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New Sennheiser HD490 Pro

CedarX

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It depends on whether or not comfort is important to you.
It also depends on whether or not you plan to EQ or you want to use as is.

The HD490 isn't a great binaural tool. The binaural tool is the software you can download for it. The headphone itself does not bring anything extra in this.

The pads emphasize different parts of the frequency range and is what sets it apart from the HD560S which only comes in one flavor.
That is unless you have an older and newer version then you have 2 slightly different flavors.

The HD560S is a headphone designed for music enjoyment. The HD490PRO is a tool for producers/mixers.
The 'producers' pads is a bit baffling to me though.

I'll try to explain... when you mix with a headphone that is a bit shy on the bass and is a little too forward and bright and the mixing engineer has a good ear he will 'turn the knobs' so that in order for the music to sound good to him he will dial in some lower bass, reduce the forwardness a little and ease up on the treble.
A bright, lean headphone thus results in fuller, bassier and 'relaxed' recording with gentle highs. Right what the doctor ordered.

When you listen to that with a 'neutral' headphone like the HD560S then you will hear the full sound with good bass and gentle treble.

When you listen to the mix (done with mixer pads) on the HD490PRO with producer pads the producer will hear an overly warm and somewhat woolly lows and a bit reduced clarity. No idea what that is good for but most young folks prefer more warmth and recordings that are a bit bright do not sound that way.
The producer must either listen at lower levels than the mixer or just prefers a warmer sound.

In any case... the producer pads sound a bit too warm/mushy to me. I like the mixer pads the most (probably because I listen to headphones and nearfields mostly) but they are a bit 'unnatural' for music enjoyment. These are tools for the producing side for which they work well.
People expect that because pros use them they must be good for music enjoyment as well. Not necessarily so alas.

Comfort there is no contest. HD490PRO >> HD650 (with lowered clamping force) > HD560S which is lightweight but 'feels' a bit cheap in comparison.

For music enjoyment, in the Sennheiser stable, the HD560S is a cheap option, the HD660S2 is a more luxurious option. The HD600/650 are classics, different bass and treble 'texture'.
Thanks for the great explanation!
 

RoA

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Don't forget the 58X Jubilee if you're on a budget.
 

CedarX

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Don't forget the 58X Jubilee if you're on a budget.
Yes, I don’t have that one… But the 58X appears to be very much “somewhere” between the HD560S, HD600/650, which I own already.
The HD490 Pro caught my attention as something *potentially* different, a true new pair of headphones according to Sennheiser marketing stuff—they seem to be quite proud of it!
 

spankjam

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We'll probably have to wait for a new HD600 / 650 revision.

To me, from an audio engineer perspective, coming from mixing on Quested Mains, ProAc Studio and Amphion One 18s, the 490s are not making much sense acoustically. My HD650s are easier to transition to when it comes to knowing where the mid range sits.
 

Noodles

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So, i had these for a bit ~ about 2 weeks and i can say they are pretty good for most things that are not too complicated. For most music and movies... they work quite nicely since the sound in those is not too complicated for the driver to handle.
However you throw some underlying constant bass track and more complicated overarching melody and sounds and they fall apart quite quickly.
For instance i tried gaming on it and in Doom Eternal: when there is the underlying metal track playing on relatively higher volume and there is lots going on around you ... the positional accuracy becomes really vague. It's like a blob of sound hitting your eardums from somewhere inbetween your ears instead of telling you that X is coming from left, right, center.
They are fine if not a lot of things are playing at the same time and when mixing they are also going to be good enough, but so are a lot of other things ... and cheaper than the 490's too.

To be fair, this is a problem with most dynamic drivers. For me - that bit made me return them. On the plus side - they are very comfortable and if you want an HD660S2 ~ HD650-ish sound with more comfort and you really want it to be Sennheiser, then look no further.
Guess i will be sticking with planar drivers for the time being, which for the most part don't really have this issue (most likely the size of the planar driver is at play here). My Moondrop Para, which i got for about 230 on sale, is far more appealing,
 
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Noise Buffet

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I went from the HD6xx to the HD560S due to the flatter bass response (and weight). This was after mixing on closed backs for decades (Sony MDR7506). Going from closed to open was a big change for the better - far less fatiguing and more accurate. They really need to change their naming convention though. The number 490 is SMALLER than 650 so the price should reflect this.
 

solderdude

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The Pro range is 2**, 3** and 4** series
The consumer range is 5**, 6** and 8** series (only one in the 7** series) for the more serious models.

The HD560S = HD400PRO in the pro line and below the HD490.
 
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