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HD600 vs HD650

sejarzo

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Per mod's request to start a new thread on the topic, separate from the HD600 review thread...

My first foray into high-end phones was a brand new pair of "original blue" HD600s, purchased in January 2006. For the next few years, I attended a number of Head-fi meets in the Chicago area that were well attended, and listened to other HD600 and HD650 including my relatively new pair on a variety of sources and amps using a couple of CDs that I always used when auditioning equipment, one of which included a pink noise cut. There was no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the HD650s were all warmer/darker than the HD600s of that era.

Was that a commonly held opinion then? It certainly was. Did that flavor my conclusion? Somewhat, maybe, but the difference was so obvious that I don't believe it was merely confirmation bias.

As to whether that is still the case for new/nearly new HD600s/650s made in the past few years, I've no idea. I sold my re-padded HD600s several years ago when I decided to try planars, but now I listen to a 1 year old pair of HD6XXs almost exclusively.
 
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amirm

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According to Tyll there are three versions of HD600: https://www.stereophile.com/content/very-important-sennheiser-hd-580-hd-600-and-hd-650-page-2

Sennheiser_HD580600650_Photo_Inside.jpg


The drivers definitely look different with the last generation looking the most as HD650.
 

WickedInsignia

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Since we’re on-topic of the review thread, allow me to me apologise for the behaviour on behalf of myself and others I might have encouraged.
Call it teething issues or a miserable day, but the discussion became far more heated than was ever necessary.
ASR is probably not much without passion, but the by-product of that is misguided and intensely steadfast fervour.

Thanks to the mod team for their patience and providing a space to discuss such things while dealing with the excess overspill. Hopefully this thread will be more productive and informative!
 
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sejarzo

sejarzo

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According to Tyll there are three versions of HD600...

The drivers definitely look different with the last generation looking the most as HD650.

Thanks, Amir. I used to read InnerFidelity rather thoroughly but I don't recall that article or the pictures.

Clearly there has to be an explanation for the differences over the years...or lack thereof????
 

cistercian

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According to Tyll there are three versions of HD600: https://www.stereophile.com/content/very-important-sennheiser-hd-580-hd-600-and-hd-650-page-2

Sennheiser_HD580600650_Photo_Inside.jpg


The drivers definitely look different with the last generation looking the most as HD650.

I have seen this too. Mine are the blue marble colored ones so I am clueless about what version they are.
I know when I bought them one of the things that weighed heavily in my choice was their popularity in use
for mixing recordings in the time period I liked best. Using the same cans the producer used to mix the album
was something I thought would be ideal. I wanted high impedance phones too for electronic use. (crystal radio, old receivers, etc)

I know that they are wonderful...not perfect...but so good I think everyone who is serious about audio should own a pair.
Biggest fail...poor LF response and distortion. Above that I find them pretty compelling, but now at 59 I can't hear over
14.5kc so consider that.
 

solderdude

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Do note that the HD650 measured by Amir is newer than the right picture made by Tyll of the HD650.
The 2000 HD600 is an early HD600 (probably the one on the left).

I found that the early HD650 (black driver) with the same pads as the current HD650 is slightly 'darker' (as in about 2 dB less above 1kHz) sounding 2017 HD650.

Combined with pad wear (20 year old pads which compress a bit more which boosts the lows a bit) makes it more than likely that the measurements between 20 y.o. HD600 and the current HD650 are very close in tonal balance.
 

garageband

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Its easy to tell a recently produced HD600 and 650 from the other. The HD600 will absolutely kill your ears with the forward, shouty midrange while the 650 gives you a much thicker, mid-bassy sound.
 

WickedInsignia

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The HD600 is saying out of stock on the Sennheiser site (at least here in Australia) and I've been waiting on my order through a local store for two months.
With the recent consumer division purchase is Sennheiser discontinuing the old guard? Sad days if so.
 

Svperstar

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I have the 580 here on my head and the 6XX. The 580 and 600 have the exact same driver.

Pretty much everything else you have read matches up to my experience. The 6XX has a wider soundstage and stronger bass. Now supposedly putting the metal grille on the 580 changes the sound but eh. I have tried using the 580 with no grille at all and they sound the same to me as with them on.
 

Fregly

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I had both and sold the 650. The 600 had a more accurate, cleaner mid bass. With acoustic and orchestral music I would hear the slight bloat, and could not unhear it after noticing the pattern across recordings. In the end either phone is excellent compared to most that is out there.
 

solderdude

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The HD600 is saying out of stock on the Sennheiser site (at least here in Australia) and I've been waiting on my order through a local store for two months.
With the recent consumer division purchase is Sennheiser discontinuing the old guard? Sad days if so.

Thomann states in about 1 week they should have HD600 in stock. It has nothing to do with the new owner.
On Sennheiser Europe site you can buy the HD600.
 

LaL

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The difference between the HD600 and 650
is that the 650 drivers diaphragm membrane has a variable thickness across it's surface.

" In addition to being made of a different material, the 650's diaphragms are constructed differently -- it's a membrane of variable thickness that has been tuned by ear. Not only by ear -- Sennheiser has comprehensive test and measurement facilities -- but engineer Axel Grell found that when the 'phones measured flat, they sounded harsh. So he very carefully tuned the response to have notches at 5kHz and 16kHz."
 

solderdude

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engineer Axel Grell found that when the 'phones measured flat, they sounded harsh. So he very carefully tuned the response to have notches at 5kHz and 16kHz."

What a nonsense story.

hd600-vs-hd650.png


Yes, he did want a bit more 'body' to the sound that's true and is what the HD650 does opposite the HD600
But what 'notches' were tuned opposite the HD600 that make it better and made the HD600 'harsh' ?
Above HD600 and HD650... I see no notches at 5kHz nor at 16kHz and see no different behavior there.
Also Amir's measurements do not show 'notches' at 5kHz (not reliable above 8kHz) so looks a bit like an unverifiable 'story' leaked to the press.
It is highly likely that when using a different membrane at certain frequencies it behaves slightly different. This is unlikely to be a goal but rather a side effect.
Only in the midlows and mids there is evidence of the drivers differing.
 
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solderdude

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Yes, when you boost the lower mids (what HD650 does) the treble becomes relatively lower.
So you can describe the sound as 'warmer' or 'less clear'.

I never heard harshness in either headphone but found the HD600 to be a little bit more boring and 'brighter'.
The CSD did show the HD650 is slightly better damped at mid frequencies.
 

HereYaGo

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The difference between the HD600 and 650
is that the 650 drivers diaphragm membrane has a variable thickness across it's surface.

" In addition to being made of a different material, the 650's diaphragms are constructed differently -- it's a membrane of variable thickness that has been tuned by ear. Not only by ear -- Sennheiser has comprehensive test and measurement facilities -- but engineer Axel Grell found that when the 'phones measured flat, they sounded harsh. So he very carefully tuned the response to have notches at 5kHz and 16kHz."
when i bought the hd600 i immediately complained about a 5khz peak that was piercing. So yeah they better have tried to fix that spot but that spot is still on 660s (massively) and even 650 (to a lesser extent). I only listened to a sound demo of hd650 and on many people's measurements the 650 seem to tilt slightly darker than hd600. HD650 and HD600 have almost identical sound but yeah hd650 seems slightly darker:

Sennheiser's attempts to fix their headphones have always been feeble and at the end of the day futile. like 6khz peak still on HD800S. Sad. DMS is a 600 series fanboy and thinks HD600 and HD650 are basically the same. They pretty much are.
 
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solderdude

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when i bought the hd600 i immediately complained about a 5khz peak that was piercing
What you need is a run-in DT990... that one doesn't have as piercing highs like the HD650 has. :D:eek:

The HD660S drivers do in fact have a little bump around 5kHz which is audible.
 

solderdude

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when i bought the hd600 i immediately complained about a 5khz peak that was piercing.

Acc. to the same Oratory the HD600 doesn't have a 5kHz peak which you claim bothered you.

HD600 .png
 
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