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Sennheiser HD650 Review - Page 3

post #31 of 85
Yup, my thoughts on the phones are not far off too. I think a small problem is that they are priced too expensive in the U.S, so it's not that good value for money comparatively.
post #32 of 85
Nice review vert.

When you start swapping components - things change as well.
This HD650 was my favorite set up overall with MPX3 amp and naim cd player as a source . I could have settled and stop the upgrades but then again i now can listen to speakers and i no longer live in an apartment ....
post #33 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerius
If frequency response could explain tone, life would be a lot simpler. If I knew why some headphones have good tone and others don't, and could find a way to measure it, it would make my life a lot easier. My guess is it would involved test notes and a fancy spectrum analyser or something like that to figure out the harmonics structure. A frequency response chart doesn't tell me about harmonics, and harmonics are what goes into making tone.

Going back to the piano analogy. Take a piano. Going up the keyboard, press each key with the exact same amount of force and measure how loud each note is. That's analogous to the frequency response chart. Some pianos might be louder down low, others up high, but that doesn't tell me why middle A on a Steinway sounds the way it does. To find out why, you'll need to measure all its overtones & harmonics, and any resonances it excites in the piano's structure. That's what gives the note its tone, and why middle A on a Steinway & Yamaha don't sound the same.

Now you gotta take that and apply it to headphones. Headphones have resonances, harmonics, and so forth. It'll affect tone. But to my knowledge, those measurements (if they've been done) aren't available to the public.

Which I suspect is why my Grado 225 sounds more natural than my Senn 580 in certain frequency ranges despite having a more ragged looking frequency response.
hmm..if harmonics defines tones, why don't someone do a FFT over the entire frequency range..like 3D if you will
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2100
Yup, my thoughts on the phones are not far off too. I think a small problem is that they are priced too expensive in the U.S, so it's not that good value for money comparatively.
$300ish off ebay is not bad
post #35 of 85
Good to know there's still quality writing being done at head-fi about headphones. That's what it's all about.
post #36 of 85
Interesting how your soundstage impression mirrors mine. I noted the same problem.

I still prefer the HD600 for overall tonal accuracy, but there are too many bassheads around and about.

-Matt
post #37 of 85
Great review, hits the nail squarely on the head. Exactly describes the HD650s to a T.

USG
post #38 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertigo-1
I believe that ultimately it’s the lower treble/upper midrange area, or rather a lack of it, that’s responsible for the darkened overtone the HD650s have.
If they're like the HD580/600 (and I expect so), it's actually a region of mid treble associated with the darkness. They're rolled off approx. between 6.5 and 8 KHz, clearly audible with a tone sweep. You were pretty close.

P.S. it's interesting that the rolloff is in a narrow range of frequencies, but is very steep... volume nearly drops to zero in the center of that range. I think this is part of Sennheiser's implementation of diffuse field EQ.
post #39 of 85
I bought and gave the 650 about 1 week and off it went to ebay.

I think its the most overrated headphone in the world but thats just me.
post #40 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerius
Mostly agree with your comments on the midrange & treble, but the bass I found to be different. I had issues with it as well, but for me it was not enough perceived impact, not enough quantity, and the tone wasn't right.

Yes it's fast & dynamic, but for some reason it doesn't feel like it hits hard, the opening to "Space Dog" doesn't knock me back the way it does on Grados or my K340. Not enough is pretty self-explanatory, I prefer PS-1 amounts of bass.

Tone is little harder to explain. Think of the same low bass note being played on a Steinway and a Bösendorfer grand piano. It doesn't sound the same, each piano will have its own sound signature, or tone. And that to me is where the 650 falls short in the bass, in the lower bass, things just didn't sound right, especially low piano notes. With the 650, a Bösendorfer Imperial Grand ends up sounding more like a midrange Yamaha in the low notes. That really annoys me since I'm a Tori Amos fan, and guess which piano she uses.

I think we're pretty much in agreement regarding the lower bass response of the HD650s. I find it difficult pretty to delineate bass notes past a certain point of the HD650's upper bass response.

Regarding bass impact...well, one thing I do feel is that the HD650's bass impact is more diffuse, and takes place at a lower frequency level than Grados in general. It's a little more spread out, and a little "fatter" than Grados, whereas Grados tend to have a much tighter, more focused upper bass impact. Strictly comparing these two, I would say the Grados execute the bass impact in a little cleaner fashion, while the HD650s are a little more sloppy in comparison.


Quote:
I would like to pose one question to the reviewer and also to other HD650 owners. There seems to be a very wide variation in the feedback on the bass performance of the HD650. The descriptions expressed describe the bass as possessing a remarkable, deep impact/ scale to sometimes being reported as anemic. I suspect that this variation has much to do with the ancillary components used in each case. If any users of headfi.com can clarify this variation in feedback it would be appreciated. I would have most interest in comments that use the SR225 as a benchmark for comparison.
As per my own experience, I honestly don't see how the HD650s could ever have an anemic bass response...ever. Short of driving them directly from a minidisc player with its bass boost set to zero maybe. To me, the HD650s clearly sound like a headphone that will always retain a bass impact well above average compared to other headphones, almost regardless of what you drive them from.

I will say this though...going between my computer soundcard and my Arcam CDP, one of the biggest difference was the amount of bass I heard. I'm actually surprised how much bass the CD23T is capable of putting out through headphones, as reviews normally call it a bit on the thin side with bass. On the soundcard, the bass impact lessens quite a bit. Both sources pipe through my PPA, so it ain't the amp in question. Without a doubt, your source can matter in regards to the bass performance, and probably everything else.
post #41 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert
$300ish off ebay is not bad
Last time about 9 years ago when HD600 hit the shelves, I paid only Sing $420 for it. That's only USD235.
I know there are some guys in a local forum who got it for a similar price for HD650. If i am not wrong, it's Sing$400, or USD225.
post #42 of 85
Wow, this is an awesome review. Great work!
post #43 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDesign
I would like to pose one question to the reviewer and also to other HD650 owners. There seems to be a very wide variation in the feedback on the bass performance of the HD650. The descriptions expressed describe the bass as possessing a remarkable, deep impact/ scale to sometimes being reported as anemic. I suspect that this variation has much to do with the ancillary components used in each case. If any users of headfi.com can clarify this variation in feedback it would be appreciated. I would have most interest in comments that use the SR225 as a benchmark for comparison.


Best,
iDesign
I think you have to clearly distinguish here between quantity and quality of the bass. My opinion is that the HD650's bass is of the highest quality, but I would prefer that it have a touch more quantity. Bass is important to me, and as such, I use a Woodied DT770 as my main headphone, while my Woodied HD650's, which sound better than the DT770 everwhere but the bass, sit idle most of the time.

But this is just one listener's preference. Others will vary, which is why a choice of an ideal headphone is a totally personal decision and can only be accomplished by listening to a lot of headphones.
post #44 of 85
Great review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertigo-1
For some, it’s because they can scale to tremendously great heights with better and better equipment, turning them from merely very good headphones into true world class headphones (I personally haven’t come into contact with the associated gear needed for this transformation however).
Great!
post #45 of 85
Does it really make a BIG difference when taking the foams out? Can I damage the drivers if I take the foams out? And most importantly, if I don't like the sound with them out, can I put the foams back in place?
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