Sennheiser HD650 or AKG K712 Pro
post-14458739
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 18

erted

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
1
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Posts
37
Likes
1
Hi everybody,

I'm in the market for some new headphones and have reached a bit of a dilemma.

I've been eyeing the Sennheiser HD650 for quite some time now and was pretty much set on them until I came across the AKG K712 Pro. There seems to be quite a few comparisons between the two and form what I have gathered, people generally seem to prefer the HD650, both in terms of sound as well as build quality. The dilemma I've found myself in has to do with the price of the headphones. I can get the HD650 for 325€ (roughly $380) and the K712 Pro for 225€ (roughly $260), both brand new.

Assuming the HD650 are better (relative, I know), are they worth the extra $120 over the K712 Pro? Unfortunately, I am unable to try either of these out, so I'm hoping I'll get some help here, though I realize these things are somewhat subjective.

To provide some more information, here are some things I wish for in my next headphones:

- neutral sound - I mainly listen to rock and metal, with the occasional electronic music thrown in the mix
- decent build quality with spare parts (especially pads) availability
- over-ear design (I don't have a preference for open or closed)
- good price-performance ratio

The headphones would be driven using my NuForce UDH-100 amp/dac combo.

Any insight on the two headphones would be greatly appreciated :)
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-14458742
Post #2 of 18

Quasimodosbelfry

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
578
Reaction score
383
Location
Third Rock from the Sun
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Location
Third Rock from the Sun
Posts
578
Likes
383
If you get the Massdrop HD 6xx, they're essentially the same headphone and they're cheaper.
 
post-14458765
Post #3 of 18

Monsterzero

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
8,131
Reaction score
4,298
Location
Down at Dinos Bar & Grill
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Location
Down at Dinos Bar & Grill
Posts
8,131
Likes
4,298
     Share This Post       
post-14458769
Post #4 of 18

erted

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
1
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Posts
37
Likes
1
If you get the Massdrop HD 6xx, they're essentially the same headphone and they're cheaper.
Great, thanks. I've completely forgotten about the HD6XX :D

Any idea when they might appear for sale (I'm not really familiar with how Massdrop works in terms of how many requests it takes for an item to be available)?
 
     Share This Post       
post-14458970
Post #6 of 18

erted

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
1
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Posts
37
Likes
1
Well, looks pretty clear to me. HD650 it is (unless Massdrop puts the HD6XX up for sale this month).

Thanks for your help :)
 
     Share This Post       
post-14459137
Post #8 of 18

god-bluff

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Messages
1,063
Reaction score
271
Location
God's own county
Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Location
God's own county
Posts
1,063
Likes
271
If you want neutral (and 'natural') you will be needing the HD600 IMO
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: ScubadudeSA
post-14459202
Post #9 of 18

Me x3

Member of the Trade: FiiO Store Argentina
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Messages
4,832
Reaction score
881
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Posts
4,832
Likes
881
Hello, both are similarly good in the big scheme of things but different in many regards.
Your preferences will play the bigger role at the time of deciding which one is best for you.

AKG K712 PRO
- Lighter tonality
- Clearer, more linear and more extended bass
- More sound separation / layering as well as bigger soundstage
- More sparkly / detail oriented treble
- Moderate/nice clamping force
- Very high quality foam earpads
- Suspension headband
- Carrying bag and extra cable included
- Harder load for the amp
- Works best with (at least) relatively high quality recordings

HD650
- Slightly fuller sound
- Slightly better midrange texture
- Softer treble
- More cohessive sound
- High clamping force (that can be corrected by hand)
- Soft earpads that tend to flatten with time
- Cushioned headband
- Hard cardboard case
- Works fine with most recordings, not picky

Sennheiser HD650 is much more popular headphone so it's likely the one that you'll find recommended more often.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: erted
post-14459323
Post #10 of 18

erted

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
1
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Posts
37
Likes
1
If you want neutral (and 'natural') you will be needing the HD600 IMO
I was actually thinking of getting the HD600 until I came across some sound demos for both the HD600 and the HD650. Now I'm not exactly audiophile-savvy and I listened to the demos using my monitors (JBL LRS 305), but I preferred the HD650 mainly due to the reason they sounded wider, more open, where the HD600 sounded narrower, more closed (I hope you understand what I mean) although I felt the HD600 had a touch more detail.

Hello, both are similarly good in the big scheme of things but different in many regards.
Your preferences will play the bigger role at the time of deciding which one is best for you.

AKG K712 PRO
- Lighter tonality
- Clearer, more linear and more extended bass
- More sound separation / layering as well as bigger soundstage
- More sparkly / detail oriented treble
- Moderate/nice clamping force
- Very high quality foam earpads
- Suspension headband
- Carrying bag and extra cable included
- Harder load for the amp
- Works best with (at least) relatively high quality recordings

HD650
- Slightly fuller sound
- Slightly better midrange texture
- Softer treble
- More cohessive sound
- High clamping force (that can be corrected by hand)
- Soft earpads that tend to flatten with time
- Cushioned headband
- Hard cardboard case
- Works fine with most recordings, not picky

Sennheiser HD650 is much more popular headphone so it's likely the one that you'll find recommended more often.
Awesome, thank you for the detailed comparison. Above I mentioned sound demos for the HD600 and HD650. There is also a sound demo for the 712 Pro but unfortunately the songs are different, so a direct comparison is a more difficult. That said though, I think I'm still going to go with the HD650. They just seem like a safer bet. I've read about problems with the 712 Pro such as the headband losing tension over time, tendency for the headphones to slide down especially on smaller heads, the headband not being comfortable.... I realize this is fairly relative, but still, I feel the HD650 is a safer bet. I also like that there are many spare parts available for the HD650 (earpads, headbands and headband cushions...). I realize that you can get spare parts for the 712 Pro as well, but they are quite pricy - a single original earpad costs 50€ (roughly $58) whereas a pair of original HD650 pads is 40€ (roughly $46. I just really wish I could try these out but in the end, I think I'll be happy with the sound of either.

Thanks again :)
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: god-bluff
post-14459527
Post #11 of 18

Me x3

Member of the Trade: FiiO Store Argentina
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Messages
4,832
Reaction score
881
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Posts
4,832
Likes
881
Awesome, thank you for the detailed comparison. Above I mentioned sound demos for the HD600 and HD650. There is also a sound demo for the 712 Pro but unfortunately the songs are different, so a direct comparison is a more difficult. That said though, I think I'm still going to go with the HD650. They just seem like a safer bet. I've read about problems with the 712 Pro such as the headband losing tension over time, tendency for the headphones to slide down especially on smaller heads, the headband not being comfortable.... I realize this is fairly relative, but still, I feel the HD650 is a safer bet. I also like that there are many spare parts available for the HD650 (earpads, headbands and headband cushions...). I realize that you can get spare parts for the 712 Pro as well, but they are quite pricy - a single original earpad costs 50€ (roughly $58) whereas a pair of original HD650 pads is 40€ (roughly $46. I just really wish I could try these out but in the end, I think I'll be happy with the sound of either.

Thanks again :)
I've owned the three of them and yes, in terms of opennes:
K712 > HD650 > HD600

While HD600 is more forward/upfront, HD650 seems to be just a tad more resolving of microdetail for some reason.
I ended up keeping the HD650 and selling the HD600, although both are nice. I would say HD600 is more vocal oriented while HD650 is more of an all rounder.

Earpads are very expensive for K712 but also superior / more durable than the earpads of HD650.
K712 is also cheaper so they leave those extra 120 in your wallet just in case. They also come with two cables while the Senns have only one.

Price-wise they are close, sound-wise they are different.
If you value soundstage, bass layering and sparkly treble go for the AKG.
If you want a warm and detailed sound that's also soft enough to not make you hate sub-optimal recordings, then HD650 is the one to get.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: buke9 and erted
post-14459676
Post #12 of 18

ProtegeManiac

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
16,060
Reaction score
2,969
Location
Manila
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Location
Manila
Posts
16,060
Likes
2,969
Website
www.instagram.com
- neutral sound - I mainly listen to rock and metal, with the occasional electronic music thrown in the mix
The problem is how to define neutral. From an objective standpoint the relatively smoother curve of the HD650 arguably has less drastic deviations from 1000hz. Subjectively, people will claim they can't hear the treble.


- decent build quality with spare parts (especially pads) availability
K712 has flat pads so they're not as demanding of using the older angled pads for you to preserve the imaging (that said, using the older pads might improve it), but they cost more and can be harder to find other than direct from AKG and a few sites.

Amazon has Sennheiser pads and if you gut them the Brainwavz HM5 pads can give you some options. I use the angled velours on my HD600. Won't give you anywhere near K70x imaging in terms of size but it makes the HD6xx series' soundstage even more proportional as the cymbals are moved backwards.


- over-ear design (I don't have a preference for open or closed)
They're about even on those but since the AKGs are round, if you have sensitive skin, there's going to more earpads towards the center of your face, so if you react to these they could be at a more visible spot.

HD6xx needs manual adjustment to get right (in terms of comfort and/or sound). K7xx series has self-adjusting headbands but if your head is too large it can't flex more to loosen the clamp (which might make the treble stronger), or if you have a smaller head, it can't get any tighter (likely getting you weaker bass).


- good price-performance ratio

The headphones would be driven using my NuForce UDH-100 amp/dac combo.
K712 is harder to drive so if you're just about to buy an amp, the savings will just more likely end up spent on the amp.

NuForce claims 500mW from that, likely at 32ohms, so it likely has enough power for it. Not sure if it can maintain voltage delivery and still have well over 200mW for the HD650 but I would assume it won't be a problem. If anything, I tried the older HDP, and for some reason it can't drive my HD600 properly - bass notes even without EQ seemed to have a "thwack" sound usually due to overexcursion but I'm not even boosting the low end nor playing loud bass music.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: erted
post-14459915
Post #13 of 18

erted

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
37
Reaction score
1
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Posts
37
Likes
1
I've owned the three of them and yes, in terms of opennes:
K712 > HD650 > HD600

While HD600 is more forward/upfront, HD650 seems to be just a tad more resolving of microdetail for some reason.
I ended up keeping the HD650 and selling the HD600, although both are nice. I would say HD600 is more vocal oriented while HD650 is more of an all rounder.

Earpads are very expensive for K712 but also superior / more durable than the earpads of HD650.
K712 is also cheaper so they leave those extra 120 in your wallet just in case. They also come with two cables while the Senns have only one.

Price-wise they are close, sound-wise they are different.
If you value soundstage, bass layering and sparkly treble go for the AKG.
If you want a warm and detailed sound that's also soft enough to not make you hate sub-optimal recordings, then HD650 is the one to get.
I got a similar impression regarding the HD650 being more of an all-rounder, that's why I picked it over the HD600.

I suppose you got me there when it comes to the pads. If they are more durable, then I they are worth the extra money.

Based on your summary of both headphones I think I prefer the HD650. I should also mention I would use the headphones for the occasional videogame and movie / YouTube video, although the primary purpose would be music playback.

The problem is how to define neutral. From an objective standpoint the relatively smoother curve of the HD650 arguably has less drastic deviations from 1000hz. Subjectively, people will claim they can't hear the treble.

K712 has flat pads so they're not as demanding of using the older angled pads for you to preserve the imaging (that said, using the older pads might improve it), but they cost more and can be harder to find other than direct from AKG and a few sites.

Amazon has Sennheiser pads and if you gut them the Brainwavz HM5 pads can give you some options. I use the angled velours on my HD600. Won't give you anywhere near K70x imaging in terms of size but it makes the HD6xx series' soundstage even more proportional as the cymbals are moved backwards.

They're about even on those but since the AKGs are round, if you have sensitive skin, there's going to more earpads towards the center of your face, so if you react to these they could be at a more visible spot.

HD6xx needs manual adjustment to get right (in terms of comfort and/or sound). K7xx series has self-adjusting headbands but if your head is too large it can't flex more to loosen the clamp (which might make the treble stronger), or if you have a smaller head, it can't get any tighter (likely getting you weaker bass).

K712 is harder to drive so if you're just about to buy an amp, the savings will just more likely end up spent on the amp.

NuForce claims 500mW from that, likely at 32ohms, so it likely has enough power for it. Not sure if it can maintain voltage delivery and still have well over 200mW for the HD650 but I would assume it won't be a problem. If anything, I tried the older HDP, and for some reason it can't drive my HD600 properly - bass notes even without EQ seemed to have a "thwack" sound usually due to overexcursion but I'm not even boosting the low end nor playing loud bass music.
As I mentioned, I'm not exactly audiophile-savvy, but under neutral I imagine a nice, evenly balanced sound with nothing sticking out or lacking. So, no booming bass that makes your eyeballs rattle in your sockets, no screeching high, no recessed mids. Bit of an extreme example, but you get the point.

My main concern is mostly durability. For example, if the headband on the AKGs really loses tension, can it be fixed or replaced? I'm not really sure about that desing. To be fair, I have heard headbands on HD600 / 650 can crack, but that doesn't worry me considering you can buy a replacement headband. And if it's any help, these will be my first "proper" headphones, everything I've owned so far was priced below $150.

Lastly, I already own the UDH-100. Whether it could run either the HD650 or the K712 Pro I really can't say. Best I can do is tell you what the manual says, although I have read on these very forums that the UDH-100 is supposedly (much) better than the HDP and on par with the Shiit Valhalla, being able to drive a 600 ohm Beyerdynamic DT990 as well as AKG K702, if that's relevant :)
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-14460308
Post #14 of 18

prymortal

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
158
Reaction score
91
Location
New Zealand
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Location
New Zealand
Posts
158
Likes
91
Website
www.twitch.tv
Hi everybody,

I'm in the market for some new headphones and have reached a bit of a dilemma.

I've been eyeing the Sennheiser HD650 for quite some time now and was pretty much set on them until I came across the AKG K712 Pro. There seems to be quite a few comparisons between the two and form what I have gathered, people generally seem to prefer the HD650, both in terms of sound as well as build quality. The dilemma I've found myself in has to do with the price of the headphones. I can get the HD650 for 325€ (roughly $380) and the K712 Pro for 225€ (roughly $260), both brand new.

Assuming the HD650 are better (relative, I know), are they worth the extra $120 over the K712 Pro? Unfortunately, I am unable to try either of these out, so I'm hoping I'll get some help here, though I realize these things are somewhat subjective.

To provide some more information, here are some things I wish for in my next headphones:

- neutral sound - I mainly listen to rock and metal, with the occasional electronic music thrown in the mix
- decent build quality with spare parts (especially pads) availability
- over-ear design (I don't have a preference for open or closed)
- good price-performance ratio

The headphones would be driven using my NuForce UDH-100 amp/dac combo.

Any insight on the two headphones would be greatly appreciated :)
So i don't have the HD6XX (yet, got last drop waiting on arrival) But i do have the K712 Pro. Rock & Metal its nothing but overpowering cymbals. I have years of studio training to listen through music for certain things & even I stuggle to stay focused through those cymbals, Its the perfect headset for a drummer!! Would of loved to have when i did drumming! but not when was doing bass guitar e.t.c. But honestly it gives me a headache everytime if i listen for an hour+. Electronic music is Great on them!. Even though its clear, very clear & detailed that brightness is always an issue with ride,crash & hi-hat drummer cymbals. Soundstage is good. Imaging is.... Ok, has some, not accurate (only an issue for games).
One factor is i didnt have a good headphone amp when i used them, so that might make a difference? someone else might be able to inform of how much that changes things.
Now the reason why i got the HD6XX is because i cant listen to rock/metal on it due to the overpowering cymbals & everyone said with the hd6XX I will be able to.
Hope that helps in some way.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-14460480
Post #15 of 18

ProtegeManiac

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
16,060
Reaction score
2,969
Location
Manila
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Location
Manila
Posts
16,060
Likes
2,969
Website
www.instagram.com
As I mentioned, I'm not exactly audiophile-savvy, but under neutral I imagine a nice, evenly balanced sound with nothing sticking out or lacking. So, no booming bass that makes your eyeballs rattle in your sockets, no screeching high, no recessed mids. Bit of an extreme example, but you get the point.
Still not gonna be straightforward though. HD650 isn't really boomy, but some people feel it is; never was for me save for when I used worn out earpads on the HD650 and HD600, or that time I used a Little Dot MkII, so either other people used the wrong amps or put them on too tight. Some also feel the treble is a little weak, but considering most headphones some people consider "detailed" if not even "neutral" actually have relative tall if not somewhat wide treble peaks, I'm one to just go with the very lightly rolled off treble on the HD650.

Without a reference though it's hard to tell which one you'd be in. In some cases, even those who already have speaker systems as a reference will still have problems getting the right headphone even when describing "neutral," mostly because their reference are speakers which sound completely different. Most common problem is these people (and others) perceive headphone bass too weak, even if it's the HD650 with a wide bass plateau (which is helped by the rolled off treble) or the HE400i that stays flat from 1000hz down to 10hz, and in the case of the speaker people, they tend to assume that loud enough bass should still have that bass kick that large speakers and subwoofers (or standing in front near the stage) have.

Bottom line, just be aware that while we can make the best guess we can and narrow down choices, it will still not be as accurate for your preferences as actually listening to them yourself.


My main concern is mostly durability. For example, if the headband on the AKGs really loses tension, can it be fixed or replaced? I'm not really sure about that desing. To be fair, I have heard headbands on HD600 / 650 can crack, but that doesn't worry me considering you can buy a replacement headband. And if it's any help, these will be my first "proper" headphones, everything I've owned so far was priced below $150.
All plastics can crack eventually. The difference between those two is that on the AKG the plastic is the frame itself, and being a self-adjusting headband, is inherently flexible, while on the Sennheisers the plastic part is just an aesthetic cover over the metal frame. The Sennheiser's paint tends to crack easily since, well, it's paint on the surface, not colors mixed into the molded plastic, so while the plastic can flex, the hardened paint can't and it cracks over time. Other than the aesthetic concern, under normal use there's no real reason to suspect the the plastics on either to crack, but again, normal use. Dropping, sitting on, or stretching too far (the plastic anyway; the metal on the Sennheisers actually need to be flexed the opposite direction to loosen the clamp), etc will obviously crack the plastic.

As to whether you can get replacements when they do break, you can order them through the manufacturers. Sennheiser tends to have a list of spare parts numbers somewhere, and used to be the spare parts can be ordered directly on the website, but on the flipside, that depends on your region and country dealer. Which in my case means Sennheiser USA nor EU would sell me anything because they defer to the regional and local distributor, Sennheiser in SG tells me to do it through Sennheiser's distributor in Manila, and that distributor basically reacted with a "huh?" as if the thought of replacing earpads instead of just tossing out the headphone when they get grimy or deflated was so astoundingly counter to Apple's "wisdom" of replacing the entire motherboard instead of figuring out which chip is effed up. I just gave up and ordered from Sennheiser USA using PayPal and sent it to our US address, then my brother shipped me the earpads and headband pad. No need to worry about inane distributors if you're in North America or Europe though.

Also if the paint cracks and you just can't take it aesthetically you can always just blast it with plastidip or spray paint, maybe even take the gimbals and trim pieces and paint all of them until you can get the new part.


Lastly, I already own the UDH-100. Whether it could run either the HD650 or the K712 Pro I really can't say. Best I can do is tell you what the manual says, although I have read on these very forums that the UDH-100 is supposedly (much) better than the HDP and on par with the Shiit Valhalla, being able to drive a 600 ohm Beyerdynamic DT990 as well as AKG K702, if that's relevant :)
Well I actually would sooner trust the UDH-100 to drive a 600ohm, 97dB/1mW headphone than an OTL amp like the Valhalla (OTLs drop output at low impedance and have high output impedance, even the Valhalla) to drive a 62ohm, 93dB/1mW headphone. But like I said, if the only thing the manual says is "500mW," I'd assume that's easier to deliver at 62ohms but I can't be certain if it's getting around 250mW at 300ohms. I just mentioned the HDP since by default, just going by the figures, 300ohms means lower distoriton, but with that one it wasn't the case so there might be a slight edge to the AKG there.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 3)

Top