Sennheiser HD 600 Impressions Thread
Oct 3, 2013 at 4:42 AM Post #4,546 of 23,548
  Am I the first person to like the HD600 more than the HD800?  I

 
It depends of what we listen to primarily. For some genre , HD600 in my opinion sounds better than HD800 but for classical especially I never heard one more impressive headphone than HD800. But I was very surprised too to find my now sold HD580 so close to HD800 . 
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Oct 3, 2013 at 5:20 AM Post #4,547 of 23,548
Am I the first person to like the HD600 more than the HD800?  I've owned the HD800 for quite a while.. and I've driven it with two of the best amps you can buy for under $1K (BH Crack & a speaker amp, the TBI Millenia w/ a custom built resistor box to match impedances & shelve down output).. and both amps drove the HD800 beautifully.  Do note, I still absolutely LOVE the HD800.. I've had it since the beginning of this year.. it's a phenomenal headphone.. and certainly more technically-capable than the HD600.  I also owned the HD600 before I bought the HD800, and just recently purchased the HD600 again.. so this is my second go around with the 600.  I've also heard the 600 many many times before buying it the first time, so I've very familiar with it's nuances).  What I'm getting at is that I'm very accustomed to both phones.

What I will say is that the BH Crack is an absolutely terrific match for the HD600.. I can't think of a single-ended amp under $1000 (maybe even a little more than that) that it sounds better from.  This thing LOVES Class A power.  That being said, I don't think you've truly heard what the HD600 can do until you've heard it off a balanced rig.  Enter my speaker amp (the Millenia).  I'm floored at just how well the 600 scales.  I've always found it's stage on the intimate side, despite being open backed.  With the Millenia.. it sounds extremely spacious, fast, tonally accurate, and quite effortless.  Without babbling on any more.. I'll leave it at this:

I don't miss the HD800 one bit.


I completely agree with you. The mids are fantastic.
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM Post #4,548 of 23,548
Am I the first person to like the HD600 more than the HD800?


Nope, some find the HD800s to be too bright, and they really need some serious gear upstream to make them shine.
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM Post #4,549 of 23,548
they really need some serious gear upstream to make them shine.

 
I disagree completely.
 
I plug my Squeezebox Touch directly into my Bottlehead Crack and I'd put that setup up against anything. No external DAC required. For computer audio, an ODAC and Objective 2 would be an excellent combination. Or a Matrix M-Stage or Burson Soloist or Woo WA6 or Lake People G109.
 
I could go on and on...
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 10:19 AM Post #4,550 of 23,548
I disagree completely.

I plug my Squeezebox Touch directly into my Bottlehead Crack and I'd put that setup up against anything. No external DAC required. For computer audio, an ODAC and Objective 2 would be an excellent combination. Or a Matrix M-Stage or Burson Soloist or Woo WA6 or Lake People G109.

I could go on and on...


You're entitled, of course, but that hasn't exactly been my experience. Oh, they sound fine, as long as you aren't plugging them directly into an iPod or other DAP, but they scale very well with upstream improvements.
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 10:23 AM Post #4,551 of 23,548
Nope, some find the HD800s to be too bright, and they really need some serious gear upstream to make them shine.

How bright the HD800s are is very gear dependent. They can sound quite warm with certain gear. The HD600s are more versatile because they're less revealing and more forgiving of the source. They sound good with pretty much everything that's decent.
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM Post #4,552 of 23,548
You're entitled, of course, but that hasn't exactly been my experience. Oh, they sound fine, as long as you aren't plugging them directly into an iPod or other DAP, but they scale very well with upstream improvements.

 
The HD600 and HD800 are similar in that careful choice of amplifier is required to get the most from them. But the need for "serious" upstream components is highly exaggerated. There are a number of amplifiers that come in below $1000 that have the needed voltage swing and "higher than zero" output impedance that pairs so well with them.
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 12:07 PM Post #4,553 of 23,548
I'm listening right now to the HD600 with the latest version of the Apogee Duet (32 Ohms output impedance) and it sounds very, very good. Much more natural, tighter and balanced-sounding than the HD650 and Musical Fidelity X-Can V3 amp I had a few years ago.
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 12:07 PM Post #4,554 of 23,548
   
The HD600 and HD800 are similar in that careful choice of amplifier is required to get the most from them. But the need for "serious" upstream components is highly exaggerated. There are a number of amplifiers that come in below $1000 that have the needed voltage swing and "higher than zero" output impedance that pairs so well with them.

 
Fully agree - just because they'd demand something better than most battery-operated general purpose devices and amps* doesn't mean you have to end up eating instant ramen for weeks. If you end up spending too much it's because you bought too many amps and sources "deaf" (ie, buying blind - you haven't heard it and you picked one out of reviews that didn't match well with what you actually wanted). I was actually offered an HD800 with a slightly loose right side cable (not sure if the problem was on the cable or the socket on the cups) for around $500 a year ago. I was strapped for cash, but for that money, I'd have grabbed it otherwise.
 
For $1,500 the gains in imaging and soundstage aren't enough justification for me, as I can just get new pads for $60 and get the same tonal qualities for another year, but to this day missing out on a roughly $900 discount (assume $100 to have it repaired or get a new, but definitely not expensive, cable) still haunts me, especially when the reason for being strapped for cash was because I got drunk at a stag party and racked up a $400 (out of the total $800) tab at the strip joint, and my friends never fail to remind me of that epic fail they found so amusing to watch (I basically did Hangover II in real life).



*I actually like my HD600 better out of my iPad2 and 2012 Acer laptop than when I had a CMOY and an iPod 5g
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 12:48 PM Post #4,556 of 23,548
^^ I wouldn't. You'll open a can of worms... Worms that can't tell what good sound is :) 
 
As the bass floods in, the control and refinement floods out! 
 
Oct 3, 2013 at 12:49 PM Post #4,557 of 23,548
After listening to the HD600 for a night, it has changed my perspective on the whole hi-fi / audiophile industry. It mainly stems from my firm belief that the HD600's sound almost in every way better (for me) than the HD650's. At very best I would just call them different headphones, both with completely different qualities. The HD650's were just too dark for the music types I listen to (most forms of Rock) but the HD600's neutrality and balance are just perfect for my tastes. But if they're just simply different headphones, why does one cost $100 more than the other? Comparing the two side by side it isn't like one of the sets are better built than the other. If anything the cable is of a different quality however (with the HD650 cables being a bit beefier) that is definitely not something worth $100 extra at all*. These two very important headphone models in the current scene represent a completely effective and rather obvious marketing tactic in which Sennheiser is essentially making free profit from a headphone that is just "different" and doesn't cost much more to make but they added 50 to the model name and suddenly people with disposable income are willing to dish out an extra bill for whatever reasons. I am sure that this is not an issue that is exclusive to the headphone scene but is universal to the world as people are always inclined to pay more attention to the newest models as people want the best possible product even when in truth, it might just be a different product. 
 
Sorry to go on a rant on you guys but I am just shocked at how much more I enjoy an older, cheaper, and to many an inferior model as opposed to the current flagship. I remember exactly why I initially started with the HD650, and I'll even admit it that it was for the prestige and elite qualities that for some reason come with owning the flagship model. However this whole experience has taught me not to chase model numbers and prices, but the sound that I truly enjoy. 
 
*Both impressions were made on the same custom Canare cable.
 

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