Massdrop X Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee Headphones Review: Best in Class
A Lower-Cost Sennheiser Based on the Classic HD 580
Drop has gained a lot of attention over the last few years for delivering enthusiast-grade products at budget-friendly prices. This is especially true in the realm of headphones where heavy-hitters like the AKG K7XX and Sennheiser HD 6XX are still making “best value” lists years after their release.
Today, we’re looking at the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee. Based on the classic HD 580s, these headphones offer improved drivers, lower impedance to work with smartphones and PCs, and a new lower price of $160. Should this be your next set of cans? Join us as we explore further.
- Massdrop x Sennheiser
- Glossy black headband, gray metal grilles
- Ear coupling: Over-ear (circumaural)
- Transducer principle: Open, dynamic
- Impedance: 150 ohms
- Frequency response: 12–38,500 Hz (-10 dB)
- THD + N: < 0.1% at 1 kHz, 100 dB
- Sound pressure level: 104 dB at 1V, 1 kHz
- Connector: ⅛ in (3.5 mm) gold-plated stereo jack plug
- Cable: 6 ft (1.8 m) OFC, detachable
- Weight without cable: Approx. 9.2 oz (260 g)
- Individually serialized
- Made in Romania
“In 1991, Axel Grell joined Sennheiser and designed the HD 580 Precision: the headphone that would launch a much-loved series—and the peak of the company’s audiophile headphones for more than 25 years. Four years later, to mark its 50th anniversary, Sennheiser released the HD 580 Jubilee, which would later become the HD 600 and lead to the HD 650. In the spirit of the HD 580, with current technology and optimizations learned throughout the series’ rich history, we’re excited to release the newest evolution: the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee. Tuned by Axel Grell and Massdrop based on feedback from the audiophile community, it features new 150-ohm drivers and a colorway inspired by the HD 580 Precision that started it all.”
The HD 58X Headphones
Beginning as always with packaging, the HD 58Xs continue Drop’s trend of keeping packaging simple. They don’t invest in fancy boxes and tons of accessories on products like this, instead they reinvest into the actual product itself.
Inside, the headphones ship inside a plastic bag to keep the velour pads safe from dust. The detachable cable comes attached and runs beneath the cardboard tray holding the HD 58Xs. There’s also some documentation on the headphones included in the back.
Once unboxed, we can get a better look at the whole package. Simple, right? The cable does come with an optional ¼-inch adapter for use with stereos and amplifiers but it can be removed to reveal a standard 3.5mm head to use with smartphones and PCs.
While there may not be much in the way of optional accessories, I’m not particularly bothered. At this price point, $160 by default and $140 with the discount code Drop has provided, the focus really is on the core product. A travel bag would have been nice but I’m not about to be picky about the fanciness of the box I’ll be throwing in the closet anyhow.
Design and Comfort
Taking a close look at the headphone itself, we find that the build is largely plastic to support its light weight. The adjustable band is metal and flexes easily to the point of the plastic trim at its crown. Likewise, the grilles on each ear cup are metal to protect the drivers inside. I would have liked to have seen metal yokes and pins for the tilt adjustment, but the glossy plastic is solid and clearly much harder than the rest of the build. It’s very similar in construction to the HD6XX which I reviewed earlier this year and have proven to be quite durable.
The HD 58Xs feature the iconic oval earcups Sennheiser has become known for. They’re large enough to fit over any ear and have substantially more grip than Drop’s HD 6XXs. With another headphone, this would lead to better sound isolation but since the HD 58X features a hybrid open-back design, they still have a decent amount of sound bleed. The counterpoint to that is that they also offer an incredible soundstage that really elevates the listening experience. More on that later.
I say hybrid open-back because even though the grilles leave the driver chamber open, Sennheiser has included a foam pad inside. They say this is for aesthetic purposes and shouldn’t impact the sound (and it doesn’t seem to). Still, compared to the HD 6XX and the exposed drivers beneath, these definitely fall somewhere between full-open and full-closed, at least in outward appearance.
When it comes to comfort, the HD 58Xs have it where it counts. The pads are a lush velour. The material is very breathable and I was able to wear the headphones for hours without overheating or getting fatigued. The headband is also well padded and does a good job of disbursing the weight of the headset. The top of my head often becomes sore over long listening or gaming sessions but that never happened here.
On the other hand, the velour seems to attract every spare bit of dust and hair in the vicinity, so they’ll need to be cleaned often. I also wish the headphones were slightly less grippy. They stay in place well but since the headphones don’t try to isolate sound anyway, creating such a tight seal is less important than it might be on another set of headphones.
Finally, we come to the cable. Drop and Sennheiser opted for the same oxygen-free copper cable found on the original. It’s arguable that OFC cables make any difference to the sound quality (the conductivity is the same regardless) but it’s nice to see a higher quality cable included either way. At six feet, I was easily able to connect it to the back of my PC as well as my desktop amp with length to spare. Each connects to the headphone with a two-pin connection. If anything should ever happen to your cable, the long history with these headphones also makes finding replacement cables easy and affordable.
Sound Profile and Impressions
The Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X are a high resolution headphone with a frequency response range of 12 – 38500 Hz. With human hearing typically falling between 20 – 20000 Hz, it might lead one to wonder what benefit this extended range could even offer. Since headphones often perform their worst at the outer edges of their rated response ranges, extending beyond what you can hear means that whatever you can should be pristine and distortion free.
That certainly turned out to be the case for me. These headphones offer exceptional clarity that easily competes with the more expensive HD 6XXs. Where they differ is in the tuning of the drivers. As you can tell from the frequency response graph above, which compares to the HD 650 (close in tuning to the HD 6XX), the HD 58Xs feature more bass, level mids, and a high-end that is softer but tweaked up in the 8-14k range to better present fine details.
The end result is a headphone that is distinctly more fun and energetic than the HD 6XXs. I adore my own pair of 6XXs, so don’t mistake this as a criticism of that headset. Instead, they serve a different purpose. I use my HD 6XXs when I’m looking for neutrality, such as editing a video or really looking to hear exactly what the sound engineer intended in my favorite songs. The Jubilees, on the other hand, are great for gaming and entertainment. They’re detailed enough to be revealing but punchy enough to add a unique color to what you’re listening to.
They also have an amazing soundstage. In fact, paired with a ModMic these might just be my new favorite gaming headphones because of it. The first time I put them on, I was struck by how wide they sounded, almost like I was listening to speakers instead of headphones. Playing APEX: Legends, there’s a better sense of space than I’ve had in any gaming headphone in the last two years and that’s not an exaggeration. The slight tweak in the highs also makes them excellent for competitive games like this because they clearly reveal footsteps and the direction of distant gunfire. Add in a software surround solution like Windows Sonic and you have an absolutely outstanding set of gaming cans.
And unlike the HD 6XXs, you might be able to skip any external amping. I tried the headphones with an array of devices to see what kind of volume and dynamic range they could achieve on different hardware. I used my Samsung Note 9, my gaming PC’s front panel audio (motherboard: Gigabyte AORUS X570 Master), and my bog-standard office PC’s front panel audio. Each of these devices was able to push the HD 58Xs to uncomfortable volumes; something that surprised me given the 150 ohm impedance. When connected to an amp, the bass immediately gets tighter and the sounds more spread out. There’s a certain energy and sparkle that presents itself when these headphones are given enough power, but it’s not strictly necessary if you don’t have a standalone amp.
As a daily PC user, writer, gamer, and content creator, having great audio is important to me. I don’t have endless resources to invest in headphones, however, so I always pay attention when Drop releases a new headphone. The Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee headphones are the hands down best I’ve head at this price. They’re not analytical but are an amazing choice for music, games, movies, and even video editing if you’re willing to tweak the bass down a bit.
At only $140 with the discount code Drop has provided, these headphones are the single best purchase you can make for audio you can take anywhere. Bear in mind that you’ll need a mic but with that checked off, you can’t go wrong. The HD 58X Jubilees are the easiest recommendation I’ve made all year.