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Sennheiser HD 600 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by windsor, Feb 6, 2011.
  1. Bob A (SD)
    My HD580s are 23+ years old.  Yeah I did buy a replacement headband but it was my stupidity in not finding just the headband pads.  Bottom line is that unless you tweak the heck out of your headband it won't break.
    And as for tastes, I concur with BillP who charted the FR of the HD580/600/650 and showed the 580 to have a FR between the two later models.  It's why I rank mine (slightly tweaked: HD600 grills, etc.) a notch above my HD600s.  Didn't like the 650s at all which may simply be due to my having found the 580/600 sound so great for over 2 decades.  [​IMG]
  2. yangian

    As I told before, I read somewhere else and it makes sense to me. And don't yo uagree the most important of a driver is the membrane? And there is no clear evidence that they are not the same. But as I said also, it's not my concern at all if it's the same or not.
    Moreover, the build quality only seem to be able to explain the price difference in my view.
  3. Midgetguy
    Not sure what you mean by that. They both seem equally well-built to me, main difference being the headband pad style and the matte vs gloss marble finish. Like many others, I'm confounded as to why Sennheiser insists on continuing to list them at different prices.
  4. yangian

    Well, the cable of 650 is much better and holisticly, 650 seems better. No matter they are the same driver or not, the sound difference cannot justify the price difference. Supposably, if we trust Senn's honesty, cost of 650 is more than 600.
  5. Argyris Contributor
    Forced hierarchy is all I can think of. Typical consumers would be expected to prefer the HD 650 since it's tuned to be a bit warmer and smoother than the HD 600, which, while technically "flatter" on a graph*, would likely sound "boring" to the average listener in comparison. I guess they figure they can charge a premium for this. From a purely technical standpoint, the two headphones are very similar since they're based on the same design. The HD 650 is better on paper, but in actual use the theoretical technical superiority seems to be dwarfed by personal preference in every impression I've ever read of the two.
    Keep in mind I'm not saying I agree with this justification, if this is indeed the case. As I said before, I think it's stupid.
    *Which often assumes a DF-like curve to be flat, so take this with a grain of salt
  6. madwolfa
    Hmm, no, not really.
  7. Bob A (SD)

    I too don't find them all that close.  Same signature overall house sound but beyond that.... nope.
    As said I'll take the HD580 and HD600 over the HD650 every day of the year.
  8. RPB65
    How much sound leakage is there from these HD600's? For example, using them on a bus or plane would they annoy the person next to you?
  9. madwolfa
    They leak it all out. And they let everything in. HD600 requires absolutely quiet environment for their enjoyment.
  10. Brooko Contributor
    I didn't say they weren't different - if you read my in-depth comparison on them I tried to explain it.
    If you're A/Bing the difference is obvious.  If you start slightly longer sessions, and your brain adjusts - you can easily forget (or at least I could).  And that's the funny thing about brain burn-in, I'd have gone for 4-5 tracks, then thought "I must switch back to the HD650" - and then realised I'd been wearing them the whole time.
    Of course - as I've always stated  - I could be just a tin-eared listener. I just happened to think using the same source, same tracks, same equipment, volume matching properly with a meter, same pad condition - and using both long and short period A/Bs was important.
    So I shall bow out of this particular discussion for a while, and leave those in the know to set us all straight [​IMG] 
  11. wombatfi

    Hmm they sound way too different to me for it to be the same driver.
    I can easily tell them apart, instantly, on any music.
    Bob A (SD) likes this.
  12. wombatfi

    OTOH the HD600 seems to have a small artificial hump in the treble right where it messes up violins a bit and tends to make most music sound not quite truly live like you are there in the room with it since the hump seems to mask stuff just about it, in a sense.
    Anyway I did a lot of listening to both yesterday after I had made all of my recent comments.
    I guess the HD650 sound stage really isn't any wider. I think I had gotten that impression because I had been using the HD600 for a lot of TV stuff where the audio is not always all that great and the HD650 only for music but also equally because the HD650 gives that feeling that you are literally in the room with the instruments which the HD600 never seems to quite do so I guess I was interpreting that as a wider sound stage, maybe I should have said there is something more somehow live about the sense of the HD650, maybe it's not actually left right wider but sort of more in some other direction or something.
    As for the balance, I think ideal might be sort of like a mix between the two.

    The HD600 has something weird in the treble that makes violins sound a bit fake and music in general to not quite have that live feel since the hump sort of veils some of the separation and detail in the rest of the treble in a way. Getting to violins again it can almost make they sound a trace electronic in a way and you don't hear the bow vibrating the string sort of in as natural a way as with the HD650. That peak seems to sort of mask the real treble a little and to my ears and the way I describe things makes the HD600 seem more veiled and less in the true treble and darker in the treble since the low part of that is peaked.
    Again and again the HD650 just makes things sound more like you are truly there in the room.
    That said, for certain things the HD650 might have a slightly odd hump in one part of the upper bass, mostly it doesn't matter too much, and for a decent number it maybe seems even a touch more realistic, but for a few things it can be a bit droning like with the 24bit, 192Hz(?) remaster for Jurassic Park soundtrack. In other ways the bass can be even cleaner and tighter and deeper than the HD600 which can also occasionally be just a trace unnaturally weak in some bass (although not nearly to the extent of the AKG 701, which also has the natural you are there presence and separate treble of the HD650 but is also thinner than both and too thin to be natural, something is just missing lower down that is not realistic).
    The initial overall sonic impression is in many ways almost ideally natural from the HD600 and the HD650 can have a touch of that missing. OTOH the HD650 makes it sound more like you are truly listening to the instruments in the room with you and it doesn't have that fake treble bump that makes things sound less live and a bit off. If they could just chop that little treble bump the HD600 might be almost perfect. But that bump just is not natural and for most stuff it makes enough difference that the HD650 sounds better to me overall and more live. Violins for one, since they are something that makes it very clear, are not well separate enough in their timbre and they sound a bit fake and sort of smoothed and not rough and detailed and raw enough and a bit too boosted in a certain particular way, everything actually does, but it's easier to describe it with them. And it can be the same for female voices too. That fake mid-treble thingy, whatever it is in the HD600 just takes away natural rough detail in the treble and makes things sound less live and more veiled in a certain sense and too sort of tinkly and electronically smoothed or something.

    Ideally I'd have the HD600 with a touch more of the tight perfection and reaction of the HD650 and with a good bit closer to the HD650 main treble to give a more sense of being there live and to not make violins and other stuff get that treble issue as well as a bit more of the HD650 bass extension and the bass overall (although without the touch of a hump), just sort of merge them, maybe 1 part HD600 to 2 parts HD650 or something along those lines.
  13. wombatfi

    I have to disagree, getting near to be perfect but a trace weak on certain bass elements and a very noticeably treble quirk that is pretty important.
  14. wombatfi

    Well it's a very different story over here (not sure why the compare tool is not working, but here are each separately):
    maybe it's the 4kHz peak that is causing all of the HD600 issues and preventing near perfection.
  15. wombatfi

    Oh yeah they both leak like crazy (same for AKG 701 and most open ears really).

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