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.