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IMHO the q701 or the 7xx are better than the 598. I had both for about a year and 99 out of 100 times I enjoyed my q701 much better. Better sound stage much better lower bass. The base roll off on the 598 is pretty bad. That being said the AKGs need amping to get that great sound. ALSO that being said, I sold my 598s so I could afford the 650s which have a little better bass response. Sorry... I know the 598s are popular, and look sexy, they are comfy too, just check out some freq response curves on innerfiddelty or something and you will see that bass roll off I am talking about. You will hear it to if you get these. I would even take the X1s or X2s over the 598s.
I'm a little biased, as I have a pair of 598's, but I think it definitely comes down to personal preference within a price range. The 598's are light on the bass, but have a phenomenal soundstage. It depends a lot on what you're using the headphones for and the kind of music you listen to.
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