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can the Sleek Audio SA6 sound similar to the Sennheiser HD650?

  1. jasonb
    Is it possible with all the different tips and ports to make the SA6 sound similar to the HD650? I love the sound of my HD650's and I want a portable that has similar tonality. I already have a pair of SA6's on the way, got them dirt cheap so I took a chance. I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to tune them to my liking, but I'd like some further verification on this.
    Has anybody heard both of these and have anything to say about them?
    Also, are the SA6's fairly easy to drive? This will be my first B.A. IEM, so i'm not familiar with how much power they need. My portable source is a tad on the weak side and I'd rather not have to buy and carry an amp.
    Thanks in advance guys,(and gals).
  2. 12345142
    I don't own the SA6s and have only auditioned the HD650s, so no comment.
    IEMs in general are very easy to drive. Most DAPs will push them to deafening levels, although usually the sound will improve somewhat with a portable amp. An amp isn't a necessity, though.
  3. jasonb
    Yea I know IEM's compared to cans don't need anywhere as much power, but I also know that my source is weak and I bet it won't push every IEM to loud levels. It gets my pair of Brainwavz M2's to loud levels at about 75% volume. I would usually listen to them at about 2/3's volume. I just have never used a balanced armature IEM before and have no idea how sensitive they'll be compared to my M2's.
    I loved my M2's until I got my HD650's, now the M2's sound waaaay to bassy to me. I'm hoping these SA6's will be more like the HD650 in terms of frequency response, and I'm hoping they are usable out of my portable source unamped.  

  4. jasonb
    nobody has heard both?
  5. Mdraluck23
    I have heard both. Let's just say that IMHO, after hearing the HD650, I was ready to sell my SA6's to cover the cost. I still am!
  6. jasonb
    so the SA6's can't be tuned to sound anything like the HD650?

  7. Pianist
    I heard both. HD650 is better of course, but SA6 is a very nice sounding 'phone as well. In the mids the SA6 won't be too far behind HD650. In the bass and treble, HD650 easily wins by a landslide, but only when properly amped, otherwise I may actually prefer SA6. SA6 is by no means overpowering in the bass - it is actually nice and neutral down there and is capable of reaching quite deep. The highs on the SA6 are soft and laid back, but quite refined and fairly well extended. they roll off a bit in the upper treble, but nothing significant. They sound very sweet/musical, but lack some dynamic range - with music that has very quiet and loud passages, the SA6 can sometimes sound a bit schematic and lacking the necessary power to reproduce the recording properly because it makes all sounds sound close in volume. Nevertheless, SA6 is a very musical IEM that is pretty neutral, very clear, fairly detailed and natural sounding. It especially excels at reproducing mid/upper bass and mids. Most drums sound quite nice through the SA6 - tight and with excellent definition - and vocals also generally sound great, especially female vocals.
    In regards to efficiency, the SA6 is not hard to drive at all, but it is not too sensitive either which is great. It should get plenty loud enough with any half decent portable player and at the same time it does not hiss with sources that are prone to it.
    Overall, great IEM. My only complaint are the compressed dynamics, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker for most people.
  8. Mdraluck23


    Well put^
    I feel that the treble on the SA6's is way too soft for my liking... not bad, but SOFT. Mids are great though! Bass is pretty tight, a little boomier than say, my RE0's. The HD650's had all the bass, mids AND highs. That's really the difference.
  9. jasonb
    hmmmm... thanks. i guess i'll find out in a few days. i'll make sure to report back here and compare the sound.
  10. Mdraluck23


    Just saw your post. I don't want to take anything away from your purchase at all. I love my SA6's. You will be very pleased with them, they are great headphones. The customization is fun too. You can make your own ports and stuff. It's just that the HD650 is kind of on another level IMHO. 
  11. jasonb
    Well, I got the SA6 for only 30 bucks. Even at full price I don't expect them to be at the same level as a top tier full size can. I am just hoping they can be made to have the same sort of tonality.
    HeadRoom had a pair in their B-stock inventory for $120 with everything except the eartips. I had won a $100 credit for doing a review of a product on HeadRoom's website. I ordered a pack of the eartips from Sleek for $9.99. So the SA6 only cost me 30 bucks. They may still have another B-stock pair in stock, they did when I ordered this afternoon.

  12. Pianist


    Yeah, RE0 is better than SA6 overall. RE0 has better separation and better treble. Both are lacking dynamics unamped, but RE0 really improves with better sources and amplification, whereas SA6 doesn't improve much at all. When both were driven by a Sansa Clip or a similar portable player unamped, I actually preferred SA6 overall - it just sounded better, more focused in the mids and bass. It had deeper bass than RE0 as well. But when both were driven by my Audigy 2 ZS with kxProject drivers, RE0 improved a lot, but SA6 remained nearly the same sounding as before. Now RE0 had similar quality bass, but more dynamic and powerful, similar mids, but more neutral, much better separation and much greater feeling of space and also much better treble. Really, when powered properly, I think RE0 is almost as good as HD650, while SA6 is definitely a few leagues behind.
  13. jasonb

  14. Mdraluck23
    Good deal for $30, can't go wrong!
  15. Pianist
    Well, you really shouldn't expect a mid-fi IEM to compete with a hi-fi headphone. Keep your expectations reasonable and you can enjoy the SA6 a lot. And don't AB HD650 against the SA6! Just listen to the SA6 and forget that you have HD650 when you do that. Just try to enjoy what you are hearing and to find something about the sound that you like. After all, what really matters is the music. Better gear helps sure, but great recordings can still sound enjoyable even on low-fi equipment. And the other way around - don't expect poorly recorded tracks to sound good on any audio system. Garbage in, garbage out.

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