It could be I got a set of defective headphones with the 598’s, and I did return them. I wasn’t going to take that assumption. Besides the sound though, I thought the 598’s felt bad on my head. They were so hard compared to either my cushy 580’s or the HiFiMan 400s I got as a replacement. It was like stiff Styrofoam compared to my two others. How comfortable do you feel they are?
I was curious about your golden ears test as I’d never heard of it before. I went through the basic spectral balance perfectly, but when it came to timbre, I could only go down to the 5 db before I couldn’t tell the difference. not sure how many other tests are beyond that because it seems Phillips doesn’t want you to try anything else once you fail.