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They are not all that really

A Review On: Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones

Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones

Rated # 1 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $400.00
Posted · 401 Views · 10 Comments

Pros: pleasant sound, quite comfortable, easily exchangable parts

Cons: lacks clarity and transparency, overblown bass, quality issues (paint flaking, one of the drivers broke after three years)

As much as I cannot understand the overwhalming positive reviews of these headplones I admit that I actually can understand that people can get in love with their pleasant and forgiving sound. If you wish to get close to the soul of a recording however, you should go somewhere else because HD650 are neither natural or neutral sounding headphones. Compared to some other cans (AKG k70x or Beyerdynamic DT880 namely) these Senns are muddy to say the least and lack sparkle, transparency and sheer excitement. The bass is more prominent than with k701's but the definition of the same is not as good. Listening to the HD650 I really miss the sparkle and the excitement that should be there. When listening to accoustic music and classical there is no air at all. A huge amount of information, upper harmonics are simply absent.  It is important to say that I have had some issues with my pair. One of the drivers broke after three years of use. The paint on the headband started chipping after 2 years.


However I can understand that many people get in love with their sound. They sound "relaxing" in their own way and are very forgiving on the quality of the recording. The problem is that you can get all that and more at half their price.


Amplifiers used: Lehmann Black Cube Linear, Musical Fidelity X-Can v3, Matrix M-Stage


I echo your view totally. A seriously flawed phone in my opinion.
@nigeljames, +1 , more reviews need to show the flaws of this highly overrated can
I totally agree with this review too. I find the HD650 too warm for my preferences, but evidently many people prefer a warm sound. And yes, they lack sparkle and transparency for acoustic and classical tracks from my experience. The HD800 is a much, much better headphone for that purpose, and critical listening in my opinion...but cost more than twice as much too. :/
I am sorry that you do not hear the Sennheisers the way so many of us others do. It is really an uplifting sound, even in the face of technically superior headphones. I, for one, do not find them muddy, nor lacking in transparency. In fact I would say that they are quite resolving on a micro level, without having recourse to tilt the upper registers. They are not on the same plane as say and HE6 or HD800 for sparkle and clarity, but are equally enjoyable given the proper material. To this day the HD650/Zana Deux pairing is the most synergistic I've heard and it's no slouch on a Beta 22. Glad you found other headphones that you prefer at a lower price.
haha 3 stars for the legendary headphone , why does this review seem like the amazon ones? or maybe you lost a good portion of your hearing :P
@XxDobermanxX Not 3 stars, 2 and a half star actually. There is nothing wrong with my hearing at all, of course it doesn't extends to the same range as a dog's. In my ears these cans are artificially colored and lack clarity. I have lived with them for a couple of years and got tired of the unexciting and veiled sound. I don't really know about the amazon but as far as I can see the reviews over there are very positive.
@ericfarell85 Sorry but I don't beleive in recabling. I have heard them with Cardas and Zu Mobius and there really was no difference to be heard.
@XxDobermanxX just because nearly everyone thinks this is a good headphone doesn't mean it's meant for everyone. I for one agree with this review and would gladly take a HiFiMAN HE-500 or AKG K/Q701, any day, any time over the HD650. I really didn't like the HD650 when I first tried it, and I still don't after an hour's worth of listening to at a local Head-Fi meet.
@miceblue No, they are definately not for everyone. People who like classical and other kinds of acoustic music should look elsewhere. HD650 sound too "dark" and colored.
each to their own
As an owner of both the Q701 and HD 650, I can say that they're both good. I find the sound of the Q701 to be too thin for a lot of music, suitable only for acoustic and classical. There's little bass to speak of. Vocals can sometimes sound recessed. It's also strangely difficult to amp for a low impedance can. It sounds great on something like Trey Anastasio and the Scorchio Quintet. But, at least in my opinion, Hd 650 beats it in most other genres.
That said, Q701 beats the 650s in the comfort departement if, like me, you have a big head, as they have absolutely no clamping force. It also has an enormous soundstage which makes it great for gaming. And they look amazing. They're the only headphone I always leave out on display. Chicks dig a guy with fancy looking headphones.
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