Sennheiser HD 600

Average User Rating:
4.8/5,
  1. Brooko
    5.0/5,
    "Sennheiser HD600 - Timeless Sound Quality"
    Pros - Pros : Sound quality, comfort, build, modularity (parts), balance, naturalness, clarity, detail
    Cons - Cons : Headband not as strong as it could be, initial clamp force
    The Sennheiser HD600 is an open dynamic circumaural head-phone which Sennheiser market for audiophiles, and also state as ideal for studio monitoring.
     
    hd600-1.jpg  
    Pre-amble (about me at time of writing)

    I'm a 44 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile - just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current entry/mid-fi set-up.  I vary my listening from portable (i-devices + amp) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > HP).  My main headphones at the time of writing are the Sennheiser HD600s, a modded set of Alessandro MS1i, and a set of B2 iems.  I previously owned Beyer DT880, Shure SRH840 and 940 + various other IEMs. I have auditioned quite a few entry and mid-tier cans, but have yet to hear any flagships (at current time of writing this review).  I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical and opera to grunge and hard-rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced - with a slight emphasis on the mid-range.  I prefer a little warmth in the overall signature.  I am neither a bass or treble head.  Current amps = NFB12, GoVibe PortaTube, Fiio E11.  Previous desktop set-up was a Fiio E7/E9 combo.
     
    Packaging and Accessories
    I purchased my HD600s from another Head-fi member.  They come with a very solid and well padded case, and a 3.5-6.3mm adapter.
     
    Technical Specifications
    From the Sennheiser website :
     
    Nominal impedance = 300Ω
    Contact pressure = ca. 2,5 N
    Weight w/o cable = 260 g
    Jack plug = 3,5/6,3 mm stereo
    Transducer = principle dynamic, open
    Ear coupling = circumaural
    Cable length = 3 m
    Frequency response (headphones) = 12 - 39000 Hz
    Sound pressure level (SPL) =  97 dB at 1 mW
    THD, total harmonic distortion = 0,1 %
     
    Frequency Response Graph
    (From HeadRoom)
     
    graphCompare.png
     
     
    Build / Comfort / Isolation
    The HD600's build is solid - but not 'bullet proof'.  They are very light-weight (plastic headband - with a carbon fibre inner band) - but they are well put together.  If I had one criticism, it would be that the headband is not as strong as I expected.  When I got mine, I found them a little 'clampy' - so thinking the carbon fibre inner would be strong enough, I tried to stretch them to alleviate the clamp.  Big no-no.  Snap!  One broken headband, and me almost shedding 'manly' tears.  Admittedly, I stretched more than I should have - but it was because I expected the carbon fibre to allow the plastic outer to bend.  Anyway  - you have been warned.  I'll tell you how I fixed them down the page shortly.  The shell is plastic (very light) with some plastic moldings - the outer shell has a marbled look - that I think actually looks quite classy.
     
    hd600-2.jpg   hd600-3.jpg
     
     The headband padding is actually very soft and extremely comfortable.  The ear pads are a soft velour which has quite deep cups, and are also very comfortable.  Note - after a while you get used to the tight clamp - and I've found I could wear them for hours.  They would be the second most comfortable headphones I've owned - just behind the DT880s.
     
    hd600-5.jpg   hd600-6.jpg
     
    These are an open can - so there is no isolation in or out.  They are not as bad as a Grado - but they are open.
     
    The huge benefit with these cans is that they are completely modular - you are able to break them down fully, and all parts are replaceable - even the drivers.  So after my "mishap" - I got in touch with Sennheiser, and they had a replacement headband on it's way to me.  It was a very simple operation to dismantle the headphone and swap the parts out.
     
    hd600-4.jpg
     
    The cable is also replaceable, and you can go after market if you wish.  Personally I find the stock cable to be very sturdy (advertised as OFC copper and kevlar reinforced) - and it doesn't seem to be prone to cable noise or tangling.
     
    Listening Set-up
    My main set-up with the HD600 is PC > Coax > NFB-12 >HD600.  For a transportable rig, I use iPhone4 > PortaTube > HD600. 
     
    Sound Quality
    These are very simply "keepers".  They are the most natural sounding headphone I have used or auditioned to date.  They are very well balanced across the spectrum - with a slightly elevated mid-bass and lower mids.  Overall I would call the sound slightly warm without being dark.  I used to play guitar, and have spent time in my youth listening to live orchestra and solo violin - and I found the HD600 to be quite realistic.  A quick summary of the main sound quality headings:
     
    Detail - While not as detailed as the DT880, I found the detail on these still quit high.  They do tend to be slightly laid back, and can get slightly congested with very fast music.  The clarity is very good.  I find them articulate and refined.
     
    Sound-stage - Similar to the DT880 in overall size.  Depth and width ifs quite good, and instrument separation (particularly for classical) is quite good.
     
    Highs - These surprised me.  They are nowhere near as etched as the DT880, but I don't find them veiled at all.  For me the highs are quite natural - no trace of sibilance or harshness, with still good detail.  Highs are not the focus, but they are still presented beautifully.
     
    Mids - IMO this is where the HD600 really shines.  Acoustic guitar (any stringed instrument really), piano, and female vocals especially are wonderful on the HD600.  I recently bought Alison Krauss and Union Station's album Paper Airplane.  The combination of Alison's vocals and the bluegrass flavour of the music is simply divine.
     
    Bass - on the NFB-12, the bass is well defined and punchy - with good impact.  it just doesn't reach low into the sub-bass like the DT880.  But it doesn't need to - because once again the bass is beautifully balanced with the rest of the frequencies.
     
    Power Requirements
    The HD600 has 300 ohm nominal impedance - but what surprised me is how easy these are to actually drive.  They do sound wonderful out of the NFB-12 and also my PortaTube - which both have plenty left on the pot.  But I can also play these easily on the little Fiio E11, and even out of the headphone out of my iPhone4 (admittedly on about 80% volume).  On the iPhone4 unamped, the bass becomes quite boomy and muddled - so it's obviously not being driven properly - but these don't require huge power.  They do seem to scale well - the difference between E11, my E7/E9 (when I owned it) and now the NFB-12 is noticeable - with extra body and definition from the NFB-12.  I'm looking forward to trying these with a Schitt Valhalla sometime next year.
     
    Summary / Conclusion
    The HD600 has become my favourite headphone for simply listening to music.  They are well built, comfortable, and sound simply phenomenal.  Their tonal balance and the naturalness of their sound is the best I've personally heard so far.  While I wouldn't recommend them for critical listening (the DT880 is better for the extra detail and extension it brings), for non-critical listening enjoyment - there are few better IMO.
    msee, homeros8000, gopack87 and 15 others like this.
  2. rjm003
    5.0/5,
    "Hard-Working Reference"
    Pros - Luxurious midrange, full and extended bass, smooth treble, comfortable.
    Cons - Maybe a bit too full-sounding? Not quite as resolving/detailed as some of its peers.
    Let me just say one thing up front: if you have any complaints about the speed or the bass extension of these headphones, you need a better headphone amp. /endofdiscussion The HD600s will take the best in source material and amplification, and give you the best sound in return. It's not coincidental that these cans are held up as the reference's reference: more than any other headphone I can think of they sound like whatever it is you are listening to. Their most notable audio characteristic is this ... amiable compatibility. That and the ability to play cleanly at very loud peak levels. Combined, the HD600s are ready for whatever you care to throw at them, never drawing unwanted attention to themselves, always sounding great.
     
    Perhaps part of the secret to this neutrality and high enjoyment factor is the way they dial down the resolution just a tad. A fraction de-focused, one notch less treble intensity - blending the music into a coherent experience rather than individual strands of detail. Some people might disapprove, I call it genius.
     
    These are comfortable, durable headphones built to a high standard. The foam pads on the earcups and headband died after a decade or so, but I easily replaced them with the new parts from Sennheiser.
  3. snapacap
    4.5/5,
    "Elegant, Composed, Neutral, Covergirl....... I mean Natural!"
    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.
     
    022.jpg
     
    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.
  4. Mshenay
    4.5/5,
    "Pure Euphoria "
    Pros - Euphoric Sound, organic, laid back, easy listening, airy, good detail
    Cons - lacks aggression, rolled off sub bass,
    Check out my Video Review for the Sennheiser HD 600! ​
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    Well guys I want to say I finally did it! I broke down, and purchased a Sennheiser HD 600. After hearing about it for YEARS I just had to hear it for my self, and I'm rather glad I did! ​


    Though it should be noted, my HD 600ish is technically... an HD 580 headband, HD 650 Grills and Cable with HD 600 drivers within. So in a sense, it's bit of a FrankenPhone. But it's got the  HD 600 internals so a HD 600 it shall be!​


    The build quality on the unit is very nice! It has a good in the hand feel to it. Granted it's mostly plastic, but it still has a nice sense of weight and sturdiness to it. ​

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    [​IMG]


    To start with the Headband it self is composed of an inner metal band and outer plastic components. The Ear Cups are adjusted with a nice click as you move them down the notched head band. Again everything has a very nice feel to it, nothing's flimsy or weak.​

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    Again these are the HD 650 Grills... but they look nice. Again  nothing flimsy on this headphone. ​

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    [​IMG]


    The Cable is also from the HD 650, and I'm happy with it! It's a rather long cable and I've rolled over it a few times by accident now, I even stepped on it once. Non the less, like the rest of the headphone it has a good feel to it. Just an over all well built quality through an through! ​


    SOUND​


    FooBar 2000 -> Kernel Streaming -> Audio GD NFB10ES2 Dac Line Out -> Schiit Vali​


    So I'm running these through my Vali and I won't be doing any comparisons in this review! For the test tracks I used  this album.​


    Late Night Tales : Air​
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    The albums is a lovely mix of Classic Rock and Classical Music, with a little techno added in there! I think it makes an excellent demo Album for any headphone or system!​




    The HD 600 has one of the most Euphoric sounds I've heard! It's has a great sense of organic warmth and is very laid back. ​


    Now many people claim this is a "veiled" headphone, which I disagree with. The unique color of the headphone is very different! Many of my headphones have a peak around 8-9k, well the HD 600 has a DIP there and a peak around 3-4k. Thus, upon listening to it sounds very different! Though, after about 10mins I found my self noticing a great deal of detail and air within the warm intimate sound of the HD 600.​


    In short, the HD 600 is a wonderfully organic, airy and detailed headphone. It is certainly intimate and warm, but is by no means fuzzy or veiled. ​


    You do need an amp for it and I highly recommend the Schiit Vali!​


     ​
  5. BlackbeardBen
    5.0/5,
    "Dethroned, yet still one of the dynamic kings."
    Pros - Very detailed. Balanced. Good soundstage. Absolutely amazing mids. Entirely modular, with all parts replaceable.
    Cons - Bass could be a little tighter. Some would say subdued treble, but I'd say it's at a very realistic level. Soundstaging has room for improvement.
    Note: The price paid is used from Amazon Marketplace.  Also, I've duplicated my review from the other product listing here on Head-Fi.  If it is possible, the two HD 600 pages ought to be merged.
     
    The first thing about these the HD 600 is the excellent tonal balance - it's never harsh, but the highs are still there and very detailed.  Sometimes the finest details may get lost in very complex music thanks to being overshadowed by other parts of the music, but the resulting detailed smoothness is a very good thing.
     
    The mids - ahh, they're to die for!  They're the highlight of the headphones.  They're detailed and lifelike, similar to the highs.  But they're so realistic sounding - even so more than the HD 800 and Beyer T1 I've auditioned.  As far as I'm concerned, the HD 800 (haven't heard the HD 650) still falls short here in comparison.  Guitars, brass, saxes, vocals, and more sound so much more realistic (and and have more visceral impact) than anything else I've heard (my new Alessandro MS1is come close, but not as much with the low mids).
     
    Bass is fairly tight and at just about the right level for all types of music.  You'll never make anyone happy with any given quantity of bass, but I think these are as close to a neutral level as you'll get.  Very low bass can be a little loose, and rapid bass notes aren't as distinct as the HD 800, Beyer T1 or DT 880, but it's still excellent overall (and especially compared to lesser headphones).
     
    Their soundstaging is very good - but there are, of course, far superior headphones for this.  Depth is good, width is good, and precision of placement is good - again, a very balanced sound.  The sense of spaciousness (a function of all three factors) falls a little short of the AKG K701, and of course the HD 800 and Beyer T1 - but of course is far more evident than the close-in Grado sound.  The "It sounds like they're playing in the room with me!" sensation never really happens to the same level that my speakers (Infinity Renaissance 90) can provide.
     
    The build quality is very good - the headband and frames are supposedly made of carbon fiber, but after inspecting them (and seeing photos of cracked headbands) I believe it is probably a carbon fiber reinforced plastic instead.  Less impressive to your friends, perhaps, but an excellent material nonetheless.  They do of course feel slightly plasticky as a result (but it never feels like cheap plastic).
     
    They're quite lightweight, and the padding is excellent - the velour earpads and headband are very comfy.  I know some complain about them being too tight - I can't really comment, since I bought mine used.  I never found them to be too tight myself.
     
    They stand up to abuse admirably well - mine have lived in my backpack for four months straight and only have superficial damage to the grills (they get dented when sharing the backpack with my Nikon) to show for it.  They haven't been babied at all - just no abuse like trying to bend the headband over on itself...  Anyway, since everything is modular, you can easily replace any part that has broken.  I just got new pads and a cable to replace the worn originals.
     
    The marbled finish does wear off a little over time, but it has yet to become detrimental to their appearance so far.  Oh, and by the way, the finish looks a whole lot cooler in person than in photos of the headphones.
     
    I've found amp'ing them not to be as difficult as some seem to think.  A/B'ing my uDAC (my main source and amp) against a Beyerdynamic A1 amp, I really couldn't consistently tell any difference between them other than ultimate power output.  The Sansa Clip+ actually does an admirable job running them up to moderately loud levels (not short-term ear blasting, of course), and never clips with them when playing music.  It does, however, sound slightly (yet noticeably) less dynamic and with a narrower, less well defined soundstage in comparison to the uDAC. I forgot that I have a crossfeed plugin (HeadPlug MKII) running on Winamp, so I have to retract those opinions for now - although it does stand for now that I can't get a crossfeed with the Clip (without using an amp with one).
     
    So, the verdict?  These are amazing headphones, deserving of their place as one of the best dynamic headphones available to this day (15 years after their first introduction!).  Their smooth, slightly warm (not dark!), but very realistic and - yes - exciting yet neutral sound is near-perfect in balance.  Soundstaging is perhaps the area I would like to see the most improvement, but it is good in this respect already.
     
    You'll have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands.
  6. serman005
    5.0/5,
    "Neutrality Reigns Supreme"
    Pros - neutral signature, profound detail, lushness
    Cons - lean-ish sub bass, modest soundstage
    Introduction
     
    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.
     
    Conclusion
     
    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.
  7. sikki-six
    4.5/5,
    "King of neutrality, still!"
    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:
    [​IMG]
     
     
    COMFORT, BUILD & CABLE
    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...
     
    HD6002-2016.jpg
     
     
     
    THE BASS
    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...)
     
    MID-RANGE
    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.
     
    THE HIGHS
    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.
     
    HD60022-2016.jpg
     
     
    VERSUS HD650?
    I used to have both of the HD6xx-models. But, once I got my LCD-2's, the HD650 became kind of redundant - they didn't match the fun factor of that Audeze low-end or have the same level of resolution in the highs. HD600 is dryer and more "boring" in some ways than the 650, but that's the exact reason I kept them. They are just great at telling what's going on in a mix. HD650 were pretty close, but slightly too nice and fat in the low-end... Bad mixes just didn't sound bad enough! If I could only have one pair of open headphones at home, HD650 just might be my choice. But, HD600 are more neutral and LCD-2 more fun.
     
    AMPING
    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.
     
    HD60032-2016.jpg
     
     
    Thanks for reading! This headphone gets my recommendation easily, after +30 pairs of different models owned. As the prices for top models go up, these stand firm. Released in 1997, almost 20 years ago... They are still one of the best! Check out a pair if you haven't yet.
     
    BTW, I'm not affiliated with anyone, I'm doing these reviews for my own (and your) enjoyment.
     
    Cheers folks! [​IMG] 
  8. YoYo JoKeR
    5.0/5,
    "Sennheiser HD600 : To Infinity and Beyond"
    Pros - Sound Quality, Build, Comfort, Scalability, Modularity
    Cons - Stock Cable, Veil, Slow Speed
    The Sennheiser HD600's are my first set of headphones. I have long wanted to pen down this review, and here I am writing this review after several months of experience with my beloved HD600’s.
     
     
    2014-04-26-0534.jpg
     
     
    Intro : I am an 21 year old Engineering student living in a small town in India. I would like to call myself an music enthusiast, rather than an audiophile. I mostly listen to Bollywood and Indian Classical Music. There is not much audiophile-community presence in India, Though lot of potential remains to be tapped. Auditioning an headphone is almost impossible in India. At the time of my purchase, I took recommendations from fellow Head-Fi ‘ers who guided me into right path, towards the Mighty HD600. 
     
    I will try to keep this review simple and hope it will help fellow enthusiasts to know more about the wonderful HD600.
     
    Sennheiser HD600 is an upgraded version of the HD580, which was an revolutionary headphone released in 90’s and has won thousands of ears along its journey till today. The HD600 is made in Ireland, and comes packed in an thick and strong cardboard box which is cushioned from inside, where the HD600 stays put, for its onward journey towards the beloved owners! No complaints here.
     
     
     
    2014-05-28-0624.jpg
     
     
    Design and Build : Excellent and practical build with professional grade materials. High quality joints, nothing squeaky, sturdy grills, conventional yet very reliable connectors. nano-carbon material ensures in light weight. Very durable, sturdy and reliable construction, along with an attractive Marble finishing. Now not many prefer marble finishing, but as for me, I love it! The HD600 is modular! One can fully dismantle it and assemble it back with ease! Which ensures in long life and easy maintenance of the headphone.
     
    2014-05-02-0586.jpg
     
    Comfort : It is very comfortable, can be worn for hours without any sign of discomfort, thanks to oval shaped earcups. The Initial clamp force is a bit strong, but the force relaxes off gradually according to the shape of our head. Ventilated velour pads along with head cushions keeps us cool and comfortable, which is a big plus for Hot climatic countries like India.  
     
    2014-05-02-0572.jpg
     
    Sound : The HD600 is an Wonderfully sounding headphone. It’s sound can be consider as ‘Euphonic’ Rich, Textured, magical sounding with very good sound stage and details. It’s natural, smooth and grain-free sonic quality often makes one feel as If they are hearing their music in real concert and not through an headphone!
     
    Lows : Very good bass and sub bass. Balanced and Tight, well extended, and clean.
     
    Mids : Seductive and very natural. Mids are presented in a lush and rich manner, which results in its pleasing natural sound.
     
    Highs : Realistic and smooth. Not Bright. Just ‘Right’
     
    Sound-Stage and Details : Sound stage is very good though not as wide as Q701 and not as detailed as DT880. The soundstage and detailing of HD600 is very balanced and ‘Just Right’ and ‘Realistic’
     
    The HD600 can be said as more natural than neutral with respect to its sound. The HD600 gives Hi-Fi sound at Mid-Fi price point. One can listen to HD600 for hours together without any hint of fatigue or discomfort. Another positive point about HD600 is that, HD600 scales very well with equipments! I can easily recommend the Bottlehead Crack, which is an excellent OTL amplifier, has special synergry with the HD600. Otherwise an economical O2 amp will also do for an very good listen. The stock cable is quite thin, a reasonably priced Cardas cable would further enhance the already wonderful sound of the HD600. 
     
    2014-05-02-0587.jpg
     
    Conclusion : HD600 is an truely amazing and exceptional headphone! One can cherish it for lifetime. The HD600 is an masterpiece, which is a bliss for audiophiles and enthusiasts alike.
     
    2014-05-24-0615.jpg
     
    The following features are hard to find anywhere else, but are present in the HD600 :
     
    1. Eternal Sound Quality
    2. Super Comfortable
    3. Very Durable
    4. Scale-ability
    5. Modularity
    6. Affordable.
     
    I would like to thank Sennheiser for creating the legend and Head-Fi for continuing the legacy.
     
     
    The Sennheiser HD600 is not just another headphone; It’s a Legend.
  9. thecansmancan
    5.0/5,
    "A Masterpiece of Neutrality "
    Pros - Air, Dynamics, Sound stage, Price, Comfort, Build
    Cons - Straight cord, Box does not close, Lacks definition in middle of sound stage
     ​
     ​
    After over two decades of service, the HD 600 is still going strong. Since the early days of its introduction, the HD 600 has grown to become something of reference point within the audiophile community. Furthermore, its neutral, airy sound has made it a favorite among audio engineers. As such, you will struggle to find better at this price point. Now, please enjoy the video, it offers my full opinion on the HD 600 as well as a touch of comparison between it and its sister, the HD 650. If you have any questions please, feel free to ask. Thanks for watching.
    gevorg, donunus, dalb and 1 other person like this.
  10. glassmonkey
    4.0/5,
    "Sennheiser HD600: Great all rounder headphones. Top deal in HeadFi. Scale well, especially with balanced cable. Could use more bass quantity."
    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.
    pedalhead, Light - Man and trellus like this.