Sennheiser HD590 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Sennheiser Model HD590
Headphone Type Open Circumaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 270 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 0
Impedance (ohms) 120 Cable Length (cm) 300
Frequency Response (Hz) 12 - 38000  
Connector 3.5mm with 6.5mm adaptor Street Price US$170
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Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 7.4 Bass Impact 6.4
Bass Quality 5.6 Mids Quality 5.4
Highs Quality 6.4 Soundstage 7.6
Detail 7.4 Portability 3.4
Isolation 0.0 Comfort 9.2
Durability 6.8 Improvement With Amplification 3.6
Value for Money 5.4    
Overall Score 6.9 Total Reviews 5

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member Iron_Dreamer on 01 Jul 07  11:54
Individual review
Bass Extension7
Bass Impact6
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality5

The HD590 has often been a gateway phone for many into the realm of hi-fi headphones, and it certainly was for me. The 590 is a good headphone, and can be had quite cheaply these days, ensuring that it will continue to draw the unsuspecting into headphonia.

The bass of these cans goes pretty low, and has a fair amount of slam, but also a bit of bloat to go along with it, as the bass, particularly the midbass is emphasized, along with the treble. Highs aren't as etched or grainy as many similar cans, but not as smooth or refined as many others. They are fairly detailed though, and the U-shaped frequency response accentuates the detail of the highs. The midrange is a bit distant and occasionally uninvolving.

These cans also have a pretty wide, if a bit flat soundstage, which works better for classical music than it does other genres. Lead and backup singers can often sound buried under the rest of a rock or pop recording.

The HD590's are made of almost entirely of rather cheap feeling plastic that doesn't inspire confidence in their ability to stand the test of time, and the cable is quite flimsy as well. They are very, very comfortable barely pressing on the head at all, and the pads are quite soft, though not as soft as Beyer's velour. The also require little power to run, and spending more than $100 or so on an amp for these cans is a complete waste of money, as they hardly respond to the change.

If you want to listen indoors from a portable device, soundcard, or built-in headphone jack, especially if you like classical music, and want comfy cans that can almost disappear, then the HD590's are up to the task. Even as general purpose cans, they are quite good at the price they currently sell for. I'd avoid them if vocal-driven music is your passion, though.

My ratings:
Bass Extension: 7
Bass Impact: 6
Bass Quality: 5
Mids Quality: 5
Highs Quality: 5
Soundstage: 6
Detail: 6
Portability: 3
Isolation: 0
Comfort: 8
Durability: 6
Improvement with Amplification: 2
Value for the Money: 5

Review by Senior Member mariowar on 22 Jun 05  16:21
Individual review
Bass Extension10
Bass Impact10
Bass Quality8
Mids Quality7
Highs Quality8

These are the most underated headphones in the world. The reason is that most of the headfi forum users love the classic HD600, which is flatter, less bright plus better mids. Everything started when Headroom ( major amp and headphones vendor) expressed that they would no longer sell this model because they did not like them, well, as you figure out, this opinion found niche in many headfiers who had the idea that the HD600 was the perfect headpnone and started putting the HD590 which are one of the best deals in headphones. Just take a look to the reviews at and to name a few, and you'll find how many people enjoyed them so much. These headphones are the most comfortable headphones in the world, you just forget you have them in, no clamping force, and velour pads that go around the ears + they are very light. The soundstage is SPECTACULAR(like the HD600 and 650), the 3D is phenomenal, it's like listening to speakers; the bass is wonderful, impactful and deep. The bass control is not the best but is very good considering the amount of it. Tightness 1-10 is 7, which is very good. the mids are good, and very good if the recording helps. They won't bring a recessed vocals ( in the recording) to the front. The highs are very good and detailed.
One more thing, the cable is very thin and compresses the sound a bot, specially in the harshness department and in the bass tightness and maybe one of the rasons why many people complain about the recessed mids. I upgraded the Equinox cable and wow, the sound improved. I ust compared them ( the whole weekend) to the Beyers DT880, and I just returned them.....this will give you an idea of how good they are.
Plus, with only 120 ohms you can plug them to your laptop and sound excellent. Otherwise ( discamns, mp3 players), you would need an amp to push them to its limits. Give them a chance, and get them while you can.

Review by Senior Member 3lusiv3 on 04 Jan 05  12:20
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality6
Mids Quality4
Highs Quality6

These were my first real headphones and they blew me away with the detail, soundstage, bass and comfort, but I don't recommend them now. After using them for a while I realised that the mids were way too recessed and I couldn't live with the sound. It's a pity because I really wanted to like these. The mids sound like they have been scooped out and pushed into the mid-bass, which makes voices sound low in tone. They don't sound natural.

They're probably best with movies and classical or jazz music. The soundstage, detail and bass really make movies come to life.

Review by Senior Member amartignano on 26 Dec 04  23:00
Individual review
Bass Extension7
Bass Impact4
Bass Quality2
Mids Quality3
Highs Quality4

Mids are km away, they sound both shrill and boomy. Bass is long and resonant, mid-highs are bumped and high recessed. Not a real value. It's the most comfortable headphone I've evere had. Overpriced. External noise get in a lot, and souns will leak out a lot. Too open. Well... I really don't like this headphones.

Review by Member Justhandguns on 23 Aug 07  22:46
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact4
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality8
Highs Quality9

I have owned the HD-590 for over 5 years now. Although I must say it is not my first choice headphone at home. I bought this headphone in the UK not long before the 595 came out, but at that time, the price was right at that time. I was also considering the HD-600, but after considering that I usually use the headphone with the amplify output jack, I decided to go for the less demanding one.

I still remember when I first got it, I was amazed by the clarity it could bring out with live recordings. All in all, I think the HD-590 is designed for classical musics, not for pops or even jazz, what you get is what I describe as 'thin' when listening to some pop rock bass heavy musics. I am not sure whether this can be improved with proper amplification though, it may help a bit in the bass impact. There is no doubt that the highs are of the best that I have heard in headphones (I do not own the 600 or 650, so I cannot tell how 'better' they are). It does not sting your ears even with high volume. Soundstage is just fine, but it really is down to what kind of recordings that you are listening to.

HD-590 is extremely comfortable to wear, it is light weight, excellent cusioning. But then you can say that it is very very plastic-ky. Anyway, after years of abuse at my home, the only thing that I notice is the mark of HD-590 being scratched off on top of the open drivers. The removable long cable is also a very nice feature as well. By the way, for those who are 'conscious' of the country of origin, this canny is made in Ireland, not China.

My conclusion is, it is excellent for soft, classic musics, but not for pop or rock type of recordings.

Sennheiser HD590