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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. neptunegarand
    Perfect entry to audio nirvana
    Written by neptunegarand
    Published Nov 9, 2017
    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.
      Dmurtin likes this.
  4. 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)
    e DSC_0774.jpg

    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.  

    ORGASMIC - soulsiklab reviews
    Written by SOULSIK
    Published Feb 18, 2017
    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 soulsikreviews.com (more detailed review available on the website)
    video for reference only
      GlaSid likes this.
  6. grizzlybeast
    Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones / Sennheiser HD650 Tribute
    Written by grizzlybeast
    Published Nov 6, 2016
    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. 

    Studio / Professional usage:


    Thought this one was interesting  on the 600

    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."

    Read more at http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/if-it-aint-brokethe-massdrop-sennheiser-hd-6xx#qLHs1kALCTYimQT2.99

    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


     HD6XX VS HD650

    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.
    1. mynameisdmoon
      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.
      mynameisdmoon, Dec 21, 2016
  7. 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. 
  8. Music Path
    Classic ! Not much to say ! Genre master ! Surrounded by strange, years long myths... End review to clarify things. (White driver version >2012)
    Written by Music Path
    Published Jul 13, 2015
    Pros - Great Sound overall! Durable! Replacement parts! Great price today!
    Cons - Not found any big drawbacks! For the price i payed no complains. Ok, a bit more subass would be cool.
    There is not much to say. Only making this review to help indecided people, and contribute to the forum as a member who was helped too.
    Bought this can second hand for 225 Eur. Practicly new and great price for what it is, i must say.
    I'm no audio engineer, so i will keep things simple. Not a native english speaker, so my english may have some mistakes. It's my first review.
    Hope you enjoy. [​IMG]
    My history: 
    Started not long ago. I was a former basshead, until i discovered the older momentum and open backs. Till then i bought average gear, some i found disapointing. 
    My best basshead cans are the Sony XBA-H3, but i get full of sticking things in my ear. So i started searching and found this forum.
    Which led me to the momentum as i refered, fidelio x2 and hd650. Amps i'm using fiio e12 and ifi idsd micro.
    Sound Caracteristics:
    Bass: It's well defined, extends well and has quite impact. Cool dry bass and transparent. A tad bit subass would better, but i think i still will find a solution for it. [​IMG]
    Mids: Great midrange, nice vocals, not much to say.
    Treble: Not veiled, very detailed and effortless. Not fatiguing. Extended.
    Soundstage: Quite big, bigger then on the Fidelio X2 IMO, which is claimed to have a big soundstage comparable to dt880 and dt990 or even better.
    And now about the myths.[​IMG]
    Veiled -
    Probably one of the biggest myths sorrounding this cans, defenitly to disagree in my experience. Might be true for the older version, but not this one.
    For me they have better highs then momentum, nad 50, fidelio x2, sonys current lines as far i noticed. And they never complain about veiled sound on those.
    The 650 might have one of the best highs around, well detailed and musical. Not easy to achieve. Create bright phones is easier, like boosting bass freq.
    Its a unique phone with unique highs. They say they sound dark. If it is, its in a cool way.[​IMG]
    PS: I'm in my twienties, i dont need that much treble, but you dont lose that much treble sensetivity with age... [​IMG]
    Loads of power-
    When i started  to read this forum, the amp i thought i needed for HD650:
    What i actually needed:
    The reason why i bought the iidsd micro, which has an 4000mW headamp. 3 main gain. The ifi audio engineers sad to use the lowest one: Eco mode (>250 mW @ 16 Ohm)
    I was convinced at least i needed normal or turbo mode (5.5V/1,900 mW @ 16 Ohm to 10.0V/4,000 mW @ 16 Ohm)
    Guess what!? The first one had the best sound. Lossy and lossless. I had to put it around 3o clock for ideal performance (acording to ifi too) It's not about power but to find the sweet spot. [​IMG]
    Original cable somehow creates a botleneck to the sound -
    Some tried to get the veil disapear with other cables like the senns cable was the fault. I still use the originall cable, and get a clear defined sound.
    It would be nonsense and desrespect to its clients if that would be the case. We are talking about a 13 years sucessfull HP here. It would be wierd. [​IMG]
    Bloated/Undefined Bass - 
    Doesnt seem to be true either, it doesnt bleed anywhere. The only thing needed is a bit more subass.
    Since the bass is defined it seems fast enough for all genres. And i m using extra bass function of the idsd.
    Small Soundstage-
    Some say big, some say a bit claustrofobic... Well i say big andd not surprisingly, because it has good treble. Sometimes it feels more speaker like. Not saying its like a HD800, but its big and envolving.
    When i was amping them at norma/turbo mode it didnt was that big. So again don't overamp.
    Not suited for fun genres, it makes you sleep-
    I'm a big fan of electronic and rytmic genres, and the HD650 goes very well for those. Dark sound gives sometimes an undergound feeling to some electronic tracks.
    Will make a list of test tracks, and make an evaluation from 1-10 for the permance of the HD650 on those tracks:
    Nu Disco:
    [​IMG]-9.5   [​IMG]-9
    [​IMG]-9.5 [​IMG]-10
    Great midrange which is needed in this tracks.
    Great bass impact, just a bit subass needed... Speed ok. Its more about groove.
    UK Garage House/ Future Bass:
    [​IMG]-7.5 [​IMG]-8.5
    [​IMG]-5.5 This is a dificult genre, lots of subass... failed the last emotion.
    But the rest ok, great underground dark urban sound feelings.
    Progressive House:
    Senn delivers here, this tipe of genre you need impact bass, rythm and stage. Delivers all three.
    Funky House/ Funk House (Lots of groove & vocals):

    [​IMG]-9 [​IMG]-10
    This genre has speed, vocals, rythm, highs and its ok for HD650.
    Classic House/ Acid House:
    [​IMG]-9 [​IMG]-10
    Looks they made it for this genre, great underground feeling due its darker sound, but great soundstage, transparent bass, great vocals.

    Tech House:
    Perfect! No lack speed! Great club sound![​IMG] How can you fall asleep !?xD
    Deep House:
    [​IMG]-8  Deep House is that genre you listen you in bars and some mistake it
    with "elevator music"... [​IMG] [​IMG]. Its slow 90bpm, but needs atmosfere, and 650 delivers it. Enough bass, no veil.

    Chill Wave:
    [​IMG]-9 [​IMG]-9
    [​IMG]-10 [​IMG]-10
    This genre has a lot of highs. No problem for the no veiled 650 IMO. Great detail.
    Electro House: (They call it EDM to):
    [​IMG]-9  [​IMG]-10
    [​IMG]-10 [​IMG]-9

    This is not a easy genre, quite some speed, lots of changes of rythm, big stage but its enganging for me.

    Trance 90s,00s:

    [​IMG]-8 [​IMG]-8
    [​IMG]-8 [​IMG]-9
    Sounds ok for me in trance.
    [​IMG]-10 [​IMG]-9.5
    Delivers well in one of the more dificult genres. A bit subass laking mabie.

    Instrumental ​Hip Hop:

    And there is much more... :)
    Dont listen much Dubstep or DnB so i cant pronounce about it.
    About other genres i think its alot been talked around about the performance of 650s.

    Hope you enjoyed reading or listening.

    At the end i'm only doing this because:
    117fd195-4389-4b70-9871-6801e43a6d16.jpg   [​IMG] 
    1. View previous replies...
    2. DDDamian
      Quite the playlist! Nice review, and a good idea to call out the myths around the 650. The only things I question is the description of the soundstage as wide and the speed comments.
      Otherwise, great job!
      DDDamian, Jul 13, 2015
    3. ftfoi
      Can't really say anything about these cans, I've got some Sennheiser's that I use for my PC and happy with them so I would probably be happy with these for stereo use also.
      But what I WANT to thank you for is the great amount of music suggestions. :) I'm also very much into that kind of music and I enjoyed many of the tracks you posted here.
      ftfoi, Aug 2, 2015
    4. guywithphones
      I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but try out di dot fm. Apparently they axed the forums for their new system.
      guywithphones, Nov 7, 2015
  9. DivineCurrent
    One of the best all around headphones, regardless of price
    Written by DivineCurrent
    Published Jul 12, 2015
    Pros - Natural sound signature, clear and detailed, realistic vocals and instruments, speaker-like sound
    Cons - Pads compress and wear out faster than others. Could use a touch more sub-bass.
    EDIT: 7/7/16
    I am redoing this review I posted in 2015 because it was too short. For this review of the HD650, I will be going into much more detail about the sound, pros and cons, certain tracks that make these headphones shine, and how DSP plugins can make this headphone (or pretty much any headphone) come alive.
    First, let's go over the build quality and comfort.
    The HD650s are completely plastic on the outside, except for the metal grills and metal adjustment band. For the 2 years I have had them so far, there have been no paint chips or places where the paint has rubbed off from use. Keep in mind, I have taken extremely good care of them, and made sure to never place them on hard or rough surfaces. If you do that you will find the paint will come off eventually as others have said in their reviews. I really like the gray color all around, and personally like it better than the HD600 and HD580 design and color.
    These are the second most comfortable headphones I have owned, right behind the Beyerdynamic DT800/T1. The clamping force is tight at first, but over time it loses that tightness and stays comfortable. I have a narrower and taller head than many, so I need to click the headband adjustment down 9 clicks in order for it to fit over my ears. These also weigh very little, and there have been times where I've worn them for 4+ hours and forgot they were on my head. I used the original pads for about a year before I replaced them, and then recently replaced them again a few month ago, but they have compressed quicker than the other 2 pads for some reason. I suggest before you buy replacement pads for these, make sure they aren't fake and are from an authorized Sennheiser seller or from Sennheiser themselves, because I may have gotten fake ones since they got flat in less than 5 months. Flat and compressed pads really affect the sound negatively and caused my pair to have more bass in one cup than the other.
    For reference, I am using the JDS Labs ODAC with the Objective 2 amp. Yeah, many people on this site will criticize me for using such a “lowly” source and amp, but they sound good and are neutral and flat, as they should be. The O2 powers my HD650 very well. Also, I do not believe in cables making a difference in sound, so I am using the stock cable, which is plenty durable enough for years of use. Let's just say I'm a bit objective when it comes to audio tech.
    If I were to describe the HD650s sound in one word, it would be natural. Very natural, smooth, and non-fatiguing. I remember first listening to these, and saying to myself, "FINALLY! A headphone I can LISTEN to!" These have no exaggerated lows, mids, or highs. I keep telling people that these remind me very much of high quality speakers. In general I like the way speakers portray music more than headphones, but I am starting to rethink that as the HD650s immerse you even more than speakers in my opinion.
    Starting with the lows, these have a somewhat relaxed bass tone. The sub bass is definitely there, but is not emphasized, and may be very slightly rolled off. Compared to planar magnetics, these lose the sub bass battle, but I am ok with that. I have experimented with EQ in the 25-50 Hz range, and found if I raise this area by about 4 decibels, the sub bass is more present and not distorted at all. The mid bass and low mids are raised ever so slightly, giving the headphones that lush and warm feel I love so much. Yet, it does not affect the rest of the frequencies, and makes recordings with little information in this range sound smoother and and less analytical.
    The mids are where this headphone beats pretty much every headphone I have tried ever. The mids are incredibly realistic and natural, and makes instruments sound like the instrument they are supposed to be. Compared to other headphones such as the Hifiman HE-400i, Beyerdynamic DT800, and even the T1, the mids outclass them all because of how natural they sound. I feel with those other headphones, the mids are overshadowed by the higher treble response giving the impression of the mids being sucked out. They have more of a V and U shape response as opposed to the HD650s flatter response. Yes, many will say the mids in the HD650s are emphasized and too lush, but the very reason I have fallen in love with their sound signature is because of the smooth mids and treble. Many headphones just sound too analytical and sharp in the mid to treble region. Not so with the HD650s.
    Speaking of treble, these have probably the smoothest treble I have heard from any sound reproduction device, speakers included. There are no peaks in the treble, and that is why these sound so smooth. These are never fatiguing, and are perfectly suitable for even the worst recordings (examples of which I will add to the music section). And with that note, there is something very important I need to address about the HD650s: the dreaded “veil”. Simply put, these have no “veil” and I don't understand why people keep saying they do. The high frequencies are present, and do NOT roll off. The treble extends all the way to 20 Khz, and frequency graphs support this. Perhaps before these headphones got revised in 2007, they had some sort of veil. But this new version has just as much extension as the HD600. So, these have plenty of treble detail and extension, just enough for me to not get fatiguing. Sure, compared to the T1 and Hifiman HE-400i these have less treble quantity, but the quality is exactly the same in my opinion. Even if the treble is less present than many headphones, I find it strikes a perfect balance between natural and realistic.
    Now, I will list a number of music examples that I find bring out the HD650s strengths, and maybe a few of it's weaknesses:
    This is a very well recorded piece of classical music, a genre I find the HD650 to excel at. In the beginning and in the middle of the piece there is a timpani on the right side and with the right headphones, sounds incredibly realistic. The HD650s make me sometimes believe that the players are in the same room! Just goes to show that with well recorded music, headphones sound their best.
    No doubt everyone has heard this electronic piece from the 80s. This is one of the better recorded versions, and really shines with headphones with extended bass. The HD650 doesn't do as well in the sub bass as say planar magnetics, but I find them to be at a realistic level of what the mastering room would have heard the recording. If I want a little more bass, I just EQ the 25-50 hz range up a few decibels. Also, there are subtle treble details in this composition that the HD650s bring out beautifully.
    Bet you saw this one coming, an extremely popular song that sounds incredibly good on good headphones. In particular the vocals are without sibilance and the drums are at the perfect level. The HD650s bring so much out of this recording, including the detail in the drums. Why can't music be mastered like this anymore?
    I put this one on here because it is a harsher recording. The solo vocals were obviously recorded with a lot of compression and sounds like someone turned the treble all the way up on their big chunky 80s equalizer. On the Hifiman HE-400i and Beyer DT880, this song is almost unbearable. But, the HD650 tones down the harshness just enough, but still is revealing of the harshness.
    Yes… I know… It's a Backstreet Boys song, but bear with me here. I chose this song solely for the only reason to show how the HD650 makes harsh recordings sound better. This one, in my opinion, is even harsher than Broken Wings. At the 0:48 mark, there are cymbals and really harsh vocals that have a lot of presence. I've listened to this on the AKG K712s, and it is downright PAINFUL. Thankfully, the HD650s save the day once again, and turn down the harshness just enough without sacrificing detail.
    This is an incredibly beautiful rendition of Pachelbel's Canon in D. And, it is spectacularly recorded too. With the HD650, it's easy to get lost in the sea of the ambiance this piece has. The slight mid bass bloom the HD650s have make this piece incredibly immersive and lush. And everything sounds very realistic, especially the strings and plucked instruments. 
    This is extremely impressive on any headphone, but especially the HD650s. The cello on the left at the beginning is so darn realistic because of the binaural recording that Dr. Chesky did. Really, you can't go wrong with any of the binaural tracks that Dr. Chesky has made, because they are meant for headphones and make you feel like you are really there.
    By the way, I didn't purposely pick videos that have the same music album info layout, those were just the best quality I could find on Youtube.
    Next, I want to talk about how you can squeeze every ounce of sound quality out of the HD650s: Digital Signal Processing.
    Many people are very much against DSP plugins, but if you use them the right way, it can be a transforming experience.
    There is a software plugin called Sonarworks Reference 3. Used mostly by recording engineers and music producers, this plugin takes your headphones or speakers and calibrates their frequency response to be reference monitor flat. Basically, the program equalizes the response of your set of headphones, and makes them suitable for mixing and mastering in a studio.
    As you can see here, the program takes the average frequency response of the HD650 and corrects any deviations from whatever curve you select, whether it be flat, B&K curve, or your own custom curve. The blue line shows the average response of the HD650s, and the green line is the correction curve. It claims to have an accuracy of +- 3 db across the whole range, and it certainly sounds like it to me. They also have an option to send in your headphones to be measured and calibrated, having an accuracy of +- 1 db. This is a very good option for those who want the convenience of headphones, but have the sound of accurate studio monitors. Or, like me, someone who want the most accurate sound possible. I have also tested the AKG K240 Studio with this software, and to my surprise they sound strikingly similar to the HD650 when calibrated, at a significantly lower cost. The correction curve makes the HD650 have great sub-bass response, less mid bass bloom, and even smoother more present treble. Even with the default calibration, this program makes the HD650s sound like speakers, and that is what I've always wanted in headphones.
    The fun doesn't stop there! I have been using the ToneBoosters Isone VST plugin for about a year, and it wasn't until I used it with Sonarworks that I was blown away by it. Essentially, this plugin gives you the option to emulate a 2 channel studio environment, complete with room size, reflections, and even an anechoic chamber. I use this plugin mostly for it's crossfeed settings, but with the addition of the Sonarworks software, the results are shockingly convincing. After adjusting the HRTF to meet what I find my head and ear size to be, I could swear there are speakers in front of me producing the sound. This is what I imagine a poor man's Smyth Realiser would be. In fact, I would go so far as to say it sounds better than a really good 2 channel speaker system, because you have a controlled simulated environment without any room imperfections or resonances. Technology has really come a long way with these plugins, and I wouldn't be surprised if 3D audio became a mainstream thing in the years to come.
    Vs. HD580
    I bought the HD580 2 years ago before I had the HD650, but I remember the sound well enough to describe the comparisons between the two. The HD580 did not have enough bass for me, and they seemed to roll off to my ears in the upper treble. The HD650 is more extended at both ends, is warmer, but has pretty much the same midrange. Since the HD580 and HD600 are similar but the 600 is an upgrade, I would assume the HD600 has just as much extension as the 650.
    Vs. Hifiman HE-400i
    These headphones were amazing when I tried them. I was floored by their flat extended bass all the way down to 20 hz. In the end I returned them because they were too analytical sounding for me. There was enough bass, but the midrange was overshadowed by the treble peaks and made things sound unnatural in the end. However, these do have better treble detail than the HD650, but it is directly a result of higher treble response, not of treble quality. In fact, I have experimented with EQ to raise the HD650s treble higher, and got a very similar result of higher treble detail. So, these beat the HD650 in sub-bass only for me. Also, I would say the HD650s have better soundstage than the 400i.
    Vs. Beyerdynamic DT880 + T1
    It's been a while since I have had these two headphones, because I have sold pretty much everything since I started using the 650s. Both Beyerdynamics have great treble detail and clear crisp sound. However, I did not like either for long listening sessions, because of the painful treble peaks Beyers are known for. Compared to the 650, both Beyers have less lush mids, more treble, and about the same bass, but both are more extended. These both are on the list of the Sonarworks software, and I have yet to try them with it, as I am sure the software will tame the peak very well.
    Vs. AKG K712+K612
    Again, it's been a while, but I remember the AKGs excelling in soundstage only. The K712s had slightly more extended bass, but lots of mid and treble peaks that made things sound weird. The K612 had less peaks, but the midrange was a bit unnatural and analytical. Again, the K712 is on the Sonarworks plugin list, so these can be corrected to sound flat and probably maintain that better soundstage.
    Final thoughts:
    I have gone through at least a dozen headphones in the past 3 or so years I got into the hobby. I have since sold pretty much all of the ones above $200, except for the HD650. That should tell you how good they are, that they even outclass the flagship Beyerdynamic T1 in my opinion, at least when it comes to natural and realistic sound signature. I have yet to try the HD800, but if I were to make a prediction, I probably will still like the HD650 better. If you are into lots of treble detail, these will probably not be for you. But, if you like a smooth sound without peaks across the whole frequency range, these should be on your list to try. Thanks for reading!
      ElMarcado likes this.
    1. Ivabign
      Straight to the point - well said. The next time these are around $299 at Adorama, I am just going to pull the trigger....
      Ivabign, Jul 13, 2015
    2. Sennheiser
      Sennheiser, Jul 7, 2016
    3. ElMarcado
      Excellent review. :)
      ElMarcado, Oct 6, 2016
  10. Sort
    The Art of Headphones
    Written by Sort
    Published May 1, 2015
    Pros - The Sound Signature I Love
    Cons - Physical Looks
    I can't imagine another 650 review is needed for the known universe, especially here on headfi. While I enjoy reading them, I also don't take the "objective" reviews seriously. While I would everyone to have the cans that move them into a space for deep listening for music, I can only be concerned here with my ears. And what I hear from the 650 goes beyond the "veil" or analytical accounts of treble range or sub bass. What we have here is an artistic expression - masterfully done. It's more than just the science or looks. What I know is that from the very first point I put these on, I feel myself falling deeply into the music, even my songs produced poorly or poorly ripped or just plain old. I entered into the zone of music for some profound enjoyment of different musical artists.
    In listening, the number one factor for enjoying music still comes down to me, the state of my mind, my ability to listen deeply. All I ask of the cans is to meet me there when I'm ready.
    When I'm open and wearing these headphones, I fully music.
    With these cans, music is a verb.
      dolgen and ElMarcado like this.