Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee Review
The HD 58X Jubilee is a collaborative effort from Massdrop and Sennheiser that resurrects the classic HD 580 Precision open-back wired headphones for the modern-day music lover. It was tuned by renowned engineer Axel Grell, who left Sennheiser to start his own company aptly named Grell (check out our rave review of their TWS/1 wireless headphones), but not before giving these boxes great sound. worthy of the Sennheiser name. Notable efforts have also been made to retain the look of the original, while upgrading the interior with current technology and optimisations “learned throughout the series’ rich history”.
SENNHEISER HD 58X JUBILEE SPECIFICATIONS
Colors: Dark grey
Cut: 6 feet (cable)
Mass: 9.2 ounces
As superior as the HD 58X Jubilee sounds, it’s primarily aimed at older students with a home audio setup and a high pain threshold. Plus, the new enhancements don’t exactly make the headphones contemporary. Omissions such as Bluetooth, controls and sound customization – features common to today’s headphones – also speak to its primitive character.
Read our full Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review for the full breakdown.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Availability and price
You can pick up the HD 58X Jubilee for $190 exclusively at Drop. It is only available in black/silver. The box contains a 6ft 2.5mm balanced cable and an instruction manual.
Drop offers a 3-year extended warranty with accidental coverage for $20. This covers “drops, spills, accidents, liquid damage, and mechanical and electrical failures during normal use.”
For comparison, these wired headphones rank lower than best-in-class such as the Audeze LCD-1 ($399). They’re also more expensive than our current favorite, the Rode NTH-100 ($149).
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Design and comfort
Aesthetically, the HD 58X Jubilee carries the appeal and looks of Sennheiser’s other audiophile headphones. Everything from the colorway to the open-back design allowing for more sound wave expansion (more on that later) resembles the HD650 headphones. The velor ear cushions, split headband padding and large signature grilles also remain intact.
If only the build quality was up to par. The build is flimsy, raising concerns about the durability of the helmet if dropped from a great distance or sitting at the wrong angle. The chances of survival are favorable, but the plastic frame is fragile and takes a lot of damage.
What you need to pay the most attention to are the grids. Don’t leave anything with substantial weight on the material or press your thumb firmly against it or you risk creating a massive dent. This is exactly what happened to my pair. My right earpiece looks dismal.
For distinction, Massdrop has placed its mark on the inner part of the aluminum extension. There is also the name of the shield above each earpiece covered in silver with black text.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Accessories
Some companies bundle their wired headphones with a handful of accessories. Sennheiser doesn’t, at least not for this pair. All you get is a gold-plated ¼-inch stereo jack that attaches to the aux cable to connect to high-powered stereo systems or a portable DAC.
I’m not saying Sennheiser had to spoil us with add-ons like an extra aux cable or airplane adapter, but even not having a canvas pouch to store headphones is chintzy.
Massdrop sells extra pads that you can interchange with the original pair. Selections include Fenestrated Sheepskin, Hybrid Velvet, and Sheepskin.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee: comfort and fit
Portability is 50/50. Let me start with the positives. The velor cushions will make you feel like grandma’s favorite couch pillows are resting on either side of your head. They are so comfortable and their soft touch exterior feels great on the skin. I also like that Sennheiser made the cutouts bigger so the ears get more ventilation, which is much needed as the material heats up after hours of use.
The extenders have 12 settings to accommodate listeners with different sized ears and establish good stability. These headphones have some flexibility, but high clamping force, causing pain after about an hour of use. Another thing to keep in mind is the stiff headband. I recommend keeping the 3 settings of the helmet above the surface of the head as the padding applies unwanted pressure.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Audio quality
I’ve never tested the HD 580 Precision, but if the HD 58X Jubilee sounds anything close, then what a sound package Sennheiser has put together. New 150 ohm drivers have been installed in this version, requiring less amplification than previous Sennheiser drivers and maintaining the same clear, dynamic and energetic sound that can be enjoyed on all compatible audio sources. Pairing the HD 58X Jubilee with a DAC/Amp also opens the door to studio quality performance.
The low-end is loud and clean, never distorting the soundstage, or veiling tone-compromising detail. I blasted hip-hop bangers like A Tribe Called Quest’s “Excursions” to see if my head would vibrate from the monstrous opening bass line and snare drums. He did, as well as stimulating vigorous nods. Even instruments like soft horns had a high pitch.
This record encouraged me to play jazz recordings for a taste of the frequency range. The HD 58X Jubilee did not disappoint. Tracks like Ahmad Jamal Trio’s “Stolen Moments” received fantastic channel separation. The pronounced double bass hung in my left ear and the little hi-hats hit my right ear. These elements, along with melodic piano keys from both sides, allowed for intimate listening in open spaces.
That same energy was captured on Latin orchestral tracks like Eddie Palmieri’s “Reparto Hornos.” The whistles scattered throughout the recording sounded brilliant and layered beautifully with the vibrant horn section at the end.
Watching videos was also satisfying. The last Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness The ‘Dream’ trailer drove me crazy, while the action sequences in The Expendables 2 made me feel like I was thrown into war zones. Bullets whizzed by my ear, and even small details like the crackling fire of an exploded car had an immersive feel.
The listening experience is wide and detailed on all devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, desktop/laptop).
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee1More ComfoBuds Mini review: active noise cancellation
An open-ear design makes it difficult to listen to music in active environments. While working in the living room, I could hear conversations, fax machines, loud iPhone ringtones, and my wife playing the piano for our toddler. I thought turning the volume up to the maximum level would help dampen these noises, but high frequency sounds (baby cries, whistles) still entered the soundscape. Not to mention that the headphones emitted a very loud sound. The wife could hear me blasting music from the front room as she hung out in the playpen with our baby boy.
I had to test the headphones in the bedroom or wait until nighttime when everyone was sleeping to get full, distraction-free sound.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Portability
Not having Bluetooth support leaves you with one connection option for portable devices: the headphone jack. The problem is that most smartphones and tablets no longer offer this feature. I hope you have saved this Apple Lightning to 3.5mm or Google USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, because you will probably need it to connect the HD 58X Jubilee to your iOS/Android device.
The headphones are heavier (9.6 ounces with cable) than popular wireless ANC headphones like the Bose 700 and WH-1000xM4, each hitting the scales at 8.95 ounces. Again, they could be much heavier; try carrying over-ear headphones like the Focal Celestee (15.2 ounces) if you want to talk loudly. Strapping the HD 58x Jubilee to your iPhone won’t weigh you down, but the cable gets in the way.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee Review: Verdict
There’s no denying that the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee are a great pair of headphones. The engineers deserve applause for improving what many experts already consider to be a legacy sound.
However, it can no longer be audio-only, especially when the number of compromises is too high. Build quality is cheap and comfort can be painful for listeners with sensitive skulls. No additional controls or features also make the HD 58X Jubilee obsolete.
Yes, audiophiles are aware that an open-back design with grilles will let through as much sound as it lets through. They also know that this style of headphones can only be truly enjoyed in totally silent environments.
Get the Mass Drop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee if you want wired headphones that deliver spacious, dynamic sound in a traditional package. Otherwise, consider the other options on the market, both in the wired and wireless categories, for the best overall value.