Is the Senn HD650 over-bright and sibilant? Some seem to think so.
Dec 3, 2010 at 10:17 PM Post #16 of 62

Zombie_X

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If anything to me the HD650 sound a bit muffled or subdued for my tastes. Never once have I heard of them being bright. It has to be something in the persons set-up to be making them sound so bright.
 
Dec 4, 2010 at 1:00 AM Post #17 of 62

pp312

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Quote:
HD650  over-bright and sibilant????
 
People are you serious?
 
For years I've read headfi and listened to people(non-headfi members) comment on the confusing and contradictory information this site.I really am interested in what many people say here and have learned a good deal about the headphone world and the perceptions of those within it.
 
AND/BUT...........
 
At this point in my life I have spent 40 years on this planet intimately involved with sound.My parents and most friends were or are hardcore audiophiles and trained and professional musicians.I have 20 years of professional music experience in studios,bars,theaters,arenas etc... I'm not bragging but I have VERY MUCH experience with sound.
 
My HD650 provides consistently the most non-sibilant and non-bright listening for me.I know this based on my real world experience and this:In the last 2-3 years I have developed tinnitus.This makes it impossible for me to listen to treble in any excess.The HD650 is the only headphone  I can listen to without pain.I can no longer listen to my grados or shures.
 
I am aware of the fact that I don't use the typical headfi terminology here but...................



I would generally agree with this and I have tinnitus too. I think also you become less tolerant of an over-bright sound (not to mention over-loud music) as you get older. The 650 has always been acknowledged as an easy listen even by those who don't care for its sound---until recently, when a number of comments have surfaced about it being harsh and bright. Hence this thread, started as an attempt to centralise all opinions and  track down what's gone wrong for some people.   
 
Dec 4, 2010 at 2:06 AM Post #18 of 62

carledwards

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Quote:
Something is VERY wrong with the system if HD650 sound bright and sibilant. 
 
Perhaps its the amp, more likely its the source, and there is always the possibility that the problem is square between the earcups. 



+1 Bingo.
 
Dec 13, 2010 at 12:02 AM Post #19 of 62

harpua

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I'm just loving the lush, smooth, warm sound of the HD650's (new 2010 model).  Mine are sounding better and better as they apparently are still burning in.  Anyway, I don't hear any harshness or too much treble.  In fact, I chose to pair them with the Nuforce HDP which is supposed to be a bit on the bright side because I felt they would have good synergy with the HD650 and that turned out to be very true as the HDP seems to be a perfect match for these great (for the price) cans.
 
Dec 13, 2010 at 12:22 AM Post #20 of 62

saber8689

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They are not overly bright...it may seem that way because many other headphones don't have the upper range clarity of the hd650s.
 
I've been using them for about two weeks and I can say they are very musical phones.
 
Dec 13, 2010 at 1:23 AM Post #21 of 62

pp312

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Quote:
I'm just loving the lush, smooth, warm sound of the HD650's (new 2010 model).  Mine are sounding better and better as they apparently are still burning in.  Anyway, I don't hear any harshness or too much treble.  In fact, I chose to pair them with the Nuforce HDP which is supposed to be a bit on the bright side because I felt they would have good synergy with the HD650 and that turned out to be very true as the HDP seems to be a perfect match for these great (for the price) cans.



That's exactly why I bought a Cambridge Audio A340SE: because it had a reputation as being a little lean and incisive, exactly what the 650 needs. Plus the Cambridge has a treble control that only affects frequencies above 10khz. Perfect.  
 
Dec 13, 2010 at 12:48 PM Post #22 of 62

shane55

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Quote:
Something is VERY wrong with the system if HD650 sound bright and sibilant. 
 
Perhaps its the amp, more likely its the source, and there is always the possibility that the problem is square between the earcups. 



+2 Bingo !
Yeah, you're not going to find a lot of postings about these or the HD600's being bright... or sibilant. They just aren't. Something else is amiss.
 
Dec 13, 2010 at 9:37 PM Post #23 of 62

pp312

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Quote:
Quote:
Something is VERY wrong with the system if HD650 sound bright and sibilant. 
 
Perhaps its the amp, more likely its the source, and there is always the possibility that the problem is square between the earcups. 



+2 Bingo !
Yeah, you're not going to find a lot of postings about these or the HD600's being bright... or sibilant. They just aren't. Something else is amiss.



And yet there were enough for me to start this thread--about five actually. I agree the 650s aren't bright, but something is causing them to be perceived as such by some people.  
 
Dec 16, 2010 at 3:41 PM Post #25 of 62

Satellite_6

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I'll throw my opinion in here because I have been one of the people complaining:
 
My HD 650s are not dark, they have a good balance of highs and lows and both the highs and lows are louder than the mids. There isn't really any sibilance, but the loud, peaky upper-mids/highs (no typo here) sometimes get on my nerves. I have pretty much solved this problem with EQing but it will never be perfect. My opinion is also that the HD 650s are not perfectly "solid from top to bottom" but that they have very good bass, excellent mids, and only pretty good highs. My source isn't anything special. I'm getting a new DAC and I will report back if the sound changes when I get it.
 
I LOVE my HD 650s but I am not blind to their flaws. I think it should be noted that I like a flatter frequency response than most people!!
 
Mine are about a year old with the silver colored drivers. . .
 
 
 
Dec 16, 2010 at 6:01 PM Post #26 of 62

Dibster

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It looks like you've quoted my post in the OP, so I guess I'll try to elaborate.
 
From my experiences, the HD-650's are not K701-style sibilant. The K701's are hugely in-your-face in the upper mids/lower treble while very recessed in bass and upper treble. The HD-650's on the other hand seem very calm to me in the K701's problem area, however the upper treble, around 15-16khz, has this strange "shizzly" nature and is like sticking needles into my ears at high volumes unless I EQ it down a few DB. It's highly dependent on the album. Sometimes it's a problem in the cymbals, sometimes the singer's S'es. It's not a matter of amplitude though. I can hear there's a problem no matter how I try to EQ, it's just less offensive if I lower it. I can not make the K701's behave similarly by EQ'ing up a large spike in the same frequency range. I've tested several sources and amps of vastly different price-ranges and none of them make a difference in that particular regard.
 
That said, I'm still using my HD-650's. I may have exaggerated it's severity and I have gotten mostly used to it. I'm just a bit miffed that the otherwise perfect headphones for me have to have this one fault ( at least as perceived by me ). Based on what I've read, I wouldn't be friends with any other of the headphones available here in it's price-range. I can deal with the treble when it's EQ'd, and the rest is just smooth sailing. The LCD-2 sounds like my next upgrade if I ever get around to it.
 
Summa summarum: There's not too "much" treble, there's just "wrong" treble.
 
Dec 16, 2010 at 6:25 PM Post #27 of 62

Satellite_6

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There is too much treble for me. I don't like any form of brightness though. The frequency response is much more reasonable than other headphones I've tried, at least.
 
 
Dec 16, 2010 at 6:49 PM Post #28 of 62

olor1n

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To me the HD650 would be perfect with a tad more treble. For most of what I listen to it's great and I suspect my setup may have a lot to do with that. On some tracks that I'm very familiar with however, the dreaded "veil" may have finally reared its head. It's not a deal breaker though and I feel the negativity towards it is greatly exaggerated. I could EQ those tracks but I stubbornly refuse to do that on principle.
 
Dec 16, 2010 at 7:09 PM Post #29 of 62

pp312

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Quote:
It looks like you've quoted my post in the OP, so I guess I'll try to elaborate.
 
From my experiences, the HD-650's are not K701-style sibilant. The K701's are hugely in-your-face in the upper mids/lower treble while very recessed in bass and upper treble. The HD-650's on the other hand seem very calm to me in the K701's problem area, however the upper treble, around 15-16khz, has this strange "shizzly" nature and is like sticking needles into my ears at high volumes unless I EQ it down a few DB. It's highly dependent on the album. Sometimes it's a problem in the cymbals, sometimes the singer's S'es. It's not a matter of amplitude though. I can hear there's a problem no matter how I try to EQ, it's just less offensive if I lower it. I can not make the K701's behave similarly by EQ'ing up a large spike in the same frequency range. I've tested several sources and amps of vastly different price-ranges and none of them make a difference in that particular regard.
 

 
Dibster, if what you say is true, that the fault lies somewhere around the 15-16khz range (and I'm not convinced, to be honest), then it's not surprising that so few people agree with you. Not only can most people not hear that high, but it can be demonstrated that there is very little music material at those frequenies. Personally I think you're hearing something you don't like lower down and mentally transposing it up, but you'll probably deny that. There is a peak below 10khz, but it's well below the mean level and not usually troublesome. Personally I find the 650s very benign in the treble but not perfect--what is? I actually found the treble on the Denon D2000 to be cleaner and sweeter but there was just too damn much of it, like most headphones.   
 
Dec 16, 2010 at 7:16 PM Post #30 of 62

Ikarios

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Just wanted to chip in with my experiences, I also heard a sizzly treble peak around 10kHz. I believe I posted my impressions here:
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/511362/not-sure-if-i-like-hd650s-where-do-i-go-from-here
 
I've found my experiences with treble to be very strange - I don't find Grado to be all that bright; the K701s have a very emphasized (but also hollow-sounding) treble, but it doesn't bother me for very long; the DT880/600 has a somewhat shrilly and forward treble that bothered me just a little bit too much; and the DH650 had a treble peak that I just couldn't ignore (but were otherwise quite smooth and warm-sounding). Rather than source issues, I just chalk it up to my personal HRTF/ears. This is why I emphasize first-hand listening to headphones over recommending any specific pair of headphones to someone.
 

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