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Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones

  1. eimis
    The most reviewed headphone?
    Written by eimis
    Published Feb 15, 2019
    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).
    A Classic revisited
    Written by SDVJCN
    Published Dec 25, 2017
    Pros - -Tuning
    -Reasonably priced
    Cons - -Not for treble/bass heads
    -Not for people who want a highly aggressive signature
    I'll keep this review simple. I received the 650 from the massdrop of the 6xx.

    The tuning of the 650's are its strongest reason to buy it. Mid-centric with a sight bass boost and a toned down treble. Its a can that you wanna relax and chill with. Detail retrieval is surprisingly decent, it resolves quite a large amount of detail for a laid back can.

    I drove the 650's off a phone/laptop and they actually sounded decent. With a proper desktop amp (The ifi ican), the headphone became much more dynamic and punchy. A proper desktop amp is required for the 650's to realize their true potential.

    For the 200usd i paid for this headphone, I cant complain.

    Out of the box clamp is a bit strong, but after the headphones break in to the shape of your head, the headphone disappears and hours of hours of listening with them is completely comfortable.

    -Not for treble/bassheads
    A laid back headphone that doesnt emphasize bass/treble is not exactly for those who desire more treble or bass.

    -Not for people who want a aggressive signature
    A can that has a aggressive signature would be the elear, highly aggressive and punchy to impress and please, but the 650 doesnt do that. However note the tuning flaws in the midrange of the elear which make the mids of the elear feel sucked out and a bit hollowed.

    The biggest flaw of the 650. Intimate but not congested, but for those of you looking for stage, check out the 800. The 650's stage works well for vocal based music/ giving you a a feeling that you are in the same room as the performers. But for the spectacular sensation of space, the 800 will give you that sensation but with a compromise, the lacking of the upper mids and the loss of body of the 800 when compared to the 650.

    The tuning is perfect for me but I dont particularly fancy the soundstage of the 650. The soundstage however does pair perfectly with vocal based music and gives a warmer, more intimate feel of the music compared to a larger soundstage. The soundstage is a small compromise to attain the laid back and intimate tuning of the 650. 5 stars from me.
  3. Mikualotic
    An Exceptional Headphone
    Written by Mikualotic
    Published Mar 21, 2017
    Pros - Scale well source material,great balance of sound, and comfortable
    Cons - plastic (good plastic though)
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    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.  

  4. Delong
    classical headset
    Written by Delong
    Published May 7, 2016
    Pros - warm,forceful bass,wide sound field,comfortable wearing way
    Cons - ageing female voice,hair Destroyer (every headset. lol)
    1. xkonfuzed
      i agree it has a very wide sound field
      xkonfuzed, May 7, 2016
    2. Kerouac
      So (if I look at the cons), this could be the perfect headphone for bold men who like (voices of) older women?
      Kerouac, May 8, 2016
  5. Malfunkt
    An immersive, warm, auditory experience. Transfers emotion directly into your cortex. Want to relax and unwind? The 650 is medicine.
    Written by Malfunkt
    Published Feb 8, 2016
    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. 
  6. SimonPac
    Superb Phones but Easy to Misunderstand on a Quick Demo
    Written by SimonPac
    Published Jan 24, 2016
    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.
  7. ExtremeBoky
    Great dynamic headphones
    Written by ExtremeBoky
    Published Jan 12, 2016
    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




  8. aCodemonkey
    Really Great Start!
    Written by aCodemonkey
    Published Nov 21, 2015
    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!
  9. Johannus
    Fantastic clean, detailed, warm, present and well balanced sound!
    Written by Johannus
    Published Apr 25, 2015
    Pros - Clean sound, fantastic resolution, great tone, warm, well balanced, very detailed sound, the highs and mids are smooth, clean and sound very musically
    Cons - Amp needed.
    Everything sounds great, extremely clean and extremely detailed on the HD 650.
    Fantastic clean sound, fantastic resolution, fantastic tone, warm, extremely well balanced, great bass (not boosted), very detailed sound, well separated instruments, very present sound, great sound stage, the highs and mids are smooth, clean and sound very musically.
    And how about the infamous veil of the HD 650? It, definitely, does not exist. Perhaps on the old models, with the black drive, it could be true. On my new model, with the silver drive, there is absolutely no veil.
  10. Petrosmalk
    Fantastic warm, present and well balanced sound!
    Written by Petrosmalk
    Published Apr 21, 2015
    Pros - Clean sound, fantastic resolution, great tone, warm, well balanced, very detailed sound, the highs and mids are smooth, clean and sound very musically
    Cons - Amp needed.
    Everything sounds great, extremely clean and extremely detailed on the HD 650.
    Fantastic clean sound, fantastic resolution, fantastic tone, warm, extremely well balanced, great bass (not boosted), very detailed sound, well separated instruments, very present sound, great sound stage, the highs and mids are smooth, clean and sound very musically.
    And how about the infamous veil of the HD 650? It, definitely, does not exist. Perhaps on the old models, with the black drive, it could be true. On my new model, with the silver drive, there is absolutely no veil.