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Sennheiser HD650 vs B&W P5

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Im in the marked for a new pair of headphones, im currently using in ear headphones, a pair of shure se 215.

Id like to know if there is a big difference in sound quality between the bowers and wilkins and the sennheisers?

and also how my in ear headphones would compare to both full sized headphones

Thanks

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by niglu93 View Post

Im in the marked for a new pair of headphones, im currently using in ear headphones, a pair of shure se 215.

Id like to know if there is a big difference in sound quality between the bowers and wilkins and the sennheisers?

and also how my in ear headphones would compare to both full sized headphones

Thanks

 

IMO: HD650 is a lot better than B&W P5. There is no comparison. Even unamped, the HD650 sounds better than B&W P5. With a proper amp, the HD650 makes B&W P5 feel puny, small, congested, and decidedly mediocre.

 

And both of them are better than Shure SE215 in any case. IEMs in general have smaller/less soundstage (how spacious your sound is) compared to bigger headphones.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

I thought as much, ive just never had the opportunity to see a pair of sennheisers hd650 in real life so i dont know what they sound like, would I be able to lie down in bead with the sennheisers on? as in lying down on my back 

post #4 of 15
Completely different design purposes and I think, while the poster who responded is correct, that it's an unfair comparison. The P5s are designed to be portable headphones, hell, they even have apple mic controls. The P5s are small headphones (on-ear). The Sennheiser's are open and large. You wouldn't want to walk around with the Sennheiser's; rather, they are a headphone that you use at home in a comfortable recliner. The P5s are good for walking around. They are portable. They don't need an amp to be properly driven; they work off a portable device just fine. I think the P5s are great for what they are designed to do.
post #5 of 15

Yeah, I agree. The P5 is great for what it's built to be.

 

That's why I said there is "no comparison". The HD 650 and P5 are in different "classes" of headphones. One is specifically for home audio (impossible for portable use) and one is for mobile audio (good for home use, great for portable use).

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

What amplifier would i need to buy for the sennheisers?

post #7 of 15

Schiit Valhalla is a favorite around here. 

 

I agree, the P5s are not even close to the sound of the 650s. It's like comparing one of those funny little portable battery-powered speakers to a B&W 800.

post #8 of 15

If you're planning on getting the HD650, you should really look into the HD600. Also a great amp for Sennheiser HD600/650 headphones is the Darkvoice 336se. I thought they sounded really nice together with the HD600 and the 336se

post #9 of 15

ive been reading the schitt lyr pairs well with the hd650's also if you dont mind building your own from a kit the bottlehead crack on the solid state side the vioelectric v200 as for me i cant decide.

post #10 of 15

The P5's aren't audiophile headphones.  The are high end portables that cater to the Apple crowd.  I had them for several months and just couldn't get into them.  They are beautiful, comfortable, have good isolation, and don't sound bad.  But compared to something like the HD650, they just didn't belong.  They were too laid back with poor detail retrieval.  They were certainly easy to listen too, but never sounded musical.

 

As for driving the HD650, they scale pretty well.  If you don't have a good DAC, then you will definitely need one.  Since you haven't given your price range, it is hard to make a recommendation, but a great match for the HD650 is the Nuforce HDP.  Very solid DAC/amp combo.  The Lyr has an incredible amount of power that isn't necessary for the HD650's.  And as with any tube based amp, the detail retrieval doesn't quite match up to a good solid state.  I think because of the laid back signature of the HD650, something with a little more clarity and detail retrieval would work better.  The Violectric is said to be quite warm which might be overkill for the HD650.  

 

And why if he is thinking about the HD650 would he want to look at the HD600 instead?  I have listened to both and prefer the HD650 quite a bit more.  They have a warmth and sweetness that I could listen to for hours.  The HD600's were fatiguing after only 30 minutes for me.  Describe why you like the HD600 better and let the OP judge for himself.  Don't just say one is better than the other.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

The P5's aren't audiophile headphones.  The are high end portables that cater to the Apple crowd. 

Aaaand /thread!

post #12 of 15

I'm going to be  somewhat of a dissenter here based on personal preference 

 

Comparing the two is more like comparing Peanut Butter and Jelly.  I have both and they are as different as could be.

 

The P5s best attribute is a warm personal sound that is great with folk music and acoustic guitar  (James Taylor) They also sound good with 60's and 70's era rock (allman brothers, Mott the Hoople)

 

They suck for classical and electronic music because they are a bit dark and congested sounding.

 

The 650s are great for classical (especially strings) and even have a decent low end for trip hop (massive attack)  They seem a bit indistinct and airy with any aforementioned folk music.

 

I'd figure out what you listen to most and if you can try both out. And I'd ignore the anti apple bias that seems to get associated with anything sold in an Apple store

 

And for the record, my primary portable audio sources are a first gen shuffle and Galaxy SIII

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sno1man View Post

 

And for the record, my primary portable audio sources are a first gen shuffle and Galaxy SIII

And there's your problem. Get a amp for your 650's. You can thank me later.

post #14 of 15

neither the hd600 and hd650 is better than each other, they have a slightly different sound signature i think the hd600 has a slightly flatter frequency response, best to listen to them both.

post #15 of 15
I just happen to own both of those cans - HD650's & B&W P5's. I can tell you that although I love them both, no question at all who is boss - HD650's by far. But keep in mind that is only under audiophile conditions (quiet room & driven by a decent amp). The cool thing about the B&W's is their versatility. You can easily drive them with an iPod or iPhone - you can forget that with the HD650's. As I write this, I'm in bed listening to the P5's because my wife is watching tv right next to me. The HD650's are quite loud to whoever is closeby. The HD650's annoy my wife, plus I can easily hear the tv with the cans on. Also you can take them on a plane or anywhere else. HD650's are way too big for that plus you would need an amp anyhow (and not a portable one - you need serious power). There is actually one area where the P5's are better sonically than the HD650's - well recorded Rick or pop. But that's it. You feed the HD650's with a high Rez signal through good electronics and trust me, your jaw will hang open. They are astonishingly good!
Hope that helps.
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