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HD6xx worth buying?

  1. jamsig2

    I really loved HD600, but I don't have it now. There's only HD598s. I was considering buying a new pair and saw the Massdrop deal.

    My main concerns are;
    1) Does boosted bass smear the mid like in hd598?

    2) I listen to female vocal songs. 600 was perfect for me. But some say vocals in 650 sound too distant. Is it true??
    650/6xx users, could you tell me how is the vocal in these songs - 'Agnes Obel - the Curse'(Classical), 'Lisa Hannigan - Prayer for the Dying'(Folk), 'Lorde - Perfect Places'(Pop).

    3) treble in 650 fr graph looks similiar to 598. Is it really this bad like 598? 600 had all the details

    The drop will end soon, so I wanted to get help as much as I can. These can be the deal breaker for me..
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Do you have a decent headphone amplifier to drive the 300-Ohm HD6XX?
  3. jamsig2
    I have LG V30.
  4. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Simply put, this is the best value for your $ headphone around! 10 years ago, this was the Sennheiser flagship (and a worthy one IMHO as well). It scales with improved gear and is very transparent to the recording. I can't give enough praise for these headphones; especially at $200!
  5. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    I have teh HD600 and try it with the HD650 at meets. If both are using new pads and the metal parts bent out for a more relaxed clamp (and both on a good amplifier like my Meier Cantate.2) there are no obvious differences save for low bass hits and some tracks that have the mid-highs getting a bit too sharp on the HD600.

    When I used both on my old 9v CMOY both headphones had loose bass smearing the detail. Note that this isn't a problem across the board on all portable amps, just that CMOY. My Ibasso D-Zero handled both better.

    I actually EQ my HD600 to flatten the 3500hz peak and bring up 40hz and lower closer to where 1000hz is. So practically it's like reducing everything below 1250hz on the HD650. I also have the Brainwavz HM5 angled earpads to move the cymbals back and closer to the center a little so they're farther from my ears.

    I don't feel the HD650 to be all that distant but the HD600 has a tendency to be too forward and grating with the cymbals and some female vocals (compared to the competing AKGs which have a slightly tinnier tone but aren't as grating, the HD600 at least has more full bodied vocals; this is not all that obvious all the time though - you'd have to crank them up a bit) thanks to that 3500hz peak.

    Wireless internet signal cuts in and out where I am so I can't listen to your tracks, but I got these URLs of the tracks I'm more familiar with. Without EQ tracks like the ones below (regardless of whether they are CDs, Spotify, or YouTube) have a tendency to be a little grating.

    In this one it's the part where the main vocals (the one standing center) does the main hook going up the octaves. In other tracks it;s the one in the black suit that does vocalizations that go up the octaves, but despite the higher pitch/range of her voice, it doesn't get as grating since these are mixed into the background at the last repeat of the chorus. In one live performance that I can't find right now there was a difference vs the recording not because of fatigue and non-lipsyncing, but because that chorus repeat doesn't have her voice in it (unlike the recording where everyone does the chorus then her vocalization is recorded separately then mixed in the background). In trackswhere they have a chorus that 3500hz peak has a tendency to have the overall balance of the chorus sound too much like two of them are singing slightly louder (the second from left and black suit) despite the lack of very clear imaging cues (though you can hear a difference between left or right, likely either of them is very slightly biased to either side with only the main vocals totally dead center).

    There's a copy of this one where there is a pronounced clipping, which gets with time alignment sibilance in a car. This is a lot less of a problem with headphones but between the HD600 and HD650 the latter handles it better, but my guess is it has more to do with the HD600's 3500hz making it worse than the marginally higher sensitivity of the HD650 avoiding clipping.

    In these tracks the HD600 initially sounds clearer but crank it up and the vocals again tend to be little bit more grating. HD650 cranked up seems like it has a hair too much bass, but given my EQ on the HD600 to bring up everything below 50hz, it's more of actually hearing the bass guitar and the reverb on the bass drum. That of course assumes the amp isn't distorting.

    I'd much rather get the HD6XX and use a low shelf EQ to shave a little bit off everything below 150hz (or even a graphic EQ and move all bands in that range down a little) so the bass doesn't obscure the detail than have potentially grating upper midrange on the HD600.

    That said, why not jsut get the HD58X for $150? That's the HD580J which is what they later gave a marble paint job and sold as the HD600. You save $50 that you can spend on spare earpads.

    If you don't crank it up this is not that bad. Also not cranking it up even for just a few tracks doesn't get you to the point where the HD600's 3500hz bump will really be out there even without amp distortion.
  6. serman005
    I own the HD598, HD600, and HD650. I listened to the tracks you listed with all three. If I were to compare the presentation of each, I would say that the 598 had the most up-tilted presentation, contrary to popular teaching. This was most notable on the strings on the Agnes Obel piece, the vocals on Hannigan and also on Lorde. Of the HD600 and HD650, to me the HD600 actually sounds most 'similar' to the HD598 overall, not the 650--especially on certain aspects of vocals, snares, and crash cymbals. The 600 is significantly more detailed than the 598, though. I personally prefer the HD650 of the three but the differences between the HD600 and the HD650 are so minimal as to really be mostly a matter of personal preference and frequency response differences, IMO. If you can get one for $200, though, I would certainly do it, personally. That is quite a value.
  7. jguest
    So what was the consensus on these with a LG V30?
  8. Monsterzero
    Excellent,assuming the V20 is the same as the V30. I just tried it for you and it sounds excellent.
  9. jguest
    Awesome thanks! I'm thinking about jumping on it.
  10. Rhamnetin
    I think the HD 600/6XX/650 all sound like crap unless paired with a nice class A tube amp. My HD 6XX sounds lifeless, not musical, dull and weak out of my Schiit Lyr 3 with a very nice NOS 6SN7 tube in it, and the same when used with my Garage1217 Project Ember II. They sound lifeless out of the HeadAmp GS-X Mk2 even. They might impress those who haven't extensively used other high end audio equipment, but to me they are only bearable with a nice class A SET or balanced tube amp (in which case they excel for chamber music but nothing else really).

    And I'm not one who prefers overly lush, laid back, stereotypical tubey sound or anything. It just sounds like that's what those headphones are made for. The best headphone system I ever owned had no tubes in it.
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  11. Monsterzero
    I do own a La Figaro 339,which is how I listen to my HD6xx,but the LG V20 does an excellent job of driving it. No,it doesnt sound as spectacular as thru a tube amp,but its still sounds very good.
  12. Pings
    No, it doesn't smear like my HD598, and female vocal is amazing on the whole 600 series.

    I would say the 2nd or even the 3rd best deal in all of headphones. I think the HE4XX is a better deal for the price and the HD58X is a solid 2nd place for the best deal around.

    True, I didn't like my HD6XX until I got a Class A DAC. Although it's not a tube amp, my CMA400i is amazing and the HD6XX (BAL) scales really well with it. Honestly, I thought the HD6XX sounded like crap until I ran them with something good. Even on my V20 to be completely honest.
  13. Mhog55
    I went round and round between the hd6xx and the he4xx. My source is also a V30. I listen to primarily rock from the 70s and 80s. What I wound up with is the he400s. Through gobs of research, the hd6xx sounded as though it may be too laid back for my tastes. The V30 won't push the he4xx to desirable listening levels. Imo, the he400s sounds pretty darn good with rock. That being said, I still want to listen to the hd6xx with my phone. Did you join the drop? I'd really like to hear your impressions if so. I may still purchase a used pair in the near future.
  14. buke9
    You should purchase a pair of 6xx’s they are great headphones. Totally different from the 400S and that is a good thing. Get a good amp for them though.
  15. anderman
    Loving my HD6XX. Been driving them with one of: AudioQuest DFR, or a Valhalla 2, or Jot MB.

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