them in, the first thing i noticed was how much better open backed headphones sound compared to closed (in my opinion anyway). it sounded like i was listening to good speakers and not headphones. from that day on i began re-discovering my music collection once again. the detail of these headphones is very good. they are, without doubt audiophile standard. i also loved the bass - it's very deep for headphones. they took some time to settle in. about 4 or 5 weeks of heavy listening and the sound started to really tickle me. they do, definitely, mature with age. the other thing that has to be mentioned is that these headphones are almost too comfortable. easy to fall asleep i found, especially to the laid back sound of my 965BX! i did think about a cable upgrade, but i'm glad i didn't now. have recently bought a set of HD650's which i'm still running in. there is more detail in the 650's but they lack the warmth of the 590's. they also seem to be lighter on bass, this could be down to the improvements of the stock cable that comes with them. at the end of they day - i like that bass... and i feel i'll miss it with the 650's. it's what YOU like that matters, and what's right for one person is not so good for another. still, i highly recommend these wonderful headphones. a steal at the £80 i think richer sounds are doing them for now.

Similar Products Used: HD650
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
pbubny   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 26, 2004]
Strength:

With a replacement headphone cord, these are hugely involving cans.

Weakness:

You really need that replacement cord for these 'phones to reach their full potential.

I'm quite pleased with my HD-590s--but before I describe what my experience has been, let me first point out that I'm using the 590s with a heavy-duty headphone cable from a small company known as Stefan AudioArt. The replacement cord, which plugs easily into the jack normally used by the stock cord, makes these 'phones more efficient and harmonically ample than they otherwise would be. With this cord, I've got a pair of 'phones that sound pretty spectacular with a variety of headphone amps-- even a portable amp that runs on two AA batteries. For example, the bass, which is kinda boomy and uncontrolled with the stock cord, tightens up with the Stefan AudioArt replacement. The signature "relaxed" Sennheiser sound is a little more close-up with the 590s. Maybe they don't put you up on the stage as Grado headphones do, but they definitely move you forward a few rows in the hall. They have provided hours of fatigue-free listening to classical music as well as some rock, jazz and world music, while leting in plenty of detail, both micro (musicians turning pages on their music stands) and macro (subsidiary melodies, harmonies, etc. I didn't know were there--or if I did know they were there, I couldn't hear them in the particular recording I was listening to). The "headstage" is maybe a little narrower than the very wide "stage" you get from the AKG K-501s, but the 590s' stage is wide enough, and these 'phones allow you to listen much longer, largely because the 590s' frequency response is better integrated across the spectrum (the 501s, I've found, were light on bass and heavy on upper frequencies).

Similar Products Used: Grados (from SR-60 up to SR 225), Sennheiser HD 570 and 580, AKG K501
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
keith   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 30, 2004]
Strength:

Incridable sounding, Great seperation. Easy to wear very comfy.

Weakness:

None

I have had the 590 for over 2 years. They have been a great purchase. I think that they sound smoother the longer you own them. I liston to them all the time. I don't know how the 595 could sound much better. I thought that when I bought them that they wouldn't be durible but they have been very durable.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 78  

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