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Over-Ear item created by Csericks, Aug 11, 2010
Pros - Soundstage, balanced natural sound, versatile
Cons - Initial clamping force
The HD600 is a pair of excellent sounding cans. They have a balanced, natural sound and the soundstage is remarkably large. I can hear all sorts of sounds while listening to these cans and I can say that the instrument separation and detail is superb. The only problem I have encountered is that the initial clamping force is slightly strong.
Pros - Sound Quality, Clarity, Soundstage
Cons - Clamp force, Design is funky
Note that the price I put is buying used from a fellow head-fi user
I am an 18 year old music lover. I have gotten into music more and more in the last year, with this being my first major headphone buy. Since I was 14 I knew that music would be my thing. I have enjoyed listening to Tapes and CD's since I was very young, and over the last few years I have been growing as a music lover. My headphone collection has gone from Beats Solo hd(trash 1/5) -> Beats Studio(ok but broke 2.5/5) -> Monster DNA(alright 3/5) -> Sennheiser hd439(surprised me for the price 3.5/5) -> Sennheiser hd600(pure gold 5/5). I've heard some nice headphones besides the ones I've owned, but nothing flagship. The sennheiser hd439's made me re-listen to my entire music library, and really got me into the whole hifi thing. Me set up is rMBP->headphone or ipod nano->fiio e5->headphone. At the time of writing this I have ordered the schiit modi/vali. Also something about my music style is I like the music to sound as real as possible, with no over the top bass or treble. Most of the music I am listening to with the hd600's is stereo FLAC and ALAC with a few MP3's. I know I don't have the greatest set up, but I can still hear a huge improvement.
The HD 600's have an awkward design in my opinion, and clamp hard on your head at first until you get used to them. The open design might let a lot of noise in and out, but improves sound quality over anything I've ever heard that was closed. The paint on the headband of the plastic looks very 80's and is unattractive in my opinion. Besides that there is not much to complain about the headband is comfy. These headphones are also extremely light feeling on your head. After your body adjusts to the clamping from the headphones they feel comfortable and you can wear them for hours.
Listening setup/test songs:
As previously stated my setup is rMBP->hd600 and iPod Nano->Fiio E5->HD600. I know I'm not getting the full potential out of the headphones but they still sound great. The albums I used for the testing were Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan on a CD, Abbey Road by The Beatles on a 256kbps MP3, and finally Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys on a 96/24 FLAC.
No matter the quality of the recording, I can honestly say the Sennheiser hd600's greatly improved the overall sound quality of the music. While I haven't heard 192/24 music with the highest quality DAC/Amp/Headphones, I can still say with certainty the hd600's are some of the best headphones on the market and would be hard to beat with a direct connection to my computer. I will be holding on to these headphones for along time. The sound the produce is very realistic. They are a little warm sounding but defiantly not dark. While I haven't listened to much fast music (I hear they can struggle with faster music) I still would say they are detailed and clear sounding with all the music I listened to. They have a great sound stage with good separation of instruments, so that you can hear front, back, right, and left easily. The highs are not overly present but sound fantastic. The mids are my favorite part of these headphones, and really bring out the best in the music. The bass is great with out being over the top
These headphones are the greatest I have ever had. They are built well, and sound amazing for listening to music. The most realistic sounds I have ever heard from music have come from these headphones. I highly recommend them over everything else in their price range ($300-$450).
Pros - Detailed. Tight natural sounding bass. Fairly balanced frequency response. Lightweight and comfortable.
Cons - 3 blob soundstage. Lacks visceral bass (sub bass). Headband seems fragile.
I've been listening to the HD 600 with the FiiO E07k/E09k combo. I realise that this DAC/amp combo might not really get the most out of the HD 600 but I thought I'd share my thoughts nonetheless.
Firstly, I really like the sound of the HD 600. It's detailed, the bass is tight and present but doesn't dominate. Personally I think these headphones sound great with rock and classical music, I especially find drums and violins to sound very realistic. The comfort of these headphones is superb, the ear pads are very comfortable and the headphone is rather lightweight. I think the fit is also perfect and ensures that these headphones don't wobble around much. I find the HD 600 comfortable enough for hours and hours of listening.
My biggest complaint about this headphone is soundstage. I've heard people referring to its soundstage as a 3 blob soundstage and I think that sums up my opinion perfectly. The bass while it sounds really good, it lacks the visceral component that adds emotion to some RnB, rap and pop songs. The HD 600 still sound great for these genres but I can't "feel" the music as much as I would like to.
Some other minor quibbles are that the headband does feel like it could break quite easily and I think there is slightly too much treble for my tastes. Movies sound realistic but do lack the excitement of bassier cans IMO.
Overall, I'd say that these are excellent headphones. Good all rounders that perform well with most (if not all) types of music and really shine when listening to certain genres. Comfort which is a vital requirement for me is also top notch!
Pros - Clear, open, neutral, comfortable and just a great all rounder
Cons - Headband is relatively fragile, not the bassiest headphones I've heard
I've owned these for a year now so I think I can pass fair judgement. Great headphones. A legend among headphones. Neutral, clear and the reference I use to compare all others. Very comfortable, the most comfortable headphones I've ever used with the Beyer over ears. I sold my Audeze LCD2.2 and kept these, that's how much I like them.
Surprisingly easy to drive for 300ohm. They improve with adequate amplification, but I think people really overstate how important it is.
I did have the headband crack on me when stretching it (they have a bit of a tight grip initially), but Sennheiser were great and replaced them straight away for a new pair.
Pros - Neutral, clear, subtle, comfortable, affordable, outstanding sound quality when properly driven.
Cons - None
Well I'm kinda new to Head-fi & since I'm a big fan of the HD600 here's my personal review of them which also touches on the amps & replacement cable (only mention it not analyze it). Here goes :
What I enjoy the most out of the HD600 sound is the balance & clarity. Right now I'm listening to Jeff Beck, "Blow by Blow" c1975 (produced by George Martin). My sources are : TEAC PD-H600 (PD-H600 uses the Burr Brown PCM1796 D/A converter, a 192kHz/24-bit component) & Kenwood KA-8006 (70WPC) vintage integrated amplifier (1974); the HD600 replacement cable is from Headroom, Cardas Fatpipe cable for HD6XX.
The sound is simply exquisite. I was listening to the album with my HD650s previously and the difference I noticed immediately when I switched to the HD600 was the forward clarity of the cymbals & ping sound with no roll off (sibilance free) while simultaneously hearing all of the other instruments & nuances, perfectly balanced; some in the background but never overwhelmed. My amp is set at it's most neutral possible i.e. the loudness option is never activated; I only put the emphasis on the filters to bring out the subtleties when I'm listening at a reasonable high volume.
This set up which is about all I can afford works wonders & truly makes the HD600 perform at it's peak. They never sound coloured at any time. As for the lack of bass or sub bass mentioned so often, let me just say that I can feel the bass in the sound as well as hear it i.e. the bass drum is felt & is always there & it's a special kind of subtleness by which I mean you can't miss it and I believe these headphones were designed this way in order to capture every sound possible without any over powering bass/sub bass or added treble/sibilance. Again, when properly driven the bass sound/feel is unmistakably present. It's quite ingenious when you consider it. I own the HD800 but I seem to listen to the HD600 more often. When I put them on after having put them aside for a while and turn the music on they never fail to bring a smile on my face & a nod because my ears & brains are saying to me : "Ah yes, good ol' 600s, they never let me down"
Pros - Most Musical, Sennheisers most comfortable, need amp, great treble extension, very nice bass--Thanks for Correction folks..It does need an amp.
Cons - None can think of. Best of all my headphones
Most Musical and enjoyable, Sennheisers most comfortable, Does not need amp, great treble extension paired with correct source, very nice bass.
Out of all my cans this is best overall and most enjoyable sound. The HD650 right there but it does have a diffrent sound. I would say Q701 are a great headphone but missing bass.
Have: Grado Sr-60, HD555, HD595, HD600, HD650, ATM-50S, Ultrasone HFI 780, AKG Q701, Bose QC15
Had: Grado Sr-80
Worst headphones: Grado SR-80 and HD555(tried twice)
I am sure the $1000+ headphones are better paired with a great amp but this is what I have.
The Sennheiser are by far the best brand with combo of great fit, great finish, great comfort, great style, and great sound.
I started with Sr-60 and wanted to go up with higher models with the Grado but the comfort is terrible. Bowls or Pads. Grado has great sound but after years of wearing them and then trying other headphones. I could never wear grado's again for more than 2 hrs at most every couple of months.
I use an STX and Audigy 2 sound card.
Pros - Beautifully natural, very comfortable after a bit of use, great value for money
Cons - Does need to be powered by a decent amp to get "the best" sound, pet hair can easily get into grills, be wary when stretching headband
First off I'm going to say I was rather hesitant about buying these headphones.I had recently purchased the Hifiman He-400's, and while I very much enjoyed the SQ on those i found them far too cumbersome and uncomfortable. This was most likely due to the weight of the cans and lack of cushioning on the headband (which you can buy cushioning for). I also found that the velour cups didn't form a precise seal on my head which i suspect really didn't help with the bass.
My preferences for headphones have to date been a rather bright sound signature. I was brought up on a healthy dose of AD900's and i freakin loved the comfort they offered. The bass was a bit lack lustre. This was my incentive for searching for a new headphone.
I read a lot about the Hd600 and was struck curious by the sound signature that it offered. A much more natural sounding headphone, with a mid emphasis. This was most definitely different from my normal tastes. I demo'd a HD600 at a friends and was really quite unimpressed. I have a feeling that something was up with his setup (he was running a Matrix M stage amp and dac combo which i suspect was not genuine, as were his various headphones).
Still after a lot of trawling through forums, friendly help from the lovely folk here, and a nice discount from the local audio store I made my purchase.
Quite impressed with the packaging truth be told. It has the feel of a quality product. It comes enclosed in a hefty black box with metal clasps. To open the lid has the feeling of opening the lid on high fidelity music. There on a foam bed lie the HD600's with an instruction manual on top.
Build Quality & Appearance:
Straight out of the box the build quality seems solid. The first thing that struck me was the 'marble' design. From pictures I was anxious to see what it looked like in person. I had a bad feeling it would look tacky and cheap but this was not the case. You can immediately appreciate the build of the headphones, the marble finish is actually quite sophisticated.
Coming from the Hifimans I was quite suprised at the comparative light weight of these cans. They really don't weigh much.
When I first put these on I was a bit taken aback at the clamp. I have a medium sized head (i would like to think) and the force was quite apparent. I was told however this would ease with time and it has. I have had these headphones on for the past four hours straight and they are sitting very nicely. They stay firmly in position if i say feel the need to bob my head vigorously, which is quite a bonus if you like to have a bit of quiet time at the desk and place you're head on your forearms. With the hifimans they would immediately slide out of place and I would be constantly needing to adjust them. Given time these headphones seem to adjust and stretch naturally to your head.
That Sennheiser veil. It had to be mentioned. This was one thing that I was again anxious about. I like my music to be upfront and alive, not be distanced. Having listened to the Hifimans for a few weeks I had gotten used to that sound signature. If theres anyway to describe the Hifiman's in one word it would be 'alive'. Music on the hifiman's sound almost electric, very energetic and present. I enjoyed it. When I loaded up 'Beast' by Nico Vega the very first chord was like two cymbals crashing together at the center of your head. That was one of the moments where my eyes widened, I sat back and went 'huh... that.... sounds *******... awesome.' I have come to understand that this is a characteristic of the planar technology in the Hifiman's. To give a quick quick summation the sound signature I would describe as being present and alive if one can use those terms. The high's are good, the mids are a bit recessed from what I could tell, and the bass is pretty good. I was however a tad dissapointed with them as I was led to believe the bass would be something that it clearly was not. When users describe the bass as 'phenomenal' I expected it to be super impactful, deep and rumbly, almost visceral. This was not the case and I unfortunately regarded the Hifimans as having not met my expectations. Despite this the bass was deep and quick, it made rock music sound awesome whenever a snare was present. After listening to the Hifiman's for more than half an hour things tend to, for me, get a bit uncomfortable. The weight of the headphone caused strain on my head and having to constantly readjust the strap was a bit of a pain. I also found that despite the comfort factors my ears started to get quite fatigued from the headphone itself.
Now back to the Senn's. As a comparison when I first started listening I was a bit shocked and intrigued by what I was hearing. There was none of this excessive 'im alive' sound coming from the music anymore. It sounded different, and in a good way. To put it bluntly it sounded the way it was supposed to sound. I then realized that what I was hearing on the Hifiman's was really something that I didn't overly care for. They did sound good but in comparison to the HD600's they sound a bit fake and overemphasized. I would liken it to getting a new girlfriend, and finding out that your recent ex had fake boobs, and your current gf had the real deal. For some reason they just seem better. This was really a turning point for me in appreciating a different sounding headphone. While i did enjoy the bright sounding headphones I found an immense pleasure in the reality of the Senn's. Listening to music the way it was meant to sound without any artificial meddling to accommodate the 'mass audience'. By this I mean the treble centric and bass heavy headphones that seem to popular these days......coughbeatscoughcough.
As I have previously mentioned I am or was a fan of bright headphones. I liked hearing that sparkling treble as I listen to a lot of female vocals. I was absolutely terrified that I would lose that sparkle and a lot of my music would lose that magical allure that sends shivers down your whole body. The infamous sennheiser veil was something of a dealbreaker for me. I am very happy to report that the highs on the sennhieser while not able to be as in your face as other bright headphones (a good thing it turns out) does a remarkable job.
Now. This is what really suprised me. The HD600's have changed my perception of what I consider sounding 'good'. I listened to a lot of music that centered around mid's. One track that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to was 'Iron Man' by Nico Vega. That whole album in my opinion is very well recorded. The guitar, piano, pipes(organ?) that come in half way through the song redefined my perception of good music. It was also conincidentally the moment where I knew I would not be getting rid of my HD600's for a very. very long time. The HD600's seem to bring the mid's forward a tad, it makes male vocals standout a lot more which I find pleasant. Michael Buble has never sounded better. One thing I will note, and I can't say for sure. Is that it really depends on the quality and recording of the source as to how much these come through. For Buble's music his voice is very prevelant, if it was any more so it would be in danger of becoming uncomfortable. When I switch to Tool however the whole band seems to have taken a step back from the microphone, sounding ever so slightly distant and far away.
The bass was something I was not expecting to impress me. The Hifiman's were allegedly a bassier headphone both in regards to the quantity, impact and depth. I have a feeling people will have very different opinions as to which bass sounds better. The bass on the Senn's in comparison with no EQ has roughly the same quantity with a marginal amount more impact which I would I would say comes to its alleged slightly boosted mid bass. I would say that in general the bass does not extend to the depths of sub bass that the 400's can (Pun. Bet that's never been used before). There are moments when you are listening to some recordings when the Senn's delight the socks off you with some rather visceral subbass. You kinda just sit there thinking where.... the fudge did that come from. Despite the inconsistency in subbass I do find it more enjoyable than the 400's. The impact is greater and that really does add a lot of value to music for me. Whether it be Part of Me by Katy Perry or Flume's latest album (which sounds freakin dope by the way. If you own the HD600's please give it a listen. It is fantastic). The bass never ever overpowers the rest of the frequencies and is very consistent. If a song calls for an appropriate amount of bass it will deliver, if it doesn't then no bass for you.
These headphones... LOVE EQ'd bass. While I love the natural sound they produce 90% of the time. Increasing the bottom two frequencies in the STX centre releases the inner bass head. For stuff like flume or Mt Eden Dub where just a touch more bass really does add a lot to the music its incredible. Just bumping up the frequencies makes the Senn's breathe new life into the bass. The impact becomes a lot greater and the subbass more prevalent (although not greatly so). What is best is that in doing this, it doesn't mess with the rest of the frequencies. No distortion, no nothing. With the 400's I couldn't increase the bass without the rest of the spectrum suffering a noticeable amount.
I'm a competitive gamer. Not professionally but I play a lot of FPS to the point where if I'm not in the top 3 I'd be dissappointed. With my current soundcard the Asus Essence STX I find the game and EAX settings completely useless. Not to say they don't work, but they don't work with the Senn's. Once you activate them positioning becomes completely indistinguishable. Sounds become muddied and it sounds like its all coming from center stage. If you keep the HQ option ticked where the source is the cleanest you can get a fairly good idea of where things are. Not pinpoint accuracy by any means but you can get the general gist of where things are coming from. For non competitive I jammed some Mass Effect 3. Focussing just on the audio experience the Senn's do a good job. The mids do a good job of making dialogue clear and the overall experience is pretty flawless. Only option I could mention is again upping the two lower frequencies a tad. Just allows for a more immersive experience.
Just as a note, if you are planning on getting the 600's the source and recording of your music will impact on you're listening experience.
Also as much as I may have whinged about the Hifimans the SQ is still stellar. A great headphone and the after sales service at Head Direct was nothing short of spectacular. After a month of owning the 400's and finally (and at the time slightly begrudgingly) returning them, Head Direct had no problems with extending that two weeks when I was due to travel to HK so I could avoid the rather steep return shipping fee. If you find the Hifiman's comfortable (or perhaps invest in the cushioned pad if you don't) they would be a fantastic addition to any headphone collection.
To finish I will say this. The HD600's have redefined my perception of quality audio. Whilst i was previously a pure bass and treble fan the HD600's have grown on me at a lightning rate. The detailed an prominent mids have made music I have loved that much more enjoyable and that really is priceless for me. Best of all In the hour it took me to write this, I have listened to a large portion of a Tool album, with this being the 5th consecutive hour of wearing the 600's. I have absolutely no fatigue and have no need to readjust them. I may as well sleep with them on.
Apologies for the poor grammar and spelling errors but it is now 3am. Bloody Sennheisers.
Pros - Exquisite detail and separation across the entire spectrum, resulting in a neutral yet very natural sound. Comfortable, and modular.
Cons - Requires more power than most mobiles or on-board sound cards can provide. Open, so you can't use them in public.
I have used these directly connected to my Creative X-FI Fatality Pro sound card, then through my Fiio E11 and Bravo Audio V2 amplifiers (separately). I have also tried them with my Sansa Clip+ (Rockboxed) and my Galaxy Nexus phone, both paired with the Fiio E11. I have owned them for a little over 2 months now, with over 100 hours of run-time on them.
I tested these with various media formats (OGG, MP3, FLACC) at various bit rates (128kbps – 320kbps). My operating system is Xubuntu 13.04, and I am using the default ALSA driver. I use Audacious as my media player with EQ off. I enjoy all genres of music from many different era's, so I prefer a neutral sound signature with adequate but not overpowering bass. Below are some of the other headphones I currently own.
Sennheiser HD 558, HD 25-1 II, CX-200 Street II
AKG K142, K403, K350
Sony MDR-V700, MDR-V300, XB700, XB500
Am I a true Audiophile? I am proud to say yes, yes I am. I am not really sure why people are hesitant to call themselves an audiophile. Maybe they think it's some elite cult you have to be voted into or something. In any event, the definition of audiophile is "a person who has a great interest in high-fidelity sound reproduction." I would venture to say most people who invest in these headphones fall into that category, whether they know it or not.
However, because I have a wife and two kids to feed, I can't afford the $$ or time to get the setup some people have. Yes, that means I can't afford a $300 cable, or a $3,000 amp. That means I am your average Joe audiophile who has to think long and hard, to squeeze the best sound out of every dollar spent. Because of this, I think my setup is likely very close to what most people might have who are considering a headphone like the HD 600. And let me tell you now, you do not need a $1,000 budget to get high-fidelity sound.
From the satisfying "click" you get adjusting the headband, to the sexy looking speakers behind the steel mesh, you get a sense of quality and style that justifies the price. The padding (velour) is soft and plush, the clamping force is just right. The paint job is akin to a granite counter top. When visually comparing these to the HD 558, you can tell it's in another class entirely. In addition, Sennheiser has managed to make them even more comfortable. I wear glasses, and I have worn these for 6+hrs straight with no discomfort whatsoever. This is quite a feat considering the heavier and larger construction.
The replaceable cable is slightly thinner and allot lighter than the 558. The isolating material on it is soft and slick to the touch, vs the rubbery, sticky feeling of the 558 cable. It is terminated to a standard straight 3.5mm, but includes a really nice 6.5mm adaptor. When the adaptor is on, you would think it's actually terminated to 6.5mm. I was actually fooled into looking for a 6.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor in the box. I had issues connecting my 558 to some mobiles with the bulky adaptor, not an issue with the 600.
This is a completely open headphone. In comparison to my other open headphones, it seems to "leak" sound out the most. I am not sure if it's because they have larger drivers, but people in the room will definitely hear your music, even at low levels. At times the wife watching TV in the same room (15 ft away) will ask me to turn them down, albeit only when I crank them. But this design is part of the reason it sounds so wonderful. Just be aware this is not something you want to be using in public.
In terms of durability, this has stood the test of time, and even if you were to have an accident, nearly every single part can be removed and replaced on this headphone, including the speakers themselves. In this regard, it is just like the legendary HD 25-1 II. Best of all, Sennheiser does not charge you a premium for replacement parts. This gives you piece of mind and a sense of belonging. Once your in, your taken care of for life.
I have heard many headphones, but none gave me the feeling this one does. The closest would be the Grado SR60i, the one that got me started in all of this to begin with. I purchased many headphones since, but none sounded significantly better, until the HD 600. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be "mouthwatering". The detail is so raw and natural, and the separation of each note across the entire spectrum (even bass) is exquisite. Particularly impressive to me was the depth/texture you hear from instruments (and vocals), from drums to violin, and everything in between. Everything the SR60i does well, the HD 600 does better, and everything it lacks (bass/comfort/design), the 600 does masterfully.
The experience is best on acoustic or live recordings. More complex compositions like you find in classical or rock, or anything with great vocals, are fantastic too. Honestly, nothing sounds "bad" with this headphone, those are just the area's where you can easily tell the difference when comparing it. Those who primarily listen to electronic, with allot of bass, might not appreciate everything the HD 600 is capable of.
Do you need an Amp?
Probably the most commonly asked question about this headphone, so I give it a section of it's own. The short answer is, try it out with what you have first. You will be surprised at how easy these are to drive, despite the high impedance. When connected direct to my X-FI Fatality Pro, volume was sufficient for me at 45%, on quieter tracks I would go to 60%. As reference, the HD 558 and SR60i would require no more than 30% on the quietest tracks. I could still experience the headphone in all it's glory connected this way.
In my experience, the HD 600 needs about double the power of your average headphone. So if you set volume past 50% with your current setup using an average headphone (32-70Ohm), you will need an amp. Contrary to what people say, most modern aftermarket sound cards (like mine) in the $90-$150 range can drive these to adequate levels. Specially new ones with built in headphone amps. So I suggest you get a sound card before considering an amp, this would give you a better DAC (most are 110dB SNR or more). That way if/when you get an amp, you wont need one with a DAC. This increases your options and will usually save you money.
If your going to be using a laptop/mobile device or all-in one PC, you will probably want an amp. I suggest to start with something portable, affordable and powerful, like the Fiio E07K (Andes). This amp has a DAC, but if you must use your devices DAC, simply leave volume under 70% on the device to avoid introducing more noise. Let the amp do the work, and you will be fine. That is what I do on my Fiio E11 with my Galaxy Nexus/Sansa Clip, and it sounds fine, with plenty of power to spare. I suggest the newer E07K model because it's more powerful and can be used as a desktop amp too (works while charging).
When comparing my X-FI to either the E11 or Bravo, sound seems to stay more neutral and clear (less noise) at higher volumes with the amps. But the volumes I need to push it to hear that difference is beyond what I consider safe for longer periods. Listening at safe levels, differences are negligible, even more so when comparing one amp to the other. If I was to get very analytical at higher volumes, I would say the X-FI has slightly heavy highs, the Bravo more mid heavy and warm, with the Fiio being the most flat. However, I hear a much larger improvement when going from my Galaxy Nexus+E11 to my X-FI alone, than going from the X-FI to X-FI + E11/Bravo. The main improvement is in sound stage and separation. This probably holds true for most cases going from a mobile to a desktop setup. I still consider the sub $100 amps worthwhile if you actually "need" more power, just don't expect it to improve the sound significantly, beyond adding volume. In my case, to make a worthwhile upgrade from my X-FI, I would need to spend $400+ on an amp.
For those who are into it, I hear great things about how receptive the HD 600 is to all forms of amplification. Some claim to hear big differences between amps or cables, even within the same price range. However, be careful not to fall victim to buying based on reviews at this stage. I say this because improvements at this point are largely dependent on ones tastes and/or analytic listening ability. People and their ears are not all created equal. In addition, reviews are based on the individuals unique setup, which could be drastically different than yours. Just like buying a new set of clothes, consider it a process to determine what fits you, at a price your comfortable with. You may have friends/family that own some good amps or hi-fi stereos, the older the better. Give those a try next time your there. If you actually hear a big improvement then you know it might be worth it for you to start shopping around. Go to a local store with your own source and headphones to test, or at least buy with a flexible return policy. Don't rush it, the more time you take, the happier you will be with the outcome.
I highly recommend this headphone for anyone who is considering spending this much, you will be hard pressed to find anything with a better blend of sound quality, comfort, style, and durability. The only other real contender is the Beyerdynamic DT880 600ohm. The 880 has better bass but requires allot more power and is not as modular, durable, or stylish (in my opinion). If you plan to ever use them away from your rig (but not in public), the HD 600 is a no brainer. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy they are to drive. Worst case scenario you just need a sound card or a sub $100 amp like the Fiio E07k. If you are looking to get into amplification, this headphone is a great one to experiment with. 10/10 across the board for this puppy.
Pros - Amazing Sound Quality, Non-Sibilant, Balanced Natural Sound, Great Instrument Separation, Very Comfortable
Cons - Bass doesn't sound right with demanding hip-hop tracks
Im a relatively new "audiophile" although I, like many others, have been a long time music listener. Like the teenage stereotype, details weren't important to me, but as I started to listen to music from the likes of Kenny G, I felt the thirst for detail as the earphones I owned (UE400s) just didn't deliver the sound I was after. Bass and treble were the focus, as it is with many of the current head/earphones today.
A while later, I received a pair of UE Super Fi 5's which were great but I felt myself struggling to enjoy the sound right out of the box. It wasn't long until I discovered my drive for high fidelity audio. The bass was punchy, the highs were very detailed and the mids were the focus, making them an intimate IEM which I enjoyed for 2 years. One day, I found myself with a wad of cash which I initially intended to spend on an Amp and DAC.. until I stumbled upon a pair of HD 600s for sale... which funnily enough, belonged to Brooko!
These to me, have been the headphones ive been yearning for! They're perfect. My ears are sensitive to high frequencies and get fatigued very easily, but due to the highs being slightly laid back, I find myself listening for hours and hours a day without hearing a hint of sibilance!
The Bass is punchy and detailed without being boomy. The mids.. are absolutely stunning. The realism and intimacy is nothing short of overwhelming. Vocals and many instruments, sounded incredibly natural with timbre. The soundstage could be better at times, although I really do enjoy the intimacy it offers with most of the songs I listen to.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1001368_4651805953007_1650769962_n.jpg Highs (10/10) Mids (10/10) Bass (9.5/10) Soundstage (9/10) Conclusion
If I was ever to get another pair of heaphones, the only two id ever consider are the LCD 2s or the HD 800s. As for the HD 600s... I dont think id ever replace them. If they ever break, ill always buy myself another pair, regardless of what headphones I have. They deliver the exact sound ive been searching for! Worth every cent IMHO.
*My apologies for the link! Its a link to the image I wanted to upload here, but hosted on facebook. Its no virus afaik. The last thing I want to do is get banned after my first post! Ive tried countless times to upload a pic but when i click on the "insert image" button, it says "please wait" and nothing happens. Id be grateful of any help as I am a newbie to Head-fi, although ive read a lot over the past few years. I also dont know how to respond to the comments below, but I do appreciate the feedback! Thank you!*
Pros - Good mid-bass, relaxing sound, removable cables, comfortable.
Cons - Lacks sub-bass impact, lacks excitement to some.
Here's my thoughts on the HD 600. During the review, I'll be throwing in the similarly priced HE-400 and the lower end HD 598 for comparison. Be warned, these are not direct comparisons. I have sold my HE-400 and HD 598, but still remember how they sounded on certain songs and if I don't feel comfortable about any statements towards them I simply won't post them.
Build Quality/Design/Comfort (3.75/5): These are really comfortable, they have a bit of clamping force but you will easily get used to them. They weighed a lot less then I expected and the pads are made up of very soft material. I would say the HD 598 is more comfortable because it has less clamping force and softer pads, but the HD 600 is still excellent in this category. The cables are removable but they aren't as thick and don't feel as sturdy as the HD 598's cable. These are plastic with some metal in them, the plastic doesn't feel very cheap, but to me they don't look or feel like a $400 headphone in your hands.
Lows (4/5): The bass has good power at the mid-bass area, but under 40hz is lacking a bit in impact. The bass is not the fastest, I noticed the HE-400 had quicker bass when I listened to upbeat Techno, like the song "E" by Drunkenmunky. I would say the HD 600's bass is adequate, it never wowed me with power and speed, but it didn't sound anemic or very slow either. It did well with Trap, rap, and dubstep showing good extension and moderate power but it doesn't exaggerate the bass which makes those genres enjoyable to some. Comparing the HE-400 I actually think the HD 600 has more perceivable bass in most songs, because of it's stronger mid-bass which you hear more in music, but at the same time the HE-400 will seem to have more bass if you play a song that relies heavily on sub-bass. Comparing the HD 598, I simply felt the HD 600 had just a touch more quantity wise.
Mids (5/5): The mid-range is less forward than the HD 598 making the 600 a bit easier to listen to without fatigue. The mid-range is smooth, vocals almost never seemed to be harsh or sound fake in any way. The HD 600's mid-range felt a bit more full than the HE-400, mainly in the upper mids. I felt the HE-400 was a bit recessed in that area, even with new velour pads.
Highs (4/5): The treble in this headphone lacks some detail and excitement. The treble is not veiled, but I couldn't say it is bright. The HD 600 has close to neutral treble that makes it very easy to listen to. Cymbals still have some sparkle and energy but it isn't overdone in any way, sibilance rarely occurs on well recorded tracks and when it comes it isn't heavily exaggerated. If you like a relaxed signature, this will probably be a 5/5 for you. If you want a more dynamic sound with excitement, you should probably look elsewhere. I think the treble was less bright and fatiguing versus the HD 598 and HE-400.
Soundstage (3.75/5): The soundstage has a good size to it but it doesn't always give you that out of your head sound with some headphones. This is kind of a good thing, because the intimacy the HD 600 gives you can be more exciting. Sometimes when I listened to my previously owned HD 598 and the Q701 I auditioned these headphones seemed to make some songs sound too far away, which made me lose excitment. The HD 598 has a larger sound-stage, not only in width but also in height. I listened to "Kitchen Sink , Boxcutters remix" by Amon Tobin and I could tell the song sounded smaller on the HD 600 than the 598.I can not comment on the HE-400 because I don't feel comfortable with my memory regarding soundstage on them.
Amping & Synergy: The HD 600 is a bit harder to drive than your average headphone but it scales incredibly well. It sounded good out of my phone, even better out of my Vintage Fisher 400 & JA-S55 stereo, and excellent out of my mediocre headphone amp (RA53b). Comparing the sound from out of my cellphone to the 30+ year old receivers or my headphone amp wasn't a night and day difference, but I noticed the treble was more relaxed and less sharp, plus the bass had increased power.
Final thoughts: The HD 600 is a great headphone that can handle almost all genres. It has a smooth and relaxing signature that I personally love. You will need to look elsewhere if you want a fun and more dynamic experience, but if you're looking for a easy to listen to headphone that won't make you too bored the HD 600 should be near the top of your list.