HD 600 and HD 650 are now the same cost. Which one?
Mar 1, 2024 at 9:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26


100+ Head-Fier
Feb 23, 2015
I realize that this horse has been beaten to death in several threads, but as I look and consider buying either of these headphones, I'm struck by the wide variety of opinions on them I see as I read through the ponderous threads on the two headphones.

From what I can tell, in general, the HD 600 is the more natural of the two and has a little more sparkle up top. The HD 650 has some upper bass / lower mid bloom that colors it, as well as less peaky treble, which for many seem to make it "veiled." The amps I'll be using are the Schiit Vali 2 or Heretic.

As of the moment, I'm leaning toward the HD 600 as the truer to source version, but I am hoping to get some insight/advice. The 660 S2, at $400, is more than I am willing to spend, the current $300 price tage for the others being right at my comfort limit. Penny for your thoughts...
Mar 1, 2024 at 11:16 AM Post #3 of 26
The 660 S2 has a bit more low bass, and seems more dynamic - on very short exposure.

What is your most listened too headphone or speaker? Do you find your current system - when you don't like it - to be too bright, or too mellow? Do you use EQ/PEQ?

I like the 600 more than the 650 - but I have a very analog sounding DAC. But, the 600's sins are of omission - except its a tad bright around 4k and 6k. The 650 does have too much mid/upper bass and a mellower treble which makes it warmer (or veiled), but even with PEQ because of the loose bass Q it can't be made to be as neutral as the 600.

Per my taste: Vali 2 would seem a better match with the 600 and the Heretic with the 650
Mar 1, 2024 at 11:19 AM Post #4 of 26
HD600 is a much better headphone.
Mar 1, 2024 at 1:19 PM Post #5 of 26
Given that I have fairly bright headphones, I suspect either will be a large shift from my current setup. I'm honestly debating the 650 just because of treble, but the comments about the more "natural" sound of the HD 600 I keep seeing pop up has me leaning that way. I doubt either will be a headphone I want to run away from.
Mar 1, 2024 at 1:33 PM Post #6 of 26
The 650 is the better headphone to me. More balanced and natural sounding. The upper mids on the 600 are a bit much sometimes. Also, depending on where you are I’d just say go for the 6XX from drop rather than paying the premium for the 650. It’s essentially the same headphone.
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Mar 1, 2024 at 3:59 PM Post #7 of 26
As you can see, everyone is speaking with one voice :smiley:.

I too have the same conundrum. I'm waiting for the 660S2 to drop another 10% or so and will go that way, as suggested by several on another thread. Sennheiser listened to punters and that's the result. Good enough for me.
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Mar 1, 2024 at 4:36 PM Post #10 of 26
If classical is a big genre for you get the 600 as it's faster and more incisive. If you lean more towards pop/rock and hip-hop go with 650.
Mar 1, 2024 at 5:11 PM Post #11 of 26
They're quite close honestly. Either one will do fine. I think the 650 is slightly smoother sounding and a bit more resolving, while the HD600 is a bit livelier and easier to drive. I recall reading somewhere that the 650 has a slightly lighter driver, and it certainly used to have better driver matching, but I wouldn't read too much into that.

TL;DR either one will work just fine, but with a good amp I'd take the HD650, and with a weaker amp I'd take the HD600.
Mar 1, 2024 at 6:14 PM Post #14 of 26
I mean



or the plain ol


(who cares about sound quality or frequencies :p)
Mar 1, 2024 at 6:17 PM Post #15 of 26
Most headphones (and the Harman curve) sound too bright to me so without EQ the HD650 would be the one for me. But the 600 is a tad cleaner, so if you have EQ available, especially if it is parametric EQ implemented in DSP, then the 600 is the way to go.

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