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Hifiman HE-500 versus Sennheiser HD650

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 

How about a comparison of the HD650 and the HE-500? These two cans are close in price, especially once you consider fancy recables.I will soon have both at my home and will try to rapidly burn-in and listen. I will also have upgrade cables (Cardas) for both.

 

Currently I use the LCD2. I'm a bit unhappy with the recessed highs, hence I'm continuing my search. I'll make some comments here about the LCD2 as a middle reference, but what I'm really trying to decide is between the HD650 and the HE500.

 

Despite this minor problem (rolled-off highs) the LCD2 blows me away with its musicality, natural dynamics, ability to imbue dynamic changes with great amounts of feelilng.I would say the LCD2 is a headphone for the man who likes to hang out in his heart.

 

I haven't heard the HE-500. Forum posters here suggest that it has flatter tonal balance across the spectrum. That will be good. But I wonder if it can match the musical dynamics of the LCD2? We'll see.

 

I also read on the forum that people like the imaging of the HE-500 better than the LCD2.

 

I've heard the HD650 with a Sennheiser cable -- have it burning in right now. The musicality and expressive dynamics are good. Quite good. It has greater extension on top than the LCD2. It's missing the bottom octave compared to the LCD2. It's transients are rougher and muddier than the LCD2 --but what do you expect? A planar-magnetic driver can be very fast, and I expect the HE-500 to be so.

post #2 of 68

quote:

I've heard the HD650 with a Sennheiser cable -- have it burning in right now. The musicality and expressive dynamics are good. Quite good. It has greater extension on top than the LCD2. It's missing the bottom octave compared to the LCD2. It's transients are rougher and muddier than the LCD2 --but what do you expect? A planar-magnetic driver can be very fast, and I expect the HE-500 to be so.

---------------------------------------------------------------

 

This was just what I was looking for; Wether it's a good idea to get a set of HD650 instead of the LCD2s. Been using a grado SR80 for the past years but thought they are too harsh, borrowed a set of sennheiser HD580 for a day and realy can't use the grados again. Sounds soo bad and I like the 580s sound :( Figured a set of HD650 might be good while waiting to determine if I shuold get a set of LCD3 or LCD2s?


Edited by DrNope - 8/30/12 at 3:26am
post #3 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNope View Post

quote:

I've heard the HD650 with a Sennheiser cable -- have it burning in right now. The musicality and expressive dynamics are good. Quite good. It has greater extension on top than the LCD2. It's missing the bottom octave compared to the LCD2. It's transients are rougher and muddier than the LCD2 --but what do you expect? A planar-magnetic driver can be very fast, and I expect the HE-500 to be so.

---------------------------------------------------------------

 

This was just what I was looking for; Wether it's a good idea to get a set of HD650 instead of the LCD2s. Been using a grado SR80 for the past years but thought they are too harsh, borrowed a set of sennheiser HD580 for a day and realy can't use the grados again. Sounds soo bad and I like the 580s sound :( Figured a set of HD650 might be good while waiting to determine if I shuold get a set of LCD3 or LCD2s?

With my amps and source, (see signature) I was surprised by how alike in "musical personality" the HD650 and LCD2 were. So what are the differences? Do you want the top octave? only the HD650 has it. want that bottom octave? LCD2 has it. otherwise, what degree of refinement, musicality, etc to you want? they are similar, with the LCD2 taking the lead in refinements. If you are thinking of an upgrade path from the HD650 to the LCD2, you could build your system initially around the HD650, choosing compatible amps and sources. Eventually, take that step up to the LCD2 and chances are, you will already have a well-balanced system.

post #4 of 68

just bought a set with burson HA-160 and burson D-160 DAC. Sort of hoping to be able to persuade my missus to get a set of LCD3, but that is not that likely and I can't think of listening to the grados again, therefor need to find a replacement sooner rather then later.  

Since I hate the highs of the Grados I'm terrified to anything even mentioned as "forward" or "nice shimmer" because I allways assume people think it's nice and open but it's instead only a raised treble. I think the HD580s are "bright" enough, but probably a bit too much in the mids, sounds sometimes a bit thick in male voices, but don't know how they compare to the 650s (and only from 6hours listening, can't really make any comment....). I prefere a nice and good punch from drums (mids), warm sound (lows) over overly detailed treble. I need to be able to listen  to them for most of the day without problems. Love soundstage and an airy presentation and would not like if they sound dull or as if there's a blanket between the headphones and my ear. Veiled I think people call it?

post #5 of 68
Thread Starter 

I now have both the HE-500 and HD650 in my possession, each one a little burned-in. I think it is no-contest the HE-500. They are both surprisingly musical (surprising to me since I have previously not liked Sennheisers or Hifimans). I'm using the Cardas cable with the HD650 and the Cardas Clear cable with the HE-500. That may be a somewhat unfair comparison because the "Clear" is a much more expensive and hopefully much better cable.

 

Of course the HE-500 costs more, but not that much more given how superior it is.

Mike

post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

I now have both the HE-500 and HD650 in my possession, each one a little burned-in. I think it is no-contest the HE-500. They are both surprisingly musical (surprising to me since I have previously not liked Sennheisers or Hifimans). I'm using the Cardas cable with the HD650 and the Cardas Clear cable with the HE-500. That may be a somewhat unfair comparison because the "Clear" is a much more expensive and hopefully much better cable.

 

Of course the HE-500 costs more, but not that much more given how superior it is.

Mike

 

I've never listened to the HD650 but I have an HD600 and when I got my HE-6, my HD600 took a long rest. Out of the box the HE-6 is better. So I wouldn't be surprise if the HE-500 is better than the HD650.

post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post

 

I've never listened to the HD650 but I have an HD600 and when I got my HE-6, my HD600 took a long rest. Out of the box the HE-6 is better. So I wouldn't be surprise if the HE-500 is better than the HD650.

HD 650 sounds much more different than the HD 600. It has a higher number but I wouldn't call it a superior headphone, just different. 

post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

HD 650 sounds much more different than the HD 600. It has a higher number but I wouldn't call it a superior headphone, just different. 

Agree with you. hd 600 sounds more natural than hd650.

post #9 of 68

Had the HD650 and 600 together with the LCD2 Rev1 for a while( and run them all in balanced mode) and it is really no question that the 650(even if it is more coloured) is superior to the 600.

But also,of course,that the LCD2 is so much better than the HD650.

Wanted to keep them all,but listening to the Sennheisers was impossible,when you have the LCD2,so I sold the Sennheisers first and then the LCD2,only to get the LCD3 soon.

Right now I have some Fostex(modified by wje and also balanced)to keep me going and I have to say,they are like a "little brother" of the LCD2!

The HE 500 don't really tempt me because I know that the LCD3 is better....and in better I don't mean necessarily technicalities,graphs etc,just that I like the sound more!
 

post #10 of 68

I have to disagree with your assessment that the HD650s have a more extended treble than the LCD-2s.  I own both, and can say with utmost certainty that the LCD-2 is clearly superior in almost all aspects to the HD650; treble extension, transparency, detail retrieval, bass extension (as you noted), and just overall fluidity to the sound.  The only area where I can say that HD650s may beat the LCD-2s is soundstage width.  Are you using rev 1 or rev 2?  If you're on rev 1, you may want to consider upgrading to rev 2.

post #11 of 68

Also, I have the HE-500s on demo right now, and I do prefer my HD650s over the HE-500s.  I don't know if my demo set is defective or what, but I was very underwhelmed by their sound, especially when compared to the LCD-2.

post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsplice View Post

Also, I have the HE-500s on demo right now, and I do prefer my HD650s over the HE-500s.  I don't know if my demo set is defective or what, but I was very underwhelmed by their sound, especially when compared to the LCD-2.


Thats good to know as I am still hankering for the HE500.One off the list!

post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by silversurfer616 View Post


Thats good to know as I am still hankering for the HE500.One off the list!

Skip the HE-500 go straight to the HE-6 get the proper amplification and dare I say you've

found your audio nirvana. biggrin.gif

post #14 of 68

My goal was so far the LCD3 as I think my Audio GD Phoenix run balanced matches nicely with the Audeze.

And I like the Audeze design more.And I have the balanced ALO chain mail cable sitting around.

And their customer service is outstanding!
 

post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by silversurfer616 View Post

My goal was so far the LCD3 as I think my Audio GD Phoenix run balanced matches nicely with the Audeze.

And I like the Audeze design more.And I have the balanced ALO chain mail cable sitting around.

And their customer service is outstanding!
 

I got to hear my LCD-2 out of the Phoenix was really impressed. But I can't stomach the idea that LCD-3 Phoenix

would beat out  HE-6 speaker taps.

 

But we're splitting hairs here, both or even any LCD-3 setup is sublime. the LCD-3 and Lyr was really great,

but it's off to the next journey. So down the rabbit hole we go!

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