Sennheiser HD 700 Headphone

Average User Rating:
4.28846/5,
  1. techboy
    5.0/5,
    "HD 700 vs HD 650 Comparison"
    Pros - Absolute resolution and clarity; very clear, superb transients, awesomest comfort - extreme comfort; sound good out of everything; good vocals
    Cons - slightly peaky treble; not ideal for extended listening sessions
    Sennheiser was kind enough to lend me their HD 700 for a home demo. And as you know, I already own the HD 650 (silver drivers) to compare them to. And thankfully, Sennheiser has also agreed to lend me their HD 800 in a few days, for a more thorough side by side comparison. But that is best left to another review.

    I'm not sure whether these HD 700 headphones have been burned in or not. But. Neither do I care. Because I'm not a big believer in burn in making a radical difference to the sound. At least in the majority of cases. Anyway, just mentioned this to explicitly state that I've no idea.

    How much time have I spent with Sennheiser's HD 700 so far?

    Not much. Less than 24 hrs in fact. But. I've already listened to a few songs I'm reasonably familiar with.

    So. This isn't a review done after extensive testing. But. I've tried to be as accurate as possible.

    How much time have I spent with the HD 650 and the rest of my setup?

    At least over 2 years or so. Maybe longer. So that shouldn't hinder this review.

    The Setup

    Headphones: HD 700 (2012), HD 650 (silver drivers)

    Headphone Amplifier: Project Ember v1.0 (just tried a single tube, Marconi 6dj8 is what I recall from memory)

    DAC: Asus Essence One Muses Edition

    Transport: Asus Essence STX SPDIF to the PC

    The HD 650 was tested with and without Sonarworks. Sonarworks is a VST plugin that neutralises the tonality of supported headphones. Sonarworks doesn't support the HD 700 yet.

    Music

    Bollywood (Arijit Singh etc)

    Mozart (very little)

    I'd like to sum up the basic advantages of each headphone over the other, before I proceed to a more detailed review. So those in a hurry can still quickly get to know the overall gist in brief.

    Advantages of the HD 700 over the HD 650
     
    Way more comfortable. In fact, the HD 700 is so comfortable that that alone justifies twice the price over the HD 650 if you consider them equals otherwise.

    More or less better all around when it comes to technical prowess.

    Clearer, cleaner, more articulate, crisper transients and better speed.

    The overall sound is very tight and coherent.

    The bass is a lot tighter.

    Much better resolution; more detailed.

    Reasonably improved soundstage and imaging.

    More open and slightly more speaker like.

    More detailed and believable vocals.

    Basically, the difference in going from a mid range to a high-end can. ​

    Disadvantages of the HD 700 over the HD 650

    Additional treble that makes it unnaturally bright (not ear piercing though).

    Fatiguing and not as polite for extended listening sessions.

    There is something that makes them sound less natural and less musical.

    The tonality isn't as neutral; the vocals are a bit upfront as compared to the rest.

    Advantages of the HD 650 over the HD 700 (Many of these advantages may be audible only if you have Sonarworks, as that takes the experience to another level.)

    More musical, lush, smoother and sweet overall.

    The bass isn't as tight but perhaps more natural and with greater punch.

    The treble isn't as sharp; it is smoother.

    More suitable for extended listening.

    It has most of the pros of the HD 700 but not quite to the same level. In terms of technical prowess, it is what it is. An outdated flagship. 

    Now.

    You're probably waiting for a more in-depth comparison between the two. And that is exactly what I'm coming to now.

    HD 700 v/s HD 650 (with Sonarworks) - One on one

    Sound signature

    HD 700

    The HD 700 isn't as connect in tonality. But it is a very enjoyable sound signature nevertheless. The bass is super tight. The treble is lively and slightly Brit. The vocals are upfront. The sound is very tight overall. Everything is very tight.

    HD 650

    More neutral and balanced. Sounds smoother and sweeter, more musical. Nothing stands out even though the vocals are delicious.

    Soundstage & Imaging

    HD 700 > HD 650

    The difference isn't huge. But is still significant. And easily audible. Can be a deal breaker for many once they get used to the HD 700.

    I'm not too certain about the imaging. But. I think the HD 700 has an edge there as well.

    Vocals

    HD 700

    More articulate and realistic. They have better resolution and are more detailed. Also more upfront. Crisper.

    HD 650

    More musical, rounded and smoother. But not quite of the same stature.

    Bass

    HD 700

    A lot tighter. Perhaps artificially tight. Not sure though.

    HD 650 

    Far more hollow and rounded. But a tad more natural. Smoother. And with more punch.

    Treble

    HD 650 > HD 700

    HD 650's treble is just right with Sonarworks. HD 700 is a bit peaky and that takes time to adjust to. Note, the HD 700 isn't very bright. But the 650 is just more natural and balanced.

    Transients, speed, articulation

    HD 700 > HD 650

    Not even a contest. There are really far apart here. The HD 650 is very good in its own right. But not of the same pedigree.

    Timbre and tonality

    HD 650 is a bit better than the HD 700 here.

    Comfort

    Don't get me wrong. The HD 650 is pretty comfortable on its own. However, although its sound is suitable for extended listening, it's comfort isn't exemplary. It is just good.

    The HD 700 is probably the most comfortable headphone ever. More comfortable than the HD 800 I think. (I have tried the HD 800 twice.)

    It is like going from average to superlative in terms of comfort. That alone justifies 2x the price for the HD 700.

    Finally. Is the HD 700 a true upgrade to the HD 650?

    Technically, yes. Definitely.

    However, since the sound signature isn't exactly the same, subjective preferences may differ. Some may take one over the other.

    But as far as technical prowess is concerned, the 700 definitely has an edge. And a definite one at that. And combined with the much better comfort, its price is justified. Without doubt.

    Yes. I recommend the HD 700 over the HD 650 even at twice the price. But only if you feel the need for something that the HD 650 is unable to deliver. And ideally, you should try to audition before you buy it.

    Update to Sennheiser HD 700's review

    I have had a chance to listen to the HD 700 with two more setups:

    Asus Essence One Muses DAC/Amp

    iPad Mini 2 -> FiiO E12

    I also compared it to the HD 650 with both setups.

    The Fiio E12 setup sounds pretty good. With both cans. But not quite at the level of my previous setup or even the Asus E1 Muses.

    I didn't do an AB test or DBT, so I can't be sure. And being an objectivist, I'm not sure why or whether there should be this kind of difference. But for some reason, the Asus setup sounds cleaner, clearer and less muffled.

    The FiiO E12 is very good in its own right. And even with low gain I'm at about 12 o clock to get reasonably loud volume with either headphone.

    HD 700 vs HD 650

    After some more listening, I have come to realise that the HD 700 is a clear and very significant step up. And not only in terms of comfort. 

    The HD 700 is a lot cleaner, clearer, tighter, more articulate, faster and just gets the vocals a lot more right. 

    The HD 650 is still better for extended listening as the HD 700 does fatigue you after a while. But I've become used to HD 700's treble in under 72 hrs (and less than 2 hrs of use). It is not really fatiguing. But definitely a bit for extended listening. Unlike the HD 650. 

    Everything else goes in favour of the HD 700. You can hear a lot more detail. And the transients are a lot crisper as well.

    The HD 650 does sound musical and lush. But vocals are relatively frighteningly real with the HD 700.

    Honestly, I can't see much reason to choose the HD 650 over the HD 700 except for the smoother treble and better suitability for extended listening.

    The HD 700 is difficult to use for over 20-40 minutes tops at a time. Unlike the HD 650. But that could be very personal. I couldn't listen to Soundmagic E80s for over 5 minutes tops. So maybe I'm just used to the less treble energetic HD 650.

    Also, do note that most of these comparisons have been done while using the HD 650 with Sonarworks. So the HD 650 was dot neutral. In its stock form it is a bit too laid back for my tastes. And just can't compete with the HD 700.

    Stuff like breath and air movements are something that really make the HD 700 shine. The HD 650 is okay here. But not in the same playing field.

    The Fiio E12 does a good job with both the HD 700 and HD 650. But. I don't know why. I preferred the Asus Essence One Muses Edition with both the headphones.

    Solid State vs Tube

    For some reason, I always felt the HD 650 felt dead and cold with the Asus Essence One Muses edition. It felt lifeless. Like something was lacking.

    However, the HD 700 also fares really well with this solid state amp. In fact, I preferred it with the Asus over my hybrid tube amp Project Ember, I think. I'm not sure though.

    But. With the HD 650 I always chose Project Ember instead.

    Now I'm really not sure why this is happening. I may have gone mad and maybe this is all placebo. But these are my findings so far...

    P.S. Honestly, after listening to the HD 700 for a while, the HD 650 sounds like a distorted and muffled mess. The difference is at least as big if not bigger than moving from a HD 598 to a HD 650. The jump is probably a lot bigger in fact.

    The HD 700 does better most of the stuff the HD 650 does well, and much better at that. But it is definitely a different presentation. And it is best to audition before you buy either!​
  2. genclaymore
    5.0/5,
    "Great sounding headphones"
    Pros - very Comfortable,Very lite, Works very well, Great all over sound and sound stage, Good seperation.
    Cons - It can be bright with certain Amp's, Op-amp or tubes, No 3rd party earpads.

     
     
                                                   
     
     The Sennheiser HD 700 is the little brother of the HD 800, the design looks like it stolen from an art museum in the future, Or a futurist earmuff. The cups are in the shape of your ear, the ear pads can be removed by unsnapping them from the headphone’s themselves, and sadly I haven’t seen any 3rd party ear pads as Sennheiser HD 700 ear pads cost around 80-99 dollars. Maybe in the future (no pun intended) they will create different ear pads that are thicker for those whose ears touches the drivers or that stick out further from their heads.
     
    The each ear has a plug for the headphone cable’s which are Dual mono, Also besides each cup has a connector on them, it makes it easier down the line to swap to balanced cables to use with a balanced Amp.
     
    The headphone’s easily adjust to the size you need, You have to make sure you get both sides the right amount for your head, having visual numbers would have made it easier to do, cups moves forward and back, but they do not twist.
     
    The HD 700’s are very light headphone’s other than my ear touching the driver a bit, the ear pads them self are very comfortable as so the headband pads. I just wish the ear pads was thicker.
     
    Unlike my last pair of headphone’s the HE-500’s, the HD700 are easier to drive, they work great on both my Gustard H10 and my Burson Lycan the only thing that I have that they don’t work with on is the Fiio E7 which can’t drive them correctly, The HD700’s are 500mW @ 150ohms.
     
     
    The Setup
     
    For the review, I will be using my Gustard X12 Dac paired with my Burson Lycan amp which will have the Burson V5-OPA-D Op-amp installed.
     

     
     
    The Results
     
    Shazzka – Showtime
     
    The first thing you notice in this song is how hard the bass hits while going deep, Its clean and not messy, It does not leak into the other freq’s either. The Snare’s and the drum’s sound really good, the snares have a type of snap to them.
     
    The highs are detailed while clean, not too bright, Sound really nice to me. They have a good image as I can hear the location of the different instruments.
     
    The Vocals are in the center, they have weight behind them, some of the vocal’s pan out towards the left and right, while still sounding nice. The sound stage to me is big and sounds like it’s 3Dish to me, the sound isn’t close to my head but surrounds it.
    CloZee – Koto
     
    The instrument and the snares in the first part of the song is spread out thru the sound stage, it’s very clean and heard. The sound imaging is really good in this song. The bass also hits hard but not as hard like the other song, but it still goes deep as well.
     
    The vocals are in the center like the singer is in front of you on the stage in the back ground. While another sounds like is in the front of that one.  The 3[sup]rd[/sup] is at the left of the center, All 3 of them are heard clearly and does not overlap each other.
     
     
    Arkaik – Moving on (Original mix)
     
    The song has a very airly feel to it, the drum kit is in the center directly in front of you, clearly heard and detailed. The location of the bass is in the left channel which is very deep. Both the drum kit and the bass is heard separately.
     
     The 2[sup]nd[/sup] bass note feels like it surrounds you before it goes into an error, when it just the drums kit and the bass note playing. The sound stage feels like it very open. I enjoying this song.
     
     
    Ben Soundscape, Superior Selectionz – Abbey (Original mix)
     
    Like the last song, this one also have a airly feel to it, The drum kit and the snare is in the center of you in a such a way like the drummer is hitting the drums just for you. The Snare and the bass is separated from the drumming. The drums hit very deep and there some weight behind each fast hit.
     
    The vocals are soft and the position of the singer is in front of the drummer, they don’t drown each other out.
     
    The sound stage is also 3D while being large and it surrounds you like the other song, each person and instrument is easy heard all thru the sound stage as their separate thing.
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    Over all I enjoyed the way most of the songs sounded on the headphones, it worked really well with what I paired with them for this review. Prior I had the HE-500, Honestly I glad I move on to the HD700 as I prefer the way that these headphones sound over them. While the HE-500 did sound good, I just like the HD700 more so, since they like I said very light and you don’t feel them on your head unlike the HE-500.
  3. KopaZ
    5.0/5,
    "Sennheiser HD700 review for classical music listeners (with hd650 comparison) "
    Pros - wide soundstage, clarity, good separation of instruments, eye-candy design
    Cons - somewhat genre specific, performs best with classical/opera musics. (isn't this a pro??), build quality
    I picked these beautiful-looking babies on amazon few days ago when price dropped on amazon (used ones from amazon warehouse for $400), which was a bargain; compared to $300 price tag on HD650's. overall, the bass was less overwhelming than the HD650 but more forward than the HD598 (almost non-existent bass). HD700 has rather bright tone with wide soundstage, resulting in good separation of instruments (with E18 amp+dac), while giving immersed feeling.
     
    build quality: for a original MSRP ($1000), HD700 has a lot of plastic parts; the outer chassis, headband, slider (although the slider is thick and gives sturdy feeling). I wouldn't drop these if I were someone else.
     
    Design: I won't say much because we have different views on design. for me, the HD700 looks better than the beats studio (new/old).
     
    Comfort: right out of the box, HD700 was VERY comfortable. though for some people, it may require some adjustment since their ear could touch back/side of the headphones.
    (this possibly may be due to the headphones being used already)
     
    Accessory: one 10ft cable with 6.5mm jack, there is no 3.5mm converter jack in the box (unlike HD598, which I believe, came with a 6.5mm to 3.5mm audio jack converter) though cable itself gives very durable feeling, possibly Kevlar. the cable has two 2.5mm jack for detachable purpose for HD700. I upgraded to other cable from amazon because of portability; having 10ft cable tied up looks pretty funny on public.
     
    Sound: with the Fiio E18 amp+dac, hd700 gives bright sound with wide soundstage. I primarily listen to classics (Mozart's Piano Sonata, Requiem, Beethoven's symphony, violin sonata) and some soundtracks from movies to games. Mozart's requiem gave me very detailed and wide soundstage with clear vocals, compared to HD650, whereby HD650 giving me a narrow soundstage compared to HD700. Sound becomes more balanced with Schiit magni 2 amp; giving a more balanced overall tone (and less brighter).
     
    Beethoven's Symphony (nos 9, choral, aka ode to joy) sounds calm and balanced (neutral) throughout the performance with magni 2 amp with e18 dac+amp, while without using the magni 2 amp, the HD700 gives more of it's characteristic (bright and spacious, wide) while providing larger separations between instrument. I was able to hear pretty much every texts from vocals while being separated from other instruments on background.
    Overall, soundstage was wide, while giving bright sound (people say that HD700 is HD800 mixed with HD650).
    In the HD650, vocals were forward than the instruments, however, the soundstage was not wide as HD700.
     
    I would recommend these to classics listener if they had to choose between HD650 and 700. furthermore, I was convinced that HD700 is worth the upgrade from HD650.
    klaxian and Sebastian Peter like this.
  4. BasilFawlty
    5.0/5,
    "Best headphones considering price, comfort and off course sound"
    Pros - Dynamics, clean sound, great bass, midrange transparent, extremely comfy,
    Cons - Plasticky, mesh vulnerable,
    Tries so many headphones,but just coming back to my 700. Decided to stay with them and my HiFi M8 simply because I love the portability and the sound is great to me.
  5. jk47
    5.0/5,
    "great phones for classical and jazz"
    Pros - big soundstage, precise imaging, immersive sound, clear lines from individual instruments in, e.g. chamber music or jazz quartets
    Cons - rare sibilance
    my experience with headphones is very limited, as is this review, but i thought someone might benefit from these observations, someone who wants to listen to classical and jazz.
     
    i started with the hd700 by listening to the melos quartet playing schubert's "death and the maiden," and then checked my impressions by playing segments on my fidelio x1.
     
    wow!  the hd700 had what felt like a 220-240o soundstage- i was sitting in the center of the quartet. the tone was wonderful and i was surrounded by the music- the first violin to my left, the cello on the right and a bit behind me, the viola front left and the 2nd violin front right.  the last 2 were a little hard to separate, especially because they were often playing in unison, but then i could hear snatches of their playing that i had never noticed before, and which placed each of them clearly.
     
    the x1 in comparison had about a 120o soundstage, with the instruments much less clearly demarcated. the x1 placed the instruments at a bit of a distance, in front of me, perhaps 10 feet in front of me, not around me.  also i had thought the x1 was incredibly comfortable; the hd700 is significantly more comfortable.
     
    i tried some orchestral music with mendelssohn's midsummer night's dream [previn and the lso] and the contrast between the 2 headphones was the same.  i did think i caught a little bit of sibilance in the hd700 on some very high, bright, moments in the overture- cymbals? i'm not sure, but it was just a moment or two, and worth the price for the rest of what i heard.  then some chopin, some bach.  with solo instruments the contrast was less soundstage than air- the spaciousness of the hd700 and the richer tone it produced.
     
    the x1 is a bit warmer, and i'd expected it would provide the better bass, but i was wrong.  it was warmer, but the bass on the hd700 was richer and clearer.
     
    time for jazz:  i started with antonio carlos jobim and elis regina- i suddenly got confused about what set i was wearing- the fidelios felt a LOT more open than they had with the classical pieces.  i think that the recording had a lot more channel separation, which the x1 used to good effect.  nonetheless, the hd700 were in another class- richer, more immersive sound.
     
    of course they SHOULD be in another class: they cost 3 times as much.
     
    i stopped bothering to switch back and forth. i didn't need any more convincing.  art farmer; bud powell; branford marsalis; charlie hayden and pat metheny; chet baker and paul bley.; the clayton brothers [and that only got me to "c"]...   my head was bobbing and my feet tapping in a way they haven't for a long time.  
     
    my "normal" sound system uses flac files streamed from a vortexbox to a squeezebox touch, then optical to a gungnir dac, then cable to a nad c375bee amp, then to kef iq9 floorstanding speakers.   i think i've got a pretty good system, not ultra-audiophile, but good. i was listening to the headphones from the phones outlet of the nad amp.
     

    the hd700 is better than my "normal" sound system.  it was a bit of a shock to realize that, but my "normal"system can't hold a candle to listening with the hd700.  i can't imagine what i'd have to spend to get a speaker system that sounded as good, as rich, as immersive, as these headphones.  [not counting putting an addition on my house for the listening room.]
     
    so i'm impressed and enormously pleased by the hd700.  for what i listen to - classical music and acoustic jazz- they are wonderful.  
     
     
    edit: the hd700 is also relatively easy to drive.  it was louder than the x1 with volume set the same on my amp.  i just got a fiio x5 that i'm hoping will be able to drive the hd700.  i'll post the results here when i get around to actually checking.
  6. SonyMDRer
    5.0/5,
    "My 1st 5-Star Review | Sennheiser HD700 compared to the Sennheiser HD800"
    Pros - Sound, build quality, price-to-performance ratio
    Cons - Could be lighter
    Introduction:
    This is my 1st 5-Star Review.
    I am a very picky reviewer and I am a true believer in 'every little bit counts' and honestly I have little to nothing to complaint about aside from the headphone being a little bit heavy.
     
    Build quality:
    The construction of the HD700 is very similar to the HD800. Just by looking at the headphone, you might mistake one from the other.
     
    Sound quality:
    The biggest difference in my opinion lies in the smaller earcup that houses a smaller 40mm driver, compared to the massive 56mm driver on the HD800. I think this affected the sound quite a bit. With the smaller driver, I found that it was less spacious and the soundstage was not as realistic as the HD800. However, what you do get is a very wide stereo effect. On to the sound signature of the HD700, I would say it is very similar to the HD800; especially the mid-range. I think the biggest difference for me about the HD700 compared to the HD800 is in the bass region. For me, I loved the HD800 and the low-end is beautiful. However, I could never feel the bass. With the HD700, you can both feel the bass and appreciate the beautiful qualities of the bass region. Another region I focused on was the treble region. I thought the HD700 did not have the 6khz spike that plagued a lot of the HD800. Instead, you are presented with a less detailed presentation, which could or could not be a bad thing, depending on what you are listening to.
     
    Summary:
    Overall, I loved the HD700 and it is one of my highest recommended headphones. For how much it does well, I would even recommend it over the HD800 in some instances. 
     
    For a more in-depth review, please take a look at my video review =)
    [​IMG] 
  7. stpope
    5.0/5,
    "They hit a sweet spot"
    Pros - Comfort, light weight, spectacular sound: response and imaging
    Cons - Not cheap
    I've used most of the old-school brands (Grado, AKG, Sennheiser, Sony, Koss, David Clark, ...) and have tried several of the Jonny-come-latelys, and the HD700s are simply the best for comfort and sound that I know.
     
    I can wear them for hours and never get fatigued.
     
    Most of the others that I've heard fail relative to the HD700 in terms of either wearability or audiophile sound.
     
    I use an after-market cable that's shorter and lighter than the stock cable.
     
    My other options are Etymotic fitted in-ear 'phones or Genelec active monitors.
     
    I've never heard the HD800s with anything better than a computer (and a PC at that) driving them, so I can't really compare the two.
     
    I listen mostly to computer audio (Apple Lossless or AAC@320kbps formats) through a TC Electronic Impact Twin FireWire DAC/Headphone amp, which I also highly recommend (esp. for the price of $250).
     
    I've used lots of AKG 'phones over the years, and liked the sound, but the Q701 is noticeably heavier than the HD700 and flops around more when you move your head, the Senns are snugger and lighter, in addition to having a killer soundstage.
  8. Rob80b
    5.0/5,
    "Nice addition to the Senn line up."
    Pros - Very good imaging, staging is very speaker like, seamless tone from top to bottom, excellent clarity, midrange and tight tuneful bass.
    Cons - Unruly cable
    January 1st  2014

     
     
    Initial impressions
    http://www.headfonia.com/ls-take-on-the-sennheiser-hd700/
     
    First off "Happy New Year"
    Took awhile but my HD700s finally showed up yesterday, a cursory listen (5-6 hrs) mirrored more or less yours and Mike’s impressions.
    As mentioned above I’m using a Bryston BCD-1 as source balanced to a BHA-1 for amplification, so no hiss, hum, you name it just a jet black back-round allowing every little nuance to come through unscathed.
    What was great was that instead of jumping through numerous tidbits of audio nirvana and being swept into audiophile neurosis I actually got immersed and “almost” listened to each disc in its entirety.
    Started off by burning the 700's in with Underworld's "Dark and Long" and then Kraftwerk's Live "Minimum-Maximum" and kept them on repeat until I closed my shop at the end of the day.
    Finally getting a chance to chill out I sat down with Brian Eno's "Another Day on Earth", George Crumb "An Idyl for the Misbegotten", Leslie Fiest's "The Reminder" and Dave Hollands “Prime Directive”.
    The Senn signature was there but different, the HD580/600 are great phones and have stood the test of time but the HD700s appear to have brought everything up to date. Clarity was one word that came to mind but what I was mostly impressed by and just to quote you, “I would even dare to say the HD700 is speaker like in a way, it’s a dangerous statement, I know, but they sound so open and clear it’s amazing. “
    My biggest caveat with the Senn 600 series was that even though imaging layering was great, the central image quite often was produced larger than life and disproportionate to what I consider a proper sound stage, therefore more convex in nature, my AKG K701s do the opposite and produce a staging that is way too concave.
    The HD700s IMHO nailed it, producing the best natural staging, width and depth that I’ve gotten out of a pair phones and somewhat reminiscing my Dynaudio Special 25s speakers, that also applies to tonality and voicing, therefore neutral.
    But to sum up without sounding too pretentious I’d say the HD700 is very “audiophile like”, at least from what I have experienced so far, in that they do not overlay any specific sonic signature of their own to the recording unlike my AKGs, Grados and other Senns, so basically very chameleon in nature.
     
    Follow Up

     
    Not to mention the HD700s appear very well made and nice form factor, too bad they didn't throw in the balanced cable.[​IMG]
     
    Robert
     
    Ps. Just a word about pricing, not too sure why but Sennheiser Canada has never followed suit with Senn US, those with short term memory may be surprised to know that the HD600 were priced here at $699 and the HD580s at $549.00
    Working in the industry at the time I got my first HD580s ten years ago my dealer costs were still $349.00, needless to say I bought them on line from the US for a much reduced price and even still today that trend continues, the HD700 are still listed at their original offering $1000-$1199 along with most of their line up.
    So the current price of $649 in the US for the HD700 in my eyes, retrospectively speaking, makes them quite the bargain.
    IMHO the 700s are everything the 650’s should have been, the HD600 were/are very well balanced phones and I was expecting something special with the 650s, but in the end I felt it was really only Sennheiser’s answer to the boom of Home Theatre at the time, with the augmentation and proliferation of the use of sub-woofers.
    We got bass but at a cost of losing what made the 600s special, congruity of tone.
     
    Impressions after almost 8 months, August 24th
     
    Well maybe it’s just me but the HD700s have proved themselves over and over again as one of the most satisfying phones I’ve owned with all types of genres.
    I’ve now forfeited most of my headphone collection, Hd580/600s, Grado SR325is, AKG K701s, K501s and the 240DFs, the HD700s filling the gap. Along the way I also purchased a new pair of HD800s but after week even with all their technical superiority they failed to engage me musically so off they went back to the supplier.
    I still needed a second set of phones so just took the plunge on the AKG K712s, hey I was AKG supporter for as long as I can remember, their sound signature has dramatically transformed compared to my original K701s, being darker, warmer, smaller sound stage and now come very close to my HD580/600s but with a lot more bass, ironically this is all due to the implementation of the thicker, deeper memory foam ear cushions, which I confirmed just by swapping out the pads on the K701s.

     
    But again the HD700s proved themselves as a better phone, percussion having better attack and decay, superior focused imaging over the K712s allowing one to hear deeper into the mix, overall better clarity from top to bottom, both phones are very good but the HD700s just give you more. I’ve read the Annies ( again with slightly different pads) retain some of the previous AKG K7xx openess but with the bass and may be a better contender with the HD700s.
    Eventually I”ll most likely get around to the Audezes and Hifimans but for me Sennheiser have indeed produced a wonderful head-set and am always at a loss to hear otherwise.
    pdrm360 likes this.
  9. DrSeven
    5.0/5,
    "After about 300h of listening I have to say these cans qualify as pure awesomeness"
    Pros - overall sound quality, clarity, detail, mids, soundstage and separation, extreme comfort, good cable
    Cons - little sibilant in the beginning, some fragile parts, maybe too bright for some people
    Sennheiser HD 700
     
    At the moment I unfortunately have no time to write a complete review. So my apologies for that but I'm going to finish this review as soon as I can
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
    Audio
     
    Low pitch: 4/5
    maybe not enough bass for the bass heads but for my taste just enough -and whats more important- HQ bass
     
    Medium pitch: 5/5
    absolutely stunning! near perfection IMO
     
    High pitch: 4/5
    a little harsh in the beginning but after some time (burning in or getting used to them) I really think the highs sound great
     
     
    Design
     
    Well I like it ...also they are not as big as for example the HD800 and LCD 2/3 what I think is good 
     
     
    Comfort
     
    Most comfy cans Ive ever had I can wear them for hours without any discomfort
     
     
    Value
     
    I think they are not that overpriced and you get pretty good cans for your money 
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    I compared them to some cans ( to name only some: Shure SHR1840, AKG K 701, Sennheiser HD 650, Denon AH-D 7100,..) and I always ended up with the HD700 as the for my taste most euphonic headphone (dunno why but esp. when paired with a colorfly c4 player)
    So I can absolutely recommend them for most genres (except maybe Hip Hop) and I think they are great all-rounders
  10. mikebirm49
    5.0/5,
    "The Sennheiser HD 700 is a viable alternative to their flagship HD 800"
    Pros - Superlative imaging, accuracy and transparency, generous sound stage, comfortable to wear
    Cons - Expensive, its accurate sound is what some object to as the Sennheiser "veil"
    Designed to fill the gap between the HD 650s and the flagship HD 800s, the new HD 700s essentially share the status of flagship top-of-the-line headphones with the 800s. The open 800s are superb dynamic headphones featuring spatial accuracy and unparalleled imaging. Their innovative design uses a large "ring radiator" driver that is positioned a bit forward of the ears and then angled slightly backwards so that they deliver a more planar wave front. That modified acoustic wave front is the source of the 800s improved imaging as it more closely mimics the way we actually perceive sound. Listening to orchestral music, for example, produces an often uncanny sound stage of depth and breadth that enables you to position each instrument with impressive accuracy as to spatial location. The timbre of each instrument is likewise accurately reproduced, making the 800s the headphone of choice for recording purposes if accuracy is the major criterion. But all of this spatial and acoustic accuracy comes with a price. Some listeners find the 800s to be overly accurate, too acoustically detailed, too "analytical" in its approach. There is a slight increase in frequency response at 7khz during the otherwise nearly perfect treble roll-off, which may be the source of that perceived aggressive accuracy which some have found fatiguing. My listening experience has not found them problematic but nearly perfect in their ability to reproduce almost any given recording. The 800s are well engineered for reproducing instrumental and vocal music recorded with "passive" techniques, that is without the added distortion, compression, coloring, bass or brightness of many current popular music recordings. Headphones like the Audeze LCD-2, with their potent bass and fast response, may be more attuned to this variety of popular music.

    The reaction of some to the 800s may be why the new HD 700s were created. They have a slightly warmer, more gemutlich (congenial) sonic approach. Their spatial imaging is nearly as well focused as the 800s but with an acoustic signature that sounds less analytical, more "analog" in comparison to the 800's slightly more "digital" quality. What some perceive as the 800's incrementally brighter treble seems to have been modified a bit, creating a more rounded and even plumper (in a good way) upper range. To my ears the HD 700s sound less aggressively realistic and more "relaxed" in reproducing treble. Their musical accuracy remains excellent. Listening to Mozart, for example, their sonic quality matches the elegance of the music note for note. Mozart's transparent orchestration for the Piano Concerto No.17 is reproduced by the 700s with comparable transparency. The qualities that struck me while listening were their transparency, elegance and musical warmth. To my ears, they possess the best attributes of a cross between the older HD 600s, with their natural and relaxed presentation, and the HD 800s, with their superlative imaging and generous sound stage. My guess is that the slight rise in frequency response at 7 khz, found in the 800s, was significantly reduced while engineering the HD 700s.

    The bottom line is that the HD 700s boast nearly the same spatial accuracy and imaging capability as the flagship HD 800s. With good source material the 700s create a palpable sense of true-to-life acoustic presence. Bass reproduction is crisp and punchy. Mid-range is vibrant and clear. Treble is crystalline and sharp without a hint of auditory fatigue after hours of very comfortable listening. I noticed no obvious sibilance, though older mono recordings did manifest some distortion in the treble. These headphones are superbly musical. In my experience, only the much more expensive Audeze LCD-3's approach them (amongst non-electrostatic headphones) in reproducing the richness and life of the musical spectrum. As with all of Sennheiser's top of the line dynamic headphones, you'll need a headphone amplifier in order to realize their full potential. Without an amp to drive them the 700s sound slightly anemic and generic. With an amp they seem to bloom like the desert after a rain storm, coming alive and adding a sense of urgency to the music. Even if you already own a pair of the 800s, you may still want to audition the 700s. Their "relaxed" upper range mitigates what a small minority of listeners have occasionally found tiring in the HD 800s: their relentlessly accurate and analytical acoustic approach. The HD 700s reproduce music with a natural, burnished warmth and non-aggressive clarity. Their substantially lower price than the 800s make them a bit more enticing when considering value. The Sennheiser HD 700s are a solid choice amongst many available options. They are not better headphones than the HD 800s, just different with an appealingly natural approach to music. The two models make an interesting complementary pair at the peak of Sennheiser's price range. The HD 700s will definitely appeal to audiophiles.
     
    [An addendum added July 7, 2012: Several weeks of further usage have yielded some additional observations. The HD 700s have a very broad dynamic range, a frequency response between 10Hz and 42kHz and a sound pressure level of 105 dB. Music can get loud very quickly. Your listening levels should be on the conservative side in order to safeguard your ears. Their impressive range and sound pressure level also means that they can literally "turn on a dime", supporting the HD 700's faster and more aggressive response to musical dynamics. They are an excellent headphone for Rock, especially impressive with music that features more complex mixes. Bands like Genesis, Tears for Fears and similar groups, whose music reflects countless studio hours, sound exceptionally vivid and exciting. Music that had previously been obscured by multiple layers of sound is suddenly audible and distinct, adding immeasurably to the pleasure that headphones uniquely provide. Sennheiser includes a 3 meter long Kevlar cord that arrives kinked, stiff and unwieldy when first removed from the box. Straighten the cord and leave it out for a day or two so that the kinks and knots disappear. Kevlar, used in bullet-proof vests, is intrinsically very thick and heavy. The cord is quite well behaved following this simple procedure and proves itself solid and robust. The relatively light clamping force of the HD 700s induces the wearer to shift the headband forward, which accentuates the sound stage produced by their angled transducers. The intention is to mimic the placing of front speakers. The depth and breadth of the resulting acoustic image is striking.]
     
     
    pdrm360 likes this.