Sennheiser HD 600 Impressions Thread
Jul 23, 2016 at 2:10 PM Post #15,391 of 21,848

PinkyPowers

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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?

 


I'll defer to your expertise. I just know it sounded crummy and compressed, more noise than music. That was with Neutron Music Player. But when I used the Dragonfly, and USB Audio Player Pro, it sounded like proper music.

I used the Klipsch X7i back then. With lesser headphones I couldn't tell how bad the S4 sounded. The X7 is super neutral and detailed, and it didn't take long before I bought the Dragonfly just so I could enjoy my music again.

Now I'm on the AK120ii>Solar, for my mobile setup. Those worrisome days are far behind me. :D
 
Jul 23, 2016 at 9:37 PM Post #15,392 of 21,848

alitomr

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Even that I think people overstate the changes they get/perceive with better equipments, I am starting to believe DACs, cables, and very apparently subtle changes can impact these headphones. 
 
Right now I have four sources: iphone 5C, Yamaha RX-v675 receiver, q502USB mixer amped from the yamaha pre-outs, the laptop I am writing from. Oh there is my kindle fire hdx too!!  so far, I have tried the headphones from the receiver, the mixer and the computer and the sound is considerably different from all of them. Sadly, it is  only good from the mixer. I still need to try to iphone and kindle fire. 
 
 any other DAC recommendations for the HD600 below 200 to improve the resolution clarity specially of highs??  
 
Jul 23, 2016 at 9:50 PM Post #15,393 of 21,848

PinkyPowers

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Even that I think people overstate the changes they get/perceive with better equipments, I am starting to believe DACs, cables, and very apparently subtle changes can impact these headphones. 

Right now I have four sources: iphone 5C, Yamaha RX-v675 receiver, q502USB mixer amped from the yamaha pre-outs, the laptop I am writing from. Oh there is my kindle fire hdx too!!  so far, I have tried the headphones from the receiver, the mixer and the computer and the sound is considerably different from all of them. Sadly, it is  only good from the mixer. I still need to try to iphone and kindle fire. 

 any other DAC recommendations for the HD600 below 200 to improve the resolution clarity specially of highs??  


My desktop systems have been more than what you're looking for. I've used two DAC-Amp combos during my year with the HD600. The Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 Plus, and my current setup, the Audio-GD NFB-28. I've loved the sound from both. The treble has always been pleasurable.
 
Jul 23, 2016 at 10:02 PM Post #15,394 of 21,848

audiojun

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  Even that I think people overstate the changes they get/perceive with better equipments, I am starting to believe DACs, cables, and very apparently subtle changes can impact these headphones. 
 
Right now I have four sources: iphone 5C, Yamaha RX-v675 receiver, q502USB mixer amped from the yamaha pre-outs, the laptop I am writing from. Oh there is my kindle fire hdx too!!  so far, I have tried the headphones from the receiver, the mixer and the computer and the sound is considerably different from all of them. Sadly, it is  only good from the mixer. I still need to try to iphone and kindle fire. 
 
 any other DAC recommendations for the HD600 below 200 to improve the resolution clarity specially of highs??  

 
Wait for the schiit modi multibit. It should be out next week or something.
 
Jul 23, 2016 at 10:29 PM Post #15,395 of 21,848

Argyris

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  Even that I think people overstate the changes they get/perceive with better equipments [...]

 
You can take my advice or leave it, especially in light of many of the other suggestions you've seen, but I'd say you've got the right idea here: IMO, the differences you're going to see with different equipment are often overblown once you've reached the point where you're properly driving the headphone in the first place. In your case, your mixer is most likely the only one doing this for you. I actually have an old Behringer mixer myself with a surprisingly decent headphone amp section that I used for many years to power my headphones (before upgrading to different equipment), and my HD 600 sounds like it should when powered by it. I'd say it's likely what you're getting out of your mixer is representative of the fundamental level of sound and performance you can expect from a properly-amped HD 600.
 
Now if you want to dial in your sound and get that last little bit of performance, there's nothing wrong with going for a nice amp and/or DAC (notice I say nothing about cables 
wink.gif
). Just don't expect a complete transformation; what you get at the end is still going to sound like an HD 600, for better or worse.
 
Not to go too off topic in the HD 600 thread, but if you want more shimmer in your treble and a bit more low end extension, have you looked at the DT880? As one of this headphone's longest running exponents on this site (almost six years experience with my pair), I can say it definitely has more treble presence than the HD 600, while retaining an overall similar balance (i.e. it has less upper midrange presence and better bass extension, resulting in a very slight V-shape as opposed to the HD 600's slight warm tilt--both can be considered interpretations of neutral). Between the two these days I lean more toward the HD 600 as my favorite, but I would say the DT880 is right up there in technical ability--maybe just slightly less resolving and coherent overall, and a touch splashy in the lower treble in direct comparison to the HD 600. I realize you've already got an HD 650 on the way, so I can understand if you're not particularly enthusiastic about buying another headphone on top of everything else, but I just thought I'd throw this suggestion out there as it seems relevant to where you say you're having trouble with the HD 600.
 
Jul 23, 2016 at 10:34 PM Post #15,396 of 21,848

alitomr

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Even if its below 200 my best option is to wait at least until august 15th, because if I don't like it or don't find a significant worthy upgrade in the investment I can send it back in sept 15th when I get to NYC. 
 
Did they officially announce the modi multibit??
 
Jul 23, 2016 at 10:37 PM Post #15,397 of 21,848

audiojun

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  Even if its below 200 my best option is to wait at least until august 15th, because if I don't like it or don't find a significant worthy upgrade in the investment I can send it back in sept 15th when I get to NYC. 
 
Did they officially announce the modi multibit??

 

 
 
 
Not yet but pictures got leaked on the schiit site but then they quickly took it off for some reason, but people where able save the pictures. They said they will announce something on monday but no guarantee on the release date though.
 
Jul 23, 2016 at 10:55 PM Post #15,398 of 21,848

alitomr

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You can take my advice or leave it, especially in light of many of the other suggestions you've seen, but I'd say you've got the right idea here: IMO, the differences you're going to see with different equipment are often overblown once you've reached the point where you're properly driving the headphone in the first place. In your case, your mixer is most likely the only one doing this for you. I actually have an old Behringer mixer myself with a surprisingly decent headphone amp section that I used for many years to power my headphones (before upgrading to different equipment), and my HD 600 sounds like it should when powered by it. I'd say it's likely what you're getting out of your mixer is representative of the fundamental level of sound and performance you can expect from a properly-amped HD 600.
 
Now if you want to dial in your sound and get that last little bit of performance, there's nothing wrong with going for a nice amp and/or DAC (notice I say nothing about cables 
wink.gif
). Just don't expect a complete transformation; what you get at the end is still going to sound like an HD 600, for better or worse.
 
Not to go too off topic in the HD 600 thread, but if you want more shimmer in your treble and a bit more low end extension, have you looked at the DT880? As one of this headphone's longest running exponents on this site (almost six years experience with my pair), I can say it definitely has more treble presence than the HD 600, while retaining an overall similar balance (i.e. it has less upper midrange presence and better bass extension, resulting in a very slight V-shape as opposed to the HD 600's slight warm tilt--both can be considered interpretations of neutral). Between the two these days I lean more toward the HD 600 as my favorite, but I would say the DT880 is right up there in technical ability--maybe just slightly less resolving and coherent overall, and a touch splashy in the lower treble in direct comparison to the HD 600. I realize you've already got an HD 650 on the way, so I can understand if you're not particularly enthusiastic about buying another headphone on top of everything else, but I just thought I'd throw this suggestion out there as it seems relevant to where you say you're having trouble with the HD 600.

 
Very nice, thank you!
 
The sound coming from the HD600 connected to my mixer is far from common or bad. It's very very nice. The thing is I am trying to reach a standard I think they are not reaching. But it's probably an unfair goal, because I am hoping they deliver the sound of a system of speakers worth 3.3k USD.  Not fair. And in all honesty, they are different, but might be a little better for classical music, so it's far from a bad investment, at 250USD. I am still going to get several amps and probably DAC to try and see how they change, and if the price is worth the improvements. If, for instance, a Valhalla 2 is half what most people are saying, I will keep it and be over with the search, knowing I have a really solid performer for the times I cant listen to music through my beloved speakers. 
 
Somebody did mention the DT880. They are not expensive now, so who knows, maybe i'll try them. But I am not specially excited about them mostly because of their FR. If they are brighter than these HD600, they are probably not very comfortable, because these rose harshness often. But we will see. 
 
Thank you for taking the times to post and help. BTW, the HD600 are rated 200mW maximum and the mixer is capable of delivering 170mW into 300Ohms, but i havent confirmed it. At this point, I have low expectations about the supposedly godlike improvements to be gained from great amps and dacs. Maybe that is a good thing because I can be shocked. :D
 
Jul 24, 2016 at 12:15 AM Post #15,399 of 21,848

Midgetguy

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Very nice, thank you!
 
The sound coming from the HD600 connected to my mixer is far from common or bad. It's very very nice. The thing is I am trying to reach a standard I think they are not reaching. But it's probably an unfair goal, because I am hoping they deliver the sound of a system of speakers worth 3.3k USD.  Not fair. And in all honesty, they are different, but might be a little better for classical music, so it's far from a bad investment, at 250USD. I am still going to get several amps and probably DAC to try and see how they change, and if the price is worth the improvements. If, for instance, a Valhalla 2 is half what most people are saying, I will keep it and be over with the search, knowing I have a really solid performer for the times I cant listen to music through my beloved speakers. 
 
Somebody did mention the DT880. They are not expensive now, so who knows, maybe i'll try them. But I am not specially excited about them mostly because of their FR. If they are brighter than these HD600, they are probably not very comfortable, because these rose harshness often. But we will see. 
 
Thank you for taking the times to post and help. BTW, the HD600 are rated 200mW maximum and the mixer is capable of delivering 170mW into 300Ohms, but i havent confirmed it. At this point, I have low expectations about the supposedly godlike improvements to be gained from great amps and dacs. Maybe that is a good thing because I can be shocked. :D

I 'm powering mine with an SMSL sApII Pro and I like to think that there are better-sounding setups out there as people claim. But I also think my HD600s already sound fantastic to the point where I don't really need to personally own something better. Which is nice on the wallet.....to the point when I spend that money on something else instead
biggrin.gif
 
 
Jul 24, 2016 at 2:39 AM Post #15,400 of 21,848

Argyris

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  But I also think my HD600s already sound fantastic to the point where I don't really need to personally own something better. Which is nice on the wallet.....to the point when I spend that money on something else instead
biggrin.gif
 

 
That's where I am right now. Except that I don't honestly think, for my purposes, a superior headphone has yet been made. A true upgrade over the HD 600 for me would need to have:
 
1) The same exact tonal balance, including the notch at ~5 kHz (which controls sibilance and harshness) and the slight push in the upper mids--that's where the vocal magic happens
2) Better bass extension, since no matter how one tries to sugar coat it, the roll off is noticeable
3) Less bass distortion--the lowest notes on the HD 600 have obvious additional harmonic content, which, while "pleasant" sounding, makes the bass sound less precise
 
Even then, it would have to be offered for a reasonable price. I'm not paying four figures for it, not when the HD 600 itself cost me ~$280, and would be a fabulous buy even at the MSRP of $400. Because of the HD 600, I have zero interest in unreasonably priced flagships and ridiculous statement products that cost more than most cars and some houses.
 
Lately I've been concentrating on IEMs, since having a FiiO Q1 now gives me the ability to use the HD 600 (trans)portably, making closed back full sized headphones obsolete for me. Anywhere I need isolation, I would rather not have to lug a big headphone around, anyway, and anywhere I don't need isolation I can now just use my best headphone. Recently I've sampled the Etymotic MC5 (meh) and the Dunu Titan 1/FiiO EX1 (pretty impressive), but so far I haven't found anything that conjures the same magic as the HD 600. Is there a reasonably-priced (< $200) IEM that can get at least into the same zip code? Specifically, something that offers soaring vocals without that tinge of lower treble harshness a lot of IEMs seem to have.
 
Jul 24, 2016 at 3:01 AM Post #15,401 of 21,848

alitomr

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That's where I am right now. Except that I don't honestly think, for my purposes, a superior headphone has yet been made. A true upgrade over the HD 600 for me would need to have:
 
1) The same exact tonal balance, including the notch at ~5 kHz (which controls sibilance and harshness) and the slight push in the upper mids--that's where the vocal magic happens
2) Better bass extension, since no matter how one tries to sugar coat it, the roll off is noticeable
3) Less bass distortion--the lowest notes on the HD 600 have obvious additional harmonic content, which, while "pleasant" sounding, makes the bass sound less precise
 
Even then, it would have to be offered for a reasonable price. I'm not paying four figures for it, not when the HD 600 itself cost me ~$280, and would be a fabulous buy even at the MSRP of $400. Because of the HD 600, I have zero interest in unreasonably priced flagships and ridiculous statement products that cost more than most cars and some houses.
 
Lately I've been concentrating on IEMs, since having a FiiO Q1 now gives me the ability to use the HD 600 (trans)portably, making closed back full sized headphones obsolete for me. Anywhere I need isolation, I would rather not have to lug a big headphone around, anyway, and anywhere I don't need isolation I can now just use my best headphone. Recently I've sampled the Etymotic MC5 (meh) and the Dunu Titan 1/FiiO EX1 (pretty impressive), but so far I haven't found anything that conjures the same magic as the HD 600. Is there a reasonably-priced (< $200) IEM that can get at least into the same zip code? Specifically, something that offers soaring vocals without that tinge of lower treble harshness a lot of IEMs seem to have.

I owned UE triple fi pro back in 2009 and they were really solid, but different than HD6x0 definitely. 
 
I changed to my receiver now, and the bass is bloated. I can barely hear a note, but the emphasis in the lows and lower treble than the mixer actually helped with the clarity or resolution of the cymbals. Apparently in the mixer they are being pushed too far. Also, the veil is here, not with the mixer. I like it though, it's soothing, and the definition is there. I hear a hum when there is almost no music playing. The sound signature is there, but the overall sound change from going to the mixer headphone amp to the internal headphone amp of the yamaha RX-v675 is not subtle. Many things are different. 
 
I am going to keep familiarizing with my new HD600 and ill be definitely trying a few amps for it. 
 
I am sorry I don't have any options for you as portable substitutes for your senns.I am also tempted to keep looking for headphones that resemble my speakers...
 
Jul 24, 2016 at 3:04 AM Post #15,402 of 21,848

PinkyPowers

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That's where I am right now. Except that I don't honestly think, for my purposes, a superior headphone has yet been made. A true upgrade over the HD 600 for me would need to have:

1) The same exact tonal balance, including the notch at ~5 kHz (which controls sibilance and harshness) and the slight push in the upper mids--that's where the vocal magic happens
2) Better bass extension, since no matter how one tries to sugar coat it, the roll off is noticeable
3) Less bass distortion--the lowest notes on the HD 600 have obvious additional harmonic content, which, while "pleasant" sounding, makes the bass sound less precise

Even then, it would have to be offered for a reasonable price. I'm not paying four figures for it, not when the HD 600 itself cost me ~$280, and would be a fabulous buy even at the MSRP of $400. Because of the HD 600, I have zero interest in unreasonably priced flagships and ridiculous statement products that cost more than most cars and some houses.

Lately I've been concentrating on IEMs, since having a FiiO Q1 now gives me the ability to use the HD 600 (trans)portably, making closed back full sized headphones obsolete for me. Anywhere I need isolation, I would rather not have to lug a big headphone around, anyway, and anywhere I don't need isolation I can now just use my best headphone. Recently I've sampled the Etymotic MC5 (meh) and the Dunu Titan 1/FiiO EX1 (pretty impressive), but so far I haven't found anything that conjures the same magic as the HD 600. Is there a reasonably-priced (< $200) IEM that can get at least into the same zip code? Specifically, something that offers soaring vocals without that tinge of lower treble harshness a lot of IEMs seem to have.


I know I've said this a few times--some folk agree with me, some don't--but the Audeze LCD-2 v2 Fazor is the perfect upgrade to the HD600. All your prerequisites are accounted for. Well... I can't say there is a "notch" in the 5k range, but it's certainly clean and clear of any sibilance and or harshness.

If you're curious about my take on the LCD-2 vs HD600 comparison, read my review; that's the principle theme.
http://www.head-fi.org/products/audeze-lcd2-planar-magnetic-headphones/reviews/16379
 
Jul 24, 2016 at 3:27 AM Post #15,403 of 21,848

StanD

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That's where I am right now. Except that I don't honestly think, for my purposes, a superior headphone has yet been made. A true upgrade over the HD 600 for me would need to have:
 
1) The same exact tonal balance, including the notch at ~5 kHz (which controls sibilance and harshness) and the slight push in the upper mids--that's where the vocal magic happens
2) Better bass extension, since no matter how one tries to sugar coat it, the roll off is noticeable
3) Less bass distortion--the lowest notes on the HD 600 have obvious additional harmonic content, which, while "pleasant" sounding, makes the bass sound less precise
 
Even then, it would have to be offered for a reasonable price. I'm not paying four figures for it, not when the HD 600 itself cost me ~$280, and would be a fabulous buy even at the MSRP of $400. Because of the HD 600, I have zero interest in unreasonably priced flagships and ridiculous statement products that cost more than most cars and some houses.
 
Lately I've been concentrating on IEMs, since having a FiiO Q1 now gives me the ability to use the HD 600 (trans)portably, making closed back full sized headphones obsolete for me. Anywhere I need isolation, I would rather not have to lug a big headphone around, anyway, and anywhere I don't need isolation I can now just use my best headphone. Recently I've sampled the Etymotic MC5 (meh) and the Dunu Titan 1/FiiO EX1 (pretty impressive), but so far I haven't found anything that conjures the same magic as the HD 600. Is there a reasonably-priced (< $200) IEM that can get at least into the same zip code? Specifically, something that offers soaring vocals without that tinge of lower treble harshness a lot of IEMs seem to have.

Not everyone believes there is a significant notch at 5 Khz. I have seen some curves with a drop far more than this, so o me this is nothing scary in the HD600. Besides I wouldn't want to control sibilance in a few bad recordings by compromising  the FR of my headphones which would negatively affect all other good recordings. For such recordings I might consider using so EQ just for them when Iisten to them or gust grin and bear it for those few recordings. In the past I've bought IEMs with a bad treble peak that were sibilant/strident, those IEMs are in my drawer of forgotten headphones/IEMs. I love the relative neutrality of these headphone. Unlike an amp, it's impossible to get a perfectly flat curve in headphones, IEMs or speakers.

 
Here's a curve with a small dip at 5 Khz. I won't hide it, but in the world of Headphone FR curves, this is small.

 
Jul 24, 2016 at 4:09 AM Post #15,404 of 21,848

audiojun

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Check out the hifiman HE-6 frequency response chart it makes me think of an HD 600 with even better neutrality and bass extension. It also sounds like an HD 600 with better dynamics. The problem is amping it.
 
Jul 24, 2016 at 4:17 AM Post #15,405 of 21,848

audiojun

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Found the chart headroom is down but I had it saved. The little bump from 7-9khz is amazing for detail, it isn't overdone like the beyers or HD 800, just perfect IMO.
 

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