Sennheiser HD 600 Impressions Thread
Nov 27, 2016 at 10:09 PM Post #17,056 of 22,352

yangian

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Different amplifiers often provide slightly different flavours and functionalities.
FiiO E12 and A5 for instance can be used as portable amplifiers which is a big plus for some of us, and something not important for those who always listen to music at a fixed point in the house.
 
In my experience these FiiOs are clean, transparent and punchy in the bass without being overly analytical or overly warm. Not extremely wide, not too closed in. I consider them reference SS amps. If you like the headphone, then best chances are you'll like it trough one of these amps.
 
Some of us just buy stuff for the sake of trying different things (fun you know). Differences among properly engineered stuff are subtle in the big scheme of things. Depending on the recording, the headphone and the mood one might prefer one flavour or the other. Most of the times, if you like the headphone and the recording, best chances are you'll forget which amp is playing.
 
Some people try to justify the money invested claiming night and day differences among amplifiers (hyperbole style) but in the big scheme of things these are all more similar than different.

 
I totally agree here. But I believe most of people here care those little difference much more than their similarities. That's the reason why this website can exist, right? :)
 
Nov 27, 2016 at 11:08 PM Post #17,057 of 22,352

U-3C

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I totally agree here. But I believe most of people here care those little difference much more than their similarities. That's the reason why this website can exist, right? :)


Most people who bother to post a lot of reviews (aka those who spends lots of money to buy new gear) might care. I think the majority of people who visit this site do not, and they never bother posting too much. The loud minority is the guys you usually read on the forums.

To be honest, the difference is so small. You have to be really anal about audio to really look back and believe that the thousands you spent four those extra bit of differences are worth it, and that's fine. Just don't assume others will value things the same as you will, so don't assume a game changer for others will definitely yield to even the slightest bit of improvement, and definitely do not impose your preferences on others. Just find what you need to enjoy your music. I'll take my cheap IEMs and cellphone with dsp/eq over the Focal Utopia any day if I am forced to choose one between the two. o(^_^)b

The only thing I see that is better on the Utopia than the HD600 is the comfort, and that's nitpicking because comfort on the Utopia is mixed for me as well. There is no way I'll pay hundreds for that small change in comfort, let alone thousands.
 
Nov 27, 2016 at 11:22 PM Post #17,058 of 22,352

DavidA

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Most people who bother to post a lot of reviews (aka those who spends lots of money to buy new gear) might care. I think the majority of people who visit this site do not, and they never bother posting too much. The loud minority is the guys you usually read on the forums.

To be honest, the difference is so small. You have to be really anal about audio to really look back and believe that the thousands you spent four those extra bit of differences are worth it, and that's fine. Just don't assume others will value things the same as you will, so don't assume a game changer for others will definitely yield to even the slightest bit of improvement, and definitely do not impose your preferences on others. Just find what you need to enjoy your music. I'll take my cheap IEMs and cellphone with dsp/eq over the Focal Utopia any day if I am forced to choose one between the two. o(^_^)b

The only thing I see that is better on the Utopia than the HD600 is the comfort, and that's nitpicking because comfort on the Utopia is mixed for me as well. There is no way I'll pay hundreds for that small change in comfort, let alone thousands.

So to you the Utopia is just a more expensive HD-600 with a little better comfort?  Sound signature the same between them?  Or do you just prefer the sound signature of the HD-600 over the Utopia?
 
Nov 27, 2016 at 11:42 PM Post #17,059 of 22,352

yangian

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Most people who bother to post a lot of reviews (aka those who spends lots of money to buy new gear) might care. I think the majority of people who visit this site do not, and they never bother posting too much. The loud minority is the guys you usually read on the forums.

To be honest, the difference is so small. You have to be really anal about audio to really look back and believe that the thousands you spent four those extra bit of differences are worth it, and that's fine. Just don't assume others will value things the same as you will, so don't assume a game changer for others will definitely yield to even the slightest bit of improvement, and definitely do not impose your preferences on others. Just find what you need to enjoy your music. I'll take my cheap IEMs and cellphone with dsp/eq over the Focal Utopia any day if I am forced to choose one between the two. o(^_^)b

The only thing I see that is better on the Utopia than the HD600 is the comfort, and that's nitpicking because comfort on the Utopia is mixed for me as well. There is no way I'll pay hundreds for that small change in comfort, let alone thousands.

 
You are very right! This is a sober judgment. Totally agree.
beerchug.gif

 
Nov 28, 2016 at 12:55 AM Post #17,060 of 22,352

U-3C

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So to you the Utopia is just a more expensive HD-600 with a little better comfort?  Sound signature the same between them?  Or do you just prefer the sound signature of the HD-600 over the Utopia?


Subjective preference all the way. Don't listen to me at all. In fact, I might just have the strangest head shape on the planet and the worst hearing possible before going completely deaf. :wink: There is no doubt the Utopia is better from a technical perspective if you judge it right, but those differences are only as big as it matters to the individual. For me, the differences are too small to warrant the price jump. For others, it may be the best deal of the century. I guess I just wanted to emphasize again that personal testing is the best compared to reading reviews written by others. Even when reading other's recommendations, it's best to keep a open mind and not go down an echo chamber crafted by the preferences of others. :/
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 3:13 AM Post #17,061 of 22,352

equalspeace

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Testing my HD 600s with the Jotunheim pairing. All I've got to say is .. my goodness 
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 5:59 AM Post #17,062 of 22,352

ubs28

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Subjective preference all the way. Don't listen to me at all. In fact, I might just have the strangest head shape on the planet and the worst hearing possible before going completely deaf.
wink.gif
There is no doubt the Utopia is better from a technical perspective if you judge it right, but those differences are only as big as it matters to the individual. For me, the differences are too small to warrant the price jump. For others, it may be the best deal if the century. I guess I just wanted to emphasize again that personal testing is the best compared to reading reviews written by others. Even when reading other's recommendations, it's best to keep a open mind and not go down an echo chamber crafted by the preferences of others. :/


Interesting. I also read that someone prefers a well driven HD 650 over the Utopia sometimes. Makes me wonder whether or not I should cancel the Utopia that I have on order. 
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 6:16 AM Post #17,063 of 22,352

Argyris

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If one doesn't like the sound signature, all the theoretical technical ability in the world is meaningless. I can see somebody preferring an ostensibly lesser headphone over a flagship on that basis alone, especially since the HD 6x0 family seems to be at least pleasant sounding to most people who have tried it. In fact, there's a chance I myself would feel that way, since the HD 600 is about the perfect signature for me from 100 Hz up. The newer flagships have it beat in bass extension, but they all handle upper midrange and treble differently from the HD 600. I'd be open to hearing any of these flagships if I ever get the opportunity--the Focals in particular look interesting.
 
I'd still love to know the secret to how Focal managed to get so much linear bass extension, and with so little distortion, from an open dynamic design. I've seen open dynamics employ a large midbass hump that "extends" the bass below it if you compare with the 1 kHz baseline, but that extra extension would just get buried behind the midbass, so it doesn't really count. Neither of the new Focal headphones measures that way, instead having just a gentle rise from the lower mids through the midbass, with a very gradual decline below this, extending all the way down to 30 Hz before it starts to drop off more noticeably.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 11:32 AM Post #17,064 of 22,352

Midgetguy

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  If one doesn't like the sound signature, all the theoretical technical ability in the world is meaningless. I can see somebody preferring an ostensibly lesser headphone over a flagship on that basis alone, especially since the HD 6x0 family seems to be at least pleasant sounding to most people who have tried it. In fact, there's a chance I myself would feel that way, since the HD 600 is about the perfect signature for me from 100 Hz up. The newer flagships have it beat in bass extension, but they all handle upper midrange and treble differently from the HD 600. I'd be open to hearing any of these flagships if I ever get the opportunity--the Focals in particular look interesting.
 
I'd still love to know the secret to how Focal managed to get so much linear bass extension, and with so little distortion, from an open dynamic design. I've seen open dynamics employ a large midbass hump that "extends" the bass below it if you compare with the 1 kHz baseline, but that extra extension would just get buried behind the midbass, so it doesn't really count. Neither of the new Focal headphones measures that way, instead having just a gentle rise from the lower mids through the midbass, with a very gradual decline below this, extending all the way down to 30 Hz before it starts to drop off more noticeably.

Overall, I prefer the HD600's sound signature to that of both of the new Focal headphones, though I do like the Elear more than the Utopia. Fidelity-wise, both are better than the HD600, but not by enough for me to justify the price hike (in addition to the sound signature bit).
 
I do agree about the bass though. Quality and extension in the lower registers made me wonder if I was listening to a planar magnetic design. Like you say, virtually no distortion and done without having to add an extra amount of midbass to compensate. That's where the quality gap is the widest between Focal's new headphones and the HD600 IMO as the bass extension is easily the weakest trait of the HD600.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 9:10 PM Post #17,065 of 22,352

Brad Maestas

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I wanted to chime in and give my love for the 600s. For nearly 20 years I used 580s as my reference recording and playback headphone, eventually upgrading to a Cardas Fat Pipe. Wanting to get another Senn HD in rotation about five years ago, I auditioned both the 600 and 650 and chose the 600s. I'm using them with a Blue Dragon V3 cable. For playback at home I've been feeding them with an Audioengine D1 or the head out on my HK amp but I finally saved up and was able to upgrade to a good decent DAC and headamp. I auditioned quite a few amps here in SF including the WA3, WA6, Oppo, Musical Fidelity, all the Schiit amps, and a number of others. A new Bifrost and Valhalla 2 are on their way to me now. I cannot wait! I've already been enjoying how different the 600s are over the 580s but this is going to be a monumental step up in performance across the board. Since I typically come home late and can't play music over speakers headphone listening has become my predominant means of enjoying music so this is a big deal for me in more ways than one.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 10:44 PM Post #17,066 of 22,352

Midgetguy

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  I wanted to chime in and give my love for the 600s. For nearly 20 years I used 580s as my reference recording and playback headphone, eventually upgrading to a Cardas Fat Pipe. Wanting to get another Senn HD in rotation about five years ago, I auditioned both the 600 and 650 and chose the 600s. I'm using them with a Blue Dragon V3 cable. For playback at home I've been feeding them with an Audioengine D1 or the head out on my HK amp but I finally saved up and was able to upgrade to a good decent DAC and headamp. I auditioned quite a few amps here in SF including the WA3, WA6, Oppo, Musical Fidelity, all the Schiit amps, and a number of others. A new Bifrost and Valhalla 2 are on their way to me now. I cannot wait! I've already been enjoying how different the 600s are over the 580s but this is going to be a monumental step up in performance across the board. Since I typically come home late and can't play music over speakers headphone listening has become my predominant means of enjoying music so this is a big deal for me in more ways than one.

Will it be such a drastic difference? My impression was that the HD580 is very similar to the HD600. Or perhaps it was the HD580 Jubilee Edition that's similar to the HD600 and you're using the HD580 reference. I wouldn't really be able to comment in any actual capacity either way since I haven't heard either of them, but it's fun to speculate at times
biggrin.gif

 
Nov 30, 2016 at 3:19 AM Post #17,067 of 22,352

UtopiaB

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  I wanted to chime in and give my love for the 600s. For nearly 20 years I used 580s as my reference recording and playback headphone, eventually upgrading to a Cardas Fat Pipe. Wanting to get another Senn HD in rotation about five years ago, I auditioned both the 600 and 650 and chose the 600s. I'm using them with a Blue Dragon V3 cable. For playback at home I've been feeding them with an Audioengine D1 or the head out on my HK amp but I finally saved up and was able to upgrade to a good decent DAC and headamp. I auditioned quite a few amps here in SF including the WA3, WA6, Oppo, Musical Fidelity, all the Schiit amps, and a number of others. A new Bifrost and Valhalla 2 are on their way to me now. I cannot wait! I've already been enjoying how different the 600s are over the 580s but this is going to be a monumental step up in performance across the board. Since I typically come home late and can't play music over speakers headphone listening has become my predominant means of enjoying music so this is a big deal for me in more ways than one.

 
The HD600 is not a 20 year old headphone for no reason, it has stood the test of time! It has a sound that currently no other headphone can outperform. Never mind the fact that it's not perfect (I'm yet to meet perfection anywhere on earth) or that other newer headphones have bass power or midrange translucency or smooth highs blah blah, to me the HD600 is legendary for a very good reason... its sound is clean, balanced, detailed and sane, and FTR the bass is more-than-adequate.
 

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