The Best Studio Headphones: The Sennheiser HD-580


The Best Studio Headphones

Update: This headphone is no longer being manufactured but the Sennheiser HD-555 is a comparable headphone for under $100.

Ah, the Sennheiser HD-580 — this is one of the best rated headphones of the last 10 years. The Sennheiser HD-580 has been lauded by stereophile magazines for it stellar sound quality and durability. It’s a comfortable set of ‘phones with soft, velvety earpads. It has a metal band at the top — lesser headphones have plastic instead. It sells for about $120 today — and that’s a bargain (it used to retail for $300).

This is an ideal headphone for hours of listening at home, but not a great choice for iPods and other mobile players that simply can’t deliver enough power to this full-sized audio headset. These are “Open Air” ‘phones meaning, people nearby will be able to hear your music.

Basically, the sound from these ‘phones is almost indistinguishable from the Sennheiser HD-650, which retails for about $300. You really need gilded, audiophile ears to tell the difference between the sound of the Sennheiser HD-580 and the HD-600. The one real difference is structural — the HD-600 has a carbon-fiber housing material rather than plastic. The listed specs on the HD-580 are virtually identical to the HD-600, and it sounds quite similar to the HD-650 too.

Update: This headphone is no longer being manufactured but the Sennheiser HD-555 is a comparable headphone for under $100.

Comments 2

  1. These headphones don’t just look good – they are that good, all the way down to their high-tech insides. Exceptionally comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, they provide a perfect example of what exquisite headphones Sennheiser specialists can produce out of pure enthusiasm and solid years of experience and expertise. The beige exterior of the HD 598 high-end headphones features high-gloss burl wood parts with matching earpads – all this slendour betrays the HD 598 earphones as pure unadulterated elite in the eyes of everyone around. And people will be looking – Sennheiser products tend to draw attention.

  2. The HD-555, which you mention as a current substitute, is not the equal of the HD-580 (which you say is as good as the high-end HD-600). The HD-595 seems a more likely choice, though it is a different sounding headphone, according to the Headphone.com review (more forward, perhaps a bit brighter).

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