Equipment: Modified Marantz CD-67SE -> DIY MOSFET amp
Having only heard one Sennheiser phone before, an HD 265(hardly a good representation), I decided to delve further into the brand and discover the real "house" sound they offer. Actually, I had been really contemplating on purchasing a pair of AKG K271s or K240s for some time, as I knew I liked their sound, but I ran into the Sennheiser HD 560 Ovation IIs on eBay for a good price. I couldn't find any specs on the phone, but I had heard the Ovation name before. After weeks of waiting(shipping complications), I finally received them.
Clamping force is very light. Earpads are decently sized, and are shallow. These are very light headphones, and are generally comfortable. I didn't feel like there would be much to gain by "tweaking" the positioning of them, which is something I dislike having to do. Headband is pretty flexible, with a padded vinyl cushion. Because of the light weight and soft clamping force, they're great for extended listening sessions.
The first thing I noticed about these phones is their upfront nature. I thought I was listening to a Grado for a second there! Generally I've read that Sennheiser headphones are laid back, quite the contrary with these. Soundstage is rather small, maybe a notch smaller than the AKG K240s. These are VERY accurate headphones however. No smudging of details or over-coloration here. The DT 880s(my main headphone) have a way of masking the details in their huge soundstage. Sounds I was used to hearing in the background are now upfront and very noticeable. The mids and upper mids have a hint of sweetness to them.
Listening to a Telarc Philip Glass recording, everything seems on point, but rather dry sounding. Soundstage is again, small. One very impressive note is the instrument separation. Nothing is running together, complex attacks are sharp and precise. I can almost feel the texture of the violin strings. They definitely jive well and really shine with faster movements.
Wow! These phones really ROCK. Listening to 311 and Chris Cornell, and I'm just totally getting into it. The sweetness of the mids has really come out. These are up close and intimate headphones. Kick drums do not have the kick they should, however. I feel like they must drop off pretty sharply in the mid bass region. Male vocals are presented well, but they don't stand out as much as I'd like; the instruments are winning my attention. Female vocals are dry and antiseptic.
Checking out some hip-hop and techno now. They just don't have the bass depth or slam to really work. Listening to Kanye West, and it's boring. Moving onto Chemical Brothers and System 7. They still retain some energy even without the lower bass. Not too bad, but really depends on the type of electronica.
I was pretty surprised by the sound of this headphone. I definitely was not expecting the level of accuracy it presented. My only two real complaints are the lack of the lower and mid bass, and the small soundstage. I feel I made a great purchase though, especially for the price. Most definitely a good addition to the collection