Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones


500+ Head-Fier
Powering the Sennheiser HD650 with the Asgard 3- Driving Miss Daisy
Pros: Greatly improved bass, treble, details, imaging and soundstage from previous amp
Driven very easily with the Asgard 3
Cons: Some midrange vocal issues
Slight veil still present
Driving Miss Daisy? For those of you who have seen the movie you might get the analogy.

You hear a lot on HiFi forums regarding the Sennheiser HD650s. Phrases like ‘legendary’ abound in many amateur (and some professional) reviews and you get the impression that these headphones are the best thing since sliced bread. Glowing superlatives regarding sound stage, imaging, bass control, detail retrieval are there in droves. I own the HD580s and love them so eventually I bought a pair of the 650s just to see what the hype was all about. And my initial conclusion after running them in was just that – hype!

Running the 650s through my Burson Playmate 2 what I heard was definitely underwhelming.

Bass – somewhat bloated, not well controlled and it rolled off in the upper levels. Some slam but not really enough and they didn’t go low enough without losing definition

Midrange – smooth, almost urbane but vocals didn’t impress as they often sounded a bit timid

Treble – definitely dialed back and taking all the fun and excitement out of lead guitars

Imaging – three blobs of sound (left, centre and right) that seem to meet up at the edges

Sound stage – narrow and compressed with no depth

Detail – what detail? Things I’d heard on cheaper cans just weren’t there.

So I went back to the reviews and wondered if the pundits were using the same cans as me. Why were these reviewed so positively, what were the factors that made these supposedly so good for the money? After a while one factor from my research began to stand out - scalability - with driving power a major aspect. Quite simply what they were saying was you need the right amp. To cut a long story short it became evident that my PM2 (a great DAC/Amp) that while being classed as powerful still didn’t have the chops to get anything near the best out of the HD650.

Enter the Schiit Asgard3 which I bought just to see what the HD650s could do – not something I’d normally do. With four times the power of the Burson and recommended by many it was also a reasonable price. Would it prove the HD650 fans correct and bring them to life? The answer is Yes.

I’ve spent a few weeks with the HD650s as my only listening device. I wasn’t trying to make comparisons so no need for my Audeze LCD1, HD580s, etc. I just wanted to hear what the Asgard3 did to the 650s without having another set of headphones colouring my opinion. So why did I say yes, what’s improved? Let’s go back to my original criteria

Bass – possibly this is where the biggest improvement is for these Senns. Slam, good definition (but it doesn’t quite go all the way down) and the roll off has been minimized to the point where you don’t really notice it. It’s not bass head stuff but it’s enjoyable and it’s definitely faster and tighter.

Treble – Yay, there is now some sparkle and you definitely hear it on the upper registers of guitars and similar instruments. What’s more it’s cleaner and tighter without getting peaky.

Imaging – also a huge improvement. The three blobs are gone and the whole sound stage is now covered albeit with one or two little dead areas.

Detail – of course with improved imaging then those little details that I couldn’t really hear using my PM2 have emerged.

Midrange – you’ll notice I’ve left this for last as, for me, there are some ambivalences. Often touted as one of the HD650s strengths it’s also a bit of an achilles heel IMHO – or at least with this set up.

The midrange is warm, smooth, almost beguiling. It’s at it’s strongest in the lower mids and I feel that this is to the disadvantage to the higher registers of the midrange which don’t project anywhere near as well. The mids seem to try to smooth over recording imperfections and a good example of this is vocal sibilance which is usually caused by poor use of a mike and a lack of basic vocal technique. I imagine that this drives recording engineers nuts as it’s almost impossible to correct without compromising the recording. On Mary Black's beautiful rendition of ‘Bright Blue Rose’ you can hear the sibilance on just about every set of cans I’ve ever used except the HD650s. The other effect of the somewhat recessed upper mids is to push many vocalists into the background. Imagine that they have taken two or three steps back towards the drummer and are singing from there – that’s the effect that I hear. And it’s also this effect, along with those slightly recessed vocals and the ‘smoothing effect that gives rise to the old chestnut, the Sennheiser 'veil'. I don’t think the A3 has totally removed it.

In conclusion, yes, I believe that these cans definitely scale up when paired with an appropriate amp and what the Asgard3 has done has made the 650s a keeper for me, they now sound great with above the caveats above excepted. The Audeze LCD1s I own blow these out of the water in just about every department but we are talking two different beasts here with quite different sound signatures so the comparison lacks some validity.

I’ve yet to hear all that some claim these 650s are capable of but do I want to spend a disproportionate amount of money for an amp considering the cost of the 650s to find out? No, I’d rather get a better set of headphones and preferably ones that are not so picky about the amp.
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I have had three HD 650s, the degree of burnt in made a huge difference and in some cases there is undeniable some differences in sound quality, the oldest silver boxed version is the most open and detailed to my ears


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Um uhh everything? They're awesome
Cons: The cable is kinda annoying, it keeps getting in the way and my ears get zapped occasionally (very low air humidity in here)
From a post of mine:
I realized something about the HD650, now that I'm listening to my 2nd pair (rebought ~6 years after selling my 1st pair): an immature listener might completely under-appreciate what they do, how they present recordings, have no idea and then just sell them like I did. It took me that many years to understand what I want and what I hear... It's hard to explain but at the moment I feel like these bastards will only be sold if I go deaf. They're just so competent, they shift my attention to music. The detail level is really good and the way they image is sorta enigmatic but competent and engaging. I can't say that I miss the soundstage or sub-bass of my bass-port modified Q701. It's like when you listen to HD650 you're in a world where other headphones don't exist, or the things that HD650 are incapable of are just irrelevant or don't matter. This second pair smells exactly the same as my 1st (I wonder what psyche-manipulating stuff Senn puts into that fragrance...).

BTW I think it's important to maintain the pads in good shape, replace them once they compress and especially replace them right away on a newly acquired used pair (mine is ~12 years old).
Love this review...! i guess senns are dipping HD6XX's in some kind of crazy evaporating drug that can only be heard...! i am also in love with my HD6XX + OTL Tube.
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New Head-Fier
Pros: .
Cons: .
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ipsum lorem, indeed.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Extremely scalable depending on the amp! An all rounder and my daily headphones for everything, media e.t.c
Cons: Couldn't fault them. Having owned the hd800s I can say they are laid back by comparisson but that's why i love them. They're great for anything and everything. Just power them and be rewarded!
My pros and cons are sufficient. There are many including myself who will vouch for this being one of the greatest purchases you'll make if you're looking to get Into hi fidelity listening.

You can get them used and burned in for next to nothing now and you wont regret it. Comfort alone has been a major part in why they've always remained in my line-up.
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New Head-Fier
Pros: Scale well source material,great balance of sound, and comfortable
Cons: plastic (good plastic though)

After owning the HD of 650 for two months it is time to do a review. With that time I was able to get the Vallah 2. I was using the Magni 2. The OTL tube amp is a game changer for this headphone. I wish I had a better solid state amp to do a better comparison in sound quality. The OTL amp makes everything sound richer,slightly warmer, and more soundstage with the HD 650.  

To begin this review of the HD 650, I listen to a variety of music (classical, EDM, theory, rock, and animation to name a few) preforms well in these genres of music. Overall I enjoy the sound of HD 650. Imaging on this headphones are extremely. Soundstage great; it does wonders with live recordings. Bass on these are exceptional for an open dynamic headphone which makes it a worthy upgrade from the HD 598. Mids are awesome on these amazing. Highs on these are solid --not too much harshness on them (2.5k and 7k region).Details on these are amazing . For an example, I can hear the way of a guitar is strummed and hear the room. Thus, I find the tone of the headphone very well balanced for my sensitive ears.       

Comfort on these are very good. The headband is very comfortable. It has little pressure to no head pressure on them because of the
 headband spectacular design.  Earpads are alright. It also has a light clamp. These headphones are so comfortable that I can listen for hours at a time with these on. 

My final thoughts of these headphones that they are very solid pair of headphones due to the great sound that they can produce as well as the great comfort. These headphones changed the way I proceed sound. In my opinion, I believe everyone should try these out.  

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
Pros: Smooth sound, Good bass extension, Natural tone, Good comfort, Very good details, Vivid sound, Almost linear presentation
Cons: Price, Intimate soundstage, Upper treble lacks some energy, Bass is not for bassheads
Sennheiser HD650 is one of the (seemingly) consecrated headphones made by Sennheiser as an upgrade (update?) to their well received model, HD600. HD600 has been quite popular from the beginning of its life and has been considered one of the best headphones ever made albeit Sennheiser later made the renowned HD800 (Which have also been later updated to HD800S). To be honest, I find ie800 from sennheiser to be the TOTL IEM with the sound closest to my ideals even without any Equalization albeit it's treble being a bit hot for some sources (DAPs). 
HD800S is a very good headphone with which I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with, also has a very nice, unique sound to it and it would probably be my TOTL end-game headphone if I could use open back headphones as my whole day headphones. 
About me
My name is George and I enjoy music. Quite a lot I might add. I listen to a lot of music while working on my company's games. You can check out more on our pages here     and here . My love for music has had a little impact on our games as we price the music part of a game very high and we are committed to only use ogg -q10 as the encoding format for our music since it offers the best space to sound quality ratio.
I also have a pretty good hearing and the higher treble means quite a lot to me (8-18kHz area). This perceptual importance that I offer to treble might also come from the music that I listen to having a lot of information in the upper registers. 

First Impression
I first listened to HD650 inside AVstore's own show room, using their own amplifiers and the sound was pretty interesting. I wasn't amazed but rather enticed. If there was one thing that impressed me the most - that was the tonality. Absolutely natural. Having tested over 300 different headphones and IEMs to day and having participated in a ton of live music and professional mastering, I know what a natural tone and timbre is. Hd650 has exactly that natural tone and timbre. Considering their price, I thought that they were pretty good. 
Another first impression that HD650 left me with was their comfort. They didn't look as fine as HD800 and the plastic doesn't have an expensive feeling to it (I was kinda expecting that, knowing HD380Pro, the cheaper but good entry level model from Senn), but HD650 were shockingly comfortable to me. 
HD650 comes nicely packaged, but there isn't so much in the package - you get your HD650, cable, and adapter. And that's it. The box is nice for depositing HD650, but I wouldn't really take them out of the house or carry them around too much. 
Technical Specifications
Impedance300 ohm
Connector6.3mm w/ 3.5mm adapter included in the box
Frequency Response10 Hz - 39.500Hz
Max Sound Pressure (SPL)103dB (1kHz, 1Vrms)
Ear couplingCircum-Aural
Cable length3m Straight Cable
Transducer typeDynamic transducer, open back type
Power (load rating)200mW
Weight without cable260g
Passive noise attenuationZero
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)<1% (1kHz, 100dB SPL)
Contact pressure2.5N approx.
Build Quality/Aesthetics
HD650 looks and feels a tiny bit like a vintage jewel, it's not exactly the most sturdy headphone I had in my hands, but not the most flimsy either. They feel well built, but lack some of the higher quality with which HD800 spoiled me while they feel a bit better than Ath-A700x for example. They are light enough to be comfortable, but HD380Pro would be lighter if it weren't for that coiled cable. The cable of HD650 is long and you probably will need to buy an exchange cable to be able to walk with them on your ears. I actually think that you need a change cable anyways since I wasn't such a big fan of the length of the original one. Make no mistake, I personally didn't feel a change  with the new cable, only the feeling and length were different. 
HD650 reminds a bit of older electrostats and their design, albeit they are a it more stylish. The headband adjusting mechanism works as intended and cable connectors feel pretty solid to me. HD650 is an open back headphone and this means that the driver gets exposed to a bit more than it gets on a closed back headphone. I like the overall build quality of HD650, though the cups move too little for my tastes and the plastic can feel a bit flimsy, especially compared to HD380Pro or with HD800.
Comfort / Isolation
Comfort is good on HD650, and you do get the advantage of having a softer clamping force but a very comfortable padding. The top headband padding does a good job at distributing the weight of the headphones on the head, while the pads are large and provide enough depth for your ears to rest well. You won't sweat while wearing HD650 as the pads are velour and you won't get any discomfort after longer periods of time (like an itch that can be caused by some velour types).
This being said, the pads are comfortable because they don't isolate at all. HD650 is a fully open over the ears headphone that will pump all your music outside at the same rate that it pumps it into your ears. The open back design is something that you should be aware from before buying them as it's not something to solve or to help with, they are open and are going to stay open. 
HD650 would probably be the most comfortable headphones ever made and you wouldn't know that there is any better before trying HD800 since HD650 not only have a weak clamping force, but the pads are pretty soft and the padding is pretty soft as well and they are light. 
HD650 has a clear, natural, vivid, dark and soft sound. The tonality is very natural to me, especially the mids tonality is natural while the whole signature is pretty dark (not warm but dark). They are vivid and recover most details and textures well, being one of the best headphones in the midrange area (though there are a few contenders emerging recently).
The FR as measured by Golden Ears, using their own equipment:
Channel imbalance
After a short analysis of the graph from Golden Ears you will notice some channel imbalance in the graph response. I don't hear any channel imbalance but the open back design will also help alleviate this more than it would be in a closed back headphone
Bass has a solid texture, or at least pretty solid. The signature being dark, the bass will be a bit enhanced, but HD650 is not a basshead headphone and won't become one any day soon. As it happens with many open back headphones, the bass goes pretty low, but doesn't reach as low as a true closed back and bass head headphone. The explanation is that under the frequency of 30Hz, the bass is felt less due to the open back design and the slam / pressure force is weaker in the bass than in closed back designs. Testing HD650 with my test tracks reveals a meaty and nice sounding bass guitar, an HD650 works really well for any kind of music, except for electronica and dubstep where I generally like the bass to be overpowering. Since the bass is solid, this also means that it is pretty fast, you will get even fine textures hidden in the bass and the bass detail is very good, competing with HD800 most of times. The bass does not bleed into the mids nor does it feel too much to me (I would call for even more any day of the week),
Midrange is really good and sounds natural, no real coloring and no problems to report with it. Background instruments like background violins in Sonata Arctica compositions can sound a bit too much in the back, but they are audible nevertheless. Micro textures in the midrange are easily heard and you will get a lot of details thrown at you at once, resulting in a pretty sweet combination with the bass. This led to that wow effect many are experiencing after first hearing HD650, but I've been using ie800 before and I can only say that ie800 is slightly better, which is quite amazing considering that ie800 is a IEM and hd650 is an open back headphone. There are no dips in the midange for HD650, so you're going to hear the midrange pretty forward and pretty aggressive. It works well as there is no distortion, but makes the bass feel a bit less  (if you were used with closed back headphones), and it gives guitars a magical sweet sound to them.
Female voices sound good, but Jill Tracy's voice feels a bit close to the listener and a bit too intimate given the rather large soundscape other headphones paint Jill Tracy's compositions as (HD800 for example)
Treble is where I'm not as happy anymore. While this doesn't really appear in the graphs, the treble feels rolled off and closed, cymbals don't have that sparkle nor engagement to them. The upper midrange is ever so slightly rolled off, and the upper midrange, lower treble is very smooth. I can totally see HD650 being as the ultimate relaxing headphone solution that would include Jazz music and a glass of wine rather than the metal and upbeat electronica that I'm used to. To be honest, I tested HD650 with Jazz and I did alter the sound via EQ up to the point where I liked the sound - so it is possible to get better results, but you should be aware that they're quite smooth and the treble is not bright by any means. 
Since this is a matter of preference, I won't name it good or bad but try to describe it. The treble is soft - this means that there is no harshness and no grain. Softening the treble can turn it slightly sibilant in many cases, but it stays pretty true in HD650. I was able to enjoy classical music very well, same for cabaret, jazz, and almost all acoustic types of music. When it comes to metal and electronica, the smoothness in the treble will take some of the fun out of the music, and while my opinion might be controversial, I do prefer a Grado or ie800/HD800 kind of treble. I'm glad that I own ie800 and I know that Sennheiser also makes my favorite IEM, so the best explanation to HD650's tuning and sound is that HD650 appeals to an entirely different public. If you're looking for a relaxing sound or the most relaxed sound, but a sound that has good details, brings life to your music and is not veiled, HD650 is an interesting option.
To not be confusing about the treble, I will end with this bottom line: The treble is really good if you're comparing HD650 with other midrange headphones, but I would had wanted a bit more extension for the treble and a bit more spark. 
Soundstage is intimate and lacks the width, height and depth of HD800, Ie800 or Ultrasone Dj One Pro. While HD650 are pretty mid centric headphones, they sound focused and intimate, so you might miss some of that 3D surround emotion you get with HD800 or with some better Ultrasone headphones. My personal preference is for soundstage to be large, so I will pick ie800 or hd800, but hd650 works pretty well with music that is supposed to be intimate - like rock ballads or room cabaret or certain classical compositions. From this perspective, it works well with metal. For metal music, having too much soundstage isn't always better, so if you like your metal smooth, HD650 is good to look into.
Sennheiser Veil 
Compared to other Sennheiser headphones, HD650 presents almost no veil, and there is no talk of Senneiser typical veil. In fact, HD650 is clearer and more vivid than many other headphones, making it one of the clearer headphones I had the occasion to test and play with. 
Drive factor
I've used a lot of amps to test HD650 starting from FiiO E12 to Matrix M-Stage, Chord Hugo, FiiO E12A, WooAudio Wa5-LE, WA22, HDVD800, ifi iDSD, FiiO X5, FiiO X5ii. I easily heard the differences in sound made by different amps, but I personally am not a fan of tube amps and I preferred HD650 driven from X5ii -> Hugo, X5ii -> iDSD, X5ii -> E12, X5ii -> M-stage and from FiiO X5ii the most out of this list. I thought that HDVD800 sounded good as well, but I spent far less time with it and only in a showroom so it's better I refrain from an opinion about the combo. I like brighter sounds with tons of bass - so coloration is good considering my tastes. I'm not shy to apply software equalization to a headphone - so I don't rely entirely on an amp to color the sound for me. I liked FiiO's X5ii as a DAP driving HD650, I liked X5ii + E12 for well priced but really good sounding combo to drive HD650 and I did like X5ii + ifi iDSD for their sound. I would recommend FiiO X5ii as the main transport for any AMP I used - with the mention that FiiO X5-3 is coming along and you will probably want to look into it and get FiiO X5-3 instead.
Ie800 - Ie800 has considerably more bass, more treble, the tonality is not as neutral but has some color to it, and it's soundstage and instrument separation are better. Ie800 also costs more and is an in-ear model, although it is the best In-Ear model that I tried to date. Ie800 can be fatiguing if you don't like the treble, but I love it's sound and treble. You can check out more here
Dj One Pro - Dj One pro has more bass, a considerably larger soundstage, but HD650 has a clearer sound, better instrument separation and even though it has less treble, it has more details to it. Dj One Pro costs about 1/5 of HD650 and sounds better than 1/5 of HD650, you can check out more here
Ath a700x - a700x has a lighter tonality, less bass, and more treble. In terms of detail retrieval, HD650 is better, but the enhanced treble on A700X makes it sound more detailed at times. HD650 sounds more vivid all the time and has a more natural sound
HD380pro - The sounds are not really similar, even though I expected this to be true. HD380 pro has a different sound to it's bass, albeit it comes in a similar quantity and characteristics. HD380Pro doesn't hold up in the mids as HD650 recovers far more mids and HD650 has more treble, smoother treble and a more natural sounding treble (380pro as some grain to the treble, as you can see here ). Even if there are similarities, the difference in price is felt well although I can't use open back headphones most of times so for me it wasn't a fair comparison. 

LCD2 / LCD4 - They sound similar. Since my relatively high valency to treble makes me feel differences in the treble faster, I could say that LCD2 and LCD4 were somewhat similar to HD650, with the mention that I didn't listen to either LCD for long enough to have a true opinion about this - so take this part with a grain of salt. 
HD 650 is a comfortable, smooth, light, intimate, okay built, premium headphone with a really clear sound that enhances midrange and slightly enhances bass while reducing the amount of treble and smoothing it out. I won't own a pair for myself for the same reason I can't own a HD800 - I can't listen to open back headphones. The pair I used was not mine but borrowed from a friend who let me play with it, and those are my honest words about HD650. I like HD800S better, but HD650 was no slouch, especially if you like smooth sounds. I can totally see many people liking HD650 to bits and my wife loved it when we tested a HD650, though she also liked LCD series from Audeze. HD650 has a great audio quality and comfort but it's a frail headphone and I don't see resisting a hit to the ground as well as HD380Pro resisted any beating it took from me. I would buy a HD650 for my own enjoyment if I were able to use open back headphones, and I do recommend you to listen to HD650 as you'll probably find it to be a very interesting headphone that people were right about when hyping about it. 

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Dobrescu George
Dobrescu George
Thank you, @Lord Rexter ! 

I hope that it will be helpful! 
Very nice review indeed
Dobrescu George
Dobrescu George


Member of the Trade: Audio Excellence
Pros: Great sound stage, Comfortable, Great mids, bass and treble in that order
Cons: Build quality can improve especially the wires.
Sennheiser HD 650 
COST: $370
This headphone is well known by many people. With that being said, it is not a "new" model, its been released for a while. It has also been dropped on massdrop as the sennheiser HD6xx, once again returning our attention to the greatness of this headphone. There is also this big question whether they will drop the HD6xx again or not with over 50,000 people requesting it ! 
- frequency response of 10 - 39,500 Hz (-10 dB) 
- High-power neodymium magnets
- Lightweight aluminum voice coils
- 300 ohms 
- SPL: 103db
- THD: less than 0.05%
- Open back
The headphone is not the stylish headphone but remember these are open back and are intended for home use. It comes in one single silver color although the limited massdrop edition (HD6xx) comes in a midnight blue finish
Build Quality
Mostly plastic and the wires can feel cheap but everything works well and most of all comfortable 
Sound Quality
Now this is where we talk about the most important thing in a headphone. The sound quality in these headphones are superb. Scratch what you've read from other people because we all have difficulties describing this headphone especially when it comes to the sound qualities. It is the best neutral with extended bass YET still not boring... 
Overall is it worth the money?
Absolutely, if you can buy one headphone and you are buying something other than this, you are doing it wrong !
yes I highly recommend you use one with these. some recommendations are some schiit products or O2/ODAC 
NOW keep in mind these are "some" and there are countless more others recommend depending on preferences
I personally use the DARKVOICE 336SE tube amp with my OPPO HA 2 SE as the dac
there are various mods online that can be done easily to improve bass etc, shoot me a message if you have any questions or difficulties
Want me to compare x headphone to these? feel free to message me for extra help ! OR better yet try my pair before you buy them ! HOPE THIS HELPED 
review provided by (more detailed review available on the website)
video for reference only

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My name is grizzlybeast and I'm an audioholic.
Pros: Tonality, Price, Audio quality
Cons: Needs to be modded and/or amp paired correctly for the best performance


Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones


Let me start of by saying this is not what I would call a real review. This is more like a Tribute to a headphone that, while controversial, has been and is irrevocably deemed a classic reference headphone. Not just my posts but many reviews have referred to it or used as a headphone to compare it to.  The disclaimer is that I have known about this release for a while now and have been sent  a pair. Even so, given my long relationship with several pairs of HD650's I have no reason to shill these along side the fact that they will sell out very quickly anyhow. 

Tribute / Appreciation
I have had 6 pairs myself with the HD6XX being my seventh pair. I have bought and sold this headphones for a myriad of reasons. It always seems to end back up in my stable because I have come to know it as consistently more spot on in tonality than just about every headphone I have heard. Some of the reasons for me selling them so many times was because I sold it them to help fund a new piece of gear or was in a honeymoon phase of something new that outperformed it in a particular attribute. Then later when I knew I had lost my bearings on how things were supposed to sound I would repurchase it again. 
Why were people asking if the Focal Elear was the super 650 they have always wanted?
Why do people ask if the the new ZMF Atticus are the closed back HD650's they have been longing for?
Why when the Audeze LCD 2 was released was it called the planar magnetic super HD650?
Could it be because  they are more expensive headphones with a darker than neutral signature? Well if so then why is it much less popular for someone to ask for a super Beyerdynamic DT880? or a super Hifiman HE-500 even? Such an opinionated and categorically diverse thing as music can't possibly have one tuning unanimously crowned as champion can it? Uhhh... well if it did, love it or hate it, like it or leave it, buy it or sell it, the Sennheiser HD650(or even HD600) is unequivocally the closest thing to having that crown as far as headphones go. Sure the HD800 is technically better but just because the prince is younger, brighter,  and faster doesn't make him king. The king would have to die first and as far as that goes the HD650 is apparently immortal. Relatively, the 600 is the more even tempered queen right by his side. 
Let's take a look around the web shall we:
This is without searching specifically for the HD650 but rather "best reference open back headphone". Some have their preferences but there is one consistently present.

[size=20.007px]"6. Sennheiser HD 650[/size]

If there is one pair of headphones in the World, synonymous with high-end sound…

It’s the Sennheiser HD 650.

A long time favorite in both audiophile, and pro audio circles…

These headphones have perhaps more great reviews than any model on this list." 



Studio / Professional usage:
"Lightweight aluminum voice coils are usually the standard for studio headphones in general, and with these being open-designed and holding a high reputation for an even frequency distribution, it’s the go-to for most professionals. " 

[size=20.007px]"1. Sennheiser HD 650[/size]


Sennheiser is a top audio company that produces numerous high end headphone lines in a variety of price ranges. While the Sennheiser signature sound is great across price points, their midrange open back Sennheiser HD 650s are a particularly great value.


  1. Balanced and natural sound
  2. High dynamic range
  3. Lifelike spatial imaging


  1. Open-ear design does not contain the sound
  2. Headband can be a little tight
  3. Requires a capable amplifier to drive"
"The 650s offer an extremely detailed sound with clear separation and timing, dealing equally well with all kinds of material. I particularly liked the bass response, which was very smooth, extended and full, translating well onto larger systems. I'm currently living and mixing in a temporary space (with poor acoustics), where monitoring has been a problem — and in this situation, I'm more confident mixing with HD650s than on my monitors, and have found that my mixes are translating better than ever. My pick of the bunch — which I've bought since trying them out."
Jules Harding

Thought this one was interesting  on the 600

[size=24.57px]"1) Sennheiser HD 600[/size]

Sennheiser HD 600

  1. MSRP: $509.00
  2. best price: check amazon! | check eBay!
  3. type: open back
  4. fit: circumaural (over ear)
  5. impedance: 300 ohms
  6. frequency response: 12 – 39000 Hz
  7. material: metal grilles, carbon fiber, velour ear pads
  8. color: speckled blue finish, black


What more can be said about these? Well I’ll tell you! For starters, they may be the best reference headphone that you can buy. This is across the board pretty much a consensus among-st audiophiles. I will never forget the first time I read this review on amazon. "


A quote from one of all of our favorite sources:
- "Well...they've changed their tune a bit with the just announced Massdrop Sennheiser HD 6XX because in this case they didn't change the headphone's tuning it at all. (Measurements show the HD 6XX and HD 650 essentially identical within measurement errors.) No, there is really no reason for them to re-tune the Sennheiser HD 650. They've done their homework. They know that this is widely considered amongst headphone enthusiasts the standard by which all other headphones are compared. I've reviewed them and love them. Yes, there are better sounding high-end headphones, but none deliver the price/performance ratio of this icon."


Looks / Comfort / Build

  1. Ear pads out of the box are slightly firm but deep and create a healthy distance between the driver and the ear.
  2. The ergonomics have proven to be timeless and are a succession of previous designs used by Sennheiser
  3. I won't mention the names of other manufacturers but I dare you to find a 650 that was delivered broken through shipping. If it does happen it is a lot more rare than with ____. You fill in the blank. 
  4. The clamp pressure can be a bit imposing out of the box. 


  1. Very dynamic and punchy without sounding aggressive. (Amp dependent so results may vary)
  2. Good Microdynamics
  3. Great Details
  4. Non Fatiguing
  5. A chameleon with down stream and upstream gear so heavily manipulatable. 
  6. The treble can be grainy and/ or slightly dark to some but is smooth in balance with good resolution and extension
  7. Wonderful midrange from the lower midrange all the way through to the lower treble
  8. The bass is a bit rounded with a slight mid bass elevation for healthy kick drums
  9. The sub bass can sound ill extended at times but for the most part is capable of handling even sub bass saturated genres(yet not effortlessly)
  10. Can be modded to have very tight and controlled bass, even better clarity and cleanliness (very easy to mod)
  11. Can sometimes sound slow and veiled to some when not properly amped or in stock version. 
  12. Very scalable and reportedly becomes competitive with Top of the Line headphones when used with uber quality amplification
  13. Soundstage can sound narrow to some but maintains adequate depth and layering for  relatively deep insight into recordings. However, in the grand scheme of open back headphones it usually sounds less wide and is said to have a small soundstage. Again, amping really helps the depth of soundstage increase. 
  14. Though some believe it is a darker sounding headphone, It really works well with OTL tube amps and is revealing of system changes and improvements. 




There is a coin mod to be done by using a quarter to cut out a portion of the foam covering the drive; a removal of the back cover and adding Dynamat in specific places; and a  removal of  the foam from the back of the driver. (please put the cover back on). Be sure to scour the internet for more specific instructions. Rest assure that these mods are all VERY VERY easy. There are all sorts of mods..even some to make it brighter. 
The mods can give the following improvements:
  1. Increase of bass control and perceived reach
  2. More satisfyingly visceral bass slam
  3. Increased speed
  4. Faster Decay
  5. Crisper and livelier sound
  6. More openness and clarity
There may be more improvements and mods to do so this is by no means exhaustive, and again just a little boost to get you started. I personally heard the HD6XX and thought that they changed the tuning until measurements confirmed that they actually are the same HD650. I had become acclimated to the tuning of my modded 650 so upon arrival I was very disappointed with the stock bass in comparison as well as felt the headphone sounded slower. For 199 the HD6XX is a no brainer and a modded 650/6XX one will become legend if it already isn't by now...the stock version most definitely is. 


Amps I have heard the 650 on and personal rankings (of the pairings not the amps themselves)

  • Apex Teton
  • Trafomatic Head 2
  • Ifi iCan Pro 
  • Bottle head Crack and Speedball upgrade/ Schiit Jotunheim 
  • Cayin iHA-6 
  • Airist Audio Heron
  • Nuprime HPA-9 (a bit dark for it but good body)
  • NFB - 28



The aesthetics and accessories are the only thing to compare here really. But eh..why not?
  1. The 650 comes with a longer cable terminated in XLR and an adapter for 1/8 jacks
  2. The 6XX comes with a shorter cable terminated in 1/8 inch and has a 1.4 inch adapter. Why... possibly to be more compatible with portable amplification and transportable systems. Because by no means is it competitive with 'Beats' since people with those headphones most likely wont be using any amplifier
  3. The 650 will still have the more luxurious or classy paint job as the 6XX is a plain midnight blue that can look black depending on the lighting used. 
  4. Through and through the build quality is the same and they measure the same as well 


When I started the "Massdrop Collaborations...What If?" thread almost a year ago I expressed how my choice would be for a 650 collaboration. While not quite black, I am sure Sennheiser had their reasons and I am very happy that this headphone is available at price lower than I have ever paid even for a used pair. These are good times to be an audio enthusiast. Not to mention the most recent release of the Schiit Jotenheim, now Music lovers can have a system I used to dream about for a lot less than a new 650 and Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball upgrade would have costed you back then. I feel very humbled to have been able to witness this re-launching of an industry legend and know tons more people will be smiling from ear to ear as they listen to music "the right way" lol.. just playing anyway you choose is the right way for you.
Thanks for the great review. 
I want to pick your brains regarding the Jotunheim vs Bottlehead Crack+Speedball. Are they really that comparable? The consensus seems that with proper tubes, Crack + Speedball is the best setup you can get for the HD650/6xx but it's also rather costly. While I can't imagine the Jotunheim is on par with it, are they really that close in sound that you'd rank them together?
I'm curious as I also received my HD6xx and thought about upgrading my amp in a few months from my simple magni 2 as they seem to be holding these back.


Pros: Darkish, very few weaknesses, Lives up to the name
Cons: Clampy, not terribly clear, loose bass
In my time observing the qualities of headphones, I have narrowed myself down to the point where I know certain sound signatures will be to my liking, or not. The culmination of all my others pairs have led me to the HD650.
As a few know, sound quality doesn't hold much weight when the headphones are uncomfortable. Luckily, I can say that they are not nearly as uncomfortable as I thought they would be. The headband is one of the best designs I have seen, minus the fact it has little flex. It is lightweight, and leaves a gap for either a stand, or the ridge on your skull. The whole thing can be taken apart and put back together fairly easily. The pads are great, and the foam inside touches the ears in a way that I can't argue about. The only problem for me is my sensitive jaw. Because of the shape, the bottom of the earpads sit squarely on the middle of the back edge of my jaw. This causes discomfort after a few minutes, and this sort of discomfort does not go away for me over time. I had hoped it would as the sound is pretty good.
Again the flaw in Sennheiser's plans is their cables. I HATE Sennheiser's cables, but this one is one of their better ones. It is not a vacuum cleaner cable, like the HD700, and is not a spaghetti monster like the 558/598 cables. The problem still rests in that it is quite long, uses proprietary connectors, and has a default 1/4 inch adapter. It is so much better to adapt a 3.5mm to a 1/4 inch than vice-versa; less weight, cheaper adapters, shorter cable.
Sound: the part everyone cares about.
I had come from the HD700, K7XX, HD558, Fidelio X2, and some others.
I had the HD558, and they have my favorite sound signature of all time. A fellow Head-fier told me the HD650 was a fantastic upgrade option. This advice was spot-on.
The HD650 for me is more comfortable, and is about twice as clear. The imaging is also very improved. The HD650 does not manage to capture quite the same magic for me as the HD558, but is not far off, and is better in pretty much every other way.
The best headphones I have heard to date are the HD700, also my favorite.
Compared to the HD700, The HD650 has less problems in the balance area, and everything else follows suit. The HD650 has a smooth, slightly dark, relaxedish sound. The HD700 is bright and dark at the same time, and not nearly as smooth. The largest differences between the two are the clarity, and bass. This is how you would made a decision between the two. 
The HD650 is smoother, about 35% less clear, had noticeably more bass, but the bass is looser, and this is where I draw the line. I am ok with less clear treble, as I am very sensitive to treble, and treble can become fatiguing quickly. The bass is why I prefer the HD700. The bass is not as smooth, but lacks the tightness the HD700 has. This is the very first thing I noticed when I put them on. The difference is quite large.
The reality is that I want an HD700 with the signature of the HD650
I guess I should also note that I actually think the HD700 is about the same price overall as the HD650, because the HD700 is far less picky with the amp used in my experience. One could get away with something as simple as a FiiO e10 for the HD700, and be satisfied, while I would recommend a much stronger, more expensive amp for the HD650. The O2/Odac is roughly where I would aim for the HD650. At street prices, this makes them have a similar price, with an edge to the HD700 if you need both headphones and an amp. Both scale well with amp quality, but I find the HD700 to be less picky.
Other thoughts:
The Philips SHP9500 is not quite as good as the HD650, the Philips are grittier (less smooth), and don't extend quite as well. but dollar/performance it knocks the HD650's socks off.
Most people find a good sweetspot around this pricepoint in the headphone world. Options like AKG, Philips, HiFiMan, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, and others have great offerings around there. I have not found what I am looking for yet, and probably won't until I have the best headphones on the planet.
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Music Alchemist
Music Alchemist
I agree with most points in this review! I find it interesting that we have owned at least four of the same headphones.


New Head-Fier
Pros: warm,forceful bass,wide sound field,comfortable wearing way
Cons: ageing female voice,hair Destroyer (every headset. lol)

i agree it has a very wide sound field
So (if I look at the cons), this could be the perfect headphone for bold men who like (voices of) older women?


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Great tuning, relaxed, non-fatiguing, and transparent.
Cons: Mediocre bass quality, mediocre detail, and somewhat fuzzy sounding.
The Sennheiser HD 650 is a headphone I've owned more than once and always seem to go back to and a headphone I'm very familiar with and have tried on countless different systems from low-end to summit-fi. In terms of systems I've owned, I mainly used them on mid-fi gear. This is a headphone I have owned 3 times now, because I always found something I liked about it, but there are a few issues that ultimately have caused me to let this headphone go in the past, and the only reason I currently own them is due to getting them from a friend. This review is quite positive overall, but I honestly find them a bit exaggerated in how good they are and I don't really find them to scale up as much as many claim. Basically I don't quite find these to be the giant killers they are often touted to be. 
Other headphones I currently own:
Audioquest Nighthawks
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Limited Edition
Gear I'm currently using on the HD 650's:
Project Sunrise III
Sony UDA-1(Amp/USB DAC/Optical DAC).

Gear I used to own and used extensively on the HD 650's:
Schiit Lyr 2
HRT Music Streamer HD

Build and Comfort:
This headphone is quite well put together, I would say it's about average for it's price range, but it is very modular which makes it very easy to fix and replace parts with. Comfort is good, but can be a mixed bag for some people. People with large ears that protrude may have issues with their ear-cups and their clamp may be a bit too much for those with large heads but it lessens with use.
The main focal point of the review, it's going to be broken up in various sections. 
Tuning: The tuning of the HD 650's is one of it's strongest points in terms of it's sound quality and honestly the reason the headphone is so beloved by so many people. The tuning of the HD 650 is among the best among open headphones and it's very even and smooth, I find it has slightly too much presence in the upper mids on most systems to my ears and it doesn't have enough sub-bass. Other than those two small complaints it does amazing on the tuning. It has a euphoric and addicting tuning to it. I did find the bass to be a bit lacking in terms of definition and overall quality.
Imaging: This is where I start feeling a bit mixed on this headphone, it's just average in it's price range and I think some of it's competition do imaging much better overall, especially planars. The imaging has a slight smear and fuzziness to it overall which I finds ultimately prevents the sounds from having as good definition of instruments as it could, it does have an edge on imaging over the HD 600 though.
Soundstaging: This headphones has a moderately-large sized soundstage with quite good depth, decent width, and no issues with the center imaging. Notably bigger than the HD 600's soundstage but a smaller than the Nighthawks and K712s. I find the size around that of the DT 150, DT 990 LE, or K612. The soundstage isn't the most dimensional sounding, better than some headphones such as the K7XX which honestly lacks a bit of dimension and body to the sound. It doesn't give the really 3D holographic effect in it's soundstage like the DT 150 or Nighthawks did.
Detail: The detail on this headphone is just alright, like it's imaging it's just average. I find it somewhat lacking in detail compared to a lot of it's competition, especially planars.
Transparency: This is another aspect of where this headphone shines, you often just forget you are listening to headphones with these. I rank these as the 2nd best headphone I've owned in terms of transparency which is saying a lot. I rank them slightly above the DT 150 in this aspect as the DT 150's slightly uneven response can distract you from time to time. I rank them below the Nighthawks as I found I don't forget them quite as often as the Nighthawks as I find the HD 650's harsher and more brittle in the treble, nor have I ever gotten the same level of realism from the HD 650 as the Nighthawks.
Clarity: These headphones have quite good clarity, I would rank them above the AKG K712 and AKG K7XX in this aspect as the AKGs have a veil in the 2-3khz region of their sound. Compared to the DT 150 and the Nighthawks the HD 650's lack clarity and the HD 650's are somewhat smeared and fuzzy in comparison. I wouldn't call these headphones veiled or non-transparent though. The HD 650 sounds a bit fuzzy and gritty to my ears which I found takes away from a truly black background.
Dynamics & Body: Dynamics and body I have found quite key in terms of achieve ultimate realism, especially with explosive and/or deep sounds such as drums, thunder, deep subtle rumbling, etc. Their somewhat rolled-off sub-bass does take a bit away from a more solid foundation of sound. I have found dynamics nad body to be heavily dependent on the system, I found the Lyr 2 with the HRT MS HD to of brought out a lot of dynamics and body on the HD 650. Dynamics and body are quite good on the HD 650's, about what I would expect from a good mid-tier headphone. It's not really going to create the sense of awe and power from it's dynamics like a very dynamic headphone such as the Nighthawks. Bass excursion is quite good, doesn't seem to audibly distort or break up easily and can crank out quite a bit of bass on certain systems.
Overall, I find the HD 650 an excellent headphone, it's the overall package that makes it a great mid-tier headphone to purchase and honestly would be one of my first recommendations to people. I don't consider this headphone a flagship by any stretch, but it really comes down to what people want out of their headphones. I think it has it's flaws mainly in it's imaging department, a bit of a lack of a bass foundation as well as some lack of quality in bass, some lack of clarity, and mediocre detail reproduction. I don't honestly think these are worth the MSRP as they are getting stiffer competition as time goes one, but if you get a good deal on these I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. 
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This is an accurate and fair review. Definitely agree with regards to that at MSRP, the HD650 may not be the best buy. On the other hand, like you pointed out, its the overall tuning that makes the HD650 so seductive. All my other headphones best in some way and in the case of the LCD2 outclass it in a number of areas, but the tuning is almost spot on.

They are a bit blurred, but I do feel they have good detail, enough to bring them into audiophile territory. Soundstage, well, soundstage is for speakers and headphones can't reproduce this. I personally feel the soundstage is accurate with these headphones when using binaural audio tracks. 
Ultimately, they are just enjoyable and have a comfortable sound. 



1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Very high-quality dynamic drivers that produce a natural, organic presentation of sound. Laid-back with just enough detail. Lightweight and comfy.
Cons: A bit of sub-bass roll-off, lower-end transients could be a bit better. If you want real low-end visceral impact this isn't it. Plasticky build.
This is my second-time owning the HD650, and I've taken a bit of this review from a post I made in the HD650 impressions thread.
I have some detailed analysis of findings my first time around of the HD650 in comparison with an LCD2 that can be read here:
I'm going to keep it brief as by now you've probably read gushing reviews, and for the most part they are true. This is a great headphone. Perhaps all one ever may need.

Save yourself and your wallet, get the HD650, a decent amp / DAC and run far away from head-fi and never speak of it again. 

But if you are still here, you may need a bit more convincing. So I have a set of excellent classic LCD2s that measure and perform very well. In my second time owning the HD650, I've pitted them up against these high-end headphones for this review.  
The HD650 in my possession, a silver driver variant, is very very close in signature to my LCD2 classic, just a bit more mid forward, and lacking that extreme low-end extension. 
My LCD2 have more clarity, and you can really tell with bell tones.  There is a more separation between sounds, the HD650 takes on a slightly bit more of blurred sound in contrast.

But really, I'm splitting hairs. These are exceptional headphones, and damn they are much more comfy and lightweight. 
One test I was excited to put them through again was listening to binaural nature recordings, particularly rain, canyons, and deep thunder. Many people talk about sound stage with headphones, but its a mute point to me as the majority of music will have a proper stereo field only with 2-channel speaker setups. Both the HD650 and the LCD2 are capable of rendering 'holographic' spatial reproductions of binaural recordings - with the LCD2 taking the prize in reproducing the low ranges, but the HD650 just edges it out in naturalness on the upper registers, it just seems smoother on the high-end while still retaining detail. LCD2 has more depth though, you can hear 'further' into the soundfield. I've mentioned this in my comparison on these two headphones before, but the 650 has the edge here (it may have a bit to do with the distance of the drivers to the ear, with the 650 being a bit closer than the LCD2). It says a lot for their presentation. Yes, the 650 may lose in some technicalities, but for the most part its presentation is incredibly life-like and natural. Switching, back and forth between the 650 and the LCD2, the 650 just has a bit more 'air' on the top-end that when listening to sounds of wind rushing through a valley, leaves rustling around you, it just creates spine chilling realism. Listening to a recording of  the pitter patter of rain hitting the roof of a tent, something we've all heard at one point, the 650 has the right treble tilt to make this recording a bit more lifelike and 'above your head' than the LCD. Combined with its better ergonomics and light weight, and I'd have to say that the binaural experience on the 650 - the headphones just disappear. 
I would love to get a chance to listen to Stax SR007 again or even 009 and run them through some of the above tests. I'm sure I'd be impressed. But one has to marvel at high-quality, especially at the bargain price you can get these headphones for used. If you can afford new, they are still worthy as its hard to find this quality and comfort in its class-range. If you want to spend less, the HD598 is not bad, but lacks the resolution, doesn't quite display audio as natural as the HD650. There are many great and excellent headphones, but myself and many head-fiers, the 650 just fits. I find myself just sinking into these. 

Getting these back again is a real ear opener. They are everything I remembered and even more so. Absolutely (still) world-class. 


Pros: Mellow, Smooth, Musical, Very Even if Warm Balance, but actually very revealing in a low key way
Cons: Not particularly immediate and impressive in sound, or appearance, and need volts
I bought these to enjoy and to assist development of a headphone amp, having owned Sennheiser phones in the past, the last being HD518s. First impressions on unpacking are of fairly ordinary appearance and materials although actual comfort is first rate. First impressions of sound are that they sound a little thick and subdued. I can understand why people could be disappointed; there are plenty of cheaper phones which impress more for the first minute or two.
However these are dark horse headphones. Although their overall presentation is mellow, and some would say veiled, they are incredibly revealing in reality after prolonged listening. Get the source and amplification right and they even do rock really well. They are not really suited to mediocre source equipment since they add little drama or coloration to things. The midband is remarkably even and subjectively lacking in obvious resonances. You will readily hear the affect of altering items in your source chain, and indeed in changing parameters and topologies in your amplifier. Although the balance is warm, they are not that forgiving of poor source material. Instrumental timbre is rich and detailed, although, again, it tends to take time to appreciate this, as it is not presented in a way that grabs your attention immediately.
Voices are cohesive and have natural body. Here IMO it is easy to spend more and get less. Power handling and linearity at high levels are excellent, although at 300 Ohms you will need volts to get them going; portable devices are unlikely to satisfy here. On rock, they actually tend to come alive at higher levels; there are probably better choices if you prefer to listen quietly. Leakage is predictably high. 
A 'mature' design but definitely still one with a lot of appeal.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Low distortions at all frequencies, comfortable, very detailed, easy to drive
Cons: Can be suffocating if compared to very revealing competition, however, a very pleasant enjoyable and comfortable listen on a long run
To clarify the price amount - that's AU$428.


I had HD545 reference for a long while, 15 or so years. They've been excellent headphones. Had to replace cable two times, which is really outstanding given the 15 years use almost every day.


I compared the HD650 with HD600, HD545 reference, Momentum 2.0 over-the-ears, Momentum 2.0 on-ears and AKG702. The HD650 had the greatest amount of detail and by far the lowest distortions of them all. 


HD600 sounded coarse and bass limited. The high frequencies sounded particularly harsh. The sound stage was also compressed compared to HD650. I compared both headphones with the same cable, i.e. I was using the HD600 cable on both set of headphones to exclude the cable difference / influence between two models. I was removing the cable from one set of headphones, and inserting it into another set as I was doing comparison.


HD545 reference sounded similar to HD600, but more open and with more space. I liked the HD545 bass better – it was very well defined. HD545 is a complete opposite to HD650 and I intend to keep them and enjoy them both.


AKG702 had an excellent sound, great monitor headphones. My worry was that after 30min or so, the AKG would cause the fatigue. Dynamic range was better represented on HD650. I was also able to hear greater amount of details from HD650 as well. Ultimately, it was the comfort of HD650 that tipped the scale. I can see how AKG would be a great set of headphones for studio monitoring / recording.


What truly surprised me was the amount of difference I was able to hear between HD600 and HD650, straight away. Reviews cite less of a difference between two models; however, to me, the biggest HD650 benefit was the greater amount of details, lower distortions at all frequencies, wider soundstage, and... great bass - outstanding for a set of dynamic headphones.


Momentum 2.0 over-the-ears and Momentum 2.0 on-ears? Absolutely horrifying sound, like an empty metal can.... terrible! Sennheiser must be laughing all the way to the bank by asking for more dollars than for HD650





100+ Head-Fier
Pros: High-quality warm sound signature. Good imaging. Comfortable. Replaceable parts.
Cons: Not the best build. Clamp is too tight at first. Not for trebleheads or bassheads.
I was like a lot of audiophiles starting out. I had a below $100 pair of headphones and thought it couldn't get much better than that. I looked at headphones like the HD650 and thought their pricetag, which is a hefty sum to most, couldn't be justified. For a few headphones that might remain true, but after a long journey through thousands of dollars of headphones I realized the HD650 is worth the money if you start to really care about your audio like I have.
A while ago I felt like it was time to upgrade my audio setup to something more high quality. I got myself a JDS LABS O2+ODAC Combo RevB and tried 10 of the best open-back headphones $400 and under from many big name brands. But don't get me wrong, all of those headphones are good. Great even, but they usually had one flaw holding them back that struck at the perfectionist in me. Be it a lack of low-end, recessed mids, grainy highs, or just not being comfortable enough. While many people could ignore that and just focus on what those headphones did good, I was on a hunt for the best all-rounder headphone there is so I wouldn't need to purchase multiple headphones for different purposes. And while there's nothing wrong with doing that if you've got the cash to spare, not everyone does.
I tried the HD600 before the HD650. They beat these in neutrality and I think all headphones should be judged against them, but if you want to enjoy your music to the fullest then the HD650 has that extra oomph you need. The HD650 has a very similar sound signature to the HD600, but with more low-end and mid-bass, giving it a warmer sound which I personally enjoy more. The build is also slightly better than the HD600, but nothing significant enough to sway your decision. The boost in the low-end doesn't take away from the rest of the sound either. And while this isn't among the brightest headphones out there, the highs still extend far enough that almost nothing feels like it's missing. I've heard the HD650 described as dark or veiled, but I don't think that applies anymore in the latest versions. I wouldn't even call it darker than the HD600 like many people claim, and I believe that Sennheiser has made the two headphones very similar over the years. However, I'd grab something like the AD2000X over these if I wanted maximum detail retrieval, but that doesn't always make music more enjoyable and can actually reveal flaws in the recording which hinder your listening experience.
I was surprised by the imaging and soundstage on the HD600 and HD650. I had low hopes that these headphones would do soundstage well, but it's actually pretty good! Every instrument or sound is right where it should be, be it far or near in the recording, without sounding too diffused or losing imaging like some headphones with much larger soundstages do. This even makes the headphones usable for gaming and movies, but especially the HD650 thanks to it's extra bass. Just don't expect sounds to feel like they're coming at you from the other side of the room.
The build on these headphones is pretty good, but not the best, especially if you don't like a plastic feel. These are still more durable than most other plastic headphones I've tried and they're fully modular which makes repairs much easier. The comfort is also great, and the oval shape of the earcups helps with fit a lot. I'd be surprised if anyone isn't able to get a comfortable seal with these. The nice comfort matched with the relaxing sound signature makes it easy to listen to these headphones for hours on end.
My only cons about these headphones are that they can make a bit of a creaking sound if you move your jaw, audible only to the wearer, but other pairs or users might not have this problem. The headphones also come with too tight of a clamp new which you will need to loosen up over time. And if you're a basshead or treblehead, these headphones might be too laid-back for you. I for one have listened to bright headphones for years and feel like these headphones can be a vacation from that kind of sound signature. So there's not really any serious cons here, and these are all-around great headphones for all types of genres, but if you want the best headphone possible for a genre you will need more specialized headphones which I can't say is worth the money as much.
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100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Affordable, comfortable, neutral sound with touch of bass boost, detailed and refined, detachable cable, made in Ireland
Cons: build quality could be better, could be little cheaper, need amp to shine

Audiophile world can be your salvation or your hell. It depends how deep you will be sucked in and how confused you are what you’re looking for. For me it has been both. It all started two years ago when my old headphone broke on me and I had the wild idea to press the “buy” button on $1000 headphone called Grado GS1000.
I remember holding them in my hands with watery eyes upon the sight. The texture of the mahogany the smell of the wood it was something retro and to behold. Everything about that headphone was unique and I was excited to try them out. Then the disappointment when I found out that it was lacking in comfort and bass. How can a $1000 headphone be lacking in anything? Is the audiophile world about just sound or is there more to it? Just when you get a Porsche 911 do you expect it to perform great in every category considering its price tag?    
The answer is no. The audiophile world is more than sound its world of senses such as visual, emotion and imagination. The GS1000 was beginning of the end as I took on a journey to find my headphone that will take me on a journey each and every time. I bought few other headphones such as HD800. T1(Gen2) and few others until I discovered the HD650. Or maybe we can say HD650 found me.
I got the HD650 on a sale for $299 which is ¼ price tag of other flagships I previously owned. Yet this baby makes me happy. The mid-range is possibly the best I’ve yet heard. To my ears not recessed one bit with extremely balanced and textured imaging. Also the bass is very satisfying it does not bleed into mids.  Possibly the greatest quality of this headphone is the slightly tamed high frequencies which makes it very forgiving main headphone (Spotify Premium, YouTube, Netflix). This is everyday audiophile headphone that can be your last audiophile headphone considering its audio reproduction qualities.
HD650 received many positive reviews from both professional and amateur audio enthusiasts and I believe it is well deserved. This is a subjective review of a guy who is so impressed with the quality for $ that I had the urge to write this review this Saturday morning over cup of warm coffee.
The only weakness I can think of is that in stock form clamping force can be little on tight side but is easily corrected. Just expand the headphone all the way and unbend the metal slightly. Do not unbend the plastic because it will break. After this comfort is nearly perfect.  Pads also could be memory foam but they are not uncomfortable overall.
HD650 deserves to be heard.
Now let’s get back to drinking the coffee and bagels.  
Please sub to my youtube channel it would mean world to me:
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Very nice review!


1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Sound is absolutely unbeatable for the price. Scales better than most any headphone.
Cons: Built quality & comfort have room for improvement
 The Sennheiser HD650. The #1 overall rated headphone on the most prestigious and well known personal audio website So when I had the chance to trade my most expensive headphone I’ve ever purchased (at the time), the Beyerdynamic T70p, I was definitely interested to see just what everyone was talking about. So I’ve had these headphones for about 6 months now and have put a respectable amount of hours on them considering all the gear I’ve also reviewed during the time frame. So do I think these deserve such recognition? Let’s find out.
The Opening Experience
    For those who’ve been following me rather on here or on my YouTube channel know that I brag on Sennheiser and their “handshake” they provide their customers with their products, and the HD650 is absolutely no exception. Upon opening the very well built box you’re greeted with a cut out foam plate that surround the outline of the headphones and presents them in a way that just screams ‘listen to me’.  The cord even has its own cut out that isn’t just twisted and placed but instead elegantly laid preventing any kinks or binds. Like all other premium Sennheiser products I’m experienced with, they provide the customer a firm and gratifying “handshake” that gives confidence in their products.
    At the time of this review the Sennheiser HD650 retails for $499.95 on the moon-audio website. So for $500 what do I think of the built quality in respects to other headphones in this relative price range? Well, acceptable is the answer to that. I firmly believe they could’ve been built a little more sturdy but I still have confidence that they’ll last for many years to come. The primary material used is plastic that I’d put as mid grade with aluminum consisting of the grills and the headband inners. A major fault to these I can foresee is that if these get pinched on something, something will snap. Rather it be the headband or driver cups, if one gets careless with these I feel these may break.
    And then there’s the cord, I really don’t have a positive stance on the cord. I don’t believe it’s the cheapest of cables they could’ve made but they seriously could have done a better job at making this feel like a premium cable to a premium product. Now it doesn’t tangle up I will give it that, I’ve never had to worry about knots, but I would still recommend opting in for a 3rd party upgrade cable.  
    Similar to the construction, I rate the comfort of these as acceptable. They provide a nice amount of clamping force that for me is just fine but I can see it being a little much for some. The sizing options are abundant and stay firm. The issue I have is the padding, for my taste, is a bit stiff. They do conform to my head well but it’s not like a warm marshmallow conforming to a stick but rather sand conforming to your hand as you push on it. Both are soft and pleasant but one is notably stiffer and grainier than the other.
    Finally here we are, arguably the most important aspect to an audio piece, the quality of its audio reproduction. Thus far the physical aspects of this headphone are merely acceptable, so, will it’s sound make up for its other faults?
    With an overwhelming as resounding, oh my goodness yes. The positional sound cues are BY FAR the best I’ve ever heard at not just this price range but multiples more. The soundstage is amazingly vast and the layering is breathtaking. While writing this I’m of course listening and I find myself very often drifting of with my eyes being forced closed to enjoy the enveloping sound sweeping over me like a raging wildfire. But for those who’re like myself who find beauty in the flame know that along with its power lies a pure, wild and unearthly beauty that can’t explained. It’s power, like that of the HD650, to draw one in is something that MUST be experienced. Finally before I break it down to the individual aspects there’s one last aspect to discuss and that’s the imaging, When these are paired with good equipment, and if you let them, they can transport you to the performance you choose. The imaging on these are wonderful, now I have heard better at this price point, but it’s nowhere near as riveting as the HD650’s other strengths.
    Also, the equipment I use is the following. Normally I do not post what I test them on but the HD650’s scale better than ANY headphone I have EVER tested regardless of the price.                          
  1. Garage1217- Project Horizon 3                                                           
    1. This amp. definitely gave the HD650 the best sound quality for what I personally enjoy. The warmth of the tube amp., as almost every forum you’ll search, definitely fits the HD650 best. BUT in attaining the warm and relaxing sound quality of the tube, I found that I did lose a little bit of accuracy more so than with my other headphones.
  2. Aune- X1s
    1. My current setup, this amp./dac combo is just stunning. It’s sonically accurate and really brings out the highlights of the HD650. I really have no complaints professionally but on a personal note, after I traded my PH3 I learned I do rather miss the warm sound the tube gave when I want to relax after a long work day.
    2. 20151023_231002_HDR.jpg
  3. LG- V10 (mobile phone w/ ESS Sabre DAC & amp. installed)
    1. I have only had this device for about a week so I will refrain from giving a professional review of its input to the HD650 other than it drove it very competently and sounded similar to the X1s but without the transparency. I still got the strengths mentioned above, just not to the same degree.
    The highs, the energy of the headphone. The ability of a headphone to produce the highest of notes without losing its energy and fading out or sounding weak, all while maintaining the accuracy of the original sound is quite difficult for many to attain. But the HD650 not only rises to that challenge, it meets it with a confident smile and a bring it on gesture. The HD650 produced every super peaking treble testing song I could think to throw at it and never so much as flinched. It took the sometimes ear piercing diva dance and gave her the accuracy and clarity that I’ve yet to hear on a headphone this price. To my ears the treble didn’t roll off but stayed consistent throughout the range.
    Another thing that those who follow me will know I pay particular attention to, for to me the mids are the most important thing for they represent the body and soul of the audio piece. The mids are the artists voice, feelings and emotions; and without good competency to reproduce this range a headphone is left sounding hollow and soulless which in turn leaves the listener feeling empty and without a fulfilling experience.
    In the case of the Sennheiser HD650 I find absolutely no faults in the mids. They give me a wonderful sense of warmth and liveliness to them that really makes way for a very soothing experience (especially with a tube amp.). I don’t think they’re forward that much, if at all, but they definitely stand out.
    The ‘umph’ or heartbeat of an audio piece. This is what is by far what’s in fashion today. Who can produce the deepest and hardest hitting, well my issue with this trend is it completely takes away from the rest of the recording. Often times overly bassy cans give me the image of pacman eating the rest of the audio notes, and that my friend is a no go. So do the HD650’s follow this trend, they are the #1 headphone remember?
    The answer is NO. Though these do have a bass emphasis it is very slight. The bass is fun and gives a nice touch of ‘the feels’ but I don’t have that bad of a note to the bass. And it’s only that the decay is a little drawn out when compared to the overall flawless presentation of the rest of its frequency spectrum.
    So in summary, do I believe these live up to being the #1 overall headphone ever made? Hmmmmm, price/quality ratio yes, absolutely by far. But I’m a firm believer that there honestly is no such thing as “best”.  However, Sennheiser absolutely knows what they are doing in the audio world and have proven they can compete with what the world calls the best with a headphone that is honestly, respectably affordable.
    Despite having some areas that do need some attention, I will whole heartedly put my name behind this product and recommend it to just about anyone to have one in their collection. I listen to these with everything under the moon from hard rock to bluegrass gospel and the HD650 consistently gives me a heartwarming, full and satisfied filling. Goes to show what can be produced when a company spends the majority of the product budget on sound quality over other unnecessary features.
Till next time my friends. Until then check out my video Unboxing & Review!
hd650 is pretty darn uncomfortable especially out of box. Once they loosen up or you bend them a bit they are very light and decent (like an 8/10 but still not the absolute best in comfort). Sound wise they destroy anything under 500.
I don't know how to believe in comments when I see totally contradicted arguments from various people. Some in complete awe and rapture and others sayin this is "turd " (hey, I learned a new word here!). Honestly, do you people agree? My skepticism grows as I read and read the comments. For this and these reasons I try to add a little of reasoning for my purchases. It is best to make a survey of comments and then to decide. I have been about 10 years hearing and purchasing earbuds, big and small cans and this has left me only a few mis-puchases. But one thing is true, Sennheisers are not a holy grail. I own the HD800 but the HD599 sounds better to my ears. Grado PS1000e is a superb of a great h-phone. The Grado 325 that I purchased before was not so nice to my taste. Many good headphones lack bass, and I don't mean they have a low quantity, I mean NONE! I am a leftover from the hippie times and we loved that our equipments have a strong bass. I get a rapture every time I hear Hendrix' s concert in Sweden, there is surely a boomy, explosive, foot-rattling bass that makes me crazy. And so, equipments that lowers the bass are a no-go for me. Do you see why I am skeptical of many reports? Some people here criticize a h-phone here that many others dislike. We shold be careful in making our decisions. 
And, no, I don' t sell my error purchases.


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Comfy; Good-looking; Nice big sound stage
Cons: The greatest overall disappointment I've ever experienced in audio devices
I was so excited to finally get my hands on the holy grail of mid-range headphones, the Sennheiser HD650... or so I was lead to believe. 
Facing facts, we're looking at a relic here. Whether that relic should be viewed through the lens of history as a valuable antique, or as a laughable remnant of a more primitive society, is the question that's up for debate. I vote for the latter. This headphone is soon to celebrate its thirteenth birthday, and in the meantime, the rest of the world has progressed unrelentingly. At one time, the HD650 may have had the chops to compete in the mid-range arena. It was probably viewed as a spacious, warm, bassy "upgrade" to its sterile cousin, the HD600. The fact that it could take a lot of energy from an amp and increase in overall speed and technical precision with the added energy was probably fuel for the fire for gear-collectors and upgrade-addicts.
The problem is, when you try to polish a turd, you just get a shiny turd.
Alright, I'll be as neutral as I can be starting now. This headphone is a good technical performer with speed, detail, sound stage spaciousness, instrument imaging, and overall can make anyone go "wow" once or twice in a listening session. For $499 MSRP, it had damn well better. Unfortunately, like a fireworks display, you just spent a ridiculous amount of money on something that made you go "ooooooOOOhhhh!" once and then ceased to impact your life in any way for the rest of eternity -- aside from the lightening of your wallet. The exaggerated warmth in the bass and completely lifeless, sucked-out mid range is as quick to take the wind out of your sails as a punch in the gut. I couldn't believe what I was hearing -- side by side, the HD650's little brother, the HD600, had so much more vibrancy and actually made you pay attention to the music. The HD600 had no problem effecting an extremely tight, natural-sounding bass note. The HD650, on the other hand, bloomed the same note to a point where it was impossible to believe they were built on the same stock. The voice (especially male voices) ability of the HD650 was a total downgrade. It literally put a frown on my face to hear my favorite music rendered in such a dull and distant manner, when retribution was only inches away in the form of the HD600. I played both through an excellent $250 amplifier and I refuse to be lead astray that, if only I put another $1000 into the amp chain, it would have started to sound good.
Why do people like this headphone? Because it used to be the bassy/warm version of the best headphone going -- the HD600 -- and people like bass? I have no idea how this phone was Sennheiser's  flagship for so long. They completely turned the HD600 on its head and ended up with a monster. It took a pinch of the original technical prowess of the HD600, added a metric buttload of warmth, bloom, lack of intimacy, and sadness; and completely took away the charming and realistic voicing of the HD600.
The biggest disappointment is the price and the previous flagship status of this headphone. If the HD650's MSRP was $199, it could get a hearty recommendation for people who crave warmth and don't really look for realistic sound. If they called it the HD500 it might have made sense. As it stands, it is a stain on the history of a solid company. Compared to literally every other mid-range headphone that I've tried that is more modern (Fidelio X2, HE400 to name two), the HD650 is an afterthought.
I don't think there is anything wrong with @soundstige giving his reaction to the HD650. It is about 180 degrees from my feelings about this headphone, but that is how things go sometimes. 
I think emphasizing the $499 MSRP could be misleading. The price of the HD650 (and HD600) fluctuate greatly. I don't think I have seen this headphone offered for $499 unless it is in a bundle/package deal or someone on ebay trying their luck at selling one at that price.
Right now, on this page, the Amazon price displayed is $339.00 which is about what I paid for my first pair. Recently,I got a new pair (with a damaged box) from Amazon Warehouse Deals for $250.00.
This is my second pair of HD650. I wanted to keep one pair stock and mod the second pair. The mod turned out very well. But it sounds like a different headphone. I guess that is the point of the mod. So now I have three favorite headphones: Sennheiser HD650, HD650 mod, and Fostex TH-X00 (Mahogany).
Having just scored an old and thoroughly burned-in pair of HD650's which I've been listening with over the last week - and that after a straight year of pretty much continuous HD600 use - I feel as though I could make a comment here. I guess the comment is that HD650's certainly do seem to fare rather badly when you A&B them with 600's, yes - but also that that's not the whole story. When I got my pair I did this A&B-ing straight away and my initial reaction was not a million miles away from soundstige's final written review: I though, 'dear god, these are murky, what the hell's going on?'. I resolved to simply sell them and keep using the 600's. Then, instead, I sort of accidentally sat down and listened to some music through them, not comparing them to anything. I haven't really taken them off since then and, needless to say, I'm keeping them. At the moment, in fact, I'm not sure I can see myself picking up the 600's with much enthusiasm any time in the near future. It seems as though, to me at least, if you compare them, they come off worse - in comparison to 600's they sound muddy, veiled and dull - but if you just listen with them, if you don't A/B them - they just quietly take off and start to absolutely soar in ways which aren't terribly easy to quantify or indeed explain but which boil down to things like 'musicality', and 'enjoyability'. They make me, let me, help me simply enjoy the music like nothing else I've ever come across in headphones or IEM's or speakers - and that's with HD600's very much included (although they are a great headphone!). So yes: 'compare them only to themselves' seems to be my motto as regards HD650's.
I thought just your preference is not afford to using hd650


New Head-Fier
Pros: Huge Sound Stage! Everything is very clean and clear!
Cons: Not a bass head at all but i struggle to hear any bass in these.
I listen to alot of heavier music dubstep through metal. I also enjoy listening to the beatles and Classical music! These Headphones shine for lighter more care free music, but when i try to give it a true load and demand heavy notes from the bass it doesnt show up. I have a oppo ha-2 amp to go with these and i have to use the bass boost for anything heavy and then they sound fine. Without the bass boost i really struggle to hear it at all. Im not a bass head by any means. I thought the Audio technica mx-50 was way to over powered in the lower end. I love my HD 650's and they are a great start for any audiophile! They are classic!


Pros: Crystal clear sound, no distortion, and good highs, mids, and present bass.
Cons: Plastic design.
So it has been quite a while since i've had these headphones(about 7 months or so), so I figured it was time to write a proper review, to the best of my knowledge.
Allot has already been said about these awesome set of headphones, so i'll focus on my personal experiences.
Please note, I am not a seasoned audiophile, i've only owned quality audio gear for about 2 years.
First off, the package:
It comes in a cardboard box, as most products, which I frowned uppon a little, considering the price. But once the cardboard is removed, a quality ''hinged'' box is revealed, which really adds to the unboxing experience. It is like opening your 18th birthday present, something really special. 
As for the contents of the box: it doesnt feel extra premium, but it does feel like you have bought a quality product. The foam packs the headphones in nicely, and is not bad on the eye. 
''Alright, enough about the package.. what does it sound like?''
First off, I should list my DAC, which is a . Which is one of the most, if not the most neutral DAC's out there. Meaning that it doesn't alter highs/mids/lows(bass).
Second, the headphones that I own, and can compare it to, are: Sennheisser HD280(more then 12 years old), and the Sony MDR-1RBT(recent purchase, after HD650). I also own two 5.1 sound systems, one being a basic pc speaker system from Logitech, and the second being a fairly decent system for the TV, called Sony BDV-N590. And a JBL Extreme(bluetooth speaker)
Considering all these audio systems, I will now give my impressions of the HD650 Finally:).
Using only Foobar2000 music player, playing FLAC music, and Spotify Premium(for quality) for the music unavaiable on FLAC, I listen mainly to Pop, Rock, Country, Rap R&B and Worship(christian) music.
The highs are clear and defined, especially when listening to Rock music, but it works for every type of music. 
The mids are always present, meaning that the HD650 doesn't miss a chance to display its excellent range. It really doesnt miss a beat. 
The bass is always viewed as ''less present'' in Sennheisser headphones. To be honest, I am not so sure... the bass sounds great even when compared to the subwoofer in my TV set. Which fills a 6*6 meter room without even breaking a sweat.
More important is the clearness of the sound. There is NO distortion, even at high volume levels. And it feels to me as if the drivers aren't even trying.
Another thing about sound: you'll be able to hear people talking to you, because of the open back design. I have many conversations with friends and family while wearing these headphones. While a little dimmed(as expected with headphones), I really didn't have to try hard to hear any of them.
To summarize the sound quality:
Highs/Treble: +++ Superior
Mids: ++ Very good
Lows/Bass: ++ Suprisingly good
All in all these are the best headphones I have listened to myself. Even compared to an hour long session with the HD600, provided by a friend's father.
Design and feel:
This is where these headphones get a ''-'', in my opinion. The sound may be superior, but the plastic headband really doesn't reflect this sadly.
It makes it feel cheap whenever you put it on. That is untill you turn the sound on, that is..
Also, the double cables WILL TWIST, unless you are prepared to invest in a more expensive third party cable.
However, these headphones are insanely comfortable. I can wear them all day long without any discomfort.(using standard vellour earpads). 
These headphones are my go-to system for listening to music at home. I havent used any of my 5.1 sound systems seriously since purchasing this gem.
It sounds like a dream, and that's giving it less praise than it deserves. Even the sony mdr-1rbt headphones wired up(no bluetooth at home), dont come even close.
If you want only quality sound. below flagship price, these headphones are the ones to get. 
Your review +++++ five stars!
odac is a terrible DAC.