Well.. I've owned the HD650 for two weeks.. used it daily (so I sense it's pretty well conditioned by now).. and I'm in love with it. There's few, if any, other full sized phones (I've owned) that I've looked so forward to using more than the 650... yes, the 650 slots above the HD800, HE-500, and HD600 in this respect. The HD800 is something else.. an absolutely magnificent achievement.. but it was practically almost distracting in it's 'epic'-ness. The 650 really feels like a blend of many of my favorite parts of the HD600, HD800, and HE-500.. so it's no wonder I seem to enjoy it so much.
I truly feel guilty to have avoided this phone due almost purely to public perception. It's nothing short of stunning, in my book. A/Bing it here with a loaned HD600, it's no contest which is the technically advanced phone.. and more importantly, the one I find more pleasing (the HD650). I still love and appreciate the HD600, but I simply can't go back to listening to it after spending as much time as I have with the HD650. It sounds downright grainy and unrefined, in comparison. Even though the HD600 is a little brighter, I'll take the more composed, more articulate, better detailed treble presentation of the HD650 any day of the week. In addition to the very noticeable increase in refinement over the HD600, the 650's excels in resolving ability, dynamics, and most importantly, stage depth (which, IMO, is the HD600's biggest weakness). To my ears, the 650 possesses a degree of elegance and delicacy that the 600 lacks. Much of this is evident when the 650, which IMO, is a little more amp specific than the HD600, is paired with excellent upstream gear. I think the 600 gets some of it's appeal no only for it's brighter upper mid/treble response, but also cause it's less demanding of well matched upstream gear. That isn't to say the 600 doesn't scale well (it does).. but the 650 possesses a little more magic to my ears when it's paired with great upstream gear.
Seeing the error in my ways of letting public opinion to sway me away from the 650, I decided to buy the only other popular phone that I've avoided for the same reason: the LCD-2r2. Hearing that it's the natural upgrade to the HD650 certainly makes it an easy buy for me too. I'm excited to hear it and see how it stacks up to the HD650. Regardless of how I find it, I can't see myself letting go of the HD650. It simply sounds too impressive (and addictive) off my BH Crack. There may be better phones than the HD650.. and better amps than the BH Crack.. but this combo could go toe to toe w/ practically anything I've heard.. when it comes to sheer enjoyment and immersion.
I shall report back on how the LCD-2 stacks up to the HD650 when it arrives!
Edited by FlySweep - 12/19/13 at 2:25am