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I got my HD650. My Impressions. The "Veil" Demystified

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I just got my HD650 from Amazon.co.uk. rolleyes.gif

 

The cartoon box came. I just noticed the following:

 

- It was padded on top but not padded at the bottom. Any bad handling would damage the contents ....

- The product was dispatched by Amazon.de (Germany) and not Amazon.co.uk, the place where has been ordered from.

- Inside, the main Sennheiser box (silver color) was not sealed with nylon (like most of the products I got until now).

- I took out a very solid, posh wooden storage box containing the HD650 headphones with the 3.5mm to 6.35mm phones plug adaptor. Nothing was sealed with nylon...... Hopefully this is not an item that somebody returned.....

- On the box and on the Unit it writes "Made it Ireland", so it is not as German as it supposed to be.

 

Anyway. My first thing was........... to hear the thing! ksc75smile.gif

 

 

First Use

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I fitted the headphones on my head. I didn't expect them to be so comfortable especially after reading the reviews complaining about the excessive pressure around the head. Personally I found them perfectly padded above head and around ears. It can be adjusted to fit large or small heads. The pressure is not too much and not too little. No need to tweak it or bend it, with the risk of breaking it.

 

Source and Amp

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My source and amp was an old Marantz CDR630, CD Player/Recorder. I think this is a High enough Fidelity unit.....

 

I inserted the plug into the Marantz Headphones Socket. Then I put the the new Kylie Minogue's Single CD - Timebomb in the player and hit "Play".

 

When I first listened to that particular music coming through the Headphones I got scared. All the ramble around the infamous "Veil" was hitting at me.....

 

Treble was thin and bass was covering everything. Generally the sound was impressive but definitely Not Flat. It looked like missing parts especially on the low end of the high frequencies. When I took off the headphones from my head, I asked my self if I was sure I didn't  judge, biased with the "veil" ramble in mind........

 

 

Demystifying the infamous "Veil".

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I used another cheapo set of headphones (sennheiser PMX 80 Sport II) in an attempt to see why I was feeling there was a veil in the HD650.

 

With the "cheapo" headphones, in loud volumes I could feel "pain" from the lower upper range of frequencies (around 6khz) . These are exactly the frequencies the HD650 softens. And with the "cheapo" headphones there was not any pleasure coming from these frequencies. This made me realize that the recording was to blame for the accentuated edges. Not the headphones. 

 

So I changed the CD into a Jazz Compilations CD known for its snares and cymbals, so it was more likely to get the pure sound I was dreaming for......

 

Now I got a very smooth bass, slightly accentuated middles and a treble that looked a bit tweaked. I think with this Jazz cd I could develop a more true and fair view for the HD650.

 

The treble extends very beautifully but sometimes you may feel it lacks some "Sparkle" like many reviewers write. In the positive side, you can really hear the "crispy" trail of the frequencies above the 15Khz (I don't think my ears can reach up to the 20khz range anyway, but for sure I can tell if the 15Khz range is low or high, and in this case it is high!!!!).

 

I then thought it was good idea to try the HD650 headphones with some equalization ON.

 

So I put the same CD on my Computer (which could provide me with some software equalizers) and I connected the Optical out with the Optical In of my Marantz CD Player / Recorder. Referenced at 44.1 khz CD quality.

 

To my surprise I found the HD650 really very Responsive to any equalizer changes. With the equalizer i attempted to close the gap which causes the "vail" to exist. I put "veil" in quotes because I am not sure if it really is a veil. You will see below why.

 

Well. Trying to cover up for the mysterious "veil" with the equalizer I found out that it disappears when I applied a bit of equalization around the 6Khz range. Only a bit.

 

How does the equalization affect the sound?

 

Turning a bit up the equalizer around the range of 6Khz will cause:

1. Cymbals to sound more bright (6kz = Lower range of Upper Cymbals Frequencies)

2. The Snare drum to sound more bright (6kz = Upper range of Middle Snare Frequencies)

3. The "Ssssss" in Human Vocals to sound more bright (6khz and around is the "Sssss" peaks in vocals)

 

 

Why am I not sure if the "Veil" is really a "Veil".

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

 

I made an experiment to see which frequency range would cause me discomfort (or slight pain) in the ears when I turned the volume too high......

Again, to my surprise adding around the frequency of 6khz, lack of which many characterize as "the veil", was causing me the pain. So going back to the equalizer and setting everything FLAT, was actually the most gentle flat for my ears.

 

 

Conclusion.

 

It is strange to characterize some headphones as "veil" and not flat because they cut down on frequencies that cause the most discomfort in high volumes. How many times we hear the singer's /vocals' "SSSSsssss" hitting like a laser gun throughout our ears? The "veil" on the HD650 cuts down a bit on this "SSssss". I know People understand it or feel it differently. But I think we should have something in common in our experiences and this is why I wrote this post.

 

For sure HD650 can not be labeled as bright. But the treble is there. You can feel it loud around 15khz and probably even higher (younger people can hear well above these frequencies).

 

Sound Stage is good but other headphones may excel more in this area.
You can feel the sound coming from all around your head. 

 

Very responsive to any frequency when you use equalizer.

 

Note: At first I thought that the Marantz integrated Headphones' amp would not be efficient. But after turning the Level knob middle way up, I realized that the Headphones were sufficiently fed.

 

 

Take care

Athanasis

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Edited by Thanasis - 12/10/12 at 2:30pm
post #2 of 12
Congrats for your purchase and nice review
How long did you use them before reviewing? They do benefit from burn-in. Also an upgraded cable (ie silver-plated copper) opens up the top end while staying smooth and enjoyable.
post #3 of 12

Congratulation! As a long time Grado user, I have to agree the HD650 is not veil they are just smooth... like smooth beer. Of course when A/Bing, the Grado will sparkle. I also don't know why they call it dark also.

post #4 of 12

These are indeed some soomth sounding headphones..

post #5 of 12

Thanks for the review. This helps me feel better about my soon to come purchase smily_headphones1.gif

post #6 of 12

They do not have a veil.  End of story.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

They do not have a veil.  End of story.

 

The HD-650 are doomed to the evil veil, and nothing will change that! very_evil_smiley.gif

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

 

The HD-650 are doomed to the evil veil, and nothing will change that! very_evil_smiley.gif


+1

post #9 of 12

Mine is the black silk version, no veil. Some said old and new version sounds exactly the same and some said they sounds different. Somehow, I believe different batch of headphone even same model will sound a little different due to QC, sometime material change etc.

 

Maybe in the past Sennheiser uses a thicker foam for the earpad disc? Try removing the disc and if it sounds better, try replacing it with cloth from your tights or panty stocking material. They are organic and doesn't deteriorate too. 


Edited by whoelse - 12/11/12 at 4:37pm
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

They do not have a veil.  End of story.

I can understand that

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

 

The HD-650 are doomed to the evil veil, and nothing will change that! very_evil_smiley.gif

I can understand that too...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoelse View Post

Mine is the black silk version, no veil. Some said old and new version sounds exactly the same and some said they sounds different. Somehow, I believe different batch of headphone even same model will sound a little different due to QC, sometime material change etc.

 

Maybe in the past Sennheiser uses a thicker foam for the earpad disc? Try removing the disc and if it sounds better, try replacing it with cloth from your tights or panty stocking material. They are organic and doesn't deteriorate too. 

 

This is very good information. Are there different versions of the HD650? With silk net and without? I remember I read another member who removed that cloth completely and he said that the "veil" disappeared. I don't know if the old HD650 had that thick foam between the ear and the speaker. Mine is the thin "silk" version cloth like yours and i didn't know older versions were different. So if someone has some information around these differences you may leave your comments in a post here. This may be the answer about the "veil"

 

If the cloth between speaker and ear was thicker in past versions of HD650 I could perfectly understand why different people give different reviews....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

Congrats for your purchase and nice review
How long did you use them before reviewing? They do benefit from burn-in. Also an upgraded cable (ie silver-plated copper) opens up the top end while staying smooth and enjoyable.

Before that review? Some hours probably....

 

I find many inconsistencies in the sound like accentuated middles and some holes here and there. Hopefully these are going to dissapear with time.I will come again with an updated review in a few days.

 

Take care all.

post #11 of 12

There is supposedly 2 version, the black cloth (acoustic silk actually) and the later silver color cloth version. Someone said he email Sennheiser and got reply that the silk is harder to make so the switch to the metal silver version but they sound the same. It is a long debate here as many said they do not sound the same and another group said there is no difference in sound.

 

The cloth I replaced I mean the foam disc in between the earpad and the driver. Maybe the earphone supply in earlier batch were of thicker foam. I have no evident on this but I tried using different cloth, foam and it all sounds different. I think it is important to use something thin and breathable for best sound quality. My foam disc was deteriorated, I tried some replacement material and I get good result using the stretchable cloth from sport tight. I think stocking material is also as good, I try without the foam disc it is too bright and I want something in front to protect the acoustic silk and to prevent dust getting into the driver. Also, foam in non organic and will deteriorate over time cloth material being organic will not. I have also replace the deteriorated padding at the headband with micro fiber and have good result.

 

My earpad is still good, there are video in youtube someone cut open and replace the deteriorated foam with new one and sew up after that. I am going to do the same with organic material likely micro fiber once the foam gone bad. However, I am not doing to cut open as it will be ugly. What I will do is to separate the earpad with the plastic ring attached to it and cut a small opening there so I can remove the foam and replace with new material. Once completed, I will sew it there and glue them back with epoxy so it will be hidden inside and not be visible.

 

It should last as long as it takes since it will not deteriorate. :)


Edited by whoelse - 12/11/12 at 11:46pm
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi who,

 

thanks for the info,

 

I went home and checked. Mine is the black. I touched. It is like foam but anyway.

 

Unfortunately I never opened headphones like this so I don't know how to help here, but it is always good idea to replace parts with Sennheiser ones. Easier and safer.....

 

 

I am listening to it now with a Big Band CD called "Big Phat Band, XXL". The more I listen to the HD650 they get better and better.


I have the EQ to absolute flat and no need to amplify any frequencies. Treble sounds ok. Cymbals and Snares are bright enough. Trumpets couldn't be more bright, even Cymbals otherwise would get me tired in the ears very soon....

 

Take care

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