Pros: Pros : Sound quality, comfort, build, modularity (parts), balance, naturalness, clarity, detail
Cons: Cons : Headband not as strong as it could be, initial clamp force
Pros: Pros : Sound quality, comfort, build, modularity (parts), balance, naturalness, clarity, detail
Cons: Cons : Headband not as strong as it could be, initial clamp force
Pros: Very detailed. Balanced. Good soundstage. Absolutely amazing mids. Entirely modular, with all parts replaceable.
Cons: Bass could be a little tighter. Some would say subdued treble, but I'd say it's at a very realistic level. Soundstaging has room for improvement.
Note: The price paid is used from Amazon Marketplace. Also, I've duplicated my review from the other product listing here on Head-Fi. If it is possible, the two HD 600 pages ought to be merged.
The first thing about these the HD 600 is the excellent tonal balance - it's never harsh, but the highs are still there and very detailed. Sometimes the finest details may get lost in very complex music thanks to being overshadowed by other parts of the music, but the resulting detailed smoothness is a very good thing.
The mids - ahh, they're to die for! They're the highlight of the headphones. They're detailed and lifelike, similar to the highs. But they're so realistic sounding - even so more than the HD 800 and Beyer T1 I've auditioned. As far as I'm concerned, the HD 800 (haven't heard the HD 650) still falls short here in comparison. Guitars, brass, saxes, vocals, and more sound so much more realistic (and and have more visceral impact) than anything else I've heard (my new Alessandro MS1is come close, but not as much with the low mids).
Bass is fairly tight and at just about the right level for all types of music. You'll never make anyone happy with any given quantity of bass, but I think these are as close to a neutral level as you'll get. Very low bass can be a little loose, and rapid bass notes aren't as distinct as the HD 800, Beyer T1 or DT 880, but it's still excellent overall (and especially compared to lesser headphones).
Their soundstaging is very good - but there are, of course, far superior headphones for this. Depth is good, width is good, and precision of placement is good - again, a very balanced sound. The sense of spaciousness (a function of all three factors) falls a little short of the AKG K701, and of course the HD 800 and Beyer T1 - but of course is far more evident than the close-in Grado sound. The "It sounds like they're playing in the room with me!" sensation never really happens to the same level that my speakers (Infinity Renaissance 90) can provide.
The build quality is very good - the headband and frames are supposedly made of carbon fiber, but after inspecting them (and seeing photos of cracked headbands) I believe it is probably a carbon fiber reinforced plastic instead. Less impressive to your friends, perhaps, but an excellent material nonetheless. They do of course feel slightly plasticky as a result (but it never feels like cheap plastic).
They're quite lightweight, and the padding is excellent - the velour earpads and headband are very comfy. I know some complain about them being too tight - I can't really comment, since I bought mine used. I never found them to be too tight myself.
They stand up to abuse admirably well - mine have lived in my backpack for four months straight and only have superficial damage to the grills (they get dented when sharing the backpack with my Nikon) to show for it. They haven't been babied at all - just no abuse like trying to bend the headband over on itself... Anyway, since everything is modular, you can easily replace any part that has broken. I just got new pads and a cable to replace the worn originals.
The marbled finish does wear off a little over time, but it has yet to become detrimental to their appearance so far. Oh, and by the way, the finish looks a whole lot cooler in person than in photos of the headphones.
I've found amp'ing them not to be as difficult as some seem to think. A/B'ing my uDAC (my main source and amp) against a Beyerdynamic A1 amp, I really couldn't consistently tell any difference between them other than ultimate power output. The Sansa Clip+ actually does an admirable job running them up to moderately loud levels (not short-term ear blasting, of course), and never clips with them when playing music. It does, however, sound slightly (yet noticeably) less dynamic and with a narrower, less well defined soundstage in comparison to the uDAC. I forgot that I have a crossfeed plugin (HeadPlug MKII) running on Winamp, so I have to retract those opinions for now - although it does stand for now that I can't get a crossfeed with the Clip (without using an amp with one).
So, the verdict? These are amazing headphones, deserving of their place as one of the best dynamic headphones available to this day (15 years after their first introduction!). Their smooth, slightly warm (not dark!), but very realistic and - yes - exciting yet neutral sound is near-perfect in balance. Soundstaging is perhaps the area I would like to see the most improvement, but it is good in this respect already.
You'll have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands.
Pros: Balanced, refined, sturdy, classic design
Cons: not very "fast"
What? Nobody wrote a review of this gorgeous headphone yet? Maybe it´s because many people already own it and don´t talk about it - because once you do you won´t need another headphone. I use the HD-600 everyday and I did the same the six years before. I´ve never heard such a balanced headphone since and I think I never will. I´ve heard a HD-650 a few months ago but it didn´t make me happy, it sounded too dark and too warm. I missed the easy precision and crispness of my HD-600. Which is exactly what still baffles me: how was Sennheiser able to produce a headphone that is both detailed and laid back at the same time? It´s brilliant, but not too brilliant. It´s warm but not too warm. No, it´s a perfectly balanced headphone. Everything is there but nothing is too much. The soundstage is very natural, wide and deep.
I do a lot of private remastering and the HD-600 never failed me, they are analytical. I can hear errors easily and can correct them. Still, it´s not an overtly honest headphone. If it could talk it would say: "Observe these errors here and there, I´ll present them to you very pleasantly and neutral." That pretty much sums it up.
There are some minor obstacles: deep bass is a bit muted (from 20-70 Hz), depending on the source it may have some problems with differentiation. Another valid criticism is that it is not very fast - with the HD-600 you won´t exactly marvel at the punch, directness or dynamic of Punk or Hard Rock music. While this sounds a bit boring it isn´t - it just seems to present music as it is. They are more like passive "spectators", presenting music with a bit of distance. Another little downside is that it requires a good headphone amp, it needs a lot of power to sound good. If you don´t own something like that you´ll get an exaggerated upper bass - there goes your balanced sound.
If you think the sound to be a bit harsh you can buy the replacement cable that originally is intended for the HD-650 - with that you can add warmth at the cost of resolution. That depends on your taste of course.
All in all, I would buy it again anytime. But I won´t need to because it still sounds and looks wonderful. This headphone is the reason that I fell in love with Sennheiser, a love that is still growing.
Here's a quick summary on the HD600. I am going to leave out headphone specifications because you can find them on Sennheiser's website. These are open cans ,not suited for portability, and they do require amping (300 Ohms).
They are very comfortable and my ears don't get too hot after listening for quite some time. The cups are quite deep and I like it that way. I had hours of listening enjoyment with it and so far had no problems with comfort.
Wow, these cans sound completely natural! I know the differences between natural and neutral but the HD600 has both elements. Although Sennheiser has been long associated with a veil, the HD600 does not seem to have any. SQ is completely transparent and I can assure you that the HD600 has no veil at all.
The HD600 is very detailed although not up to DT880's level of detail. For classical music, hands down the HD600 is the king. Violins are wonderfully textured and have a fantastic weight on them. Highs and mids were fantastic and the bass has great impact and that nice punch in them. The HD600 is no slouch, it is aggressive and sound very neutral and balanced across the frequency range.
It did a great job in instrument separation although the size of soundstage could be bigger. Don't get me wrong. Its soundstage is fantastic and has the characteristics of an open can but vocals are more upfront and intimate.
Quick Comparison to the HD650 and HD800
Neutrality: HD600 > HD800 >>>> HD650
The HD600 is the most neutral among the three cans although as mentioned the soundstage should be a tad bigger. HD650 to my surprise is dark sounding, veiled and coloured (in a good way). It has more bass than the other two headphones. The HD800 has slightly too much treble in my opinion.
Soundstage: HD800 >> HD650 > HD600
No challenge here. The HD800 is the clear winner.
SQ: HD800 > HD600 = HD650
The HD800 has a much better presentation and detail retrieval than its younger siblings. On the HD650 & HD600, it's a matter of preference really. If you like listening to pop/rock, it's best to stick with the HD650. And if you like uncoloured headphones or listen to the music audio engineers intend them to be, go for the HD600 and ultimately the HD800.
Amazing cans and they deserve the title of a legend. They are worth every penny and imho is a top tier can. Comparing them to the Beyerdynamic DT880, I cannot say that they're better/worse than them but all I can say is that both cans are one of the best headphones out there and they compliment each other. When listening to classical music I always reach for my HD600. They are simply astounding and sound heavenly in your ears.
Pros: Amazing, lush, liquid mids, vocals that are so rich and palpable you can taste them
Cons: Bass can be muddy without really good amplification, highs can sound wrong to some ears.
These were my first foray into high end, high fidelity sound. They were a true revelation. These headphones were built for my ears, laid back, rich warm mids, deep but controlled bass, the de-facto ultimate headphones of their time.
Treble: Laid back, airy, great sound stage, contrary to popular belief, bigger is not always better with regards to sound staging, some things weren't recorded on a giant sound stage afterall. Liquid cool and never fatiguing, the treble was far from analytical but still revealing of source quality, a transparent headphone to be sure.
Mids: Wow. Rich palpable midrange to die for. This is what you dream of. Perfect vocals, anyone could hear the sound of a singing voice coming from these and be instantly transported. The mids on the HD 600's are capable of amazing things on the right music with the right amp. Still punchy and musical on almost all music types. My only complaint was with symphonic music, which always felt a little strained to my ears. In the end, I loved these most with the xcan v2, perfect, perfect vocals, any singing voice shone through on that setup like the voice of angels.
Lows: Rich enveloping bass cradles the music in a seamless landscape of liquid sound. Can be boomy on some tracks. Not the best headphones for rap or other excessively bass heavy music.
High build quality.
An excellent headphone which with the proper amplification (tubes) has a unique sonic signature, that if it works for you, is nearly impossible to beat at any price.
Pros: Excellent mids, beautiful timbre, warm signature, deep soundstage, comfort...etc
Cons: Non to my knowledge
The HD600 is one of the best headphones around. They are neutral, easy to drive, comfy, with a touch of warmth and enticing natural presentation and timbre. I didn't like them the first time I bought them with the stock cable. I bought another pair driven by the formidable Beta 22 amplifier and the HD600 was transformed into another league.
Although I listen mostly to my K702 which is more accurate in comparison to HD600 warmer tone (which is closer to concert hall sound IMO) I save the HD600 for very special listening sessions, I don't use them for occasional listening at all but only when I really need to enjoy rather than analyze my music.
The highs are soft, smooth, non fatiguing. The mids are large and wide and the bass is just right, without being exaggerated. The sound stage is not very large like the K702 but the instruments and the performers are very close in very good distributed space which gives a very intimate musical experience.
The greatest thing about the HD600 is the easy amplification. A uDAC can drive them to very acceptable level and they can excel with most available amplifiers with a neutral sound signature
Some reviewers believe that the HD600 is boring. I think this can be attributed to several factors, poor synergy with amp and source, stock cable, lack of burn in or may be personal taste!
IMO the HD600 is the best headphones under $300 (unless you find the HD650 for less than 300!), and may be the only headphones you will ever need if you keep to one HP.
Pros: Air, Dynamics, Sound stage, Price, Comfort, Build
Cons: Straight cord, Box does not close, Lacks definition in middle of sound stage
After over two decades of service, the HD 600 is still going strong. Since the early days of its introduction, the HD 600 has grown to become something of reference point within the audiophile community. Furthermore, its neutral, airy sound has made it a favorite among audio engineers. As such, you will struggle to find better at this price point. Now, please enjoy the video, it offers my full opinion on the HD 600 as well as a touch of comparison between it and its sister, the HD 650. If you have any questions please, feel free to ask. Thanks for watching.
Pros: Great sound quality, shades of the HD800 at a quarter of the price
Cons: Poor ergonomics and distinctly below par build quality spoil an otherwise good Headphone
Pros: nice mid-treble ratio
Cons: bass rolls off
VERY flat. Now this is a headphone I enjoy.
Except for that bass roll off. Forget the HD800, forget the HD700, find some way to get deep sub bass out of these and you have a winner.
It sounds quite clean and is never veiled (HD650, HD598) nor is ever harsh (HD700, HD800). That is all.
Pros: Very light and flexible detachable cable, 3,5 mm jack with adapter, makes you attend a private representation, very comfortable
Cons: Needs an amp, clamp hard
I will compare them to the Grado SR80i with both S and L cushes, and to the Shure SE215.
You don't need super-quality equipment to turn the HD600 into an instrument of bliss. My setup is composed of a GrubDAC and a Millet « Starving student » hybrid amp (12AU7 version), built with good components (Wima & Panasonic FM caps on the signal path, stock Philips ones for the power supply, JAN Philips 12AU7 tubes) but not the best (Mundorf caps, expensive Mullard tubes or silver wiring), and powered by a LM317-based power supply build by my father with stock components (it's not an excellent PSU like a σ11).
I just want you not to think what I thought before : « Aw with my sub-standard equipment I won't be able to enjoy such a good pair of headphones. » That's not true. Maybe you never thought that, it's only me who's a little paranoid, but here. I wanted you to know.
I used to enjoy music in a somewhat « mystic » way : sounds comes from nothing, they are just sound, pure sound. For example, knowing anything « extra-sonic », like the names of a band's members, the year, &c, ALTERAIT my enjoyment of the music, because it made me constantly aware that it was only a recording of sounds produced by humans. That was with the Grado and Shure.
With the HD600, I can't listen to music in this « nothing-but-pure-sound » way. For the best.
The HD600 gives too much substance, reality and texture to the instruments' sound to allow me not to visualize the instruments being played. I can't hear a cello without feeling the bow rubbing on the strings. Everything sounds more real through them. This illlusion is perfected by all the details the headphones bring out – the player's breathing, the fingers' touch on the cello, the unexact attack of the ARCHET on the string... And they do present soundstage, contrary to the SR80i and the SE215 – I thought these presented soundstage, but compared to the HD600, it can not be called « soundstage ». The illusion of reality is without comparison with the Grado SR80i or the Shure SE215 (I know, it's not the same price range and all, but still... for those who would like to compare). Listening to music with HD600 is attending a private representation whereas with the two other headphones, it's like of a projection on a screen, still with details, but it sounds flatter.
It seems there is an optimal volume to find, a precise point at which the voices or the sounds are just loud enough to bring out all their details, but no too much so that the sources doesn't seem too close from the listener. (The recording must SE PRETER A this though.) The illusion of presence is so strong it pulls tears from my eyes... Listening to Yo-Yo Ma's interpretation of Bach's Suites for unaccompanied cello in these "circumstances" is an amazing experience.
So far, I find the HD600 more excellent for classical trios or smaller formations more than for anything else.
Pics of the unboxing :
|Product Type Name||CONSUMER_ELECTRONICS|
|Title||Sennheiser - Sennheiser HD 600|
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Some HD 600s are known to ship with the cable inserted loosely. This can cause the sound to cut out of either side when the cable is moved. To fix this, push the cable in hard, not just a little hard, but push it in with the angry fist of a god hard. Once it's in hard, it should stay that way on it's own.
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