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HD600 vs HD650

staticV3

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@flaviowolff
No. Better analogs would be:
hd600=er4s, hd650=er4sr
or
hd600=er4sr, hd650=er4p
graph (1) (7).png graph (1) (6).png
Same bass response, 1-3dB difference above 1kHz
Screenshot_20220711-144746_Chrome.jpg
 

Tallulah

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After using (and loving) my HD 600 for seven years I have decided to put them on sale and buy the HD 650 to replace them. I have found that I like the HD 650 a bit more.

· The last few weeks I've been using the HD 600 with Oratory's equalization and new original pads. The vocals sounded a bit harsh to my ears even with the EQ, I had to apply an extra -1dB on band 5 (PK 1400 Hz Q 1.5) and also an additional -1dB on band 6 (HSC 2000 Hz Q 0.71).

· Now I'm using the new HD 650 with Oratory's equalization. On the HD 650 I don't need to make changes to the equalization! Vocals sound more refined and natural to my ears without any changes, I'm actually surprised about this.

I believe the easiest explanation for this is variability between units, maybe my HD 600 were especially loud around 2000 Hz, or the HD 650 are especially quiet on that range. Both headphones had the new version of the pads, so the pads aren't a factor here. I wonder if the different dampening or another factor could make such an audible difference on vocals. Maybe it's not all about the frequency response? I will never know.

I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience comparing these two models and would like to share it here.
 

solderdude

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· The last few weeks I've been using the HD 600 with Oratory's equalization and new original pads.
The current original pads differ a bit from the ones the HD600 (and 650,580,58x,660) came with originally.
When both the HD600 and HD650 have the same pads (not all HD650 are created equal) the HD650 will be a bit warmer/fuller and thus comparatively less 'clear/bright'.
 

staticV3

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When both the HD600 and HD650 have the same pads (not all HD650 are created equal) the HD650 will be a bit warmer/fuller and thus comparatively less 'clear/bright'.
Only on average though:
20230818_200100.jpg

When comparing one HD600 to one HD650, unit variation can tip it to either side:
Sennheiser_HD600_unit_variation.png Sennheiser_HD650.png
 

solderdude

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Yes, there are product variations on every headphone and certainly over headphones that have been in production for decades and these measurements could also include pad conditions.
 

Zensō

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solderdude

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The HD650 was born out of remarks on the HD600/580.
Mostly the lack of warmth/bass (emphasis on upper mids) and L-R balance issues.
The HD650 has a very wide-band upper bass lower mids emphasis of just a few dB but that is audible.

But sure ... the differences are small certainly when taking tolerances into account.
One thing the HD650 is better in (and makes it more expensive) is the capsule matching which is tighter.
Distortion is also slightly lower in the HD650.

Agreed... when you own the HD600 it is rather pointless to buy the HD650 and vice versa. There are small differences though that are appreciable when not using EQ.
In the years those models came out nobody ever EQ'ed headphones and the small differences mattered more back then.
Of course every amp in those days had bass and treble controls though.

Nowadays there is parametric EQ making the differences moot.
Here's the thing though... just look at the delta between the individual measurements and one can see that even with some 'averaged' EQ and taking pad condition into account we can see that any 'exact EQ' can be 'off' 5 to 10dB or so which is very, very audible.;)
 
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Tallulah

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When both the HD600 and HD650 have the same pads (not all HD650 are created equal) the HD650 will be a bit warmer/fuller and thus comparatively less 'clear/bright'.
I've been using Oratory's equalization files for each model, which should make the difference between both models much lower, so I guess it could be just unit variation. Although I think Oratory should have made at least two different EQs depending on pad compression, but let's believe that both headphone models have almost the same amount of measurements with used pads and new pads (19 units of HD 600 and 21 of HD 650). Anyways, if it's just unit variation and luck, I'm quite happy in any case, since this pair definetly sounds more natural on vocals to my ears. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid but I wanted to sell my old HD 600 because I thought drivers could degradate a bit with age (it was 7 years old already) and I ended up enjoying more this pair of HD 650.
 

solderdude

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The drivers of both headphones can easily last over a few decades.

I owned HD580, HD600 and still own HD650 (had that before I bought the 580 and 600) and ended up liking the HD650 the most and sold the 580/600.
Nowadays I only use the HD650 for referencing headphone measurements and is not my goto headphone anymore. Still good as a reference though.
 

Zensō

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I owned the 58X, 600, and 660S at the same time. I ended up keeping the 660S and selling the others. Last year I added the 800S. I still use the 660S for checking mixes, but the 800S is now my goto for both mixing/mastering and casual listening. I EQ’d all of these with either Sonarworks or to Harman using Pro-Q 3.
 
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solderdude

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Just bought a second hand HD580 Precision again. Assumed to be the 3rd iteration.
Finished the review just now.

Those that are looking for a nice 'cross' between HD600 and HD650 and don't care for nice paint jobs should look into the HD580 Jubilee.
Funny to see/hear that the HD600/650 aren't really any better than this 30 year old predecessor, just slightly different in the lows/warmth. It is actually right between these 2 models and being just a hair 'brighter'.
green-hd580-orange-hd600-blue-hd650.png


 

Svperstar

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Just bought a second hand HD580 Precision again. Assumed to be the 3rd iteration.
Finished the review just now.

Those that are looking for a nice 'cross' between HD600 and HD650 and don't care for nice paint jobs should look into the HD580 Jubilee.
Funny to see/hear that the HD600/650 aren't really any better than this 30 year old predecessor, just slightly different in the lows/warmth. It is actually right between these 2 models and being just a hair 'brighter'.
green-hd580-orange-hd600-blue-hd650.png



Back in 2003/04 when I got into this hobby you would have been seen as I'll informed or jealous if you said the 580 was the same or better then the 650.

Funny how things change.
 

solderdude

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It's not the same nor better nor worse but very close to the HD600 and HD650 sound and measurement wise.
The paint job (lack thereof for HD580) and slightly different tuning are basically the main differences.
Those that find the HD650 a bit too warm and the HD600 a bit too cold and don't care for paint should look into HD580 Precision.
It is a hair 'brighter' than HD600/650 though.
 

jhaider

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Just bought a second hand HD580 Precision again. Assumed to be the 3rd iteration.
Finished the review just now.

Those that are looking for a nice 'cross' between HD600 and HD650 and don't care for nice paint jobs should look into the HD580 Jubilee.
Funny to see/hear that the HD600/650 aren't really any better than this 30 year old predecessor, just slightly different in the lows/warmth. It is actually right between these 2 models and being just a hair 'brighter'.
green-hd580-orange-hd600-blue-hd650.png


Not at all surprised. I've had a pair of 580s since the mid-late 1990s, so similar vintage as yours. For years they were my "good" headphones - in a rotation with Koss KSC-35 and Ety ER-4. They've been around the world. They beat the OG Orpheus (IMO) in an A-B comparison when driven off of a HeadRoom Total AirHead. I later added an HD650. They were also very good headphones. However, I struggled to hear a rationale to keep both, as they didn't sound materially different to me on fresh pads. I ended up selling the '650s here.

I actually think 580 is the nicest looking of the group, too. The herringbone-ish plastic grilles are IMO more interesting looking than metal mesh.
 

isostasy

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Just bought a second hand HD580 Precision again. Assumed to be the 3rd iteration.
Finished the review just now.

Those that are looking for a nice 'cross' between HD600 and HD650 and don't care for nice paint jobs should look into the HD580 Jubilee.
Funny to see/hear that the HD600/650 aren't really any better than this 30 year old predecessor, just slightly different in the lows/warmth. It is actually right between these 2 models and being just a hair 'brighter'.
green-hd580-orange-hd600-blue-hd650.png


Is this compared with silver screen HD600 and HD650 or older black silk ones closer to the time of the HD580?

Bearing in mind unit variation is it really possible to recommend the HD580 as in between the HD600 and HD650 when it's probably equally possible to find units of each which are more or less close to those graphed? Especially when you factor in baffle changes over the years.

P.s. guessing you mean to recommend HD580 Precision rather than "Jubilee" specifically? Every time I've seen a Jubilee for sale (extremely rarely) it's sold for at least twice the price of a brand new HD600/650.
 

solderdude

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Yep, the Precision. The Jubilee is rare and sells for collector prices where Precision usually is sold for 2nd hand prices with decayed foam.

Silverscreen HD600, silverscreen HD650 and this black screen HD580.
Most of the differences are not so much caused by the screen but rather pad condition.
 

jhaider

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Yep, the Precision. The Jubilee is rare and sells for collector prices where Precision usually is sold for 2nd hand prices with decayed foam.

Silverscreen HD600, silverscreen HD650 and this black screen HD580.
Most of the differences are not so much caused by the screen but rather pad condition.
Wasn’t “Jubilee” the model that turned into HD600 after the collectors run was finished, with extra “for collectors” stuff?
 

solderdude

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It did have the metal grille and a carbon-fibre look paint job and the black silk front-damping.
Also the driver material seems different (from milk-white to clear plastic) which will have some influence as well.
Later on Sennheiser replaced the black silk with the white/silver metal mesh.

I did not replace the rear foam b.t.w. which would have probably made the bass response a bit lower and closer to the HD600.
The foam looses some of its properties so the lower frequency response and around 2kHz will be slightly different from 30 years ago.
Still the descriptions from those (HD580 vs HD600) days seem to match what I found.
Probably the nice box the HD600 also came in probably also came into existence with this Jubilee version (1995).

It looks like the HD600 was a bit 'leaner' sounding than HD580 (tighter bass) and due to the many comments about the 'lean' nature of the HD600 Sennheiser launched the HD650 which had a bit more body/warmth/bass extension than HD600. It was 'warmer' than the HD580.
 
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Svperstar

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It's not the same nor better nor worse but very close to the HD600 and HD650 sound and measurement wise.
The paint job (lack thereof for HD580) and slightly different tuning are basically the main differences.
Those that find the HD650 a bit too warm and the HD600 a bit too cold and don't care for paint should look into HD580 Precision.
It is a hair 'brighter' than HD600/650 though.

I remember reading the 650 would get better and better with more expensive amps, but the 580 was limited in some way. I own both these days and for sure see them as "different but equal" I don't hear anything in the 650 that makes it this massive improvement, people on eBay agree as the 580 can go for $500+ sometimes.
 
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