Sennheiser HD 600 Impressions Thread
Jul 16, 2020 at 8:30 AM Post #20,746 of 21,363

ruinedx

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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 :)

Here, Here !! Well said. In full agreement.

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

Whilst one may advise not to fall into the trap of "more expensive/newer = better," as that is often far from the case with more expensive/newer products being worse, in this case I think the story is different.

The HD600 was a top headphone for a long time and as a product of its time it is it remains top notch. It is still a very good headphone to this day, and I say this from my experience with it.

However, more recently with the HD7xx-HD8xx line Sennheiser has at least to my ear been able to convey a sound that my brain perceives as more natural and realistic, using new approaches to craft a more realistic soundstage (similar to what we hear in real life when we're not wearing headphones) while upping the perception of fidelity. The ear/brain works in mysterious ways and it has been proven with more recent studies that a simple flat response is not perceived as natural or desirable by the brain. There is literally nowhere in normal day-to-day life - whether just doing daily tasks or listening to music - where the ear is presented with flat unreflected sound. This means when the brain hears flat unreflected sound (such as an anechoic chamber, or a traditional headphone with perfectly flat frequency response) it sounds alien. The newer "flagship" sennheiser models operate more on this principal of psychoacoustical perception - models that are always improving and evolving over time - and this is why the sound signature of these newer HD7xx-HD8xx is so different than previous sennheiser headphones and also why they may be divisive in some cases as it is a different approach.
 
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Jul 16, 2020 at 8:35 AM Post #20,747 of 21,363

CJG888

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To labour another analogy:
Back in the day, the 993 Turbo was state of the art. The goalposts habe moved now, and there are many faster, more spectacular cars available, but the 993 is still, objectively speaking, very fast and capable...
 
Jul 16, 2020 at 1:16 PM Post #20,748 of 21,363

bagwell359

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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.

The HD-600 is one of the flatest headphones out of the box at any price. It's got a small peak at 3850 Hz and 8000 Hz. On transistor amps that cannot drive 300 ohms it's also short of bass.

The 650 to me sounds like a headphone with a couple of pieces of toilet paper added in front of the drivers. It's also got a lumpy mid-bass & upper bass that affects low male voices and other instruments in that range - very annoying to me.

HD-600 shouldn't be judged until its heard with an amp that has enough voltage - like an OTL amp. I have a Ragnarok 1 - one of the beefiest headphone amps every made and it does NOT have enough voltage for the HD-600 - even via XLR.

Even on the Rag 1, the midrange is closer to pitch perfect than: HE-6, HE-500, HE-6se, HEX v2, LCD-2F, 400i, Ananda and the 650
 
Jul 17, 2020 at 8:57 PM Post #20,750 of 21,363

god-bluff

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To labour another analogy:
Back in the day, the 993 Turbo was state of the art. The goalposts habe moved now, and there are many faster, more spectacular cars available, but the 993 is still, objectively speaking, very fast and capable...
An old Porsche Turbo or other air cooled 911s are a far more exciting, purer, 'seat of the pants' and potentially terrifying drive than any current Porsche. Man and machine interface. Far cooler, leaner and more stylish. Like most things of the past in the eyes and ears of a middle aged dreamer like me!

Not sure how this relates to the HD600!?!? other than a fine German manufacter has forgotten its roots and makes hideous bloated ugly SUVs and cheaply Chinese made fashion headphones and overpriced 'flagships', respectively?!?... Maybe

Jumping, like everyone else, on the here and now, fashionable, bandwagon rather than timeless classics, certainly 😉
 
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Jul 18, 2020 at 12:22 PM Post #20,751 of 21,363

god-bluff

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Exactly. Back in the day, it was a flagship.
Yes, little more than a dozen years ago the finest headphones you could buy were the HD600/650, beyer DT880/990, AKG K7**, Grado RS1 and the odd exotic wooden Audio Technica, Sony and, of course, in a class of its own; Stax.

A lot more, but maybe too much, choice nowadays?!?
 
Jul 18, 2020 at 12:27 PM Post #20,752 of 21,363

340519

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Whilst one may advise not to fall into the trap of "more expensive/newer = better," as that is often far from the case with more expensive/newer products being worse, in this case I think the story is different.

The HD600 was a top headphone for a long time and as a product of its time it is it remains top notch. It is still a very good headphone to this day, and I say this from my experience with it.

However, more recently with the HD7xx-HD8xx line Sennheiser has at least to my ear been able to convey a sound that my brain perceives as more natural and realistic, using new approaches to craft a more realistic soundstage (similar to what we hear in real life when we're not wearing headphones) while upping the perception of fidelity. The ear/brain works in mysterious ways and it has been proven with more recent studies that a simple flat response is not perceived as natural or desirable by the brain. There is literally nowhere in normal day-to-day life - whether just doing daily tasks or listening to music - where the ear is presented with flat unreflected sound. This means when the brain hears flat unreflected sound (such as an anechoic chamber, or a traditional headphone with perfectly flat frequency response) it sounds alien. The newer "flagship" sennheiser models operate more on this principal of psychoacoustical perception - models that are always improving and evolving over time - and this is why the sound signature of these newer HD7xx-HD8xx is so different than previous sennheiser headphones and also why they may be divisive in some cases as it is a different approach.
Nah I sold my 800 and 800S because the 600 is just plain better.
 
Jul 18, 2020 at 2:57 PM Post #20,754 of 21,363

mobbaddict

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Yes, little more than a dozen years ago the finest headphones you could buy were the HD600/650, beyer DT880/990, AKG K7**, Grado RS1 and the odd exotic wooden Audio Technica, Sony and, of course, in a class of its own; Stax.

A lot more, but maybe too much, choice nowadays?!?
Ironically this is Sennheiser which started the +$1000 trend with the HD800. Until 2008 Stax was pretty much alone on this segment (leaving alone the Sony R10 and a few other flagships maybe).
 
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Jul 18, 2020 at 4:10 PM Post #20,755 of 21,363

Mboom

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An old Porsche Turbo or other air cooled 911s are a far more exciting, purer, 'seat of the pants' and potentially terrifying drive than any current Porsche. Man and machine interface. Far cooler, leaner and more stylish. Like most things of the past in the eyes and ears of a middle aged dreamer like me!

Ehh, not for the prices they aren't. That's an elitist mindset most older Porsche owners have and I laugh as someone who's grown to like them in only the past 5 years and I like every model they have from the past to the present. What's killing cars from all brands is the copy and past along with the manual transmission being obsolete and replaced. What they're saying is the 993 is very good, it's just outdated technically wise, but still is a very good looking / performing car even when sitting next to a let's say 991.2 / 992 / 718 boxster or a taycan. Anybody can hit the gas in a straight line but when you're approaching a corner it's your brakes and balls doing the work.
 
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Jul 18, 2020 at 5:21 PM Post #20,756 of 21,363

evonimos

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Sennheiser has been doing great things over the years with their 6xx line (and also their 5xx series). Slowly improving on their design/sound, smoothing out the peaks and tuning their performance at the lower bands.

HD600 is undoubtedly what made them a name in the global headphones market. The fact it's still being produced is a testament to its design and performance.

Unfortunately, apart from the 6xx series (and their closest relative - the 5xx family) they haven't managed to procure another line of headphones that comes close enough in emulating that smooth response they achieved on the HD600/650/660.

Their newer flagship models were tuned to exhibit peaks in treble, ruining the overall experience imho. While there may be impressive early on they can end up sounding artificial and fatiguing.

So I keep my pair HD600 as a historical piece of gear, a milestone that I need to own even if I prefer my HD599 pair overall.
 
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Jul 18, 2020 at 7:37 PM Post #20,759 of 21,363

bagwell359

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Wow, cool explosion here... 600 is great, esp with a real cable, and a little felt and dynamat on the back. Some may not believe it but the bass has some extra resonances, clean those up and get an EQ to boost low bass and sit on the mid-bass -> midrange slightly, curtail the 3850 and 8000 Hz peaks and you are almost home) and you're cooking. The 800 is like a very talented member of the family that exceeds on a few things and is frustratingly irritating on other things - better on OTL than SS.

If the 600 had a soundstage better than on BH Crack - someplace between a HE-500 and a HD-800S, and there would be a lot less folks looking for cans.
 
Jul 19, 2020 at 4:56 PM Post #20,760 of 21,363

bagwell359

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Off topic, by i agree on that totally.

Manual transmissions had been an absolute joy for so many owners.

Fun and safety, and lower gas costs and much lower replacement costs (tranny). I've had 11 cars, and the 4 manuals were the most fun and involving. '69 GTX 440 (kinda beat), '03 Infiniti G35 Coupe w/ brain chip and low restriction exhaust and 45 profile tires - were the best.
 

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