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HD600 now less impressive than it was???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

OK, I've been poring over this site for many weeks now and in that time have purchased:


Woo Audio WA7 w/upgraded tube set for home

Schitt Magni & Modi combo (vacation home)

Shure 840 (vacation home)

and . . . I already had a set of HD600's from about 6-8 years ago with light use


I listen to a wide variety of music with over 6,000 copies of vinyl and several thousand CDs. Very little Rap and Electronica. Lot's of Folk, Acoustic, Jazz and Pop


Favorite CDs are ripped to both my server and my MacBook to listen as FLAC files using Fidelia


I thought/think my Wa7 Fireflies sounds great with my HD600s BUT all that changed when I bought the Schiit Stack and  the Shure 840's as I now prefer my 840s out of the WA7 . . .


I'm really at a loss as I'm blown away by how good the combo sounds. MOST of the credit goes to the 840s as they sound great out of either the WA7 or the Schiit equipment.


I would love to hear from others who either own BOTH the HD600 and the 840 or have at least heard both. I know the sound signature of the HD600 real well and I also know that the 840 is NOT supposed to "beat it" in sound. Let me qualify my hearing ability to say that at 50 years old, the high end is gone and the left ear has some high end damage (lower high range) from sustained noise as a teen (read loud rock concerts) but I know what and how to listen for changes in music within my hearing range. So . . .


Here is my take on the 840 vs HD600


1) Bass is tighter and more of it (actually lots tighter and lots more- I can almost "feel" the bass wavelengths on the 840s)

2) I hear MUCH more air around instruments and lower treble regions are more forward (in good way)

3) Soundstage is different entirely but I'm not sure that its worse on the 840, the sound is MORE enjoyable

4) The 840s let me really enjoy the music, switching to the HD600, I'm literally soon not even paying attention (almost too polite?)



I burned the 840s in for 24 hours non-stop music off my MacBook at mid volume with a huge variety of music

The HD600s likely have about the same overall time on them as they were rarely used after I bought them new



Couple of thoughts and questions:

I'm inclined to sell the HD600s and buy another set of cans and I know that "closed back" is = to not good but . . .

If I'm simply lucky to be someone that loves the Shure 840 sound and would NOT be able to duplicate that signature sound with another closed back style, WHAT HEADPHONE set would you all suggest that would be similar in sound?


Again, most will probably think I'm crazy but I'm no newbie to sound or equipment and have a high end dedicated listening room (and have had for over 30 years) so I too have spent hours fussing over speaker cables and other $$$$ tweaks only to convince myself there was an impact. I know one when I hear it and this is a distinct difference that to me is a huge POSITIVE change.


Would love thoughts and comments

post #2 of 7
I'm a big fan of the 600, but it never engaged me enough to satisfy long term. I prefer the 840 as well.
post #3 of 7

I dont mean to derail your thread man, but how do you like the 840s? Im interested in buying some but i would like a first hand review from someone, you can pm me if youd like


to keep it on topic, im by no means an audiophile, but the 600's are on my list of 10 cans to buy to make a collection lol

post #4 of 7

You're not crazy, I have an LCD2.2 and I find my music too congested and kind of dark. I use more my Grado sr60i (for 1/10th of the price) Insane? Maybe... Closed back headphones can give a different atmosphere and feeling to your music compared with open back headphones. Maybe you're not used to, maybe the sennheiser sound wasn't meant for you.

My advice: Don't rush, take your time and try to get used to the sound.


Either way, not all headphones are created equal.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
No problem with thread change. Still related to the 840! Hopefully I can add some thoughts to my experience with the Shure 840s

I'll second everything I already mentioned.
The bass is just shy of palpable, but again I'm comparing to th HD600 and no others
Bass shows up when it's supposed to and not there when it should not be
It's significantly tighter and punchier bass, slightly exaggerated in the mid bass but not too much
There is more detail and air as an example on Alison Krauss song "New Favorite" the reverb in AK voice is crystal clear, natural on the 840 and I would say "hard to distinguish" on the 600s
Whatever PRAT is the 840 has it and the 600 has much less. Honestly I believe that PRAT is no more than every single thing the headphone sounds like combined into one single "feeling/sound/measurement" that means "I really enjoy these" headphones
The 840s are very comfortable and no hotter after long wear than my 600s
They are bulkier but this has not been an issue, even leaning in bed against pillows
The adjusters on each earpiece have specific markers for easy resetability but they do not hold position as well as I'd like. Once on your head, no issues
Outstanding isolation. Wife does not know they are even playing
Cord is stout and quality, one ear connection only, but locks in position (nice)
Comes with extra ear pads, cheap flimsy pleather travel bag
Sound is significantly more forward or "there" than the 600s and this is probably what I'm appreciating most. More detail, more sound. They sound "HD" while the 600s sound more 480 DVD resolution. The 600s by comparison are not sloppy (VHS) but just seem too soft and undefined by comparison.
Before anyone says, "yea, but you'll get sick of that forward sound after long listening sessions'" I would answer that I've not even been interested in listening that long with the 600s but have had a loooong session with the 840s cause I couldn't stop.

I really enjoy the sound, they were under $200 delivered and I'm now on a search for another pair with the same sound signature and an even higher performance to pair with my WA7 Fireflies. I'm keeping the 840s for my vacation system and am 100% impressed with their performance. They are a great buy.

Hope that helps
post #6 of 7

Wow man, I appreciate the detailed review/response!


While I may not understand 100% of what you said, I understand the majority of it since you used words I could relate to :P


Maybe the first 2 pairs on cans I buy will be the M50's and the 840s!


Would you recommend the 940 pads on the 840s?



Also, like previously mentioned, from what ive "listened to" of Sennheiser, I feel like they have a more distinct sound then other companies, but by no means am i an audio guy, so everything could sound the same to me at the moment since im new to the audio scene. So I would agree with the above and just let yourself try ad get used to them, as you're comparing 1 brand of headphones thats open, 1 brand of headphones that are closed... 2 totally different styles of sound

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
You're welcome. Happy to help. Don't know about the pads as have not tried them.
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