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Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones

Rating:
4.54444/5,
  1. ObscureMethods
    Lucious
    Written by ObscureMethods
    Published Jan 23, 2012
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Mids, Comfort, Soundstage
    Cons - Sound leakage, Fragility
    These cans are exquisite. I can literally fall asleep with these on. This fact is cheifly assoiated with their velour ear pads. And in regards to sound, their sound quality is immearsive. No singular element of their sound is deprived. I can state that they're immaculately endowed with mid-range presence.
    Bottom line is. if you can afford the admittance fee these will grant you auditory bliss.
      Syros likes this.
  2. alexdemaet
    Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones
    Written by alexdemaet
    Published Dec 16, 2011
    5.0/5,
    Cons - the headband is a bit stiff and puts pressure on the ears
    I had several of those (balanced and unbalanced) and I liked them alot.
    I can't remember if they had the newer "silver" drivers.
    I compared them with the HD600 and they sounded better.
    1. Digital-Pride
      Come now man, surely the HD650 deserves more sentences than that. :wink:
      Digital-Pride, Dec 16, 2011
    2. Austin Morrow
      Yes, a lot more sentences. :)
      Austin Morrow, Dec 17, 2011
  3. stalkerxx
    nice headphones
    Written by stalkerxx
    Published Nov 17, 2011
    5.0/5,
    +++++
  4. clams
    Musical reference
    Written by clams
    Published Jun 29, 2011
    4.0/5,
    The Sennheiser HD650 is a great pair of headphones. Makes a great complement to airier headphones.
    1. DraconiaN
      The HD650 which i also own have indeed a tendency to sound "dark" with a cheaper headphone amp...i've had the same sound issues with the stock JRC OpAmp ICs into my Xonar Essence STX Setup...after changing them to LME49720NA, it sounded clearly like a complete different headphone...much better in all ways, more crisp highs, mids...and not so strong bass, but i've found it well balanced, will give the LME49990 OpAmp a try...hopefully for the better sound experience. :wink:
      DraconiaN, Jan 22, 2012
    2. szoze
      I don't agree these headphones have ability to give "great" texture to strings and woodwind. Those instruments sound in fact muted without higher harmonics and "bite". In my ears AKG K70x are much better in this department.
      szoze, Sep 23, 2012
  5. TwoEars
    Still one of the world's top headphones
    Written by TwoEars
    Published Mar 22, 2011
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Richly detailed, supremely textured, natural sound that is smooth, effortless and relaxing to listen to. A forgiving allrounder with superb comfort.
    Cons - Open headphone that requires good source and amplification to perform its best
    I've listenend to all the top offerings from Denon, Beyer, Audeze, AKG, Hifiman, Ultrasone & Sennheiser and this is one of my personal favourites. It is a true reference headphone that is very natural sounding, albeit leaning ever so slightly towards a darker tone. The sound is detailed, smooth and richly textured, especially drums and vocals come alive amazingly well. It has no problem spanning all the way from the deepest bass to the highest highs with supreme control and plenty of muscles to spare.
     
    For the money I think this is a real audiophile bargain; the HD650 exists on that plane of ultimate performance where musical enjoyment no longer becomes a factor of sound quality, but rather personal taste. It really doesn't get much better than this no matter what you pay. The HD800 has better resolution, speed and spacial presentation - but can be a bit cold, analytical and unforgiving. The LCD-3 is arguably a higher-performing heaphone, with amazing resolution, extension and control, but in my humble opinion it can sound a little dry and laid-back compared to something like a HD650, Grado, Hifiman or D7000 which are more "fun" and energetic and with a more "forward" sound.
     
    So in short - the HD650 I think is truly great, not unbeatable in specific genres but an amazing allrounder. It should however be said that it only truly begins to show what it can do with top notch source and amplification - I wouldn't recommend driving this beauty with anything like a phone or Mp3 player due to its rather high impedance and revealing nature.
     
    Although "revaling" is also a relative term since they are infinitely more forgiving towards bad recodings than a HD800 or LCD-2/LCD-3. It should also be said that I do think they exhibit a slight veil (this eternal debate) but ONLY at low listening levels - so that those who find themselves always listening at very low volumes might want to also consider something along the lines of a grado reference headphone which are known for their "intimacy".
     
    All in all the HD650 is a superb headphone that comfortably matches, or beats, competitors at more than three times its price (not joking). A superb allrounder with a fun and energetic play-style, detailed but not too unforgiving - not to be overlooked! Seriously.
     
    Edit Sep 2016: I've increased these back to 5 stars again. After changing DAC and some other system tweaks I managed to elevate my HD650's to a yet another plane of performance. They just scale like crazy and completely unlike any other headphone in this price range with the exception of the HD600. Sorry for the confusion.
      volly, Dino2000, Pokemonn and 9 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Willy 2 Streams
      Yup...these aren't the 'best' cans out there, but for most of us mud people, maybe the best 'real world' cans. For less than 5 clams ($275 for a mint of pr. of used 650's, & $199 for a Schiit Valhalla  on closeout), I feel I have a setup good enough to compare to my 'big rig', with no need to apologize for ANYthing!
      Willy 2 Streams, Dec 24, 2014
    3. spiderking31
      Tell me how you think this will sound....
      Hd650
      Marantz cd5004
      Moon-audio blue Dragon v3 cable
      Little dot mk3 tube amp
      Schiit bifrost DAC

      It's pretty damn impressive! These are a world class headphone!
      The right setup will prove me right
      spiderking31, Dec 24, 2014
    4. spiderking31
      I just wanted to share I'm currently using my HD650's with my Schiit Bifrost, and my little dot MK3 tube amp, with Yugoslavian 6HM5 driver tubes, and a Marantz CD5004 CD transport, and yes, two ears is on the money! The HD650's are still one of the best headphones out there currently. I've demoed the HD800's, and with my current setup, the detail, transparency, and accuracy IMHO, is equal to the HD800's! The difference? No matter what tubes I use, the HD800 has bigger soundstage. Period! I am saying this, as I have compared the two, side by side. Many of you may disagree, but my ears don't lie....so yes, it's personal preference honestly, on which sound signature you prefer....hope this really clarifies things ☺️☺️:blush::blush:
      spiderking31, Mar 23, 2015
  6. Dunne14
    Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones
    Written by Dunne14
    Published Jan 31, 2011
    5.0/5,
    If you are looking for a great audio experience and are willing to pay a little bit more than typical price. These headphones are open back, so if you are listening in noisy areas they loose alot of their ability, but in the same light the sound quality is excellent in quite areas. If you plan to buy these headphones then consider using them for home use where you can get to a quite area that you are willing to listen to pretty much just listen to music. Also these headphones are not for everyone, I say this for one simple reason : YOU HEAR EVERYTHING! Literally I was entranced when I first these headphones for a simple guitar riff. Since I play guitar I heard every little imperfection in the note played. But overall these are one of the best headphones that money can buy.
    1. babbkutz@comcast
      what the hell is a "quite" area? Do you mean "quiet"?
      babbkutz@comcast, Jun 2, 2011
    2. eimis
      I think he means quiet. ****,My English is pretty bad, but I know how to write quiet, your/you're.....
      eimis, Jul 20, 2011
  7. nikoceballos
    HD650
    Written by nikoceballos
    Published Dec 12, 2010
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Perfect sound, perfect fit..
    Cons - Any
    I love them, perfect sound.
  8. che15
    No veil
    Written by che15
    Published Dec 12, 2010
    4.5/5,
    Pros - GREAT ALL AROUND CAN
    Cons - NOT AS DETAILED AS OTHER
    Great headphones , not too far behing the best cans out there for much less. Sound better when balanced and with aftermarket cable.
  9. ANDYACE
    HD 650 for a semi-audiophile
    Written by ANDYACE
    Published Oct 14, 2010
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Detail, Dynamic Range, Cleaness, Spatiality, transient
    Cons - Need a good amp
    I like my HD650.  I have always liked the Sennheiser sonic signature and I was immediately impressed after using the HD555 for a couple of years
     
    But then after awhile; after some A/B comparisons I heard the famous HD650 veil.  There seemed to be less treble response than the HD555.  Yes there was definitely more detail and Bass, but after A/Bing with the HD555, I became a bit annoyed. My parents have a cheap triple port headphone amp connected to the TV for $40.  When I connected the HD650 to it, there was no treble response.  This is where impedance matching is really important and something, that most people who dis the Sonic Veil of the HD650 don't understand.
     
    So i decided to buy a Class A amp from Firestone (as we don't have much choice in Australia) , the Libby, and the veil disappeared. In fact now they sound bright.  
     
    So now I really enjoy them.  I do connect them to my Fubar III (Class A/B) occasionally and can hear the dullness returning, even with the high impedance setting. I dont think I need to replace the stock cable as they are bright enough as it is.  I would rather use that money to purchase the HD800 or an AKG.
     
    I really personally believe that the veil became an urban legend because people were or are hooking up to either poor amps or no headphone amp at all. I read quite regularly on these forums that people say that headphone amps are useless, but if you really want decent sound and spend a fair but on headphones you really need to get an amp.
     
    I like the sound of open headphones because I live in a quiet area and don't need to isolate the sound.  The headphones are extremely transient. 
     
    I dont regret buying them at all
     
     
  10. Bizzel
    Reliable, High-End Stalwart
    Written by Bizzel
    Published Sep 30, 2010
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Very comfortable with a mellow, involving sound that harmonises brilliantly with live recordings.
    Cons - Paint chips off headband with regular use
    There's plenty of debate around here as to what makes a headphone "high end". Putting price aside for a moment, I have no doubt that the HD650 marks the beginning of the high-end range. I've auditioned many headphones over the past few years and while many sound different only the electrostats such as the HE60 truly sound superior in every way to the 650s.
     
    In terms of sound the HD650 is what I would call a "natural" headphone. Very rarely do I get the feeling that any part of the spectrum is being over-emphasised and the result is an intimate presentation with good (if not exceptional) soundstage - perfect for live performances. Some would criticise the 650s for their rolled-off treble and I believe this is valid but mainly when the headphones are poorly amplified or paired with a poor DAC unit; I would certainly avoid running these directly from a computer's sound card, for example. My pair are used with a DAC1 which does a good job of brightening the 650s' sound signature without making the treble sound sterile.
     
    The low-end and midrange of these cans is what stands out for me. Bass is almost perfect with good extension and decent impact. Though dark-sounding I never get the impression that the bass is being emphasised to the detriment of other frequencies. I also find that bass quality improves dramatically with higher volumes, this is likely because I listen at quite low volume most of the time and the extra juice is just what these cans need to shine. Moving on to midrange, these cans are excellent for female vocals as well as string / brass instruments with the original tonality being replicated solidly.
     
    I paid almost exactly £200GBP for my pair in 2007 and I find that to be excellent value for money. Build quality is sturdy and the sound that you get for the price is ridiculously good - others have spoken highly of the ability of these cans to scale with the rest of your system and I can only echo this. My one gripe (the reason I docked a star for design) is that the paint tends to flake off slightly around the midpoint of the headband over time; continual flexing of this point as you stretch the headphones over your head contributes to the wear.
      madwolfa and endallchaos like this.