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Headphone Upgrade - Senn 650, 700 or Beyer?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've had a good root through the previous threads and came out more confused than when I went in...

I currently have Sennheiser HD558's which my wife bought me for a birthday a couple of years ago. Nice enough but always felt them a bit lacking in bass extension - read somewhere that they roll off considerably below about 90hz which tallies with my own exp.

I originally used the headphone-out on my Arcam AVR which likely cost about 50 pence and sounds as such. More recently I bought a Lehmann Rhinelander which I'm very pleased with - super-smooth treble and mid range but shows up the lack of bass of the 558's (as the Lehmann is very neutral) so am looking to improve things with new 'phones.

I was considering the HD650's or perhaps the new HD700 but a friend of mine swears by his Beyerdynamic DT990's and so have included them on the shortlist.

I'm not keen on bright or treble-loaded, forward presentation and find the relaxed 'musical' way of the Arcam AVR/CD37 combo just about perfect. I will likely keep the 558's but relegate them to movie duties.

I don't really have the opportunity to test drive any headphones as I don't have a tame dealer anywhere near me any longer so would appreciate peoples experience/comments/advice on the above?

Thanks, Gary.
post #2 of 6

I don't have the DT990s, so I can't give any advice about them


But I do have the DT880s though. After getting the HD650, I can tell you that either

1.) the HD650 is a bit darker than neutral


2.) the DT880s are a bit lighter than neutral


I'm loving both headphones, as they're really different from each other. However, I do find the HD650 a bit more fun to listen to. I don't find myself analyzing the instruments as much with them as I do with the DT880s.


Why don't you try out your friend's DT990? You might like the Beyer sound. If you were going to go the HD700 route, I would also suggest looking into the T1 as well. I heard them at an audition last February and to me they felt like the DT880s but A LOT better. I really enjoyed them, just not their price tag :( 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by IcedTea View Post

Why don't you try out your friend's DT990?


Yeah my friend lives in HK and I'm in UK so that's not an option :(


I think I feel a slight pull towards the HD700, partly because I'm quite brand-loyal and also because they're new and gorgeous to look at :)


Would still invite others to comment one way or the other though - you can never have to much advice! :)

post #4 of 6

Also consider HD 600 as a more neutral & less darker headphone than HD 650.

post #5 of 6

Be aware that DT990 are very bright sometimes even harsh. Also be aware that HD650 are very picky what gear you pairing them with cause i heard them with 5 different setups and they are lacking deep bass most noticeable on classical or jazz. If bass quality is important to you and don't want to pay for overpriced headphones you should add HE-400 to your list or if you can spend more get D5000/7000 while they still available cause they are discontinued

post #6 of 6

I second the Hifiman or the Denons, denons are very euphoric and just benefit from a clean source, they don't need any more colouration, and are wonderfully coloured on there own. 


Slightly recessed mids (more on the D7000 then D2000 for me.) 


You could even grab a modded D2000 from Lawton audio,  since they have a few specials. But I wouldn't go for the DT990... way too bright. and yes the Senns are picky on amps, unlike my denons

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