General Information

Reveal the truth in your music

Today’s audiophiles spend hours enjoying or analyzing music, whether listening to another artist’s work or assessing their own recordings. Sennheiser’s new HD 560S headphones offer just what is required for analytical listening sessions at an accessible price point: natural and accurate reference sound that divulges every detail, complemented by an outstanding low-frequency extension, while providing a “barely there” experience on the head and ears.




HD 560S features:
  • Natural and source-accurate reference sound, with superb extension into deep, defined bass and brilliant treble
  • New polymer-blend transducer membrane offers highly-linear excursion for superb control
  • Angled transducers recreate the optimal listening position every time
  • Open ear cups for the most natural expansion of sound waves
  • Lightweight design and velour earpads for all-day wearing comfort
  • Efficient 120 Ω impedance and 110 dB SPL sensitivity for use with a wide range of audio sources
  • Ultra-low distortion, <0.05% THD (@1 kHz / 90 dB SPL) for expressive dynamic range and clarity, even at high SPL
  • Detachable 3m cable with 6.3mm jack plug and 3.5mm adapter with flexible, 15cm lead

The Sennheiser HD 560S will be available from September 29.

Product page: http://www.sennheiser.com/hd-560s

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HD_560S_Product_Shot_Cutout_Front.jpg
HD_560S_Product_Shot_Cutout_Side.jpg

Technical Data
Ear couplingAround-Ear, Open Acoustics
Weight w/out cable240 g
Transducer TypeSennheiser Dynamic
Frequency Response6 Hz – 38 kHz (-10dB vs 1 kHz)
Sound Pressure Level (SPL)110 dB (1 kHz / 1 Vrms)
Impedence120 Ω
THD, (1 kHz, 100 dB)<0.05 % (1kHz / 100 dB SPL)
Ear Pad MaterialVelour
Warranty2 years


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Packaging Data
Package ContentsHD 560S Headphones
3m cable with 6.3mm plug
6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter
Quick Guide
Safety Guide
Packaging TypeCardboard Giftbox
Language on PackagingEnglish, German, Spanish, French,
Japanese, Simplified Chinese
Weight of Headphones with Packaging605g
Package dimensions (L x B x H)198 x 111 x 270 mm


Accessories
Article No.Article Name
509145HD 560S Head Cushion
572266HD 5X8 and HD 5X9 Cable, 3m (6.3mm plug)
561035Adapter KLB 6,3S / KL 3,5 gold
572287Ear Pads HD 559

Latest reviews

Padellone

New Head-Fier
Exceptional for the Price
Pros: - Gets all the basics right
- Well rounded
- Good comfort (after stretching)
- Superb value for money
Cons: - Treble can be a bit hot
- High clamping force (before stretching)
Introduction

I got the 560s on a B-stock sale. I have wanted to try them, so jumped at the opportunity. My main aim was to hear what the great tuning I read in reviews was all about, and possibly acquire a “reference” headphone as the rest in my collection have a colored tuning.

The 560s are fantastic value for money for $200, let alone on sale. The 560s are a fun listen, get the basics right, and an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a starter headphone or just an additional one (like me!). Let’s dive in.

Comfort

I wear glasses and have a large head - finding headphones that provide good comfort is a challenge. The 560s have comfortable pads, are lightweight, and large cups that easily sit around the ears. The biggest issue for me was the clamp force, which is quite strong. I had to remove my glasses to listen to them, which would not be an acceptable long-term solution as I like to listen to headphones also while working or reading. The band is plastic, so it cannot be easily stretched. It can be stretched over time though, using yoga bricks or similar, and it is very effective. I left them there for a couple days, and they are now very comfortable and OK to wear with glasses!

Sound

One premise: I listen at moderate volume (60s db on average), so keep that in mind as you read my impressions.

I find these headphones just sound “right” and very balanced. Bass is present, quick and controlled. It doesn’t rumble, nor goes very deep, but it gets the job done well in all but the most bass-focused songs (I wouldn’t pick the 560s for EDM). Vocals are clear and engaging. The treble was a tricky spot for me, as it sounded a bit piercing and fatiguing. I read this in some reviews as well. I tried switching to a hybrid tube amplifier (Schiit Vali 2+), and that completely fixed the issue for me, so suggest trying it if you experienced something similar.

Soundstage is good. There is separation between the instruments, you get a good feel for the size of the environment where the track was recorded. Overall, I find the soundstage to not get in the way by appearing overly intimate or overly dispersed. For context, I returned the 6xx because of the very narrow soundstage. I own the 8xx, and the 560s soundstage is not that big, but frankly I find limited incremental return on the 8xx soundstage outside of orchestral music.

Conclusion

I found the 560s to be an impressive well-rounded performer. I really enjoy listening to music on the 560s. I believe that for those of us who approach hifi as having enough quality in the reproduction system to enjoy music the way it was meant to sound, the 560s could reasonably be the only headphone we ever need.

And for those of us, like me, who like music but also find joy in exploring how different gear influences the reproduction of beloved songs, the 560s provide a baseline of solid competence, against which alternatives can be measured, and true excellence appreciated.
ericpalonen
ericpalonen
What a great compliment! Thx for your review and purchase. Wishing you many many years of joy with the HD 560S!

electronicsdesign

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Very comfortable, neutral sound, large soundstage
Cons: Hard to drive, can't handle high SPL without distorsion (especially when EQ is used)
Before buying this HD560S, I was wondering which one to choose between this and HD600. If one is to look only at subjective reviews, it seems the HD600 is the winner by far, however things start to get confusing when one looks at the measurements and specifications.

1. The HD600 has significantly more distorsion in the bass region, while also having less bass to begin with. This means one thing: if you will listen to bass heavy songs, you are more likely to need EQ compared to the 560S, which will render the bass distorsion even higher.
Since I do listen to bass heavy songs (and also listen loud), this was a red flag for me. If you only listen to low or moderate volumes, this isn't a concern.
2. Many people say the HD600 has a much narrower soundstage, creating the feeling that music is at the center of your head. To my ears, this seems to be the case.
Another red flag, as being open back I do expect a large soundstage. For many it's probably not a deal breaker, but there is a noticeable difference between the 2.
3. The HD600 uses yet another custom cable, meaning if you already have aftermarket cables for the 5xx series, they won't work on the 6xx series. I also prefer the cable to connect only to one of the cups, not to both (as it the case in HD600). This is not a big deal, but if you sum it up, it starts to become yet another minus.
Of course owning both pairs is the best thing to do at the end of day, the above aspects being mentioned for those who want to choose one or the other.

The biggest pro about this pair is the frequency response which is very close to neutral (Harman curve), except in the bass region and above 5kHz (but not much here). This means you can use them without any EQ and still obtain very good results. After all, bass response is very good above 100Hz (and decent between 50 and 100Hz) and the tad higher brightness given by elevated treble is not really that big of a problem in practice.
This is an important aspect in my opinion, hence most Senheiser headphones are not tuned as neutral as this one.

Soundstage is wide, certainly better than the lower end models (like HD559) and even HD600.
With these you will get an experience closer to when listening to speakers and a more holographic sound.

Another very big pro (which is shared by all 5xx and 6xx models) is comfort: the velour pads and large oval shaped cups make them sit around your ear, instead of touching the ear lobe. The velour material lets your ear breathe so they won't get hot even after hours of listening.

Build quality is very good for the price, significantly better than for example the AudioTechnica MSR7b or SONY MDR1-AM2 (which are both priced similarly to the HD560S). Construction is all plastic, but they don't creak and for the price quality is above expectations. They are relatively light weight, while clamping force is higher than others but not what I would consider an issue. You will definetely feel them on your head, they're not feather light as the MDR1-AM2 for example.

Another aspect to be mentioned is how it is to drive them. Contrary to what other reviews say, these headphones are relatively hard to drive, which is to be expected given the 120Ω impedance. They will need more voltage than current, which is exactly what most amplifiers lack (as they're designed to drive 16-32Ω headphones).
My xDSD Gryphon for example needs a 90+ volume on the 3.5mm port to obtain a moderate to loud volume and an 80+ on the balanced port for a similar volume.
It is also to be noted the impedance peaks at 244Ω around 60Hz, so not having enough power can give the impression the bass doesn't have enough impact.

Of course if you have an amp with more than 1.5W of output power, they will look easy to drive (despite they're not).
It's important to note amp's power will drop exponentially with increasing loads, so despite the Gryphon has a spec of 1W at 32Ω, at 120Ω is likely to drop to ~100mW.
My Topping DX3 Pro+ for example is driving them a lot easier, giving the impression they're easy to drive. It is just an impression though.
At the end of day, any higher end DAP or DAC/amp should be able to drive these, although on some you may need to crank the volume close the the max to obtain a loud SPL. So do keep this in mind, as a phone won't be able to drive them without a good amplifier for example.
It is the reason I say they're relatively hard to drive, as in my opinion easy to drive = can be driven with ease by almost everything, which is clearly not the case here.

Next, let me describe you the cable that comes in the box: while the cable itself is good quality, it's not good for everyday use because of 2 aspects: it's too long (3 meters) and it has a 6.3mm jack (it does come with 3.5mm adapter but it's too bulky for practical use). For studio use or if you want to plug it into your HiFi system and listen while lying down in bed it's very good for that as it's very long. For normal use however, I use the cables from Aliexpress: both 3.5mm and 4.4mm ones because they are significantly shorter (1.2-1.5meters) and also have the connectors that I use the most. You can see in the attachment below 2 of the cables I use.

A very nice headphone overall and one of the very good Senheisers in my opinion (despite the low price), as it gets very close to neutral sound.
Of course many might like a specific sound signature (to be read frequency response), but for me having neutral sound is what I want.
For me, the biggest downside is distorsion at high SPL, but that is unforunately typical to many dynamic drivers.

Attachments

  • Senheiser 5xx cables.jpg
    Senheiser 5xx cables.jpg
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Last edited:
ericpalonen
ericpalonen
Thanks for your review! A note about the cable: it is indeed a "home-first" headphone instead of portable, so those looking to take it out and about will indeed want to look into a shorter cable as you mentioned. Most home users will want the ~10ft for some flexibility while in their favorite listening chair.

kmmbd

500+ Head-Fier
Blurring the Lines
Pros: Robust built
- Easy to drive
- Near-reference tuning with a bright tilt
- Good staging and imaging
- End-to-end extension for a pair of budget open-backs
Cons: Clamp may be too tight for some
- Proprietary twist-and-lock cable makes replacement difficult
- Mid-bass texture is lacking
- Lower-treble peak can get fatiguing
- HD 6X0 headphones are overall superior for some extra bucks
Sennheiser HD560S - Cover.jpg


Sennheiser’s 500-series of headphones have always been overshadowed by their immensely popular 600-series brethren. The HD 598 and later the HD 599 have both been above average in their performance, but never quite gained the same cult following.

The HD 560S aim to change all that with a reference tuning aimed towards studio use and those who seek neutrality. Let’s see if they managed to hit that lofty goal, while being different enough to stand out from the much lauded 600-series.
This review was originally published on Headphonesty.

Sources used: Questyle CMA-400i, iFi xDSD Gryphon

Packaging and Accessories​

Packaging is a plain cardboard box and nothing much to write home about. In the box you get:
  • Sennheiser HD 560S headphones
  • 3m 6.35mm terminated cable
  • 6.35mm to 3.5mm adapter cable
Sennheiser HD560S - Packaging.jpg

Build​

The HD 560S have fully plastic build. Fret not though, the plastic is high quality and robust enough to take daily abuse. The headband adjustment clicks, so you know which level you are at.

There is only one cable entry located on the left ear cup. The connector on the headphone side is 3.5mm but has a proprietary “twist and lock” mechanism. This makes sourcing aftermarket cables challenging.

The yokes have limited sidewise movement. However, the ear cups rotate front-to-back by about 15 degrees, so I think most people won’t have issues getting a good seal. There is also a rubber nub that stops the cup from hitting the yoke. The ear pads have a velour-like material. They did not feel scratchy to me but your mileage may vary.

Sennheiser HD560S - Build.jpg

Sennheiser HD560S - Cups.jpg

Comfort and isolation​

Clamp force is alright on the sides but pressure can build-up on top of the head. I wish the headband had softer padding. The clamp pressure reportedly becomes weaker over time, but I advise against trying to bend the headband by force since it is plastic and not as malleable as a metal headband. Comfort overall is above average but falls behind the likes of the Philips SHP9600.

Isolation is almost non-existent due to the open-back design.

Internals​

The Sennheiser HD 560S use completely redesigned 40mm drivers despite using a previous-generation housing.
The drivers are mounted at an angle from the ear, allowing better pinna interaction. The damping scheme has also been improved, resulting in better driver control.

Sennheiser HD560S - Driver.jpg


Sennheiser HD 560S Sound​

The HD 560S are neutrally-tuned without any coloration in the mids or bass. There is some lower-treble emphasis though which can veer towards bright at times.

The HD 560S deliver well-extended bass for an open-back even though sub frequencies are rolled-off and lack rumble. Certain sub-bass notes, or the dense understrokes of grand piano, etc., are often missing or lacking in body.

The mid-bass could do with a bit more body to compensate. There is also some loss of texture in the mid-bass, with bass notes of different instruments often sounding the same. Bass decay is somewhat slow and attack is blunted. Given their open-back nature, these sorts of issues (e.g. lack of rumble) are expected at this price.

The upper-mids can sound strident at times. Part of this is due to the linear bass response that doesn’t mask the upper-mid shout at all. This is good for monitoring but can be an issue when listening to poorly mastered tracks.

Lower-mids are excellently tuned, however. The lack of coloration in the midrange makes the HD 560S especially suitable for studio monitoring and mixing.

The aforementioned lower-treble peak can be tiring for treble-sensitive people. I have experienced fatigue when listening to poorly mastered tracks. Certain rock and metal songs are susceptible here, e.g. Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s Californication.

Fortunately the upper-treble is well-extended and Sennheiser did not try to exaggerate the air frequencies. Instead, they put some emphasis near 15KHz and kept the rest of it well under control. Cymbals and triangles resonate naturally as a result, with precise attack and decay.

Overall detail and resolution is good but the HD 560S are not giant-killers in these regards.

Soundstage is average for an open-back and these don’t sound as claustrophobic as the 600-series headphones. Imaging is precise with accurate instrument placement. One negative is the center-imaging which suffers in busy tracks.

Macrodynamic punch is lacking due to the lack of sub-bass rumble and mid-bass body. Microdynamics (gradual shifts in volume) are above average but not class leading.

Sennheiser HD560S - Gryphon.jpg

Comparisons​

Vs Sennheiser HD 650​

Sennheiser’s HD 650 are legendary in their own right and are massively popular even 20 years after launch. The HD 560S manage to bring some meaningful improvement over their older brethren.

The most noticeable improvement is in staging and imaging, with the HD 560S outperforming the HD 650 in both aspects. Bass extension is also better on the HD 560S even though the HD 650 sound bassier due to their mid-bass emphasis.

Sadly, this is where the HD 560S end their dominance. The HD 650 are noticeably more resolving and transparent in the midrange with better vocal articulation. The treble is also smoother yet just-as-detailed on the HD 650. Despite the mid-bass emphasis, bass on the HD 650 never bleeds into the mids and the mid-bass texture is superior.

Separation is also a marked improvement on the 600 series headphones. Given that the HD 6XX (Drop version of the HD 650) are just USD $40 extra over the HD 560S, I am reluctant to recommend the HD 560S over the older model.

One caveat of the 600 series headphones are their amp requirements, though nowadays you can get a capable-enough amp for the HD 650s without denting your wallet too much.

Sennheiser HD560S - HD650.jpg

Conclusion​

Sennheiser made a near perfect pair of studio monitors with the HD 560S. Flat bass response? Check. Neutral and uncolored midrange? Check. Extended treble with a bit of lower-treble emphasis to highlight mastering flaws? Check. Fairly easy to drive? Check. Good soundstage and imaging? Check, and check.

The Sennheiser HD 560S are good headphones. It’s just a that the HD 650 are often better. To their credit, the HD 560S strike a happy “medium” between the HD 600 and HD 650 sound signature. Those who find the HD 600 lacking in bass and the HD 650 having too much bass will probably find the HD 560S more adhering to their preferences.

There is a place for the HD 560S after all, even though they are unlikely to be as popular as the eternal classics.

Sennheiser HD560S - HD.jpg
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Comments

Tripokaridos

500+ Head-Fier
my only gripe with previous senn headphones is the much narrower soundstage compared to the x2hr (i tested the hd660s at store before and it doesn't sound wide and as open as I wan

All HD6 series and 58x have this construction for a reason thats why they sound in your head and get these vocals.
Soundstage wide or standart or norrow is not a bad or good thing its just about what type of sound u want to give in a headphone. For example DJs use HD25 for a reason all these years, HD6 series also have this soundstage for a reason.
HD599 have big soundstage because they made for other reasons.
Soundstage its personal taste and for what kind of music u like ... For example i prefer hd599 for movies .
I think u gone like HD560s i can tell u about comfort they are great about sound... Reviews FR show that they are clear and have big soundstage like u wanted but i dont know if the bass is what u will expect compared to x2hr .
 

deadchip12

100+ Head-Fier
All HD6 series and 58x have this construction for a reason thats why they sound in your head and get these vocals.
Soundstage wide or standart or norrow is not a bad or good thing its just about what type of sound u want to give in a headphone. For example DJs use HD25 for a reason all these years, HD6 series also have this soundstage for a reason.
HD599 have big soundstage because they made for other reasons.
Soundstage its personal taste and for what kind of music u like ... For example i prefer hd599 for movies .
I think u gone like HD560s i can tell u about comfort they are great about sound... Reviews FR show that they are clear and have big soundstage like u wanted but i dont know if the bass is what u will expect compared to x2hr .
Yeah, I didn't mean to slam those headphones for the narrow soundstage. I know some people like that kind of intimate sound. Just saying I prefer big and open sound since I mostly play games and watch movies.
And you're right about the bass. I'm a bit worried the hd560s's bass may not kick as hard as the x2hr. I really like the x2hr sound signature except its imaging which I feel is not very good.
 

Tripokaridos

500+ Head-Fier
If u want overdone Bass and big soundstage , sory to say but without EQ i dont think u will like any of these headphones.
On the other hand u can keep your X2hR . And guess what u can buy HD 560S and have different type of sound as an alternative and u never know maybe u will love them after time.
If u are like me after listening HD6 series every other headphone with more bass it sounded muffled and bloated to my ears.
The best imaging i have heard under 1.000 euros ( i dont have headphones over this price) are the HD660s by far , they dont have big soundstage but the imaging ... OMG on PUBG i can hear exactly not only the left right but in what height on the mountain people are and close or not , my team keeps asking me . Using other headphones i was never getting all that information .
From reviews they say that HD560s have very good imaging and with that angled drivers maybe its better than HD 6 series in games... dont know i have to wait for them to come .
In my opinion games that u need to hear the position exactly u need first of all best imaging , for movies or single player games yeah big soundstage and bass is nice to have... U can also use DTS or Dolby versions on HD560s i think they will get that surround effect and bass that u need.
 

jrenai

100+ Head-Fier
DMS released his review on these today. You should watch it because the sound stage and low end is everything the 600 line wishes it could be according to him. And the detail is on par with the 660s and ITS ONLY 200 right now which would be amazing if this is all true
 

deadchip12

100+ Head-Fier
DMS released his review on these today. You should watch it because the sound stage and low end is everything the 600 line wishes it could be according to him. And the detail is on par with the 660s and ITS ONLY 200 right now which would be amazing if this is all true
Yeah I watched his review. I also read the review from diy audio heaven. It all sounds too good to be true. This headphone seems to do everything right (wide soundstage, good imaging, great details, nice mids, no sibilant, good bass, relatively bright) for just $200. I can't wait to test it.
 

CTR640

1000+ Head-Fier
Should I buy it? From what I read and if true if soundstage is wide, good imaging and all, I would like to get it. Right now, the Fidelio X3 is a bit overpriced. I can get the HD560S for €179
 

Tripokaridos

500+ Head-Fier
My only concern is if it sounds lot colder compared to HD6 series or just a bit. FR looks like doesnt have mid bump and also a bit bright highs . I am more on warm side like 650 660 . Cant wait to try them.
 

deadchip12

100+ Head-Fier
My only concern is if it sounds lot colder compared to HD6 series or just a bit. FR looks like doesnt have mid bump and also a bit bright highs . I am more on warm side like 650 660 . Cant wait to try them.
Since I like the sound sig of the x2hr, I guess I'm gonna like the bright highs of this hd560s.
 

rev6

100+ Head-Fier
Really anticipating more reviews popping up. I have mine ordered but no sign of shipping being moved up a day. Reviews do seem too good to be true but in such a congested market, plus their 60 day return period, it's worth trying
 

deadchip12

100+ Head-Fier
Really anticipating more reviews popping up. I have mine ordered but no sign of shipping being moved up a day. Reviews do seem too good to be true but in such a congested market, plus their 60 day return period, it's worth trying
Sennheiser has 60-day return window??? Man I wish I could order one to try but I dom't live in the countries that they ship to.
 

rev6

100+ Head-Fier
Yes the confirmation email states this

You may return your order within 60 days of reciept of the goods. Sennheiser guarantees that it will accept returned items and issue a full refund within this period. Please retain a copy of your delivery note supplied with your order for your records.
 

deadchip12

100+ Head-Fier
Yes the confirmation email states this

You may return your order within 60 days of reciept of the goods. Sennheiser guarantees that it will accept returned items and issue a full refund within this period. Please retain a copy of your delivery note supplied with your order for your records.
Feels bad man. Local retailers here don't have such rule, so I always have to go test at the store in person.
 

daydesiang

100+ Head-Fier
A revival of an old name HD560 Ovatation, which is one of the legendary headphone from Sennheiser! Meaning that this will continue that legend?
 

jasonb

Headphoneus Supremus
So where do I buy these? I'm in the U.S. and I don't see them listed online anywhere.
 
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