Sennheiser HD 600


1000+ Head-Fier
The Grandad HD 600 Is Showing Its Age
Pros: Price
Decent build quality
Non-microphonic cable
Soft ear pads
More bass than the FR suggests
Good with piano
Cons: Cable Length and connectors
Sharp high-mids/low-highs
Pretty bad/non-existent highs
Not a lot of bass quantity
Instrument separation
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The Sennheiser HD 600 (600). It literally needs no introduction – unless you’ve never heard of it before, then you might be new to the high-end audio world and you’re reading this review because you’re looking to move from the stuff that comes with your phone over to something…good. If that’s the case, you can grab these and you’ll be quite happy for a long time. The HD 600 has been around for over 20 years! It is a lightweight over-ear open-back headphone with aluminum voice coils and neodymium ferrous magnets with a 2-layer diaphragm. So, uh…it has stuff that makes it sound good – no need to get a degree in Electrical Engineering to understand that these are just higher quality than your “normal” headphones. These retail for $400 normally, but can be found for less quite often.

Accessories/Earpads/Eartips (7/10):

The 600 doesn’t come with a lot of accessories, which makes sense at this price, but what it does come with is high quality and really all you need. It has a really nice hard clamshell-style case like a DCA set comes with. I’ve seen headphones 3x as expensive that don’t come with a case, so a case of this quality is super nice. The inside is filled with soft neoprene, so it’ll keep your headphones from getting scratched, but if you hit the case hard enough against something, they could break – it’s not super padded. The 600s also come with a 6.35mm adapter that attaches to the 3.5mm jack – meaning you can use these on almost anything – a phone, a laptop, a computer, a home stereo system, etc. as long as it has one of those two jacks.

The ear pads are a soft velour that breathes well and should last quite a while, but if you want more bass, a leather/pleather aftermarket set would be the only way to get that. Sadly, these don’t come with those ear pads – multiple ear pads are more the trademark of expensive sets of headphones. Overall, these receive a decent accessory/earpad score, not the best, but better than some.
HD 600 Case.jpg

Cable (8/10):

Interesting. That’s the first word that comes to mind. For starters, it’s long AF at around 10 feet – great if you want to listen from far away. It will not work for portable use unless you want to wrap it up and carry around 8 feet of cable in your pocket. Aftermarket cables do exist for this if you want to use it portably, so add that to your cost if that’s your plan. Next, the ear cup connectors feel like a weird take on the 2-pin design you’d see on IEMs. You’re not going to find very many aftermarket cables terminated in this style as it’s not the industry standard (3.5mm is.) So, if you have literally any other cable already, it won’t work with these. The plugs do come in black and Red so you can tell which goes where (Red is Right, Black/white is Left.)

Lastly, and this is a big one, the cable is as non-microphonic as I’ve ever heard on just about ANY headphones. That’s a little crazy because I’ve heard headphones that cost 10x as much as this that still have more microphonic cables than this. Yeah, it doesn’t perfectly pass that tap test or the head-move test while there’s no music playing, but with music playing it’s nearly silent – impressive. The amp-end termination has already been mentioned, but you get two common options and I’d be surprised to see a balanced 4-pin XLR on a headphone at this price.

Build Quality/Comfort (7/10):

Sure, it’s a little clampy and there’s a lot of plastic, which can scratch easily, and the mesh grills can dent if you’re not nice to your stuff, but the overall quality on these is high for the price. You’re not going to see wooden ear cups or leather or all-metal construction, but you will pay a lot more to get those things – so if you want those, stop reading this review and go get those – message me and I’ll give you some ideas of what to get.

Comfort is good – I could wear these for a long time, but as mentioned before, the clamping pressure is high. They definitely won’t slip off your head and your ears are unlikely to overheat, but you might get a headache after a while.

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Yeah, the Frequency Response chart below from Crinacle pretty much covers the HD 600 in a nutshell. There is almost no bass. You can hear the bass, and it’s good quality bass, but it’s definitely not to blow your mind – there’s basically no thump or reverberation. The rest of the tuning here is VERY neutral, almost to a fault, though the highs actually drop off quite a lot, which can be good in some ways and bad in others. I am powering these with the 6.35mm jack on low gain from my Cocktail Audio HA500H at around 48/100 volume with the tube amp off through Tidal HiFi.

Lows (10/20):

You can definitely hear the bass drums on David Guetta’s “I’m Good (Blue)”, though they have some rattle and almost no body. The same goes for the sub-bass – you can hear it, but it’s muted and to the rear, without that breathtaking quality you can get from bassier headphones. It’s better than some I’ve heard, but it’s nowhere near the bass response of the JM Audio XTC-O I’m comparing it to (not a fair comparison, these retail for $850 and are some of my favorite headphones ever – it’s all I have to compare.) It’s certainly not the worst bass I’ve heard, but it’s just not competitive with headphones designed to have more bass.

Well, as you may imagine, on the next song, Demon Hunter’s “I Am A Stone,” the bass doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the song here. The bass is still surprisingly present, and that may be my amp pushing more low-end than a lot of other amps, but I’d expect the typical DAC/amp/computer soundcard/phone most people will use to power these to have almost no bass on this song.

Mids (10/20):

Weaving The Fate’s “The Fall” sounds decent here, but I keep having to adjust the volume because if I go loud enough to enjoy the song I also end up with harshness in the mids, which is uncommon. Everything can sound pretty grating to me here and it makes me not want to listen to one of my favorite songs.

Staind’s “Something to Remind You” is my vocals forward test song and the clean guitar sounds really good in the intro. Aaron Lewis’s voice comes in very clearly and cleanly with none of the issues “The Fall” had. The bass can be heard clearly without overwhelming the song and the overall presentation here is very good at this price.

To test classical music performance, I use The Piano Guys' “Code Name Vivaldi.” The intro bass sounds good but has a little extra reverb in spots that don’t belong there. The pianos sound good but very muted and distant. The mid-strings come in cleanly, but get lost with other instruments. The overall presentation here is very 2D and the instruments blur together more than I would like. If you’ve never listened to a headphone over $500, this might still sound really good to you, so don’t let my comments put you off from this set – I’m supposed to nitpick and the HD 600 is still an excellent performer for this price.

Now, at this price, the performance here is pretty good – I’m really not sure of anything at this price that sounds better, certainly not the Hifiman HE400, but maybe the Deva or Sundara, or XS.

Highs (7/20):

As usual, the horns sound good in the intro of Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes,” but I use this song to test for sibilance and sharpness. Oddly, the 600 is more sibilant than I’d expect with the rolled-off highs, but if you look at the corrected bottom chart from Crinacle, you can see that 3-4k is actually boosted, which is where the sharp “S” sound lives. So, not a great presentation from the 600 here, which hopefully means the next song does well.

Nope. There’s almost no instrument separation here – I can’t even tell there’s high-hats or cymbals in the background most of the time – that’s terrible. They elevated the highs, but that sharp drop after 3k is hurting the highs performance heavily now. Rough tuning Sennheiser – I’ve heard multiple IEMs in this price range that sound way better.

Then maybe Michelle McLaughlin’s “Across the Burren” will sound better. Yes, finally a song that benefits from the 600’s tuning. It avoids almost all of the sharpness that this song can portray. SO, if you listen to a lot of classical piano, but hate the sharpness that some other headphones present here, the 600 may be for you!

Soundstage/ Instrument Separation (5/10):

It’s OK. The soundstage is better than you would expect for this price, but it’s not mind-blowing like the HD820s are. The instrument separation is pretty bad, once again, in this price range it’s fine, but compared to more expensive headphones (or the cheaper Final A5000 IEM) it’s not great.


OK, this is not a fair fight, but the XTC-Open are the only other full-size Open-back I have. Even the $275 Final A5000 IEM is better than these, but they’re brand new, not 20 years old. The XTC-Open has a more microphonic stock cable. That’s about the only thing it’s worse at. It has better bass, better mids, and better highs – no point in spending more time on that. I don’t have a Sundara here to compare to these, but I hear really good things about the Sundara, and my memory of the Deva was really good as well. Honestly? Unless you really need the long cable, I’d just get the Final A5000 IEM as I really enjoy the sound from those. If you want a full-size, check out the Sundara, Deva, or XS for under $500. If you can grab a pair of these for $200 used, it may be a good deal.

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More bass than I was expecting, sharper mids and highs than I was expecting, better piano than I was expecting, and worse highs detail than I was expecting. A legend like the HD 600 has to compete with its own reputation, and also its younger siblings, the HD 650, 6XX, 660, 660S2, or whatever the heck it is now. Sennheiser just needs to stop remaking the same headphone over and over and over while giving them slightly different names – it’s getting old. It’s time for something new Senn. Get one of the newer versions, they’re supposedly better. The 600 is really starting to show its age, but that said, it’s still a solid choice under $300, just not under $500, and definitely not under $1k.

Headphone Scoring (v3):
Accessories / Earpads / Eartips (10/10):
Cable (8/10):
Build Quality/ Design / Comfort (8/10):
Lows (19/20):
Mids (17/20):
Highs (15/20):
Soundstage / Instrument Separation (9/10):


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I will say I don't have a lot of experience with the more expensive stuff, but I have heard the K701 and NTH-100. In comparison, the K701's are very thin in the bass and lower-mids, and pretty shouty in the upper-mids. The treble is actually something I quite like, though it is much brighter and splashier. And the soundstage is very wide. The NTH-100's are a much thicker, warmer headphone than the HD600's, though the upper-mids may be bothersome for you. It also sounds more blunted than the 600's, and my unit had some QC issues. I want to try some other stuff eventually though, especially the ZMF Auteur Classic and Audeze MM-500. They sound like something right up my alley, but they're way over my budget. :)
Try installing realphones software to correct the frequency response of these headphones, you will be surprised but your headphones will play damn cool, this is a huge difference.
would these be considered a good benchmark headphone to compare everything else?


New Head-Fier
Sennheiser HD 600: Three Years Later
Pros: TOTL midrange performance
Smooth, inoffensive treble with good amount of air
Cons: Not for bassheads
Sennheiser pad tax
The Sennheiser HD 600 needs no introduction. These legendary headphones have been reviewed by many, so what do I have to add? First, I would like to talk about why I decided to purchase these many years ago.

Some Random Backstory​

In December 2019, I got into the audio world with the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee. Coming from a Razer Kraken Pro v2, it took me some time to appreciate its sound signature. After all, I switched from a bassy gaming headset to a warm neutral headphone. It wasn’t until I switched back to the Razers that I finally heard how muddy and boomy it was. So, I stuck with my 58X satisfied—for a few months.

Around this time, I was getting interested in getting another headphone, deciding between the HD 600 or the HD 650. Yep, I caught the upgrade bug. Eventually, in August 2020, I chose the HD 600, because I wanted to hear what a neutral reference sounded like.

Nearly three years later, I am still using these headphones almost daily, despite trying other headphones like the RODE NTH-100 and the AKG K701s. So already, you know I like these a lot. Still, I would like to share my thoughts on it. 😊

Non-Sound Stuff​

The build quality is solid. It is made mostly of plastic—with the grills made of metal—but it is very good plastic. I have dropped these a few times on wooden floor, and they still look good as new. I have not seen any wear or cracks, so I am confident these will last a long time.

I also love the modularity of these headphones. It feels great knowing if something happens to any part, that I can easily order them and replace without any tools. Beyerdynamic is the only other company I’m aware of that has accessible replaceable parts.

The comfort is pretty good, though out of the box and with new velour pads, it can feel clampy. Once the headband is stretched and the pads wear in, they are one of the most comfortable headphones I’ve worn. My ears never feel hot wearing these. And I find the four-nugget headband to be far more comfortable than what the HD 58X has. I think Sennheiser made a big mistake changing them with the newest revision.

Sound Parameters​

For listening, I use JDS Labs Atom amp and DAC, connected to my Windows 10 PC. I listen to music through Spotify and foobar2000. My tastes have gravitated towards progressive and post rock and other genres recently. Here’s a playlist to give you an idea of what I usually listen to nowadays.


I am always surprised when people say the HD 600’s have no bass. Sure, they lack in sub-bass, and I wish it digs lower at times, but they definitely have mid-bass presence, especially in comparison to something like the AKG K701. At lower volumes, I can see it being a problem, but since I mostly listen at moderate to high volumes, they have more than enough for my liking.


Ah, those mids. They are truly something special. Its timbre are still something I haven't found in any headphone to date. When I listen to other headphones, the midrange sounds artificial and makes me aware I am listening to headphones, if that makes sense. However, with the HD 600's, they sound so natural and organic that I forget I am wearing headphones at times. I imagine myself in the studio in front of the musicians. It is that good. With that being said, I would not call the mids completely neutral. They have peaks around 1.2kHz and 3.5kHz. They do not bother me personally, but I can see why some would call the mids forward or shouty.


What really helps the midrange make it the way it sounds is that treble. It is present, yet smooth and inoffensive. There aren't any sharp peaks or anything overly off-putting about it, nor would I call it "veiled". Some have reported peaks at 5kHz and 10kHz, but I am not sensitive to them and have never bothered me. I will say though that there is quite a bit of air above 13kHz, which is the complete opposite of it being rolled off. On a rare occasion, it can be a bit much, but this is more to do with how I am feeling and also how the music is recorded.

Pad Tax​

I can't talk about the HD 600 without mentioning the pad tax. Before the new revision, the velour pads wore out really quick, thus changing the sound. The treble especially took a big hit. Paying $50-60 USD for fresh pads is already crazy, but to keep the sound "fresh" at least yearly is ridiculous, although there is worse (and I won't name names). With the new pad revision, the pads are noticeably stiffer, and last much longer. Thankfully, the sound is very similar to what I had when I first got them a year ago.


The Sennheiser HD 600 is a headphone that everyone should hear at least once. Their well-balanced tonality, exquisite midrange timbre, reliability, modularity, and durability. All that together makes a headphone, even 25 years later, that is timeless and won't ever be forgotten. And I am not sure there will be another one like it again.
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Well said and thank you for that review!
incredible review!


100+ Head-Fier
Is it still relevant in 2022
Pros: Tried and proved build quality and reliability
Epitome of neutral sound
Exceptional midrange
Not Fatiguing, easy to listen to for longer listening sessions
Intimate presentation (subjective)
Cons: Clampy out of the box
Somewhat narrow soundstage compared to other competitiors
Doesn’t extend very well on both ends
Not very exciting
Sennheiser HD600
Welcome to Sennheiser HD600 review of This is by no means my first review but I see it as beginning of greater things in the future so I will rant a little if you don’t mind. Still, if you are not interested you can skip this part.

Many of you have a pair Sennheiser HD6** series headphones or at least heard one at some point. So probably there is no need for another review of one of the most popular headphones of all time. After all you can read review of another, more accomplished reviewer that you feel more familiar with. However what I am trying to accomplish here is setting a stone; defining a benchmark. So in the future when I review a pair, I will probably compare them to HD600 regardless of the price along with other competitors, so that you will have a better idea of the reviewed headphones and understand where they stand in the grand scheme of things.

Another reason to review such a well known headphones is so that you get to know me better. If you like something I don’t like or vice versa, it is more likely you know it this way. I hope when you get confused about a remark you will come back here and say “Oh, so that’s what he means by that.” These are Fahrettin’s take after all.
Lastly I would love to help you in anyway I can and I hope you would help me to improve myself too. That’s what I have been doing in audiophile groups and forums, helping others and asking for help myself. I see reviewing products as a means to grow up as an audiophile more than anything and definitely saw the positive results of listening with the purpose of reviewing a product. Rant is over, now back to the review.


Without boring you too much, I don’t necessarily have a sound preference. I tend to enjoy different sound profiles as long as they do well what they intend to do. I’m not very sensitive to treble so I can enjoy the most notoriously bright headphones, however I’m somewhat sensitive to upper mids area. Please keep these in mind.

Build, Comfort and Trivia

Most of you know that Sennheiser HD6** series are very old and still going strong. Strange thing is, from the series, only HD580 is discontinued. HD600, HD650 and newest addition HD660s are still made. Apart from the newest brother HD660s, HD600 and HD650 are revised visually but the sound didn’t get changed, or if there was a change, it was not so meaningful to make note of. Also with the addition of Massdrop (Drop) collaboration HD6XX, which is an alternative skin to HD650 essentially, HD6** series headphones reached to a wider audiance.

I don’t need to go in detail about the build but have to mention anyway. The Sennheiser HD600 headphones are mostly made out of plastic and metal. One can wish to see more metal but believe me, as someone who has more premium headphones made out of mostly metal, light headphones are something you miss a lot. They may look flimsy but I assure you they are not. This build is around for more than 30 years and some people are still using their 20+ years old pairs.

They may come as clampy at first, especially if you have a big head but you can stretch the headband a little or bend the spring metal outwards to make it more comfortable. Power requirement is not too high. They don’t sound good from a headphone or laptop jack but don’t require a power plant either.




These are not bassy headphones, we all know that. But before we pass this section I would like to elaborate a little.

Before HD600, I had a pair of Massdrop x Sennheiser HD58X. I liked those headphones but at some point I wanted to try a more refined sound and applied some modes and to some degree I achieved to make them more clear and refined. Then when I found a deal on a pair HD600s, I jumped on it. In my initial comparison I didn’t hear much difference tonally, however difference in refinement was definitely there. Earlier I chose HD58X over HD6XX because I thought my less educated ears would appreciate more bass and extention, also HD58X required less power. But bass of HD600 was tighter, more impactful and had more texture if that makes sense. You could hear the same amount of bass from HD58X but could not “feel” it. Long story short I sold HD58X immediately.

Still HD600 don’t extend into sub-bass very well. I did my test on several songs and can’t say Sub-bass is non existent, it is there but barely. I don’t like too emphasized subbass, but here the sub-bass is simply not enough.


This part needs no explanation. Intimacy is the name of the game and HD600 headphones are one of the best in this area. Vocals are exceptional. I didn’t find them shouty ever but I know some people do. To get irritated I need to increase the volume more than comfortable listening levels. Well, since these are kind of mid-forward headphones, if you increase the volume, mids irritate you before bass and treble so that’s fair. It’s just that the rest of the frequency range is lacking a little compared to mids.

Most of the detail is here in the midrange. You can hear tiny changes in vocalists’ voices. If the song you listen to consist of mostly midrange instruments, you will have a really good time. If not, well…


If last part might made you think treble is lacking. That’s not entirely true. Upper mids and lower treble is just right. It is a pleasure to listen to. I want to say I feel the slightest veil that some people make note of when I come from another headphone. But shortly it disappears as my ears adjust to the sound. What doesn’t dissappear is, just like the bass, treble also don’t extend very well. With metal songs I can’t feel the energy and excitement up top. The cymbals sound like they are too far or in another room. It makes to want to turn the knob but then mids become unbearable.

Technical Performance

I want to say these headphones are detailed but I won’t. Like I said earlier, detailed information only exists in the midrange. I know drivers are capable to produce details for a fact. But tonaly this performance don’t spread out evenly throughout the entire frequency range. Most headphones known as detailed are bright because forward treble makes information up top more audible. Even mediocre drivers may come as detailed with this gimmick. Sennheiser makes the opposite so even if driver produces the sound, that sound masked by other notes and you can’t shake the feeling of missing something. Strangely I don’t get this feeling in my Clear MG and that headphone is even darker. Difference in quality I guess.

Soundstage is also somewhat narrow as you may already know. I feel like I am parroting other reviewers here but I have wider closed-back headphones, like Fostex TH610s. Still being open-back, they don’t fell claustrophobic. However I need to mention, there is a fact named Sundara. They are similarly priced, have better clarity and detail, decent intimacy unlike other mid-dipped Hifimans, wide soundstage and better extention on both sides. I haven’t tried HD600s on tubes unfortunately because the tubes I tried until now were sloppy and I don’t want to dive into that rabbit hole yet.,

Timbre is as natural as it gets, I sense nothing wrong with it and nothing to elaborate, which is a good thing.



That didn’t end on a high note, did it? Let me address to that. What I made out of HD600s is, they are neutral for the most part but not an all rounder. For vocals, classical or acoustic music, they are a delight. I also enjoyed some low-fi lists people advertise these days a lot. It was a great match. However I couldn’t enjoy Opeth or bass heavy EDM songs, no suprises there.

Let’s take a step back and think. How many headphones do you know that is made in 90s (1998 if I’m not wrong) and still crowd favorite? Maybe other brands learned how to make headphones and competiton got fiercer but people still suggest HD6** series headphones and HD600 arguably best of the iterations. In my opinion HD6XXs are bargain for 200~$ (240$ MSRP on Drop if there is no discount). And if you can find others during sale seasons less than their MSRP, I say grab them. However in 2022 400$ for HD600 (550$ for HD650 and 500$ for HD660s) is a bit stretch. If full size headphone market improved as fast as IEM market, Sennheiser would be in great danger (and they were until they released IE600). But for now, they are still going strong.
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fortunate son
fortunate son
From the Stefan AudioArt website: "By removing or replacing key parts of the assembly of the HD ... 600 ... headphones the issue of vibration control is properly addressed and the result is a headphone which performs at a higher level." Stefan did the $159 mod for me and I started liking them for the first time since I bought them. Update: I recently discovered that the SMSL HO200 amp is able to bring forth the best sound I've heard to date from my HD600.
I have heard about it for the first time and now very interested. After writing this review I got a pair of hd660s and they are everything I wanted hd600 to be. I'll look into it and if it is reversible maybe I'll try to improve hd600's sound a bit but, I use it as a reference point in my reviews as I wrote above so I don't really want to change the sound.


New Head-Fier
Benchmark standard for $500
Pros: - Great tonality with accurate yet musical vocals
- Modular and replacable with easy to find parts
- Not difficult to drive, beginner friendly even when plugged into a PC or digital piano
- The cheapest audiophile tier headphone to begin your journey
Cons: - If it's not your sound signature, nothing you do will make you like it
- Pads need replacing
- Headband can be uncomfortable for some
I first heard this headphone in an audiophile shop when I was 22, fresh in my first job.

I wanted to reward myself after a hard year of barely staying afloat at work, and only wanted a small upgrade IEM from the terrible RHA MA750 I was using at the time. I eventually settled for a FiiO K3 and Final Audio E4000 which has followed me to 4 years of work.

At the time the HD600 felt like too expensive an investment for me, but I wanted to try it all the same. It looked so angular and tastefully designed. So I auditioned it in store.

I was blown away instantly by how it sounded for vocals. I wanted it right there and then. But not for $500.

I eventually made the mistake of buying a HD6XX hoping it would be a cheaper copy of the HD600. It was not. It was bad.

The HD600 to this day is on my desk as the reference headphone of choice. I break it out for every new album I'm interested in finishing a listening session for. And I use it as a measuring stick when I audition any other potential gear I'm adding to my collection.

Sure it doesn't have all the flavor of a fun headphone like the EMU Teak, sure it doesn't have the magical treble of the ADX5000, and its warmth isn't as all encompassing as the Aeolus.

But what the HD600 does right, is working as a pure benchmark for good, tonally correct vocals. And it does these basics without sacrificing comfort or build. Some Focal headphones do sound more exciting somedays, true. But they can be so heavy and uncomfortable just for that extra pizazz which I may not want on another day. I also don't fancy straining my neck using an Aeolus for a 3 hour Zoom course.

It does all of these for a quarter of the price of a standard high end headphone. The HD800S goes for $2400, the Aeolus for $1700 and the ADX5000 for $2400. The HD600 sits in the same room with these headphones, without embarassing itself, all while coming in at $500.

Some colored headphones make some albums sound better. But when I need it vanilla, I need it through the HD600.

For movies, I would probably move to a set of speakers or a bassier headphone. But I cannot skip the HD600 if it is for personal listening.

An easy 4.5 rating with a 0.5 deducted purely because it's not the ADX5000 :wink:
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Thank you for the write-up! That you use it as the "control" for your listening tests tells the world exactly what they need to know when seeking a reference set of headphones.
Hmmm ... May I suggest the brilliant (and even less-expensive) HiFiman HD-400i !



New Head-Fier
Very decent, but certainly not as good as I expected based on all the hype
Pros: comfortable
nice, unoffending signature
mellow sound
can handle quite high volumes well
Cons: quite boring, unengaging sound
somewhat muddy, veiled
music sounds rather "distant", not "in your head"
Personally, I see as the main issue how boring, unengaging it sounds. I dont really feel like I am in direct contact with the music I am listening. Besides, there is slight muddiness. Still recommendable, but from all the hype for these headphones being recommended everywhere across the internet, I would expect better. I am not keeping these.

In direct comparison with Beyerdynamic DT250, I can immediately tell how much more lively DT250 sounds.
Yes, they are closed and have some issues too, but anyway, in comparison of these two, I really had no urge to switch back to HD600.

Amp used: JDS Atom+


Headphoneus Supremus
Exactly Right
Pros: Sound is high resolution, well out of price bracket
Comfortable for as long as you wear them
Replaceable Ear Pads
Neutral, not boring though
You can't get better sound at $200
These are do it all cans
Good bass punch
Beautiful and articulate Midrange
Detailed and airy highs without fatigue
Kitchen Counter Aesthetic
Cons: Pads wear down after awhile and when they flatten too much, you lose some sound quality
(I bought some knock off 3rd party replacement pads off Ebay which work perfectly to bring them back)
There's not much for me to say about these as they are perfect headphones that deserve to be in everyone's collection.

The HD600 is a legendary headphone and rightfully so.

When listening, you will hear a full track portrayed with excellent detail, with great resolution.

They sound they produce is out of their price level, sounding multiple times their price and the midrange is simply benchmark.

The timbre is fantastic, vocals sound totally natural without any weird colorations.

They are clean and clear. Bass is punchy, midrange is just right, treble is detailed and fast.

I'll let the more experienced reviewers give you dirty details, but let me just state that these are a masterpiece headphone which deserve all of the praise they get and will continue to get.

They just sound right. Masterful headphones.

If you are the type of person that just wants one do-it-all headphone around $250, grab these and enjoy most of what this hobby has to offer.

Plus, how could you not dig this kitchen counter appeal?

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I'd suggest you listen to the HiFiman 400i's !

I've tried a lot of Hifiman headphone models, including some of their higher end. They have some great sounding headphone models though. Although something that bothers me about Hifiman is they release a millions models with a million versions of each.


New Head-Fier
For purists and music lovers
Pros: Natural sound quality
Beatiful design (old one)
Supremely conformatable
Impove with higher equipment
Cons: May be lacking bass for Hip Hop
Clamping force a bit to tight
Not very easy to find
New version has mediocre box
I've been a Sennheiser user for a a while. My first headphones were the HD450BT, terrible comfort but sounded good to my ears. Then I changed to the Sony's WH-1000XM3 for travelling, they are not that comfortable and sound was overwhelming. Then I bought the HD560s, pretty good but treble was harsh to me, then HD599. Too much bass and not a lot of detail. I wanted something neutral but engaging at the same time. The HD600 are amazing headphones for the money, you can enjoy them for hours without fatigue. They are not for everyone (bassheads), but I think many people will like their neutrality.
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Speed King

New Head-Fier
Pros: Build, comfort, durability, lightness, design
All parts are replaceable
Big ol' packaging, nice presentation
Neutral but not boring, smooth in every way possible
Snappy and fast bass
Incredible midrange, one of the best vocal reproductions in a headphone
Supremely handed treble that shines with higher volumes
Tonality is pretty much spot on
Can be easily took as a reference point
Good dynamics, detail retrieval and imaging
Great separation
They work with every genre of music
They scale a lot with better gear/more powerful amps (apparently, they are married with tubes).
Great pricing at 300$, still holding a very good value after 20 years
Cons: They really need an amp to sound their best
Meh cable
Big, bulky and open back, things that restrict portability a lot
Pretty narrow soundstage and not very deep
They aren't as engaging/fun as some headphones at their price range or even lower
Clamping force is a bit too tight at first, but gets down over usage
Not great for those with super ThiCC glasses like me.
Subbass presence and extension is a bit disappointing
Unforgiving to bad recordings/low quality files
You know them, he knows them, they too, everybody does. So what are these?

From their first debut in 1997 to today, the HD600 and HD650 have been one of the most loved and used headphones in the audiophile community.

What made them so special? What was the key that Sennheiser managed to develop to let them stand to the testament of time?

Let's find out.

Packaging and accessories:


Pretty basic I would say, with a nice presentation.


That's the big chungus of the boxes.


Black cardboard on the outside, gray foam on the inside. As you open the package you'll find the warranty and the instructions, under it lies the headphones themselves with the cable and a 6.3mm adapter.


Sennheiser proprietary connector :p... Atleast left and right are weel identified.
As you can see the left one is a bit bigger and you can insert them only in one direction, with the letter pointing on the outside of the cup.

Build quality and comfort:


The HD600s are built really nicely, even tough they are almost entirely made of plastic, they feel sturdy and light at the same time, not quite flexible, but enough to make you think these can last years to come.

The cups are of an oval shape and they are tilted a bit, they can pivot and swipe up and down. They are covered by a metal grille to protect the driver from dust and objects. The velour pads are really nice but pheraps a bit stiff, I wish they could be a bit wider.

The pieces that connects the cups to the headband are made of steel, you adjust these depending on your head size.

The plastic headband is heavily padded with 4 nuggets of what seems foam, but I can't really tell.

You might ask what's the strongest point of this old yet extremely practical design... And it's the capability to take it apart by hand and reassemble it like you drink water.

Now, that cable... It's too damn long and it's thick as spaghetti, 3 meters of spaghetti, I'm constricted to wrap it with a cord.
However it doesn't hold it's shape and it's really light, the 6.3mm adapter is indeed proprietary :p, but it's pretty nice.


Comfortwise, I can keep them for hours and hours on my head and I don't need to adjust them every second.

Yeah, the clamping force is pretty damn tight at first, and even if it goes down after some weeks, it could still cause some issues.
For example, me, who wears some thick glasses, can't stand to put them on more than 1 minute while wearing the HD600s... They pads presses the ears on them and it literally hurts.
However the clamps manages to make them one of the most secure headphones out there, like, I could run with these, never questioning if they would fall off my head anytime soon.

Power requirements:

I was a bit skeptical about this factor, reading forums, watching videos and learning that they needed an Emotiva A100 (it's a speaker amp and it has an headphone out that is obviously limited for preventing the drivers to explode/going on fire, however you can install some jumpers on the circuitry, bypassing the resistance and giving some FULL FLEDGE 8WPC to 50ohms... To your headphones...) to unleash their full potential.

Now, you can get these at listenable levels through your phone (better would be a DAP), however I can attest that they like a lot of current, as much you can feed them to sound like they would like to.


Obviously you don't have the extreme need of that much current, in fact one of those sub 100 dollars amps can get the job almost completely done (JDS Atom, Shiit Magni, Monoprice Liquid Spark, Geshelli Labs Archel Pro... Etc.), but be sure to pick one up while you're at it.
They have an extremely good sinergy with tubes and if you can make them balanced too, that would be amazing.


Here's the answer to the questions at the start of this review... It's really simple.

There's nothing special about the driver, it's just a thin plastic diaphragm with a coil and magnets behind it.
And it's even littler than the average, having 38mm of diameter.


However... the amount of effort that Sennheiser put into it and it's tuning must have been ridiculously great, this shows you how simple things can get so much up there with work and development behind them.

Sound signature:
Neutral, midrange forward, with a hint of warmth overall.

The bass isn't so bad, considering that it's definetely not the highlight of this headphone.
It slaps rather than punchs, it's really quick and works nicely even with EDM or dubstep, even tough there isn't a lot of it, it's enough to hit you when needed and it retains a lot of tightness.

However when you switch to something like the Neon Demon soundtrack or that from Ex Machina I noticed that subbass is a bit subdued and it rolls off pretty fast.
There isn't even a big quantity of it, it's still there, you can ear it, but not that much.
But again, this is not the main focus of the HD600.

In one world, beautiful.
It's buttery smooth but resolving and detailed at the same time, the instruments tend to give the illusion of being played in real life (at the right volume).
And now, the vocals.

They are BIG and extremely well separated from the mix, with incredible amounts of energy, body and intimacy, I can't prise them enough, definetely the best performer under 500 in this department.

Everybody knows of the HD600 and HD650 midrange, and I think nobody would be disappointed with their performance in this category.

I love the treble on these
While not being super resolving, it gives the music a good amount of air and sparkle but maintaining a sense of fullness to them that I personally enjoy.
There are too many people hyping the "veil", I don't think that this is a veiled headphone at all but I can get why they say that:

The highs get better at higher volumes, and I know it sounds weird, but they really open up and breathe when you turn up the dial.

They don't ever offend until you blast them to ear-damaging levels, and since I'm a bit sensitive to treble, I absolutely like this capability.


Imaging and soundstage:
The imaging is good and pretty accurate but it can get a bit lost between the center-side space, nothing mind blowing.

Same goes to the sounstage, it's an intimate headphone, the sound stays between the two drivers, however when you catch that crazy wide song these manage to display that.
The sound is presented more in front of you rather than inside your head, and it's not very deep.

The HD600s doesn't have the most amazing detail retrieval out there, but it's great and will surely not left you wanting for more.
Naturalness and tonality are another story, these are the strongest points of this headphone, going toe to toe with the 1000$ offerings out there... They sound just "right", nothing feels out of place and the music just flows, it grabs you and you're there. Certainly the smoothness contributes to that.


The HD600s get my full recommendation, for everybody.
These don't soud almost like anything and they show you what a simple, well tuned driver can deliver.
I can't get enough of their smoothness and naturalness, they even have the potential to be an endgame for somebody.
However if you want something more fun, I'll rather look at something else, I don't consider these boring, but ymmv.

So, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for reading, catch you next time, ciao! :smile:
As HD650 got superseded with the existence of 6XX, I just remembered that the HD600 is still being sold as new...

So that's the reason why such an old headphone's new review is getting put on the front page...

Well it's a good read anyway so, here's a like!
Good, honest review of a headphone that has possibly more words written about it than almost any other (save for HD650). Gets a like from me if only because I own a pair and love them like a child...
They’re endgame for me, that’s for sure!


1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Cost
Robust build
Neutral precise engaging sound
All parts can be replaced
Cons: May not be exciting enough for some
Dated color scheme

“The Venerable Palate Cleanser”


Why this elder statesman?

Because the HD 600 is as relevant to personal audio today as it ever has been! The HD 600 is IMHO the best value in high end audio today. Over time the quality of this item remains the same but the price keeps going down. How often can that be said.

Why would I review an elder statesman?

Three years ago, I happened to be content with my closed back tank, the Sony MDR-7506 until………. I happened to be at a friend’s house and he said “try these out.” I put on his HD 600’s and WOW the light came on. That was the first time I heard in a headphone crisp, clean, sound with space for all the instruments. I said to myself I need to have one of these. The mistake I made at that time was thinking that the quality came from the HD 600 being an open back headphone, not from being what they are: true, neutral, engaging headphones.

I went straight into the Oppo open back headphone world, then into the Audeze LCD world and then into the ZMF headphone world. The Oppo PM 1 was not engaging enough. Yes, Audeze and ZMF Headphones are engaging but at a price. About a year ago I convinced myself I needed an open back headphone at work. One I could take on and off a lot. One that I could hear if someone needed something from me. One that was relatively affordable and solidly built. That brought me back to the HD 600’s and also back to the day the light came on! My first kiss, the HD 600 is my go to palate cleanser when I want to truly taste the music as intended to be tasted.


Frequency Response: 12Hz-40,500Hz
Headphone Type: Open back over the ear
Sensitivity: 102 dB SPL/V
Impedance: 300 Ohm
Weight: 260g
Cable Length: 3 meters
Jack Plug: 1/4thplug with 3.5mm adapter

Currently can be purchases from Amazon Prime for $267

Brief History:

1997! Yes 22 years ago is when these Headphones first arrived. They evolved from the Sennheiser HD 580. Then in 2003 Sennheiser introduced the HD 650, the HD 600 partner in crime. I have been reading incessantly about headphones for three years now. It is amazing how often HD 600s and HD 650s are referenced when talking about the sound signature of other HPs. Drop (formerly known as Prince, I mean formerly known as Massdrop) introduced not too long ago the HD 6XX. It is an HD 650 with a different color and a shorter cable. The HD 6XX can be had for $220. I will compare the HD 6XX sound to the HD 600 toward the end of this review.



Sennheiser sells these direct for $400 so the obvious choice would be purchasing from Amazon for $267. That is exactly what I did a little over a year ago. The Amazon box they come in fits perfectly with the Sennheiser box. So, note to self: keep the original box they come in just in case there is ever an issue needing repair under warranty or um Gottes willen you ever decide to sell these (they go quick used for about $180-200 these days).

The box it comes with is very nice and protective. I would feel safe shipping these in the original box with all the foam cushioning. The velvety cloth earpads do supposedly go flat after a few years. We all do but with these everything can be replaced. EVERYTHING. That is such an added bonus. Replacement parts are easy to come by and are affordable.

The cable it comes with is my only minor gripe. It comes with a 3 meter cable (9.84 ft.). That works well when the main rig is a bit away but is too long for when the rig is next to the bed or next to a comfy chair. A 6 ft to 8 ft cable would make more sense to me. Once you start talking about main rigs then people start getting into balanced connections anyway. I ended up getting an aftermarket 8 ft balanced cable to use with my main rig and a 4ft cable to use at work where I do not want much slack to get in the way.


Equipment used for this review:

Schiit Mjolnir 2
Schiit Lyr 2
Schiit Gungnir (USB 5)
Schiit Bifrost (USB 5)
Schiit Modi

Yes, I know I need to branch out into OTL tube amps with such high impedance headphones. That day will come.

I listen to mainly “HiFi” quality of music through Tidal.

Fit and Comfort:

These headphones feel super light. They clamped a little tight when I first got them. Now they fit perfectly and I honestly forget I have them on sometimes. Now that is rare with a Headphone. The cloth pads are comfortable and welcomed when it is a little warm.

There is 100% leakage and no blockage of outside noise. More than any other open back headphones I have tried. This is not a negative but is part of the open back world


And how does it sound?

I will start where some people feel the HD 600 is lacking and that is in the bass. I disagree with the lacking part. The mid bass is not colored. It is present and to my ears what makes the bass of the HD 600 so special is the very small hint of colored sub bass. If you close your eyes and focus on each instrument the sub bass is what comes out more than any other individual sound. This in my mind is what makes the HD 600 engaging.

I have owned other headphones (Oppo PM 1 for example) that are not lacking anything specific. Overall coherency may be excellent but the joy of listening is not sustained. That in my mind is the fault of a lot of neutral headphones. The sub bass of the HD 600 is what sustains the joy of listening. This small hint of elevated sub bass is what keeps me engaged and coming back for more.

The treble could be a weak point of these. I would disagree. The treble is present and accounted for. The treble does not jump out at you. This lack of sibilance is another factor that allows longer listening sessions.

The midrange is the key to these. The midrange quality can go head to head with any other headphone. The mids are what allow longer listening sessions to still be a joy. Vocals are neutral. They are not forward and not too far in the background like a lot of headphones that have colored bass or too sibilant of treble. Acoustic guitars sound so natural. The best word I come up to describe the mids of the HD 600 is lush!

The HD 600 provides a super clean sound. These are not so clean that they are bright. I would consider them to have a warm clean sound. There is a lack of distortion with very good instrument separation. Clean, lack of distortion, and good instrument separation are not things said at this price range.

A weakness of these headphones is the lack of a wide soundstage. Both horizontal and vertical soundstage does not extend very far. A positive side to this weakness is that these headphones do sound intimate.

The HD 600 can be your open back headphone end game. What a cost saver that would be and what a spousal relationship sustainer that would be. Of course, audiophiles lack this reasoning. Therefore the HD 600 is an excellent addition to any audio collection. It is my go to palate cleanser along with my ZMF Auteurs. I do have other headphones and IEMS for when I want to get into daytime or nighttime fun and games. The ZMF Atticus or NCM Bella V2 fit perfectly into this role.

A huge benefit of the neutral sound of the HD 600 is that you can listen to them for endless hours. There is literally no fatigue and no boredom. They are engaging enough to keep interest but the interest is to be had when you want to be interested. Now that is a relationship we long for. There is no fatigue from the HD 600 demanding your attention all the time like forward sounding headphones tend to do over time.

300 Ohms is a rather high impedance. A caveat to this discussion is that that the HD 600 needs ampage. You can run it through your phone and most anything but at a loss. The dynamics of this headphone do not come to light properly until you are using an amp that does it justice. Then it opens up and shines. This is not a headphone for on the go nor was it intended to be. It is for someone that cannot have their 2 channel speakers playing. It is for someone that is in a quiet environment and sound leakage will not annoy anyone else.



Sennheiser HD 6XX/HD 650:

No HD 600 conversation can happen without a reference to the HD 650. I think the HD 650 is Sennheiser’s attempt to add color to the HD 600. People tend to prefer one or the other. The difference is the warmth added to the 650. The notes are rounded rather than coming to a point as they do with the 600. They both have quality treble and stellar mids. The biggest difference to me along with the rounded notes is in the bass. The 650 has a slightly elevated mid bass while the 600 has a mild sub bass lift. I thought I would enjoy both the 650 and 600. I was wrong. I did not find the 650 engaging enough to keep.

ZMF Auteur:

The Auteur is the grand HD 600. The Auteur is 6 times the cost of the HD 600. Should they even be compared? Yes, they should and that says a lot for the HD 600. They are both revealing. They are both neutral, they both have a slight bump in sub bass (hence the engagement factor). With both of them I feel like I am sitting perfectly in the center of a concert hall. The Auteur is a few rows forward as compared to the HD 600. The stage is wider and the instrument separation is better with the Auteur. But for $267 vs. $1600 there should in reality be no comparison to be had. The greatest gift of the HD 600 is that is can be compared to an indisputable amazing sounding $1600 Headphone. The HD 600 is 80% of the Auteur at 1/6ththe cost. Drop the mic right there and walk away!


Concluding thoughts:

I have discussed the qualities of the HD 600. It is neutral sounding. It is engaging. It is detailed. I use it as a palate cleanser when I want to get back to the heart of the sound. I use it when I want to get back to how the sound was intended to be heard.

In my opinion the best qualities of the HD 600 is what it is not. It is not tiring. It is not boring. It is not sibilant. It is not annoyingly colored. It is not expensive. It is not flimsy. In my opinion it is a must have!
HD-600's don't scale that much with SE -> XLR (answer Raptor34) - and this is with an amp that takes a gigantic jump w/ XLR. Low capacitance cables seem to matter more as does running it on a BH Crack, which is nearly a magic combo.
Amazing review, i am getting these. The bass seems more "slam" rather than boomy experience which is less annoying and more enjoyable. I am getting these.
Thanks for the review


500+ Head-Fier
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!
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!

Seph Haley

New Head-Fier
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!

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New Head-Fier
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.


100+ Head-Fier
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 bypassed using the jumper, 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 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.
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Headphoneus Supremus
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.
Actually, I now see that senn has two color variations on the site.  Mine is still the traditional color with red/black plugs.  interesting!
@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.
I like your honest opinion review.


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.
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:
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
@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. 


Previously known as Nec3
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.
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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.
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 :)


New Head-Fier
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....
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.  
Nope, not a review.
Try again next time.
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.


New Head-Fier
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 :)
abby normal
abby normal
the repairman couldn't fix 'em, said to get new ones.
I totally agree with your review especially on the Treble part, well done :)
Sonic Defender
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.


500+ Head-Fier
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.
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! 
Bob A (SD)
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? 
Nice review.  Having both the 600s and the LCD2s, IMO you've hit the nail on the head with your assessments.
Sonic Defender
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.
Pros: Neutral sound signature, all parts user replaceable, scale very well, balanced cable makes them thrive
Cons: Limited bass that doesn't extend terribly low, require keeping earpads firm
I bought these headphones because I thought that closed cans were getting a bit fatiguing (pressure on the ear-drum from closed environment), because I wanted a can that could adapt to a balanced cable well, and because I wanted a neutral sound signature. I got all of those things.
These are great all around performers and one of the best bargains that you can get in Head-Fi if you are willing to buy them used. I live in the UK and searched around for these in the UK and Germany used (always good to look at prices in several countries). I ended up picking these up for £135 off of a seller in Germany. I saw others go for more, and later others go for less, but I still feel they are one the most spectacular non-free bargains I have gotten in Head-Fi.
The pair that I got has older drivers in it, and newer ones are reported to sound better--they have different materials in their voice-coils. Mine had worn down pads that made the bass sound muffled and limpid. It was like someone had strangled a snake and bathed it in chip oil. It was terrible sounding bass. Luckily, that was easy to fix, as soon as I got my replacement ear-pads they sounded like a completely different headphone. The veil was lifted, the bass was released from it's greasy dungeon, and the headphone became much more enjoyable. It still lacks on the bass, though.
I listen to all kinds of music, from Miles Davis to Megadeth with stop-overs in weird Indie land, twee town, and the punk pits. These play what I like very well. I compared these to the stock HD800, and found that I thought the HD800 bass sounded loose and unsatisfying. The HD800 does space and bright lights well, like the Hubble telescope pointed to far away galaxies, but it's bass image was like if you turned that Hubble telescope at earth and didn't adjust the focus enough. I don't feel that way with the HD600, yay for my wallet!
In the not too distant past, I finally got to try these beauties with a balanced cable, thanks, @pedalhead. I hooked up some Cable Pro Panorama balanced cables, plugged them into the balanced headphone out on a LH Labs Pulse Infinity + LPS stack and pressed play. The sound stage expanded dramatically, note impact and fullness shot up, and I found these inexpensive used purported to be mid-fi headphones performing on par with MrSpeakers Ether playing out of a single ended amp. I didn't do a direct head-to-head with both having balanced cables, and both playing out of the same amp (the MrSpeakers Ether was playing out of a special Cary Xciter Moon Audio upgraded valve amp), but damn those HD600s scale beautifully. At the Cambridge Head-Fi meet in April I had a similarly surprising experience with the Icon Audio HP8 MkII valve amp (there is one in a used shop down the street from me, very tempted). The soundstage exploded at me like a pile of black cat fireworks on the 4th of July with insufficient length faulty fuses. Luckily, no one was injured.
I think everyone should own the HD600. If nothing else, it is a way to keep more expensive headphones honest. I know that I won't be buying a MrSpeakers Ether after hearing the HD600 with a middle of the road balanced cable, the MrSpeakers just isn't worth $1200 dollars more to me. I've also had the privilege of hearing this with the iFi iCan, and can say that the bass boost on the iCan made it sound like the headphone I've been wanting. The iCan and Micro iDSD are stellar choices, by the way, and drive the HD600 beautifully. One big advantage of the HD600 is it's neutral signature. If I listen with these, I know that any colour I'm hearing is from the source or the amp, so they are very good headphones for critical listening.
There is one caveat I should apply: my HD600s have been modded. I removed the neutral acoustic foam and replaced it with what is referred to as tights in Britain (panty hose in the USA). This mod opened up the soundstage a little and made the HD600 a little brighter and crisper. Not everyone prefers it this way, and when listening to my suddenly bright Feliks Audio Elise tube amp (it's the C3G tubes) it can be a little fatiguing. The HD600s have a similar signature either way, so I'd advise people to try both ways. You can put the foam back in and tights cost next to nothing. I'm curious to try with a bit thicker acoustically neutral material to tame some of the overbright pairings. Speaking of pairings, for 300 ohm headphones, these are actually pretty easy to drive. They are listenable out of my Dell Vostro's headphone jack, and my DX50 sounds good with them. More power is better, especially for bass performance, but is not required for an enjoyable listen.
If you don't have these headphones. You should remedy that, unless you are a basshead. End of review.
Excellent, succinct review mate.  I agree with everything you say about the HD600. #1 audiophile headphone bargain on the market today.