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A Review On: Sennheiser HD 600

Sennheiser HD 600

Rated # 2 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $305.00
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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.



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