After a few months trading back and forth between these and the HD6XX, I really think most people will be much happier with these. I do most of my listening to my ripped ALAC collection and/or Tidal on my iPhone through the lightning adapter. The Hd6XX are fine with this, but definitely don’t shine like they do when plugged into my desktop computer or receiver, whereas the HD58X sound pretty much the same (great) no matter what you plug them into. If you had to have just one and will do any listening through a portable source, go for these.
As for actual performance, they sound like a slightly more energetic set of Sennheiser open-back headphones. Bass guitars come to life on these, and there is enough sparkle on the high end to satisfy most folks. A really great set of headphones at any price.
This is a tough review to write. I know these are not 5 star headphones but every time I change it to 4 I feel like I am selling them short. I have plenty of headphones that are technically better in every single way but found myself having to listen to music I normally wouldn't in order to appreciate what they had to offer. The problem I always had was the music I like is normally poorly recorded and those headphones would just suck the fun out of most of my favorite albums. This includes the 600's and 6xx's.
I'm not sure what I expected when I bought these. I've been daydreaming about the 660s and seen another 150ohm Sennheiser with the 6xx series looks for $150 and figured why not. Massdrop shipped them quick and they got here in no time despite the normally slow fedex/usps thing. I have a regular new headphone ritual where I open up foobar and play Reasonable Doubt. Normally I skip through that album in a couple minutes because those other headphones makes the poor quality samples and overall poor recording quality unbearable to listen to. I usually have to use my jbl s700's or ATH-WS1100's for old school hip hop.
This is where this review may get a little weird so I apologize in advance. Now I have these on and hit play. Can't Knock the Hustle starts playing and the heart beat starts. At the 30 second mark it dawns on me I am sitting here with my eyes closed remembering when I first bought the cassette back in the day not really even listening. Then the 42sec mark hits and sitting in a room alone I actually say ooh. I sat there with my feet up and eyes closed and listened to the entire album. Not once did I have the flaws of the album forced on me or even thought to look for them. The entire time I was having memories of the first time I listened to the album and enjoyed it just as much as I did then.
I know all that probably sounded weird but what I'm about to say may sound even more weird. All of my so called "audiophile" grade headphones always gave me the impression they were tuned by someone a generation older to fit the music they enjoyed when they were younger. These are the first quality pair of headphones that feel like they are tuned by someone from my generation. A lot of audiophile headphones don't seem to like hip hop or at least late 80's early 90's hip hop but these do. Everything just sounds pleasurable. My collection of music is just not hip hop and I normally have to switch headphones depending on what I want to listen to but I haven't felt the need with these.
The only real shortcomings I think these headphones have is the soundstage and separation. I'm strictly speaking stock in this review because those can be improved. I find the soundstage to be very close to the 600's and separation of instruments to be a bit less or softer than both the 600's and the 6xx's. I would definitely like more soundstage stock but I think the way these do separation is part of why they work so well with all music and are so pleasurable. If your playlist goes from wu tang to rage to Biggie to Nirvana to Dessa to Wayne to you get the point these are for you. I have seen some comments of owners saying they had some graininess with theirs but I have no sign of that with mine. I did have that with those ATH-WS1100's but it went away after a week of use so hopefully those who have/had that issue with these will have the luck I had with those.
That is a definitive yes. I think the only place that the beats can beat the sennheiser hd58x to is who is going to be quicker in going inside the trash can and I believe that beats will win that round hands down, no competition xD. But on a serious note, there is no way any beats model could surpass the sound quality that this can produce