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A Review On: Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones

Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones

Rated # 1 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $500.00
Th3 James
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Pros: Superb sound-stage, amazing lows, crisp highs, comfortable for extended listening sessions, aesthetically pleasing.

Cons: Design and materials could be better. A metal reinforced headband would have been preferable. The amp you use can make all the difference in the world

I have only had these headphones for a little over a month at the time of me writing this review. I choose to write the review now because I feel confident in my ability to properly asses these headphones from an objective point of view with minimal bias. This review was written at work over the course of a shift, it is by no means well layed out. 


First off....These headphones are understandably flat and dull when used without an amp, anyone expecting auditory greatness (Over the Ear) from a 3.5mm jack running off of your phone is insane. 


What I listened to on my HD650s: Classical, Rap, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal, Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Symphonic Death Metal, Alt Rock, Dubstep, Trance, Jazz, Techno, Pop, Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal. Television shows, Movies, PC games, Skype conversations. 


Quality of source material: Primarily 16-bit 44KHz ALAC, Vinyl, 24-bit 96KHz FLAC


What powered my HD650s: Tested on 2 amps at home in addition to my portable amp solution Fiio e17


Use: 6-8 Hours a day for a little over a month at home in chair/bed, walking, and even in my car.


Experience: Easily the best headphones I have ever owned. The bass response is superb and will lull your ears into nirvana. The highs are crisp and distinct but never feel like they are stabbing your ear canal. I decided to test MP3s with the HD650 and was astonished at how 320Kbps tracks were sounding through these cans. No where near perfect, but damned impressive for the source material. I listened to music the most sitting in my lazy boy chair at my computer or laying in bed. I have actually fallen asleep listening to these headphones, they are really comfortable. 


Conclusion: This review was kind of sloppy, but I can easily recommend these cans to anyone looking for a delicious audio experience. AMP MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE




What amps were you using at home? Most people seem to think the E17 is not enough to properly power those headphones. You said amp makes all the difference, but then you never specified the other two amps you tried. What were the differences when used with the E17 vs. the other two amps and what were the other two amps?
I found that the E17 is more than enough to power the HD650s. The other 2 amps I used at home I did not mention the model name because I am at work at the time of me typing this and do not remember the specific model of the amp. One is my Yamaha receiver I use for my other speakers and the other one I will need to look at when I get home it is close to 20 years old.
The 2 amps I used are nowhere near audiophile quality, but they provide enough power for these cans through the 1/4 inch jack and they sound really nice to my ears.
What I really meant by AMP MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE was that these headphones really need to be powered by an amplifier to sound good and will sound very flat if they are just using a standard 3.5mm jack from a computer or phone.
Hope I made some sense with that.
Thanks for your feedback about HD 650. This is weird that you consider E17's 20mW/300Ohm "more than enough to power the HD650s". I have the same headphones, powered through Pro-Ject Headbox II, heavily modded (lots of upgrade inside, from op-amp to caps). It gives 300Ohm headphones (like HD 650) 60mW of power, while E17 - only 20mW. But even with 60mW I'm so much dissappointed with the lows/bass it produces, it literally sounds on a verge of being flat, seriously. This is even more so, cause when I plug it to my NAD integrated 1/4 socket, HD 650 blossoms in terms of bass, but lacks in stage and crispness/highs of the Headbox II one. I think I'll sell Headbox II and buy the recently announced Asgard 2, as apart from all its acclaimed quality, it drives 300Om headphones up to 380mW! Compare for yourself.
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