Audioquest Nighthawk vs Senn HD650 vs??
Nov 10, 2016 at 8:57 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


1000+ Head-Fier
Nov 25, 2002
So I have been happily living with an oppo PM3 now for about a year... but when you happy... something always seem to pull you down a bit... The pads peeled, the sound signature was lost, I got depressed.... not really but close lol. So I can get pads from Oppo and intend to, but I am now looking for a headphone that uses fabric pads and not leather, and also pads that can be changed without the manufacturer warning against it as Oppo has done me.
I also decided that if I could I would like a sonic improvement , but my sound signature is more like the oppo sound.... good balance and coherency, no biting piercing treble.. some warmth yet still with detail, and a little fun down low.
Bearing that in mind, do you see either of these as an upgrade over the oppos and one being better than the other? The Nighthawk is now in the HD650 price range... at least for now, and I was wondering if that should make my choice easier seeing that price is not an issue. And yes Iknow the nighthawk is a leather pad headphone, but I have heard good about it and am interested. 
Thoughts from people who have heard all three, a combinaaion of any two or even a recommendation of something else would be very grateful
Nov 11, 2016 at 1:17 AM Post #2 of 4
The Nighthawk is definitely a great pair of headphones (and I assume that price drop is your referring to is $749 to $449 CAD right??), but I can't really recommend it to you.
It'd require a nice amp, and even then, it's not the kind of sound you'd like. 
It's been described like a Durian bomb.....Some people will absolutely love it, and others will despise it in disgust.
The reason for that lies in its mids. There isn't a 'real balance' in the headphones because the mids are extremely 'buttery' and thick, and some people claim it even comes to sound 'congested', while others (though it seems the minority in this case) claim that they're 'wonderfully smooth'.
The HD 650 should serve you well, as the sound is refined and accurate, and has some good mid-range warmth and a tiny 'thump'-like energy to the bass that gives it the 'fun' aspect. The headphone has the signature 'Sennheiser veil', meaning the bass isn't too thumpy, and the highs aren't piercing at all. They're both toned down without loss of detail.
The only real dislikes of the HD650 would be:
-Some claim it doesn't sound 'as natural as the HD600' 
-The headphones are soothing and smooth, but because of that, you don't have as much 'fun' listening to it compared to a headphone loaded with energy (Like Grados) 
-People say you can listen to these until you fall asleep, but that's because it doesn't always get you 'into the music' or give you a 'hype' the way other headphones do
-This is preference, but some people dislike the Sennheiser signature veil because they like the sound of extreme clarity in the treble
Nov 11, 2016 at 12:17 PM Post #3 of 4
Thanks for the response,
Well I hope my amp is a good one, Burson Soloist SL. Its what I would use with either headphone I get. And I am also looking to upgrade from Modi Uber to Modi Multibit, so hopefully that has source and power sorted at least for a while.
So what you are saying is that the mids of the Nighthawk is unnaturally thick and smooth glossing over the detail?? While the HD650 is not as thick, but more open and fun sounding with a little extra bass kick, while still have slightly warm mids?
Ok, so even though the Nighthawk is more expensive, you think the HD650 would be the better choice... 
Thats good to know. Do you have any other cans in mind that u think would meet my criteria? Preferably velour pads to alleviate the problem of stripping. I was kinda considering the Shure 1540, but this issue of it losing its composure as you turn up the volume has me deterred...
Nov 13, 2016 at 2:00 AM Post #4 of 4
Yeah that's pretty much what I meant with the HD650 and Nighthawks.
When it comes to other suggestions, a standout in my mind is the DT880 600 Ohms. 
The 250 Ohms and 32 Ohms will sound much, much different, but the DT880 600 Ohms is known for being flawless (apart from its detachable cable). The sound is very airy, and the treble has lots of detail and no 'bite' to it, and the mids, in my opinion the 'main focus' of Beyer's sound, is a perfect balance between high accuracy, realism, lusciousness, and a hint of intimacy. Their bass is well-extended as well, not thumpy, not bloated, and not too light either.
They're extremely well balanced, have a great sound-stage (in my opinion), really good positioning, and a good mid-focus to it.
In my mind, you can't really go wrong with it, but it's worth listening for yourself to see.
Even if they cost $100 or $200 more that they do, they'd still compete well in their price range. I've never really seen any claimed weaknesses that stood out, and the slight weaknesses that did always stand out were, again, small personal gripes about it.

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