Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X


#21

Yeah, I put these back on and was listening to a bunch of random music, and honestly I would really love them if I hadn’t heard/own much better headphones. As of now I don’t mind keeping them as a good reference can when comparing to others, it helps that the price point is really good for these. I would recommend these and the Hifiman HE4xx to new audiophiles all day long, especially if they are on a budget.


#22

We’ll put. I recently saw someone remark that the happy audiophile is not the one with the best equipment but the one with equipment with which he is satisfied. I purchased these in part to see what my minimum satisfaction threshold is. The jury is still out.

On the subject of EQ, try this - High Shelf at 7.5 kHz, +5dB Q 0.71, nothing else. So far this is adding enough edge and sparkle to take these into interesting territory.


#23

That is a great statement! I especially like the “minimum satisfaction threshold” part. We audio enthusists I think sometimes forget to evaluate that part of our equipment. Always looking for the top end. But I think, raising the minimum threshold, as we grow and find what we enjoy as individuals, is just as key.
Edit: I’ll try that EQ when I get home from errands with the fam.


#24

Dammit, somehow I turned on crossfeed again! With crossfeed off, that missing edge is back and I don’t need the EQ. Also, I’ve turned up the volume a bit. I used to listen to the more efficient DT 1990 at 32, and now I’ve got the HD58X at 35.


#25

I need to play with crossfeed more, I hear it does wonders for the Sennheiser line…


#26

Okay, I think that using my standard tests tracks is a poor way to gauge my “minimum satisfaction threshold” because it imposes a standard of “must deliver a performance that stands out from my other, more expensive headphones”. I think a more useful standard is “must deliver an excellent experience in its own right”, to which end I’m now listening to material I know that I’ll like but which I haven’t listened to recently and in particular haven’t listened to with my other headphones.

So, I present

This is one of those albums on which i typically skip a lot of songs to get to the ones I really like. The HD58X has been keeping me immersed to the point where I’m listening straight through, hearing sonic treats like vocal layering and intricate percussion that keep me engaged even when the melody or main beat don’t.


#27

I suppose Its one of the downsides to owning multiple headphones/iem’s. You will always end up comparing them even on a subconscious level. Although comparisons can be much fun too. Like you I also try to listen to a variety of music when rocking my less used gear. Though my normal playlist always ends up showing its face. :grinning:

-Paul-


#28

My finger has been hovering over the buy button on these for a while. I own the 650’s but I crave more treble and I don’t know whether or not this is just a side grade. I own and love the HD800 and I guess I should have got the HD600 instead of the 650’s. What a conundrum. I don’t know…

-Paul-


#29

I’m quite confident saying I prefer these to the HD600, but I’ve never heard the HD650 so can’t say anything intelligent there.


#30

Ha I’ve had the 6xx and prefer the 58x to them, but I’ve never had the 600 LoL


#31

In preparation for the arrival of the Elex, I’ve been listening to some of the songs listed in this review with the HD58X, from Google Play in 320 Kbps MP3. The only EQ is a slight bass adjustment mimicking the felt mod that I intend to apply when I have time. Google Play didn’t have all the songs and I skipped those.

I had to turn down the volume relative to what I use when listening to local FLAC, perhaps Google Play is normalized higher.

April #2 - sonically very immersive and crisp, but I didn’t finish because the material didn’t hold my attention.

Fly Me To The Moon - Great natural vocals, instruments sound a bit recessed but I suspect that’s the recording.

Another Love - rich and articulate bass, natural and clear piano, balanced vocals and an overall punchy sound.

Interstellar Overdrive - Crunchy guitars, guitar at 2:20 sounds like guitar, all the parts seem well separated and distinctly located in the soundstage. Speaking of soundstage, it seems bigger than what I remember of HD600. I didn’t finish the song because I didn’t actually enjoy the music.

Rock it for Me - seems to have a deliberate lo-fi vintage sound. I enjoy swing dancing and this song makes me want to move. Female and male vocals are natural and well balanced. Kick drum is powerful, and instrument separation is good but soundstage seems very small and I can’t place the instruments in space - likely its the recording.

The Veldt - the bass gets the job done but I suspect that on my LCD2C it would sound deeper. The bass doesn’t seem particularly punchy but I don’t think that would suit this recording anyway. The voices are clear and the reverb effect gives them an appropriately ethereal quality. The synth parts sound crisp and have enough air. Everything sounds well balanced.

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun - not really my cup of tea but the HD58X allow this to sound sufficiently psychedelic and spaced out. I had to turn up the volume a bit for this song, but with that everything seeems clear and intelligible. The panning effects work fine and the transition across the center of the image is seamless.

Ave Maria - I don’t know if it’s the recording or the headphones but everything sounds very distant and the imaging is strange. For much of the song it feels as if I’m standing in the center of a church,with the singer way at the front and the instrument way off in the left wing. There’s enough air to achieve the desired cherubim effect but overall this song doesn’t do much for me.

Daydreaming - piano has a nice weight to it. The vocals are very upfront. Synth and bell parts are well separated and occupy distinct positions in space. The background vocals sound sufficiently atmospheric. The slow crescendo at the end builds energy nicely showing good macrodynamics. The wails at the end are indeed ghastly, an effect enhanced by being able to hear the subtle breathing noises preceding each wail.

Lacrimosa - sufficiently moving, decent air for strings, choir and orchestra are nicely balanced, however the choir and orchestra each sound somewhat monolithic. I don’t think this is the best recording and prefer one by the RIAS Chamber Choir in which the HD58X really let’s me pick out the individual voices and instruments better.

Song From a Secret Garden - quite beautiful. Everything is well separated. The violin, flute and harp image in distinct locations, everything else is just kind of everywhere. The timbre and detail of the instruments are great, especially the violin which has body, air and good distinct bowing sounds with some edge but never gets screechy.

A Day in the Life - Very nice. Great imaging again, dense oassage at 4:00 has the right energy but avoids turning into an indistinct wall of sound. The stereo image on this vintage of recordings is often unnaturally extreme, but I didn’t have a problem here. The oercussive instruments like the shakers and cymbals have enough energy but don’t push their way to the front.

Back in Black - sounds like rock! High energy, distorted, edgy guitar, kick drum, hard snare hits, clear cymbals and vocals bordering on shrill without sterling over the line. Good.

Billie Jean - great imaging (again) and good punch. Everything is well balanced. Michael’s lead vocals seem a tad recessed but I’ve heard this album enough to know that’s just how it’s mixed. The various background color vocals really pop nicely, appearing from nowhere into very specific positions and then disappearing just as quickly. Excellent!

Love song - again very nice imaging and balance. One guitar on the left, one on the right, Adele’s voice upfront and center, bass guitar and drum as well as strings enveloping the stage, accent percussion (tambourine, rim shots, etc) is clear and distinct with the right energy.

No Time for Caution - sounds okay. Orchestral soundtracks aren’t really my thing though.

Canon in D - builds energy nicely, good separation, strings have good timbre. Recording seems to have some reverb which is rendered well (i.e. not overly dry).

Bubbles - fun! Good detail, deep bass, good punch (the falling tennis balls and marbles really pop). Great imaging and separation (never becomes confused or muddled, everything has its own space) and wide enough soundstage without sounding unnatural.

Comparing just my impressions with those of the original Elex review, the HD58X looks like it will stack up well. The natural timbre and great delivery of male and female vocals are to be expected in the mid-tier Sennheiser’s, but the HD58X goes beyond that by keeping the vocals from dominating instrumental parts, creating great separation and imaging parts very distinctly in a soundstage that doesn’t seem crammed like I remember the HD600. It also delivers cleaner and more extended bass and an overall surprisingly punchy sound, and does well with acoustic as well as electric instruments.

I think the Elex will have its work cut out for it!


#32

I’m ninjan3rd in that thread lol, I did the post listening to the same tracks and giving my point of view, while imbibing some whiskey. It was a fun night of listening to music and whiskey.


#33

Haha, I wondered about that!


#34

Thanks. As ever I can always equalise. I like to add a little treble in order to get that edge I crave.

-Paul-


#35

Okay, Stevie Ray sounds great on these:

This performance deftly mixes a light touch on guitar with just enough bass guitar and sparse drumming to give it a solid foundation. I love the dynamics on this song - Stevie’s playing ranges from delicate and ethereal to visceral, taking me on a musical rollercoaster ride. The HD58X has the macrodynamic chops to keep up.


#36

I have been rocking out to Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music of late and are really enjoying their Spotify playlist. I have downloaded all the albums too. Some of their stuff is really well produced. I especially like More Than This. I am sure it would sound great on your 580’s.

-Paul-


#37

Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve heard that song before but didn’t know who it was. Reminds me a little bit of Steely Dan or Toto but with less Jazz and more prog rock influence. That whole early to mid eighties period has an emotional connection for me as that was when we moved to America and this is the kind of music my parents listened to on the radio after we arrived.


#38

Yes I love the whole era. I also am also a recent fan of Steely Dan and Stevie Ray Vaughn. I have become far more appreciative of 60’s and 70’s music as of late. Getting Better Audio gear over the last few years has driven me to seek out a wider diversity of genres as well as better recorded and produced music. Though Acoustic music remains my main focus. Anything Acoustic.

-Paul-


#39

What are some of your favorites?


#40

@prfallon69 and @pwjazz here is one of my favorite acoustic albums:

I have fond memories of drinking and partying with U.C. Berkeley college girls and this album is one of the soundtracks to that time of my life (early 20’s). I have a very fond memory of sitting on the roof of a sorority house with a young lady and watching the sun come up after a night of drinking, while having “Up all night” playing off I think one of our phones or maybe a portable player… good memories…