I really regret buying the HD650s as my first audiophile headphone. I hated everything about them in the laid back sound signature, and it made me give up on Sennheiser until I listened to the HD800s. I don't get why the HD650s are recommended so much, they can be good for classical and jazz but I could never enjoy EDM, rock, metal with them for the life of me.
Yep, I agree fully. I just never understood the rave reviews about the senn 600s/650s (I had both for a long time; still have the 650s).
They always sounded like a cloudy, claustrophobic room to me, and they were too tight and clamping to be able to just put them on and forget them.
I understand what you're saying but I think you're also slightly missing the point - the HD600/650 isn't the best first headphone to get because it's the *best* first headphone you can get.
Some will prefer an ever more laid back sound than the HD600/650, some want it more upfront and faster, some want "beauty", some want "accuracy" and so on.
The beauty about the HD600/650 is that:
1. They are IMHO very good despite what you say - I find them superbly comfortable with a beautiful warm, natural, detailed and yet forgiving midrange.
2. Everyone who's been around audio know what they sound like (and this is the real kicker)
Reason number 2 is also why it's the perfect first serious headphone in much the same way that a BMW M3 is the perfect first serious performance car. You can always ask someone who knows cars and talk about the BMW M3 - it doesn't really matter if it's an old or new model, they've been around for ages and have a very similar feel.
In the case of the M3 you can always go:
"I like the M3 but I'd like something that feels ever grittier with more of a rally feel" --> Try an Impreza STI or Lancer Evo
"I like the M3 but I'd like more bottom end grunt and comfort" --> Try the Audi RS6 or Mercedes E63 AMG
"I like the M3 but I'd like something even more aggressive with a race car feel" --> Try the BMW M3 CSL, Porsche GT3 or Lotus Elise
"I like the M3 but it's not exotic enough, I'd like something that feels really special" --> Try the Audi R8 or Ferrari 360/430
You get the picture - the HD600/650 is the best first headphone in the world not only because they are great but also because they are the best baseline in the world. If you talk about the HD600/650 everyone will know what you're talking about.
Edited by TwoEars - 11/26/12 at 2:29pm