Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X


Here’s what the felt mod does to my frequency response (relative to a Harman-like target).


You can definitely see the effect it has on bass. Along with a slight tickle more here and there on the highs. Mmm. Thanks that’s food for thought.



I was going to say something similar regarding hearing sounds I had missed with other headphones within some very familiar music.
I refrained because I thought it was likely my paying so much attention to the SQ being they were new to me.

After reading your similar observation I’ve come to the conclusion that the “clarity” of which I spoke earlier is definitely more noticeable on some tracks than others but is always a stand out feature.
The 58X definitely brought my attention to details that have seemed somewhat glossed over on first listen with other headphones.
This is mostly in comparison to the HD-650s, which, while less fatiguing for very long sessions, do seem more recessed at times.
When running balanced at higher volume (as also previously mentioned) the 650s reveal similar detail but the more subtle sounds/effects are still less immediately obvious.
These 58X cans are simply better for dialogue in movies/TV and I don’t need to turn up the volume or closed captions nearly as often because I missed what was said.
I also find I reach for them over the 650s for low level listening and any time I can’t use a desktop amp.
While a bit less forgiving than the 650s, this is not a problem on well recorded music at moderate levels; especially with sparse music (e.g. just guitar and vocal like the Johnny Cash mentioned) They really do shine with this type of music.

I have never been much of a “collector” with headphones and now tend to pick a pair and stick with them. I got to the point where comparisons detracted from enjoying the music, so settled on the 650s and sold the rest I’ve had over the years.

These 58Xs have really shown that in different situations a different pair can be preferable. It’s becoming increasingly obvious which set to grab for what type of listening without having to interrupt the music to compare and deternine if I’m hearing things as I want to.
I think the headphone thing may be/has been less of a “hobby” for me than a search for great sounding cans (at a reasonable price) that I can always enjoy.

I’d have to add “more than reasonable” price for the 58X! :ok_hand:


I really need to listen to the HD650 some time. I used to have the HD600, and I find the HD58X more forgiving (if fallible audio-memory serves me correctly). Really, I haven’t found much where the HD58X sounds downright bad, but I also tend to mostly listen to pretty well recorded stuff :slight_smile: I’m listening to Sara Bareilles’ Little Voice right now. It’s definitely hot and loud, but I can still enjoy it. My stock LCD2C is definitely a bit more laid back, but having owned a DT 1990 in the past, the HD58X seems pretty laid back itself!

The felt mod definitely makes a difference here. Even stock I didn’t find things too congested, but after the felt mod the HD58X separates complex music quite well. When I Woke from Rusted Root has some pretty busy songs like the opening Drum Trip, and the various instruments, extensive percussion and layers of vocals all stay nicely distinct. Cruel Sun, while not as consistently dense, has some really cool dynamics (almost sounds like a classical composition in a way).

If anything, I fear the felt mod may go just a little too far towards making the HD58X sound “analytical”.


Okay, I’ve reverted the felt mod :slight_smile: The thing I love about the HD58X is how it allows me to just enjoy music without getting caught up in analyzing it to death. The leaner tonal balance and increased clarity of the felt mod turned these into something more like my old DT 1990’s which invited me to pick apart the music rather than lose myself in it. I prefer the latter!


This certainly sums things up better than my rambling post. It is pretty much what I was thinking as I wrote about this being a search to be able to “set and forget” as I listen.

With a bit of comparison, which is not really completely fair as I primarily use a balanced dedktop with the 650s and a newer portable DAC/AMP with the 58X.

It certainly isn’t that the 58X sounds congested but that the 650s are a bit “silkier” for when I’m in the mood for that.

I think the comfort of the older 650s, which have had some time to form to my head shape is another reason I pick them up for longer sessions.
I find the headband bending takes some time if you don’t want to disfigure the metal band.
As the more defined or prominent bass on the 58X is one of my favourite features, I doubt I’ll be trying any mods.


My obsession with understanding this phenomenon continues. I think that in part, th is comes down to the low treble/presence region of 2-5 kHz. In the LCD2C this region is noticeably dipped, and even in the DT1990 it’s dipped a little relative to the Sennheisers. Applying -5db to that region on the HD58X does in fact take away some of the “grain”, but it takes some detail with it as well.

Taken together with my earlier conclusion that a leaner bass and low mid-range response yields a blacker background as well, I would say that the stock LCD2C has the perfect frequency response for achieving this kind of “smoothness”, but at the cost of warmth, punch and detail.


These are interesting points you make regarding equalisation. Are these specific to these headphones or could this be applied to other headphones too.

Not knowing a great deal about the ins and outs of equalising headphones with a good parametric equaliser, it would be great if there were somewhere in this forum to give any ground rules or pointers, a resource. I know that I would be very difficult, what with the different brands of equaliser and headphones. I guess what I am trying to say is a faq on the do’s and don’ts along with a general guide would be helpful. Perhaps there are already many about on other sites I don’t know of.



I have just taken delivery of the Massdrop 58X. At present I am running through my headphone workout songs. I won’t give any impressions other than that it is comfortable for me. Once I’ve had a week or two to digest it I may put some sort of review with comparisons to the HD650 and HD800 played through various sources if anyone is interested.



Yes please :slight_smile:


Thanks. I have already made my mind up that I like the 58X. It is brighter than the HD650. At least running through the Sabre Dac’s in my Pioneer XDP 300r. Nice little headphone. It seems smaller dimension wise. Though I don’t know without checking. It’s also not as easy as I thought to power. I mean it’s not hard just not as easy as I thought if you know what I mean. Running it through my main amp is a breeze but going through my Dap alone It does need high gain and a good twist of the volume dial.



Yeah. As someone who doesn’t generally believe in “scalability”, I have noticed this weird phenomenon where my LG V20 does fine with the HD58X at low volumes but when I turn up the volume it gets muddy pretty quickly. On my NX4 (still using the LG V20 as DAC), it still sounds great at low volume, but I have more room to turn up the volume without it starting to sound muddy. Weirdly, I’m only running the V20 at 30-40% volume, so there should be plenty of headroom.

I have two hypotheses for what’s going on:

  1. Maybe the LG V20’s amplifier isn’t neutral and accentuates bass, which makes things worse at higher volumes. I sort of doubt this, because I’ve done measurements of various headphones from various of my amplifiers including the LG V20, and the frequency response is always very close.

  2. Dynamic drivers like the HD58X tend to have a primary driver resonance in the bass region with a corresponding impedance spike. I haven’t seen impedance measurements for the HD58X, but perhaps the LG V20 just doesn’t have enough juice to properly cope with that driver resonance and so the bass gets a bit sloppy at higher volumes.

I find option 2 more likely, but it’s possible that this is all in my head too :slight_smile:


I think your second option is correct…I’ve noticed with my gear, especially when under powered it gets “flubby” aka not enough juice to move the driver’s to their full potential. I have noticed more recently that I’ve never been able to Max out any of my desktop amps, so I think the reason for all that extra power is to effectively power headphones…maybe a torque to horsepower comparison? Torque being the driving force of headphones (delivery of power) and power being horsepower? On my phone out and about so researching how that would compare isn’t easy at the moment.


I have to agree with both you guys on this. I have never been fully satisfied running full size cans off of a phone and to be honest although I love my Dap it’s pushing it really to expect it to be able to get the same response out of it that you can with a mains powered desktop amp. I could be wrong or it may simply be my mind playing tricks. But running something like the HD650’s from a phone or a Dap cannot I am sure give it all the balls that it requires. It does sound better coming from a dedicated Mains Amp.



I’m back in EQ mode … Here are some settings to smooth out the mid treble and fill in the sub-bass a bit. I’m curious what others with the HD58X think of this?

HiFiMan vs Sennheiser

Hi everyone, i heard wonderful things about these phones, so i decided to order them from the freedomland.
I was stunned by how good they are. I am no expert, just got into this hobby, but after giving them a good listen and reading some reviews and opinions, i have to agree they’re great. I run them off my FiiO Q1 MK1 little portable amp&dac combo. It has max power of around 2.5Vrms, so 40mW into 150ohm headphone.
My problem was that my elf ears were touching the foam inside the earcup and it was making crackly sounds whenever i moved my head a little bit. I was recommended to run 10-200Hz sweep to check for crackles and then see if it was hair on the driver or something (didnt know what it was). I did that on high gain, volume knob 5, which is normal listening volume.
When the sweep got to like 50-60Hz, i heard some relatively quiet rattling/clacking sound, so i shut everything immidiately off. The headphones sound fine to me after i gave them a thorough listen. My question is what caused that. My idea was it could be overpowering, but the manual says 500mW (8.5Vrms) and my amp can’t get even remotely close, so unless the rule of power is different for bass, it couldn’t be that. Another idea was amplifier clipping. I know drivers’ impedance spikes with subbass (therefore needing more power), so it could’ve theoretically clipped the amplifier. what do you guys think? Do you think i could’ve damaged the driver? I heard something about micro-tearing, not sure how that works.
Thanks a lot


I thought everybody knows that if you have elf ears you need to buy STAX.


I didn’t feel like selling my kidney Xd


I added the Massdrop HD58X to my collection a couple of weeks ago and passion for the HD58X grows daily. What phenomenal value these cans are. I am really enjoying their sound signature and with the music I like to listen to they’re great. Acoustic music is pleasure to listen to through these. They’ve enough clarity and resolution to be able to pick out the details if that’s what you want or if you want to relax with some easylistening then you can snooze in a chair with a glass of your favourite tipple.

Don’t get me wrong I am not going to burn the rest of my collection but as an easy to pick up set to plonk on your head they’re great.



The German folk musician Rheinard Mey has a song about a neighborhood Italian restaurant, whose consistency and longevity make it a sort of life companion to his family throughout the years. The HD58X is kind of like that neighborhood restaurant–it’s not going to win any James Beard awards and it might not be where you take your wife for an anniversary dinner, but it’s always a good experience and a great value.