I need EQ with my Senn HD6xx/650, what can I do?
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My so called "audiophile" Senn HD6xx/650 cans are far from it. They require some EQ to add just enough bass to appropriate level. I like articulate, musical, just enough bass, not overwhelming amounts or anything like that, but the HD650 has no bass extension and is somewhat lacking of the appropriate amount of lows. There is no depth. (Mids and highs are nice). My Status Audio CB1s at a fraction of the price blow the Senn HD6xx away.
I'd like to see if I can get these HD6xx to perform correctly.
So far I have plugged them into a JDS O2, Schiit Magni and direct to a Marantz CD5004 and just can't get the low end to kick in. I'm thinking these cans may require EQ.
I don't listen to my computer, so software EQ is out.
I would like to find an amp with some EQ built in (that is not the Bravo thing). If that type of thing is not available, perhaps you can tell me how I can add a separate EQ unit to one of the amps I listed or the CD player at least.
What are your recommendations please.

Thank you
 
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My so called "audiophile" Senn HD6xx/650 cans are far from it...There is no depth. (Mids and highs are nice).
Apart from classical music with very large orchestras, audiophiles are more likely to listen to music that doesn't have a lot of low frequencies apart from enough of a hard hit from the bass drum on some jazz tracks, and obviously if they're listening to vocal tracks, well, having clear and sweet midrange and non-fatiguing highs are what they'd be looking for.

That said, I EQ my HD600 to follow the HD650 curve above 1000hz. I don't boost the 40hz to 120hz region to match the HD650 though, just a boost to everything below 50hz because that's where it trails off.


My so called "audiophile" Senn HD6xx/650 cans are far from it. They require some EQ to add just enough bass to appropriate level. I like articulate, musical, just enough bass, not overwhelming amounts or anything like that, but the HD650 has no bass extension and is somewhat lacking of the appropriate amount of lows. There is no depth. (Mids and highs are nice).
If you have Neutron Music Player:

Band 1
Center Freq: 35hz
EQ type: Low Shelf
Q Factor: 1.0
Gain: 3dB

On any other EQ: Just boost anywhere well below 50hz. If you boost at 50hz you'd be boosting where the response is still strong and you get even more auditory masking even if the Q-factor is relatively wide.


My Status Audio CB1s at a fraction of the price blow the Senn HD6xx away.

It's actually difficult to design a driver that has a very wide yet very smooth response curve that also needs to be easier to drive, requiring no amp or at least not a monster of an amp, while staying relatively affordable as to be profitable. Which is why Sennheiser can do better on the rest of the range but can't make sure that the response doesn't trail off below 50hz.

If you want something that really reaches deep into the bass and has a flat curve from 10hz to 1000hz, there's the HE400i. Just note that, like what I noted above, the trade off with that is comparatively jagged response above 1000hz and markedly lower sensitivity.

On top of all that, your CB1 are closed back, and if it also has waaaaaay bosted bass to compensate for how headphones need overboosted bass to some people because even if they measure similarly to a speaker will always feel like they have less bass since the bass isn't radiating all over a room. Perception therefore is that it's weaker because you don't feel the bass bouncing off the walls (ie it won't sound deeper), kicking you in the chest, crawling through your skin, etc.

Basically you're dealing with the main problem of it being a headphone and then the open back allows for ambient noise to get in the way even more. Even a spposedly "quiet" room can still have a total noise floor of around 40dB, you just don't have any distinct sound source that sticks out.


So far I have plugged them into a JDS O2, Schiit Magni and direct to a Marantz CD5004 and just can't get the low end to kick in. I'm thinking these cans may require EQ.
I don't listen to my computer, so software EQ is out.
I would like to find an amp with some EQ built in (that is not the Bravo thing). If that type of thing is not available, perhaps you can tell me how I can add a separate EQ unit to one of the amps I listed or the CD player at least.
What are your recommendations please.
Use a computer or smartphone and run software EQ because hardware EQ might not have the right settings. You can end up boosting the frequencies that are already loud, which means you'll either not get past auditory masking or get wobbly bass.

If you don't want to change the source you might be better off using a different headphone. if you want to maintain the midrange of the HD650 but get deeper lows, there's the LCD-2C.
 
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My so called "audiophile" Senn HD6xx/650 cans are far from it. They require some EQ to add just enough bass to appropriate level. I like articulate, musical, just enough bass, not overwhelming amounts or anything like that, but the HD650 has no bass extension and is somewhat lacking of the appropriate amount of lows. There is no depth. (Mids and highs are nice). My Status Audio CB1s at a fraction of the price blow the Senn HD6xx away.
I'd like to see if I can get these HD6xx to perform correctly.
So far I have plugged them into a JDS O2, Schiit Magni and direct to a Marantz CD5004 and just can't get the low end to kick in. I'm thinking these cans may require EQ.
I don't listen to my computer, so software EQ is out.
I would like to find an amp with some EQ built in (that is not the Bravo thing). If that type of thing is not available, perhaps you can tell me how I can add a separate EQ unit to one of the amps I listed or the CD player at least.
What are your recommendations please.

Thank you
These should give you a pretty clea picture of the differences between the headphones.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/StatusSMCB1.pdf

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MassdropHD6XX.pdf

As for hardware eqs you could try
http://www.schiit.com/products/loki

Or maybe a cheap dual 15 to 31 band eq from guitar center

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Equalizers.gc?Ns=pLH

New ones will run you about $100 like the monoprice dual 31 band graphic equalizer.
 
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Apart from classical music with very large orchestras, audiophiles are more likely to listen to music that doesn't have a lot of low frequencies apart from enough of a hard hit from the bass drum on some jazz tracks, and obviously if they're listening to vocal tracks, well, having clear and sweet midrange and non-fatiguing highs are what they'd be looking for.

That said, I EQ my HD600 to follow the HD650 curve above 1000hz. I don't boost the 40hz to 120hz region to match the HD650 though, just a boost to everything below 50hz because that's where it trails off.




If you have Neutron Music Player:

Band 1
Center Freq: 35hz
EQ type: Low Shelf
Q Factor: 1.0
Gain: 3dB

On any other EQ: Just boost anywhere well below 50hz. If you boost at 50hz you'd be boosting where the response is still strong and you get even more auditory masking even if the Q-factor is relatively wide.





It's actually difficult to design a driver that has a very wide yet very smooth response curve that also needs to be easier to drive, requiring no amp or at least not a monster of an amp, while staying relatively affordable as to be profitable. Which is why Sennheiser can do better on the rest of the range but can't make sure that the response doesn't trail off below 50hz.

If you want something that really reaches deep into the bass and has a flat curve from 10hz to 1000hz, there's the HE400i. Just note that, like what I noted above, the trade off with that is comparatively jagged response above 1000hz and markedly lower sensitivity.

On top of all that, your CB1 are closed back, and if it also has waaaaaay bosted bass to compensate for how headphones need overboosted bass to some people because even if they measure similarly to a speaker will always feel like they have less bass since the bass isn't radiating all over a room. Perception therefore is that it's weaker because you don't feel the bass bouncing off the walls (ie it won't sound deeper), kicking you in the chest, crawling through your skin, etc.

Basically you're dealing with the main problem of it being a headphone and then the open back allows for ambient noise to get in the way even more. Even a spposedly "quiet" room can still have a total noise floor of around 40dB, you just don't have any distinct sound source that sticks out.




Use a computer or smartphone and run software EQ because hardware EQ might not have the right settings. You can end up boosting the frequencies that are already loud, which means you'll either not get past auditory masking or get wobbly bass.

If you don't want to change the source you might be better off using a different headphone. if you want to maintain the midrange of the HD650 but get deeper lows, there's the LCD-2C.
Well, I’m not an audiophile, I’m a music lover. Audiophiles actually do not generally listen to music at all, they listen to gear. I listen to almost everything, classical (lots lately), prog rock, classic rock, folk, jazz, you name it, except rap, hip-hop and today’s pop and what they call country, which sounds like pop to me.
Yes, I would boost only below 50hz and only in the amount needed. EQs need to be used with care and a delicate touch in my opinion. The slightest trim or boost in the wrong spot will introduce other anomalies and issues and end up stuck in a loop.
Software is not an answer for me because I do not listen to my computer or tablet and I do not have a phone or other portable device. I strictly use a full scale HiFi system.
I can’t stand using my computer for playing music and I absolutely hate smartphones and won’t own one even if my life depended on it.
Purchasing yet another set of cans is not the answer either, it is just more overhype-promise and under delivery. I think the answer is one of two:
1) Give the HD650 a bit more time
2) Failing that, throw them out and stick with my CB1s.
What it funny is that it seems the higher the price of headphones, the worse the performance.
I wish my HD518s did not have so much bass response (it is way too much). Too bad they could not take a little of the bass from those and put it in the 650s, that would make a fantastic headphone. Yes, designing just such a thing may be a challenge, but Status Audio seem to have hit that sweet spot and for much less. Combine the masteries of Sennheiser and Status Audio and you would have one killer headphone! Likely easier said than done.
 
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These should give you a pretty clea picture of the differences between the headphones.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/StatusSMCB1.pdf

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MassdropHD6XX.pdf

As for hardware eqs you could try
http://www.schiit.com/products/loki

Or maybe a cheap dual 15 to 31 band eq from guitar center

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Equalizers.gc?Ns=pLH

New ones will run you about $100 like the monoprice dual 31 band graphic equalizer.
Yes, I thought about the Loki, but it is not precise enough to avoid boosting already boosted frequencies and such.
A 15 to 31 band EQ would be better.
It has been a while, would I hook that up between source and amp or amp and headphone?
 
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I'm not sure why "buy a set of headphones that betters suits your preferences" is right out, but "buy an amp with eq controls" is in, but okay. ; )

If you peruse the Loki thread, some folks have discussed it in comparison to other EQ models, some of which have more granular controls. Might be worth a look.

An option that doesn't get talked about a lot is the garage1217 Project Kameleon. http://www.garage1217.com/garage1217_diy_tube_headphone_amplifiers_019.htm

I dunno if it would help OP or not, but it's an interesting approach to "fixing" headphones via EQ.
 
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Yes, I thought about the Loki, but it is not precise enough to avoid boosting already boosted frequencies and such.
A 15 to 31 band EQ would be better.
It has been a while, would I hook that up between source and amp or amp and headphone?
Between the marantz cdp and amp, you may need rca to xlr or 1/4 cables depending on what eq you get, the monoprice premier are good affordable starting points.

prog rock
How bout some prog metal? Spastic Ink, Blotted Science, Dark Millennium, Atheist, Death.
 
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I'm not sure why "buy a set of headphones that betters suits your preferences" is right out, but "buy an amp with eq controls" is in, but okay. ; )

If you peruse the Loki thread, some folks have discussed it in comparison to other EQ models, some of which have more granular controls. Might be worth a look.

An option that doesn't get talked about a lot is the garage1217 Project Kameleon. http://www.garage1217.com/garage1217_diy_tube_headphone_amplifiers_019.htm

I dunno if it would help OP or not, but it's an interesting approach to "fixing" headphones via EQ.
There is no way to know what headphones will suit needs thanks to the internet. Buying a headphone for each genre with the number I listen to could run into 6 figures and is a silly idea to start.
I'm sure that DIY amp is probably a good one, but not a fan of tubes, sorry. I'm not handy at building amps either anyway.
I'll take a look at the Loki thread.
I'm just trying to get the HD650 to work. If I can't without spending a fortune or over a time, I will just get rid of them. I just that they would be a step up from mu 518s and they are several steps up regarding mids and highs, but sadly lack depth which is a rather important aspect with listening to music, especially classical unless you want your eardrums pierced, then its ok.
 
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Between the marantz cdp and amp, you may need rca to xlr or 1/4 cables depending on what eq you get, the monoprice premier are good affordable starting points.



How bout some prog metal? Spastic Ink, Blotted Science, Dark Millennium, Atheist, Death.
Thank you - between source and amp, that's what I thought, just couldn't recall.
Prog metal?.....no thanks, just not my taste. I'm more of a prog rock jazz and classical guy such as Yes, Rush, Renaissance, Its A Beautiful Day, etc.
 
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I'm sure that DIY amp is probably a good one, but not a fan of tubes, sorry. I'm not handy at building amps either anyway.
The Kameleon isn't an amp or tube-based. It's a swappable hardware EQ preset to correct diferent headphones, including the HD650. It's also available fully assembled. But I dunno whether the correction they're applying is specifically what you want to do or not.
 
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I'm not sure why "buy a set of headphones that betters suits your preferences" is right out, but "buy an amp with eq controls" is in, but okay.
if you want to maintain the midrange of the HD650 but get deeper lows, there's the LCD-2C.
If you want something that really reaches deep into the bass and has a flat curve from 10hz to 1000hz, there's the HE400i.
I do agree with this. You could sell the hd650 and get something of an equal price that doesnt roll off the sub bass instead of adding the eq(the cb1s roll off sub bass as well but have boosted bass, they also have much higher distortion than the hd650s). The innerfidelity measurements are very accurate and give a good idea of a headphones sound signature. Like they suggested if you like the mids and highs of the hd650 there are headphones out there at that p$200 price point that have the bass extension youre looking for.

What it funny is that it seems the higher the price of headphones, the worse the performance.
Its just not true from an objective standpoint. I mean... that marantz cdp isnt cheap lol The cb1s have good performance for the price range but higher priced(even in the $150-250 range) headphones easily beat them in terms of bass extension, linearity, transitions, and imaging. You like the cb1s alot, that's a subjective opinion. When I was looking for closed headphones I tried them and they didnt come close to the performance I was looking for.

You may want to try Audio Technica MSR7s, Monoprice M565(also has a C closed variant), a used Audeze EL-8, adorama sometimes sells Hifiman HE-560s for $300, Stax are a bit of an investment but I just found a like new 2170set for $300(does need eq tho, with its boosted mids and very boosted treble), a used pair of mrspeakers mad dogs, theres lots of options really xD

That being said theres nothing wrong with trying a $30 used equalizer.

I would maybe try eqing the treble down(that 3.5khz peak by a few dbs) before boosting the sub bass though as the hd650 has distortion in the sub bass.
 
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I'm sure that DIY amp is probably a good one, but not a fan of tubes, sorry. I'm not handy at building amps either anyway.
The Kameleon isn't an amp or tube-based. It's a swappable hardware EQ preset to correct diferent headphones, including the HD650. It's also available fully assembled. But I dunno whether the correction they're applying is specifically what you want to do or not.
Garage1217 has a solid state amp and its not DIY its prebuilt, check it out xD

http://www.garage1217.com/garage1217_diy_tube_headphone_amplifiers_015.htm
http://www.garage1217.com/garage1217_diy_tube_headphone_amplifiers_006.htm

The kameleon: http://www.garage1217.com/garage1217_diy_tube_headphone_amplifiers_019.htm

Too bad those measurements are unreadable to me. Even at full screen, I can't see the graphs.
What are you using to view the pdfs? There should be + and - zoom in out buttons
 
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The Kameleon isn't an amp or tube-based. It's a swappable hardware EQ preset to correct diferent headphones, including the HD650. It's also available fully assembled. But I dunno whether the correction they're applying is specifically what you want to do or not.
Ah, my mistake, yes I took a look. The way it is worded I thought it was an amp kit. Anyway, it doesn't seem the correct answer because it is not adjustable, it is custom order and fixed. Also rather expensive.
 
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I do agree with this. You could sell the hd650 and get something of an equal price that doesnt roll off the sub bass instead of adding the eq(the cb1s roll off sub bass as well but have boosted bass, they also have much higher distortion than the hd650s). The innerfidelity measurements are very accurate and give a good idea of a headphones sound signature. Like they suggested if you like the mids and highs of the hd650 there are headphones out there at that p$200 price point that have the bass extension youre looking for.



Its just not true from an objective standpoint. I mean... that marantz cdp isnt cheap lol The cb1s have good performance for the price range but higher priced(even in the $150-250 range) headphones easily beat them in terms of bass extension, linearity, transitions, and imaging. You like the cb1s alot, that's a subjective opinion. When I was looking for closed headphones I tried them and they didnt come close to the performance I was looking for.

You may want to try Audio Technica MSR7s, Monoprice M565(also has a C closed variant), a used Audeze EL-8, adorama sometimes sells Hifiman HE-560s for $300, Stax are a bit of an investment but I just found a like new 2170set for $300(does need eq tho, with its boosted mids and very boosted treble), a used pair of mrspeakers mad dogs, theres lots of options really xD

That being said theres nothing wrong with trying a $30 used equalizer.

I would maybe try eqing the treble down(that 3.5khz peak by a few dbs) before boosting the sub bass though as the hd650 has distortion in the sub bass.
Of course adding an EQ comes with large risk of adding noise, but maybe there is one that won't? I will likely end up spending more than $30 though and get a new one. I have experience with used EQs, all of it bad.
I don't sell gear, too much hassle. If I end up parting with the HD650s, I will just throw them in the E-waste pile. I'd give them to someone, but I do not know anyone.

I don't detect a sub bass roll off with the CB1s, at least nothing that matters. I would not say the CBs are my "favorite", but they do sound good although they are not for listening, they are for monitoring really. I should have pointed that out. I don't know that I would use them for pleasure listening, but as monitors they are incredible for the money.
I also get no distortion from any of my cans even if they are famous for it. I don't play headphones loud like so many other people do. Even if using open cans you could be sitting next to me and you will likely not hear anything or it would be extremely faint. I don't play anything loud, my ears are what I use to see with as my vision is very poor.

I have tried the Monoprice cans, they are awful, super uncomfortable and SQ is no better than $10 headphones for a walkman. I have no interest in used headphones and don't like ones like Hifiman (tried them too at a show). Headphones should be all genres and not voiced towards one, just like speakers. (Vandersteens can handle classical fantastically, but nothing else).

If I get an EQ, I would try as you suggest first in eqing the treble down a nudge.

That said though, before I start looking at throwing any money at the problem, I should first wait until I log about 8 hours or so on the HD650s, they may change a lot. That happened with my AKGK7xx. When I first got them I thought "what a pile of crap", they had zero low end an extremely narrow sound stage and flat as a pancake imaging. About 8 hours in and they started opening up and sounding more balanced. Staging is still a bit too narrow compared to the hype associated, but it is better. So I am going to see what another 7 hours or so will do on the HD6xx/650 first.
 
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