Sennheiser HD650 & Massdrop HD6XX Impressions Thread
May 10, 2021 at 9:36 AM Post #44,221 of 44,364

Lolito

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there is a difference in the sound and there is a difference in the measurements, small but it is there, you can see it on the graphs, but those people of the measurements they never ever listen, they believe the measurements, not the sound. They say their head is biased and they can not trust their own brain, LOL. Funny thing, they can not hear a 1db difference... LOL
 
May 10, 2021 at 9:43 AM Post #44,222 of 44,364

Dawgfish

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there is a difference in the sound and there is a difference in the measurements, small but it is there, you can see it on the graphs, but those people of the measurements they never ever listen, they believe the measurements, not the sound. They say their head is biased and they can not trust their own brain, LOL. Funny thing, they can not hear a 1db difference... LOL
Exactly. I had fresh pads on both and even used the same cable when comparing to make it a direct comparison. The difference in sound between the two is very easily discernable. Many members of the site also posted there are discernable differences between the two to their credit.
 
May 10, 2021 at 10:04 AM Post #44,223 of 44,364

Apex Eight

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Thanks for sharing, very interesting. Noob question though, just because two headphones measure the same when sweeping through a frequency response test doesn't necessarily mean they'll sound the same when playing actual music, right? Like isn't this where headphone-specific properties like dynamic and technical ability come into play? Like at any given point of the graph, they're just producing the same dB while holding that specific frequency, but when you're listening to music, aren't the headphones kind producing a bunch of different frequencies, simultaneously? So like wouldn't things like driver stiffness, magnet strength, and other physical engineering properties affect how they sound when playing music opposed to just holding one frequency when being graphed?
 
May 10, 2021 at 10:20 AM Post #44,224 of 44,364

Dawgfish

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Thanks for sharing, very interesting. Noob question though, just because two headphones measure the same when sweeping through a frequency response test doesn't necessarily mean they'll sound the same when playing actual music, right? Like isn't this where headphone-specific properties like dynamic and technical ability come into play? Like at any given point of the graph, they're just producing the same dB while holding that specific frequency, but when you're listening to music, aren't the headphones kind producing a bunch of different frequencies, simultaneously? So like wouldn't things like driver stiffness, magnet strength, and other physical engineering properties affect how they sound when playing music opposed to just holding one frequency when being graphed?
That's an excellent question and really well thought out. I totally agree with you on your points. Everything as a whole should be taken together in account for the overall sound of something. Frequency and distortion response graphs do not tell the whole story. Far from it.
 
May 10, 2021 at 11:44 AM Post #44,226 of 44,364

Odin412

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Just saw a new post on the measurement site where they measured and compared the HD600 and HD650 and basically said in terms of measurements and listening tests that there was no difference between the two. Seriously! You can't make this up! I hear very large differences between the two when A/Bing on the same equipment. Must all be in my head! SMH! 😏

It's like the old saying goes: If it measures the same and sounds different then you're not measuring the right thing.
 
May 10, 2021 at 11:49 AM Post #44,227 of 44,364

Odin412

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Thanks for sharing, very interesting. Noob question though, just because two headphones measure the same when sweeping through a frequency response test doesn't necessarily mean they'll sound the same when playing actual music, right? Like isn't this where headphone-specific properties like dynamic and technical ability come into play? Like at any given point of the graph, they're just producing the same dB while holding that specific frequency, but when you're listening to music, aren't the headphones kind producing a bunch of different frequencies, simultaneously? So like wouldn't things like driver stiffness, magnet strength, and other physical engineering properties affect how they sound when playing music opposed to just holding one frequency when being graphed?

Frequency response alone does not fully describe sound impressions IMHO. However, some things are clearly correlated - the treble peak on the HD 800 frequency response curve is clearly audible, for example. Measurements are interesting, but they are just one data point - again, IMHO.
 
May 10, 2021 at 4:01 PM Post #44,228 of 44,364

gefski

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It's almost certain that these products will remain. If you read the statement, this is connecting up the two companies going forward, simply that Sonova (and the Sennheiser consumer division they now have) will focus on the consumer direction of the business.

If Sennheiser are making great headphone drivers, Sonova will be using them, no doubt. The focus will shift more to the ANC/TWS market, as Samsung & AKG have done, but there's no way known this is the death of their open back headphones.
I agree that Senn’s audiophile stuff is likely to continue to thrive and develop. Their continued “playing around” with variations on the 580/600/650/6XX/58X/660 is really fun as far as I’m concerned. An infusion of capital could help here, as it has with other companies. Stax, for example, would likely have gone away if they hadn’t been purchased.

There’s a rumored new product release apparently coming May 11.
 
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May 10, 2021 at 4:09 PM Post #44,229 of 44,364

MayaTlab

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Thanks for sharing, very interesting. Noob question though, just because two headphones measure the same when sweeping through a frequency response test doesn't necessarily mean they'll sound the same when playing actual music, right? Like isn't this where headphone-specific properties like dynamic and technical ability come into play? Like at any given point of the graph, they're just producing the same dB while holding that specific frequency, but when you're listening to music, aren't the headphones kind producing a bunch of different frequencies, simultaneously? So like wouldn't things like driver stiffness, magnet strength, and other physical engineering properties affect how they sound when playing music opposed to just holding one frequency when being graphed?

Best available knowledge so far would suggests that the simple answer is that they would... provided other measurable aspects such as THD are under threshold of audibility (the case for the HD6... series for the most part apparently), and they actually have the exact same FR curve at your own eardrum (the latter is highly, highly, - I repeat : highly - unlikely - even if you use a third party measurement on a decent test rig as a basis to EQ them to the same target).

Headphones can measure very significantly differently on your head than what they do on a test rig, for various reasons (pads wear or compression, clamp force, seal breach, the way they interact with your anatomy, positional variation, etc.).
Examples :
- Rtings measure headphones' bass response on five real humans. An example of a pair of headphones with a high variance at low frequencies because of inconsistent seal across users : https://www.rtings.com/headphones/1-3-1/graph#669/3185
- Earpads' influence on FR : https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/earpads/
- A paper where six headphones were measured on six different subjects with an Etymotic ER7C probe tube microphone located near the subjects' eardrum : https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=16877
- A piece from Oratory1990 about it : https://old.reddit.com/r/oratory199...beats_solo_pro_is_the_best_headphone/fpay3b5/
- A short, anecdotal personal experience of a surprising variance at lower frequencies between two fully open headphones : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the...-at-a-breakthrough-value.943107/post-16300055

And since it's likely FR is still different at your own eardrum, it then becomes impossible to attribute to another variable the cause of what you're hearing without controlling the FR variable.
 
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May 10, 2021 at 4:33 PM Post #44,230 of 44,364

retskrad

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I bought the HifiMan Sundara looking for an upgrade over the 6XX but the 6XX sounds overall better to me. the Sundara has clearer bass och treble but the midrange sounds unnatural. That's crazy. The 650 is like 15 years old and the Sundara is bleedig edge planar technology. They shouldn't trade blows but here we are ...
 
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May 10, 2021 at 4:40 PM Post #44,231 of 44,364

Apex Eight

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I bought the HifiMan Sundara looking for an upgrade over the 6XX but the 6XX sounds overall better to me. the Sundara has clearer bass och treble but the midrange sounds unnatural. That's crazy. The 650 is like 15 years old and the Sundara is bleedig edge planar technology. They shouldn't trade blows but here we are ...
Interesting, I've got both on the way. Never heard either. What amp/DAC are you using?
 
May 10, 2021 at 6:27 PM Post #44,232 of 44,364

kman1211

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I bought the HifiMan Sundara looking for an upgrade over the 6XX but the 6XX sounds overall better to me. the Sundara has clearer bass och treble but the midrange sounds unnatural. That's crazy. The 650 is like 15 years old and the Sundara is bleedig edge planar technology. They shouldn't trade blows but here we are ...

Some of the best headphones I’ve heard were old. The planar tech isn’t really as bleeding edge as portrayed. There has been a hype machine around planardynamics that honestly portrays them as a greater technology than they really are, it’s more of a different tech with different advantages and disadvantages. Headphone driver tech is not like computer tech; it’s been mature for a long time. It’s mostly changes and refinements and not all the changes and refinements are necessarily good. Sometimes the newer versions sound worse.
 
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May 10, 2021 at 7:18 PM Post #44,233 of 44,364

Deolum

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I bought the HifiMan Sundara looking for an upgrade over the 6XX but the 6XX sounds overall better to me. the Sundara has clearer bass och treble but the midrange sounds unnatural. That's crazy. The 650 is like 15 years old and the Sundara is bleedig edge planar technology. They shouldn't trade blows but here we are ...
650 (and so i guess also the 6xx) is better than 95% of all headphones out there including those in the 1-2k range so just forget about upgrading.
 
May 10, 2021 at 7:20 PM Post #44,234 of 44,364

cddc

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Some of the best headphones I’ve heard were old. The planar tech isn’t really as bleeding edge as portrayed. There has been a hype machine around planardynamics that honestly portrays them as a greater technology than they really are, it’s more of a different tech with different advantages and disadvantages. Headphone driver tech is not like computer tech; it’s been mature for a long time. It’s mostly changes and refinements and not all the changes and refinements are necessarily good. Sometimes the newer versions sound worse.


Agree, planar tech is old tech and has lots of intrinsic problems - the foil glued on to the diaphragm is easy to come off and easy to break, so all major headphone makers ditched the tech long time ago.

Somehow some boutique companies (like HiFiMan and Audeze) picked up the old ditched planar tech and started making headphones, however, they never solved the intrinsic problems on planar headphones, that's why we see so many problems with planar headphones, sudden death within a few months or a year is quite common, they can never outlive the traditional dynamic headphones.
 
May 10, 2021 at 7:31 PM Post #44,235 of 44,364

cddc

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I agree that Senn’s audiophile stuff is likely to continue to thrive and develop. Their continued “playing around” with variations on the 580/600/650/6XX/58X/660 is really fun as far as I’m concerned. An infusion of capital could help here, as it has with other companies. Stax, for example, would likely have gone away if they hadn’t been purchased.

There’s a rumored new product release apparently coming May 11.


I am pessimistic on it. Once the consumer/audiophile unit is cut off from Sennheiser, it's no longer getting the tech from Sennheiser, especially the tech buildup from the Pro lines.
 

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