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HD580 > HD650?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've long had HD580s as my main headphones, and I like them a lot, but I have a feeling that, over time, they've lost their sparkle. The high end sounds pretty laid back, and I'm not enjoying listening with them as much as I used to.


I'm wondering if it's worth going to HD650s. Is the sound similar? As I understand, the HD650 is a more recent and better can than the HD580.


(FWIW, most of the music I listen on good headphones is classical, but also a fair amount of Grateful Dead.)


The problem for me, when buying headphones, is that I live in a village in the French Alps, several hours from any city where I'd find a dealer to be able to try out different headphones. I like the Sennheiser sound, and I'm tempted to go for the upgrade, rather than explore the many other brands and models in the same price range.


Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.



post #2 of 12

if you research the hd650, you will find that while it might be a more recent addition to the sennheiser line-up, it will not cure your desire to have more "sparkle".

quite the opposite.

it is a laid-back and slightly dark sounding headphone.


it's best to look elsewhere....

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok, so it's not that the HD580s have "faded" over time. That's kind of what I wanted to know. Thanks.

post #4 of 12

It depends... on a lot of factors - "old version" vs "new version," whether they're "de-veiled," what source, what amp, what cable, etc.


I have the "new version" HD580's, de-veiled, with a RAL Cryo-silver cable, driven by my Monarchy Audio M24 Tube DAC / LS, and WA6 SEm... and they're very fast, bright, and clear with lots of sparkle and PRAT - very much like Grados and ATH's. 


My particular pair sound IDENTICAL to the "new version" HD650s I had - with the same setup.  I think mine have identical drivers to the HD650's.


Many have never heard the true sound of their Senns, especially, if they have the "old version."


So... it depends...


Though, I would say... it may be much easier to just get the AD2000's (some consider the best sound available), or RS-1's, if you want about the same sound with "sparkle."  Though, you will still have to be concerned that you have a matching setup. 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've been reading reviews, and the AD2000 is out of my price range; but what about the AD900?


I'd be worried about the Grados not fitting well. I have large ears, and I really like the amount of space on the HD580; the AD900 looks to be similar, but the Grados look quite small.

post #6 of 12

I am not so sure about this new vs old version of the Senns...I did a lot of reading about it and it is inconclusive and probably based on psychoacoustics...

post #7 of 12
I would say it's probably time for a pad upgrade. Over time the pads lose their stiffness and become flatter. The sound quality suffers. You loss bass impact and the highs become dull. IME, the quality of the psds greatly reduces sound quality. One thing about the 650s, they are not dull compared to the 580/600 when properly amped. In fact, they can even have more detail than the 580/600. The problem with those are they require a lot more power than their brothers. Underpowered, they will come off as veiled and boring. They are also very source depended as well. Having said that, i still prefer the 580/600 because they are eaisier to drive and a tad more neutral. They all sound very similar though.
post #8 of 12



I agree with @moodyrn, it's most likely the pads. I bought my SR225 used and after a year the pads began to disintegrate, when I put in new pads I understood why people hated it and why some people hear no difference after break-in (ie, they just left it running, not listening to it, ergo they weren't affecting the pads.) Got to appreciate what the sock mod was for, too. If that doesn't help, how long have you had the HD580 and how old are you then/now? It's also possible your hearing is already losing sensitivity at the top end of the audible range.


post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

The pads? I would never have thought of that. They are very soft indeed. I guess their being soft means they absorb more of the high-end sounds?


I've had them about 8 years, I think. I'm 52, and have some hearing loss at the high end, but I can clearly hear the difference switching between speakers and headphones; the sound from the headphones is not because of my hearing. 


I'll look into replacement pads.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

OK, never mind; they're €48 each, for headphones that cost somewhere over €200. For that price - €96 - I'd rather not just take a chance that it might make a difference.

post #11 of 12

Yes, if the earpads are soft, the driver will be closer to your ears. The closer the driver is, the less highs/sparkles you will hear. 


Replacement earpads are around $43 directly from Sennheiser. Call them up if you need to order a pair of earpads.

post #12 of 12

I just replaced the old soft pads on my 580's and yes...everthing sounds better at both ends.  Definitely replace the pads. 


The 580 drivers are designed to be a certain distance from the ear.    The old, soft pads...allow the drivers to be too close.  



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