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Archives August 2022

Sennheiser HD 599 SE review : diamond in the rough?

Just like with mechanical keyboards, the world of headphones can be quite the rabbit hole. Today we will be taking a look at a headphone that is regularly on sale on Amazon. Is it any good, should you grab one on sale, or is it even worth getting at its MSRP? Let’s take a look at the Sennheiser HD 599 SE.

The Sennheiser HD 599 was originally launched in 2016. It was introduced as a successor to the popular HD 598. The sound on the HD 599 SE has been tuned, improvements have been made to the build and there is a bit more bass.

First up

I am no audiofile, so don ‘t expect any professional measurements or things like that. I am just an audio lover, enthusiastic, or whatever you want to name it. I love listening to music on the headphones I own and want to share my personal experience. If you want professional measurements I can highly recommend Audiosciencereview. There are also a lot of different YouTube videos to be found about headphones, but my personal advice is to always listen to a headphone and see if YOU like the sound.

Sennheiser, what’s in a name?

Chances are small you have never heard of the name Sennheiser. But where does it come from? The name Sennheiser comes from its founders last name; Fritz Sennheiser. Fritz Sennheiser founded the company, then named Laboratory Wennebostel, or simply ‘Labor W’ in 1945. After making equipment for another well known German company: Siemens, Sennheiser soon started making their own products.

Decades after Fritz Sennheiser started the company in a farmhouse, Sennheiser is still in the hands of the family.

You read the entire history of Sennheiser at their website.

The HD 500 series of headphones

The HD 500 series of headphones are a mid-range series from Sennheiser. These headphones provide a healthy mix of great quality sound with affordable prices. They aren’t known for providing great bass though. The series consists of several models with each having slight differences in sound-profile, price and comfort. Most of the models are so-called open back headphones. Open back headphones generally give a wider soundstage but do tend to leak sound. Therefore they are better suited to private listening sessions and not meant for commuting for example.

What’s in the box

The Sennheiser HD 599 comes with two cables, a 1.2 meter cable that ends in 3,5mm and a 3 meter cable which ends in 3,5mm. Sennheiser also includes a 3,5mm to 2,5mm adapter. Both cables end in a 2,5mm plug which locks into the headphone.

Specifications of the Sennheiser HD 599 SE

Impedance50 Ω
Frequency response12- 38,500 Hz
Sound pressure level (SPL)106dBSPL (1kHz/1Vrms)
THD, total harmonic distortion<0.1% (1kHz, 100dBSPL)
Weight250 g

Feel and comfort

The HD 599 SE is very comfortable to wear. There is nice padding and the velour ear cups feel very soft, they sit around the ears. There is very little pressure and the headphones can be worn for hours without feeling heavy or uncomfortable. When on a hot summer day though the headphone can become a bit uncomfortable to wear. But personally I find this to be true on most headphones. The cables aren’t my favorite; they do tend to make sound when moving them against my shirt for example.

The sound of the Sennheiser HD599 SE

The HD 599 is a very pleasant headphone for listening to almost any genre. Music sounds lively, voices are clear and natural and the soundstage is good. Being an open back headphone, bass isn’t its strongest card but it is still there.

Gaming is also very nice with the HD 599. The headphones give a good sense of the environment while playing online shooters and they are great at positioning all kinds of sounds.

Should you buy the Sennheiser HD599 SE?

The HD 599 SE can regularly be found for around €100,- on Amazon. If you are looking for a comfortable open back headphone to listen to your favorite music I think it is money well spend. These headphones are also very well suited for playing (online) games.

Being very easy to drive at 50 Ohm the headset is very versatile and doesn’t need a headphone amp. It is also great for listening to you favorite playlist on your smartphone.

If you want to analyze every song and hear every crack in a song, these aren’t your headphones. Take a look at the HD 560S instead.

Akko 3084S Shine Through review: colorful keyboard

This is the third keyboard from Akko I will be covering. I started with the 3098B Black and Gold edition and later got my hands on the Alice Plus Black. This time I will be looking at a more compact keyboard in white; the Akko 3084S Shine Through.



SwitchAkko CS Jelly Pink/Akko CS Jelly Purple 
InterfaceUSB Type-C
MacroAkko Macro V1.0
N-key rolloverSupports
Disable WinlockSupports
BacklightRGB backlight
Interchangeable during operationYes


WeightApproximately 0.74 kg
MaterialPBT material
Printing technologyDouble shot shine through
Printed on the sideN / A

Accessories that come with the 3084S Shine Through

The keyboard comes in the familiar black Akko box with a wrapper around it showcasing the keyboard. Inside there is a user manual and another thing we have come to expect from Akko. This of course is the a box with extra keycaps. With these extra keycaps it is possible to use the keycaps in a full size keyboard for example. Extra’s like media keys and even keycaps for an ISO layout are included! No different colors this time though, they are all of the same white shine through sort. BUt you can check out other models with different kinds of keycaps here. Akko also included a keycap puller and switch puller. The latter being something Akko didn’t always provide in the past with other models.

Included are a USB-C cable, a keycap puller and switch puller

A closer look

Taking a closer look at the keyboard itself we can see the board is quite simple in design. There are no logo’s to be found and the bezels are small. On the top left a USB-c connection can be found. The cable has a cover around its USB-c connector making it look like its part of the chassis when connected. Personally I like this approach, because it makes for a clean look. On the back a pair of rubberized feet can be found which have two stages of height adjustment. Apart from this a large sticker with the keyboards model number and other information like the serial number can be found. On the upper right side are some small LED status indicators.


The provided keycaps are made of a double shot PBT material. Unlike other keycaps from Akko which have a secondary solid color injected in the keycaps these caps can let light through. Unlike some cheap third party keycaps, here only the symbols and letters let light through so the rest of the caps keep their solid base color. The caps feel nice and sturdy, though they seem a bit less thick than my other ASA keycaps from Akko. The ASA profile is used in many of Akko’s keycaps. The have the spherical shape of SA keycaps and their height is similar to that of OEM keycaps. and their height is similar to the OEM profile. If you don’t want shine through keycaps, there are plenty of beautiful sets you can buy from Akko that can match the white frame of this board like the Los Angeles keycap set.


The stabilizers are a nice upgrade from the ones found in the older 3084 models. These are the purple ones that are also present in my 3098B. These come pre-lubed and are very stable out of the box. Of course manual lubing and giving these a band-aid mod can improve them even more. The 3084S Shine Through does not support screw-in stabs.

Inside the 3084S Shine Through

Taking apart the keyboard is not something I would recommend with this model. The frame itself is not the easiest to open up. I was able to open it using my triangular prying tools, which came in my iFixit essentials kit. The frame is even thinner and feels more fragile than on the 3098B black and gold I reviewed though. After removing the frame and removing the keycaps I had to remove some screws from the top plate. This was easy enough as there are no cables inside the board due to the lack of software support and wireless connectivity. The boards sibling, the 3084B does have wireless capabilities if that is what you want. The 3084S Shine Through has sound dampening foam on the bottom of the housing with precisely made cutouts so it fits the back of the PCB perfectly. This helps to reduce any hollow sounds quite significantly.

Jelly Pink Switches

The switches I chose for the keyboard are the Jelly Pink switches. Just like the Jelly Purple and Jelly black I have these have a dust-proof stem made of POM material. The Dust proof stem design also helps against wobbling. Jelly Pink’s housing is made of a translucent polycarbonate with a pink dye. An extra long spring of 22 mm can be found inside. The Jelly Pink switches are a very smooth switch straight out of the box. I did lube them with Krytox G502g0 for even more smoothness. But like the rest of this board the straight out of the box experience is already very good. You can check out my article about lubing switches if you have no experience with it.

The true colors of the Akko 3084S Shine Through

Like most keyboards the Akko 3084S Shine through has RGB lightning. The keyboard doesn’t have any software, so you will need to use some key combinations to set it up. The effects themselves are very nice on this board. This is mainly thanks to the shine through keycaps but the white plate helps with this as well.


The 3084S Shine Through is a nice compact keyboard. It is a keyboard that is perfect for someone who wants their first mechanical keyboard with the option of using different switches. It provides a solid base with good quality keycaps, switches and stabilizers. If a person doesn’t feel comfortable with modding this can be a good board as well. There is sound dampening material included, the Jelly Pink switches are very good out of the box and the lubrication of the stabilizers is pretty decent as well. The board is sturdy and doesn’t squeak. If you prefer a tactile switch you can choose the Jelly Purple switch. I made a review of these as well.

An issue for some people can be the lack of wireless connectivity. If you want this board with bluetooth and 2,4Ghz support you will have to go for the regulair 3084B. This version doesn’t come with shine through keycaps but instead has normal ones. You can always buy a pack of shine through keycaps with it ofcourse. Another thing that people should be aware of is that this, however possible isn’t my recommendation for a user who wants to mod the keyboard in all possible manners. The frame is a bit hard to open and quite thin so could easily break when opening.

All in all this is another solid board from Akko. This can be a perfect starting point to the hobby of mechanical keyboards or just a solid hassle free small form factor board. The board is available in both black and white. I personally prefer the white version as it can be matches easily with almost any set of keycaps. A very nice match could be the new Provence set for example. of course matching the board with one of the beautiful limited edition world tour series keycaps is a great option as well!

Looking for a full size wireless keyboard with a unique look? Check out the Akko Kuromi 5108B plus!

Akko is one of the most popular brands in the custom keyboard scene. They make beautiful keycaps, great switches and very nice keyboards. A few of these products have been tested and reviewed here but there are a lot more nice products for sale on their website. One of these unique keyboard designs is the new Akko Kuromi 5108B plus keyboard.

Specs of the Akko Kuromi 5108B plus

  • 5108B Plus with Beken Plus Multi-modes Chip that Supports BT5.0/2.4Ghz/Type-C (3000 mAh Battery );
  • 5-Pin Hot-swappable;
  • Comes with Both Plate Foam and Case Foam;
  • RGB Backlit;
  • Programmable with Akko cloud
  • Dye-Sub PBT JDA Profile Keycaps.

About the keyboard

The Akko 5108B Kuromi is a full-sized mechanical keyboard with triple connection modes. It supports high-speed Wireless 2.4GHz, Wireless Bluetooth 5.0, and Wired USB Type-C connections supporting a variety of devices straight out of the box. The keyboard uses premium JDA profile, PBT material keycaps. They are not only durable but also have a rich finish to them. The keyboard has a combination of three colors for the theme, elegant white, sweet purple, and lovely pink. Akko has featured Kuromi design elements on both the keyboard chassis and the keycaps.

Hot swappable sockets

The Akko 5108B uses a 5-pin hot swappable socket which also supports 3-pin switches. This ensures most aftermarket switches will fit on the board. Of course Akko also sells many great switches like the tactile V3 Cream Blue Pro and the light and beautiful Crystal switches.

The Akko Kuromi 5108B is not afraid to show its true colors

The board comes with built-in RGB which is easily configurable with the Akko clous software. If you want to change keys around or use macros, you can do this with the software as well. But if you are one of the people who prefers to do without software, no problem! It is possible to change the RGB lightning modes on the keyboard itself as well.

Want to take a closer look at the specs or order the board right away? Check it out on Akko’s official website for Europe here.(worldwide shipping)

Noctua NF-A12X25 chromax review: a great upgrade for your AIO Liquid cooler?

Recently I switched to Noctua NF-A14 Chromax fans for my setup after getting to test these out (review here). As much as I like these fans, I know in the back of my head a new version of these fans is coming up. The 120mm fans already got a successor in the form of the NF-A12X25, so let’s take a look at these in the meantime!

Specifications of the NF-A12X25 Chromax

The fan from different angles

Size: 120x120x25 mm

Mounting hole spacing: 105×105 mm

Connector & pin-configuration: 4-pin PWM

Cable length: 1cm + 30cm NA-EC1 extension cable

Bearing: SSO2

Blade geometry: A-Series with Flow Acceleration Channels

Frame technology: AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation)

Material: Sterrox® LCP

Rotational speed (+/- 10%): 2000 RPM

Min. rotational speed @ 20% PWM (+/-20%): 450 RPM

Airflow: 102,1 m³/h

Acoustical noise: 22,6 dB(A)

Static pressure: 2,34 mm H₂O

Max. input power: 1,68 W

Max. input current: 0,14 A

Operating voltage: 12 V

Voltage PWM signal: 5 V

MTTF: > 150.000 h

Scope of delivery

  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.white anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.yellow anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 grey anti-vibration pads
  • NA-AVG1 anti-vibration gasket for water cooling radiators
  • Fan screws


6 years

Unpacking the NF-A12X25 Chromax

The packaging is consistent with the rest of the products in the Chromax line-up I have seen so far. The fan sits neatly in a plastic shell inside the box with one of each included colored anti-vibration pads. In contrast to the NF-A14 thought, additional grey anti-vibration pads come pre-installed. Underneath is a little box which contains 4 screws and the rest of the colored anti vibration pads. The fan cable is detachable, this can come in handy if using a fan splitter for example like the NA-SYC1. Another included accessory is an anti vibration gasket made of silicon. Using this ensures a tighter seal when placing the fans on a radiator.

A closer look at the fan

Metal-reinforced motor hub

The first thing that catches the eye is the big motor hub in the center of the fan. It’s not just for show though. The hubs centerpiece is made from steel with a brass reinforced axle mount. This prevents the fans from wobbling around, something I already noticed being almost absent in the NF-A14 when comparing this to the P14 from Arctic which wobbled around a lot in my setup.

The NF-A12X25 center and blades up close

The NF-A12X25 is on Sterrox

Looking closely at the fan blades you can see they aren’t made of the usual solid black PBT or other plastic kind of material. Noctua used its own customized fiber-glass reinforced Liquid Crystal Polymer or LCP. The Austrian based company calls this tech Sterrox. You can check out the link to read about all the technical ins and outs. Using the Sterrox technology allowed Noctua to make a gap of just 0,5mm between the blades and the frame.

The included Anti-vibration gasket helps give the fan a tight seal to ensure optimized pressure.
Pictured above is the included anti-vibration gasket

Perfect for liquid cooling

anti-vibration gasket

Mounting is as easy as every other fan. The included anti-vibration gasket ensures the fans sit tight on the radiator and prevent air leakage. I have tried these kinds of afterparty rubber frames before but always ended up trashing them because they wouldn’t fit nicely. These actually do; Noctua already has the cutouts for their anti vibration pads, and the anti-vibration gasket makes good use of these.

Replacing my stock AIO fans with the NF-A12X25

I mounted the fans on the radiator of my Deepcool Castle 360EX RGB cooler. The Castle is a very capable liquid cooler with a beautiful infinity mirror design on the pump and some good looking rgb fans. The included fans do their job at cooling very well, but they make quite noise doing so and the build quality is not that amazing. The Noctua fans on the other hand feel very sturdy and hefty. The switch was done fast and simple and I used the Deepcool fan-splitter that came with the AIO to hook them up in sync with each other.



My 5900X is being used with PBO enabled and resides in a Phanteks P600S case. I currently use 3 Noctua NF-A14 Chromax fans as intake and one as outtake at the rear. My radiator is mounted on the top of my case. For thermal paste I used Noctua’s NT-H2.

Cooling is excellent as expected; going full out the results are absolutely great with the cpu hitting 67,3 °C max. This is with an ambient temperature of 22,5 °C.

Going to 65% fan speed the max temperature reached 68°C, which is still very good.

NF-A12X25 performs great while still keeping noise to a minimum.
Running the NF-A12X25 At full speed the max CPU temp was 67,3°C

When adjusting the fans to a noise normalized setting at 35 dB it is clear the Noctua beats the stock fans Deepcool provides with the AIO. With a higher total package power the Noctua cooler performs better while giving no humming sounds (like the Deepcool fans do).

Noctua on the left, Deepcool on the right

Sound produced by the NF-A12X25

Let’s continue with the noise a bit here. Like I said before Deepcool included some capable fans, but they do make a lot of sound when spinning these boys up. The NF-A12X25 are something else for sure! The cooling itself was, as expected very good, but the real threat here is the silence at which these fans can do their job! I can easily run these fans at 75% which translates to +/- 1525 rpm while still barely hearing them spin at my desk. Opening up the case I could hear them do their job but this was still very respectable hearing these babies go at high speed! Running the fans to their absolute max the sound I measured on my desk was just 28dB on average and 25,6 at my ear height that is just amazing. I never would consider running fans at max speed before, but this is next level stuff.


Noctua prices are usually higher than that of its competitors. Other companies have stepped up their game in recent years and Noctua isn’t the only one making great fans anymore. The NF-A14 fans and their smaller version have gotten tough competition from brands like Arctic which offer insane value for money with their NP12 fans. The NF-A12X25 however shakes up the market once again. The cooling is outstanding, but even more is the sound, or rather the lack of it these fans put out while cooling at high speeds. Normally I avoid 120mm fans and 360 rads like the plague because of the sound, not an issue anymore with these.

The construction and build quality are also really top notch, so you really get what you pay for with these fans.

Are these worth the asking price of around €32,-? In my opinion they are, considering these come with a solid 6 years warranty and can provide years of outstanding cooling while keeping things quiet. The included silicon gasket is a nice bonus. If you are going for a high-end build components these fans can be a great investment. Personally I can’t wait for the 140mm fans to come out the gates of Noctua so I can replace my NF-A14 fans!

As for RGB, well still a big no here! But there are other ways around that. I bought a Deepcool RGB 200 PRO kit which I could connect to the hub included with my Castle 360. But there are many other options out there ofcourse. I chose this set because it can work in sync with the AIO without needing any software.