Originally Posted by nicholars
Hmmmm seriously though the HD650 ARE slow! lol...
Compared to every other pair of headphones I have ever owned music is simply slower and has less intensity.
The quality of the transients etc. is excellent and the headphones are very good quality sound... But they ARE slow! If I ever try to listen to fast music such as Trance or Electronic music on the HD650 it sounds really slow and lacks attack and punch. When playing slow music such as dubstep or rock music or whatever they handle it fine.
This leads me to the conclusion that the HD650 are definately slow sounding headphones to my ears. Good headphones?.... Yes awesome quality soundstage and imaging?....Yes Pace, attack, punch and sub bass?..... No
If you are looking for relaxing headphones then these are excellent but if you are looking for a fast punchy intense sound then these are not what you want. (I have the new version BTW)
Ahh the great psychoacoustic misperceptions of the HD650. One of the things that makes them so neat. HD650 is many things. You are right that they lack "attack and punch" and sub-bass. But speed and detail are two commonly misperceived things about HD650 due to their sound signature. They're actually extremely fast and detailed (you didn't mention detail but that goes along with the speed fallacy normally.) It's the rolloff at the upper frequencies and the 5kHz dip, the boosted midbass and the rolled off subbass that trick the mind into thinking it's hearing something slow and smoothed over. If you were to compare it to a headphone that is "fast and detailed" and cut off the EQ ranges for the high and the low, leaving only the mids, you'd see they were similarly fast and detailed.
So yes, the lack of that low-treble region and the sub-bass region does mean they lack punch/sparkle in context of EDM. And it means they are always more laid back rather than forward like Beyers. But they're actually extremely fast despite the mind not readily perceiving it. The actual impulse & transient response (what makes the actual speed) is very speedy, arguably moreso than some planars. So what they actually are is a crazy-fast headphone that rolls off certain frequencies that give it a laid back slower vibe. And that's part of what makes it so uniquely loved. Laid back but fast is uncommon.
The reason I wouldn't use them as my primary electronic can isn't speed but sub-bass which definitively is lacking compared to Denons, HE-400, LCD-2 etc. In acoustic music I never really notice a lack of bass, only electronic, since acoustic bass rarely deeps deep enough into the sub-bass to matter much.
Originally Posted by TMRaven
If you look at their spectral decay and impulse response, the HD650s are not slow at all. You might be mistaking a good low bass and treble spike for punch and dynamism, because well, most of the dynamic spikes in recordings focus on those frequencies. Ironically enough, Sennheiser's made a point to emphasize the 5khz range on the 800 and especially the 700 it seems, to really make for an aggressive and punchy experience. A bump at 5khz definitely makes for some snappy sounding drums.
Originally Posted by IcedTea
I wish I knew what you guys are talking about :(
My HD650s don't come till about another week...
And I do listen to EDM btw, but I like them just fine on my DT880s. I was thinking about the pro 9000, but getting one headphone for just one genre isn't practical for me. I might just get a xb500 or xb700 for EDM lol
Basically the "speed" of a driver is how fast it will return to its idle position and complete a full excursion. Transient response is how fast the diaphram makes a full excursion pushing air out, and how fast it makes a full excursion returning to its starting position. Impulse response is how quickly it actually responds to the incoming soundwave and begins it's outward (air pushing) excursion. Basically a "fast" headphone responds fast and travels fast. (physically). A slow headphone moves a little more slowly or responds to the soundwave more sluggishly but results in smoother sound.
HD650 is quite a fast driver. But the brain can percieve it as slower than it is because the frequency response it's tuned to rolls off certain frequencies the brain usually uses to rate the speed of what it's hearing. The "laid back sound" of HD650 can give the brain the impression of sort of a lazy stroll along the music because telltale frequencies in the 5kHz range are more subdued than it expects to hear. But physically it's a very fast driver.
DT880 is a "bright" or "forward/aggressive" headphone. It has a bumped up FR around the 8.5kHz range. This makes it seem more sparkly or detailed in the treble, more "forward" or "up-front", "aggressive", or "exciting." HD650 has a dip at the 5kHz range (and elsewhere) and the presentation is of a smooth, warm, refined, lush, but laid back, or relaxing, lazy sound to it. Thus the two are excellent compliments because they present the music very differently. You may like hearing some albums differently on both of them, or you may perfer one or the other for certain albums or genres etc.