HD58x vs shp9600 vs x2hr without an amp

Hello there,

I am a newbie here and looking for my first nice pair of headphones for music and casual gaming. I use airpods pro for listening to music. Got pulse 3d headset, but was disgusted by the sound quality especially the total lack of bass and the hurting my ears highs and returned them. 5 years ago I had earbuds sennheiser CX 175 and I didn’t like them that much.
I’ve spent the last few days reading and wathicng different review and I just really want to buy a pair already, but still can’t decide, so any help is much appreciated!

Now I’m gonna try to explain what I need from the headphones.

I don’t care about footsteps at all, never play competitive games. I want the sound to be kind of realistic, but also to have a punch. For example when driving a car in GTA V or especially when playing Battlefield. I want it to sound like a real war with realistic gun shots and explosions. Here I guess the best would be x2hr since they are the bassiest, but I remember Z saying (in his review of hd660s, which he insists sound the same as hd58x) that gun shots did sound super realistic with the hd660s (hd58x). Could anyone clearify this for me please? I also like RPG games like the Witcher 3, Dark Souls series, action games like Doom, TLOU2, Spider-Man, Metro or horrors like Alien isolation
I’d plug the headphones directly into the dualsense controller.

I listen to almost all kinds of music except for pop, rap, hip-hop and any kind of electronic music. I like bands like slipknot, lordi, stone sour, but I don’t think that I really need any more clearity when listening to these kinds of music.
I like classical rock. Where the vocal matters for me would be the 60’s pop like Sinatra. I also really enjoy jazz like Armstrong. As an example of bass that I really liked in music was the contrabass in La Vie En Rose by Armstrong the way it sounded on jbl flip 5 (sorry don’t have a lot of experience), it sounded kind of full and deep. I also love classical music: string orchestras, nice loud brass, sometimes organ music, solo trumpet like Maurice Andre
I listen to music from my ipad/mac using apple music.

I tried to explain my needs as good as I can. The current prices of the headphones are: $170 fpr hd58s, $94 for shp9600 and $149 for x2hr. I’d prefer to spend less money, if possible, but if the higher price is really worth the sound quality, I’m ready to spend more for a pair that I’ll be using for a few years

You can pretty much forget the Jubilee without an Amp so that just leaves the 9600 and the X2HR and given that the 9600 is easier to drive I would go with that.

So without an amp the hd58x isn’t gonna sound any better than shp9600? I was considering hd58x, because a lot of reviewers said it worked well without an amp as well

Are you perhaps confusing the 58x with the PC38x? Because that’s the one that works fine without an amp. The 58x however wants some juice to really shine, perhaps not as much as the 6XX and other Sennies but still more than anything by Philips.

When I first saw 150ohms I also thought hd58x need an amp, but some people say it does and another it doesn’t. Here it says it doesn’t 🔶 Sennheiser HD58x Jubilee and on the hifiguides page where they give you a list of headphones it says it does.
Quite confusing

not sure about the ipad, more than likely not enough power at all in this regard for any of these three your looking at. 58x though, can be driven ampless off phones and alternatives but it depends on the device and how much power it puts out

Everyone’s ears are different, and… let’s be honest, as a user on this forum you’re going to end up buying an amp. But, as stated, I’d dissuade a buyer from getting 58x without any amp. Even a little dongle should be good, I think my little DDHifi 3.5mm nugget does fine. But just from onboard, not good enough for these ears.

I’m going to add to the confusion and agree with Falenkor. I have a Senn HD 600 (300 Ohms) and a beyer DT 1990 (250 Ohms). Both can go to sanity-defying levels from my iPhone 6S, my previous vintage Android phone and my MacBook. The standard for such devices seems to be 1.2 volts.

The Ohms number alone of a headphone is practically meaningless. You also need the efficiency/sensitivity. The HD 600 weighs in at 104 decibels per volt and the DT 1990 at 108. These are loud rock concert levels. All my portable sources listed above have an ~1 Ohm output impedance, which I believe is typical, so even the bass is well controlled on both headphones.

The 58X specs at 104 decibels per volt, the 2XR and the 9600 at ~115. Of course, if we were talking planar magnetics then source current as well as voltage would factor in. Yes, any reasonable amp is going to provide a boost in sound quality. But these headphones should perform tolerably on any typical, fairly recent portable source, unless it has a safety limit in the loop.


Thanks for the replies!
If I get an affordable amp. Which of these headphones would satisfy my needs the best?

I know a few people that initially just got Jubilees that then later climbed further down the audio rabbit hole and got themselves amps dacs and other headphones. And they all said whilst fine, the Jubilee only really comes alive on with an amp.

don’t get the 58X, and the X2 is basically a better SHP, X2HR and $50 gaming dac/amp which is what I recommended the other newbie, for $200 yo9u have enough volume and have a headphone that punches above it’s weight into the MID fi, neutralish, but with BASS and some actual soundstage vs 58X

it’s literally normie all around value headphones with good quality

The x2 he is not at all a better shot 9500. The shps have a much brighter sound with better imaging. The fidelio x2 hr are loose bassy headphones. For it’s purpose though I kinda personally would prefer the x2 hr. They suck for footsteps but really great for single player games especially for bass impact. For music I think I would prefer the 58x for his preferred genres

SHP’s lack the pure quality, they are good at imitating it up to a limit and sure they are punching above their price range but not at a ratio significantly higher than the X2 per $ and the X2 costs 50% more. If both choices are insane value per $$ then spending more is good, unlike when you hit the diminishing returns of hifi tier. Recommending 6 series(including 58X let’s be real it basically is a 6 series) to anyone as a first/single audiophile headphone is a big no no in my book because of the lack of soundstage… Not unless they are deadset on vocals at the cost of nothing else, they are a magic tool but hardly a swiss army knife.

IMO for a real audiophile mid tier experience it’s the X2’s, SHP’s come close but not close enough.
(please not I have recommended my good friends SHP9500’s and think they are great and above and beyond for a normal user but for those wanting to enter audiophile territory… another matter)

This right here… 100% agreed. Also no offense to the other guy but in terms of sound quality the 58x train wrecks the x2hr. X2hr is all over the place it’s a fun headphone with a very large stage but not refined and loose as hell.

Shp9500 has the versatility and control over the x2hr as well as imaging. The pad swapping on the 9500 allows its signature to change to a very wide variety and it has good sound quality unlike x2. X2 has better build quality but both are cheap as hell in this case. X2hr can be found around $90 while shp9500 can be found at $50 post mods max at $150 but that’s a full overhaul. As far as per dollar value the 9500 stands above x2hr and 58x due to the interchangeable signature, easy to drive, and easy to replace nature of the headphone. It boils completely down to preference… if your serious about sound qualities I would never say an x2hr and it would boil between 58x and 9500 less your looking for a chill bassy headphone for cheap than I’d say x2hr. In gaming… I’d say 9500 post mod or x2hr if again you want that bass however post mod 9500 can become bassier through suedes. Both the Phillip’s can use v Moda boom pro making them a bit more ideal for a gamer on a budget

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Thanks for the replies. I read the forum, watched a few more review and decided to get 58x. Now I only have to wait until March 31. for the headphones to be shipped…

probably would have been better to get it off ebay or something, people sell 58x quite regularly. Hope your able to run it ampless it’s a flip of a coin.

New they cost $24 more on ebay. Not that much, but I can wait. And yeah I’m gonna try them without an amp first and when I’m later at my dad’s I’ll try them with his amp

Personally I love the 58x as it’s a fantastic headphone so I hope you find that same enjoyment. Most cases it doesnt need an amp just helps it out.

Thanks! I think I’ll like them for music, but not sure about how immersive they’re gonna be for gaming

I think just casually gaming they are pretty strong. Not the bassy kind but a very good sound

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