Sennheiser HD 700 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by windsor, May 31, 2012.
  1. GearMe
  2. hikaru12
    You honestly shouldn't run into issues since I've been able to power my 700's easily off the motherboard and laptop without any extra amplification. I'm actually reserving the 700s now for a portable setup as I prefer them solely for Classical/Jazz. I'm thinking of going with the Black Label over the Mojo. Just got a new work iPhone and I prefer their thunder cable USB adapter to Android's since they tend to really not work as well in terms of connection strength.
  3. Anarion
    Not worried about power at all. If I'd switch to high gain my HD 595's would probably break. AE-5 has three gain options and I'm using the lowest one for HD 595 (~10% volume and still have to use volume pot to reduce the volume further). The lowest setting seems to be 1x gain which is a good thing for sensitive headphones (like HD 595). 1 ohm output means that I finally don't have to deal with bloated bass. It makes such a massive difference with HD 595s. I used to use the line out from Zx because the headphone amplified too much (and it was 10 ohms). ESS ES9016K2M DAC seems slightly warm (but still really detailed yet very pleasant sounding) so I expect it to be a nice match. The Cirrus Logic CS4398 sounded a bit harsh.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  4. DavidA
    With the HD700 I wouldn't worry about the output impedance of the amp. A amp with higher output impedance usually tends to tighten up the bass for my HD650 and HD700 which is probably why I like the BH Crack with the HD700 at its output impedance is about 75ohms with the TS5998 power tube.
  5. Anarion
    Got them today. The place where I bought them is rather flexible so I can return them.

    Sensitivity wise these are pretty close to HD 595. Which means I can actually use the same settings - low gain and 10% volume (volume pot around 66%). I also think that these work the best when using the low gain (meant for 16-31 ohm headphones - my ass... It would still be way too much with volume pot).

    Ookay... So here's the deal after trying various different tracks and things. Some things just aren't obvious after quick test.

    This is truly annoying. The things that HD 700 do well it does really well but then there are things that just don't sound very nice nor realistic at all. The problem is recessed mids and peak around 6K which makes the treble sounds unnatural and not very pleasant to listen. It's not detail nor piercing, just rather unnatural brightness around that spot that ruins quite a few electronic tracks. The recessed mids made some songs "lack body" or "fullness". It's also the contrast between those to issues that makes it sound kinda unbalanced.

    Some tracks sound absolutely fantastic where that is not an issue. Low end, soundstage, separation, detail (you can hear things that weren't obvious or that kinda blended in the background)... All are great. It's wonderful for acoustic tracks (piano for example) without vocals (and if there are not many cymbals or the likes). It's also extremely comfortable to wear.

    I swapped constantly between HD 700 and HD 595 and ended up liking the HD 595 more. The thing is... It does everything "well" and sounds pleasant across the frequency range. HD 700 is all over the place and some things just don't sound very pleasant. It really depends on what is the genre you like to listen. It's not one for all solution.

    So, I'm going to return these. I actually probably need to re-test HD 6x0 series cans because the HD 660s was actually pretty similar to HD 595 in terms of sound signature when I tested it. It did clamp quite hard but that should be fixable (also the price at the moment is too high - it'll likely come down in price soon). Also the listening environment wasn't the best - I know a better place where to test. If I still find them pleasing I'll just keep waiting... I also know that headphones with auto adjusting strap do not work well with my head and I'd rather stay below 500 €.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
    hikaru12 likes this.
  6. Malfunkt
    @Anarion sorry to hear they didn’t work for you. They have an unusual frequency curve, one that I find sounds balanced after you adjust to them. When I first got them, especially the first couple days I found them a bit fatiguing. Now, for myself they are all-rounders.

    It is good for some electronic music providing it is very dynamic. But yes, you may be better off with a headphone with a more traditionally natural frequency curve. If you are looking to replace your HD595, the HD660S looks to be the ticket. I’ve owned the HD650 a couple times and its a favourite. It’s a bit warmer which can be great if you wanted something to compliment your hd595 and you had a decent amp to power it.

    I still think the HD650 has an incredible sound stage. People call it intimate but a true test of its ability is with binaural music - and it is one of the best performers in my opinion, even against the hd700.

    Personally, I still rate the HD700 higher than 650 because of it clarity, unique enclosure and sound signature. But if I had to keep one headphone for listening, ergonomics aside it would be either a LCD2, HD660S, or HD250 as these all have a more natural eq curve.
    trellus likes this.
  7. GearMe
    Maybe consider the HD58X as well? They're supposed to combine the good traits of the HD600s and HD650s...for $149
    I own both of those cans and still enjoy them both. That said, if the HD58X accomplishes this feat, it might be a great all-rounder at an incredible price.

    From Massdrop's site...
    The HD 58X Jubilee uses Sennheiser’s new 150-ohm drivers, which require less amplification than previous driver platforms while retaining the same magnet strength and driver size. This makes the new headphone easier to drive from sources like your mobile phone or digital audio player. The sound is clear, fast, dynamic, and lively: reminiscent in some ways of the HD 600 and in others of the HD 650. It places an emphasis on clean, extended bass, with a solid transient response and a smooth but clear upper midrange.
    Malfunkt likes this.
  8. Anarion
    HD 700 is kinda all over the place. It can be really good yet sometimes not so great. It really depends on what you listen. I'd really like something that can handle everything nicely. I did try HD 660 S but but...

    HD 660 S didn't seem to have anything bothersome going on (and did feel quite similar) when I tested them but soundstage width seemed lacking. What makes it hard to judge is the fact that I have to use my phone as a source while the amp might be really good. I should have tested better back then though - I was quite hasty. HD 650/ HD 6XX might be a bit too warmish, thus HD 600 would probably be better option. HD 58X is interesting but it would probably take close to seven months to arrive.

    If they would make HD 660 S (-ish sound) but with HD 59x/700 comfort and HD 700 soundstage... Now that would be fantastic.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
    Malfunkt likes this.
  9. captblaze
    my preferred HD700 setup... Source (I have a few)>Valhalla 2 with "Bugle Boys" in the output stage>HD700. Makes a potent nightstand listening station when paired with the proper source

    As always my hearing, my opinion
    Matro5 likes this.
  10. TC44
    Picked up a pre owned pair of HD700 recently and very satisfied with the SQ and comfort. Matched up well with my DacMagic/Shanling PH300, but more impressed how well they perform with my FIIO X3. The X3 has enough juice to drive the HD700 without losing much of the sound signature as compared to my DT880 which go lifeless. My other hp are Magnum V4 woodies and Eytomic ER4P. I do enjoy a brighter presentation and very tolerant of treble spikes. Also appreciate a well defined and accurate bass, but not very tolerant of low frequency slam, almost makes me feel physically ill at times. The HD700 match me well. Used to own HD600, HD650, Campfire Audio Nova, Denon ADH2000, AKG Q701, Grado RS2i, Sony SA5000, Vmoda M80 and a few others.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
    Malfunkt and trellus like this.
  11. trellus
    Nice pickup! What is that cable you are using?
  12. TC44
    Hi and thank you. The cable came with the phones and doesn't have any markings. I believe it's a generic brand, but seems to be built fairly well.
  13. Malfunkt
    @TC44 congrats. Interesting to hear your impressions. Also, first time I’ve heard about bass having such an effect! I’m sitting here listening to my HD630VB and I am just addicted to its detail and bass punch. It can create bass feeling that gives you the feeling of the room vibrating. Fortunately, the bass can be dialed below even HD700 levels. Very similar actually when it’s tuned down. It sits in between HD700 and HD650 type sound. HD630VB needs some love as its awesome.

    Good to know the Fiio can drive the HD700 well. I think I’ll need to upgrade my old iPod. It has more of dull DAC sound, a bit sludgy :)
    Sennheiser, trellus and TC44 like this.
  14. DavidA
    My old GF used a Fiio X3 + HD700 almost every day while walking the dog and its a really nice pairing but I still prefer the HD700 with BH Crack or Ember.
    TC44 and Malfunkt like this.
  15. TC44
    Thank you! Just did a quick search on the HD630VB; very interesting design and seem quite versatile...would love to hear a pair one day.
    I'm prone to motion sickness and may be the reason for my low tolerance to deep sub bass specifically in headphones. Might be a result from inner ear pressurization or something, but not sure. Just get a little quizzy nothing violent thank goodness haha.
    Malfunkt likes this.

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