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sennheiser hd650....

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, i have the chance to either buy an IE8 or HD650's, but i can't afford an amp so which one should i go for? will the hd650 sound better than the ie8 with no amp? or Vice-versa?

post #2 of 23

Well, you should really also think about how you'll be using these cans. The IE8 has some isolation and is not the most comfortable of IEMs. The HD650 is a full-size, open can that can only really be used properly in a quiet environment. Clearly, both phones are intended for very different situations.


Back to your questions - The IE8 requires no additional amp, it sounds as good out of a Sansa Clip+ as it does out of a Graham Slee Voyager. It is a very easy to drive IEM. The HD650, on the other hand, with its 300 ohm impedance, will most likely require some additional amplification to be driven properly.

Edited by jupitreas - 7/26/11 at 5:58am
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

i wasnt asking about which situations which would be best in, but if you were in complete quite, which would sound better, un amped?

post #4 of 23

Well, one is an IEM and one is a full-size open can, you can't really compare them.

With this said, personally, I'd say that the IE8 would do better unamped than the HD650. The HD650 has an overall better sound (amongst the best in fact) but it requires an amp to really appreciate it. Your mileage may vary though.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

ahh ok thanks dude, its just i can get them both for the same price, so i think ill go for the ie8's :)

post #6 of 23

Do you have the option to audition them with your source? If you do, this is really the best thing you can do, you'll know for yourself.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

thats the thing, i dont :/

post #8 of 23

Really? I don't think the IE8 can compare to the 650 even unamped.. I only auditioned the 650 amped and own the 600, which is supposedly easier to drive, but I notice only a slight improvement with amp while the IE8 just sounds muddy in comparison. and IEMs are not as comfortable as full size cans (if even they can be called comfortable) and could irritate your ear canals.

post #9 of 23

Its not really possible to compare an IEM with a full-size can anyway. Nevertheless, both the IE8 and HD650 are amongst the best in their categories. I personally didn't find the IE8 to ever sound muddy (at the lowest bass setting). The HD650 (when amped) also has a slight mid-bass hump, like the IE8 does and could also be described as dark, much like the IE8 can.


The thing is that the HD650 is really hard to drive by most consumer equipment and will not sound good that way. Given that the OP is not planning on purchasing an amp, the IE8 seems like the better option since it will perform at the top of its abilities with most sources.

post #10 of 23

It's like a dilemma between VW Golf and Mercedes S-class. But with restricted fuel-funds. :)

post #11 of 23

Hmm, YMMV. I like the sound of balanced armatures, so anything dynamic sounds somewhat muddy to me. Agree that overall they are top-tier universals though and share the Sennheiser house sound.

Also, the HD650 will probably not sound too bad unamped. I guess there are two questions for the OP: Are you comfortable with listening to IEMs for the whole of you listening sessions? And do you plan to buy a better source and better amp in the near future? A good amp from a good source will improve the sound of course, but if OP does want to upgrade later, I see no point in restricting him to an IEM unless he needs it to be portable. OP, why not consider other headphones as well?

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

i have a £200 budget, roughly 330 USD, and for that price i can either get a new pair of IE8's or a second hand hd650's.So im just seeing which sounds better un amped.

Edited by masuuuuud - 7/27/11 at 3:43am
post #13 of 23

$140 for Shure SRH-840 + $190 for some amp. Such investment will beat both unamped cans you've chosen biggrin.gif

HD650 are far better than the IEMs but they have 300ohm impedance. Unamped will sound bad.

Edited by brat - 7/27/11 at 3:58am
post #14 of 23

Perhaps the OP is into the Sennheiser sound, a pair of Shure cans won't satisfy him since they have a completely different sound signature. I can see that you have a Shure SRH-840, but perhaps this option might not be the best for everyone. I know I wouldn't go for them personally.

post #15 of 23

OP, with your budget, why don't you buy something cheaper and save some money? A lot of the search for the best headphone is indeed about the journey after all.. explore other headphones (buy entry level headphones, they can give you a general impression of the brand's house sound), or if you like Senn's, maybe a used 580 modded to be similar to the 600? Or why not open a thread in the headphones section or post in the ask for headphones advice thread stating budget, headphone style, music preferences etc? People here are willing to help, you know.

Originally Posted by brat View Post

$140 for Shure SRH-840 + $190 for some amp. Such investment will beat both unamped cans you've chosen biggrin.gif

HD650 are far better than the IEMs but they have 300ohm impedance. Unamped will sound bad.

Sorry if I seem like a real nagger in this thread, but I definitely wouldn't recommend buying an amp that costs a deal more than sub 200$ headphones. Personally, I haven't heard the Shure SRH-840, but unless you have directly compared the Shures amped (suggestion for an amp would be appropriate too) with the 650 and the IE8, I think that is a misleading claim. Sub 200$ headphones generally are easy to drive and do not benefit much from amping. Also even for 190$, decent amps are hard to find.


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