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Sennheiser HD 600 Headphones ( ear-cup ) - gray, black

Sennheiser HD 600

  • Sennheiser HD 600 Headphones ( ear-cup ) - gray, black
rexhu100 and dr3wd4wg like this.

Recent Reviews

  1. DivineCurrent
    My all time favorite headphone!
    Written by DivineCurrent
    Published Mar 7, 2019
    Pros - Incredibly natural frequency response, amazing value.
    Cons - Dated cosmetic design
    I don't write many reviews, but I feel like I need to for the HD 600. Practically everyone on this site has heard them at some point, and they have been around for over 20 years. The fact they have been a benchmark that many companies have tried to emulate for two decades is a testament to how good they really are.

    Before trying the HD 600, I bought and reviewed the HD 580 back in 2014. I understood the hype from this Sennheiser HD 580/600/650 line, but there were a few things I did not like about the 580. It may have been my pair with their flattened ear pads, but they had basically no bass. This was at least when compared to the only other mid-fi headphone I had at the time, the Beyer DT 880. I sent them back, and I decided to try the HD 650 after much research here on Head-Fi. I noticed a huge difference between the 580 and 650, and I have since used the 650 as my daily driver up until a few months ago.

    I now own the 6XX, 58X, and 600, and out of all of them, the 600 gets the most listening time. Over the years, I got used to the warm bass hump of the 650, and when I first tried the 600, I thought they were bass light. However, the more I listened and compared the 600 and 650, I found the 600 to have clearer and tighter bass. I also found the 600 to respond incredibly well to EQ in the sub bass, and actually got it to hit harder than the 650 with the right settings.

    The mids are where the 600 outperforms every other near or above its price, in my opinion. I have tried other high end headphones such as the HD 800S and LCD-X, and I still prefer the smooth mids on the 600s. There have been many times where I thought real instruments were playing in front of me. The mids are that realistic and natural. I don't know what engineering magic Sennheiser did with these in the 90s, but they clearly did something right. In comparison to modern V shaped headphones, these will sound forward to the majority of people. However, I find them to be just perfect.

    The treble, to my ears, is as good as the mids. I hear no grain whatsoever. This may come as a surprise, but I actually find the 6XX to have more treble sparkle than the 600. It may be unit variation, but from memory, I also remember my original 650 to have had more upper treble emphasis as well. This doesn't show up in measurements, so I don't know why I'm hearing it. Anyway, the 600s treble to me sounds perfectly flat and neutral, with no emphasis anywhere. Things sound just as they would in real life. And that is exactly what these headphones do best.

    You can find hundreds of headphones that have a defining characteristic that makes them have their own "personality" if you will. Of all the headphones I've tried, the HD 600 does the best job at getting out of the way and just letting the music itself be the personality. I know that is a very cliche thing for reviewers to say, but I really mean it. The 600 is almost like a sound portal, where you just hear what is really there, with nothing taken away or given to the recording. With the exception of ultra low sub bass extension, everything that was recorded can be heard plainly with these, with no exaggeration or detraction. The HD 600s to me sound like they are not trying to be more than a simple pair of headphones. That may sound bad, but let me put it this way. I think many other headphones try to sound like something other than headphones, by making the imaging and soundstage super wide, or having over emphasized bass, or giving the treble more detail than what was in the recording. What makes the 600 so great in my opinion, is they focus mainly on replicating the natural frequencies of the music, and not attempting to change anything in the recording. I think what I'm trying to describe here is neutrality, and I guess one thing nearly everyone can agree on is how neutral the 600s are. In a way, the simplicity of the HD 600 makes it one of the world's greatest headphones in my opinion.

    If there is one criticism I have for these, it is the dated design on the headband. I don't mind the speckled blue-grey marble most of the time, I would just prefer if it was a plain color all around. I think a refresh of the look of these would do Sennheiser a lot of good. Or, you can go crazy and paint them like Z Reviews.

    Well, I think I've hyped these headphones up enough. Needless to say, these are currently my favorite headphones of all time, and I doubt I'm going to find a replacement for them anytime soon. Thanks for reading all this!
      volly and trellus like this.
    1. volly
      I love using the HD600's late at night in my home theatre, straight out of my Yamaha receiver, they really sing! The 600's are great for movies and shows! As for a successor, slightly bigger cups, move the hell away from their cloth pads and perhaps a closed version would be a consideration. Good read, Ty!
      volly, Mar 8, 2019
  2. Seph Haley
    Neutral Without Being Boring
    Written by Seph Haley
    Published Dec 8, 2017
    Pros - Midrange is tonally accurate
    Treble is detailed
    Mostly non-fatiguing sound
    Very good build quality
    Cons - Sub-bass is weak
    Preface: Hi there! I am a young audio enthusiast who has retained all my hearing (up to about 19khz) thus far. Unfortunately I do suffer from mild tinnitus, meaning I have slight high frequencies ringing in my ears. I don't listen to music loud generally, because I don't want to damage my ears, and I can get fatigued fairly easily. I am pretty sensitive to sibilance. I am a musician, I have played French Horn for about 7 years now, and have dealt with classical/ish instruments and music since. I am also, somewhat new to the high-end audio world (been about a two and a half years) and do not have first-hand experience with end game equipment (yet). So, you can take all my words with a grain of salt. Now, for the review!

    Sources: Extreme quality Spotify -> Dragonfly Black V1.2 -> HD600

    Foobar2000 with FLAC and AAC files -> Dragonfly Black V1.2 -> HD600

    Extreme quality Spotify -> Dragonfly Black V1.2 -> Little Dot 1+ -> HD600

    Foobar2000 with FLAC and AAC files -> Dragonfly Black V1.2 -> Little Dot 1+ -> HD600

    Panasonic DVD-RV32 with CDs -> Little Dot 1+ -> HD600

    Packaging and accessories: The packaging is pretty barebones for the headphones, especially for the price. The box it comes in is a made of a textured cardboard with a shiny black Sennheiser label on the front. it has metal hinges to open the lid (which I find kind of cool) and upon opening shows the glorious headphones sitting in a form fitted foam to hold the headphones snugly in place. just beneath the headphones is a foam block that is covering a hole where the cable, and its 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter (which fits very flush to the cable end) resides. there is only one other object in the box, a manual. That's it. I guess I understand the lack of accessories, there's really not much you could include. They get straight to the point, the headphones.

    Build Quality: The build of the HD600 is very good. It has a hard plastic surrounding around the ear cups, and the same hard plastic for the headband, with memory foam bumps on the part that touches your head, and metal hinges to adjust the height. The grills are metal, and the earpads are memory foam with velour covering them. When bought new, I hear that the clamp force is very strong, and the pads are stiff. Fortunate for me, I bought mine used, and the previous owner had already stretched the metal hinges so that they are very comfortable and practically float on my head. Overall very good.

    Sound: The HD600 is an exceptional headphone. It is a classic in the community, and that was one of the reasons I bought it. I've had it for several months now, and it is still amazing.

    Bass: Lets start with the bad: the bass. I wouldn't say its necessarily bad, but if there were one thing I would improve upon for the HD600's, it would be the bass. It is very lean, due to the nature of dynamic headphones. The headphones experience a pretty severe sub-bass roll-off around 70hz going down all the way to 10hz. The bass is slightly textured, but lacks quantity. The detail of the bass is pretty good, though it can suffer from one-note-itis sometimes. Overall its alright, at least to me, but I have yet to hear how it compares to other high-end headphone's bass. If you like rap music, or electronic, you may want a different pair of headphones.

    Midrange: This is where the HD600 shines. The midrange of the HD600 is very natural and organic. Vocals and acoustic instruments come across with crystal clear clarity, and they appear so lifelike. Candido's Arcason is perfectly replicated, the brassy sound of the trombone and trumpet, the laid-back vocals of the song, the striking of guitar strings, the precise hits of the bongo played in the left channel, to the point where I can pinpoint the areas on the drum head the player is hitting. In Arnesen: MAGNIFICAT 4. Et misericordia, the lead female vocal is just dreamy, so liquidy smooth, and clear, with the strings accompanying her, it feels like I'm sitting in a concert hall listening to a live performance. Overall my favorite part of the headphone, and has made me a complete sucker for a good midrange.

    Treble: A lot of people talk about the "Sennheiser veil" and honestly, I'm not quite sure what that means or entails. I find the detail of the of the treble to be very good, if not even a little harsh (for my ears) with some recordings. In Ying Quartet's performance of Adante Espressivo - Allegro, the strings, particularly the violins are brilliant in presentation, revealing the forwardness that is part of the instruments nature. Overall very detailed, and enjoyable with well mastered recordings.

    Microdetail: You can hear microdetails well. very slight echoes in music can be heard if you concentrate, or maybe even a page flip on an orchestral piece, or the breathing of a flute player. Overall pretty good.

    Overall detail: These headphones are very detailed, especially in the midrange and treble regions. Bass detail is polite, but there. Just very good in general, there's a reason you can find these in recording studios all around the world.

    Soundstage and imaging: The soundstage is decent on these headphones. It has a pretty good left, middle, right representation of music. Any sort of panning effects are accurately represented. It isn't very wide, or tall in presentation, mainly keeping intimate feel to them, which works well for them in my opinion. Imaging goes hand in hand with soundstage, but does so very well in the small space its offered. I can pretty easily pick out where an instrument or sound effect is coming from, whether that be to my front right, or directly behind me.

    Source pairing: I thought this was important enough to warrant its own section. Using the headphones straight out of an iPhone 7 (only did this once), I got it to listenable levels, but it sounded a little harsh and lacking detail. With the Dragonfly Black out of my PC, it has more detail and more than enough power, but I still found it a bit harsh. I found my optimal usage out of my Little Dot 1+, a hybrid tube amp that can power these cans on low gain with extreme ease. I never turn the volume nob past 26 (out of 100), for fear of damaging my ears. I must say though, the Little Dot takes the little bit of edge I experience with Solid-State sources, and adds a hint of warmth to the lower midrange and bass, that I think the 600's really benefit from.

    Conclusion: I LOVE these headphones. Despite the problems with the bass, the midrange and treble make up for it, and more. I bought them at $210 USD, and would do so again in a heartbeat. These are/will be my reference against any other open-backed headphones I review or audition. Overall I would give them 8.5/10.

    Thanks for reading!

      cjeong likes this.
  3. BigBadBirdman
    Reference Headphone for Opera and Chamber Music
    Written by BigBadBirdman
    Published Sep 15, 2017
    Pros - Detailed, neutral, sound quality. Does not change the tone of the music.
    Cons - Needs a good amp to sound it's best.

    The Sennheiser HD600 is generally considered the reference headphone for Classical music and opera. I have owned mine for 17 years. I have purchased 5 other headphones since then but I still use my HD600 on a weekly basis and it is still one of my favorites.

    The Sennheiser HD600 is considered a neutral headphone. It will sound like whatever your recordings sound like; for better or for worse. The reason that I have 5 other headphones is that not all recordings sound perfect and many recordings benefit from bass and treble boost. But on the occasion that I have a recording that sounds great the way it is, the HD600 is the headphone I choose.

    My Setup

    I use CD, Blu-ray, and DVD as my sound source. I mostly use a Marantz CD6005 but sometimes use an Onkyo C-7030 as my CD player. I use a bottom of the line Sony for video.

    I drive all my headphones with a Schiit Asgard 2 headphone amplifier. Some of my other headphones sound fine being driven from the headphone output of CD player but the HD600 sounds significantly better with the Asgard 2 amp.

    The HD600 is designed for home use. I do not use any portable listening devices and do all my listening exclusively at home.

    I primarily listen to opera and orchestral music. I sometimes listen to jazz. If I watch a movie, the HD600 is my first choice of headphone. Movies are heavily equalized already and do not sound good with the added bass and treble boost of my other headphones.

    The other headphones I currently own are the Sennheiser HD700, Beyerdynamic DT-880, Beyerdynamic DT-990, Beyerdynamic T51i, and Philips Fidelio X2.

    My speakers are the Apogee Centaurs driven by an old Carver solid state amp and a passive preamp. I live in a small condo, so I cannot play my music very loud without disturbing the neighbors. I do most of my music listening with headphones and use the speakers for movies and television.

    Sound Quality

    The HD600 is known for its transparent sound quality. The sound is clear and detailed with sparkling highs and deep and detailed bass. Some will say that the highs are veiled and the bass is lacking but I cannot attribute that to the headphone as much as to individual recordings.

    Out of the 6 headphones I currently own, only the HD600 and Beyerdynamic DT-880 are ones that I would consider neutral. All the others boost the bass and treble. It is important to have a neutral headphone because recordings are normally already equalized by the sound engineer and when you use a headphone that acts as an equalizer, it can mess up the sound. To further complicate matters, if the engineer is using a loudspeaker that does not have a flat frequency response to mix the recording, the sound balance can be drastically altered.

    The Highs

    The treble extension is a point of controversy among headphone aficionados. Many claim that the HD600 and other Sennheiser models have a veiled treble. I mostly use the HD600 for opera and most of my opera recordings do not sound veiled at all.

    On the other hand, opera recordings that sound harsh on some of my other headphones can sound good on the HD600. So some people might want to call that veiled. I tend to think of the highs as “forgiving.”

    I think the reason some people think the highs are veiled is that they are comparing the HD600 to some other popular headphones that have boosted high frequencies.

    Regardless, the highs are fully extended and clear and most opera recordings.

    The Midrange

    The HD600 has a gorgeous, detailed midrange that I consider to be reference quality. The midrange is what made the HD600 famous.

    The Bass

    The bass is another point of controversy. Some think the HD600 does not have enough bass. I think they might be comparing the bass of the HD600 to headphones with boosted bass.

    The HD600 does not have a boosted bass but the bass is well extended and has detail. It all depends on the recording. Recordings with good bass extension will sound warm and deep. Recordings without much bass will sound thin.

    Since most of my other headphones add bass, I use my HD600 for recordings that already have a bass boost applied. For example, the remastered recordings of the Schumann symphonies conducted by George Szell have way too much bass added in the remastering. The original budget recording was just right. I cannot listen to the remastered recording on any other headphone than the HD600.


    The soundstage on the recordings is accurately represented by the HD600 but like all headphones, the soundstage will collapse if you play them too loud. You have to get the volume just right for the soundstage to come into focus.

    One of the best examples is the recording of Handel’s Alcina conducted by William Christie. If you get the volume just right, it is like sitting in the first row, right behind the orchestra pit; with the orchestra below you and the voices coming from the stage.


    The Sennheiser HD600 has been around for 20 years now. I have had mine for 17 and I love it more now than ever due to my recent purchase of the Asgard 2 headphone amp. It is my reference when I compare other headphones for addition to my collection.

    When reading headphone reviews, the writer usually treats the review as if the listener is only going to use one set of headphones for every recording. That might be true for someone listening to digital files going through an equalizer program. But I am listening to CD’s, DVD’s, and Blu-ray without any equalizer, so I end up using my headphones as an equalizer.

    The Sennheiser HD600 is the one headphone I use when I don’t want to change the tonal quality of the music. It is my reference for a neutral headphone.

    I usually turn to the HD600 for opera, chamber, and solo piano. For large orchestral music, I like the added bass and treble of my other headphones.

    The HD600 is excellent for movies since they are already equalized with added bass and treble.

    The HD600 is very comfortable and I can wear it for a long period of time, even while wearing glasses.

    If you are a fan of opera and chamber music, I highly recommend trying out the Sennheiser HD600. Many other headphones have come and gone but the HD600 is my reference headphones that all others are compared to.
      DaveM1785 and trellus like this.
  4. garbulky
    Amazing with the Emotiva Basx A-100 amp
    Written by garbulky
    Published Sep 8, 2017
    Pros - Huge amounts of transparency
    Cons - Really needs a very beefy amp to open it up. The A-100 was the first that could throw it around.
    Having owned this headphone for close to a decade, I feel that I definitely have the experience to write about it.
    The first thing is..........if you don't have a headphone amp that likely costs as much or up to five times as much as this unit, you are wasting your money. This thing NEEDS a very powerful headphone amp if you want it to sound great. Otherwise it will merely sound good and pleasant. But you will miss the high resolution bass, the open treble. Pretty much everything that's amazing about them.

    Luckily I found the Emotiva basx A-100 amp priced at about 200 and with its resistor jumper taken off, it was just the prescription for this headphones. And what a prescription that was! It threw it from - probably about right for the price to right in to the high end of performance imo.

    So here's my review for it. If you are looking for an amp that can push unlimited dynamics with this thing look no further. Just remember to take the jumper off.

    My review:
    Y'all I bought this headphone amp and I couldn't believe it's selling for this price. It is a DREAM with the HD600s. The HD600's no longer feel dark or laid back. It simply came alive. Soundstage, resolution, unlimited dynamics. Oh and really low bass. Just insane really. Imo to beat this amp you are going to have to swing up to a Schiit Ragnarok. It has got huge amounts of power capability and I believe this is the reason the HD600's came alive. Lots of control.

    I removed the jumper and absolutely heard a difference in dynamics - there was no smear. Just lightning quick transients. The first time I felt my headphone rig was not second class to my speaker rig. The jumper limtis the current output of the A-100 to prevent high sensitivity headphones from frying. Not a problem for the HD600. With the jumpers off, the A-100 pushes a godly 1300 mwatts in to 300 ohms. Doesn't sound like much? Check out how well other amps do at 300 ohms? You'll be lucky if they squeek out even a 100 mwatts. I've seen amp units that gasp out 14 mwatts at 300 ohms.
    At lower impedances the A-100 will push 8.5 watts at 50 ohms more than enough to fry the headphones. Hence the jumpers to prevent over driving lower impedance headphones.
    But with the HD600's....it's just a dream.

    Speaker and DAC rig: (Axiom M80's fully balanced to Emotiva DC- to XPA-1 gen 2 monoblocks in class A mode + room treatments. With a source the Musiland Digital Times via BNC output. About a $4500 setup). I can't believe I'm saying this but it absolutely competed with this nice sounding speaker setup. In some aspects it did better as well.
    I dare you to find anything close anywhere near that's price range.
    Love it!
    Along with the huge torroidal transformer, you will see that it has a ridiculous 20,000 mf of capacitance and that performance really shows bringing very low bass and extreme control to this set of headphones. The treble also really opened up. I am definitely hearing more air. The control allows everything to sound holographic with large amounts of layering.
      allhifi and trellus like this.
  5. serman005
    Neutrality Reigns Supreme
    Written by serman005
    Published Feb 11, 2017
    Pros - neutral signature, profound detail, lushness
    Cons - lean-ish sub bass, modest soundstage
    This is a review of the Sennheiser HD600 headphone. The HD600 has been one of the most respected headphones on the market for nearly twenty years. This review will cover construction, comfort, power requirements, sonic performance, comparisons with other headphones, and a conclusion about this world-renowned headphone. With that, let;'s begin.
    Technical Specifications
    Nominal Impedance 300 ohms
    Weight w/o cable  260 gm
    Jack plug  3.5/6.3 mm stereo
    Transducer type  open, dynamic
    Coupling  circumaural
    Cable length  3m
    Frequency rewponse  12-39000 hz
    Sound Pressure Leveel (SPL)  97 dB @ 1mw
    Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)  0.1%
    Accompanying gear for the review
    naim cd555, iphone 6S, MacBook Pro, ipod shuffle 2G, DK Designs VS1 Mk III, magni2/modi2, Bravo Ocean, Audio Note Custom 300B, HD598, HE400S, HD600, 
    Comfort and Construction.
    The HD600 is constructed primarily of plastic with a small area of carbon fiber on the band. The pads are velour as is the headband, which makes for substantial comfort. Clamp force is fairly snug, but I can wear this headphone for hours with little discomfort. I have an average sized head. There is plenty of room in the band for those with larger heads. Overall, I would say this is a well-constructed headphone--and it must be because there are people out there who have had theirs for a decade or more.
    One final note. My HD600 is brand new and it is not of the blueish hues that 600s of days past have been finished. Mine is black and the top of the band has a black and grayish paisley-like pattern where the word 'Sennheiser' appears. It is quite a beautiful headphone and is much better built than my HE400S is.
    Power Requirements
    I used a wide variety of power sources for this review. What I can tell you is that the HD600 requires a decent amp in order to shine. My ipod shuffle will drive them to loud levels, but it will not provide adequate power to support solid bass and optimal midrange. So, if you are looking at an HD600, be sure to budget for a good amp. You see the ones I use and they all drive the 600 to lovely heights--even the Ocean.
    Preliminary Impressions
    My first impression of the HD600 was of its detail On Pat Metheny's As it Is, the vocals were lush and rich, with individual vocal lines etched out from one another. The air around the voices was clearly audible.I smiled. I knew I was on to something. On Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, the woodwinds blaze a blistering path through the piece. I am in the room with them. They are real. The timpani are blasting acoustic energy at me, their echo clearly audible. On Larry Carlton's Last Nite, Carlton's guitar is harmonically layered like the steps of a stairwell. On Metheny's Minuano, something important emerges. It has to do with the treble. More on that in a bit. On Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Davey Johnstone's guitar is lush and rich. I have never heard it sound so good. Wow!
    I keep spinning the music. And I sit back and listen. And settle in. It's going to be a long session.
    HD598 vs HD600
    The most profound difference between the 598 and the 600 is that the 598, which I like very much, has sluggish and muddy bass by comparison. It is very sluggish and cannot keep up with the music. This is true on the Pat Travers' Band's Heat in the Street, where the 600 is like a fine German car. The 598, tries its best, but it's an old out-of-repair Nova and it just can't keep up.. That said, the 598 soundstage is clearly better and wider than the 600's is. There is no doubt about it. Instruments occupy a much vaster space with the 598 than they do with the 600. Treble isn't as good with the 598. More on that later.The midrange on the 598 is very nice. But it can't compete with the 600. Vocals in particular are widely different on the two. The 598 is good. The 600 is superb.
    HE400S vs HD600
    The HE400S is a very good headphone. It has a gorgeous midrange and very nice treble. However, its bass is fairly rolled off starting at around 70-80 hz or so. Sub bass is kind of weak. This is especially notable on song's like Fourplay's Elixir, which has deep bass. The power of this line is lost with the HE400S. The HD600, on the other hand, plays that line with impact. It is not as powerful as my HD681 Evo, but it is still felt and heard. The treble is very interesting. On the aforementioned Elton John and Pat Metheny songs, the drummers use multiple different crash cymbals. On the HE400S, those cymbals all sound fairly similar. On the 600, on the other hand, those cymbals are all each totally unique and distinct sounding. It is remarkable the resolving power of the 600 compared even to the very good HE400S. With midrange, the 400S is thin sounding by comparison to the lush and rich 600. everything is just thinner. It still sounds good, but it is rendered less resolving and full by the HD600, which is just stunningly neutral.
    On Neutrality
    My definition of neutrality is a headphone that sounds good on  good recordings and like crap on crappy recordings. In short, it spits out what it is given without adding or subtracting anything appreciable This is what the HD600 does. It adds little and subtracts less from the music. In short, it is a remarkably neutral headphone that is a joy to listen to. Run out and buy two--you'll be glad you did.
    The Sennheiser HD600 is a tour de force, lo these many years later. It has an absolutely spectacular midrange, exquisitely detailed treble, and a bass and sub bass that is more than adequate for me. They are musical. They sound like music. Not many headphones can say that. Though its soundstage is smaller than the 598 and HE400S, the 600 images quite well. Instrument separation is superb. It conveys the emotion of the music beautifully. As I alluded to above, run, don't walk, and pick one of these up. You'll find yourself listening for a long, long time.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. aut0maticdan
      Actually, I now see that senn has two color variations on the site.  Mine is still the traditional color with red/black plugs.  interesting!
      aut0maticdan, Feb 15, 2017
    3. serman005
      @autOmaticdan--my driver housings are all flat black. The brackets are mostly this irregular pattern you reference. I am color blind, so it is difficult for me to see the blue, but it is part of the patterned parts of the headphone, the vast majority of which is black and gray.
      serman005, Feb 16, 2017
    4. wagoner
      I like your honest opinion review.
      wagoner, Feb 19, 2017
  6. snapacap
    Elegant, Composed, Neutral, Covergirl....... I mean Natural!
    Written by snapacap
    Published Jan 18, 2017
    Pros - Legendary sound, shows off the gear, all na-tu-ral.
    Cons - shows its age a tad, kinda clampy.
    This is by far the closest I have come to writing a 5 star review. Of course to get that, I would have to find the holy grail of headphones for me.
    I had tried the HD558, HD598, HD650, and HD700 and figured I would simply fill in my knowledge gap. I had no intention of keeping the HD600 for any length of time. I found a new pair new for $200, thought it was worth the experience. Obviously, I got more than a fleeting memory.
    These headphones sound like a dance in the ballroom. Calm, composed, simply natural. No hidden tricks, but all the skill is present. They are like a golfer who hits the ball 150 yards perfectly straight every stroke. Undeniably others have noted how neutral these headphones sound. Yes, they are correct. A little bass/sub-bass-light, but not many open back dynamics aren't. In fact, the more power you feed to the HD600, the more bass is spit back out. As some of you know, I don't really care what a graph tells me about headphones as cool as graphs are. What matters to me is how they sound, and what wonderful thing they can do to make my music more enjoyable, real, or revealing.
    Thanks to our lovely community here, I bought a Project Polaris Amplifier from Garage1217 simply to bring more life to my new friend.

    Yes, this made a difference. I plugged it all in real quick, and proceeded to be disappointed until I had the brains to move the gain setting up, and boy that made all the difference! There is now more bass, more extension, and overall more life. The Polaris also showed me something wonderful about the HD600. For the first time I found myself using a headphone to figure out what my gear was doing, rather than narrowing down variables with many other headphones. That is the definition of reference. I spent many hours with many headphones determining the exact sound of a FiiO e10, when it took 10 minutes and some HD600s to find out the same things I had spent so much time gathering.
     In case you were wondering about the Polaris: there is a slight tubey hollowness, though not much, excellent extension, and enough low end power to fill out the sound. (The thing needs its own review).
    I'm gonna sneek in the ugly real quick.
    The clamp is real. The cord is typical Sennheiser (FIX YOUR CABLES), but I don't hate it as much as any other cord they make. At least it ends in a 3.5 default...Not to mention the 1/4 inch adapter is fabulous as well. There isn't really a veil (at least if powered correctly), but there could be more detail.
    I came from daily using HD700s. I love them by the way. Now they are in rotation with my HD600s, mostly because the HD600s clamp becomes a bit uncomfortable after a while, or my ears get a tad hot. I can honestly say that there is very little I can find wrong with these headphones.
    Would I mix with them? Yes.
    Would I test the mix equipment with them? Yes.
    The balance and tone are fantastic. Every other headphone I have tried is immediately Bright/Dark Warm/Cold. The HD600s took me by surprise with being none of these things. The only distinguishing factor seems to be the slight lack of lower bass, and the slight hike toward the treble. The best part is pretty much nothing is offensive about the sound. I can relax while listening to them. It is not so much a relaxing sound, but it allows me to be relaxed. Priceless.
    As for my per review music recommendation; this is most difficult because everything sound wonderful on these. Nothing was hugely exciting, but everything was as it should be.
    I had songs that I really didn't listen to anymore become part of the regular loop again simply because the HD600 did them the right amount of justice.
    Song Recommendation: The Veldt (Original Mix) - Deadmau5
    If any of you have some nice recommendations, please share. Questions are cool too.
    Future comparisons go here: I have found that this is pretty much just describing the sound characteristics of everything except the HD600
    HD600 vs HD700:
    The HD700 has some warmth, more detail in many frequencies, way more soundstage, and sounds quite smooth due to the warmth. The problem lies in the treble spike which the HD600 simply doesn't have. The HD700 can be a little harsh at times from that spike. The HD600 clamps much more too. They are like cousins. They clearly are from the same family, but have enough difference to not be brothers. I think I like them both equally.The HD700 adds that magic spark to many songs, while the HD600 has a magic neutrality which works with EVERYTHING.
    HD600 vs SHP9500:
    The SHP9500 has far less clamp, much more shallow pads, and of course the wonderful advantage of having a single 3.5mm port for the wire. The sound is a bit grittier on the SHP9500. The SHP9500 sounds a leaner than the HD600 though they are very similar sound signature-wise. The soundstage is a bit better on the SHP as well. The SHP9500 is a wonderful deal for the price point. I also think the HD600 is a worthy upgrade, especially if you just want fuller, more cohesive sound. Simply put, the HD600 basically replaced my SHP9500 for daily use.
    HD600 vs HD558:
    Seems unfair right? Well, the Project polaris amp added much clarity to my HD558s, so now they are not far off of a very bassy HD650. Obviously still more veiled, a bit of a treble hike at like 10k? Much boost in the mid-bass. There is more extension in the HD600. The pads are thicker on my HD600, but wither pair can have the pads replaced with HM5 pads using adapters from ModHouseAudio.
    They both share that Sennheiser smoothness.
    HD600 vs Superlux 668b
    Well, now you know my next review. The Superlux is much less forgiving and harsh, more treble, and gives excellent detail. The Superlux strikes me as a bit V shaped with emphasis on the treble comparatively. Definitely leaner than the HD600. some frequencies are a bit under-represented on the Superlux. The bass is a bit lean too, but it gives pretty good extension, and great soundstage. The real difference for me is that it sounds like you are monitoring a recording on the Superlux, While listening to music on the Senneheiser. Of course the 668b has far less "veil" and more excitement similar to the HD700, but not nearly as full as the HD700. I think these are wonderful as well.
    HD600 vs HD650
    With fairness that the HD650 did not get the Polaris amp treatment: While the HD600 is pure neutrality, the HD650 tries to become a bit more fun by adding mid-bass. The treble becomes slightly accentuated as well. the result is that the roll off in lower bass is more noticable, but the overall sound is smoother. The vocals are not quite as clear with the 650, but gains enough warmth to make up for it. I think it is just as capable as the 600 in detail retrieval. I recommend the 650 if you herd the 600 and wanted a little soundstage and smooth warmth instead of only raw neutrality.
    Conclusion: If you have not tried HD600s on a good amp; make it a must for your audiophile knowledge. I now understand the well deserved status these carry after all this time. I not only put these on my list of approved headphones, they go right on top, right where they belong, on their throne.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. alphaman
      Use my 600/650 with Meier Corda Mk2 (purch'd 2004, and extensively modded later) or a Tangent PPA v2 (diy amp). Also tried with HeadRoom Max. All these amps are solid-state jobs. Waiting to build a tube amp as I've heard the Senn 600/650 REALLY come alive with valve sound :wink:
      alphaman, Jan 21, 2017
    3. judomaniak
      have had my sen 600 for about 8 years and last week tried them thru the bryston headphone amp. WOW. so fast and snappy. The right amp will show you what these awesome headphones are all about
      judomaniak, Jan 22, 2017
    4. gc335
      @KwyjiboVenneri mentioned how well these pair with the WA6..  I totally agree.  I've had this headphone for a while and this is my favorite pairing.  Highly recommended. 
      gc335, Jan 25, 2017
  7. Nec3
    Not a Veilheiser
    Written by Nec3
    Published Dec 21, 2016
    Pros - Natural and Smooth Sounding, Modular Parts, Lightweight, Scales with Equipment
    Cons - Too many people hyping the "veil"
    So I finally have my hands on a headphone I never thought I would lay hands on. The Sennheiser HD600. Despite the high amount of positive reviews these get, I disregarded THEM in the past and explored other choices on the market. Even the Veilheiser HD598 that I bought were a slight disappointment. Mids sound too laid back and hidden behind a silk curtain, Japanese female vocals are slightly sibilant friendly from the sparkly treble, the soundstage isn't intimate enough and the bass seeped into the mids without much sub bass extension. But I like the mid bass presence, it is wide and gives any instrument; especially cellos, a meaty and down to earth presentation which was quite opposite of the Q701. Was it not for the Q701, I'd give the HD598 more praise. I know the HD598's are in a different price bracket now (150CAD) but at the time they were a bit more (200CAD) and costed the same as a Q701.
    The Q701’s. Their Mids are sweet, clear, crisp and definitely haunted by the 2khz peak that introduced artificial tones. The peak is a double edged sword that could also give some fortissimo-like emotion to poprock music, boost metallic textures from string instruments and it's the reason for the sweetness in the mids. The treble has texture and it's easy to tell whether the drummer is using a brush stick, wood stick, crash, splash or riding. But treble lacks sparkle of the HD598. Bass extended deep, and the clean mid bass gave room to vocals that sounds much leaner compared to the HD600. But as much detail the Q701’s have, they're a specialized headphone, Japanese media shamelessly advertise the headphones and there's no doubt their music strives with the Q701. Although the flip side is fatiguing, dry, fast decay and indeed artificial with the wrong recording. No doubt a favorable characteristic for medieval renaissance or drum and bass.
    The HD600 I believe has so many strengths that it took me 30 minutes  to shelve my Q701’s. There were so many mentions of the HD600’s guilty of the infamous veil, I didn't want the weird mids of the HD598 to touch my beloved vocals. There was so much flak that the entire HD600’s simple truth was the treble recession compared to other headphones. Other than that, all instruments and vocals have such a natural decay, they're smoother and female vocals simply extended into the 1khz area that was overshadowed by the 2khz peak of the Q701. Mid bass isn't just bloomy like the Hd598, but it's thick, detailed and actually so great it's able to cover up the sub bass roll off that I could easily disregard. The HD600 has a hidden sparkle and the treble itself is significant enough to balance out the warmth and not show any sort of sibilance.
    Ideally I wouldn't be able to recommend the HD600 for competitive gaming because of its lack of forward and rear soundstage. I'd say I recommend it now because valve has created the HRTF headphones setting for counterstrike global offensive. All it does is muffle rear sounds and create a wider soundstage that is not usable with the Q701 because of its already large soundstage. But the HD600’s soundstage and imaging is cohesive compared to a Q701. Some people say the hd600 has a small soundstage, I disagree. I've heard the hd800 before and I can simply say that kind of soundstage is enjoyable, but way too big. Others of course may disagree.
    One of the absolute amazing feature of the HD600 is that it is modular. I can replace the headband, headband foam,ear cups, the shell, the cable, the driver, the inner foam of the ear cups that I replaced with pantyhose to give the headphone a luxuriously spacious feeling. All without using tools. It feels so much lighter than the Q701 too. But I wish my headphones were new, because I would have liked the stronger clamp. The other name for these are the snapheiser, and for that I won't risk trying to bend these back.
    The HD600 is not dark and not too warm. Trust me, take it from a bright headphone user who is satisfied with a JDS Labs ODAC/O2 pairing of an ER4S or Q701. I can also gladly run them off my Sony C4 phone and it will not disappoint. However the HD600’s are definitely capable of equipment scaling.
    My headphone search has ended, so you could possibly end yours with an HD600.
      trellus likes this.
    1. BradT
      If you aren't already using a balanced cable, matched with a balanced headphone amplifier, you're not getting the full potential from the HD600. Crisper highs, tighter bass, more open soundstage... I replaced the stock cable with a "ZY" balanced cable from Amazon, paired with a Schiit Jotunheim, which takes the performance up another level.
      BradT, Dec 21, 2016
    2. Nec3
      Nec3, Dec 21, 2016
    3. Gamergtx260
      The clamping force? Its easy to fix, just pull the headband to the maximum position and place the headphones on the box that came along. To make it more clear, wear the headphones to the box instead of your head and also with some pressure try to make the headband straight. It will get loosen up. Nice review btw :)
      Gamergtx260, Dec 25, 2016
  8. Silicone
    Amazing, neutral, clear sound
    Written by Silicone
    Published Jun 11, 2016
    Pros - Clear, neutral, amazing sound, comfortable, everything is right about them.
    Cons - You need an amp to get the best from them. (Subjective) - Clamp is decently tight.
    They are AMAZING headphones, if you like neutrality and clear audio, there is really no competitor, Grados 325e? Not even close, Audio technica r70x? You're kidding me.
    I can't emphasize enough, YOU NEED THESE HEADPHONES, they make sub-par songs sound great, you will love them, no matter how expensive your current headphones are. No more needs to be said....
    1. thatonenoob
      Interesting...I do believe that the HD600 is a great headphone.  But I wouldn't dismiss others so quickly. The R70X is excellent, and the number of competitors out there would surprise.  AKG k7something, DT880, AKG K712, you know.  
      thatonenoob, Jun 11, 2016
    2. RERO
      Nope, not a review.
      Try again next time.
      RERO, Jun 12, 2016
    3. asymcon
      Not sure that making "sub-par songs sound great" is a good idea.
      Especially "if you like neutrality and clear audio".
      I'd say even AKG k2something might prove to be superior in certain scenarios.
      asymcon, Jun 12, 2016
  9. tonglongjeff
    HD600 - Reference couldn’t sound better
    Written by tonglongjeff
    Published Mar 19, 2016
    Pros - Clear highs, rich and pronounced mids, tight accurate bass and sub bass, fully modular, price
    Cons - Proprietary cable, dated design
    Firstly let me just say that out of everything I own and have currently owned. The HD600s are my favourite in terms of sound. The headphones may have a high impedance, but they are not that hard to drive. Pretty much anything makes this beauty shine, and that’s what makes it great.
    I purchased this headphone new from a local store in NZ. I got them pretty cheap (used to work there). I got them for $370NZD or around $250USD with current conversion. I WOULD HAVE PAID SO MUCH MORE if I knew the sound that came out of these headphones.
    The HD600s are the type of headphones that make you listen to everything you’ve ever listen to again because it’s how it should have sounded at the time. I literally stayed up 4-5 hours the night I got them and skimmed through my library listening to everything. It was a revelation.
    Now, I know there are a lot of reviews on this headphone already, so I won’t bore you with the origins and where it was made, who it was made for jazz. I’ll get down to the build, comfort and sound quality.
    The majority of this headphone is made from plastic, whether it be the speckled stone kind or the industrial black kind. This doesn’t make the headphone feel cheap however. The build is quite precise and is great in my opinion for the price of the unit. I would much rather a company put money and effort tuning the sound than making a headphone out of metals for example.
    The HD600s are very well put together. The biggest advantage of this type of build is the modularity and modability. Every part of the headphone, excluding the drive itself of course, can be disassembled by the owner and replaced if broken. I’ve read about broken headbands and cracking of plastic. I have not had this experience myself, but if I had I feel much more safe in the fact that I can fix the headphone myself if it is out of warranty.
    The build is accurate and durable where it counts. The size adjustment is hard to move, clicky and metal. The pivots for the earpieces themselves are sturdy and strong. The terminals for the wires are also very accurate so that you can’t mix the cables when putting them in. Though I do have a gripe about them being proprietary.
    Coming from the HD280s the HD600s were like clouds. Honestly the squeeze of the older monitoring cans could have burst watermelons.
    The HD600 I can understand have slightly more clamp force than a lot of other headphones. For example compared to my HE-400i’s and TH-X00’s which are much lighter and more comfortable in comparison. This isn’t to say these aren’t though!
    The HD600’s feel SECURE on your head. I’m not afraid to walk around or bend down to pick something up while wearing them. I’m not afraid they are going to fall off my head and break on the floor; something I would never do with the HD800s. I would happily wear these cans for a long session and have done so :)
    The velour pads are super comfortable. They don’t feel hot and they don’t sweat after long listening sessions. The pivot and adjustability of the headphones are more than enough to fit a wide variety of different head shapes. The ear cups are large and accommodating without my ears hitting the inside or getting squashed.
    Gripes. I know a lot of people like the headband. I think it isn’t bad at all. However when I wore them for extended periods of time, I began to feel the lumps on the top of my head. They begin feeling hard over time. Not physically, it must be in my mind but it does get noticeable.
    Sound Quality:
    What most people do and should care about :)
    The HD600s can be best described as caramel going into your ears. I know the mental image of this does not seem appealing at all but the sound is just so warm and rich! Boring music sounds lively. Even classical music can be enjoyed in a slow relaxed manner on these headphones.
    I won’t lie, the treble is rolled off a bit. It isn’t as sparkly clear as it’s bigger brothers the HD700 and HD800. However this isn’t a bad thing. Not everyone wants to hear piercing highs all the time. This headphone still has clear precise highs, but they know when to stop. They stop before it gets fatiguing to listen to. I can honestly say this is why I always come back to these. They give such a relaxed and pleasant listening experience.
    The mids are very well pronounced. Vocals sound amazing on this headphone and it sounds cheesy I know, but it makes voices sound so real and human. This headphone preserves the personality in music. Something a lot of flat monitoring can just take away.
    I’m a young guy, I like my bass haha. This headphone has plenty!
    The bass it clean, tight and punchy. However there is also decent sub bass. The overall timbre of sound is enriched by the low end of this headphone. It doesn't colour the music as much as you think, but it does give whatever you’re listening to some heart and soul.
    The soundstage of this headphone isn’t that big. Picture an oval 10-20% larger than your head around your head and sounds can come from anywhere in that area. For enjoying music this headphone is great. However I wouldn’t use them to experience an orchestra.
    The soundstage might be smaller than some other headphones. But the area it does have to play around with, it does so accurately. You can clearly pinpoint where sounds are coming from.
    For the price, or even for more than the price (especially what I paid) you get an amazing set of headphones. The type of sound that makes you question all your listening before these.
    It’s affordable enough for even poor students (me) to get into the audiophile game. While giving so much in return. This is definitely deserving of the second spot for headphones :)
      proedros and stalepie like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. abby normal
      the repairman couldn't fix 'em, said to get new ones.
      abby normal, Mar 20, 2016
      elitico likes this.
    3. Gamergtx260
      I totally agree with your review especially on the Treble part, well done :)
      Gamergtx260, Apr 2, 2016
    4. Sonic Defender
      Agree, except about sub bass, there is very little of any meaningful amplitude. Depending on the user and what they look for this would not be for those who want deep bass. I agree that it extends low enough for tight, fairly full bass, but I can't agree with the idea of sub bass. Cheers mate, and thanks for the review.
      Sonic Defender, Aug 2, 2016
  10. sikki-six
    King of neutrality, still!
    Written by sikki-six
    Published Feb 19, 2016
    Pros - Wonderful mids, easy listen for long periods, great for audio work, nice comfort, cheap in Europe.
    Cons - Sub bass, proprietary connections, plasticky design, highs vs. good planars
    This is a classic for a good reason, it just does so much right. It basically excels at nothing (but the mids), but it's just so easy to believe in the way it represents music. It's my go-to headphone for checking out mixes and music production in general. 
    Here's my video-review of the HD600:
    They sit tightly on one's head, but the clamp is pretty much spot on - a bit tight at first, but it gets very good. These fit my big head easily. The oval-shaped earpads are some of the comfiest (Beyers are maybe even better). They are very light and seem to take lots of beating too. For the price they are kind of plasticky, but all of the components can be replaced in needed. I once misplaced the input on the right side - I thought these 'phones were done for... Well, all I needed to do (after watching a tutorial) was take the HD600 apart (without any tools, mind you!) and move the socket back into place. This took me under 2 minutes.
    I've had the HD650 cable from the start, that's what my used pair came with. Buying an expensive replacement cable would be the last thing I'd do to make them sound better. If you want different looks or length, go for it - but it's not going to affect the sound quality substantially. If the cable works, it works!
    Let's get into sound quality! I listen to lots of rock, metal, pop, hip-hop and some jazz...
    Very well proportioned, it's one of the few that get the amount right. It's not bass-deficient like AKG K701 or too fat like Philips Fidelio X2, it's somewhere in betweenFor me, it's the right amount of lows to make good judgments when mixing. It's also very pleasing when listening, as long as you're not coming straight from some bassy 'phones. It doesn't screw up the mids or seem lacking either. Bass is where my (150 euro) HD595 faltered, they were kind of all over the place in it.... BTW, I trust the HD600 much more when mixing bass frequencies than my Adam A7 active monitors (with a sub) because of the bad acoustics in my apartment. All in all, these type of neutral headphones are great for mixing the lows especially, much recommended!
    The sub-region is not at all at the level of my Audeze LCD-2 (rev.1), but this is very similar to most speakers without external sub-woofers. Just to mention, the sub-bass region isn't even that important in most mixes, it's very often cut out almost completely. The "meat" of any mix is above say 60hz anyway. There's no problem with the HD600 there. (When there is much information in the subs I grab my LCD-2's...)
    Man, these do great here. Guitars, vocals, bowed instruments, you name it. HD600 rule the roost (HD650 too). Listening to Back In Black by AC/DC those rhythm guitars just sound so in-your-face, neutral and correct.... Very few headphones get to these levels of mids quality. My LCD's get there pretty much, but maybe not quite as realistic levels - the differences are not that big. This is where HD600 can compete with those 1K-headphones very well.
    Those nice guitars by AC/DC are doing their their beautiful crunch in the highs too, and yes, they most certainly are. There is a boost in the 3K region, that might be the reason HD600 sounds kind of "dry", not dressing up any ugly things happening with the most important things in a mix (vocals, guitars, snare, kick etc.). The sound stage is very much controlled, not very big like K701. But, my Audezes sound audibly more clear in the highs - it seems as if there is more headroom and less distortion. They're at least more pleasant up there. That's for sure.
    VERSUS HD650?
    I used to have both of the HD6xx-models. But, once I got my LCD-2's, the HD650 became kind of redundant - they didn't match the fun factor of that Audeze low-end or have the same level of resolution in the highs. HD600 is dryer and more "boring" in some ways than the 650, but that's the exact reason I kept them. They are just great at telling what's going on in a mix. HD650 were pretty close, but slightly too nice and fat in the low-end... Bad mixes just didn't sound bad enough! If I could only have one pair of open headphones at home, HD650 just might be my choice. But, HD600 are more neutral and LCD-2 more fun.
    I used to use these straight out of my Apogee Duet's headphone output. Recently I bought a Schiit Lyr 2 that makes the low-end slightly more balanced. But, the differences aren't huge (say it like Trump!). The Schiit brings a slight more subs into the mix and flattens the "hump" in the lows/low-mids. I bet I'd be quite happy with the Duet still though, if I didn't have my Lyr.
    Thanks for reading! This headphone gets my recommendation easily, after +30 pairs of different models owned. As the prices for top models go up, these stand firm. Released in 1997, almost 20 years ago... They are still one of the best! Check out a pair if you haven't yet.
    BTW, I'm not affiliated with anyone, I'm doing these reviews for my own (and your) enjoyment.
    Cheers folks! [​IMG] 
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Bob A (SD)
      Spot on and well written!   I've been an advocate since December 1993 when I acquired a pair of HD580s.  They lasted 22 years and had HD600 grills and HD650 cables affixed.  I now have a brand new pair of HD600s and yes, their sound matches my memory of the "tweaked" 580s.  I could have popped for other cans but the Senns have served me so well for so long for all the reasons sikki-six mentions, why change? 
      Bob A (SD), Feb 19, 2016
    3. fiascogarcia
      Nice review.  Having both the 600s and the LCD2s, IMO you've hit the nail on the head with your assessments.
      fiascogarcia, Feb 20, 2016
    4. Sonic Defender
      Just acquired the HD 600 and once my La Figaro 339 OTL amp arrives in about 3 days I will have what is supposed to be a magical combination. I also have the LCD 2F so I will be able to do a similar comparison. The iDSD Micro is actually a nice combination with the HD 600 (although I suspect any amp that has enough juice will make the 600 sound good). Thanks for the review.
      Sonic Defender, Aug 2, 2016


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