Sennheiser HD 560S - Reviews
Not my favorite
Pros: Well textured bass, inviting vocal range.
Cons: Rough, lacking in upper treble, no air, congested stage
I pre-ordered these based on the DMS review. I do not share the analysis of the sound. I don't find them neutral. They seem slightly mid forward and lower to mid treble forward, yet upper treble recessed. The soundstage is rather small. The imaging is pretty good. The bass is fast and well textured. Overall these offer no refined treble, it is a little rough, and does not have enough presence beyond 7khz.

I really love some Sennheiser classics like the HD25.
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We can call this "A review for people in a hurry"
While it's a shame these didn't suit your preferences, we appreciate that you gave them a try and helped contribute impressions.
a bright future ahead
Pros: clear, overall rather balanced headphone with good imaging and good headstage, cleaner bass than the 6X0 line, great extension to both extremes. Very good for gaming, movies, able to separate objects in the 3D space, well-defined and stable imaging, great choice for gaming and movies in general.
detailing and texturing really good for its price range, though does not reach HD 600/650 qualities.
Cons: brightish, edged treble relative to the 6X0 editions and generally a bit overexcited at the top. Not as natural as the 6X0 line.

I'm not a good photographer so I won't be filling this with many pictures.

Let's get comfort and build quickly behind us because they are pretty quick to assess:

build: No creakiness at all, solidly build, you clearly notice it's from the 5XX range, yet more elegant than all the other family members.

Comfort: at first I thought it has the clamp of death when I pulled both cups away to fit it on my head but that notion disappeared very quickly. I didn't notice this headphone in the many hours I had with it and it reminded me of the PC360.


HD 560S
HD 600

Violectric V590 Pro -> Custom Pass Labs HPA-1
Violectric V590 Pro -> Cavali Liquid Crimson with a Philips Amperex E88CC tube.

the short version:

overall rather neutral aside from the treble fr, no bass boost.
great extension to both sides, keeps down low rather neutral but can still thump and kick pretty good
is more punchy than the slammy type but can still rumble
good detail and texture relative to its price range
cohorent imaging, no 3 blob type stage that envelops and renders around you very sharply and consistent when used with VSTs.

relative to the HD 600:

finds its master with the HD 600 but beats it in bass quality/clarity
HD 560S seems clearer but not without "tricks" so nothing reallly worth praising a lot, still admirable
brighter, overall less refined than the HD 600
does not render detail as good, just says: LOOK HERE vs. HD 600's: oh, how delicate!
Mids slightly etched, edgy
proner to sibilance
Wider staging than the HD 600

its brightness relative to other contenders:

While the treble is my biggest gripe with this headphone as you might notice, its brightness is not up to the level of headphones like the DT770, DT990 or an Ultrasone Pro 900. Relative to them it's better or far better behaved. Don't worry about any Mt.Beyers or Burj Ultrasone.

the long version:

Hanne Boel - How can you mend a broken heart

What a lovely song. If there are hearts that are going to be broken, it's the hearts of those who followed youtube hypers and other strange fellows and thought Sennheiser would come to destroy the 6xx class with 5xx looks. Now I am not against that idea at all but was anyone outside the influencer bubble really believing for something like this to happen?

Now about broken hearts:

Hanne Boel's voice is accentuated by the 560S's slight proneness to sibilance compared to the HD 600, There's generally always a slight edgyness to vocals which is absent from the HD 600 who renders them more natural and yet more defined, finely shaped.

A bit more perceived clarity surely is a welcome bonus in this game but in this case it's not as natural as the 600 but "exciting" in the way that the Sennheiser engineers surely intended to. It does not come off cheap like some famous other brands where adding excitement to the treble makes for a good wincing game. Good at exposing flaws in the corresponding peak but unnatural and annyoing in the end.

Here's it's more like turning the overall brightness higher on your TV and watch the whole color balance degrade. Also add a slightly uneven brightness boost.
Still, it seems to be a very popular tonal balance so they too designed around it. Brightness of this type can also batter a bit through muffled onboard sound and cheap external usb soundcards. I am just guessing though.

I personally find it unnecessary but I understand it having the same FR like a HD 600 but with more bass would not make for a fine new addition to the portfolio but come off as a knockoff attempt. And it would probably expose it's flaws even more. Original Remastered

Is this Love? No, not quite there. Where the 560S still gives me a hard time is the accentuated (lower) treble. It's always present, especially in famous remastered approaches of classics. Thank god Tidal gives us a choice so I went around and found the best version of this song. The Remastered is hard to listen to, especially during the refrain where everything and everyone involved is trying to poke and stab while screaming and shouting at me. Now you might ask my bloody perforated self why I bother with such examples when they themselves are inherently not ideal.

Well: overall genre/catalogue compatibility. Not every recording is worthy of the good song it carries and some genres are simply generally harder to match with headphones as most headphones struggle with treble. This means you will not always have luck with a good recording and some songs that are great only exist in one version.

While the original is good to listen to with the 560S the remastered clearly steps over the line while being easier on the HD 600.
No the 560S is not more detailed or more "revealing" (a famous euphemism for overly bright headphones), it's simply unrefined and "overachieving" in the treble relative to the HD 600.

Take this one for instance:

A beautiful dreamy song, not a particularly good recording, strongly processed to achieve it's dreamy timbre. There is no other version, no way out.
Very hard to listen to on the 560S, much easier on the HD 600. None of it is wince inducing even though it's flamboyantly dancing on the threshold.
Sure, you can skip a song like this because it does not strike your mood, but then

Here the 560S shows off it's rather potent and clearer bass alongside the (quite talkative) voice's ever so slightly sibilance. The HD 600 is more murky here down low, less separating. Looks like more distortion creeping up. While it doesn't share the same sibilance, neither does it share the same fun though. The beat is the star of the show here and favors the 560.

Now my impressions might sound rather negative.

If the 560S had a similar FR in the treble and at least a slightly more refined quality there it would be clearly be a 5 star candidate. What it gains over the HD 600 in bass cleanliness down low or in overall claritiy it "balances" out with worse treble.

A recording made for headphones and a lovely song too. 560S immediately impresses with more clarity and a cleaner bass. Yet the HD 600 brings out the finer nuances, the reverb of the room, the textures. The 560S is polished here and adds its sharpening filter, the overall image is a bit in hypermode without the same details and textures, yet it's still exciting and somewhat engaging. 560S is very playful here, I think a lot of people will like it.

The next song on the same album. Listen to the claps at the beginning. The 560S has no problems rendering all the cues and the reverb. It's nuances again, I wouldn't say the HD 600 claps better, it's when the music starts you will notice the timbre superiority again, the tiniest differences of volumes between and within the various instruments.
The 560S employs its old tricks: clarity and excitement.

Now to some ambient beats:

The 560S outlines the (especially kick)bass part better, there's always a bit more bloom on the 600 making it less clear overall, removing a bit from the sense of depth where the beat emanates from. This is one of the tracks where the 560S outshines the 600.

Another beautiful song where the 560's negatives don't show at all. No more details here, just want you to listen to it and enjoy!


I played a few hours of Division 2 with the Dolby Atmos for headphones plugin.

The implementation in this game is pretty good. You can hear your drone buzzzing around your head, over you, below you if have a higher position etc.
A turret shooting at a place over you (to have a better fov and enemy reach) clearly sounds above your head.
Thunder, storm and lightning rumble, growl, explode over you with menacing power and deep sub bass. High calibered Sniper shots blast through smoke filled streets piercing the air around my head like Yang Wu-lang's spear in 8 diagrams. When the rain falls you can clearly hear finest nuances of drops plopping on different material when finally landing on the ground washing away all the blood and crap. It's always a spectacle, gotta admit I'm sometimes longing for that experience and thus hope for bad weather. At least in games.

I know most people who game will probably not bother about stuff like this and clearly focus on their gear, skill, multiplayer experience, chatting with friends. I myself clearly prefer single player experiences and the immersion, storylines they bring so I focus on a lot on how everything sounds and immerses me. It's a huge part of the experience for me.

Strong rain in this game sounds a bit more like hail with the 560S. It's no showstopper at all, you could see it as an artistic filter but it's the way it is. The impressions naturally continue on every other segment or purpose you use that headphone, there's no magic barrier between music and gaming except you be more picky with music.

Still it does gaming very good and I would pick it over all other candidates in its class. It has a cohorent way of rendering the space around you in conjunction with various VST's and has no trouble keeping its composition when facing multitudes of ambient cues and placing them around you.


Sennheisers' HD 560S is a strong horse in the sub 200€ race and its moderate amping requirements, high comfort and rather neutral, detailed nature that supports its good staging/imaging capabilities ticks a lot of boxes for those who want a headphone for all purposes, be it movies, gaming or music. Now Sennheiser only needs to release a cable with added microphone and you got yourself a superb headset too.
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Very nice read!! Good work
These HD 600 650 660 series have exactly what u said this natural smooth sound that strangely i havent get it anywhere else .
Thanks for the review, it seems we hear and play quite similar. I especially like the sound art of TD2 with Atmos for headphones and even more so as single player. I use the GSP500 for that purpose most of the time though.