How noisy are open backed cans?

FoL#1 Ellie has nicked my Sennheiser Momentum 2 on ear cans.

I use them with my phone and iPod, mostly when I’m walking the dog or just being unsociable. She’s using them with her TEAC A-H500 amp to listen to her K Pop shite when she’s been told to turn it down.

No problem I thought, they were like £45, I’ll just get a nice new pair. Not anymore, more like £150.

But I’ve seen some Sennheiser HD598 SR in the outlet shop for 75 quid, down from £200. Or some HD599 for £69, down from £179.

But they’re open backed, and as they’ll be new and mostly shiny (b stock, so maybe a mark or 2 on them), I might have them and let Ellie have the Momentums, but just how much noise do they kick out? Are they obnoxiously loud?

And also, are the models mentioned above decent enough for the outlet price?

Sorry for the HiFi question. :poop:

Everyone around you will hear it all.

So they’ll know I like early Duran Duran? :thinking:


Or, if she gets them you’ll still hear her shite.

Seriously, if she’s in her room?

Ah, well maybe not then. It’s been ages since I had some but they were quite loud in the same room. I was imagining her in the same room for some reason.

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No, not at all from her bedroom. If you’re in the same room then you will hear it and it’s rather annoying, or so I was told.

When I had my Stax 'phones Lou was always asking me to turn them down if she was in the same room. That’s the reason I sold them.


This is really showing how shallow I am, but I really like th look of the HD598 & 599.

There’s some HD4.50 Special Editions closed back for similar money, but they don’t look as nice…

Which would sound better?

Surely there’s a lot of variables? One pair of headphones leaking more than another, and dependent on how loud the volume is. Yes they leak, but not necessarily enough to disturb everyone around. How long is a piece of string?! I have some Audeze LCD-2s and they are open-backed, but at an average volume, you can’t really hear them when someone else is wearing them.

I have the HD595, an earlier open model. They annoyed SWMBO more than the fucking massive speakers I recently installed.

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I used to have those, wasnt allowed to use them.


I hardly ever listen to cans in the house, I’m lucky enough to have my own room and I get a fair amount of leeway for volume levels through my speakers so I think, realistically, I’m going buy them for Ellie, because the Momentums are nicely portable, and if she’s listening in her room leakage isn’t going to be an issue.

So, out of the 598 and 599 which is the better sounding?

I use open backed Beyers for the man cave but for same room listening I use the closed-back 240’s - excellent cans. :+1:


I gave Ellie the choice, seeing as they’ll be mostly hers…

HD598 SR:


And the Beyerdynamics Ritchie recommended above.

Didn’t show her the prices.

I honestly thought she’d go for the 599s because of the colours.

No, she likes the 598s.

Hmm. She seems to have inherited my skill of being able to pick out the most expensive item just on instinct…


she has good taste then

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Nice to know I’m not the only person with that skillset.