In my 598Cs review, I postulated the following, but I wanted to make sure I was telling the truth. Is the ~$100 Sennheiser HD 598Cs really just the headband from the new $199 579 combined with the ear cups, pads, and drivers from the new $179 569, which was all then painted black and sold for a cheaper price?
The answer is a confirmed yes!
My local Fry’s Electronics has a ridiculous new comprehensive Sennheiser display. It has most of their current product line up, a place to plug in your own music…and a place to plug in your own headphones for the purposes of comparison! Wow! That’s impressive.
I spent a bunch of time with the 569 and the 579, hoping to answer my questions about the 598Cs. I’ve already spoiled the answers at the top. The headband on the 598Cs is straight off the 579. It’s identical in build and design, only black instead of gray.
The ear pads and drivers on the 598Cs are straight from the 569. Granted, I didn’t rip them open, but the pads are clearly identical and I detected no sound difference on tracks I’m familiar with.
The upshot is that the 598Cs is an objectively better 569 that often goes for a cheaper price. What makes it better? The headband. I don’t like the standard headband on the 569. It’s a big chunk of plastic with a big pad glued to the bottom of it. Over time, bending the headphone will reduce the effectiveness of the glue. I had this exact problem on a pair of 558’s. Sure, it’s comfy, but it’s not built to last.
The 579/598Cs headband doesn’t have this problem. It’s fully enclosed in stitched leatherette. There’s nothing obvious to break. There’s no glue that can wear out. It sits closer to the head. Everything about it is a bit better.
If you’re trying to decide between the 598Cs and the 569, go for the 598Cs. It’s a great headphone. The 569 is still good, but there’s no reason to get it when the 598Cs can be had for a much cheaper price.
I don’t know why the 569 exists in a world where we have the 598Cs.