HD600 vs HD650, which one is a keeper for life?
Oct 18, 2021 at 5:01 AM Post #16 of 35

ubs28

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For me, it is the Sennheiser HD 650. I bought it for the reason that it is nearly impossible to make it sound bad.
 
Oct 18, 2021 at 6:00 AM Post #17 of 35

gadgetgod

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In my experience among the two, I will choose the HD650. I have had the pleasure to own the HD600 before, liked it a lot too. But the particular signature of HD650 is simply more pleasing to my ears.

My personal findings between these two:-
>HD650 has a better soundstage presentation among the two. Both in terms of width and depth, the 650 sounds better.
>Vocals have a warmer tonality with 650. With 600 for such a presentation, I need to give it a tube amp(I crave warm vocals).
>Bass has better punch with the 650.
>People might say they are veiled, but IMO they need the power to shine properly(not to disrespect anyone else's opinion). But 650 still has a more relaxed treble than the two.
>650 is easier to power among the two. 600 takes more juice.
 
Oct 18, 2021 at 8:03 AM Post #18 of 35

bagwell359

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Get ready for WW III. I think the 650 is too veiled, mid bass a bit too much. Low male voices too chesty. Always aware that I'm listening to a transducer.

HD-600 is far more pure. Bogus veiled mids and humped mid bass gone. On OTL tube amps its worst flaw (soundstage width and placement) are bettered by a good deal. The warm romantic glow the amp adds seems cohesive and of a piece with the 600. The 650 warmth feels added on and NON cohesive. The 650 on OTL amps is just too fat and hazy. Don't get me wrong, the 650 is better than 90% of whats out there at any price. But the 600 is about 96% of the way.

The 600 is a little aggressive in the mid highs. It also needs by far the least amount of EQ of any of my cans (even ones massaged with mods and better after market pieces).
 
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Oct 18, 2021 at 8:07 AM Post #19 of 35

bagwell359

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In my experience among the two, I will choose the HD650. I have had the pleasure to own the HD600 before, liked it a lot too. But the particular signature of HD650 is simply more pleasing to my ears.

My personal findings between these two:-
>HD650 has a better soundstage presentation among the two. Both in terms of width and depth, the 650 sounds better.
>Vocals have a warmer tonality with 650. With 600 for such a presentation, I need to give it a tube amp(I crave warm vocals).
>Bass has better punch with the 650.
>People might say they are veiled, but IMO they need the power to shine properly(not to disrespect anyone else's opinion). But 650 still has a more relaxed treble than the two.
>650 is easier to power among the two. 600 takes more juice.
650 has more bass? Mid bass is not bass in my book.

I have a Rag 1 running XLR into both a 600 and 650. 650 IS veiled with lots of power at hand compared to neutral or the 600.
 
Oct 18, 2021 at 8:45 AM Post #20 of 35

gadgetgod

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650 has more bass? Mid bass is not bass in my book.

I have a Rag 1 running XLR into both a 600 and 650. 650 IS veiled with lots of power at hand compared to neutral or the 600.
I agree 600 sounds more natural. It's just 650 is more as per my preferences. Yes, Mid-bass is what's better in both quantity/quality with the 650 that delivers better body and slam, sub-bass I would say has a better presence with the 600 though it isn't lacking by any means in 650 either.

Sennheiser veil is something that people said a lot about the 600 and 650, but tbh I never noticed it on my Cayin HA-1A mk2. But also do note that I am quite sensitive to treble or bright sounding sets, Another favorite of mine in this same budget is Hifiman Sundara but I couldn't listen to it for long hours.

I sincerely respect your opinion too, this is just my personal experience with the set.
 
Oct 18, 2021 at 9:08 AM Post #21 of 35

bagwell359

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I agree 600 sounds more natural. It's just 650 is more as per my preferences. Yes, Mid-bass is what's better in both quantity/quality with the 650 that delivers better body and slam, sub-bass I would say has a better presence with the 600 though it isn't lacking by any means in 650 either.

Sennheiser veil is something that people said a lot about the 600 and 650, but tbh I never noticed it on my Cayin HA-1A mk2. But also do note that I am quite sensitive to treble or bright sounding sets, Another favorite of mine in this same budget is Hifiman Sundara but I couldn't listen to it for long hours.

I sincerely respect your opinion too, this is just my personal experience with the set.
All cool. Not a fan of the Sundara treble either. I'm also sensitive to nasties in the treble. My Gumby (multi bit DAC) sounds like a high buck hybrid pre-amp. Using your basic cheap delta sigma chip would send me to the EQ to turn down some part of the treble for every can and speaker I own - so that could be our difference right there.

I can't listen to a lot of German cans on the bright side - but I also can't listen to the LCD-2 above about 1.5kHz - where is the treble? Nope, the can has to be in the ballpark on FR, or its at best a demo for some certain FR range - these days usually the bass. The 650 rises well above that sort of categorization.
 
Oct 18, 2021 at 9:10 AM Post #22 of 35

kman1211

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Tell me about it!😂 I think I have owned the first 50 pairs of Sennheiser 6 serie headphones and they all sound absolutely wonderful. I’d keep them all but tend to go slightly mad whenever I cross a certain amount of headphones. 8-10 cans usually triggers this and I look for something to sell off. I’m a huge music fan..not really a collector of headphones.

There are those who feel the two Sennies are quite complimentary..and then there are those who have seen some of the failed frequency response charts of both where they look like two drops of water.
There are obvious differences when the pads are new though, particularly in the bass. Personally I’ve always felt that the 600 sounds the most natural and true to life whereas the 650 is the warmer and more romantic of the two. Whenever I come across some of my old school prog albums from the 70s, it’s the 650 I reach for as it sounds easier on the ears on poorly recorded material.
I currently own the 580, 600, 650 and the 58X. I love em all but must admit to using way too much time with the daddyo to the 600, the HD580 Precision. I figure I’ll swing around to the others at some point…but yeah if this trend continues I may sell of a few down the line. My tastebuds decide in the end.
…which leads me to your particular luxury problem:)
I’d say keep em both for a while and see which one you end up reaching for the most. If it somehow ends up a tie? Keep em both!
If you feel the two are too alike to keep, then exchange one of them for the R70X instead, Maude Technical’s answer to the HD600/650..and thank me later:)
The R70X is like a cross between the 600 and 650 but with better bass quality and reach down low. It’s tuned similarly in the mids and treble and furthermore comes with 470 ohms worth of dampening factor, which makes it a great candidate for tube amps just like the classic Sennies.
Best of luck👍
My experience with the HD 600 and HD 650 is I like the HD 650 more initially, this fades and I found I favored the HD 600 with long-term ownership. Good suggestion on the R70X. While the R70X is a little different in some ways, I actually like them more than either the HD 600 or HD 650 as I prefer their upper-mid, treble, and bass presentation.
 
Oct 18, 2021 at 9:43 AM Post #24 of 35

bagwell359

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OK, I was being nice. 86.8%... Is it better than a Susvara or HEKse? Hell no. Better than almost all AKG, Grado, Senn's of lower numbers, and Beyer? Hell yes.

So, what's better? and then what's better at the price, or lower?
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 3:50 PM Post #26 of 35

Sefelt103

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If your main driver is a bright headphone (Beyerdynamic DT 880) and then you try an HD600/650 it will seem veiled initially which is one of many possibilities. There have been novels written about this veil. I'd say get both if you can. The HD600 for its analytical traits and the HD650 for one of the most beautiful, elegant sonics a headphone can give. I suspect some of the higher end models have tried to replicate the HD650's sound. But replicating headphone sonics will be very difficult to get accuracy. Some interesting thoughts on these headphones :
They come in at No.17 on Amplify's headphone ranking (against flagship models).
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/amplifys-headphone-ranking-micro-reviews.958512/
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 6:19 AM Post #27 of 35

Steven31

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If your main driver is a bright headphone (Beyerdynamic DT 880) and then you try an HD600/650 it will seem veiled initially which is one of many possibilities. There have been novels written about this veil. I'd say get both if you can. The HD600 for its analytical traits and the HD650 for one of the most beautiful, elegant sonics a headphone can give. I suspect some of the higher end models have tried to replicate the HD650's sound. But replicating headphone sonics will be very difficult to get accuracy. Some interesting thoughts on these headphones :
They come in at No.17 on Amplify's headphone ranking (against flagship models).
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/amplifys-headphone-ranking-micro-reviews.958512/
With respect to the guy who wrote that list, I would not consider buying any of the top 16 headphones on his list - even if I had all the money in the world. I'll admit I have not heard any of them, but most of those headphones belong to a special kind of category in the headphone world, a niche category that is aimed at a particular kind of person. If I was going to make a list like that, I would've included the latest Beyerdynamic T5P, the latest T1, the AKG K872 and the HD800. And the one I have - the Fostex TH500RP. Most of those headphones in that list are made by extremely small businesses (with the exception of Focal) who lack the technical know-how, experience and history of the likes of Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, AKG and Fostex (Foster electric). Like I said, even if I had all the money in the world, I would not even consider those headphones. Remember the days when the HD600/650 where amongst the most expensive headphones on the planet, along with closed back legends such as the Denon AH-D5000 and 7000. I remember ordering a AH-D5000 on Amazon in the year 2008 for £650...now what would that get me in 2021?!! it's a terrible state of affairs. For me, TOTL ends with the Sennheiser HD800, which at well over £1,000 is still too much for a headphone but is a far more sane purchase than a HFM Susvara. Even if £4,500 was disposable change to me, I still would not buy a headphone at that price.
 
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Oct 20, 2021 at 12:48 PM Post #29 of 35

BobG55

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Not able to decide which one to keep for life!! Initial impressions one has nice airy treble extensions while other has lush musical notes, what are your views on the same?

245874126_4748122458531664_42796814537357462_n.jpg
Easiest question to answer as an headphone audiophile : BOTH !
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 1:31 PM Post #30 of 35

hakunamakaka

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With respect to the guy who wrote that list, I would not consider buying any of the top 16 headphones on his list - even if I had all the money in the world. I'll admit I have not heard any of them, but most of those headphones belong to a special kind of category in the headphone world, a niche category that is aimed at a particular kind of person. If I was going to make a list like that, I would've included the latest Beyerdynamic T5P, the latest T1, the AKG K872 and the HD800. And the one I have - the Fostex TH500RP. Most of those headphones in that list are made by extremely small businesses (with the exception of Focal) who lack the technical know-how, experience and history of the likes of Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, AKG and Fostex (Foster electric). Like I said, even if I had all the money in the world, I would not even consider those headphones. Remember the days when the HD600/650 where amongst the most expensive headphones on the planet, along with closed back legends such as the Denon AH-D5000 and 7000. I remember ordering a AH-D5000 on Amazon in the year 2008 for £650...now what would that get me in 2021?!! it's a terrible state of affairs. For me, TOTL ends with the Sennheiser HD800, which at well over £1,000 is still too much for a headphone but is a far more sane purchase than a HFM Susvara. Even if £4,500 was disposable change to me, I still would not buy a headphone at that price.


For such a long time frames you can not disregard the power of inflation.Early in their release HD650 for 550$ was more than 1 months salary for me and the market was niche for high end headphone gear. There was way less capital involved, poorer products and much less competition. Today the growth of streaming services, appearance of well marketed products like DR. Dre Beats, changed the perception of people for such audio gear. Now it's suddenly reasonable to spend more money on headphones&iem's and thats a bigger $ cake for TOTL headphone producers, thus they can spend more for research, development and materials.

Tech advance is obvious all across the board and you can actually get a decent sounding stuff for way cheaper. True that there is plenty of overpriced, but it was the same back in the days too, just your availability to choose was way poorer. People simply tend to remember and hype the good stuff. I had a chance to audition and own some of the headphones listed in that review and they walked miles around HD650/HD600 in terms of performance. For the current price/performance ratio HD600/HD650 are very good headphones, but simply outclassed by modern headphone gear. If you put an inflation rate in place I don't think there would be many people raving and buying HD600/650 for 2000$ today
 
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