Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Advice concerning bass on HD650's
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Advice concerning bass on HD650's

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi folks. I'm considering setting up a higher quality audio system for headphone listening. I have a number of questions to ask and it would be wonderful to get some opinions from more experienced folks.

As part of the system, I'm looking at procuring some Sennheiser HD650's but am a little concerned about the bass. At the moment, I have Senn. HD555 for home use and HD25-sp for travel or when there's too much external noise. Both are driven by a Bithead 2006. I'll be looking to upgrade source and amplification at some point too, but my questions relating to those are for a different thread. I am pretty certain the Bithead can drive cans up to 150 ohms, but I'm not sure it will do justice to higher impedance phones.

Just to put folks in the picture in terms of my general preferences, let me digress for a second to give my inexpert opinion of the phones I own.

To me, the bass of the HD555's extends very low, but is fairly gutless. It sounds very nice on movie audio tracks. The bass that came out of them while watching Deep Impact was most impressive. IN comparison, the bass on the HD25-sp carries much more impact and I believe it to be a bit higher in quality, but I don't think it extends as low. The sound stage on the 25-sp's is not bad but doesn't compare to the 555's in width or depth.

In moving to more up-market cans, I'd like to have a little more bass compared to the HD25-sp's, but not too much. I'm not a bass head. At least, I always cringe when I hear friends home stereo systems with the sub. cranked up. Before buying the HD25-sp's, I tried out some K81DJ's and I found the bass on those to be way too overpowering for my taste.

So my question is how does the bass on the 650's compare to the 25-sp's in terms of impact and extension? Of course the quality will be higher. I know I'm asking for a comparison between apples and oranges, but the 555 and 25-sp are all I have for a point of reference.

I'm in Chile and haven't yet managed to track down anyone who has a pair of HD650's that I could try. This'll probably be a mail order purchase. Given that I don't mind the Senn. phones I have, I imagine I'l be happy with the HD650's. But the K701 is pretty tempting too.

I have considered other phones such as the DT880 and the K701 as well. I even got to listen to the K701 for a minute or two in a shop in Germany when I was there last year--very nice! It's a shame they didn't have any HD650's at the time. From opinions I've read here, I believe the DT880 would be a bit too bright for me. Heck, I tend to think that movie theatres with their DTS and THX and the rest of that alphabet soup generally have too much trebble for realism and comfort. While the K701 sounded great to me, I am leaning more towards the HD650 at the moment because of the flexibility lent to them by the detachable cable. This leaves a nice future upgrade path in terms of alternative cabling or going balanced without the need for shipping them anywhere. In addition, from reviews I have read here, it seems that bass also isn't a strength of the K701's. I'm looking for something with stronger bass, but not too strong.

The main thing that concerns me about the HD650's is their bass, so I thought I'd seek some advice from folks in the know.

Cheers.
post #2 of 9
The HD-650 has strong low-bass response which is often mistaken or generalised as "bassy" (as in too much mid-bass, which is likely what you are hearing with your friends' HT system and the K81DJs). The mid-bass of the HD-650 as far as I care is clean, about as clean as anything can be. As long as your partner it with an amp that has good power/control, you won't have a problem there. In fact, I love it for listening to music (more emotional than the AKGs) and movies (low-bass rumbles are reproduced effortlessly and with good presence). It may take some time for one to get used to its sound but grow on you it will.

Cheers!
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradman View Post
Hi folks. I'm considering setting up a higher quality audio system for headphone listening. I have a number of questions to ask and it would be wonderful to get some opinions from more experienced folks.

As part of the system, I'm looking at procuring some Sennheiser HD650's but am a little concerned about the bass. At the moment, I have Senn. HD555 for home use and HD25-sp for travel or when there's too much external noise. Both are driven by a Bithead 2006. I'll be looking to upgrade source and amplification at some point too, but my questions relating to those are for a different thread. I am pretty certain the Bithead can drive cans up to 150 ohms, but I'm not sure it will do justice to higher impedance phones.

Just to put folks in the picture in terms of my general preferences, let me digress for a second to give my inexpert opinion of the phones I own.

To me, the bass of the HD555's extends very low, but is fairly gutless. It sounds very nice on movie audio tracks. The bass that came out of them while watching Deep Impact was most impressive. IN comparison, the bass on the HD25-sp carries much more impact and I believe it to be a bit higher in quality, but I don't think it extends as low. The sound stage on the 25-sp's is not bad but doesn't compare to the 555's in width or depth.

In moving to more up-market cans, I'd like to have a little more bass compared to the HD25-sp's, but not too much. I'm not a bass head. At least, I always cringe when I hear friends home stereo systems with the sub. cranked up. Before buying the HD25-sp's, I tried out some K81DJ's and I found the bass on those to be way too overpowering for my taste.

So my question is how does the bass on the 650's compare to the 25-sp's in terms of impact and extension? Of course the quality will be higher. I know I'm asking for a comparison between apples and oranges, but the 555 and 25-sp are all I have for a point of reference.

I'm in Chile and haven't yet managed to track down anyone who has a pair of HD650's that I could try. This'll probably be a mail order purchase. Given that I don't mind the Senn. phones I have, I imagine I'l be happy with the HD650's. But the K701 is pretty tempting too.

I have considered other phones such as the DT880 and the K701 as well. I even got to listen to the K701 for a minute or two in a shop in Germany when I was there last year--very nice! It's a shame they didn't have any HD650's at the time. From opinions I've read here, I believe the DT880 would be a bit too bright for me. Heck, I tend to think that movie theatres with their DTS and THX and the rest of that alphabet soup generally have too much trebble for realism and comfort. While the K701 sounded great to me, I am leaning more towards the HD650 at the moment because of the flexibility lent to them by the detachable cable. This leaves a nice future upgrade path in terms of alternative cabling or going balanced without the need for shipping them anywhere. In addition, from reviews I have read here, it seems that bass also isn't a strength of the K701's. I'm looking for something with stronger bass, but not too strong.

The main thing that concerns me about the HD650's is their bass, so I thought I'd seek some advice from folks in the know.

Cheers.
With a good amp/& or DAC the 650 bass is excellent IMO.. Going balanced takes the 650 bass to a whole new level IMO..
post #4 of 9
The man speaks the truth HD650 scales very well with proper amping and going balanced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kool bubba ice View Post
With a good amp/& or DAC the 650 bass is excellent IMO.. Going balanced takes the 650 bass to a whole new level IMO..
post #5 of 9
I found the 650's bass to be wonderful! In quality and quantity.
post #6 of 9
Looking at the bass question from a slightly different angle. Looking at the graphs of the HD600 and the HD650; it looks as though there is about a 2-3db difference in the bass response.

So...let's see...if I dial in about 3db more bass and take a listen....hmmmmm....cool! Still sounds great to me! Not a whole lot of difference in the bass between HD650 and HD600 and even MS2i. They all have great bass!
post #7 of 9
You state you want "bass, but not to much". Only relative to such cans as the Senns 6XX or RS series and above Grados or the DT-990s would the bass of the 701s be then considered less IME. And to many, this IS too much bass which thru the mid bass colors the 650s to be dark.

Already as you read above and you also mention going fully balanced which would better control the bass of the 650s BUT would increace the 701s bass response which is much more textured and articulate than I experienced with my 650s which will give you the MOST bass with greater impact. All this is amplifier and source dependent of course.

So don't be put off as to think only a few cans can do bass.

Also this will be dependent upon your referance for bass and presentation preference. As well as genere of choice and personal preferance. Butt kicker bass thats the Senns, and there is a cost at doing so, but there is so much more being left out of a cans presentation by looking to that as being the be all end all definition of a referance quality headphone and in my experience, this is where the k701 then begins to shine.

However, I can also understand that is what is of most importance to some as has been voiced.

Good luck making your decision, hope this helps~
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone. Many thanks for the replies. Ok. I guess I've stumbled into a common newbie trap of not realising that when talking about can such as the K701's, HD650's, DT880's, etc., they are all very good and that they substantially differ from cheaper headphones. So, the bass on the HD650's will probably be fine for me, as well as that of the K701's. I've read a lot of very heated discussion about the HD650 and K701 phones on head-fi. They each seem to have their supporters and detractors, but are both excellent cans. So, maybe I need to reserve my absolute final decision on the phones until I've nailed down an amp and DAC, or amp&dac combo. I'll have to keep reading. But thanks for setting my mind at ease about the bass. I should have taken into account when reading about headphones at this level, that people are speaking relative to the price point. Heck, I've read enough discussions and advice from head-fiers pointing out that this is a common mistake and I still went ahead and made it. :-( Oh well. C'est la vie.
post #9 of 9
I've had the HD650 and the K701 for a long time (both), and sources ranging from very poor to great and always in use with a Gilmore Lite, which many consider one of the most neutral amps out there (some consider it marginally bright, if anything). Using the same combinations, and changing the cans only, the K701 most definitely had more response in the 'low' bass, whereas the HD650 has a 'mid' bass hump which makes it sounds so good for orchestral etc, but is not very 'honest', it sweetens everything ever so slightly - enough that I could hear the difference in a matter of seconds when I went back to them after a long stint with the K701. The source WILL make a difference. I have found that with sigma-delta style DACs, the HD650 seems fairly neutral, still with the hump though. With a NOS DAC, the treble recesses too much and the hump is brought out in a bad way. With a K701, a sigma-delta DAC could be considered anywhere from bright to neutral - depends on the person. I find the K701 + Gilmore + NOS DAC to be a great combination. NOS gives a full sound without being bloated (if designed and built well), the amp should only be neutral (in my opinion), and the cans reach high and low enough, and are nimble enough, to keep up with anything I've thrown at them. In case you can't tell, I don't prescribe to the "system balance" way of system building, I believe every component should be as neutral as possible by themselves. Otherwise you're painting yourself in a corner as soon as you buy one 'flavoured' product.

Then again, as you said, both these cans are great, all things considered, and it doesn't matter which you buy, one day you will end up with the other, even if you go back again.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Advice concerning bass on HD650's