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Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee
19.1 x 17.8 x 10.2 cm (headset)
HD 58X Jubilee
If you like getting great deals on audio gear and other consumer electronics, get acquainted with Drop.com (formerly Massdrop). The company allows groups of people to purchase an item in bulk, thus dropping the cost for each individual. Sometimes Drop.com partners with a large company to make a more affordable version of one of its popular products. Today we’re looking at the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee. This headset is based on the original HD 580 Precision design from 1991, which eventually led to classic Sennheiser headphones like the HD 600 and HD 650.
Sennheiser updated the internals with modern parts but stayed true to the original design. We spent a week with the HD 58X Jubilee from Massdrop and Sennheiser to see how it performs.
Editor’s note: this Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review was updated on July 28, 2022, to include frequency response and isolation charts and update the score accordingly. We also expanded the list of buying options and revamped the format to match our current standards.
- Sennheiser fans. If you’re already a fan of Sennheiser headphones, you’ll probably like this headset.
- Anyone ready to make the jump from listening while commuting to listening for enjoyment. Sure, the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM5 are great for outside the home, but there’s something about the Jubilee that makes it a joy to actually listen to your music, rather than have it serve as a distraction.
- Anyone on a budget. While $170 isn’t going to make our best cheap headphones list, it’s definitely more affordable compared to the $300 USD you’d need for the Sennheiser HD 600 or HD 650.
What’s the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee like to use?
Sennheiser has a signature look that lets you know you’re holding a pair of its headphones. The Sennheiser HD 58X is no exception with large oval-shaped ear cups and plush velour padding. The plastic combined with the plush padding makes for a truly comfortable pair of headphones. Now, these are open-back headphones, so a perforated metal grill on the outside of the ear cups protects the drivers inside.
The headset lacks hinges for folding and the ear cups don’t rotate either. The only bits of metal are the grill and adjustable headband. So long as you leave the Jubilee on your desk, you won’t have any issues. While the headset is fairly lightweight at 260g, it’s not like it disappears when you wear it. Even still, I can listen to this for a full day during testing (that’s six or seven hours straight) without issue.
How do you connect the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee?
The Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee come with a standard 3.5mm TRS connector for plugging into your devices, though you might need a quarter-inch adapter if you plan on using these with any kind of external gear. Thankfully, you get an adapter in the box, too. Then there’s the cable itself, which is a detachable oxygen-free cable (OFC). Whether you need an amp or not depends on your source device—but in this case, it’s safe to say one wouldn’t hurt.
For example, while plugged into my Pixel 3 (with that stupid dongle), I can listen to music perfectly fine but need to max out the volume on my Pixel. That won’t be the case if you have something like the LG V30/V40 with the built-in amp. You won’t need to invest in anything too expensive or uncommon, and I can power the HD 58X Jubilee adequately with a basic Scarlett 2i2 interface. It doesn’t have the best headphone amp in the world: it just has to provide enough power.
Does the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee block out noise?
No, open-back headphones do very little to block out noise and that’s by design. When you wear these headphones, you’ll hear virtually everything going on around you. The benefit of this is, well, a more “open” reproduction of sound. Suffice it to say, the HD 58X Jubilee is not the headset to bring on your daily commute.
How do the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee sound?
The Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee features a sound closely following our studio curve. Output from 80Hz-1kHz is very consistent. In other words, there’s no bass exaggeration here. In fact, you may notice the 3-10dB sub-bass attenuation in certain hip-hop or pop songs. The treble response from 4-10.5kHz is about 5dB quieter than we posit as ideal.
The Sennheiser HD 58X also has a 150Ω impedance, instead of the 300Ω on the HD 650, which makes it easier to use portable devices. The low-end is actually quite prominent for open-back headphones, making the Jubilee a joy to listen to. It nicely bridges the gap between what an audio purist would appreciate and what the average consumer would enjoy.
Lows, mids, and highs
You can clearly hear the bass in the song Moon River by Frank Ocean. At 1:34, where the heavy bass notes are plucked ever so slightly softer as they step downwards reflects nicely in the headphones. Vocals, low and high, sound very nice, too: Rihanna’s voice is easy to hear in the song Consideration.
Safe to say, it depends on what you like to listen to. Treble notes come through clearly, and you can easily pick out reverb and decay from cymbals and hi-hats.
- These headphones are exclusive to Drop.com. That means that you can’t just go to your local Best Buy and pick them up.
- Open-back vs Closed-back. If you’re entirely new to the world of open-back headphones, you might want to read our full explainer on the pros and cons of each kind of headphone to determine which one is best for what you’re looking for. While $170 for these is a great price for these, it might not be right for you. There are plenty of other options that might be better suited for your everyday life.
- You might need an external amp. To be clear, these were made to be adequately powered by most portable devices such as your smartphone, that’s true as long as you max out volume levels. To figure out if you should also consider getting an amp make sure you read our explainer.
Should you buy the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee?
The Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee is an excellent pair of open-back headphones for audiophiles and studio workers. The lightweight build, classic open-back Sennheiser design, and sound quality more than compensate for all of the nitpicks. In the same way that a dedicated pocket knife cuts better than a Swiss Army Knife, the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee is better for really listening to music than other headphones that have a bunch of fancy features.
Frequently asked questions about the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee
The Sennheiser HD 660S sounds so similar to the HD 58X Jubilee, but costs more than double the Jubilee. Both are great reference headphones, but we recommend those on a budget save a buck with Massdrops’ branding.