Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X - Official Thread

I wouldn’t bother.

You’ve likely reached the practical technical limits of the 58X. In my experience balanced helps the most with more demanding dynamic driver headphones (e.g., 150 ohms vs. 300 ohms of the HD-650). My HD-600s were transformed by a balanced cable, but then their limits became immediately obvious. I hear rounded off transitions, limited dynamics, slippery smoothness, a touch of boxyness.


I tried moving back and forth between standard and iFi’s “dual mono” mode on the xDSD, which gives some benefits of balanced. Didn’t hear much difference on the HD-580, although using a standard silver cable did make a slight improvement, as far as I could tell.

I could discern more of a difference with the HD-6XX, so it may be as @generic says.

Here is my review of the Yaxi replacement pads (I received them three weeks early!)

Yaxi for HD650 Pads
Review for the Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X
(54.00 US$ plus shipping)

I ordered these pads directly from the Japanese company Yaxi (although they can also be purchased through Amazon for about the same price). I had discovered them when searching for something comfortable for my HD25 headphones (They are on-ear, in case you’re not familiar, and have a pretty tight camp. More on that later.) They shipped right away and arrived three weeks before they’re expected ETA (good job, Japan and US postal services!)

Unboxing and Installation:

They come well packaged in a cardboard shipping box with plenty of padding.

This picture shows contents I received from Japan. There are no instructions for installation but these can readily be found on our friend, the Internet.

Out of the box, you can see that these are thicker than the stock pads that come with the 58X and look similar to some of the Dekoni line.
These, however, are made with Alcantara for the face in contact with your skin and the interior. The outer shell is PU “leather.” Alcantara is the material used for seating in Toyota vehicles and is a felt-like material but more durable. The pads come with nicely labeled left and right foam inserts to replace those that come stock. They are very soft and the foam is nice and thick. It was pretty quick work to replace the stock pads with these.

My Jubilee 58X have the “felt mod” but without the hole punch. I like the sound a lot and I recently lent them to my brother-in-law, a musician and videographer out of New Orleans. He was “wowed” by the sound using a cheap DAC through a Bravo Audio amp, fed by my MAcBook Pro, so I think the mod was successful.

For this test, though, I used my iPad Pro 2016 with the Apple USB “photo” adapter and my trusty Dragonfly Black. I played music from Apple Music, my usual source. I wanted to see how these would sound with a “minimalist” rig. (My goal with audio gear is to get the best possible sound from the least expensive equipment I can find, always searching for the elusive perfect price-to-performance ratio.)

I listened to a couple of different tracks with the stock pads. First was some new jazz from Amina Figarova, an artist recommended to me by my brother-in-law. The title was “Come Escape with Me” from her album with the same title. This track has a variety of instruments and a range from deep bass through the mids into a few high notes. I then listened to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s immortal “Woodstock” from the “Deja Vu” album. These start off with the guitar lead-in and have the famous CSNY harmonies. I made these listenings as my base line and then swapped the pads.

My first impression is that the new pads are super comfortable even while wearing my glasses. This was my first concern and the reason for the replacements. My second impression is that the sound on these tracks sounded richer, but also darker. I’m not a bass-head so, although I liked the richer sound, it was too dark for me. Third impression was that the sound doesn’t lose any of the soundstage and maybe it was even wider than before.

If you can see in this picture,
the foam inserts that come with the Yaxi pads are denser than the stock inserts. (I’m not familiar with the HD 600/650/6XX variants, so let me know if these inserts are more designed for these higher end models from Sennheiser.) I removed the pads and replaced the Yaxi inserts with the stock inserts and listened again.

This time the sound was more what I expected from the 58X in this set up. It was, in my opinion, still a wide sound, losing some of the darkness but retaining the deep bass. YMMV, of course.

If you’re looking for increased comfort for the 58X, and maybe the similar products in this line, I highly recommend them. They provide a noticeable improvement in sound stage and clarity, IMHO, but even if there were no changes, the comfort factor is enough for consideration. - J

P.S. The HD25 “Comfort Pads” sold by Yaxi were my first experience with this company. They are super comfortable and highly recommended for any of you with this model headphones. I’m thinking about ordering the Massdrop Porta Pro’s just to try out Yaxi’s replacement pads!


Thanks for the feedback. I believe the next time I need replacements for either the HD58X or the HD650s, they’ll be the Yaxis :+1:.

I just bought the 580s quite recently and also new pads for the 650s around the same time :rage:.

Even though slightly more $, I think the larger opening will accommodate longer listening sessions and ve more comfortable all round. And even more-so once the newer 58Xs have been stretched a bit to allow for the added depth.

Senn pads are definitely both a little bit too small in their inner circumference and shallow in depth for my liking.
It’s been such a common complaint over the years, I’m actually surprised Sennheiser hasn’t addressed it to a better degree than with what is said to be a very slight modification on the HD660s pads.

The Senn pads I bought very recently were no different than the other ones I’ve had over the years, so maybe retailers are clearing out old stock first?
Perhaps one can ask for the 660s replacements if you buy directly from Sennheiser. Regardless, based on these findings, it sounds like I’d prefer the Yaxis.

Thanks again for following through on posting your impressions.


Thanks! This was my first review on this forum. I’m working on another, comparing some earbuds.

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A hypothetical for the crew:

A user is curious about these headphones, but there several points to consider:

  1. About two years ago he bought the HD6XX’s and an amp to drive them, the iFi Micro iCANN SE (lots of power at 4.1W). Did NOT like headphones as he found them flat and boring. Audiophiles would likely call that transparent and neutral. Not a fan of the amp either as the best features were bass boost and 3D.

  2. Much reading on the groups has many people stating that once you have crossed over to 1K phones no economy phones are ever going to impress you. Every enthusiastic review either starts or ends with the fact that the price is killer and you can’t go wrong.

Any opinions/advice for said user?

Shane D

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I have a pair of HD650s and to my ears they don’t sound boring. But then again were all different.

I definitely wouldn’t say that going over 1k would make cheaper headphones redundant. I’ve had a few sets of 1k plus sets the Focal Clear and the HD800 (not really over 1k but has been) and I still really appreciate headphones under a grand, very much so.

All I can say is don’t worry about this it’s a non starter as far as I personally feel. I haven’t had nearly as much experience with over ear headphones as some around here but it’s just my take on things. Plus the system as a whole must be taken into account.


I don’t think they’re going to find the HD58X any more exciting, given that it tends to have a slightly more neutral profile than the HD6XX, especially on the bottom end. Which is why the HD58X is more commonly considered closer to the HD600.

And the notion that there’s some magical transformation that occurs at, or around, $1K that suddenly renders lower-priced stuff unimpressive is something I only tend to hear from a) people who regard “expensive” cans as a status symbol and/or b) don’t have much experience at either end of the market and/or c) believe price always has a positive relationship to performance and/or d) may be deaf.

I’ve got a litany of flagship cans ($3,000-$6,000 each) and still frequently find inexpensive stuff that is both impressive (in real terms, never mind just “for it’s price”) and enjoyable. Be that Massdrop special editions from $99 and up or $25 Chinese IEMs.

There are plenty of $1K+ cans I can think of that don’t hold a candle to much cheaper models, even staying within a similar product line from the same manufacturer.

The advice is, as always, listen to as much stuff as you can and decide what you actually like. Then decide on how far you want to take things and pursue something similar at whatever budget level you feel is still yielding worthwhile dividends.


I know that there a LOT of people that agree with you on the HD6XX’s/HD650’s. It has become the holy grail of affordable, audiophile headphones and I am definitely in the minority in my opinion.

Also, a different amp may change the whole perception.

It is not a lot of money, but I’d hate to buy it, try it, say it was fine and then put them in the cabinet.

Shane D

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There are really good/fun cans for les than 1k out there. I had the Clears, and right now own the Elears, HD800 and HD6xx and most of the time use Elears+Sonarworks .
The old guy who sold me his HD800 warned me about going crazy in this headphones roller coaster and his wise advice was:

  • “just grab $450 and hunt for a pair of used HD600 and HD650 , then…a “decent” DAC and a “very good” amp and you are set for life.”
    I should have listen to him.
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I don’t think of mid-priced Grado’s as a status symbol. Nor any Beyerdynamic’s.

Pretty judgemental aren’t you?

I stated simply that I have read that if you are used to higher quality offerings, then you won’t find most entry level stuff interesting. I have and love the Meze 99 Classic’s for out and about, but they are not what I reach for at home.

Shane D

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All of the headphones that you have listed are much more than $1K in in Canada, except for the HD6XX’s.

I was just curious about this model.

Shane D

Oh I agree. It’s very subjective is this hobby at least in as far as how we hear things. So I have no problems people not liking particular gear. In the end we do these things to please ourselves.

“Status Symbol” was one of four and/or possibilities; interesting that that’s the one you honed in on.

It isn’t a judgement, it’s an observation, based on encountering this time and time and time again, that I only tend to hear that sort of refrain from people that fall into one, or more, of the categories I listed.

Category “b” (lack of experience at both ends of the market) is a more common situation … especially when coupled with the what amounts to enormously high noise-to-signal ratio present on most discussion forums on audio in general.

Those that actually have the experience there, and aren’t dealing with other motivations, do not tend to make such statements as they’ve already have experienced that it isn’t the case. It’s not something that needs to be perpetuated.

HD58x !!! I do have it too and a DT990 pro and SR80e as well, the reason I din’t mention above is because the are in their boxes. I liked the HD6xx more than those two. HD58x in my opinion, was less fun than HD6xx and more congested, I may don’t have the right amp… maybe!!!
I may end up selling them soon and a couple of “small” Schiit stuff too.
Buying used is risky, but can save you some money.

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I’ve still never heard the 650. I used to own the 600 and now the 58X. Excepting the vagaries of audio memory, I’d say the 58X sounds very closely related to the 600. Going by measurements and design, the 650 seems like it’s clearly in the same family. So, someone looking for something dramatically different should likely look elsewhere.

Generally when I hear “excitement” I think “v shaped” with extra treble energy and extra bass (or better bass extension). As an owner of the DT1990 I’d say that it adds excitement on both ends (maybe too much i the treble) while maintaining a pretty good mid-range. Another place to look would be Hifiman planars like the Sundara or HE-560 that will give better bass extension and somewhat brighter treble but without being excessively v shaped.

Grado SR-60e or SR-80. Never boring. Not to everybody’s taste. But they make me smile.

@Hansel, which of the Schiit products have you tried with 58x? I have the 58x and Grado sr60 headphones. I am shopping for amps and Schiit were recommended as good DAC and amp combinations for the 58x.

Not buying at the moment but am curious about your experience.

I thought the 58X paired well with the magni/modi and Jotunheim…but I no longer have any of them…

The “basic” Schiit collection. Modi 3, Magni 3, Vali 2 with upgrade tube and Loki for EQ if need it and SYS to switch between amps.
I’m planing to buy Lyr 3 as a possible end game in amps, but from the basic ones I really like Vali 2 with the Electro Harmonix 6CG7 tube , way more than Magni 3, even with the stock tube I liked over Magni 3 and that apply for all my headphones, including HD58x.
I few days after I order the HD58x from Massdrop I found an amazing deal for a used HD6xx with extra balanced cables and got them. By the time I received the HD58x , I was already “used” to the HD6xx sound and was in some way disappointed the experience.
If in a budged, I strongly suggest Vali 2 and save an extra $20 for a better tube . If money is not an issue Lyr 3 sound very promising as an amp.