Laptop Mag Verdict
The Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee is a headphone for the nostalgic audiophile, but wonderful sound can’t make up for its many compromises.
Stellar audio quality
Compatible with amps, DACs, and any device with a headphone port
No controls, special features or wireless functionality
Tight clamp force
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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 glowing review of their TWS/1 wireless earbuds), but not before giving these cans exceptional sound worthy of the Sennheiser name. Notable efforts were also made to retain the original’s appearance, while also upgrading the inside with current technology and optimizations “learned throughout the series’ rich history.”
Size: 6 feet (cable)
Weight: 9.2 ounces
- Our expert picks for the best wireless headphones, per budget and style
- Check out our Audeze LCD-1 review
- …and our Hi-Fi-Man Deva review
As superior as the HD 58X Jubilee sounds, it’s mostly geared towards old schoolers with a home audio setup and high pain threshold. Furthermore, the new enhancements don’t exactly make the headphones contemporary. Omissions like Bluetooth, controls, and sound customization –common features in today’s headphones – also speak to its primitiveness.
Read our full Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review for the complete breakdown.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Availability and price
You can buy the HD 58X Jubilee for $190 exclusively at Drop. It is only available in Black/Silver. In the box comes a 6-foot, 2.5mm balanced cable and instruction manual.
Drop offers a 3-year extended warranty with accidental coverage for $20. This covers “drops, spills, accidents, liquid damage, plus mechanical and electrical failures during normal use.”
For comparison, these wired headphones are listed lower than top performers in the category such as the Audeze LCD-1 ($399). They are 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 appearance of Sennheiser’s other audiophile headphones. Everything from the colorway to the open-back design allowing for greater soundwave expansion (more on this later) resembles the HD650 headphones. The velour earpads, split headband padding, and signature large grilles also remain intact.
If only build quality was up to par. Construction is flimsy, raising concerns about the headphones’ durability if dropped from a high distance or sat on at the wrong angle. Chances of survival are favorable, but the plastic frame is fragile and sustains lots of damage.
What you need to be most careful with are the grilles. Don’t leave anything with substantial weight on top of the material or press your thumb firmly against it for risk of creating a massive dent. That’s exactly what happened to my pair. My right earcup looks dismal.
For distinction, Massdrop placed their branding on the inner part of the aluminum extender. There’s also the name shield above each earcup coated 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 plug that attaches to the aux cable to connect with 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 not even getting a canvas pouch for storing the headphones is chintzy.
Massdrop does sell extra earpads that you can swap out with the stock pair. Selections include Fenestrated Sheepskin, Hybrid Velour, and Sheepskin.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee: Comfort and fit
Wearability is 50/50. Let me start with the positives. The velour earpads will have you feeling like grandma’s favorite couch pillows are resting on each side of your head. They’re that comfy, and the soft-touch exterior is pleasant against the skin. I also like that Sennheiser made the cutouts big for ears to receive more ventilation, which is much needed since the material heats up after hours of use.
The extenders have 12 settings to accommodate listeners with different-sized ears and establish proper stability. These headphones have some flexibility to them, but high clamp force, causing pain after about an hour of use. Something else to keep in mind is the stiff headband. I recommend keeping the headphones 3 settings above head surface because 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 to it, then what a sonic package Sennheiser put together. New 150-ohm drivers were installed into this version, requiring less amplification than past Sennheiser drivers and retaining 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 for studio-quality performance.
The low end comes in strong and clean, never distorting the soundstage, nor veiling details that compromise tonality. I blasted hip-hop bangers like A Tribe Called Quest’s “Excursions” to see if my head would pulsate from the monstrous opening bassline and pounding snares. It did, as well as stimulate vigorous head-nodding. Even instruments like the gentle horns sounded sharp.
That record encouraged me to play Jazz recordings for a taste of frequency range. The HD 58X Jubilee didn’t disappoint. Tracks like Ahmad Jamal Trio’s “Stolen Moments” were given fantastic channel separation. The pronounced double bass strung on my left ear and the tinny hi-hats tapped on my right ear. These elements, along with the melodic piano keys coming from both sides, made for an intimate listen in open spaces.
That same energy was captured on Latin orchestral tracks like Eddie Palmieri’s “Reparto Hornos.” The whistles sprinkled throughout the recording sounded bright and were layered beautifully over the vibrant horn section at the end.
Watching videos was also satisfying. The latest Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness “Dream” trailer immersed me in the insanity, while the actions sequences in The Expendables 2 made me feel like I was thrown into warzones. Bullets whistled past my ear and even small details like the crackling fire of a blown-up car had an immersive feel.
The listening experience is wide and detailed across all devices (e.g., smartphone, tablet, desktop/laptop).
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Noise Isolation
An open-ear design makes it tough to hear music in active environments. Working in the living room, I could hear conversations, fax machines, loud iPhone ringers, and my wife playing the piano for our toddler. I thought raising the volume to max level would help subdue these noises, but high-frequency sounds (baby cries, whistles) still entered the soundscape. Not to mention the headphones leaked sound very loudly. The missus could hear me blasting music from the front room when hanging in the playpen with our little boy.
I had to test the headphones in the bedroom or wait till nighttime when everyone was asleep 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 don’t offer this feature anymore. Hope you kept that Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm or Google USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter because you’ll likely need it to hook up the HD 58X Jubilee with 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 one hitting the scale at 8.95 ounces. Then again, they could be much heavier; try carrying around circum-aural headphones like the Focal Celestee (15.2 ounces) if you want to talk hefty. Tethering the HD 58x Jubilee to your iPhone won’t weigh you down, but the cable does get in the way a lot.
Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee review: Verdict
There’s no denying the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee is an excellent-sounding pair of headphones. The engineers deserve applause for enhancing what many experts already consider legacy audio.
However, it can’t just be about audio anymore, especially when the number of compromises is too high. The build quality is cheap, and comfort can be painful for listeners with sensitive skulls. No controls or extra features also make the HD 58X Jubilee feel outdated.
Yes, audiophiles are aware that an open-back design with grilles will leak as much sound as it lets in. They also know that this style of headphones can only be truly enjoyed in completely silent settings.
Pick up the Mass Drop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee if you desire wired headphones that pump out spacious, dynamic sound in a traditional package. Otherwise, consider the market’s other options, both in the wired and wireless categories, for better overall value.