Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X


Oratory1990 is an Austrian acoustic engineer with after-hours access to professional measuring equipment who creates EQ profiles for popular headphones to the Harman target. He has posted an index of his EQ profiles on Reddit. The list includes a profile for the HD58X, with which I’m listening right now (with an addition +3 dB at 12500 Hz because I’m old and like a little air up there).

  1. It sounds very nice!
  2. It sounds clearer than my custom EQ profile
  3. Vocals sound just a tad more “right” than with my profile
  4. It sounds less warm than my profile (perhaps a touch too cool)
  5. I detect a little sibilance
  6. It sounds perhaps a tad laid back

Here’s how the two profiles compare on my E.A.R.S. (highly zoomed in scale)


Yes Oratory1990 is a wealth of knowledge and a valuable asset. Am I able to input his EQ settings into Neutron ok?



Yes, I used them in Neutron.


So, I succumbed … mostly due to all the fun “you guys” were having with your “live” back and forth on listening impressions (etc.) with these things, and the re-appearance of these on the “Massdrop Made” (immediate availability) program.

And they showed up last night …

My first impressions are: “Holy head-clamp!

I’ve got several HD650 (spanning from launch until last year), an HD6XX, the HD660S - all of which have similar looking headbands … but I’ve never felt head-clamp like this on a HD5XX or 6XX series headphone. No doubt some judicious headband-bending will help out there.

Beyond that … this is literal first-impressions … maybe an hour of listening while I am giving the new Focal Elegia some play-time.

So far (see above disclaimer) … sonically … these are really nice. Tonality seems to be right down the middle of the HD600 and HD650. Micro-dynamics are lacking a bit (something I find is the case with the HD700 and the HD660S - at least compared to the HD650). There’s some treble grain, which is ameliorated somewhat by flipping to the Cavalli Liquid Spark vs. the Magni 3. Sweet spot might be the Vali 2 here.

Will have to try them with the AudioQuest Dragonfly Black, Red and iFi Nano iDSD Black Label (NiBL).

Right now, just using the Massdrop x Grace SDAC, Monolith Cavalli Liquid Spark and the HD58X … well, it’s hard to fathom that this is a $337 setup:

(Excuse the quick-action-shot).

More to follow, I’m sure …


My listening sweet spot with these right now is:

Neutron on iPhone -> Topping NX4 DAC/amp with FLAC files sporting baked-in crossfeed from 112dB Redline Monitor and using the below EQ on Neutron.

I would call this combination realistic, clear, dynamic and on the mellow side of neutral.


Solderdude updated his article with some additional mods.

I just applied the furniture felt with 3.5 mm hole mod. Like I remember from the original felt mod, it loses the warmth that I like but that’s something I can EQ back in. What it also loses is the treble grain, which I’m guessing was caused by the resonance at around 5 KHz (you can see this in his measurements). I used to be able to kind of achieve the same thing with a notch EQ there, but now I get the smoothness without having to mess with tonal balance. Big win!


I decided to kick off 2019 by draining some hobby budget on the 58X. This is definitely a curiosity purchase than a need or even desire purchase. It’s gotten universal praise and I need to know why. :wink:


Over the past 10 days, I’ve had a chance to listen closely both to my old HD-580 and the new Massdrop HD-6xx. They clearly have a family resemblance - I’m put in mind of an old cartoon (drawing) that I saw in a Playboy about 35 years ago. There were two nearly identical girls sitting on a park bench talking to a passerby. The caption was, “No, we aren’t exactly identical twins.” Those good at “find the difference” puzzles would eventually notice that one of the “twins” was considerably more, shall we say “lush” than the other. That would be the HD-6xx (HD-650).

Originally I planned to sell my HD-580s when I got the 6xx’s, but I think I will keep them. It’s a sound that I have years of familiarity with, and they are not lacking in bass, though they have less bass and slightly less warmth than the 6xx. It some ways, they are the more athletic headphone. If the 58x model is true to the 580, it will, perhaps seem a tad bit faster, and the midrange will have a touch more sparkle.

I think I will value having the choice, even though the 6xx has plenty of allure, at least until I put in substantially more hours with it.

I hope you enjoy your Massdrop 58x as much as I have enjoyed the original HD-580s.


For those on a Mac I found this opensource EQ that a Spotify member suggested… I haven’t tried it yet, so do your due diligence and make sure it is a good option for you, but that being said cool looking EQ for Macs:


I got the 58X this afternoon. I like this new Massdrop shipping speed option! :slight_smile:

This is a lot different signature than what I’ve been listening to lately with the Elex, Elegia and HE560. Definitely more laid back and warmer than what I normally listen to. It does remind me a bit of the HD660 I demo’d several months ago. Did not like this paired with the Loxjie P20. Too much bass addition from the tube amp. I like it directly out of the Monolith THX.

A-Bing it back and forth with the Elex makes the Elex sound like a treble monster. The 58X does seem to have a rise in the upper mids or lower treble just from very quick listening but doesn’t sound quite as apparent compared to the less warmer headphones I am used to listening to, which is why perhaps my initial A-B sounds like the Elex is brighter (due to it sounding thinner).

Anyway, for $150, I was initially not impressed because I tried it with the P20 first, but sounds pretty good on the THX-AAA. That’s about 1 hour of listening impressions. This is quite a step up from the $50 AKG M220 Massdrop offers, as it should be.


Yup. Presence region between 2-4 KHz is actually a bit dipped which makes these sound a bit veiled. HD660 has the same thing. I EQ it up a couple of dB to basically mimic the HD650’s presence. The treble overall seems plenty bright to me though, but I’m a bit treble allergic despite my advanced age :yum:. The thing that I didn’t love about the Elex is that the lower mids seemed to lack some warmth, making male vocals and many instruments sound a bit thin to me. All of this is differences measurable in less than 5dB, so there’s a lot of room for personal preference, not to mention physiology.

Great ear! There’s actually a resonance at around 5 KHz, which makes for a slightly odd combination with the veiled presence. The resonance can be fixed with solderdude’s felt mod behind the driver, which oddly doesn’t really change the level much but takes away some of the edge.


Thanks. I am getting better at identifying things the more I listen. I think it helps that I’ve been listening to the same album constantly over the past few weeks for reviewing purposes (and it’s just a good album – “Rumours”).

I’ll check out that file you posted the other day on the mods. I love tinkering and miss having the T50RP to mess around with. I don’t feel super comfortable internally tinkering my current collection of over-ears so this cheaper headphone can satisfy that itch.

I just picked up a cheapo $6 cable on Amazon for this and converted it to a balanced 2.5mm connector this morning and will be using it with my XLR adapter. $8 balanced cable. :slight_smile:


Snap, Rumours is an excellent album. Every song is a keeper.


Hey All, I had pretty much decided to go with the Sennheiser HD6XX on massdrop, but I don’t like to be hasty about things, so well, I missed out. In their place now is the 58X for $150. Oh, I was also going to order the O2 amp to go with.

At the risk of repeating my introductory post, I’m living in an apartment and need headphones to listen to music and to play my guitar through a modeling amp. I need the HPs to be as neutral as possible mostly for the sake of the modeler. I don’t want any bumps or dips anywhere while I’m trying to tweek values on the guitar amp’s EQ. For music, I prefer a very balanced, neutral listening experience anyway. I’m old.

So just throwing it out there so I can figure my next move. How does the 58X compare to the 6XX? Should I just wait for the 6XX to be available again? If I get the 58X, will it still be to my advantage to get the O2 amp? Given what I’ve stated here, is there any good reason to consider the Hifiman planars that massdrop also has for $150?

Thanks for any help.


A bit higher in this thread, here Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X I tried to give an answer to this question, at least to some degree. Anything that works nicely with one headphone will work nicely with the other.


Thanks for the response. I guess I don’t have to worry about the amp, rather which headphone to pick. I also guess there is no right or wrong answer to this after reading through a lot of this thread. They are both just a bit different. Mostly what I think I need for guitar is something that is very flat and neutral from about 80 Hz to somewhere around 7K - 8K. Any kind of bump in the mids or upper mids is going to cause fatigue. I don’t know if the 58x or 6xx would be better for this.


Felt modded HD58X will have flatter mids. See


Thank you so much for that link. I think I might go for the 58x after all. With the passive filter mod I can be pretty sure of eliminating ear fatigue, I think. At least from the headphones. Now I need to go back and see if that O2 amp is a good match for the 58X. I haven’t spent too much time on that part of it, yet.

This will be fun. I’m really looking forward to hearing music again.


Before you go for an O2 amp, take a proper gander at the JDS Labs Atom, Cavalli Liquid Spark and Schiit Magni 3 - I would take any one of them all day, every day, with any headphone I can name, over any version of the O2.


I’ll strongly second the recommendation of the JDS Labs Atom. The Magni 3 (which I also own) looks more premium with its metal enclosure, but often has a scratchy volume knob. More importantly, it will distort more at high power levels into low impedance loads. With something like the HD58X that doesn’t really matter much, but for future proofing I’d go with the Atom.

EDIT - Also, the HD58X isn’t that hard to drive. If I’m not eq’ing it, it’s satisfactory out of my LG V20 at lower volumes. So, if you have a decent existing source like an iPhone or a Macbook Air, you might try that first and see how you like it. I think an amp will benefit these, but it’s not a necessity to start.