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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 180

post #2686 of 36831

Everyone should remember that your headphone experience will *never* match the FR graph.  Not only is the graph generated using a test head with mics in ear canals that aren't shaped like yours (and probably cause the big spikes and dips that always seem to be near 4 or 8 KHz on almost all phones, odd huh?), but also your amps will have different output impedance from the test amp.

 

In most test systems I've worked with, the source impedance is usually less than 1 ohm, often a lot less.  If you have a receiver, you might have 300 ohm output impedance, which will cause a signifant (as in 1-3 db) increase in bass as well as bumps in other areas of the frequency spectrum.  

 

I post this a lot on head fi because many people don't understand that there is a mathematical relationship between the ratio of amp output impedance to headphone impedance, and unless you have an ortho with a very flat impedance curve, the ratio of output impedance to headphone impedance has a real effect on sound... 

 

Happy reading for the curious (it's an easy read, and informative)...

 

http://www.avguide.com/blog/why-headphone-amps-sound-different-frequency-responseimpedance-issues

 

 

post #2687 of 36831

I received my K701s this morning.  Bought 'em used off the FS forum, so they're all broken in.  The first thing I noticed was that there are more similarities between the HD650s and the K701s than there are differences.  Now onto some [subtle] differences.

 

Overall, the K701s are airier, they capture the feeling of live recordings better than the 650s on my chain.  On the K701s, there's more space surrounding the vocalists / performers, and because of this, you're able to pick out details easily.  I wouldn't call them analytical, which seems to imply some sort of artificial detail reproduction.  The 650s in comparison lack that sense of air, the details are present but overlap at times.  The K701s disappear more often & are holographic.  This airiness becomes a weakness on some tracks where intimacy and lushness are required.

 

When I A/Bed to compare vocals, something about the HD650s vocals sound more natural than the K701 vocals, which sound a bit...different.  It's something I would never have noticed if I didn't have the HD650s around.  I'm able to track vocals better on the K701s though, probably because there's better separation between the vocalist and the other performers.

 

That brings me to the bass.  It's ample for all but a few tracks.  I find that the same way eyes adjust to low light, the ears quickly adjust to the K701s and their bass presentation.  I rarely found it lacking, but when I did, it was noticeable.  I've never found the HD650 bass lacking.  The bass on the K701s is very detailed, and the separation and airiness works here.  There's some very deep deep bass on Inception OST's "Paradox" track that the K701s don't overlap at all but the HD650s do a bit.

 

OSTs, classical, and ambient music can be haunting on the K701s.  Based on all I've read, I think most of the strengths of the K701s will be matched by the HD650s after I move onto a better DAC & amp, since most of it's weaknesses have to do with dimensionality, imaging and that sense of air on my set-up.    After trying the AKGs I can say the HD650s aren't veiled at all, they have just as much presence as the K701s do.  I had to change to a warmer op-amp with the K701s to keep fatigue at bay.  Radiohead, the Smashing Pumpkins, and some other alternative and progressive bands do really well with the K701s.


Edited by sphinxvc - 3/15/11 at 9:16pm
post #2688 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

The first thing I noticed was that there are more similarities between the HD650s and the K701s than there are differences.  

 

 

Hmmm. Personally I couldn't imagine two more different headphones. I had the K701 for two weeks, but that was only to burn them in and see if anything changed. It didn't, so off they went. Eek.  

post #2689 of 36831

Quote:

Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
Hmmm. Personally I couldn't imagine two more different headphones. I had the K701 for two weeks, but that was only to burn them in and see if anything changed. It didn't, so off they went. Eek.  


I've donned some Denon D7000s & Grado RS1s and you could immediately tell you were wearing different phones [compared to the 650s].  With that in mind I'd say there are more similarities than differences in the tonal balance both the K701s & HD650s try to achieve, with the HD650s having a slight bias towards the low-end and the K701s having a slight bias towards the top. 

post #2690 of 36831

Nice impressions sphinx. How'd Moon go in balancing out the K701's signature?

post #2691 of 36831

Quote:

Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

Nice impressions sphinx. How'd Moon go in balancing out the K701's signature?


Really well.  No fatigue at all as opposed to the 4627 & Earth.  With it's defined soundstage, the 4627 has better synergy with the 650s.  Found the Earth far too sterile.  I can tell the 701s could be magical on some tubes.  


Edited by sphinxvc - 3/16/11 at 9:19am
post #2692 of 36831

Has anyone come across any alternative ear pads for the HD650s?  The K701, LCD-2 & Sony MDR-R10 ear pads are all angled.  The HD800 has straight ear pads [like HD650s] but has angled drivers.  Are there any slightly angled ear pads out there for the HD650?

 

 

post #2693 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Has anyone come across any alternative ear pads for the HD650s?  The K701, LCD-2 & Sony MDR-R10 ear pads are all angled.  The HD800 has straight ear pads [like HD650s] but has angled drivers.  Are there any slightly angled ear pads out there for the HD650?

 

 



I've never seen or heard of any. The 650s were designed to sound optimal with the pads that they have. They already have great center focus and imaging, so I personally believe angling would do more harm than good, but hey I could be wrong. You can try it out by compressing the front of the earpads (both equally).

 


Edited by Shahrose - 3/16/11 at 10:02am
post #2694 of 36831
There's that little rocker hinge built into each side that lets you angle the earcup slightly one way or the other. I find my HD650 is slightly more comfortable if after I put it on I angle them to make less pressure behind my ear and more in front of my ear (like Shahrose's suggestion of compressing the front of the cushion). However, I noticed a definite loss in clarity of the soundstage illusion when I do that. So I just leave them in the normal position they settle into when I put them on.

But then again my head and ears may be shaped differently than other people's.
post #2695 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Quote:


I've donned some Denon D7000s & Grado RS1s and you could immediately tell you were wearing different phones [compared to the 650s].  With that in mind I'd say there are more similarities than differences in the tonal balance both the K701s & HD650s try to achieve, with the HD650s having a slight bias towards the low-end and the K701s having a slight bias towards the top. 


Hmmm. Perhaps the word "slight" has different meanings in our respective dictionaries. confused.gif  Your basic assessment is correct, just not the degree of it.
 

 

post #2696 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

  Are there any slightly angled ear pads out there for the HD650?

 

 


 

I have made the stock pads slightly angled with a cheap & dirty way:

There is a small void between the internal rim of pads and the baffle of the ear speaker. I have just put there a folded piece of cotton cloth. Now the back of the ear pads are slightly thicker than the front. This brings the stereo presentation a little forward, but not very much.

I am still experimenting with the amount of cloth. The sure thing is that if I put too much and angle the pads too much there is indeed a loss of glarity. But maybe this will be fixed by carefull equalization.  

 

Does anyone knows the exact angle used by the HD800/LCD-2 etc?


Edited by plin - 3/16/11 at 4:47pm
post #2697 of 36831
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Quote:


I've donned some Denon D7000s & Grado RS1s and you could immediately tell you were wearing different phones [compared to the 650s].  With that in mind I'd say there are more similarities than differences in the tonal balance both the K701s & HD650s try to achieve, with the HD650s having a slight bias towards the low-end and the K701s having a slight bias towards the top. 

Similar to the 701...?


My new HD 650s arrived today, packaged very handsomely and sparkling new (came direct from Sennheiser-drop-shipped). I have been in high-end audio since the late '70s, so I know about burn-in and being patient. For example, my AKG 701s are clearly warmer and sweeter now than when new. Having said that, the HD 650s are going to have to change more than most products I have owned to be acceptable. (I did hook them up and listen long enough to do the initial check and start the burn-in.)  Out of the box, they sound like a dull, muddy wet blanket laid over a mid-fi speaker. Sort of like cheap transistor gear sounded in the early '60s. Maybe I have been listening to electrostatic speakers too long to warm-up to this kind of sound? Man, I am hoping for a radical transformation. Keep the faith and all. eek.gif

 

post #2698 of 36831
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreyfranz View Post

Similar to the 701...?


My new HD 650s arrived today, packaged very handsomely and sparkling new (came direct from Sennheiser-drop-shipped). I have been in high-end audio since the late '70s, so I know about burn-in and being patient. For example, my AKG 701s are clearly warmer and sweeter now than when new. Having said that, the HD 650s are going to have to change more than most products I have owned to be acceptable. (I did hook them up and listen long enough to do the initial check and start the burn-in.)  Out of the box, they sound like a dull, muddy wet blanket laid over a mid-fi speaker. Sort of like cheap transistor gear sounded in the early '60s. Maybe I have been listening to electrostatic speakers too long to warm-up to this kind of sound? Man, I am hoping for a radical transformation. Keep the faith and all. eek.gif

 

 

I'm sure you're aware of the fact that you need more time to adjust and acclimate to a new sound signature. You're coming from the K701, so I can't say I'm too surprised with your initial reaction. I see you already know about the relative importance of burn-in. I'd give them approximately 100 hours (4 days) to open up (though changes will be audible much earlier).

 

I recall you confirming that you had suitable equipment to drive the Senns with. May I ask what specifically that gear is? This could be a synergy issue (warm, dark equipment with an already warm and dark pair of cans etc.).
 

Oh and yes, you're definitely spoiled by stats if that's what you're used to. But, I can't see how one would like the K701 and HD580 and not appreciate the HD650 for atleast its technical merit. The 650s are more revealing than both of the other cans so this could be an indication of the quality of the front-end. In any case, I anticipate a change in your opinion of the 650s in the next month or so. Keep us posted!

 


Edited by Shahrose - 3/16/11 at 5:40pm
post #2699 of 36831

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffreyfranz View Post

Similar to the 701...?


My new HD 650s arrived today, packaged very handsomely and sparkling new (came direct from Sennheiser-drop-shipped). I have been in high-end audio since the late '70s, so I know about burn-in and being patient. For example, my AKG 701s are clearly warmer and sweeter now than when new. Having said that, the HD 650s are going to have to change more than most products I have owned to be acceptable. (I did hook them up and listen long enough to do the initial check and start the burn-in.)  Out of the box, they sound like a dull, muddy wet blanket laid over a mid-fi speaker. Sort of like cheap transistor gear sounded in the early '60s. Maybe I have been listening to electrostatic speakers too long to warm-up to this kind of sound? Man, I am hoping for a radical transformation. Keep the faith and all. eek.gif

 


I think you're hearing the same thickness or overlapping I speak of with the HD650s.  The K701s in comparison are more airy and every performer on the recording sounds relaxed in their own space without overlapping, not one performer or detail is compromised.  Again, I don't want to over-emphasize these differences - they are in reality subtle.  One thing I'm certain of though is that my amp, the AGD Fun, has reached further into the K701s potential than it has the 650s.  

post #2700 of 36831

Sphinx, I enjoyed with your impressions of the AKG's and Senn's. I agree with everything you said about the 701's. And you also give me a good idea of what I'm expecting from the HD650's, when I get them. Thanks.

 

The KICAS Caliente adds a bit of weight and smoothness to the AKG's...great synergy, for me at least. I heard it is very good with the HD650's, too! Can't wait.

 

 

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