Sennheiser HD660S... Finally a successor for the HD650?
Nov 13, 2017 at 7:05 PM Post #1,081 of 7,896

Tuneslover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Posts
1,856
Likes
839
Location
SW Ontario, Canada
Well Ho-Lee-Sheeit.

A couple pages back, I talked about how I noticed a big difference in sound quality between an old DIY OCC copper cable I had made for my HD650 and the stock cable of the HD660 (I found the stock cable to be better, surprisingly). Before that happened, I was mostly of the opinion that cables didn't make an appreciable difference in sound quality. To settle the case, in my mind, I decided I had to up my DIY component game and make a top-of-the-line cable to compare against the stock cable of the 660. So that's what I did. Cable components are Moon Audio Black Dragon bulk cable (7N UP-OCC copper, 4x 21.5 AWG conductors), Furutech FT-2PS-F rhodium-plated connectors, and an Eidolic 6.3mm rhodium plated plug with all soldering done with Cardas Quad Eutectic silver.

Did about an hour of switching back and fourth between my Black Dragon cable and the stock cable with a select few tracks, got the switch down to about 9 seconds. And....the Black Dragon cable does sound better! Given my earlier findings, I am not shocked, but the Black Dragon has better detail/clarity/resolution than the stock. The track that really nailed it down was "Veni Et Vidi" from the piece Requiem for My Friend by Zbigniew Preisner (a beautiful piece of choral music, great test track, IMO).

So that settles it, I am drinking the Kool-Aid: cables do matter, and this one is making my HD660s sing even better than before.

(Here is a gratuitous glamour shot :))

So which was more expensive, the HD660 or your cable?
 
Nov 13, 2017 at 8:49 PM Post #1,082 of 7,896

L0rdGwyn

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Posts
3,666
Likes
6,347
Location
Cleveland
So which was more expensive, the HD660 or your cable?

Well, I'm happy to break it down for you :)

Parts for the cable were $130; 6 feet of Black Dragon, Furutech connectors, Eidolic plug. If you were to buy the pre-made cable directly from Moon Audio, it would cost $275. However, it would come with Cardas HD6XX connectors, which are extremely flimsy (if you get a soldering iron anywhere near the plastic, it melts into a goopy mess) and are actually sourced from China, despite the Cardas brand name (same exact connectors can be purchased through Ebay/Aliexpress for around $15). It would also come with a Furutech gold-plated 6.3mm plug, as opposed to rhodium. So, that's roughly a 53% savings with higher quality connectors and plug on my end.

Anyone planning to buy an after-market cable would be better served taking half of the money, buying a decent soldering iron, roll of good solder, and some heat shrink. Making your own cables is very satisfying as you can customize the look, dimensions, connectors, sound?, etc.

The HD660S is $499 MSRP. I was able to get a 20% discount via promotional codes.

The HD660S was more expensive.
 
Nov 13, 2017 at 9:38 PM Post #1,083 of 7,896

FancyRobotUnicorn

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 10, 2017
Posts
12
Likes
2
Location
United States
Soundstage has certainly improved over the rest of the 600 series. With that said, you still have the 3-blob thing going on, it’s just the regions are a bit wider? I’m also a PC gamer and now use the 660S for that purpose, if that says anything about soundstage and positioning. I feel these are just as good as my PC37X (sold) which MadLustEnvy just said was the best gaming option on the market. Too bad I don’t still have them to directly compare!
Good to know, thanks for the response. I'd say that even if it is still 3 blobbish, it must be filling in the gaps a little more? Because I personally wouldn't use a 600 for gaming, and it actually doesn't even work that well for watching movies, so it must be somewhat of an improvement. I'm frustrated because my 'upgrade from 598' plan is being dashed at every turn, because I've become too addicted to their soundstage.
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 8:06 AM Post #1,084 of 7,896

chimney189

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Posts
2,366
Likes
692
Good to know, thanks for the response. I'd say that even if it is still 3 blobbish, it must be filling in the gaps a little more? Because I personally wouldn't use a 600 for gaming, and it actually doesn't even work that well for watching movies, so it must be somewhat of an improvement. I'm frustrated because my 'upgrade from 598' plan is being dashed at every turn, because I've become too addicted to their soundstage.

Have you considered looking into Philips Fidelo X2?
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 8:51 AM Post #1,085 of 7,896

Slim1970

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 15, 2012
Posts
4,303
Likes
5,880
Location
STL
Have you considered looking into Philips Fidelo X2?
+1 on the X2. It was the headphone that made me get rid of my HD650's. Sure, it might not have all the technical abilities of the HD650 but to my ears it sounded better. I know have the X2HR and I'm wondering how it would compare to the HD660's.
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 9:06 AM Post #1,086 of 7,896

meringo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Posts
926
Likes
436
Location
New York
Good to know, thanks for the response. I'd say that even if it is still 3 blobbish, it must be filling in the gaps a little more? Because I personally wouldn't use a 600 for gaming, and it actually doesn't even work that well for watching movies, so it must be somewhat of an improvement. I'm frustrated because my 'upgrade from 598' plan is being dashed at every turn because I've become too addicted to their soundstage.

Correct. Filling in the gaps for sure.

I also wanted to address the X2 comparison — They are very different headphones from the 660S. While the X2 shared similarities with the 600/650, the 660s uses a different driver with much more of a focus on resolution. The bass is incredibly quick, while the X2 will sound very slow in comparison.

As a gamer, I’d recommend the 660 over the X2 unless you really love big booms from games, but typically you would want that resolution (along with soundstage) to help with footsteps and such. Luckily, both have a great soundstage, so take your pick — resolution or big bass?
 
Last edited:
Nov 14, 2017 at 9:28 AM Post #1,087 of 7,896

Anarion

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Posts
545
Likes
229
Location
Finland
For someone (me) who likes HD 595 more than HD 598, would this be a good upgrade? How people would describe this compared to HD 595?
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 9:28 AM Post #1,088 of 7,896

chimney189

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Posts
2,366
Likes
692
+1 on the X2. It was the headphone that made me get rid of my HD650's. Sure, it might not have all the technical abilities of the HD650 but to my ears it sounded better. I know have the X2HR and I'm wondering how it would compare to the HD660's.

I can assure you right off the bat that the 660S has less bass quantity and less soundstage width, but hopefully others in this forum will fill in the blanks!
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 9:30 AM Post #1,089 of 7,896

Pedro Oliveira

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Posts
1,446
Likes
112
+1 on the X2. It was the headphone that made me get rid of my HD650's. Sure, it might not have all the technical abilities of the HD650 but to my ears it sounded better. I know have the X2HR and I'm wondering how it would compare to the HD660's.
+2 on the Fidélio x2.
I havê the hd600 and yes technically its a great headphones. It beats the x2 in terms of resolution and detail. But i definitly prefer the sound signature of the Fidélio x2, much more fun and musical. Perfect for most of the music i listen to. The hd600 for me are a better headphone for acoustic or soft pop, rock, indie. It sounds definitly nice, balanced and full of detail but in the end for fun the x2 beats it.... for me at least....

Its amazing that the x2 was being sold at super discounted peixes a couple of weeks ago. I got mine for 120 euros ay the time. Now they ate gone from amazon (directly sold by them). There is the x2hr but x2 the price of the original x2 for the same headphone?!?!? No thank you.....

Did you head any diference between the x2 and x2hr....?

I not shopping for the hd660 to be as fun as the x2 nor a bass canon... But at least a bit more fun and Fuller sounding than the hd600....
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 10:02 AM Post #1,090 of 7,896

Slim1970

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 15, 2012
Posts
4,303
Likes
5,880
Location
STL
+2 on the Fidélio x2.
Did you head any diference between the x2 and x2hr....?
I do hear more details and better bass definition between the two. Most reviews I've read say the drivers are the same. But to my ears something has changed and it's for the better! Still I'm curious about the HD660's sound. If for nothing else to see what was tweaked from the HD650's I use to own.
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 10:38 AM Post #1,091 of 7,896

Pedro Oliveira

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Posts
1,446
Likes
112
I do hear more details and better bass definition between the two. Most reviews I've read say the drivers are the same. But to my ears something has changed and it's for the better! Still I'm curious about the HD660's sound. If for nothing else to see what was tweaked from the HD650's I use to own.

But did you compare both x2/x2hr at the same time?
Sure some kind of improvement could havê been made but it can also be a unit variation.

From what i read here on head fi and reddit a couple of users had both at the same time and said they sounded the same and other couple said they sounded slightly different....

Philips somewhere down the spiral of issues told some x2 owners that changes were made to the headband and pads during the original x2 production so even the last batches of the original x2 can already have the newer pads and headband material or sound tweaks.

I had 3 x2s at the same time. 2 sounded exactly the same, the other sounded a slightly airier/treblier and hás less clamping force... But we are talking about marginal stuff and only noticeable when directly compared.

Even if there is a diference i AM sure it is something marginal and not worth 80/100 euros more.... Much less 200 (x2hr costs 320 on amazon)...
 
Last edited:
Nov 14, 2017 at 11:21 AM Post #1,092 of 7,896

chimney189

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Posts
2,366
Likes
692
Last edited:
Nov 14, 2017 at 11:28 AM Post #1,093 of 7,896

meringo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Posts
926
Likes
436
Location
New York
I'm looking for a cable upgrade, and I've landed on one of 2 options so far: https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-ULTIMATE...395011?hash=item5d665e0043:g:TSAAAOxyrM5TJaw8 or https://www.c3audio.com/store/p14/Sennheiser_HD_650/600_Headphone_Cable_--_SPOFC.html

I'm not sure which one to choose, so I'm wondering if anyone has input on which customs cables work well with Sennheiser that costs no more than $200?
Thanks!

The first one looks good. The 2nd has silver plating, which tends to make headphones sound brighter. I don't think the 660S needs that -- Copper would be more appropriate in my book. With that said, mimic-cables sells OCC copper cables for the HDXX for less than either of those.
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 11:29 AM Post #1,094 of 7,896

Slim1970

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 15, 2012
Posts
4,303
Likes
5,880
Location
STL
But did you compare both x2/x2hr at the same time?
Sure some kind of improvement could havê been made but it can also be a unit variation.

From what i read here on head fi and reddit a couple of users had both at the same time and said they sounded the same and other couple said they sounded slightly different....

Philips somewhere down the spiral of issues told some x2 owners that changes were made to the headband and pads during the original x2 production so even the last batches of the original x2 can already have the newer pads and headband material or sound tweaks.

I had 3 x2s at the same time. 2 sounded exactly the same, the other sounded a slightly airier/treblier and hás less clamping force... But we are talking about marginal stuff and only noticeable when directly compared.

Even if there is a diference i AM sure it is something marginal and not worth 80/100 euros more.... Much less 200 (x2hr costs 320 on amazon)...
No, I had long sold my X2’s before I got my X2HR’s. So it’s based more off what I remember of the X2’s sound signature.
 
Nov 14, 2017 at 1:23 PM Post #1,095 of 7,896

L0rdGwyn

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Posts
3,666
Likes
6,347
Location
Cleveland
I'm looking for a cable upgrade, and I've landed on one of 2 options so far: https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-ULTIMATE...395011?hash=item5d665e0043:g:TSAAAOxyrM5TJaw8 or https://www.c3audio.com/store/p14/Sennheiser_HD_650/600_Headphone_Cable_--_SPOFC.html

I'm not sure which one to choose, so I'm wondering if anyone has input on which customs cables work well with Sennheiser that costs no more than $200?
Thanks!

Here is what I can tell you about those two cables.

Cable 1 (Ebay) cost/quality of components: Furutech connectors are ~$50 (these are the best DIY Sennheiser connectors available at the moment), Furutech 1/4 inch plug ~$20, Mogami W2534 ~$8 (sold online for $2 per foot), nylon sleeving ~$5-10. So, roughly $80 for the parts, charging $170, they are making around $90 (minus Ebay fees) on that cable. The Mogami cable is the biggest concern as it is dirt cheap, doesn't mean it doesn't perform well, I cannot speak to how it sounds, and many users on the DIY cable threads use it to make inexpensive cables, but there are better options available and that is a big markup for that type of wiring.

Cable 2 (C3 Audio) cost/quality of components: Cardas Sennheiser HD6XX connectors ~$15 (these are poor quality, IMO), same Furutech 1/4 inch plug ~$20, nylon sleeving ~$5-10, silver-plated oxygen-free copper - quality/price unknown. So these cables are worth $50 plus whatever the cost of the mystery copper wiring, and charging $200. Without knowing the quality of the conductors (they do not even include specs on the purity of the copper, or conductor gauge), I think this is a huge gamble, could be paying as much as a $130 markup for these components. I can't speak to if/how silver-plating copper affects sound quality, but the true purpose is to reduce corrosion of the copper with a protective layer of silver.

The point I am trying to make here, and sorry if I am beating a dead horse, but it is always, always cheaper/better to make your own cables, if you are willing.

A HFier PM'd me asking about making DIY cables, thought I'd share my response here for other people that might be interested:

Here are the sites I use for components:

https://www.moon-audio.com/
http://www.partsconnexion.com/
http://www.norneaudio.com/litzheim/index.php?route=common/home

All three sites sell cable/wire, connectors, and plugs. Prices are mostly the same across the board but obviously will depend on the quality of the components you seek out. The Furutech Sennheiser connectors I used on my cable are the best available at the moment, but they are expensive, around $50. You can also find Sennheiser connectors on Amazon/Ebay. An inexpensive and high-quality option for plugs that I really like is the Japanese brand Oyaide. Presumably, the quality of the conductors (wire) is going to have the greatest affect on the sound, and you will pay much more for better cable/wiring (e.g., Black Dragon is $14 per foot, whereas Mogami cabling is more like $1-2 per foot). I will say that I was using wiring for previous cables advertised as OCC and paid very little for it, but the Black Dragon clearly sounds better (advertised as UP-OCC). Using a "helping hands" alligator aid is almost a necessity - you have to have something in place to keep the components together so you can get a good joint. You'll also need heat shrink and a way to heat it up - a lighter can be used, but sometimes causes black singe marks. A heat gun is the better method but will cost you around $25. You will also need a multimeter to test for connections as well as shorts, Amazon for $15-20.

It takes an initial investment to get started and it won't be easy the first time. But if you think you will be in this hobby for a while and could potentially make multiple cables, it is well worth it. You are always going to pay a mark-up for after-market cables (or else the cable makers wouldn't be profitable). I personally don't think it is so difficult that it is worth paying someone to make the cables. However, if you aren't good at tasks that require some dexterity, or you don't think you will have the patience, or the time (1-3 hours depending on the intricacy of the cable you are building), and do have some disposable income, then it may be better for you to pay someone else to assemble the cable. But by doing it yourself, you pay less, have more control over customizability, and can ensure the quality of the work. Like I said in my post, I got a 53% discount and used better parts by making my Black Dragon cable myself. Multiply that over several cables after the initial investment to get going and you can see the savings is significant.

Here is a page on Headfonia about building your own cables: https://www.headfonia.com/a-cable-not-rocket-science/

Sorry for the book, I've had a couple people ask so I figured I'd just post my two cents.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top