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The Sennheiser HD 598 and Audio-Technica ATH-M50X are two excellent headphones that fall into a similar price range. There are, however, a few key differences between them which suit different peoples needs.
The Sennheiser HD 598s are open-back headphones which means they have a more natural, clear sound. They are also significantly more comfortable than the ATH-M50Xs but not very portable.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50Xs are closed-back headphones which means they are more immersive and bass-heavy. They are not as comfortable as the HD 598s, but much more portable.
Head to Head
Below you can find our head to head of the HD 598 and ATH-M50X which compares the two headphones on the most important factors you need to consider.
One of the biggest differences between these two headphones is the sound. Neither of the headphones are objectively better, but they do tend to different peoples needs. (Although I said neither are better, it is worth pointing out that if you look at reddit and forums, people who own both headphones overwhelmingly prefer the sound of the HD 598s.)
The main difference between them is that the HD 598s have an open-back design and the ATH-M50Xs have a closed-back design. As the name suggests, open-back headphones are open which means air can travel freely through the ear cups. This leads to a more natural, clear and airy sound. This does mean that they don’t block outside noise so they are not very good for travelling and noisy environments. Closed-back headphones feel more immersive and bass-heavy. Although the ATH-M50Xs don’t have active noise cancelling, they do block out noise much better than open-back headphones like the HD 598s.
Neither of these headphones require an amp, but many people do prefer to use an amp with them.
Both headphones use removable cables. This is great for durability because it means if the cable gets damaged or stops working, you can easily replace it and you won’t have to throw away the headphones.
As you would expect from the price, both headphones are very well built and designed to last, particularly the ATH-M50Xs because of the flexibility of the ear cups.
Comfort is where the HD 598s shine. One of the reasons is because of the open back design. As air can travel freely into the ear cups, they are much less stuffy than the ATH-M50Xs. They are also lightweight and the bigger ear cups means they feel less cramped.
The ATH-M50Xs closed-back design means they can get a little stuffy. The ear cups are also quite small and they can feel a bit cramped, especially if you have larger ears.
Features & Accessories
Both headphones come with multiple detachable cables.
The HD 598s come with two cables (one comes with a mic): A 3m cable with a 6.3mm jack and a 1.2m cable with a 3.5mm jack and microphone.
The ATH-M50Xs come with three cables (none come with a mic): 1.2m – 3m coiled cable, 3m straight cable and 1.2m straight cable. All cables have a 3.5mm jack and a 6.3mm adapter is included.
The ear cups on the ATH-M50Xs can swivel making them ideal for one ear monitoring. They are also collapsible and come with a carry case making them excellent for travelling with them.
The ATH-M50Xs win when it comes to portability. They are foldable, smaller and come with a carry case making them ideal for travel. Also, due to their closed back design they are more suitable for noisy environments such as public transport as they block out more background noise than the HD 598s.
The HD 598s are not designed with portability in mind and the open-back design makes them a poor choice for listening in noisy environments.
Both headphones are mid-range headphones and priced quite similarly. The HD 598s are usually a little bit more expensive than the ATH-M50Xs.
|Sennheiser HD 598 SR Open-Back Headphone "Discontinued by manufacturer"||from $149.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black||from $127.96||Buy on Amazon|
Last update on 2019-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API