Sennheiser HD 600 Impressions Thread
Jul 11, 2020 at 8:13 AM Post #20,716 of 21,457

340519

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Oh geez, I haven't even looked at pricing for the HD700 the past few years. Would agree though that overall it's a much better headphone for EDM. I do listen to EDM sometimes with my HD600 and it does a decent enough job of it, but that's just how I'd characterize its performance with EDM: acceptable. Lots of headphones that do better, including cheaper headphones. But for me, it's a great allrounder regardless of music choice; it never dips below acceptable to me and it's kept me from spending loads more money on headphones I don't need the past several years and I'd expect years to come. The only other headphone in my collection that's stayed so far is the TH-X00, which is absolutely fantastic for the EDM itch. And, barring incredibly inaccurate sound memory since I haven't heard the HD700 in years, the TH-X00 is a much better headphone in that regard for me.

The HD600 has its status for me because it doesn't sound bad to me with any of the music I've listened to (which is, admittedly a very limited selection). It has times when it truly excels, but I've always listened to my music on the HD600 and never once felt "that sounded horrible" because of the headphone and not because the song just sucked. Also, when it comes to EDM, I have a bunch that has featuring vocals and the HD600, while nowhere near the fantastically sublime bass presentation of the TH-X00, always takes the win on the vocals.
I agree. I like the 600 for everything, but the Z1Rs are my new go to for EDM, which is the predominant music I listen to.
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 8:15 AM Post #20,717 of 21,457

340519

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That’s basically what the 600 does for me as well: I put it on my head and just float away to the music. I never think about the headphone. It basically ‘gets out of the way’.
Speaking of electronic music, EDM and IDM (I very much prefer the latter) do indeed benefit from a good bass with better reach and clarity than what the old 6 series can muster up...but then again, and keeping with the electronic music moniker, nothing beats a 600 when it comes to Berlin School aka Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and other such trippy lysergic dreamstate adventures in sound.
I also really really dig the 600 for the more electronic-laden ‘nu-jazz’ albums such as Material’s Hallucination Engine and Xploding Plastix’ Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents...basically anything where the midrange trumps the importance of the low basement notes.
But yeah sure..if I want to listen to some Burial, Autechre or DJ Sprinkles? I usually reach for my HE500. Not that the 600 sounds bad with that sort of stuff. Like I mentioned earlier, with the 600 I just put on albums. I don’t really think about ‘pairing music with the coconut I’m wearing’, and as such am often pleasantly surprised to hear new facets to music I most oftenly have listened to over bassier cans. The focus is shifted and a new experience rolls over me. I think of it as a hearing music in a ‘different light’.

Edith: I obviously can’t spell for schiit.
Burial's Come Down To Us is one of my favorite tracks of all time to relax to.
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 8:16 AM Post #20,718 of 21,457

340519

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They are a classic pair.
And if you are coming from brighter pairs (a lot of people are), they will win you over i guess.

Bass will never be their strong point, neither will their sound-stage width/depth.
Otherwise, tonally they've been a sort of reference for many folks out there and I can understand why.
Their mids and highs are pretty smooth and balanced and they don't exhibit any stupid peaks that can be very common in other cans.
Also, you can EQ them to increase impact down low, but unfortunately there isn't much that can be done in regards to sound-stage.

Enjoy!
I'm selling most of my non flagship cans, but not the 600 which is a testament to how it sounds.
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 9:46 AM Post #20,719 of 21,457

evonimos

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OTL amps get a wider and deeper stage w/ the 600. I've actually heard it play a 5 piece across the stage and actually separate them and keep them each in its own space. The stage is deep in the middle, curls in a bit mid left and right and fattens up again at the edges. The air around any center fill instrument really is quite large. On my Rag 1 its just a confused mash - although the tone is great.

I'm actually listening and enjoying my HD599 pair through an OTL tube amp as we speak.
It is a DIY unit that shares some basic design features with some similar Bottlehead stuff.
Will post a couple of pics of it later. It's still in testing/modding phase so I have it in a shoe box and not the final enclosure.
I use it as my main unit at the time, the other one being a hot-rodded Lehmann BCL clone with an LME49720HA at its core.

Actually, you convinced me to take the HD600 out of their box again.
I'll plug them into the OTL tube amp and give them a go.
Have tried them before with this amp and there were improvements, more or less typical of tubes.
Extended sound-stage, more pleasant tonal balance and generally more authority to the music.

Will post my additional impressions a bit later!
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 12:55 PM Post #20,720 of 21,457

genck

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Well the term bass is overloaded. There are several things involved in that word. Speed, accuracy, grunt, impact, weight, deep.

What the 600 gives in spades is speed and accuracy (it gives it, and where it doesn't, it doesn't lie, it just doesn't do it). That's on BH Crack w/ Speedball or Ragnarok 1. On the Rag, it doesn't drive the the 600 well enough to make a big push on the last four items. If a Rag can't do it, most SS headphone amps probably won't get it either. But on the BH Crack you get heft and 35 Hz bass, and some grunt. Impact - not so much, it's a bit slower on tubes.

The cheapest way to nirvana in headphones I know is: used HD-600 and BH Crack w/ Speedball (build it - probably about $520, unless they are running a sale). I suggest the 800S would have a lot more fans on tubes too.

So because many people think bass is all about thunder and 10 Hz notes bouncing through your head - it doesn't mean it is.

I'd take the SS HD-600 bass over that dreck the MD-X00 Mahogany puts out called bass, overbearing, slow, sloppy.
I take it, you haven't heard the $30 Blon BL03. Check it out, 30 dollars...
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 1:07 PM Post #20,721 of 21,457

bagwell359

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I take it, you haven't heard the $30 Blon BL03. Check it out, 30 dollars...

No. IEM's have never done it for me. Is the bass like the LCD2, MD X00, 4XX or 400i? If so, not interested
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 1:12 PM Post #20,723 of 21,457

ruinedx

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nothing beats a 600 when it comes to Berlin School aka Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and other such trippy lysergic dreamstate adventures in sound.
I also really really dig the 600 for the more electronic-laden ‘nu-jazz’ albums such as Material’s Hallucination Engine and Xploding Plastix’ Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents...basically anything where the midrange trumps the importance of the low basement notes.

Have you tried HD820? I listen to all electronic music, whether psytrance, ambient, house, synthwave, etc. Infected Mushroom, Meteor, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, Hallucinogen, Volkor X, GUNSHIP, Vibe Tribe, Ananda Shake, Skazi, Kaskade, Skrillex, The Orb, Orbital, Wojciech Golczewski, whatever - I've never heard a headphone that handles ALL of it as spectacularly as the HD820 without sounding either muddy, congested, flat, or bass-devoid, and I did own the HD600.
 
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Jul 11, 2020 at 2:25 PM Post #20,724 of 21,457

Kammerat Rebekka

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Have you tried HD820? I listen to all electronic music, whether psytrance, ambient, house, synthwave, etc. Infected Mushroom, Meteor, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, Hallucinogen, Volkor X, GUNSHIP, Vibe Tribe, Ananda Shake, Skazi, Kaskade, Skrillex, The Orb, Orbital, Wojciech Golczewski, whatever - I've never heard a headphone that handles ALL of it as spectacularly as the HD820 without sounding either muddy, congested, flat, or bass-devoid, and I did own the HD600.
I have listened to it twice and think it is a very good headphone. I get where you’re coming from especially seeing what you mostly listen to. I do however think it is way too expensive for what it is. To my ears it reminds me of a refined DT770, good v-shape signature, but yeah I vastly prefer openback headphones, and spending that amount of dough on something I’d only ever use 3% of the time...well is just nuts. I can fully appreciate folks in need of the isolation, but I’d much rather listen to something like a K7XX over the HD820.
Anyway HE500 is all the bass I’ll ever need. It slams and goes loooow whilst doing so remarkably effortlessly and with great detail.
I think we just prefer different signatures tbh. Even way before I learned to decipher a simple frequency response, I thought the HD600 sounded the most natural of all the cans I’d tried - including the HD800 and 700, both of which I owned for about half a year before selling them off. I didn’t get along with the somewhat distant vocals as well as the treble. The bass and comfort were brilliant though, but I found similar qualities in the K712 that I ended up prefering over the Sennies.
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 2:47 PM Post #20,725 of 21,457

ruinedx

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I have listened to it twice and think it is a very good headphone. I get where you’re coming from especially seeing what you mostly listen to. I do however think it is way too expensive for what it is. To my ears it reminds me of a refined DT770, good v-shape signature, but yeah I vastly prefer openback headphones, and spending that amount of dough on something I’d only ever use 3% of the time...well is just nuts. I can fully appreciate folks in need of the isolation, but I’d much rather listen to something like a K7XX over the HD820.
Anyway HE500 is all the bass I’ll ever need. It slams and goes loooow whilst doing so remarkably effortlessly and with great detail.
I think we just prefer different signatures tbh. Even way before I learned to decipher a simple frequency response, I thought the HD600 sounded the most natural of all the cans I’d tried - including the HD800 and 700, both of which I owned for about half a year before selling them off. I didn’t get along with the somewhat distant vocals as well as the treble. The bass and comfort were brilliant though, but I found similar qualities in the K712 that I ended up prefering over the Sennies.

I really loved the HD800 primarily for its incredible soundstage but it hurt my ears and badly aggravated my tinnitus. I couldn't listen to it for more than 20min at a time without physical pain. Even tried multiple expensive HPAs because I liked the soundstage so much, but it was just too harsh. So I had to sell it.

The HD820 I found gave most of the HD800 soundstage experience while taming the highs and boosting the lows, which were the two issues I had with the HD800. I also got the HD820 new for $500 under MSRP from an authorized retailer, which I think is about what its worth (~$1899) given the sound quality... I mean, assuming the HD800S is worth $1600 and that these expensive headphones aren't all ridiculously priced :D

The HD700 I got for $420 new again from an authorized retailer and at that price point never heard anything remotely as good, which is probably because it was originally much more expensive than that. In terms of dollar-for-dollar value the HD700 is probably a better value @$420 than the HD820 @$1900, but there is always diminishing returns with higher end gear. The HD700 can be a bit picky with treble but I only heard one HPA it was really a bad match with (Oppo HA-1), which was too harsh.

The HD820/HD700 are my two go-to headphones and the HD25 when i need something more portable. Ironically using with a $249 EVGA NU AUDIO soundcard which has been a better match than any $1000+ standalone HPA/DAC units that I've tried for these headphones.
 
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Jul 11, 2020 at 4:20 PM Post #20,726 of 21,457

evonimos

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So, I took the HD600 out of their box:
20200711_215152.jpg
20200711_215247.jpg

Plugged them into the OTL amp:

front view
20200711_214843.jpg

rear view
20200711_214926.jpg


And listen to them on a variety of music.
James Brown 'Papa don't take no mess', The Doors 'When the music is over' and Albert King 'Cadillac assembly line'

Overall, I did like what this amp does with the HD600.
Certainly more body and authority to the sound than with a solid state amp and a better sense of sound-stage.
These headphones are indeed clear sounding and relatively smooth at the same time.
Amazing for their time.

However, in the end I had to resort to a bit of EQ so as to listen to them for longer than 10 minute sessions.
And that's their main difference to the HD599.
HD599 are made for long listening sessions, without any need of EQ, as long as recording are of good quality and the volume is not stupendously high.
Plus there is a sense of depth, layers and immersion in the music that I just don't get with the HD600.
20200711_215421.jpg
 
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Jul 11, 2020 at 5:04 PM Post #20,730 of 21,457

bagwell359

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But you've never check out

Never had much luck with IEM's - fitting and sound chief among them, I'm glad that they are inexpensive and people like them. My direction now is to figure out how to finance getting a set of Susvara's.
 

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