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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 8

post #106 of 19166
mine are on the way!
post #107 of 19166
I gotta admit, the HD650 sounds amazing with good vinyl. An eye-opening experience, really. They totally defy their price tag with a top-notch source, amp, and the Zu Mobius cable. I always thought they represented a great value in hifi, but I never heard them open up like this, until now - making a good buy even better. I'd feel pretty confident putting them up against any sub-$2K headphone in my current SOTA/SDS rig.

I also find them to be a big step up over the HD600. More natural tonally, smoother, better bass, better resolution.
post #108 of 19166
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rover View Post
I've had HD600 for many years and I've thought of upgrading to HD650 for many times, but is it really worth it. I'm quite happy with HD600 but does anybody have first hand experience of this upgrade?
to me the HD650 is a pretty different headphone. It's smoother, more laid back, darker, and has more bass. kind of boring compared to the HD580 one may say.

I tried several pairs at the meet didn't think much of them. I would actually unplug them and use my HD580 towards the end of the first day I was sitting in a room with several head-fiers listening to one of there DAC1's from a Macbook Pro. I plugged both of the headphones in to give them a test. I would listen to a couple tracks or a track at a time and switch headphones in the end I preferred my HD580.

I have yet to do a test like this with cable upgrades some day the HD650 need a cable upgrade like the Zu/Equinox to sound good.

even now I think about the HD650 just because of all the recommendations to get them. a lot of people say the HD650 is better and few say the HD600 is better. I guess I need to hear them with a better headphone cable now :P

*my HD580 have HD600 grills, and HD650 cable.
post #109 of 19166
Don't write them off just yet. I have found there are some amps out there that really mate well with the 650's and some that arejust awful. The Eddie Current Zana offers real synergy as well as the Dynahi and one of Tylls Headroom pimped out desktops. The dynamics were like night and day compared to some other unnamed tube amps that came across just boring to me.
post #110 of 19166
I've never had a pair of HD650 and HD580 at the same time, but did have the opportunity to try the Zu cable on the HD650 and compare that to a pair of K701. The two sounded very similar IMO and almost indistinguishable depending on the type of music and the recording. I was pretty shocked. Then I had another opportunity to compare the K701 to the HD600 and they sounded pretty similar. I also compared the HD650 (stock) to the K701 and they were not so similar at all. YMMV but the HD650(zu), HD600 and HD580(modded or not) sound pretty similar to the K701. The HD650(stock) is the odd one out with exactly the sonic characteristics that RasmusseN described.

As a side note: To me, the HD650 cable didn't change the sound of the HD580 (compared to stock HD580 cable). I did have mine modded with the HD600 grilles too, but most people say the difference, let alone improvement, is negligible.
post #111 of 19166
I've had the pleasure of using the 650's for a week now, and they have a wonderful sound, accurate and compelling. I was planning on buying 580's or 600's for myself, but I'm struggling with the idea that I might really be spoiled. I'd like to be able to compare them side by side.
post #112 of 19166
I sold my Alessandro MS Pros once I listend to HD650s balanced through a Headroom Balanced amp. The 650s sounded too laid back when I first heard them... but when I went back to the MSPs, shrill, lacking in soundstage and where was the bass? Now that my 650s and the Headroom electronics have been broken in it all sounds better again.

The 650s rule in my book.
post #113 of 19166
since summer started i've been unable to take them off my head. my setup sounds too good
post #114 of 19166
What I always find very nice about the HD650 is that on any amp you will always be able to find information about how well the HD650 synergizes with it. Having the prevalent headphone is a very nice advantage indeed .

I love the detail and how these headphones provide the right amount of kick in the bass without being excessive. I also don't being slightly veiled to an extent- it helps make my screechy female vocalists like Joanna Newsom and Bjork more manageable :P. If you find this type of sound "boring" then I propose that you are listening to boring music :P.

On another note, there's a reason why everyone who doesn't own one of these bashes or distinguishes their headphones from them- because they are the headphones to beat.
post #115 of 19166
2 years on, I still love my HD650 setup, hardly read the headphones forum anymore as no other cans interest me (except for the HD700 talk) it's the amp/source upgrades that are bugging me especially knowing how well the HD650 scales up with equipment!
post #116 of 19166

It Depends...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rover View Post
I've had HD600 for many years and I've thought of upgrading to HD650 for many times, but is it really worth it. I'm quite happy with HD600 but does anybody have first hand experience of this upgrade?
As you likely have read... over... and over... and over... you may like the HD650's better... if... you like a darker sound... or if... you have a DAC and amp and cables which "synergize" with them to brighten them up a lot (e.g. Monoarchy M24 DAC, XCAN v3 or GL/PSU, or GS-1, WA3, or...).

Otherwise... you're likely to prefer the HD600's.
post #117 of 19166
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
I gotta admit, the HD650 sounds amazing with good vinyl. An eye-opening experience, really. They totally defy their price tag with a top-notch source, amp, and the Zu Mobius cable. I always thought they represented a great value in hifi, but I never heard them open up like this, until now - making a good buy even better. I'd feel pretty confident putting them up against any sub-$2K headphone in my current SOTA/SDS rig.
Are you sure that it doesn't just have great synergy with your Sapphire?
post #118 of 19166
this thread should be much longer. don't tell me the 650 has achieved ibud status...
post #119 of 19166
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
this thread should be much longer. don't tell me the 650 has achieved ibud status...
Well there are probably several other HD650 appreciation threads out there also.
post #120 of 19166

Another HD650 convert

Want to add my $.02 to this thread....

Background
I'm a total newbie to the realm of 'good' headphones. I'm not new to the experience of good sound, as I've enjoyed good home theater sound for years. My current home theater conists of Axiom and SVS speakers, Emotiva amps, and Pioneer Elite sources. It is, IMHO, a great sounding system for a modest amount of money. While I have not had the luxury of owning uber-buck stereo equipment, I have a few friends that do own $50k+ stereo setups (yes, stereo; no TV, no surround sound, just 2 channels) and so I know what audiophile level systems sound like. I've also spent some time with a $150k+ Dynaudio system.

Choices
I decided I wanted a semi-portable rig. My recent headphone experience up to this point has been a pair of Sennheiser PX100's in my office, a pair of Shure E3C's for mowing the lawn or working out, and my wife's pair of Shure E2C's. I decided to purchase the AKG 701's and HD650's, based on discussions here and elsewhere. Yes, I realize there are a half-dozen other models I could/should have considered, but I didn't. For Jazz + Classical music, these two cans were most often mentioned as 'the best'. I don't feel that I could justify the cost of keeping both pairs, so one is being returned to the store. I knew I'd need amplification, and so I went the budget route and picked up a PA2V2 and a Total Bithead. I know these are not considered the 'proper' caliber of amp to drive these headphones, but it's a start. I also knew I'd be using my iPod as a source from time to time, and so I picked up an ALO Bling Bling dock.

Setup
I know the AKG's infamously need a lot of break-in time, and so I played them for almost 2 weeks straight, repeating through my iTunes playlist. I do think they sound a litle different now, with a touch more bass and possibly, ever-so-slightly calmed down highs.

Conclusion
So here's the deal. I've been playing with these headphones now for a couple of weeks. Switching amps, switching sources (PC vs SACD vs iPod), and switching cans. Regardless of the 'it's too veiled' and 'too warm' arguments, to my ears, the HD650's are the keepers.

Thoughts
Testing has been tough. Both cans are superb. While I dig the retro-chic look of the AKG's better than the plain-jane HD650's, I can't escape the fact that the HD650's are just more pleasing to listen to. When I'm listening to the HD650's, I'm carried away on the music. I forget that I'm listening to headphones. The world melts away. I'm not too macho to admit that the HD's have brought a tear to my eye on certain songs. The AKG's don't do that. When listening to the AKG's, I find myself more involved with the technicalities of the recording. I fully appreciate and understand that the AKG's are probably more revealing headphones. They demand high-end components, perfect sources, and a critical ear to enjoy them. I won't disagree that they need better amplification than I have. They are not for the faint-of-heart, as they will render every 128kb MP3 as a whimpering mess of compression artifacts. They will also reveal every microscopic detail in a recording and thrust it upon center stage and force you to take notice. I've come to my own conclusion that unrelenting detail is not the be-all, end-all of headphone superiority.

The HD650's don't thrust anything on you, they just present wonderfully rich and velvety sound. The AKG's are fantastic for picking up the sound of a mouse burping backstage, and some people like that. The HD650's are fantastic for making the music sound real, full, and lush. All of those details that the AKG forces you to notice are clearly present with the HD's, they're just not thrust upon you. I am extremely impressed at how good the 650's sound, even with these 'mediocre' amps. I can plainly hear the difference between the iPod alone vs. iPod + amp, and so I suspect they would benefit even further from a better amp. But that's the rub, I don't think they absolutely require an expensive amp, sources, cables, etc. And that's why I'm keeping them and returning the AKG's.

With these 650's, I can simply sit back, grab a cold beverage, and enjoy my own personal concert. The 650's give me a musical-emotional experience more similar to that of the uber-buck stereo systems that I've experienced. And that, in my book, dictates the best headphone for me.
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