HD-600 better than HD-650?
Mar 22, 2006 at 2:07 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 73

haibane

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Straight to the point for you guys. I was reading something the other day, and it sounded like something most manufacturers would do. So I thought I would get some opinions.

"My expectation of the 650 was rather great, with it's 0.05%, 10-39500 and ratings on headphone.com ... the problem is that they are drastically colored. Sennheiser states that these cans were developed with the way music listeners listen to their music today. That's cute, but to do this they have colored all the audio ranges with a "creamy" sound that dulls all the details. All wave lengths are dropped so you get artificial bass in all spectums leaving your not-so-average-music-listener feeling like you are listening to great music but it's not the best.

I just finished an extensive review the another serious audio listener and engineer and we both agree that there needs to be more advertizement on these cans to let you know that they are pre-toned for your average listening pleasure. There's no way I would do mix-downs or proof a final track with the 650s ... they are just not accurate enough.

The best cans out there are still the HD 600s. They're numbers are slightly lower than the 650s but it's not going to cause you grief with colorization. You can get to 10 with 650s and 12 with 600s in the lows, but because of the colorization and everything begin in the lower bracket you'll wish they produced the 650s with the extra low and no colorization.

650s are a disappointment. When you train your ear to hear everything being played and recorded and want the most accurate listening that you can you'll want the 600s."

Reason I post this is because the furthest I would want to upgrade after hearing this is the hd600, which I am currently looking at doing from the 580. Anyone have any opinions on this?
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 2:11 PM Post #2 of 73

skyline889

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It's not better it's just different. Imho I thought that the HD600s were unrefined and their highs were a bit harsh. They don't have that signature veil the HD650s are known for, idk I prefer the smoother overall performance of the HD650 to the HD600s "natural" sound. If the sound that the HD600 produces is natural than I would rather have something unnatural or "colored". In response to the part where the reviewer says you need to train your ear to hear everything I think that bit is a bit of rubbish, no offense to whoever wrote that but analyzing is analyzing, listening for enjoyment is another thing. If I wanted something to analyze music with I would just go with the Sony SA5000 since the detail on it is incredible but for daily use and relaxing the Sonys would give me a migraine within an hour, the Sennheisers I can listen to and enjoy all day long. Don't get me wrong the HD600s are still great cans but personally I just prefer the liquid smoothness of the HD650, it's kind of like comparing Bacardi to Jack Daniels, they both are pretty tasty but the Jack will have you on your ass within the hour whereas the Bacardi will just have you drinkin' more and more until you pass out
smily_headphones1.gif
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Mar 22, 2006 at 2:42 PM Post #3 of 73

Mastergill

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Quote:

Originally Posted by haibane
Reason I post this is because the furthest I would want to upgrade after hearing this is the hd600, which I am currently looking at doing from the 580. Anyone have any opinions on this?


Don't listen to that crap, the HD650 surely set a new standard about low harmonics distortion ---> uncolored and neutral sound, with the K701 not so far behind. (IMO/E)
The thing that most people don't understand it's these very high quality but low (reasonably?) priced phones ask for the very best source and amp, but infortunately these $300 phones will be more likely paired with crappy soundcarts and anemic amps. Like do you think an HE90 will sound that great with the HEV70?

Also from what i read on amateur audio forum, most people don't have a clue about what's a neutral and uncolored sound reproduction. (and from your quote it seems some 'pro' don't know that too)

Of course you don't need the very best high-end to appreciate the HD650, but before moving to this direction be sure your upstream gear is of a reasonable quality. And the most important, listen with your own ears to make the final decision.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 3:29 PM Post #4 of 73

robm321

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I agree with most of that. I find the 650's colored, and that's why I prefer the Senn 600's (the one thing I would say is the treble can be harsh as mentioned above).

I like coloration too, but no one beats Grado to my ears for that. The RS-1 is the king of color.

So, for neutral I use 600's for coloration I listen to RS-1 (does color better than 650) IMHO
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:25 PM Post #5 of 73

sgrossklass

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It would be interesting to know how many people who have *never* owned a HD580 or HD600, but maybe rather a good speaker setup instead, perceive the '650 as colored. We're good in pointing out differences, but knowing what is "right" is another matter entirely...
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:58 PM Post #6 of 73

sonance

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The 650s are undboubtedly colored, but then I've never heard any headphones that aren't. I don't buy the arguments that some headphones like the DT-880 are 'neutral' (I own DT-880s.)

I own 2 pairs of 650s and they have the same "coloration" - it's there undoubtedly by design and it's Sennheisers design choice of making the headphones more musical and pleasing while still maintaing the maximum level of transparency possible at a given cost. The most obvious 650 coloration is the slightly elevated bass, which can sound slightly dull without good amplification and a good source. I also think the amp/headphone combination (actually the entire chain from source to cans) affects the colorations to some extent.

I also like listening to Grado 'colorations' and AKG 'colorations' and Beyer 'colorations', and while some of these headphones may sound more obviously colored than others, I don't consider any of them truly neutral and my personal opinion is that it's not possible to build pleasing truly neutral headphones in these price ranges (or possibly any price range) with todays knowledge and technology.

Instead of looking at it as a negative, I look at it as the personality and art of the designers in making these fine peices of audio technology that I enjoy greatly.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 5:08 PM Post #7 of 73

acs236

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It's a matter of preference whether the 600 or 650 is better, so here is my take, having owned the 580 and 650 (and having spent a good bit of time listening to the 600).

The 580 and 600 are close. Really close. And I think they have the same veil/creaminess/warmth/whatever that the 650 has. The 580/600 has a elevated mid-bass that I perceive to be smoothed out in the 650. However, rather than flatten the bumped midbass of the 580/600, the 650 elevated the rest of the bass spectrum. So, while the 650 has flatter bass response, I find it to get excessively pronounced relative to the mids and highs.

Overall, I give the slight nod to the 650, because I have trouble with the mid-bass hump of the 580/600. I think the quotes in the OP are a bit exaggerated based on Sennheiser's marketing. The 650s have more overall bass than the 600, but they're otherwise not a huge departure in sound.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 5:33 PM Post #8 of 73

cheechoz

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I think they should both share top of the line status. They are two different sounding Senns, and both are very highly regarded. I myself like the HD600 better, but for different musical situations, the 650 could beat it out!
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Mar 22, 2006 at 8:36 PM Post #9 of 73

maarek99

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I'm just listening to my beloved hd580 after a couple of months with hd650. Damn, it really sounds great. I like it's airyer sound more. 650 is too bloated. Driven by a black cube linear.

Edit:

I just switched back to the 650 and now I like it better. sigh. It has a sweeter sound.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 9:10 PM Post #10 of 73

SennFan

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I have listened extensively to both the 600's and the 650's. 300 hrs+ on the 600's and going about 100+ with my relatively new 650's. Thought I'd get that out of the way first! Both sets are unique in their own right. I found the 600's to be much more forward in their representation that the 650's most noticeably. Also, I found that soundstaging left much to be desired with the 600's and if you truly want to explore the possibilities of them, you should look for an upgrade cable such as the Cardas which I used. The Cardas and the 600's are an excellent marriage and they clear up that "unrefined-ness" that someone mentioned here in this thread. Dynamics improve and the cans truly become natural sounding at this point.

I definitely respect the opinion of whoever wrote that main article in the first post in this thread. I agree that between the two, from my experiences so far, the 600's are more analytical. All headphones have colorations though, so I don't understand what the rant is all about on that aspect. I, for example, prefer the Senn signature over Audio Techincas and Grados to name a few. I like a thicker sound and probably always will. But that's just me, and after all this is a subjective hobby and people will have certain preferences so the sound signatures promote brand loyalty among customers and also give them a rough idea of what to in essence expect from each manufacturer.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 9:52 PM Post #11 of 73

robm321

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I can't really blame Sennheisser. I think they noticed that the biggest complaint about the 600 compared to the RS-1 (which was a common comparison), was it's analytical and neutral sound (read: a little unmusical) - while the Grado was very musical and more colored.

So, it makes sense that they would make the 650 more musical with more coloration. It worked and most people I think like the 650 over 600. So, they at least did what the market demanded.

Also, as for coloration, we are talking degrees and comparisons - not absolutes. Some add to the sound more than others.

Either way, I think the one thing the 650 and 600 lack is a fast transient response which is why they never really became my favorites. But for a very balanced and straightforward sound with some of the best bass cans have to offer, I like the 600's better. Just my preference though.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 11:38 PM Post #12 of 73

catscratch

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Eh, I agree with the quoted review 100%. The HD650 does have the edge in resolution but it's far more colored than the HD600. However, I don't know if the reviewer was referring to a stock HD600/650 vs. a custom cabled one? I also don't know what system they were using. With cables and component matching, you can bring out the best in either headphone.

I prefer the HD600 though. As far as grainy highs go - custom cables will get rid of that. Mostly.
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 1:23 AM Post #13 of 73

VR6ofpain

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who could own something as ugly as the 'marble' HD600.
very_evil_smiley.gif
Buy a HD650!
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 9:19 PM Post #14 of 73

Beagle

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sgrossklass
It would be interesting to know how many people who have *never* owned a HD580 or HD600, but maybe rather a good speaker setup instead, perceive the '650 as colored. We're good in pointing out differences, but knowing what is "right" is another matter entirely...


Compared to a good speaker setup, the 650 sounds like a headphone. That is, there is no way a really good loudspeaker could get away with the bottom end bloat of the headphone.
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 10:41 PM Post #15 of 73

edisonwu

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every is possible. We have different sources, cables and amplifiers. We are different inside from people to people, country to country.
 

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