Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Headphones for serious listening

in General Discussion edited February 26
Anyone interested in wired headphones should look at Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee, but those more focused on streaming music from their recent iPhone should skip in favor of a wireless option.

Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee
Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee

These headphones are targeted at audiophiles or anyone seeking thoughtfully designed audio products. There is no app that will connect to these.

As a quick overview, the Massdrop Sennheiser HD 58X are open-back headphones that allow more air in and sound out. As anticipated, we experienced plenty of sound leakage, making these less than ideal in a quiet office.

Of course, the design also allows a more natural, less confined listening experience if you have a generally quiet space.

detachable, 6-foot cable
detachable, 6-foot cable

On the spec side, they have a frequency response of 12-38,500 Hz (-10dB) and a 150 ohms impedance. They also only weigh 9.2 ounces and include a 6-foot detachable cable.

The headphones aren't new. If you're interested in the story of their inception, you can read more about it on Massdrop.

The Massdrop Sennheiser HD 58X are squarely aimed at people interested in listening to music.

You don't have to be a self-proclaimed audiophile to appreciate these headphones' audio quality. Still, you do have to be willing to listen in specific ways, accommodating a wired connection.

We loved the wide soundstage and natural sound from the Massdrop Sennheiser HD 58X headphones. Massdrop did an excellent job summing up the sound, stating there's an "emphasis on clean, extended bass, with a solid transient response and a smooth but clear upper midrange."

All genres of music we listened to were reproduced well, and all types of music had outstanding crispness and clarity. There was a presence here, helped by the open-back design, that brings the music up close and personal.

The song "Grace" from Marcus Mumford's solo album is a wonderful example of how the mid-range doesn't get muddied.

Be aware these headphones did not sound very bass-heavy -- and they're not supposed to. Instead, there was an evenness and flatness that presented music without intervention.

But you'll undoubtedly hear it if you listen to a bass-heavy song mix or something with a thick low-end.

We tested the headphones with "Sweeter" by Leon Bridges, where the track swims through low frequency from the beginning. The Massdrop Sennheiser HD 58X headphones didn't drown in the sound like some headphones that try to punch up the bass can.

Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X review - Fit and feel

Overall, we found these headphones comfortable, but only with some critiques.

Ear pads
Ear pads

The top foam didn't cause any pressure, and the lightweight helped make the headphones wearable for multiple hours.

We found the headband to be a little tight. A person's head size will likely contribute to whether they feel the same way.

The soft material on the ear cups was delightful, especially during the cold winter months. There was plenty of room for our ears inside the padding as well.

The plastic body was light but flimsy, especially when the headband was twisted.

What the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee are not

While we loved what the Massdrop Sennheiser HD 58X headphones offered, we don't think they are for everyone.

In fact, the window of who these are actually for is getting narrower over time. The convenience of streaming music from devices without 3.5mm jacks outpaces people's willingness to listen in confined ways.

Even plugging into an iPhone with the Lightning adapter won't get you the preferred experience. Luckily, Apple has not dropped the headphone jack from its Mac lineup.

Who should buy the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee?

These headphones cater to a limited audience. Their wired connection doesn't make them ideal for someone who primarily listens to music via their iPhone. However, those who take their music listening sessions seriously will likely want to spring for something even higher-end.

Foam on the headband
Foam on the headband

General consumers looking for "good sounding" headphones under $200 probably don't want a wired connection and might not appreciate the sound profile here.

Still, we liked these Sennheiser HD 58X headphones better than similarly priced Grado headphones -- even though we love our Grado headphones.

Anyone testing the waters of audiophile gear or people who have a strict budget for new audio equipment should probably start with these.

Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X - Pros

  • Excellent audio quality

  • Comfortable padding around ears and on headband

Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X - Cons

  • Plastic frame felt a bit flimsy

  • The fit was a bit tight for us

Rating: 4 out of 5

These headphones are available for purchase at Massdrop for $149 at the time of publication.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 7
    JP234 said:
    "weigh 9.2 ounces and include a 6-foot detectable cable."

    Is that "detectable" really meant to mean "detachable?"

    AI REALLY REALLY needs an editor!

    I see these mistakes in so many news articles I read every day. Sometimes I think that with the advent of technology we've become more stupid.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    I like open backs.  My Grados sound great, and at a similar price point.
    I have a pair of Sennheiser buds.  I think I might check these out...
  • Reply 3 of 7
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,336member
    Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee is a lot of name for a $150 set of cans. I've got a set if higher end wired cans so these wouldn't be on my list. I've had a few pairs of upper end Senns and one of the things I like is their larger ear cups. Several brands that call there products over (around not on) the ear have elfin sized cups. This is one reason that despite their sound I've never been comfortable with Grado 60s or 80s. In the olden days when headphones were steam powered Grados had very fiirm ear cups that were wholly wrong for long term listening. There better no but not my preference still.

    The article mentions something that's one of my pet peeves —a presumed lack of bass in balanced cans. I let someone listen to some of my better cans and they say "there's no bass!" This puts them on my list of You're Too Stupid To Own Good Headphones. Not that I'm an audiophile because I'm not. My audio needs to be balanced and I don't put ketchup on my steak. If someone wants to that's there business but don't tell me it's better, just that they like it better. So it's good to read that these Senns aren't a thumper's delight.
    edited February 27
  • Reply 4 of 7
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,025member
    I am currently looking at various headphones for home use when working on music. They will have to be wired because the latency with Bluetooth is just ridiculous.

    Anyone who plays knows that latency will drive you stark raving nuts.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    These headphones look suspiciously like the old Sennheiser HD-600's.  I've had the same pair for ~20 years and they still sound amazing.

    Do yourselves a favor and just buy those instead.  They're on sale for $300 right now direct from Sennheiser.
    edited February 27
  • Reply 6 of 7
    JP234 said:
    "weigh 9.2 ounces and include a 6-foot detectable cable."

    Is that "detectable" really meant to mean "detachable?"

    AI REALLY REALLY needs an editor!
    And did you know that "the lightweight helped make the headphones wearable"?

    Every day, AI's writing serves up comedy gold. The bad kind. If an editor would be asking for too much, perhaps a gutter bum with an early grade school education and passing familiarity with English could skim drafts in exchange for a bottle of Cisco. It could only help.
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