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Sennheiser HD660S... Finally a successor for the HD650?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Levanter, Oct 8, 2017.
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  1. kman1211
    I think the reason many find the HD 660 S brighter is due to its stronger overall midrange presence than the HD 650, since the midrange is one of the most sensitive parts of our hearing it doesn’t surprise me more can come off as brighter. The HD 650 does have more treble presence in my experience but the HD 660 S came off as brighter due to a stronger midrange and less bass warmth, despite its highs being more muted than the HD 650. But it has been a while since I heard them side by side, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    I did decide to get the HD 650 again, or rather the HD 6XX, which is the same thing. I also plan on getting the HD 660 S again, which I ended up giving to a friend, but I’m waiting for the design refresh to become available here in the US before I do. While I do fall more in the Beyer camp, I realized having one or two of the HD 6 family headphones in my stable is always worthwhile and I always miss them some even though I have headphones I like more.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  2. Ichos
    The 660s sounds more clear and not necessarily bright due to the 1-3Khz recession.
    This makes the rest of the treble to sound more prominent but not bright.
    Clever ha!!!?

    The 650 is much more flat from 1-7Khz so it will sound more dull and not pronounced in comparison BUT without less detail as most people think.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    Shareknow likes this.
  3. kman1211
    Interestingly when I last heard them side by side volume matched to the best I was able, I do remember the HD 650 sounded clearer to me but it could be a combination of the system I was listening to at the time and how my ears are. Honestly whether the HD 600, HD 650, or HD 660 S sounds the best depends on the persons ears, the system, and also listening volumes. I noticed impressions of the same headphone, on the same system, at the same listening level, on the same song, can vary quite a bit from person to person
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    Mike F, GearMe and Ichos like this.
  4. Ichos
    I agree.
    GearMe likes this.
  5. Mike F
    No, I think you’re absolutely right. That’s also what I hear anyway. I certainly don’t find the HD650 to be less detailed or revealing than the HD660S, they’re just different and both have great appeal. I think you definitely should get them both again! :wink:
  6. Mike F
    Again, that’s what I hear, and I totally agree with the rest of what you said!
  7. Mike F
    Well, OK, not quite identical...... There was a very small but consistently identifiable difference, but it was no more than could be attributed to differences in pads (they were in visibly different states of compression) or a slightly different clamping force. It wasn’t a difference that most people would have noticed, but it was there.
    I strongly suspect that no two supposedly identical headphones are actually truly identical, but that’s just in the nature of manufactured products. There certainly wasn’t the sort of difference that would make one think that they were different versions of the same thing or that one was faulty in any way.
  8. Deftone
    It sounds slightly brighter but that could be the treble clarity over the 650 giving the illusion it's brighter. On 660S I like that treble has its "sharpness" turned up a notch because cymbals sound a lot more like cymbals in real life, my brother is always hammering away on his drum kit and I used to think the 650 treble was too relaxed most of the time. It sounds fine with simple or slow music with few instruments or late night listening but some of the energy is lost, you have to sacrifice quite a lot to make everything sound super smooth.
    Essence STX likes this.
  9. Deftone
    They just work as a better all rounder for me but I'm not listening to that much music these days, kinda got frustrated that it seems like all new rock and metal isn't as good as it used to be and there's only so many times you can listen to your old favourites. I mostly use them when gaming on the PlayStation 4 now.
  10. equalspeace
    Try some Big Thief. They’re Brooklyn band that do it well.

  11. kman1211
    Okay so it wasn't just me there. I never found the HD 650 less detailed or resolving than the HD 660 S. Biggest difference to me is the presentation and how they present dynamics to me. I do plan to, just got the HD 6XX yesterday, basically an HD 650 with the HD 660 S color scheme, I was expecting it to be midnight blue but it's black in color now it seems. The HD 6xx family is definitely neutral and tuned exceptionally well, they have always been a reference of mine for a neutral sound. Of my headphones I would say my T1.2 sounds the most like the HD 650 but with more upper treble energy and a slightly more relaxed upper midrange making it a bit less intimate overall, the T1.2 is the more resolving and detailed headphone and the T1.2 is more fluid sounding and effortless than the HD 650. It's not brighter than the HD 650, in fact the T1.2 is darker overall which I found surprising, neither sound harsh or sibilant. This is my initial impressions, also I can tell the HD 650 is somewhat better driven from my amp than the T1.2. I'll post full impressions and comparisons later in the HD 650 thread after the HD 6XX settles in fully.

    Any tried the HD 660 S on the Asgard 3? I can tell right now the HD 6XX/650 is a really nice pairing on the amp, curious about the HD 660 S on it.

    That's to expected, sometimes variation can be quite dramatic, but usually they are fairly close with subtle differences.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    Mike F likes this.
  12. Ichos
    This things are Killers , you need to spend a hell lot more to get better sound if any...
    And oh boy they scale , they scale good...
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    Deftone and Caruryn like this.
  13. Mike F
    Absolutely! Listening now and comparing. There’s no doubt that to me the HD650 sounds ‘brighter’ and perhaps more detailed in the treble than the HD660S. BUT, the HD660S sounds cleaner and more dynamic, and, over the whole frequency range as opposed to just the treble, more resolving. Much as I love it, the HD650 sometimes can’t cope with complicated busy material and becomes ‘unclear’. The HD660S copes much better with that sort of material and resolves better in the upper bass/lower mids region. It also has a way of drawing you into the music while the HD650 can sound slightly distant by comparison. Absolutely loving having both!! This is on an iPhone and an iPad. I’ll have to listen again on my gear at home when I get there!
  14. kman1211
    Yeah, the HD 650 like any headphone does have some drawbacks, I find it an inferior headphone to my T1.2, it's not as seductive and musical as the T1 and while the T1 has somewhat brighter and more extended treble, it's treble is actually smoother and gentler on the ears. The T1.2 is less fatiguing to me. Despite finding the HD 650 to have some benefits over the HD 660 S, the HD 660 S is actually my favorite HD 6 family headphone, it has an engagement factor the HD 650 or HD 600 doesn't. The HD 600 is really boring to me, the HD 650 is a bit sweet and musical sounding to my ears, and the HD 660 S draws me into the music the most. I like having different headphones, you get to see different strengths and weaknesses of each and they each draw you into the music in different ways, though I generally just stick with Beyer and Senn and sometimes branch out a bit to other brands. What iphone? Different ones do sound different, I have an 11 Pro Max which sounds better and smoother than the 7 I had.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  15. Mike F
    We seem to agree in our assessment of the HD660S vs HD650! Believe it or not I’m still on a 6S. Was thinking of changing to an X soon.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
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