HD650 vs. K701
Jan 2, 2009 at 3:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

TeePee

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I have been reading the board for a while and just registered. Thanks to all of the very knowledgable folks who share their thoughts. Your insights are greatly appreciated.

I have a few years old pair of Senn HD650s and picked up the AKG k701s recently. I burned in the 701s for about 100 hours before listening (I know they supposedly need more time), but I thought I would add a few impressions. I performed with several amatuer vocal groups for about 15 years, and I used several recordings from those experiences to form some initial impressions of the 701s. I use a newer Marantz DVD player as a transport running through coax to my Benchmark Dac1.

First, the HD650s are wonderful cans and I always enjoys them with all varieties of music. I have not recabled them or gone balanced, but I may in the future. On vocal recordings I know quite well, the HD650s always provide an excellent presentation and are eminently listenable.

That said, even with only 100 hours, the K701s bring me closer to the original event with these same vocal recordings. I think Wes Phillips' review of the 701s in Stereophile is about spot on. The K701s just add a little bit more sparkle to the top end which yields a more true-to-life presentation. They also seem to untangle complex choral passages in a way that is slightly beyond the ken of HD650s.

After forming this initial impression with known vocal music, I switched to some jazz. Using several Oscar Peterson recordings, I again preferred the 701s. With the jazz, however, I did prefer the bass presentation (added warmth) of the HD650s, but missed the sparkle of the 701s on the top end when I listened through the HD650s.

Next I tried a Chesky disk of some Wagner orchestral music. Again I preferred the 701s. The violins just sounded more true to life, as did the brass - never hard, but true.

Finally, I tossed in Lenny Kravitz. Here I clearly preferred the bass of the HD650s, but for the rest of the musical spectrum it was a tough call. I enjoyed the presentation of both sets of cans.

It's been interesting so far to compare these excellent phones. I'm sure my impressions will evolve as the 701s get more time. I like both sets of cans, and I will keep and use both. To me, however, the 701s offer something on simply recorded acoustic music that the HD650s cannot match.

Happy Listening
 
Jan 2, 2009 at 3:28 PM Post #2 of 13

vvanrij

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Hmm this has been a long time, I wonder which one wins this time
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! Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet!
 
Jan 2, 2009 at 6:30 PM Post #3 of 13

RickEC

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vvanrij /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hmm this has been a long time, I wonder which one wins this time
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! Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet!



I paid for both. So I guess both of them win. I lose some cash, that's it.
 
Jan 2, 2009 at 7:16 PM Post #4 of 13

AgainstTheGrain

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this topic has been posted so many times before. i went with sennheiser. more bass.
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Jan 2, 2009 at 7:30 PM Post #5 of 13

ZenErik

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My HD650s would have arrived today, had I been home... Ugh. I thought about doing the no signature required thing, but leaving expensive headphones sitting in the cold for a few hours along with potential theft isn't appealing either...
 
Jan 2, 2009 at 7:56 PM Post #6 of 13

vvanrij

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I hate that, when they come to deliver something you really want and your not at home at that time
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Jan 2, 2009 at 8:05 PM Post #7 of 13

AgainstTheGrain

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vvanrij /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I hate that, when they come to deliver something you really want and your not at home at that time
frown.gif



thats why i have all my items shipped to my job. somebody is always there
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Jan 2, 2009 at 8:08 PM Post #8 of 13

slypher

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Thanks for the review. I also own the 701's and the 650's and find I like them for different aplications as well.
 
Jan 2, 2009 at 8:54 PM Post #9 of 13

SBD

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Great impressions and great first post! I wanted to try the hd650s but always thought I'd be losing soundstage and sparkle. But sometimes the k70x sounds abnormally thin and a little bass never hurt anyone.

Anyways, I strongly recommend you change the title of the thread. This is a common title for blind "which is better? tell me please?" threads. Look at "similar threads" down at the bottom and you'll see what I mean.
 
Jan 2, 2009 at 11:00 PM Post #11 of 13

compuryan

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ya this discussion has been had a thousand times. I personally prefer the HD650. I used to own both cans and enjoyed them, but finally sold the K701.
 
Jan 3, 2009 at 1:59 AM Post #12 of 13

EtherealApril

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Although they're both fairly laid back cans, I think that the 701 and 650 compliment each other well because their outputs are tipped to opposite ends of the spectrum. I agree with the OP that music sounds more realistic through the 701 and that is why they're my choice for live music. I think that music often sounds more "pleasant" through the 650 though, making them my choice for about 80% of my music.
 

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