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Sennheiser hd-650 or Hifiman he-400

post #1 of 124
Thread Starter 
Hi

I have he-400 on a 14 day money back return but I have not listened to the 650s

I find he-400 heavy and uncomfortable but love the sound I am in a dilemma what would you thoughts be? would I lose out a lot in base response and general sound quality
post #2 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke- View Post

Hi
I have he-400 on a 14 day money back return but I have not listened to the 650s
I find he-400 heavy and uncomfortable but love the sound I am in a dilemma what would you thoughts be? would I lose out a lot in base response and general sound quality

 

Heya,

 

Between the two, I prefer the HE-400 by a margin. The HD650 is boring to me, the treble is dim and the bass is mostly mid-bass, but not all that bassy in general (just bassier/warmer than a straight neutral headphone). The HE-400 has those planar mids, wonderful pounding bass and a gentle sparkle in the treble. I found the HE-400 to be comfortable enough to wear, not that heavy. But I'm also used to the HE-500 which is heavy. The HD650 to me was actually less comfortable because it just clamps so much until you really wear down the headband's tension. If you want some alternatives, I'd suggest the Denon D5000 or perhaps a Beyer DT990.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 124
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply.

Think I am going to put up with the weight just to keep the sound of these,I might even buy some used 650s in the future just to try them.
post #4 of 124

You do lose out on a good bit of bass when moving to HD650.  If you really want comfort and bass at that price point, Denon D5000 would be your best bet.  However you lose the open airy sound and I'm sure you lose a good bit of detail and speed that comes natural with a planar driver as well.

post #5 of 124

would HD 650 work better with base boost in cMoyBB?

post #6 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by litster View Post

would HD 650 work better with base boost in cMoyBB?

 

HD650 is simply not a bassy headphone by design.  If you look at an FR chart for it, it has a very early and steep rolloff of the bass.  It isn't a weakness but an intention of the sound signature.  Certainly a bass boost/eq would increase the presence of bass, but it still won't change the slope rolling it off without some heavy parametric or even GEQ at the low end to compensate the curve. Nature of the beast.

 

I'm at the point that I like my HD650 and my HE-400 equally for different reasons now, and D5k trails behind them for preference, however they are king for certain genres.

 

But one does not expect much sub-bass or treble sparkle out of HD650, it's designed not to provide it.  Instead it packs everything into the mids and delivers a wonderfully smooth and clean midrange performance without the fatiguing aspects.  It's not the most "fun" sound, but it's remarkably clean and pleasant.  Two different things, and that's why I can't choose which I like better.

 

I will say I'm enjoying 650 much more with my current cable. I'll leave that at that since it's a hot topic, always, but I do have to qualify my statements about HD650 at this point stating that I'm using a silver cable and that is swinging my observations (or isn't depending on where one stands on that front.)

 

Also, I know Raven has commented before that he found HE-400 and HD650 very similar.  I somewhat disagree with that and find that they may have similarities in some areas but are generally very different in presentation.

post #7 of 124

I think you'll have a hard time finding good low end extension out of open dynamics in general, unless their drivers have lots of surface area.  Most of them you'll see to have a bass rolloff starting at 70-80z, and their low end distortion skyrockets the lower they go.  So you could bass boost an open dynamic to give you some more volume at the lowest octaves, but it won't be without distortion.  Planar magnetics are a different story, though.  Closed dynamics have the advantage that they're able to pressurize better because less sound leaks out.

 

 

As for HD650 having sub-bass rolloff by design-- eh, maybe.  I wouldn't consider a lack of sub-bass relevant to a supposed 'laid-back' sound signature.  Sub-bass in of itself is rather pleasing anyways, and it's not as intrusive as say, upper mids or lower treble.  For what it's worth, I found the HD650 to extend the best out of all of sennheiser's open headphones except for the HD800, which rivals the HE-400.


Edited by TMRaven - 5/22/12 at 10:36am
post #8 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I think you'll have a hard time finding good low end extension out of open dynamics in general, unless their drivers have lots of surface area.  Most of them you'll see to have a bass rolloff starting at 70-80z, and their low end distortion skyrockets the lower they go.  So you could bass boost an open dynamic to give you some more volume at the lowest octaves, but it won't be without distortion.  Planar magnetics are a different story, though.  Closed dynamics have the advantage that they're able to pressurize better because less sound leaks out.

 

 

As for HD650 having sub-bass rolloff by design-- eh, maybe.  I wouldn't consider a lack of sub-bass relevant to a supposed 'laid-back' sound signature.  Sub-bass in of itself is rather pleasing anyways, and it's not as intrusive as say, upper mids or lower treble.  For what it's worth, I found the HD650 to extend the best out of all of sennheiser's open headphones except for the HD800, which rivals the HE-400.

 

Generally true.  K702 has excellent sub-bass extension.   Not much presence, mind you, but very flat relatively low extension absolutely.  I would say in terms of extension K702 is par with HE-400, but at a fraction of the actual presence and slam.  HE-500 extends even lower than HE-400, but of course has, by design, less presence as well. 

 

I disagree about sub-bass and laid back sound.  Sub-bass can be very distracting, despite being pleasing.  That's why stage monitors and stage IEMs such as UE tend to roll sub-bass as well.  The mids let you focus on the parts (for production purposes) you need to focus on, and not the distracting highs and lows that contain little relevant (production) information.  The HD650 is laid back precisely because it has rolloffs where it does.  And yes, I'm aware you'll always disagree with me on that wink.gif  And yes, physical driver size has much to do with it.  Planars have huge drivers.  Denons have pretty large drivers compared to most dynamics as well.   K70x defies the rule.  HD800's driver is much more like a planar than a dynamic, right down to the square waveform, so it's perfectly sensible for it to be capable of doing much of what any planar does.  Though I think it does have a lot to do with voicing as well.

post #9 of 124
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Another quick question just been looking on the net and noticed that I can get the denon Ah-7000
For more or less the same price, because I find the comfort a issue with 400sI was wondering if the denon would be better and similar in the sound department ,I don't want a bright headphone
Just one I can listen to and not get fatigued.

And would the denon work ok with a ray Samuel tomahawk amp ?

Sorry for all the questions just new to the headphone game .
post #10 of 124

Nope HE-400 is pretty warm/dark.  You won't get much more of a fatigue-free headphone than that.  I even consider the HD650 to be more fatiguing-- especially when listening to bright masterings in the first place.  I wouldn't consider the Denons bright headphones.  If anything they're dark thanks to a good bit of bass presence and recessed upper-midrange that would otherwise make their mids aggressive compared to other neutral headphones.  Their lower treble however, can be bright depending on recording.  It's just the nature of a u-shaped response.

 

As for comfort, it really depends on what you value in comfort.  The Denons have an extraordinary fit and very low clamping pressure-- which also means they don't really get sweaty even though they're pleather.  However they still can get warm, which is something any closed headphone lacks in comparison to something completely open.

 

 

 

As for something like AKG701 having sub-bass extension to rival the Hifmans, I really question it even if I havn't heard the AKGs.  Objective measurements and graphs say otherwise, and having a small amount of low-bass presence isn't the same as having an even amount compared to upper bass and mids.  I remember even reading about people saying the AD700 had some of the best low bass extension out of most headphones they've tried when I was researching bass extension topics on head-fi.

 

Sub-bass shouldn't be distracting, by nature of our hearing it's considerably quieter compared to upper midrange around 3-5khz and lower treble.  But if people don't like having an ear massage that's on them.  :)  Oh well, guess everyone will always have a different opinion.

post #11 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke- View Post

Hi,
Another quick question just been looking on the net and noticed that I can get the denon Ah-7000
For more or less the same price, because I find the comfort a issue with 400sI was wondering if the denon would be better and similar in the sound department ,I don't want a bright headphone
Just one I can listen to and not get fatigued.
And would the denon work ok with a ray Samuel tomahawk amp ?
Sorry for all the questions just new to the headphone game .

 

I wish I had a Ray Samuels amp when I was new to the headphone game.... bigsmile_face.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Nope HE-400 is pretty warm/dark.  You won't get much more of a fatigue-free headphone than that.  I even consider the HD650 to be more fatiguing-- especially when listening to bright masterings in the first place.  I wouldn't consider the Denons bright headphones.  If anything they're dark thanks to a good bit of bass presence and recessed upper-midrange that would otherwise make their mids aggressive compared to other neutral headphones.  Their lower treble however, can be bright depending on recording.  It's just the nature of a u-shaped response.

 

As for comfort, it really depends on what you value in comfort.  The Denons have an extraordinary fit and very low clamping pressure-- which also means they don't really get sweaty even though they're pleather.  However they still can get warm, which is something any closed headphone lacks in comparison to something completely open.

 

 

 

As for something like AKG701 having sub-bass extension to rival the Hifmans, I really question it even if I havn't heard the AKGs.  Objective measurements and graphs say otherwise, and having a small amount of low-bass presence isn't the same as having an even amount compared to upper bass and mids.  I remember even reading about people saying the AD700 had some of the best low bass extension out of most headphones they've tried when I was researching bass extension topics on head-fi.

 

Sub-bass shouldn't be distracting, by nature of our hearing it's considerably quieter compared to upper midrange around 3-5khz and lower treble.  But if people don't like having an ear massage that's on them.  :)  Oh well, guess everyone will always have a different opinion.

You know, I still wonder if you've ever actually heard HD650 or if someone slapped some HD600 drivers in a graphite colored shell and told you they were HD650s confused.gif  Everything you've said in contrast to HD650 (referring to our dialogue in Matt's thread) seems to be the absolute opposite of everything HD650 is.  Including your questioning of why it's called laid back and your mention of it's upper mids energy.  You're the second person this week to call HD650 fatiguing, and that person (tdockweiler) I also questioned if he had it confused with HD600 (which in his case, he does also own.)  I agree that HE-400 is non-fatiguing and that the Denons can be more fatiguing, however I'd still say the HD650 is the undisputed champion of non-fatiguing listening and even HE-400 can't come close in that regard.  It's the second closest, but from a distance.  Even with a flipping silver cable it's still less fatiguing! biggrin.gif  Not that HE-400 is really fatiguing at all, but it could become fatiguing faster than HD650 from where I stand.  Every time you talk about HD650 I have the same reaction: "Huh?" confused_face_2.gif   Maybe it really was HD650 you heard, maybe you just hear it differently, or just word the descriptions differently, but the more you talk about them and the more unusual statements you have about them (and I know your hearing of headphone responses is usually very good), the more I question if you had a funky 650 of some kind which has skewed your estimation of them somehow.  (I'm not saying you're wrong in what you hear, I just always get confused.  You're the only person I've ever heard apply certain attributes to HD650, and most of those attributes pertain well to HD600.)  Unless you're talking about the early black-screened HD650.  I haven't heard those, and you could very well be right about those, I couldn't say. But supposedly those were darker still.)

 

Regarding Denons, I don't know about D7k with their u-shaped curve, but D5k (which should have a similar, if less tamed, upper-end) has quite a bit of sparkle and I would say is strongly more bright than HE-400 or HD650.  They don't fatigue me as fast as K702 though.  I consider D5k outright warm-bright, but with a very strong low-end.  D7k has a somewhat different curve, but that mostly affects mids, not the treble character.

 

Denon comfort.  Most people rave about the comfort.  And they're not bad.  But I find the pads too thin in the front and the force, even slight makes it dig into my cheek as a result.  I have some Lawton pads on order that should remedy that for me though.

 

Regarding K702 bass, the FR charts show it as relatively flat.  It may have been exaggeration to say it's similar extension to HE-400, but it's a heck of a lot closer than HD650 in the sub-bass department.  Most folks complain about AKG as bass-light, but they're really pretty bass-flat and definitely have some good sub-bass extension even if it is relatively quiet, it's still perceptibly present.  Listening to pipe organ on the AKGs won't be as satisfying as on the Denons, or as forceful as the HE-400, but it'll still have a lot more deep resonance than on HD650, and is shocking for a fully open small-driver dynamic. I'm not saying I'd pick them for bass-heavy music given my collection though wink.gif

post #12 of 124
I only can say what you already most likely got from previous posts if you want bass of HE-400 plus comfort D5000 are the way to go
post #13 of 124

Tdockweiler is one of the people on the forum's whose voice I usually respect.  Also for what it's worth, I've heard nearly all of what Sennheiser has to offer at my local hi-fi store.  I know I never delved into a long and in-depth comparison of HD650 vs HD600 with my own gear, but first impressions of the two at the store were that they were very similar.  I think first impressions do this little story better anyways, as in-depth comparisons would for sure make the user aware of the tiny differences between any headphone.  I also am of the thought that being laid-back is 80% characteristic of the recording being used instead of the headphone anyways.

 

FR charts show the K701/2's bass to roll-off just as much as HD650 with as pathetic of a 30hz square wave as well.  But objective measurements aside I have no reason to not take your word for their sub-bass prowess over the HD650.  Other HD650 fans would have led me to believe the HD650 would be my final headphone with its 'glorious' bass extension.  

post #14 of 124
Unfortunately I'm the one who learned what I was missing by having HD650 after hearing HE-400 or D5000 bass for just less than 2 minutes
post #15 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Tdockweiler is one of the people on the forum's whose voice I usually respect.  Also for what it's worth, I've heard nearly all of what Sennheiser has to offer at my local hi-fi store.  I know I never delved into a long and in-depth comparison of HD650 vs HD600 with my own gear, but first impressions of the two at the store were that they were very similar.  I think first impressions do this little story better anyways, as in-depth comparisons would for sure make the user aware of the tiny differences between any headphone.  I also am of the thought that being laid-back is 80% characteristic of the recording being used instead of the headphone anyways.

 

FR charts show the K701/2's bass to roll-off just as much as HD650 with as pathetic of a 30hz square wave as well.  But objective measurements aside I have no reason to not take your word for their sub-bass prowess over the HD650.  Other HD650 fans would have led me to believe the HD650 would be my final headphone with its 'glorious' bass extension.  

 

Me too.  I do have some differences of opinion in terms of preferences with him, most notably he really likes the Headroom Micro and is a big fan.  I strongly dislike mine.  However his is the newer generation while mine is the old original one, so it's very possible it's a very different amp inside.  However I credit him with being one of the strongest influences in getting me to examine the cable debate again. 

 

HD650 vs HD600 do have a lot of similarities, most people wrongly guess they're the same driver in fact.  However the drivers do fit into each others mounts which is the source of much confusion.  On the other hand I do think 650 has more sensitivity to amps than most (thus the old $10k source chains for 650), and on my old Headroom Micro I did find it much more fatiguing than on anything else.  Since tdockweiler is such a big fan of his Micro, perhaps they haven't changed it much and that's why he commented on it being fatiguing wink.gif

 

But when it comes to HD650, while of course a recording could be more laid back than another, 650 has that unique characteristic of making everything laid back.  I'm not sure if it was in a thread you were in that I mentioned the term I made up for metal played on HD650: "Lounge Metal" biggrin.gif  It has the distinct ability to make even metal sound ambient and relaxing.  Cabling can wake it up a bit though, but like I said, I still don't find it fatiguing with silver (which is something I was afraid would happen, and Drew at Moon was ready to boot me after all the checking I did on the matter.  It all worked out in the end, and it didn't make it fatiguing.)   How long ago did you hear the Senn lineup at your hi-fi store?  And how long ago did they set up the demo?  It makes me wonder if it was indeed the black silk screen. 

 

The K702 graph shows a slower rolloff than the ancient K701 graph you had at first. I wonder how the Q701 graph runs?  My K702's are newish production, they could well be using the new Q drivers in them by now.  The Q drivers that "haven't changed..."   But yeah, I hear you on HD650's reputation for its bass being over-stated by far.  It has one of the more anemic bass curves out there but that psychoacoustic midbass hump was expertly designed, one has to admit wink.gif

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