The HD580 is the predecessor of the HD600 and Sennheiser’s flagship from 1993 to 1997. Orpheus HE60, HE90 and HD580 Jubilee were also produced in the mid-90s but the HD580 was the more popular product, directly following the HD540 Reference and HD560 Ovation.
It appears that four HD580 variations exist ; differences are in the production (Ireland for most HD580s, Germany for the rare early ones), drivers damping materials and minor design changes. My pair is a revision 3, made in Ireland.
○ Release : 1993
○ Current status : Discontinued
○ Type : Over-ear / Open-back
○ Measured weight : 265g
○ Impedance : 300 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : ~98 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $120-150
The HD580 is basically an HD600 with plastic grills and slightly inferior quality build – still very durable. They both have similar drivers and baffle design. It sounds indeed close to the HD600, but there are some minor differences. I made sure to be fair during my comparison – same pads condition, tried on same amps.
The bass is very similar between both, but the HD580 seems to be missing a bit of extension below 60hz, however the midbass is a tad cleaner, with better perceived slam. Possibly caused by a different damping behind the drivers (they have a “spider foam” stuck into plastic lids behind the magnet assembly). The midrange is again, almost identical. On some tracks the HD600 appears to be a bit forward around 3-5 khz, but difference is 1 dB at best. The HD580 still remains a midrange king with its younger brothers.
The treble is where differences are discernible. The HD600 is snappier sounding, but sharper around 8-9 khz by a few dbs. The HD580’s treble sits between the HD600 and HD650. I have a preference for the HD600 in that area – more elevated but seems better extended and resolving. Dynamics, micro-details, soundstage, imaging … pretty much the same between both. The HD600 might have the edge because of the treble, but that’s about it.
The HD580 reminds me of an HD650 without the mid-bass / lower-mids warmth and slightly more present treble. In short, the HD650 is the warmest of the bunch, the HD600 the (relatively) brightest, while the HD580 is in the middle. Like the HD600/650s, the HD580 is a fantastic value and has been the mid-fi king for over 25 years.
The response of the HD580 is exemplary. Almost perfect, except the low-bass roll-off.