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HD600 vs Sundara as "endgame" neutral sound/music production headphones.

LuckyDinosaur

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Hi there, I would like to know your advice. I already use AT M40x and Phillips SHP9500 for this purpose and I´m really happy, but deep inside I think I should get "more serius" headphones.
I wouldn´t go for higher price cans because I'm believe in diminishing returns and also because I have other hobbies that are kind of expensive.
I would like to try some planars, but I'm afraid of HifiMan bad QA reputation, HD600 seems like "the gold standard", but I've heard it sounds very similar to the SHP9500 and on paper it lacks a lot of lower bass, so I´m afraid I could feel disapointed once I listen to them. I've also seen great reviews of Fidelio X2HR and on paper looks like it has a more extended and flatter bass frequency response than even the Sundara. In case I get the HD600, do you think it's worth to get the HE400se also as a "poor man's Sundara"?
I can't try them before buying in my third world country.
Thanks in advance.
 
I have a Thieaudio Ghost and it's a much better value than the Sennheiser. I use a Deva wired pro and wouldn't get a Sundara instead of these. Both are the sweet spot for value for money.
 
I’d recommend EQ, depending on your source. And in terms of value for money, I’d recommend HD 560 or HD 6xx.
 
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Seems to sound like a less 'strident' / 'forward' HD600. Same bass roll-off just a bit more 'relaxed' sounding in the mids. (based on this comparison) and could well be what some folks would prefer over the HD600.
1720591429552.png



1720592190008.png

The plot above suggests a slightly better extended HD6XX(HD650) but lacking clarity. Some may find it 'dull' but I suppose one can EQ the clarity back in there. A bit more 'sparkle' than HD650.

The plot below shows lacking bass extension (opposite Harman), and too warm sound lacking clarity.
1720596553154.png
 
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I have a Thieaudio Ghost and it's a much better value than the Sennheiser. I use a Deva wired pro and wouldn't get a Sundara instead of these. Both are the sweet spot for value for money.
I didn't know them. I'll check them, they seem interesting.
 
Thinking of buying them as they are € 150.- in Europe, but am afraid it may be too 'dark/muffled' for me out of the box and don't want/like to misuse the Amazon return policy.
But yes, interesting for the price.
A peak in response is doable to lower/remove passively, a dip, certainly a 5dB one, is not possible to fill-in. Another concern I have is the small available space for the ears.
 
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Not be an 'Option C' guy but the Slate VSX is a cool option for mixing and production as well in the same price range-ish. I've had both the HD600 and Sundara and they are very decent / neutral-ish options too.
 
The plot above suggests a slightly better extended HD6XX(HD650) but lacking clarity. Some may find it 'dull' but I suppose one can EQ the clarity back in there. A bit more 'sparkle' than HD650.
Having had one and being a EQ enthusiast, I'd like to contribute: the Ghost is a very nice option to get the "taste" of the Senn HD6s on a budget. It is indeed "dark" sounding on the presence and upper-mid regions, being closer to the HD 660s' than to the current 600/650/6XX. With EQ, it can come close to those, but I never could get it to the same point of "effortlessness" of the Sennheisers. On the treble, it is indeed sparkly and hard to tame without making the headphone sound weird, it overall suffers what I like to call "lost treble" effect, that happens when there's a hint of sparklyness where there shouldn't be, as if the high notes lost their cue on the track. But I wouldn't call it a bright headphone either, just splashy depending on the track.

Overall, it's a very nice intro headphone, and a great one to own for a more relaxed listen when you already have others lying around. For a better all-rounder though, I today would much rather recommend the Aune AR5000:

1720622777398.png


Depending on unit variance, you don't even need to EQ it (if you're searching for linear bass). On mine, for example, I found Amirm's and Oratory's EQ profiles to be too shouty/bright, and I'm a harman pinna fan: mine sounded more closely to Sai's on the above squig. On other departments, I think it's better than all the other alternatives mentioned here, it has a premium finish, it's VERY lightweight and comfortable, can be driven from anything (I had to use low-gain in my desktop amp at all times, even with -5dB preamp for EQ), has angled drivers for better imaging (it doesn't suffer from the Sennheiser "3 blob effect") and doesn't have as much roll-off as the Sennies, Ghost or even Sundara.
 
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For about the same price the FiiO FT3 is also an option but reckon the AR5000 is the better one.
1720625981029.png


ft3-compare-n1-2.gif


The 10kHz treble peak can be removed/lowered with some toilet paper.
 
As a recording engineer of 25 years, I have always been on the lookout for really neutral headphones I can mix on. There's definitely no perfect option, it's really a matter of what you can get used to and really know well. That said, after trying pretty much all of the higher end Sennheiser Headphones, the 650's were closest to neutral for me. I still have to roll off a little high frequency to get rid of some of those Peaks up there, which, although it also rolls off the valleys, gets me the closest to my studio speakers. Still very open to finding something even flatter.
 
Seems to sound like a less 'strident' / 'forward' HD600. Same bass roll-off just a bit more 'relaxed' sounding in the mids. (based on this comparison) and could well be what some folks would prefer over the HD600.
View attachment 380123


View attachment 380125
The plot above suggests a slightly better extended HD6XX(HD650) but lacking clarity. Some may find it 'dull' but I suppose one can EQ the clarity back in there. A bit more 'sparkle' than HD650.

The plot below shows lacking bass extension (opposite Harman), and too warm sound lacking clarity.
View attachment 380132

The Ghost's sound signature looks an awful lot like an Audeze LCD-2 to me. That wouldn't be a bad thing for my tastes at all, so now I kind of need to try one.

I can't find a database with both headphones, but here's both LCD-2 variants for comparison:


graph.png
 
I recently got the Ghost and I'm very pleased by it's tuning, but my judgement is biased from the bargain price of €43 i paid during a Linsoul sale. At full price I can't say, I mostly abandoned full size cans for iems long time ago, so got the Ghost just for the absolute steal price.

https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...casual-listening-around-75.55130/post-2018174
Ah... ordered one directly from Linsoul for $ 49.99 with free shipping to E.U.
Silly money ...
Beats the € 150 I would have to pay on Amazon.
I'm sure there will be import fees but that will likely be below € 50.-
 
Ah... ordered one directly from Linsoul for $ 49.99 with free shipping to E.U.
Silly money ...
Beats the € 150 I would have to pay on Amazon.
I'm sure there will be import fees but that will likely be below € 50.-
I also ordered one - for that price it could be an amazing headphone - I have been playing with a JA11 this week ( FiiO's new usb-c dongle with 5-band PEQ ) and together these might make a great headphone for $60 (as the JA11 was about $11).
 
Ah... ordered one directly from Linsoul for $ 49.99 with free shipping to E.U.
Silly money ...
Beats the € 150 I would have to pay on Amazon.
I'm sure there will be import fees but that will likely be below € 50.-
Nice, so they are on sale again. I also preventivated import fees to Italy but in my case nothing, they shipped pretty quickly and zero fees, and summed with a 6$ coupon i got with their treasures game i paid exactly €43.
Only tiny issue I noticed is about the cable, the small plastic strain releaf rings on the two 3.5 jacks that plug into the cups are loose and when they poke to the metal jacks you can hear little microphonic noises transferred to the cups. Tightening them with a little of heatshrink tube or tape would solve it, anyway I used them very little so far, it's to hot now to think using a full size can on my head (one of the reasons I converted to iems).
 
I guess in a month or so I will publish my findings.
I wonder why the discount on these headphones ? Lack of sales ? 'Out of spec' devices being sold off ?
 
I guess in a month or so I will publish my findings.
I wonder why the discount on these headphones ? Lack of sales ? 'Out of spec' devices being sold off ?
Legit question... At Thieaudio official store they sell for original price of $129, Linsoul from time to time make sale on them at $49, then they come back at $129.
Thieaudo is deeply related to Linsoul as a brand, so maybe we can see the discount as a way of marketing or something similar to what we see during amazon sales when they periodically discount specific items (think to Senn HD599 SE that is amazon exclusive, normally priced at €179-€199 but no one will buy them at that price since everyone know them going down at €79-€99 during prime days,\black Friday\other slaes).
 
My experience:
- I hated the HD600. Perhaps mine was faulty. Unlikely as both sides sounded equally rubbish.
- I loved my Sundara! it is by no means an end-game headphone though. It needs deeper bass and more openness, but out of box is loveable.
- I tried the HD650, it was a HD600 but more muffled.
- I still maintain that Edition XS, with all its faults, is superior to a Sundara, for a little more money.
That is if you want to go for Hifiman. get one from Amazon, you get a month to check it out to make sure it is all good.
 
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