Sennheiser HD 600 Impressions Thread
Jul 11, 2020 at 5:14 PM Post #20,731 of 21,449

CaptainFantastic

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The thread is about impressions.
And what better way there is to state your impressions, than by comparison?

In short, I believe it's perfectly appropriate to compare the HD600 to other headphones on this thread.

No, of course it is for that. More than this, it is appreciated to hear all opinions, whether of praise or criticism.

But I think in your case what seems odd is that you just joined the site one day ago, gave the HD-600 a run for a serious session or two, and maybe I am wrong, but you had several posts all about how inferior the HD-600 is. I mean, do I have this wrong: you literally just unboxed the HD-600, had a session, then made several posts about their shortcomings.

So yes, opinions are appreciated by everyone I believe, just please take the time to listen to headphones over longer periods of time. If you still feel they don't perform for you the way other headphones do, then that's the way it is. We all hear differently.
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 5:18 PM Post #20,732 of 21,449

bagwell359

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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

599's actually have more need of an EQ than the 600. 599's have a big warmth bulge from 100-400 Hz, a polite dip at 1.4 kHz - 2 kHz, a quick up at 9 kHz, a 650 is a closer match sonically. It might be an easier can to listen to than the 600 - but its not more accurate - in terms of non EQ output and tonal correctness.
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 6:49 PM Post #20,733 of 21,449

evonimos

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...opinions are appreciated by everyone I believe, just please take the time to listen to headphones over longer periods of time.
If you followed the whole convo, you'd realize that I have them for quite some time.
Pairing them with different types of amps along the way and really wanting to like them, since they cost more than my other cans.

Alas, it's what it is.
Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 10:04 PM Post #20,735 of 21,449

Midgetguy

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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.
Everyone's got their own different qualifications for what's considered ridiculously priced. But I also recognize that "worth it" and "ridiculously priced" are also kinda separate as well. I haven't heard the HD820, not really able to say if it's ridiculously priced. But worth it? For me, nah. The HD600 does enough for me as it is. And it's one of the headphones (there are many others in the same tier) that show it's really the best cross section of cost and performance. From your impressions, the HD820 really does sound fantastic, but for me, I just can't justify it; it costs as much as my monthly mortgage! And when I can get 85% of the performance in the HD600 for 18% of the price of the HD820, then it's just not worth it in my life.
 
Jul 11, 2020 at 10:07 PM Post #20,736 of 21,449

Midgetguy

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If you followed the whole convo, you'd realize that I have them for quite some time.
Pairing them with different types of amps along the way and really wanting to like them, since they cost more than my other cans.

Alas, it's what it is.
Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
You do you. Heck, sell off the HD600 if you're getting more enjoyment from the HD599 in your setup. Unless you wanna keep it around as a sort of a more widely known benchmark. We end up with too many headphones some of the time, they don't justify being there if you're not going to listen to them much. Everyone likes a bit of a different sound.
 
Jul 12, 2020 at 11:02 AM Post #20,737 of 21,449

dakanao

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My HD600 new Version just arrived.

First impression: sounds good but maybe not that endgame that i expected after reading this thread. Especially good with classical music but bad with electronic and pop music. Very little bass and tends to be a bit harsh. Natural sound in comparison to other headphones. A Stax Lambda Pro is easily better but the HD 600 sounds more natural which i like. Overall very easy to drive. Didn't need that much power as i expected. Around 3 times more than a Grado.

Do the bass and the heights get better with burn in? It's a b stock version so it's already run a bit.
Also the clamping force is very tight at the moment.
The HD600 has empasized upper-mids, which is in the most sensitive region of human hearing, so an emphasis there is most likely to get harsh with more energetic music.

If you love the natural sound of the HD600 but want less harshness and more bass, the HD650 is the answer.
 
Jul 12, 2020 at 6:37 PM Post #20,738 of 21,449

Derek411

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I have the HD599 and HD600. Through the same equipment the HD600 wins. The HD599 are more HD600 lite. Thinner sound and less refined/HiFi.

They do the job straight into my iPad for netflix and spotify. Nice soundstage and a tad wider than the HD600's but the buck stops there.

I could happily never buy another set with the 600's in my home. I'd keep looking with the 599's... till i discovered the 600's.

Post created with HD600's on my head. :)
 
Jul 13, 2020 at 12:59 PM Post #20,739 of 21,449

dakanao

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Anyone that tried this mod?
 

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Jul 13, 2020 at 1:27 PM Post #20,740 of 21,449

ruinedx

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Everyone's got their own different qualifications for what's considered ridiculously priced. But I also recognize that "worth it" and "ridiculously priced" are also kinda separate as well. I haven't heard the HD820, not really able to say if it's ridiculously priced. But worth it? For me, nah. The HD600 does enough for me as it is. And it's one of the headphones (there are many others in the same tier) that show it's really the best cross section of cost and performance. From your impressions, the HD820 really does sound fantastic, but for me, I just can't justify it; it costs as much as my monthly mortgage! And when I can get 85% of the performance in the HD600 for 18% of the price of the HD820, then it's just not worth it in my life.

Yup and this is a completely fair response.

Personally I was in the camp that any headphones >$400 was ridiculously priced because I felt that none of them could reproduce the natural soundstage of a loudspeaker, and thus would always be capped in value for me. That is, until I got a clearance deal on the HD700 which semi-blew me away - and was a gateway drug to the HD800... The HD800 completely blew me away, but it was too sonically unbalanced to be a long term keeper - and then the HD800/HD800S was a gateway drug to the HD820. The HD820 is up there with one of my most expensive "speaker" purchases, alongside the PSB Stratus Gold-i a very long time ago. But I do feel it is "worth" it because it makes me happier than any other piece of audio gear I've owned (or maybe tied with the above PSB speakers), and I foresee keeping the HD820 for as long as it lasts. I somewhat offset the cost by deciding to use it with a cheap HPA ($249 EVGA NU AUDIO) but I am now in shock that this particular $250 HPA is overall the most balanced sounding one I've tried in a list of expensive HPAs - part of that is because the NU AUDIO requires a computer and can leverage the PCs PSU & processing, but its amazing what EVGA did for the price. Unfortunately its going out of production for a cost-reduced model (misleadingly labeled "PRO") that doesn't sound as good, though there are still some left of the original from some distributors.

The HD700 probably offers around 60% of the sound of the HD820, and I paid less than 1/4 of the price for the HD700. but when you've been into audio a long time, that extra 40% can make all the difference.

Sometimes I feel when you make one really great yet expensive purchase, you can be more satisfied than making a number of smaller yet cheaper purchases. Those PSB Stratus Gold-i speakers I mentioned were bought 20 years ago and still going strong - I am still 100% satisfied with their performance. They cost me a pretty penny, but if I bought something else and upgraded it 5 times since then due to being unhappy I probably would have spent the same over time and may still not be satisfied with the sound. Then there are other times like with the HD800 where an expensive purchase just doesnt work out and you need to sell it off and take a bit of a loss - thats the way the cookie crumbles.
 
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Jul 15, 2020 at 6:55 AM Post #20,741 of 21,449

Fegefeuer

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Got a like a new 600 with absolutely new unused earpads and headpadding for ridiculuosly low price I don't dare to mention the price, especially in regards to the price of my other headphones and what the 600 brings to the table in terms of performance. I'll be remembering the seller and see what I can do for him one day.

Anyway,

I own the JAR 650, a very well modified version of the 650 so the 600 is not a huge departure from it but it has the slightly more energetic and brighter signature that sets itself apart clearly and thus one cannot replace the other.

The 600 is so well known, I don't know if a review makes sense and everybody in this thread who still has one knows its strengths in and out. Very natural timbre, clean and clear mids with absolutely well balanced transitions from mid to treble. At a price tag that puts to shame all other high end headphones. Being a staging and extension addict can lead to questionable purchase decision in the context of the 600 and what it does right or better than most other headphones (timbre, naturality, treble response).

With the setup I have right now it does not lack any extension. Sure it's no HE-6, HEK SE etc. with bass power, sustain, punch, slam down low but I can hear the 20hz tone of the "Low Frequency Response Test" easily. The 10hz part is faint. This at a lesser volume than I hear music. Both with the Niimbus US4+ and the Cavalli Liquid Crimson connected to a Bifrost 2.

Bifrost 2 is a monster of a DAC. I almost replaced it with a Dangerous Music Convert-2 but after the initial wow factor (slam, punch, macrodynamics) wore off the Bifrost 2 sailed past it with better detailing, tone/timbre and microdynamics. Much better staging too.
 
Jul 15, 2020 at 7:02 AM Post #20,742 of 21,449

340519

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Yup and this is a completely fair response.

Personally I was in the camp that any headphones >$400 was ridiculously priced because I felt that none of them could reproduce the natural soundstage of a loudspeaker, and thus would always be capped in value for me. That is, until I got a clearance deal on the HD700 which semi-blew me away - and was a gateway drug to the HD800... The HD800 completely blew me away, but it was too sonically unbalanced to be a long term keeper - and then the HD800/HD800S was a gateway drug to the HD820. The HD820 is up there with one of my most expensive "speaker" purchases, alongside the PSB Stratus Gold-i a very long time ago. But I do feel it is "worth" it because it makes me happier than any other piece of audio gear I've owned (or maybe tied with the above PSB speakers), and I foresee keeping the HD820 for as long as it lasts. I somewhat offset the cost by deciding to use it with a cheap HPA ($249 EVGA NU AUDIO) but I am now in shock that this particular $250 HPA is overall the most balanced sounding one I've tried in a list of expensive HPAs - part of that is because the NU AUDIO requires a computer and can leverage the PCs PSU & processing, but its amazing what EVGA did for the price. Unfortunately its going out of production for a cost-reduced model (misleadingly labeled "PRO") that doesn't sound as good, though there are still some left of the original from some distributors.

The HD700 probably offers around 60% of the sound of the HD820, and I paid less than 1/4 of the price for the HD700. but when you've been into audio a long time, that extra 40% can make all the difference.

Sometimes I feel when you make one really great yet expensive purchase, you can be more satisfied than making a number of smaller yet cheaper purchases. Those PSB Stratus Gold-i speakers I mentioned were bought 20 years ago and still going strong - I am still 100% satisfied with their performance. They cost me a pretty penny, but if I bought something else and upgraded it 5 times since then due to being unhappy I probably would have spent the same over time and may still not be satisfied with the sound. Then there are other times like with the HD800 where an expensive purchase just doesnt work out and you need to sell it off and take a bit of a loss - thats the way the cookie crumbles.
Yes gateway drug. The hd800 was my first high end headphone and now I'm on the 7k CAD abyss 1266tcs lol. Heeesh all because of this crazy forum.
 
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Jul 15, 2020 at 11:31 AM Post #20,743 of 21,449

god-bluff

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HD600 isn't a 'gateway drug' (hate these flippant drug related analogies*) it's 'end game' an Americanism for a very satisfying headphone. A headphone for well adjusted individuals of taste :)

*see also 'Crack' and 'Mainline'
 
Jul 15, 2020 at 6:23 PM Post #20,744 of 21,449

BobG55

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HD600 isn't a 'gateway drug' (hate these flippant drug related analogies*) it's 'end game' an Americanism for a very satisfying headphone. A headphone for well adjusted individuals of taste :)

*see also 'Crack' and 'Mainline'
Here, Here !! Well said. In full agreement.
 
Jul 16, 2020 at 5:53 AM Post #20,745 of 21,449

CJG888

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Exactly. Back in the day, it was a flagship.
 

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