What's Up With Sennheiser? I Asked The Sennheisers.
Feb 24, 2021 at 5:05 PM Post #61 of 182

goodyfresh

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Posts
2,340
Likes
545
I wonder if Sennheiser will still be selling service parts. From what I can gather, a major component that gives the HD650/6XX it’s unique sonic signature is the ear pads. They compress/wear over time. Hate to see the OEM replacements dry up.

I will be pretty upset if I'm never able to get replacement earpads for my very-recently-purchased HD560s that have a two year warranty; I wear headphones for so many hours a day that I will probably need new earpads every 6 to 10 months. Speaking of which, I do wonder if these changes mean that Sennheiser's warranty service for already-sold products will suffer. Sennheiser is known for extremely good warranties and customer-service for their audiophile headphones... but now I"m really worried that their warranty and repair services will decline. The very good customer-service, warranty, quality-control, etc., is a big part of why I decided on the HD560s... if all of that declines, I may regret purchasing them in the long run.
 
Last edited:
Feb 24, 2021 at 5:38 PM Post #62 of 182

3Putter

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Posts
288
Likes
141
Location
Iowa
It's their company, it's about what's best for them, just like any of us would do what's best for us. No matter how many audiophiles have tried to shove their perspectives and opinions on me, I have not listened once. Reckon I'd be happy if I did? No chance, they were already pissing me off with their attitude and warnings of how I'll regret wasting 3 grand without ever trying a million other headphones out there first.

Other option is make your own (company/headphones/etc) if you're not happy with what others have to offer. That's what Antonio Meze did, nothing on the market was what he wanted and naturally they wouldn't make what they didn't want to, so he did what's best for him. And made his own. Most folks aren't willing to take that route, they want what they want handed to them all made and ready.
Far from reality. The HD580/HD600/HD650 have been used in recording studios since their release and are still used by engineers like Stephan Flock, Mandy Parnell, and countless others. It is among the most highly regarded series of headphones ever designed and it’s status in studios is no doubt legendary.


I will be pretty upset if I'm never able to get replacement earpads for my very-recently-purchased HD560s that have a two year warranty; I wear headphones for so many hours a day that I will probably need new earpads every 6 to 10 months. Speaking of which, I do wonder if these changes mean that Sennheiser's warranty service for already-sold products will suffer. Sennheiser is known for extremely good warranties and customer-service for their audiophile headphones... but now I"m really worried that their warranty and repair services will decline. The very good customer-service, warranty, quality-control, etc., is a big part of why I decided on the HD560s... if all of that declines, I may regret purchasing them in the long run.
Buy extras while you can, just in case. Enjoy them and don't look back.
 
Last edited:
Feb 25, 2021 at 3:06 AM Post #64 of 182

A Jedi

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Posts
638
Likes
1,770
Location
In the temporal disturbance
Love my Senn cans. But really, other than the HD6 line (how old is it?) and the HD800s (how old is it?), what innovation has been done in the past decade (audiophile specific). And no, the Chinese are not the problem with their cheap headphones. If you want to see a European company that seems to have zero problems in this space, just hop over the border and visit Focal. Sennheiser simply has a normal business problem: leadership is clueless.
 
Feb 25, 2021 at 3:22 AM Post #65 of 182

CJG888

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Posts
2,887
Likes
1,027
Location
Braunschweig
I though that Stax survived acquisition by Edifier pretty well...
 
Feb 25, 2021 at 3:48 AM Post #66 of 182

T 1000

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Posts
686
Likes
309
Location
everywhere
I hope that Senn.in the future partnership will be able to keep the sound signature and their focus on creating high fidelity headphones. It would be a disappointment to strive to make more headphones a year, with different signatures, in order to make a profit.
 
Feb 25, 2021 at 5:06 AM Post #67 of 182

MayaTlab

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Posts
1,347
Likes
561
Location
Paris, France
I hope that Senn.in the future partnership will be able to keep the sound signature and their focus on creating high fidelity headphones. It would be a disappointment to strive to make more headphones a year, with different signatures, in order to make a profit.

Sennheiser’s headphones already diverge a lot in terms of FR curve. There is hardly any consistency.
 
Feb 25, 2021 at 8:55 AM Post #69 of 182

mav52

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Posts
57
Likes
43
Location
Florida
Apparently sales are not justifying expenditures. It's pretty obvious they're in the red in this particular aspect of business or they wouldn't be taking these steps. We don't have access to their books, but they fired what, 20-25% of the company and closed their entire retail presence....those are not signs of profit.

Nailed it. You got to sell it, to advance the product or start new product research. No sells, impact employees.
 
Feb 25, 2021 at 9:55 AM Post #70 of 182

mvule

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Posts
206
Likes
315
Location
England
It does seem like another Olympus has fallen to me.

I feel Sennheiser are too big, of course there's plenty of profit in the enthusiast headphone market. Maybe just not for a giant corporation. Not now anyway. And that is not always such a bad thing. The smaller companies are doing fantastic things, look at ZMF, Hifiman, and others!

Sennheiser made a few mistakes, I feel. No Sony or Bose competitor in portable NC cans. Momentum just wasn't quite it. Flagships too similar, not enough variation or ideas, all the same tuning. It all seemed to end with the HD800. Fine tuning from then on, not really innovating. I have the HD800S and they're technically very impressive but just don't excite me like Audeze, Focal, Hifiman do.

Their neighbours Beyerdynamic are ahead too - Sennheiser have never had a closed headphone to compete with the T5 range and don't really offer anything around 150 euros to compete with 770 or 990 either. Yeah ok HD-25 is fine and has sold well in professional fields, but it's no like-for-like DT770 is it? And very uncomfortable for longer sessions.

It just seems to me there are a lot of HUGE gaps in Sennheiser's strategy and product line up.

Besides, it has become clear China is huge price competition in the consumer market, dumping such highly specced stuff at minimal profits (or even as loss leaders) onto Amazon globally! Gone are the days where you can sell a mediocre IEM for $500 when Chifi IEMs exist on Amazon for $70.

Sennheiser should probably go ahead and completely sell the division, license their name, keep it in Germany and go on an engineer recruitment drive to make some great artisan cans for a niche of music lovers. Whoever runs this new division can probably give up on the consumer market and just go for audiophiles instead. Or simply allow Neumann and their pro audio division to market new stuff to audiophiles and music lovers?
Never had a bad Sennheiser can.
Different sound sigs of course but all very good headphones in their own way.

Just purchased the Neumann headphone, (very underrated IMO) partly on the strength of the association with Sennheiser.
My point being I'm sure a lot of people trust the Sennheiser name.

Hopefully the headphone side of things keeps going.
 
Feb 25, 2021 at 11:24 AM Post #71 of 182

goodyfresh

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Posts
2,340
Likes
545
Love my Senn cans. But really, other than the HD6 line (how old is it?) and the HD800s (how old is it?), what innovation has been done in the past decade (audiophile specific). And no, the Chinese are not the problem with their cheap headphones. If you want to see a European company that seems to have zero problems in this space, just hop over the border and visit Focal. Sennheiser simply has a normal business problem: leadership is clueless.

Actually, the recently released HD560s is an example of new, major audiophile innovation by Sennheiser. They cost the same ($200 USD) as the HD599, but are UNFATHOMABLY better than other HD5__ series cans (except the 58x but that's Massdrop and is really an HD6__ series can under another name, haha). They have AWESOME bass-extension for a mid-fi dynamic open headphone, a nearly ideally-flat/neutral tuning except for a treble-spike centered at 5Khz (the spike isn't as bad as some make it out to be, it's WAY less painful than Beyer or AKG treble, or god forbid Grado treble); their frequency-response is basically like an HD6__ series headphone with the addition of good bass-extension and a minor-ish treble-spike.

They have MUCH better soundstage than the HD6__ series or HD58x, and very precise imaging. Their detail-resolution, speed, and decay (which can be clearly heard, and seen in CSD plots and impulse response), while not AS good as the 6__ series, is a LOT better than other 5__ headphones; I'd say detail and speed are midway between the 5__ series and the 6__ series. Their distortion is as low as HD6__ series. They have EXCELLENT dynamics. They're almost unbelievable for only $200, their only truly major competitor for sound-quality in that price-bracket (keep in mind I don't like Beyers or AKG's) being the Fidelio X2HR's, but those are very DIFFERENT (the X2HR are less "analytical," more "fun," more stage-width but less depth/height and less precise imaging than the HD560s, and an equal treble-spike in the same 5Khz area) and are plagued by common quality-control issues like channel-matching (I had to go through three pairs of the X2HR's before I got one with proper channel-balance, and some people go through as many as six pairs).

So yes, in at least ONE case, Sennheiser has made a MAJOR innovation lately with a wired audiophile headphone, a headphone for $200 where there is only one true competitor in the price-bracket which is a side-grade (and has very unreliable QC), and where the only true upgrades cost $350 or more (people say the cheapest true upgrade from the HD560s or a good pair of the X2HR's is the Sundara, and having listened to multiple headphones in this price-range, that seems true).

Why is the case of the HD560s so important that I'm posting a giant wall of text about it? Because it proves that Sennheiser IS still CAPABLE of innovation and massive improvements over past models. People thought it would just be another side-grade of the HD5__ headphones, but instead it proved to be a HUGE upgrade. Moreover, IT HAS SOLD REALLY WELL: Every production-run of it that they make ends up selling out, they've been unable to keep up with demand for it!

The HD560s is why I have faith that IF the investor/partner that Sennheiser finds places value on their audiophile line, Sennheiser will be capable of good innovation in that area, once again matching up to or surpassing their competitors as they once did. So we need to cross our fingers that the new partner WILL place priority on the audiophile line; if they do, then Sennheiser can do incredible things for us! It's possible that if the new investor is smart, we could end up getting TRUE successors to the HD6__ with proper soundstage, and a proper upgrade to the HD800 series that maintains its great soundstage while fixing the wonky frequency-response.
 
Last edited:
Feb 25, 2021 at 11:44 AM Post #72 of 182

A Jedi

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Posts
638
Likes
1,770
Location
In the temporal disturbance
HD560s was hyped to biblical levels. No wonder "it has sold really well". And even if it's really, really, really great, ok they made one good headphone in the past decade. Winning.

Another issue with Senn's hp business is that there are way too many models. I don't care to count them but if it's outside the 6 and 8 lines I can't be bothered to figure out what's what and what's worth it or not. If you want to know how to do it properly, again look at Focal. 2 closed backs, 4 open backs. They all fall into clear price categories and there is a clear delineation between each. The HD5.. line? How many cans can you make between $100 and $200? And why would you choose one over the other? The average consumer (who understands that Beats is not the end-all and wants "better" headphones) isn't interested in months long research like us nutjobs. It's an idiotic business strategy.

I'm sure there are quality engineers at Senn. But leadership is incompetent. If leadership had a clue about their business, they would have never partnered with Drop. They would have done what Drop did and kept all profit for themselves.
 
Feb 25, 2021 at 12:06 PM Post #73 of 182

goodyfresh

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Posts
2,340
Likes
545
HD560s was hyped to biblical levels. No wonder "it has sold really well". And even if it's really, really, really great, ok they made one good headphone in the past decade. Winning.

Another issue with Senn's hp business is that there are way too many models. I don't care to count them but if it's outside the 6 and 8 lines I can't be bothered to figure out what's what and what's worth it or not. If you want to know how to do it properly, again look at Focal. 2 closed backs, 4 open backs. They all fall into clear price categories and there is a clear delineation between each. The HD5.. line? How many cans can you make between $100 and $200? And why would you choose one over the other? The average consumer (who understands that Beats is not the end-all and wants "better" headphones) isn't interested in months long research like us nutjobs. It's an idiotic business strategy.

I'm sure there are quality engineers at Senn. But leadership is incompetent. If leadership had a clue about their business, they would have never partnered with Drop. They would have done what Drop did and kept all profit for themselves.

That's my point: The HD560s, while indeed just ONE case, shows they CAN do R&D for new audiophile innovations (and it IS "really, really great" for $200). The issue is that as you said, their leadership sucks: They haven't handled their audiophile line well and haven't invested enough money and effort in it, with the exception of one recent release.

BUT, my ultimate point is that IF their new partner/investor is smart and sees the value in the audiophile line due to its long, storied, legendary history in the industry, then the partner could FIX that issue: They could get Sennheiser the influx of funding, R&D and manufacturing facilities, etc., that they need to start doing stuff like what they did with the HD560s far, far more often, while making sensible decisions like cutting down the HD5 line to just the HD560s and maybe two others (one closed-back, and a single more-upper-bass-heavy open-back like the 599) and getting rid of awful stuff like the HD820.

Yes, the Senn Brothers themselves suck at leading their business; their attempts to diversify their catalog and number of models (as you pointed out is a major issue) have spread them too thin. A partner/investor running their consumer division could prove a BLESSING for their audiophile line by running the business in a good way to fix those issues. So as I said, we just need to cross our fingers that the new partner will be smart and see the value/profit in revitalizing and overhauling the Audiophile product-line. IT'S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE that this could prove to be a GREAT thing rather than a bad thing, it depends on how smart the new partner is. People are focusing on the worst-case scenario (I myself fell prey to that tendency earlier in this thread) while not considering the better and VERY POSSIBLE scenario that the new partner will see the value of the audiophile line, make sensible decisions with it, and continue with Sennheiser's legendary track-record of quality-control and customer-service.

Edit: And what's wrong with partnering with Drop on some products? Their competitors who run their businesses more sensibly and thus have out-competed Sennheiser (which is what's led to this scenario) have done it: AKG, Beyer, Fostex, HiFiMan, Mr. Speakers, and Focal who you mentioned have all done Drop partnerships. You praise Focal as if they are gods of good business decisions, and then act like it's stupid for a company to partner with Drop while conveniently ignoring that the Elex exists. If anything, their Drop releases show PRECISELY what kind of innovation Senn is capable of when working with a partner with better business-sense than them, and actually prove my point. For example, the PC37x and PC38x were both MAJOR innovations in the world of headsets.
 
Last edited:
Feb 25, 2021 at 12:27 PM Post #74 of 182

A Jedi

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Posts
638
Likes
1,770
Location
In the temporal disturbance
Edit: And what's wrong with partnering with Drop on some products? Their competitors who run their businesses more sensibly and thus have out-competed Sennheiser (which is what's led to this scenario) have done it: AKG, Beyer, Fostex, HiFiMan, Mr. Speakers, and Focal who you mentioned have all done Drop partnerships. You praise Focal as if they are gods of good business decisions, and then act like it's stupid for a company to partner with Drop while conveniently ignoring that the Elex exists. If anything, their Drop releases show PRECISELY what kind of innovation Senn is capable of when working with a partner with better business-sense than them, and actually prove my point. For example, the PC37x and PC38x were both MAJOR innovations in the world of headsets.

You make a good point regarding Drop. I guess I'm picking on Sennheiser because they're the ones obviously in trouble. I don't see any sense in anyone partnering with Drop. Because ultimately what is Drop? It's a marketing machine. So instead of giving away a bunch of your profits to them, hire a couple of social media savvy millenials and create your own hype.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top