Drop HD58X vs Sennheiser HD660s (Headphones Compared)

The Sennheiser HD660S is currently one of Sennheiser’s best offerings. It embodies the legendary HD600 sound signature and updates it to compete with today’s new offerings. However, there is one issue with this headphone. 

The price is difficult to swallow especially since there are alternatives that manage to give a similar experience such as the Drop x Sennheiser HD58X

In this article, we will discuss the differences and key features of the Sennheiser Hd660S and HD58X. And ultimately, we will help you decide which model to get.

Drop HD58X vs Sennheiser HD660s 

Headphone Overview 

Sennheiser HD660S

Sennheiser HD 660 S - HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone
Sennheiser HD 660S (Image: Amazon)

Read Amazon Reviews 

The Sennheiser HD660S is the latest revision to Sennheiser’s legendary HD600 Series. It is the direct follow to the HD650 and improves most of the shortcomings of its predecessor making it a more modern and competitive headphone. Also, aside from improving the HD650’s sound, the HD660S also incorporates the neutral and analytical approach of the HD600. 

Sennheiser x Drop HD58X Jubilee

Drop x Sennheiser HD58X (Image: Drop)

Check on Drop 

The Sennheiser HD58X is the second model from Drop and Sennheiser’s collaboration. Despite its name, it is clearly a part of the HD600 lineup. It serves as the entry-level model both in its specifications and its price point.

This headphone is the successor to the original Sennheiser HD580. However, this model sports newer design elements and a modern driver that can compete with headphones twice its price. Its technicalities and sound performance easily makes it one of the best entry-level open-back headphones in the market. 

Build Quality 

Sennheiser HD660S (Image: Stephen Menor)

The Sennheiser HD660S and HD58X are very similar in terms of their design and build quality. Both headphones are mostly made with high-quality plastic. This gives them a lightweight frame, making them very comfortable for long listening sessions.

Just take note that clamping force is above average out of the box. They will, however, loosen up once you start using them. You can also carefully bend the plastic to alleviate some of the clamping force. 

Despite being made of plastic, the HD600 Series headphones are known to be very durable. And if any part breaks, official replacement parts from Sennheiser are available. Anything from the headband to the drivers can be replaced. 

Both headphones are also utilizing the proprietary Sennheiser 2-Pin cable, which is pretty reliable. The proprietary connector shouldn’t scare you since replacement and aftermarket cables are pretty easy to find. It should be noted that the HD660S comes with an extra 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced cable which makes it ready to pair with modern DAC/Amps, headphone amplifiers, and DAPs

Drop x Sennheiser HD58X Headband
Drop HD58X Headband (Image: Drop)

There are, however, some slight differences in the aesthetics of the two models. In terms of their color scheme, the Sennheiser HD660S has a sleeker all-black finish. And unlike its predecessors, the Sennheiser logo is found on the left side of the headband. 

The HD58X, on the other hand, has a glossy finish with mismatched colors. It also has the HD58X branding on the sides. Additionally, the drivers aren’t exposed on the grills like the rest of the HD600 headphones. There is a foam that obstructs the driver design.  

Overall despite the massive price difference, the build quality of these two headphones isn’t very different. This is a testament to the HD58X’s unbeatable value for its price point. 

Power Requirements 

Sennheiser HD660S with iFi Nano BL and FX Audio DAC X6 (Image: Stephen Menor)

Unlike the rest of the HD600 series headphones, the Sennheiser HD58X and HD660S only have an impedance of 150-ohms. If you are not familiar with the term headphone impedance, you can check out our dedicated article

But to make things short, headphone impedance is one of the factors that determine whether or not a headphone will require a headphone amplifier. And with the lower impedance, these headphones can sound great even without a headphone amplifier. 

This isn’t the first time that we have seen an updated version of a well-known headphone feature a lower impedance. The latest version of Beyerdynamic’s flagship headphone, the Beyerdynamic T1 3rd Generation, has also lowered its impedance from 600-ohms to 30-ohms. 

Both of these headphones can be directly connected to your PC’s onboard soundcard, smartphone, audio interface, digital mixer, or gaming console. The lower impedance can be very important for individuals such as musicians who want to directly hook up these headphones into their audio interface or digital mixer without needing any additional headphone amplifier. This is also important for gaming consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch, that cannot connect to external DAC/Amps. 

But with that said, we still advise purchasing a DAC/Amp or headphone amplifier for the HD58X and HD6XX. They both scale well when fed with more power. Their sound opens up and the detail retrieval across the board is significantly increased. 

Most entry-level DAC/Amps such as the Zen DAC or Zen CAN + Zen DAC should be able to power both of these headphones pretty well. 

Sound Quality 

Drop HD58X Drivers
Drop HD58X Drivers (Image: Drop)

The Sennheiser HD660S and HD58X both follow the Sennheiser HD600 series sound signature. But, of course, both of these headphones have their own unique characteristics that help differentiate them from one another. 

The HD58X is meant to be a fun sounding headphone that has more focus on the bass and lower mid frequencies. This headphone is meant to be an entry-level model that manages to embody the core HD600 characteristics while making the overall enjoyable experience fun and enjoyable instead of analytical. 

The HD660S, on the other hand, is meant to be an upgrade to the Sennheiser HD650 which was released back in 2003. This headphone manages to combine the analytical sound with the smooth and enjoyable approach of the HD650 while updating its technicalities to compete with today’s modern open-back headphones. 

With how different their approaches are, let us talk about some of the core frequencies:

Bass

Winner: Sennheiser HD660S (Quality), HD58X (Quantity)

The HD 600 series isn’t particularly well-known for their bass response. Compared to other open-back dynamic driver and planar magnetic headphones, the HD600 series has a more laid back and less impactful bass response. 

That is still mostly true for these two headphones. However, both the HD58X and HD660S have made significant improvements that make the bass response much more enjoyable to listen to. 

These two offer similar flavors in their low-end. However, they differ in terms of their presentation and in terms of the quantity of their bass. Let us start with the HD58X

The Sennheiser HD58X has a surprising amount of sub-bass. Again, it doesn’t compete with the likes of the HiFiman Sunara. However, the bass is punchier and more energetic than the older models in the HD600 Series (mainly, the HD6XX/HD650 and HD600). 

Drop HD58X internals (Image: Drop)

This kind of presentation is perfect for those coming from closed-back headphones that traditionally have more bass. The HD58X never sounds thin and is able to deliver thick sounding notes that truly makes tracks come to life. This does, however, affect the overall sound of the headphones which we will be getting to later. 

The Sennheiser HD660S, on the other hand, takes a similar approach. The bass is more prominent, is clearer, and more coherent compared to past iterations such as the HD650/HD6XX. However, the bass isn’t as extended as the HD58X. 

This makes the HD660S’ sound cleaner and clearer in comparison to the HD660S. This also makes the HD660S technically the superior headphone in terms of quality. But if sheer quantity is what you are looking for, the HD58X takes the cake. 

Mids

Winner: Sennheiser HD660S

The main reason for the popularity of the HD600 series is their beautiful midrange reproduction. Both of these headphones, despite their massive price difference, manage to embody this sound signature. But just like the bass response, the presentation is different.  

The HD58X has more emphasis on the lower mids. This helps give the hD58X’s warm presentation with smooth mids that are never shouty. The only downside is that the HD58X will inevitably sound less clear compared to the HD660S and HD6XX. 

The Sennheiser HD660S, on the other hand, has a midrange that is more similar to the HD650/HD6XX. However, it trades the smooth nature of its predecessor for a more detailed and analytical approach. You will get better detail retrieval, but it can tend to sound shouty at times. Of course, sibilance and harshness are always kept in check in both models. 

Overall, if you want a smoother presentation then the HD58X’s mids will appeal to you more. But if you want more clarity and detail, the HD660S has better mids. 

Highs 

Winner: Sennheiser HD660S

Just like the mids, the general characteristics of the highs are quite similar with these two models. But again, the main difference is how they are presented. 

The highs aren’t the main focus of the HD58X. They are still quite detailed, but they are less revealing and less clear compared to the Sennheiser HD660S. This is the main tradeoff that you get with the excellent bass response of the HD58X.

The HD660S, on the other hand, is clearer and has more resolution compared to the HD58X and other HD600 headphones. You will be getting a richer and more detailed experience which is great for genres that have lots of instruments in the high frequencies. 

Of course, the highs won’t be as smooth as the HD58X. However, the highs aren’t very sharp and should not cause any listening fatigue. Overall, the HD660S is the clear winner when it comes to the upper frequencies. 

Imaging and Soundstage

Winner: Sennheiser HD660S  

Sennheiser HD 660 S - HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone
Sennheiser HD660S Side Grill (Image: Amazon)

The Sennheiser HD58X inherits the intimate soundstage that the HD600 is known for. It manages to give a fairly accurate and realistic presentation of how large the sound source is. However, the HD58X cannot give the same speaker-like sensation that most open-back headphones are well-known for. 

The HD660S, on the other hand, has marginally improved the soundstage. It is considerably wider than the HD58X but still isn’t on the same level as higher-end models. But overall, it gives a respectable performance that should satisfy those who are looking for a fairly open sounding pair. 

Imaging is also considerably better on the Sennheiser HD660S. Thanks to the HD660S’ clearer and more detailed upper frequencies, it is a lot easier to discern where the various audio elements are coming from. 

The HD58X holds its ground pretty well. But the overall sound tends to be more muffled when compared to the HD660S making the imaging a tier below the HD660S. 

Overall, the HD660S’ superior technicalities allow it to outperform the HD58X both in terms of imaging and soundstage. 

Which Headphone is For You?

Better Value – Sennheiser x Drop HD58X 

Drop x Sennheiser HD58X (Image: Drop)

If we are talking about the headphone that has the better value, then that is without a doubt the Sennheiser HD58X. It may be inferior in all categories that we discussed. However, it still manages to sound close enough and hold its ground against the more expensive HD660S. 

You can’t say that with most entry-level headphones that are in the same price range as the HD58X. The only other headphones that can come close is the slightly more expensive Sennheiser HD6XX.  

Also, buying the HD58X leaves plenty of room to get additional gear such as a headphone DAC/Amp or a dedicated headphone amplifier and DAC stack. As mentioned earlier, the HD58X will work with most electronic devices. However, adding a DAC/Amp to your setup vastly improves the sound of these headphones. 

We highly recommend the Zen DAC or Zen DAC + Zen CAN (Zen Stack) for both of these models. You can learn more in our Best DAC/Amps Article

Better Performer – Sennheiser HD660S

Sennheiser HD 660 S - HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone
Sennheiser HD660S (Image: Amazon)

Of course, if you are looking for the best performing headphone out of the two, then that is without a doubt the Sennheiser HD660S. The new driver that is used is simply better than its predecessors. It takes the elements that are well-loved in the HD600 Series and takes them up a notch to compete with other headphones in the same price range. 

If you are looking to head directly to the sub-1000 USD price range, then the Sennheiser HD660S is one of the best options. 

Should You Upgrade to the HD660S? 

Sennheiser HD 660 S - HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone
Sennheiser HD660S (Image: Sennheiser)

If you already own the Sennheiser Hd58X, we highly advise thinking twice about upgrading to the Sennheiser HD660S. The HD58X has a similar flavor and will likely give the same experience as the Sennheiser HD660S. Of course, if that is exactly what you want then the HD660S will fit you well. 

However, if you are looking for a completely different sound signature, then we recommend checking out different models. If you are looking for a more analytical model, we recommend the Sennheiser HD800S or the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro. And if you want to try planar magnetic headphones, the HiFiMan Sundara is a great place to start. 

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