Sennheiser HD 600

Average User Rating:
4.79167/5,
  1. thecansmancan
    5.0/5,
    "A Masterpiece of Neutrality "
    Pros - Air, Dynamics, Sound stage, Price, Comfort, Build
    Cons - Straight cord, Box does not close, Lacks definition in middle of sound stage
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    After over two decades of service, the HD 600 is still going strong. Since the early days of its introduction, the HD 600 has grown to become something of reference point within the audiophile community. Furthermore, its neutral, airy sound has made it a favorite among audio engineers. As such, you will struggle to find better at this price point. Now, please enjoy the video, it offers my full opinion on the HD 600 as well as a touch of comparison between it and its sister, the HD 650. If you have any questions please, feel free to ask. Thanks for watching.
    gevorg, donunus, dalb and 1 other person like this.
  2. bedlam inside
    3.0/5,
    "Great sound, subpar build and wearing comfort"
    Pros - Great sound quality, shades of the HD800 at a quarter of the price
    Cons - Poor ergonomics and distinctly below par build quality spoil an otherwise good Headphone
    The HD-600s are very good sounding Headphones with average build and to me below average ergonomics. With the HD-800, Sennheiser have shown they know better. Being open back you are not isolated from noise around you and equally you leak a lot of your own music into the environment, which can cause trouble. While sonically well above average, the lacklustre build and ergonomics of the HD-600 let them down big time. Or maybe the shape of my head is not Teutonic enough? At the price they command I’d expect better, maybe more in line with the Audio Technica ATH-W1000. 
     
    Sonically they offer enough of the HD-800’s magic to make them worthwhile trying on, to see if they fit your head better than mine. To me they are a Curates Egg, their excellent sound balanced by poor ergonomics and build, at too high a price, to others they may very well be THE headphone to take home.

    Read the whole review here:

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/648968/a-headphone-shootout-from-a-speaker-listener-testing-eight-headphones-from-80-to-1-200#post_9114824

  3. BK201
    4.5/5,
    "The best headphone Sennheiser will ever create"
    Pros - nice mid-treble ratio
    Cons - bass rolls off
    VERY flat. Now this is a headphone I enjoy.

    Except for that bass roll off. Forget the HD800, forget the HD700, find some way to get deep sub bass out of these and you have a winner.

    It sounds quite clean and is never veiled (HD650, HD598) nor is ever harsh (HD700, HD800). That is all.
    Kon Peki likes this.
  4. Oeufdepoire
    5.0/5,
    "Work in progress"
    Pros - Very light and flexible detachable cable, 3,5 mm jack with adapter, makes you attend a private representation, very comfortable
    Cons - Needs an amp, clamp hard
     
    I will compare them to the Grado SR80i with both S and L cushes, and to the Shure SE215.
     
    You don't need super-quality equipment to turn the HD600 into an instrument of bliss. My setup is composed of a GrubDAC and a Millet « Starving student » hybrid amp (12AU7 version), built with good components (Wima & Panasonic FM caps on the signal path, stock Philips ones for the power supply, JAN Philips 12AU7 tubes) but not the best (Mundorf caps, expensive Mullard tubes or silver wiring), and powered by a LM317-based power supply build by my father with stock components (it's not an excellent PSU like a σ11).
    I just want you not to think what I thought before : « Aw with my sub-standard equipment I won't be able to enjoy such a good pair of headphones. » That's not true. Maybe you never thought that, it's only me who's a little paranoid, but here. I wanted you to know.
     
    I used to enjoy music in a somewhat « mystic » way : sounds comes from nothing, they are just sound, pure sound. For example, knowing anything « extra-sonic », like the names of a band's members, the year, &c, ALTERAIT my enjoyment of the music, because it made me constantly aware that it was only a recording of sounds produced by humans. That was with the Grado and Shure.
    With the HD600, I can't listen to music in this « nothing-but-pure-sound » way. For the best.
    The HD600 gives too much substance, reality and texture to the instruments' sound to allow me not to visualize the instruments being played. I can't hear a cello without feeling the bow rubbing on the strings. Everything sounds more real through them. This illlusion is perfected by all the details the headphones bring out the player's breathing, the fingers' touch on the cello, the unexact attack of the ARCHET on the string... And they do present soundstage, contrary to the SR80i and the SE215 – I thought these presented soundstage, but compared to the HD600, it can not be called « soundstage ». The illusion of reality is without comparison with the Grado SR80i or the Shure SE215 (I know, it's not the same price range and all, but still... for those who would like to compare). Listening to music with HD600 is attending a private representation whereas with the two other headphones, it's like of a projection on a screen, still with details, but it sounds flatter.
     
    It seems there is an optimal volume to find, a precise point at which the voices or the sounds are just loud enough to bring out all their details, but no too much so that the sources doesn't seem too close from the listener. (The recording must SE PRETER A this though.) The illusion of presence is so strong it pulls tears from my eyes... Listening to Yo-Yo Ma's interpretation of Bach's Suites for unaccompanied cello in these "circumstances" is an amazing experience.
    So far, I find the HD600 more excellent for classical trios or smaller formations more than for anything else.
     
     
    Pics of the unboxing :
     




     
  5. MikeP1985
    4.5/5,
    "Great Neutral Headphones"
    Pros - Accurate sound, wonderful soundstage, perfect mids
    Cons - Could use more bass, can bring out the worst in recordings, not very "fun"
    Perfect headphones for most instruments and vocals, could be better for hard rock and metal. I've never been so immersed in music in my life than while listening to these. My Bottlehead Crack Amplifier definitely improved their energy and sound quality. I do find myself using treble boost on my ipod, however, and I feel like there could be more "fun" headphones out there. I will be searching for a more bass heavy headphone with a full bodied sound for my hard rock and bass-necessary tracks.
  6. pileman
    5.0/5,
    "Incredible sound"
    Pros - Very balanced, great mids, great highs, classy looks, bass is balanced
    Cons - headband, sub-bass is a bit lacking, sound-stage could be better
    I'll make this really short (because of my poor writhing skills)
     
    Bass - bass is good but I find sub-bass a bit lacking. 9.5/10
     
    MIDS - Wow, incredible mids. But sometimes it feels that there is to much of mids. 11/10
     
    Highs - really smooth and detailed and not as harsh as other headphones like DT990 or DT880. 10/10
     
    Sound-stage - I find sound-stage to be lacking :frowning2: and probably not as quick as I expected when I first bought them. 8/10
     
    Comfort - really great comfort, no issues except for the adjustment part. 9.5/10
     
    Overall: I find these headphones to be amazing, but they are quite picky, and I find it hard to listen to mp3s.
  7. mechgamer123
    5.0/5,
    "Wow..."
    Pros - Great mids, very natural sound
    Cons - Detail level, treble, build quality
    Wow, It's been over a year since I started my Hi-fi journey, quite hard to believe for me. Before I owned the HD600s, I had exclusively been listening to the Brainwavz B2 IEMs. I heard the HD600s for the first time in mid-July, and while I wasn't blown away at the first listen, I definitely knew I needed something other than the B2s, because the treble spike in the B2s was starting to get on my nerves. After doing a bit of research, I finally settled on the HD600s. Without further ado, here is my formal review:
    The accompanying thread can be found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/636019/review-sennheiser-hd600
     
    Main equipment used in this review:
     
    iPod classic 6th gen 80gb 
    Objective 2
    Fiio L3/L9 LOD cables
     
    Musical preferences:
    Classic Rock (Beatles, Stones, Steely Dan, ELO, CCR, ect.)
    J-Pop/Anisong (ClariS,OPs and EDs for Anime)
    Indie (Mumford & Sons, Black Keys, Awolnation, Modest Mouse)
    Classical (Just starting out)
    Jazz (Just starting out)
    Metal (Mostly soft stuff like Metallica)
    Video Game/Anime/Visual Novel OSTs
     
    You can also look at my last.fm profile to see exactly what artists I listen to. Ignore the play count though, for some reason I can't get iPod scrobbles to work with the last.fm desktop app and iTunes...
    http://www.last.fm/user/mechgamer123
     
    Build Quality/Design:
    While I don't think the HD600s are built poorly they aren't the final word in build quality. The glossy plastic material used for most of the headband feels very sturdy and durable, but the black plastic surrounding the driver does not feel quite as good. That particular plastic looks cheaper, but still doesn't feel too bad. You won't break them with everyday use though.
    The overall design of the HD600s is very good to my eyes. Most of the pictures online make the blue marble finish seem way brighter than it actually was with my unit. While they don't scream durability or style, it shouldn't be enough for you to discount them entirely yet until you hear them yourself.
    The cable is detachable and is very good quality. I have not and will not use anything other than stock cables, as I believe they're a waste of money.
     
    Comfort:
    The HD600s are the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn. Although that doesn't say that much considering I haven't listened to too many cans. The clamping force is average to me, and the headband is very comfortable to me. Even though my ears and head are relatively large, I never experienced any discomfort issues. My ears also fit comfortably within the earpads. As a frame of reference, after listening to the Q701s for about an hour, the headband would start to hurt my head.
    The velour pads are also very sturdy and don't make your ears feel hot after extended use. 
     
    Sound Quality:
    Well, this is the big one. So far in this review you'd wonder why anyone would ever spend $400 on a pair of headphones with average build quality and good comfort! Obviously the most important part to many of you is the sound. I will try to do my best to explain the sound, but keep in mind I haven't heard any other headphones in the price range, my closest frames of reference are $150 IEMs.
     
    -Bass:
    The bass of the HD600s has good texture as well as extension. While sub bass is lacking, mid bass is well controlled and provides a nice punch. Bass is definitely good, although it doesn't satisfy my basshead craving. Instead, it stays relatively contained and provides a nice warmth to the sound without being anywhere close to overpowering.
     
    -Mids:
    The mids are the focal point of the HD600s, and they are wonderful. All of the instruments sound completely natural. The timbre on every instrument sounds awesome. While with the B2s some instruments sounded a bit weird, and some not completely natural, the HD600 absolutely dominates everything I've heard to date. This is the selling point of the headphones for me. The other thing that sold me on the HD600s was the vocals. While they aren't heavily forward per se, they are very intimate and engaging compared to the IEMs I own. I will discuss vocals more in the soundstage section.
     
    -Treble:
    The treble of the HD600s embodies a love/hate relationship I have with them. The treble is somewhat recessed compared to the mids, although there are various spikes which I find add a small amount of sparkle to the sound and also make the cymbals crash with some authority. But these treble spikes are only a couple decibels, and so the HD600s will never hurt your ears with too much treble if you're sensitive to treble spikes like I am. Obviously, the advantage to having laid back treble is the reduced chance for fatigue after long listening sessions as I have noted above. However, the treble is also not as detailed as other headphones that have a more balanced treble.
     
    -Detail:
    When listening to the HD600s, I often struggle to find microdetails in recordings such as when the vocalist takes a breath, but instrument detail is fairly well done. While I find this somewhat annoying, I find myself not paying too much attention to the small details nowadays, and instead listening to the bigger picture.
     
    -Soundstage:
    The HD600s are obviously open backed, so the soundstage isn't bad. While I never got the feeling that the sound was too far away from my ears, I don't feel that the soundstage is closed in at all. The soundstage is better than any of the IEMs I have tried. I also feel that the center stage is very well done. Vocals and instruments that are supposed to be in the middle of the soundstage sound much more intimate and engaging than anything I have previously heard. Overall the soundstage is above average, but still not perfect.
     
    Musical Pairings:
    The HD600s sound awesome with just about any genre you throw at them, whether it be electronic or jazz. The only area the HD600s lack in is genres/songs with a lot of sub bass, which is relatively quiet.
     
    Closing Thoughts:
    These headphones are simply excellent any way you look at them. While the build quality might not meet military standards, they should last you a long time. Besides, you weren't planning on taking your open back HD600s into combat with you, were you?
    I would also like to leave a frequency response graph here so that you can draw your own conclusions about my review and the headphones themselves:

    Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about my review, hopefully I will be writing more reviews on gear once my wallet gets to feeling better...
  8. SpinDoctor15
    5.0/5,
    "Simply outstanding"
    Simply amazing!
  9. Eisenhower
    4.5/5,
    "The gold standard"
    Pros - Fantastic sounding, great comfort, easy to amp
    Cons - Can rip hair out, looks weird, stock cord is weak
    These were the best audiophile purchase I have made. I've used them nearly everyday for 5 years, and I have little desire to purchase another set of open over-ear cans.
     
    Sound:
    The sound signature is neutral. Some have criticized the treble for being rolled off. While the treble lacks a certain energy (stemming from a lower quantity) one might find on Grados, I find that it still replicates high frequency instruments very well, and that the "laid back" nature makes listening non-fatiguing. They also have a great airy sound to them, which makes them sound more like speakers (which is a good thing).
     
    The bass response is perfect, not too little, not too much. They can "slam" as much as the music allows. Using a decent amp helps in this area. In my experience, I can not tell the difference between my cmoy, Aria Headfive, EMU 0404 usb headphone out, and from my Onkyo receiver headphone out. These are all considered to have/be good headphone amps. You don't need anything super expensive.
     
    The mids are very rich and full. It's got just the perfect amount of warmth in the mids.
     
    Comfort:
    The padding is velour, and is extremely comfortable.
    I have longish hair, and sometimes the headband pulls  on or rips out my hair. Once you know how it happens, it's not hard to avoid.
     
    Conclusion:
    I just don't see how anyone could be disappointed with these. They just do so many things right. They also aren't that expensive nowadays.
  10. nikp
    5.0/5,
    "A Living Legend"
    Here's a quick summary on the HD600. I am going to leave out headphone specifications because you can find them on Sennheiser's website. These are open cans ,not suited for portability, and they do require amping (300 Ohms).

    Comfort
    They are very comfortable and my ears don't get too hot after listening for quite some time. The cups are quite deep and I like it that way. I had hours of listening enjoyment with it and so far had no problems with comfort.
     
    Sound Quality
    Wow, these cans sound completely natural! I know the differences between natural and neutral but the HD600 has both elements. Although Sennheiser has been long associated with a veil, the HD600 does not seem to have any. SQ is completely transparent and I can assure you that the HD600 has no veil at all.
     
    The HD600 is very detailed although not up to DT880's level of detail. For classical music, hands down the HD600 is the king. Violins are wonderfully textured and have a fantastic weight on them. Highs and mids were fantastic and the bass has great impact and that nice punch in them. The HD600 is no slouch, it is aggressive and sound very neutral and balanced across the frequency range. 
     
    It did a great job in instrument separation although the size of soundstage could be bigger. Don't get me wrong. Its soundstage is fantastic and has the characteristics of an open can but vocals are more upfront and intimate. 
     
    Quick Comparison to the HD650 and HD800
     
    Neutrality: HD600 > HD800 >>>> HD650
    The HD600 is the most neutral among the three cans although as mentioned the soundstage should be a tad bigger. HD650 to my surprise is dark sounding, veiled and coloured (in a good way). It has more bass than the other two headphones. The HD800 has slightly too much treble in my opinion.
     
    Soundstage: HD800 >> HD650 > HD600
    No challenge here. The HD800 is the clear winner.
     
    SQ: HD800 > HD600 = HD650
    The HD800 has a much better presentation and detail retrieval than its younger siblings. On the HD650 & HD600, it's a matter of preference really. If you like listening to pop/rock, it's best to stick with the HD650. And if you like uncoloured headphones or listen to the music audio engineers intend them to be, go for the HD600 and ultimately the HD800.
     
     
    Conclusion
    Amazing cans and they deserve the title of a legend. They are worth every penny and imho is a top tier can. Comparing them to the Beyerdynamic DT880, I cannot say that they're better/worse than them but all I can say is that both cans are one of the best headphones out there and they compliment each other. When listening to classical music I always reach for my HD600. They are simply astounding and sound heavenly in your ears. 
    homeros8000, Syros and Dave Zember like this.