HD600 or 650 with iPod and unamped sources?
Mar 10, 2006 at 2:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

evilZardoz

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I'm sorry if I just offended you, made you choke on your lunch or anything bad like that.

I spent a few hours with some cans the other week - namely the HD600, HD590 (which I never liked), K501, AKG 301 (or 501? I can't remember, but it lacked bass presence but treble was to die for). Oh, and the Stax for comparison (the salesperson wanted me to try the Stax even though he knew I wasn't in the market for them, just for comparisons sake).

I fell for the HD600. I haven't heard the HD650 yet and I haven't found anyone who has them in stock locally for me to audition.

I listened using a Musical Fidelity X-can III and a very average Cambridge Audio DVD/SACD player. Going between this and my iPod Photo with a mix of Apple Lossles and MP3 content, the HD600 stood out - in fact, I feel that the HD590 struggled more without amplification than the 600s did. These forums seem to suggest that the HD650s have greater detail and soundstage which sounds like something I'd like.. if my amping situation will fit.

Now, the idea is to run these un-amped off the iPod. Please don't laugh at me - I don't want pockets full of headphone amps. Other sources will be an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro, Audigy 2 ZS Notebook (for DVD-Audio on the go) and will probably invest in the X-can III sometime in the future for at-home listening with 2ch SACD and DVD-Audio content - and for the PC.

But I want these to sound good with my iPod, too - and want to know whether the HD650s are going to be any good in that regard. I've listened to the HD600s and am convinced that they're decent enough to listen to on the iPod compared to the others I have auditioned. I haven't been able to successfully locate anyone who'll let me audition the DT800s locally in Melbourne.

Also, are there any good quality cable options available for 3.5mm jacks?
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 2:21 PM Post #2 of 28

Purgatos

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I reccomend trying to find somewhere to audition the 595s. They're supposed to be much better unamped than the 600s, though they don't have the same sound. If you're definitely going unamped however, I think you might find them to be a better call.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 2:38 PM Post #4 of 28

evilZardoz

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I can't say I've listened to any Grados in the same league as the HD600 and 650s.

I seem to recall listening to some 595s a few years back on my MD unit and found the treble to be a bit scratchy and harsh for my liking but I suppose I might need another listen.

I suppose I listened to the HD600s and was sold on the idea of having them until I decided to read these forums - I should stop worrying and love the bomb shouldn't I?
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:02 PM Post #5 of 28

Purgatos

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Quote:

Originally Posted by evilZardoz
I can't say I've listened to any Grados in the same league as the HD600 and 650s.

I seem to recall listening to some 595s a few years back on my MD unit and found the treble to be a bit scratchy and harsh for my liking but I suppose I might need another listen.



Well, if you still think that the 595 has harsh treble, then there's no chance you'd like any Grados. Might as well give the 595s another shot though. I, for one, didn't care for the 600s unamped and didn't think they sounded like $200 cans at all.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:12 PM Post #6 of 28

Mercuttio

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If you're not going to buy an amp ever, I don't see a point in blowing $350 on an HD650. I would certainly argue that it doesn't sound BAD out of just an iPod... it still has many of the pleasant characteristics that I love very much. When reading in bed, I sometimes (when I don't feel like hooking up the SR-71 that is in my walking bag) I'll listen to it unamped occasionally. It's just not a good value if you're not going to ever hear its potential... you can get more for less unamped.

The other thing is, it's a big headphone. Really big. And fairly loud. I wear my MS2i outside a lot now that the weather is warming up, and they don't leak nearly as much sound as an HD650 does. Essentially, you've got little speakers on the sides of your head, and no isolation.

It's just no good to fall in love with a specific headphone and then not be willing to give it the chance to sing. It's like all the people who came in here last month wanting to know if the DT880 would be good unamped... I'm sure some of them disregarded the advice anyway.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:18 PM Post #7 of 28

SennFan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by evilZardoz
I'm sorry if I just offended you, made you choke on your lunch or anything bad like that.

I spent a few hours with some cans the other week - namely the HD600, HD590 (which I never liked), K501, AKG 301 (or 501? I can't remember, but it lacked bass presence but treble was to die for). Oh, and the Stax for comparison (the salesperson wanted me to try the Stax even though he knew I wasn't in the market for them, just for comparisons sake).

I fell for the HD600. I haven't heard the HD650 yet and I haven't found anyone who has them in stock locally for me to audition.

I listened using a Musical Fidelity X-can III and a very average Cambridge Audio DVD/SACD player. Going between this and my iPod Photo with a mix of Apple Lossles and MP3 content, the HD600 stood out - in fact, I feel that the HD590 struggled more without amplification than the 600s did. These forums seem to suggest that the HD650s have greater detail and soundstage which sounds like something I'd like.. if my amping situation will fit.

Now, the idea is to run these un-amped off the iPod. Please don't laugh at me - I don't want pockets full of headphone amps. Other sources will be an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro, Audigy 2 ZS Notebook (for DVD-Audio on the go) and will probably invest in the X-can III sometime in the future for at-home listening with 2ch SACD and DVD-Audio content - and for the PC.

But I want these to sound good with my iPod, too - and want to know whether the HD650s are going to be any good in that regard. I've listened to the HD600s and am convinced that they're decent enough to listen to on the iPod compared to the others I have auditioned. I haven't been able to successfully locate anyone who'll let me audition the DT800s locally in Melbourne.

Also, are there any good quality cable options available for 3.5mm jacks?





Sorry, I just suffered a minor stroke
icon10.gif


I do not recommend using the 6xx's with an Ipod (anamped). This would be a waste of your time/money. Seeing that they are 300 Ohms, you will want to look for something much, much lower, like an AKG or Grado that aren't as power hungry. The Ipod's internal amplifier can't drive high impedence phones effectively.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:25 PM Post #8 of 28

angler31337

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It sort of depends on your source you're using as to whether the 600's will sound good unamped or not. I need to set the volume pretty darn high, but my iAudio U3 drives my 600's admirably. I've not tried my 600's with an iPod, so I can't comment as to how that will sound.

If you're planning on investing in an amp down the road, then either the 600's or 650's are open to you. The 650's are probably the better 'phones, but I kind of prefer the relatively better (imho) neutrality of the 600's (no, not just because I own them).

If you think that maybe you won't end up with an amp, then I second the Grado route. Also, if you want to hold off on any major purchases until you have said amp and can better audition cans with it, then I'd recommend the Senn. PX100 for now -- those are nice.

With regard to cable upgrades, you probably won't notice a difference until you've already upgraded your amp and source. If you do feel like heading down the path to cable rolling madness, I personally recommend Cardas as well as Blue Dragon cables.

-Angler
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Mar 10, 2006 at 3:31 PM Post #9 of 28

evilZardoz

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Might see if I can seek out a place to audition the DT880s then, but I still liked the sound that the 600s had.

I didn't say I'd never amp these - I just don't see how it'd be practical to haul an amp around with me along with my iPod. My main question was which would sound better unamped? If I was listening to them amped only, I'd probably settle on the HD650s. I know there's a difference as I did compare several sets of cans amped and unamped.

As for the HD600s on the iPod - I have yet to find a can that sounds as good on the iPod as the 600s but I haven't heard the 650s yet. I didn't have any trouble driving the HD600s from the iPod either - it certianly required a bit more juice than the Sony E-888s or PX-200s I have but it had plenty of power.

I do intend on getting a good amp in the future for home listening but this obviously isn't going to be practical from a portability perspective.

Edit: angler - I missed your reply as I was replying! I have listened to the PX-100s and think they're a great pair of cans for portability. The reason I asked about cable was that there is a pair of HD600s going cheapish at the moment secondhand and they come with the Cardas 10ft cable (and the original cable which I'll need for 3.5mm).
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:47 PM Post #10 of 28

Mercuttio

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Just FYI, the DT880 is actually harder to drive than the HD650.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:56 PM Post #11 of 28

mjb

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While I agree with most everyone that the hd600/650 would not be the best choice without an amp, if you have your heart set on one, I'd have to say I found the 650 sounded better than the 600 from the headphone out on portable sources. What I mean by this is that, while both were definitely anemic and it was obvious they needed more power, the 650 tended to show more range than the 600, albeit "veiled" range.

mjb
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:58 PM Post #13 of 28

Mercuttio

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jagorev
The HD 595 is very, very close to the HD 600 in its frequency response graph. It sounds quite similar, but is much easier to drive. Go for the 595, not the 600.


Really? I didn't think the 595 sounded like the 650 or 600...
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 4:03 PM Post #14 of 28

jagorev

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mercuttio
Really? I didn't think the 595 sounded like the 650 or 600...


Well, it's not the same, but it's still a similar kind of presentation. Somehwat laid back, deep bass, slightly recessed treble (though the recess is at a different point). Soundstage is different.

Here's the measurement curve:

graphcompare6bd.png


They are obviously much more closely related than either one is to the DT880 or a Grado, for example.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 4:36 PM Post #15 of 28

milkpowder

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SennFan
The Ipod's internal amplifier can't drive high impedence phones effectively.



I think that the key word there is "effectively". The iPod (most 4Gs and 5G) can no doubt produce enough current to power the phones. There is just something about amplifiers that makes them worthwhile. I can't really explain scientifically, but it is definitely an audible difference. I too would not recommend the ampless ipod+HD6x0 combo, although I have a friend who uses his HD650/Zu with Nano on a regular basis. He doesn't use or have an amplifier at all! If you can afford it, then I don't see why not. An unamped HD650 still sounds better than my amped HD555.
 

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