Originally Posted by wje
Trying to pick between two headphones is a very hard decision. If you can, buy both. Each has their own unique offerings and switching between them depending upon music styles can be kind of fun and prevent the process of listening to music from getting boring.
While there are differences between the "5" series and the "6" series, the "5" series still does a pretty fine job of holding their own as far as sound capability goes.
Speaking from experience: HD-555, HD-595 (on their way), HD-600 (2 pair), HD-650, and HE-400.
Could you compare the HD650 and HE400? I just demoed HE400 and HE500 this weekend. I found that the HE400 had the right balance of bass/mids/highs that I was looking for. However, it didnt have the detail in the sub-bass region that I was hoping for. Not a huge deal, considering those notes are often completely ignored unless I'm listening for them, but at 400 bucks I'd like to make a proper decision and not compromise. The soundstage was not as good on the HE400 as it was on the HE500. It seemed very close to my head rather than spaced out. They werent terribly comfortable either. They werent UNcomfortable, they just werent at the HE500 comfort level.
The HE500 didnt have quite enough bass by just a smidgen. I'm talking sub bass, like around 20hz. The regular kick drum/bass drum bass was just fine. With songs by The Eagles, these were fantastic but with electronic music it wasnt so great. The biggest problem i had with them was that there was an area in the midrange where the notes seemed to hurt my ears or resonate. It got almost shrill. It was specifically during male vocals. When The Eagles had just one guy singing, there was no problem but multiple voices in that frequency range made me instinctively reach for the volume knob. touching the knob would just make everything else too quiet though. With Radiohead's voice, it was particularly bad. For 700 bucks I couldnt stand that effect.
I'm thinking I'll get the HD650's right now but the HE400's were somewhat contenders. I'm looking for as close to the HE6 sound as I can get. the HD650 seemed to do this last time I tried them but that was out of quite a terrible amp (Fiio E11, not quite adequate to drive HD650) and i'll definitely be experimenting with different amps.
The HE400 unboxing and comfort combined makes me hesitant to spend 400 bucks on them. They are packaged and feel like any old 100 dollar can. Often the pleather on those cheaper cans feels better but the velour pads are just horrible.tl;dr: does the HD650 sound pretty much exactly like the HE400 but with more sub-bass detail? I was using Pendulum and Nero as test tracks for this.