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Sennheiser HD 600 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by windsor, Feb 6, 2011.
  1. Arttt
    4zattt $$$$$ i would go with Forza audio works Hybrid cable...
  2. DavidA
    The cables they were discussing are $30-50, the Forza Hybrid starts at approx. $200 and for the one that I had was $330+shipping IIRC, you could get a second HD-600 for the price of the cable.  Also, it didn't sound any different from the Mogani cable that I also had, but they do look gorgeous, a little on the heavy side also.
  3. alitomr
    I just got my HD600 and after listening to 6 songs, I LOOVE THEM! [​IMG]
    They are importantly underamped, and are not being FED nothing fancy.  am running them from my unexpectedly powerful behringer Q502USB mixer, connected from my Yamaha receiver preouts. Currently listening to Spotify in extreme, but my music collection is in FLAC and also lots of CDs that I will be listening from the PS3. 
    Right now, I am close to the feeling I get from my main audio system. I think the HD600 are more detail and maybe a little better at some things but not close at others. Cymbals sound out of this world from my Klipsch, and my SVS subs provide me with unmatched lows, sooo musical..the Hd600 is just not at that level, at least not as they are now, practically brand new and underamped/underfed). 
    Sooo, my plans are to try a lot of Schiit to see how they synergize with my new HD600. I will also be getting a HD650 to compare side by side, and will probably keep just one, unless I find them too different and love them both. I am looking for value, and building a system with no obvious flaws, knowing my weak links. 
    I used to have the HD650 and loved it. What I remember (from back in 2008) is that they were more laid back than these, and that at the beginning I was underwhelmed, but they grew on me and it was one of the nicest audio experiences I have ever had, only matched (surpassed) by my current main audio system (speakers). I also think these HD600 are currently not reproducing highs from cymbals with the incredible clarity and presence I remember from the HD650. But we will see in september when I'll go to NYC with the purpose of testing and listening to a lot of audio equipment. That is when I will order the HD650 a DAC (undetermined), and several Schiit amps: Asgard 2, Vali 2, Valhalla, Lyr 2 (probably). 
    My question to you now is, what can I get right now that is less than 200, to get them to improve over what I have. It could be two items, but they have to be less than 200 each (avoiding crazy high import taxes). 
    Oh, i have a pair of HD595, but these HD600 are so much better than it's not even worth comparing them. Soundstage, bass, highs, mids (OMG!). Everything is just a couple leagues above. 
    PD: I read somebody said guitars sounded off with the HD600. They sound incredible right now in mine. 
  4. mks100
    Not sure if the DragonFly Red or Black would work with your PS3.  I have the Red currently and love it with my HD600s.  The Black is $100 cheaper and is 80% of the Red's performance in my opinion.  Once you upgrade your system you can still use it with a Smartphone so it will still have value to you.  I also use it as a DAC through my Vali 2 so it can serve that purpose as you upgrade your Amplification.
    alitomr likes this.
  5. alitomr
    Thanks. What I am trying to do now if follow a very sensible advice I read here in the forums: "Listen extensively to songs you know and you like, and then try to identify what things you dont like about the sound you are hearing". 
    Right now, two things come to my mind:  1) highs could be a lot clearer, more defined. I think they are better with the HD650. and, 2) Overall the sound is great, but sometimes, like where there is a lot of attack and lots of instruments, I hear the headphones struggling. I can't say if either  its the headphones or another part of the system/audio chain, which I know are supposed to be weak, but those things are there, very present. 
    So, are these things inherent to the HD600 or can they be fixed with better equipment in the audio chain, as DAC and Amps?
  6. mks100
    The HD600, IMO, is the most Amp dependent headphone I have owned.  It scales very well and the better Amplification you put behind it the better performance you receive.  Based on my research, and I am generalizing here, most find the HD600 less veiled than the HD650 but bass light in comparison.  There are thousands upon thousands of comparisons between these 2 headphones.  If you are driving it through the Headphone output of a Receiver, you are most likely getting a solid idea of its performance.  Based on your love of your Klipsch Speakers, you may want to try a Grado if you find the treble lacking.  Just an opinion. 
    alitomr and BobG55 like this.
  7. alitomr
    mks100, I wa once bought an SR225 and sold it like a week after. I just hated it. There wasnt a single thing about them I liked. I prefer the HD555 by a very wide margin. 
    The thing with the highs, its the cymbals. They dont sound as realistic as they sound in my speakers, or as realistic as I remember them in the HD650, which were a revelation to me back then.
    I see a valhalla 2 in my not so distant future, and probably a modi 2 uber or bifrost. 
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Well either way it's hard to be sure due to relative factors. For others they upgraded the amp and they got the improvements, for others if for example the attack you're looking for sounds more like a Grado, then you should get the RS-1.
    Assuming you'd keep the HD600 though:
    1. Try loosening the clamp force - if it's on too tight at the default shape it boosts a narrow range in the treble, set it too loose in the default shape and the treble can sound a little hollow. Stretch out the headband frame and then bend those metal sections in the center and closer to the gimbals, holding at each point for 10secs, cycling through and repeating until the grip is relaxed as per your preference. 
    2. Try a different amp - look into Meiers, or a good OTL that doesn't EQ the sound too much, like the Schiit Valhalla. Might as well grab a DAC, or get a DAC-HPamp like AudioGD's NFB-11.
    alitomr likes this.
  9. mks100
    I would try an ESS Sabre DAC as they tend to be brighter than other DACs (AKM, etc.).  The Geek Outs and DragonFlys are in your price range.  The DragonFly V1.2 is on clearance at Magnolia for $75 so that would be an easy way to see if the Headphones can be tuned to your preference.  There are also less expensive ones from Hifimediy but I have not tried any of their products.
  10. PinkyPowers

    Yes. A poor DAC will struggle with fast, complex music. I remember being really irritated by the sound of Velvet Underground when listening on the Galaxy S4. But when I hooked up the Dragonfly I loved them. The album didn't sound nearly so disparate and chaotic.
  11. DavidA
    Save until you have enough to get a decent DAC and amp, spending the $200/$200 now is not going to be much of an improvement IMO.
    But if you really feel like yon need to something right now, Modi2uber DAC ($150) and Garage 1217 Polaris ($250)
    The HD-600 is quite resolving so if you feel the highs are not clear then its most likely a DAC issue IMO but its possible that your amp may contribute also.
  12. alitomr
    I am using the Yamaha RX-V675 receiver's DAC, and the thing is, my Klipsch speakers have a lot more definition in the highs, specifically cymbals, than the HD600. Could it be a matter of sinergy?  the klipsch are supposedly very bright, but I dont find them so. The yamaha is also supposed to be bright, and some say a bad pairing with Klipsch, but I am in love with my system. So, could it be the amp in the behringer mixer?  
    I remember being so shocked at the incredibly detailed highs of the HD650 back in 2008...that was the thing that impressed me the most, because at the time I had never heard cymbals sound so realistic and simply beautiful. 
    Not getting that from the HD600. But, I do remember the HD650 made me a believer in driver break in, because I felt they did change considerably...even drastically. I am going to give them the weekend and we will see, but, do you really think a new, relatively cheap DAC like the D1, Modi2Uber or Dragonfly red or something like that will provide a better sound/resolution than the receivers DAC?  I think it's possible.Engineers in yamaha probably design for an "audio chain". I mean, they have use cases, and the use cases of my receiver probably dont include people connecting crazy expensive, high resolution, audiophile speakers. Makes sense?
    What is the decent DAc you have in mind?  I can order it for my AudioNirvanaSearch Vacation in september. Shoot! And thank you!
  13. castleofargh Contributor

    I'd be very interested in seeing any evidence of such an idea. the music is complex in your head, because you interpret it as a lot of instruments, fast changing pace etc. but it doesn't mean the actual signal is anything special. after all the signal for one channel is only 1 amplitude at a given time, that needs to change fast enough not to lag behind the next sample's amplitude, if a DAC can do 20khz at high amplitude, why would it struggle for anything slower?
  14. alitomr
    This makes a lot of sense. I think the weak link in the audio value chain for these "complex passages" should be the driver, given that it has to move (mechanics suck) in more complex ways to reproduce several sounds at once. But in terms of 0s and 1s, I dont see what could be so hard (electronics are the "#$%#" [​IMG]). 
    See, this is why I want to blind test the crap out of of a crapload of equipment. I am an engineer turned manager turned management freak/researcher turned psychologist wannabe, so I am into human biases. They are crazy and cool. And I think they are here in headfi. 
  15. StanD
    Perhaps jamming the DAC, related linear circuits and internal amp into a small space in an RF hotbed (phone) may give rise to poor performance. Especially if that part of the phone is low on the list of engineering priorities. In many cases the amp doesn't have much output power and the output impedance isn't always as low as it should be so when pairing with a more demanding headphone the results can be unimpressive. But this can be more of a design issue but too many people are ready to blame the DAC or other things that they may not understand. I'll bet that the budget/BOM for this part of the phone is not much to work with.

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