Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X


It’s been one of my many favourites for a few years now.


Okay, I guess I just needed to look harder for something I would like. Here is a binaural recording that makes good use of the technology without sounding gimmicky to me:

It does feel a bit too wide, but with this large an ensemble it doesn’t sound too sparse like it does with Amber Rubarth. I’ve never heard the HD800, but this kind of large soundstage with spectacular imaging and good suitability to classical music sounds like descriptions I’ve read of it.

The more “spectacular” uses of binaural seem to me like they would work better in an immersive game like Horizon Zero Dawn than in music, but I freely admit that I have some strong preconceptions.


And here’s another classical recording, this one doesn’t feel too wide. I feel like I’m sitting further back in the audience at a realistic distance.


I have three different pads for these from Dekoni, and didn’t find the sound too horribly changed between them I have been sticking with the Elite hybrid pads though…I use the same elite hybrids on my HD800 and my X00PH (well their models version just to be clear :wink: ).


Don’t forget the HD700!! that is one of the most comfortable headphones I own! the cups are Goldilocks just right! I wish Dekoni would finally put out pads for them though…


I too am a great fan of the HD700 and it gets far too much stick IMHO. I can understand why people don’t like them though.

How are those pads for ear heat. Do they not make your ears sweaty?



Not as bad as leather, and they add some distance from the driver’s giving more air to keep cool.


I needed new pads for some HD650s shortly before I bought the 580s and was just about to buy the Dekoni pads when I read that the opening is slightly smaller than the stock pads.
That scared me off which was a drag as the replacement OEM pads are way too costly, especially in Canada. They cost a third of what I paid for the 580s!

The reviewer said that the pads were slightly deeper but his ears rubbed against the opening. Can you tell if there is actually a difference?
My problem with the pads is as much or more the diameter of the oval than the depth as my ears are flat but I have to adjust them carefully so they don’t rub the inner circumference. Any smaller at all would be a problem for sure.
I was going to buy the hybrids as they were said to be closest in sound signature to the original pads.
Most who tried (that I could find who commented) went back to stock pads; but it seems the dissatisfied are more vocal than those who are happy with anything.


The angry few are always the most heard…kind of like an angry drive no guy at a party wanting to fight everyone, 95% of the party goers just avoid him and continue having a good time lol


Have you noticed a difference in the ear cup opening diameter?
If there is none (or especially if they’re a bit bigger) I’ll feel like the “angry guy at the party”!


Side by side with the stock pads.

Both are about 4cm wide, but stock has that Sennheiser slope to the pad.


Thanks that’s good to know.



I think the bevelled pad is what made the difference to some as far as their ears not rubbing.
Sennheiser has never been good at addressing questions about minor changes to their headphones. But someone said in some review that with the HD660 the pads were changed slightly in regard to the slope of the bevel (ie making it moreso to allow for a larger ear opening).

I can’t imagine they’re making different replacements for different 6XX models so does anyone know if there was actually a change when the HD660s was introduced or if this reviewer was blowing smoke?

PS My old pads looked less bevelled but that could just be from them flattening with use.


In prepping for my comparison of the HD58X, Elex and my “old” LCD2C, I’ve taken some measurements. These were taken at my comfortable listening levels, since that’s where I need my headphones to perform.

Some things that I find interesting:

  1. Elex and HD58X frequency responses are very similar (which is how I heard it too).
  2. Elex is know for having a particularly fast attack and decay, but at least at my comfortable listening levels I see that in neither the Clarity measurement nor the impulse response.

Not measurement related, but I can immediately tell that the I prefer the comfort of the HD58X to the Elex. The Elex headband puts too much pressure on the crown of my head, no matter how I wear it. Also the round Elex earcups don’t fit my ears as well as the HD58X. On the plus side, my ears don’t touch the driver on the Elex, but I don’t find that bothersome on the HD58X.


So, I’ve been listening to the Elex much of this morning, as well as the LCD2C and HD58X, and to my surprise I’m preferring the HD58X right now. There’s two songs that really capture it for me:

The HD58X lose out to the other two on several of the raw technicalities like speed and detail retrieval, but they come surprisingly close on many and they strike the best balance in terms of tonality, imaging, punchiness and comfort to make them the ones with which I’d most like to listen to the most music. We’ll see if that impression holds, but at this moment there’s nothing that’s drawing me to the Elex.


The Elex is a unique beast… I’m not the most familiar with Focal, and the Elex is my first foray into their gear. But when I’m listening to music (which everyone has their own preferences, unique snowflakes that we are) I don’t usually grab them first. That being said the 58X feels more intimate to me when listening, more warmth. I do think the Elex is much more detailed, and airy without being wide if that makes sense. They both are intimate, but the separation and detail are better on the Elex. The 58X has more of that melded together sound, I guess liquid is the term?


Yup, the Elex does sound more detailed, but it’s not a night and day difference to me. It also sounds very lean by comparison.

When I switch from HD598 to Elex, I miss the comfort and the full bodied sound. Switching back, I don’t really miss anything.


I am looking forward to @Torq reviews of the Focal line-up especially the Elex. When I listened to the Clears (not side by side with the Elex, so pretty pointless really lol) I didn’t think they sounded any better than the Elex, but I am interested in what he has to say with having them together and a/b’ng them. I find the Elex more comfortable then the 58X, but that is neither here nor there… but how things fit on your head and all of that does attribute to how you hear the music I think… I’m talking about physically being tighter on the head or closer to your ears so that the pads touch them etc…


Yes, head shape makes a big difference. I think I have a somewhat pointy head (software developer and all that :wink: ) and so all the weight concentrates in one place, and I do have somewhat longish ears. I will say that the Elex has deeper cups than the HD58X so if you’re sensitive to touching the drivers, it’s better in that sense. I’ll also say that I can definitely leave the Elex on for some time without them being too bothersome, but the HD58X just sort of disappear on my head (now that I’ve adjusted their clamp).

You mentioned that you don’t typically reach for the Elex first. Do you ever reach for the HD58X first (other than because of this thread)? Or more generally, what do you reach for first and when?


The top two I tend to grab first are the HD800 and the Fostek x00 Purple hearts. I really enjoy the HD800 for it’s wide sound stage and detail. While the Purplehearts are just fun, plus both are very comfortable. I will listen for a bit to both and give a deeper dive into why here in a bit.