* Prices may differ from that shown
I have owned these headphones for a seemingly long time now, and they sit by my side on their hanging cradle for those times when I feel the need to really hear the music I am listening to.
Their visual design is pleasant, if a touch brittle-plastic. The ear pads are replaceable, which is good because due to their texture, they are magnets for hair product and dust! Now I have often been told that I am blessed with a large cranium and a generous supply of ear. I am, however, pleased to say that the head adjustment on these is more than ample for my head and they can in fact be adjusted to be on the large side! Likewise the ear cups fully surround my ears. I would approximate the cable at 2 metres long and is perhaps my one gripe with them, in that is it a little short. When wearing, the head band sits slightly forward but feels stable. It sits lightly atop your head with what I would describe as the perfect amount of pressure.
Sonically, these phones are excellent. Mids and highs have an airy feel and are crystal clear. I am less impressed with the very lowest end of the bass frequencies, so if you are an avid electronic music fan who likes earth-shuddering bass the likes of which can be detected by orbiting satellite, they may leave you slightly disappointed. However the bass on offer is beautifully clear and airy, and for the vast majority of music, these are utterly superb phones. Nowadays the price is substantially less than my purchase way-back-when, and so I believe they represent rather excellent value.
I started with Sony MDR-ED21LP (£15), upgraded to Sennheiser HD202 (£30), then Sennheiser HD280 Pro (£60), and here we are today with the Sennheiser HD595 (£120). I think both you and I know where this is going and it doesn't look cheap, but until the time I fork out £240 for a pair of headphones, I am most pleased with the performance, reliability and durability of my HD595's over the past 2 years.
Whenever I have been away from home for a week or two, there are a few things I miss. A cup of tea made at home. My car. My Dogs. My HD595's. Sad as it may seem, I simply love the little bubble these headphones can provide. A world where everything sounds sublime and all your favourite artists and music are at your fingertips and pumped through your ears to a standard I can't get anywhere else. High end treble is frisky and bright, mid-ranges are all-encompassing and ethereal and the bass is powerful without resorting to brute force. Here are headphones that can do everything well without compromise.
In the box you'll get your headphones aswell as a jack adaptor for those who might be using the small 3mm connection as found on MP3 players and a fair share of PC sound cards. A nice element of foresight also comes included in the form of a headphone hanger, which is a padded and curved rest for your headphones when not in use. The rest itself clamps to a shelf or flat surface much like a G-clamp, and such an item speaks volumes about the manufacturer's feelings; "Treat these headphones with respect, as we've put a lot of effort in to get them just so. Thou shalt not lie them down on a random work surface, but instead at height, on a tailor-made throne". After all, the HD595's are an attractive piece of kit, with the gun metal grey earcups bejewelled with an attractive black mesh centre, slightly hazing and mystifying the trademark Sennheiser 'S' logo beneath. Why wouldn't you want them on display?
I have steadily upgraded my listening hardware over time, and in my experience it's not only the sound quality which improves with each renewal but the comfort and fit, too. My HD202's and HD280's sat on top of my ears rather pork-pie-esque, but the HD595's earcups are actually large enough to totally surround the ears, which has a double-whammy in the form of vastly increased surround effect. Everyone who has used my headphones has always remarked how the sound seems to be coming from all around you. Comfortable with an adjustable padded headband, you can happily laze for hours with these on your head and forget about them. No cauliflower ears here, though I do still like to whip them off for 5 minutes when I stick the kettle on.
Being 'open' earphones, this means that generally speaking the clarity and spatial effects are better compared to 'closed' headphones, but at a small cost. For one, whatever you listen to will leak out from the headphones, so think twice before you blast out your N-sync tunes you've secretly loved for years, because anyone in the same room will soon know about it! The soundproofing is also thin the other way too but as these are not the sort of headphones you'd use for waltzing down the town centre with, I don't think that matters much. As I sit here typing I can hear every keystroke through my music, and you might get the impression that would be a big deal - it's not, and soon you appreciate the fact that you can still hear things going on around you.
My Sennheisers have been solidly serving for 2 years with no sign of deteriorating. If they ever croak, I will have no choice but to go for the big ones - the Sennheiser HD650's - because I have complete faith that with Sennheiser you really do get what you pay for, every time. For those who are unconvinced that anyone can justify spending so much on headphones, they need only try the HD595's for proof. They are the Gallardo to the Murcielago. Brilliant in it's own right yet there is still one higher model on offer when you are ready for it, and I've got my eyes on it.
As I have mentioned, my HD595's are mated to my beloved Asus Xonar which I reviewed previously. If you are interested in this hardware, it's vital that you take account of my experiences with that also. They will still sound good, but they simply won't be able to deliver the level of sound they're capable of if you don't provide a good driver for them.
Though now quite old and superseded by newer models, these headphones are still an excellent buy as they can be found really cheaply yet they were near the top of Sennheiser's range when new.
The sound quality of these is top-notch. Very strong and clear but with little colouration. Good bass response that isn't too strong or overpowering, but tickles your ears if needed!
Whilst they aren't so suitable for mixing on (I use them in my studio), they are excellent for hearing fine details when making intricate edits and checking mixes once they're finished.
The velour ear-pads are very comfortable and can be worn for extended periods of time. The cable is plenty long-enough and thankfully they put a proper 1/4" jack on the end rather than the 3.5mm jack + adaptor that seems to be popular nowadays.
Obviously as an open-headphone these aren't going to be used out-and-about, but for listening for enjoyment in the comfort of your own home then these are a good choice.