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Sennheiser HD 700 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by windsor, May 31, 2012.
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  1. DavidA
    Separation is better on the HD-700 compared to the HD-650, not up to the HD-800 level but I don't miss it and its not something that I put much weight in since I don't use the HD-700 for classical where the instrument separation is a more important aspect.
    And it depends on which LCD-2 you heard, I have a fazor version so the LCD-2 is about the same as the HD-700 to me but since I haven't heard the older version much its hard to say how they compare.
  2. Fuzziekiwi
    It was the fazor version I believe. The bass on those are great but they sound like an improved 650 to me. 
  3. DavidA
    They do sound like improved HD-650's in some ways but with some genres of music like a string quartet or light jazz the HD-650 is hard to beat, but if listening to EDM or R&B then the LCD-2 will be a better choice to me.
  4. Conext
    I'll try to keep this as concise as I can, as I don't want to bore anyone. Anyway, starting at the beginning...it was a cold and stormy night. No, wait, that's a different story...
    It actually began with a Sony ZX2. Lets just say that the output quality of it highlighted the deficiencies of the IEMs I was using. So I decided to try out the Sennheiser IE800s. They were a massive departure from what I was used to. Yes, I did find the highs somewhat harsh and sibilant. But the details, instrument separation and clarity was absolutely astounding—in my estimation, WELL worth a little harshness.
    Fast forward about a year and my desire to get some full-sized cans that were of similar sonic quality to the IE800s had overwhelmed my judgment. After much searching, comparing specs, reading reviews, etc. I decided to get the Oppo PM3.
    My immediate response upon hearing them for the first time? "Oh. They...they must need burn in before they sound good". Not a terribly auspicious start. However, I was more-or-less right. After 100 hours, I gave them another listen. In fact, I listened to them exclusively for about two weeks. And I did find them to be solidly good. A bit smooth and laid back compared to what I was used to. But certainly listenable.
    Until I went back to the IE800s. The clarity and instrument separation were just astounding me all over again. There simply was no way I could switch between the IE800 and PM3. The difference in sonic quality was just too jarring for me. So, off to eBay with the Oppos. And in their place? The HD700.
    Honestly, I was fully prepared to jump in the deep end of the pool with the HD800s. But these headphones are destined to be used with a portable source most of the time. And I just don't think any portable is really going to do justice to the HD800s. Given the lower impedance of the HD700s, as well as a multitude of reviewers who mentioned how they have rather harsh highs (a sign that perhaps they held a similar sound signature to the IE800s), I got a pair.
    My immediate response upon hearing them for the first time? "Ho! Lee! Sheet!"
    I find their signature VERY similar to the IE800. The two major differences that I've found so far are the sound stage and the highs. The sound stage is noticeably wider and deeper than the IE800s. There are some tracks where various instruments that used to just sit "in my head", now have spatial depth. I can "locate" their position either a little in front or behind me. And as for the highs, they are certainly sharp. But not as sibilant as the IE800s. Not sure if that's because of a difference in the drivers themselves or their position outside of the ear canal (or a combination).
    And surprisingly, the ZX2—which has notoriously low output power—is actually capable of driving the HD700s. I've found that most of my tracks require 80-85% of max volume. 90-95% tends to make said songs too loud for me to comfortably listen to. But even so, I haven't detected any distortion at those levels. That being said, I don't doubt that some people with music recorded at a low levels and/or have some hearing loss might run out of steam on this particular combo before they reach their desired levels.
    But, long story short, HD700 is awesome! If you love the HD700s you'd probably love the IE800s (and vice versa).
    VeggiePopper and NoMythsAudio like this.
  5. samandhi
      Glad to see yet another person enjoying their HD700s. Your thoughts are much like what mine were. Instead of coming from IEMs though, I came from the Momentum wireless and Momentum 1 (which are not as close in sound signature as what you came from). I have had mine for about 1 1/2 years, and to be honest, I have not had interest in buying any other headphones. I think that I have reached (my) endgame for headphones. I am still looking to buy better gear in the rest of the chain, but I think I am all set with the current lineup of headphones I have. 
      Congrats for getting some of the best (imo) headphones out there. 
    NoMythsAudio likes this.
  6. eliogolf93
    Hi guys,
    I want to ask you some questions: I wish to buy a sennheiser HD700 over the HD650, I listen often rock, hard rock and heavy metal music (often also symphonic, so the soundstage is important) and I use usually a Nuforce HDP amp. I can't decide if the amp will work better with the hd650 or hd700, I read that the hdp runs well with the hd 650.
    And another question: i've got a fiio x1 with a fiio e12a. For you, it's better to take a FiiO E12 to amp 650/700? (I will upgrade the x1 in the future)
    Thanks in advance
  7. Me x3

    Your preferences play a big role here.
    HD700 and HD650 are very different headphones.
    I don't think the HD700 works that great with your genres. It might work very well with a few rock/hard rock/heavy metal recordings but it will surely rule out big part of your collection.
    HD700 tend to shine with acoustic music, piano, etc...
    If tonal balance is important then HD600 should work very well and despite its soundstage being on the smaller side, with a good DAC/Amp it's good enough most of the times.
    Not saying that HD700 is unbalanced tonally, but its balance fits other genres better in my opinion.
    You should also consider the AudioTechnica R70x.
  8. eliogolf93
    Thanks for the suggestions :wink: 
  9. samandhi
      I actually find the very opposite to be true. I listen to those exact same genres about 95% of the time, and find them to sound VERY good with the HD700s. And I listen to them straight from the FiiO X3II, or an iPod touch paired with FiiO E17/E17K. They DO sound terrific with accoustic music, but they also sound fantastic with all genres except EDM, rap, etc...
      With any sort of headphone that has any sort of muddy or veiled presentation, I find those genres to sound congested and unclear (too much going on). But, because of the separation, and detail retrieval, and quality of bass of the HD700, I find it enhances the listening of those genres (especially heavy metal). The HD600 (IMO) lack the bass quantity to sound good with those genres, and the HD650s have a muddy-ness that makes them sound congested (both in comparison to the HD700 BTW). Now, I'm not saying that those 2 headphones sound bad at all, I am just saying (to my ears) the HD700s top them both in almost every way.
      @eliogolf93: But, I suggest you try them all. If you can buy them somewhere where you can return them, I would buy them both (or all 3) and give them a listen for yourself on your equipment. Ultimately it will be YOUR ears that tell you what sounds good. We cannot tell you that (although it sounds like you and I have similar tastes, if not in just the music anyhow).
    Fuzziekiwi likes this.
  10. Fuzziekiwi
    Reading reviews of the HD700 and I don't really know what to expect from these; some people say it's dark and not harsh at all and others say it is bright. There's a lot of polarizing opinions. 
  11. Conext

    Well, as I mentioned, I find them to be very analogous in sound signature to the IE800. Heck, I'm using the same exact EQ settings that I use with my IE800, and I'm damn hard pressed to tell much sonic difference, aside from expanded sound stage and slightly less harsh treble.
    Which is my round about way of suggesting reading some reviews of the IE800. Might provide some additional insight.
    I'm guessing amps likely make a difference. But when being driven by a "wimpy" Sony ZX2 the HD700 sounds like the IE800 to me.
  12. dazzerfong
    Well, it's certainly not dark at all. Not even close: it's much brighter compared to the 600 and 650. You can even graph it!
  13. Me x3

    Have you heard them side by side?
    Both my former HD600 (2015) and my current HD650 (2016) have more bass than my HD700.
    I find the HD700 to be less mid-bassy and less wooly next to the HD6x0
    Depending on the recording, my DT880 packs more punch than HD700.
    HD700 is relatively bright around the 6kHz region and thus it can be quite unforgiving with less than very good recordings.
    More so they have an unintrussive but a tad recessed upper midrange. A laid back presentation that push some electric guitars to the back and not everyone likes that.
    As always, personal preferences and recordings play a big role since not all rock/hard rock/heavy metal recordings are produced in the same manner.
    @eliogolf93 feel free to share two or three of your favourite recordings so we can try them and give you more precise advice.
  14. eliogolf93
    Thank you guys! :)
    I already ordered the HD650, because I found them at a cheap price, but I can return the product and buy the hd600 or 700. The best thing, like you said, it's to hear all of them. By the way, for give you and idea of my listening, I love to hear rock-acoustic rock songs like "away from the sun" by 3 doors down, but also very fast heavy metal like painkiller by Judas Priest. And, not for last, I usually listen to symphonic metal like Epica that had a lot of classical instruments, female voices but at the same time is very fast music.

    EDIT: Ok, I heard the seller and yeah, eventually I can return the HD650 and pay the difference to take the HD700. And...if can help you, I just love how sounds audio technica msr7 (imho a better version of the M50). So if the 650 or 700 had a sound "similar" (but better I guess) to the msr7, I guess i'll pick that.
  15. Mr Makarov

    Interesting! I find the HD700 to sound very similar to IE800 too but to my surprise I like IE800 more. Never thought I would say that about an IEM but IE800 (to me) has wider soundstage than HD700 but looses badly on depth, sounds more clean/clear, has more bass and sub-bass and very similar mids. Also IE800 is more treble-happy than HD700 but overall feeling is that of full and smooth sound (if it makes sense). Also HD700 has surprisingly good synergy with Sony DAPs. From FiiO X5 (1st gen) HD700 sounds dry, veiled and lifeless.
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