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Sennheiser HD560s Owner's Thread.

Robbo99999

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I myself am no longer sure of this and do not trust these measurements. Now I’m listening, there seems to be no imbalance, I ran the tone with a generator, turned on the downmix channels to mono mode, it seems not, I don’t know what’s wrong anymore, maybe it’s wrong with me, maybe my ear was off that day, and the “measuring setup” confirmed it ... or was there something else in the equipment, in general, could it be that the stereo effects are more pronounced in these headphones? I need to get some more headphones and quickly switch between them.
If you're a bit fanatical about channel balance in headphones (no bad thing), then it's great to buy something like miniDSP EARS headphone measuring rig, where you can reliable channel balance measurements. You can then create seperate left/right channel EQ's that match the two channels together exactly throughout the whole frequency range - which essentially means you end up with absolutely perfectly matched channels, which is quite rare to find on any headphone. Yes it costs about £300 to buy the miniDSP EARS but if you're a headphone enthusiast and have quite a few headphones and you've already committed to spending quite a bit on headphones then I think it makes sense. You could also try building your own rig which I've certainly seen one ASR user do. I think it was @peniku8 that built his own so he might be able to give you pointers (sorry @peniku8 if it wasn't you, as I don't know where I delved up that information from my brain!).

HD560s does not have enhanced stereo effects. For me the HD560s has very smooth panning of effects that move from left to right, so there's not "3-blob effect" that happens with this headphone. For me HD600 has the "3 blob effect" where it's either left/right or centre, and that headphone doesn't have such smooth transition for panning effects. So to me, I don't think HD560s will make you think it has channel imbalance from that point of view. If you do end up being sure that it has channel imbalance then send it back for a replacement. Also make sure your ears aren't blocked with wax - if you have one ear slightly blocked then it will make headphones more unbalanced than your normal waking life (because no crossfeed).
 

peniku8

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If you're a bit fanatical about channel balance in headphones (no bad thing), then it's great to buy something like miniDSP EARS headphone measuring rig, where you can reliable channel balance measurements. You can then create seperate left/right channel EQ's that match the two channels together exactly throughout the whole frequency range - which essentially means you end up with absolutely perfectly matched channels, which is quite rare to find on any headphone. Yes it costs about £300 to buy the miniDSP EARS but if you're a headphone enthusiast and have quite a few headphones and you've already committed to spending quite a bit on headphones then I think it makes sense. You could also try building your own rig which I've certainly seen one ASR user do. I think it was @peniku8 that built his own so he might be able to give you pointers (sorry @peniku8 if it wasn't you, as I don't know where I delved up that information from my brain!).

HD560s does not have enhanced stereo effects. For me the HD560s has very smooth panning of effects that move from left to right, so there's not "3-blob effect" that happens with this headphone. For me HD600 has the "3 blob effect" where it's either left/right or centre, and that headphone doesn't have such smooth transition for panning effects. So to me, I don't think HD560s will make you think it has channel imbalance from that point of view. If you do end up being sure that it has channel imbalance then send it back for a replacement. Also make sure your ears aren't blocked with wax - if you have one ear slightly blocked then it will make headphones more unbalanced than your normal waking life (because no crossfeed).
I did build one, indeed! I just stuck a FF mic in a rig that holds the headphone and creates an airtight space between a flat surface with a hole in it for the mic and the ear cup. It's somewhat okay-ish in an absolute sense below ~1KHz but of course completely unreliable above that, because of the lack of a pinna and a proper ear canal. In a relative sense tho, it's perfectly fine to do channel matching with it tho, it's just that you don't really know if you should match left to right or right to left or something in between, but that's something you can just test and decide for yourself what sounds the best to you.
I have a CNC tho, which I used to fabricate this thing and a FF mic (plus audio interface if you don't already have one) won't be cheap. In the end, it doesn't matter how you obtain your measurement, is just matters that you can obtain it consistently (e.g. you remove the headphone from the fixture and if you place it again and measure the same response, then you're good). I typically do 4 reseats for a total of 5 measurements and they're typically within fractions of a dB for most of the response, indicating good repeatability.
 

Robbo99999

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I did build one, indeed! I just stuck a FF mic in a rig that holds the headphone and creates an airtight space between a flat surface with a hole in it for the mic and the ear cup. It's somewhat okay-ish in an absolute sense below ~1KHz but of course completely unreliable above that, because of the lack of a pinna and a proper ear canal. In a relative sense tho, it's perfectly fine to do channel matching with it tho, it's just that you don't really know if you should match left to right or right to left or something in between, but that's something you can just test and decide for yourself what sounds the best to you.
I have a CNC tho, which I used to fabricate this thing and a FF mic (plus audio interface if you don't already have one) won't be cheap. In the end, it doesn't matter how you obtain your measurement, is just matters that you can obtain it consistently (e.g. you remove the headphone from the fixture and if you place it again and measure the same response, then you're good). I typically do 4 reseats for a total of 5 measurements and they're typically within fractions of a dB for most of the response, indicating good repeatability.
Oh, ok, your build sounds relatively complicated then. I had thought it was a bit more simpler to build & put together, so might be out of reach for an everyday headphone enthusiast. @Another_Moon seems like best option could be to get a miniDSP EARS if you want to get easily accessible equipment for reliable channel matching measurements, but that's up to you to see if it's worth it. Either way though, if you think your HD560s has channel imbalance send it back.
 

IAtaman

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I got the new 560S as well. It arrived yesterday and was able to get to them today.

Out of the box it sounds really good to me. 4.5K peak is not ideal but it is not very distracting for me so I can use them without EQ no problem.

Did my, now customary, blocked ear canal microphone measurements as well and come up with the below EQ. FYI, my measurements are very non-scientific and all my EQ settings are done by eye so you should not take them very seriously.

Preamp: -2dB dB
Filter 1: ON HSC Fc 70 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 0.7
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 200 Hz Gain -0.5 dB Q 1.4
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 2500 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 2.5
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 4600 Hz Gain -4 dB Q 3

Filter 2 is me being pedantic a bit and can be ignored even more.

You can see original and EQed measurements in the context of HD600 below.

1705045908480.png


Bass is really great on these cans. Almost AKG K245 level good. Whatever dark magic Sennheiser did with these cans, I wish they had done it for HD800S as well.

With 3 filters, it becomes superb. Once the clamping force goes down a bit, I can see myself using them all the time. 10 out of 10.
 

Robbo99999

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I got the new 560S as well. It arrived yesterday and was able to get to them today.

Out of the box it sounds really good to me. 4.5K peak is not ideal but it is not very distracting for me so I can use them without EQ no problem.

Did my, now customary, blocked ear canal microphone measurements as well and come up with the below EQ. FYI, my measurements are very non-scientific and all my EQ settings are done by eye so you should not take them very seriously.



Filter 2 is me being pedantic a bit and can be ignored even more.

You can see original and EQed measurements in the context of HD600 below.

View attachment 341363

Bass is really great on these cans. Almost AKG K245 level good. Whatever dark magic Sennheiser did with these cans, I wish they had done it for HD800S as well.

With 3 filters, it becomes superb. Once the clamping force goes down a bit, I can see myself using them all the time. 10 out of 10.
That's interesting to see that. How much we can derive from your blocked canal measurements I'm not sure, but it is interesting to see it vs the HD600 for instance. You're taking down the 4.5kHz peak a bit more than the GRAS measurements would suggest, and you're also taking down 2-3kHz when GRAS suggests a deficiency in that area on the New Version. But it's hard to derive comparisons. I do agree that New Version HD560s is a very good headphone out of the box though! I don't hear problems associated with 4.5kHz peak on the New Version, and to be honest I think I hear it quite a lot like my miniDSP EARS "GRAS Style" measurement of the New Version which doesn't really show a worrisome 4.5kHz peak in relation to Harman:
HD560s New Version AVG converted to GRAS (myOldAVG to OraAVG).jpg

Albeit there is no doubt that your blocked canal measurements show a 4.5kHz peak in relation to HD600 at least. Mind you, the HD600 would show a deficiency at 4.5kHz if it was aligned at 1kHz, which it's not in the following Oratory measurement of HD600, but you can see if it was aligned at 1kHz you would have a 4.5kHz deficiency, so praps that's why there's such a large difference between your blocked canal measurments at 4.5kHz between HD560s & HD600, following pic of Oratory HD600 measurement (and to be honest it would make more sense if the below HD600 was aligned at 1kHz as more adherence through the mids to the target):
HD600 Oratory.jpg
 

IAtaman

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That's interesting to see that. How much we can derive from your blocked canal measurements I'm not sure, but it is interesting to see it vs the HD600 for instance. You're taking down the 4.5kHz peak a bit more than the GRAS measurements would suggest, and you're also taking down 2-3kHz when GRAS suggests a deficiency in that area on the New Version. But it's hard to derive comparisons. I do agree that New Version HD560s is a very good headphone out of the box though! I don't hear problems associated with 4.5kHz peak on the New Version, and to be honest I think I hear it quite a lot like my miniDSP EARS "GRAS Style" measurement of the New Version which doesn't really show a worrisome 4.5kHz peak in relation to Harman:
View attachment 341381
Albeit there is no doubt that your blocked canal measurements show a 4.5kHz peak in relation to HD600 at least. Mind you, the HD600 would show a deficiency at 4.5kHz if it was aligned at 1kHz, which it's not in the following Oratory measurement of HD600, but you can see if it was aligned at 1kHz you would have a 4.5kHz deficiency, so praps that's why there's such a large difference between your blocked canal measurments at 4.5kHz between HD560s & HD600, following pic of Oratory HD600 measurement (and to be honest it would make more sense if the below HD600 was aligned at 1kHz as more adherence through the mids to the target):
View attachment 341382
Fair observations.

Oratory's EQ curve for HD560S also has ca -3dB notch at 4.5K so in that regard we are not too far apart.
His EQ seems to be at 0db at 2.5KHz though so that is clearly a deviation.

1705064079852.png


In any case, I have been listing to it for half a day now and I am quite happy with my own made up EQ. I might try Oratory's EQ later on to see if it makes a major difference or improvement.
 

Robbo99999

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Fair observations.

Oratory's EQ curve for HD560S also has ca -3dB notch at 4.5K so in that regard we are not too far apart.
His EQ seems to be at 0db at 2.5KHz though so that is clearly a deviation.

View attachment 341408

In any case, I have been listing to it for half a day now and I am quite happy with my own made up EQ. I might try Oratory's EQ later on to see if it makes a major difference or improvement.
Except that you've got the New Version HD560s (the one with short cable and 3.5mm male plug), so that brings down the treble area making the 4.5kHz less of a problem. The graph I showed was the New Version HD560s showing that the 4.5kHz peak wasn't that far above the Harman Target. And as @sharock has said in the post above me, Oratory's measurements are based mostly on Old Version HD560s, in fact he may have not measured a single unit of New Version as of yet (he wouldn't answer that question). You should continue using your EQ if you like it though.
 

IAtaman

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Except that you've got the New Version HD560s (the one with short cable and 3.5mm male plug), so that brings down the treble area making the 4.5kHz less of a problem. The graph I showed was the New Version HD560s showing that the 4.5kHz peak wasn't that far above the Harman Target. And as @sharock has said in the post above me, Oratory's measurements are based mostly on Old Version HD560s, in fact he may have not measured a single unit of New Version as of yet (he wouldn't answer that question). You should continue using your EQ if you like it though.
You made comparison measurements no? How big was the change at 4.5K?
 

Robbo99999

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You made comparison measurements no? How big was the change at 4.5K?
Yep, the data is in this following post of mine:
It's a 2.1dB difference at 4.5kHz. The New Version is 2.1dB below the Old Version at that point. New Version is pretty much a -2.1dB High Shelf tilt from 1200Hz, with a couple of other smaller changes, which you can see by the EQ that's in that same post, which changes New Version into Old Version.
 

Robbo99999

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Jimbob54

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Robbo99999

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Suppose I better had
Ha, Jimbob, you got loads of headphones I know, so it would be a shame not to have an HD560s New Version for a bargain! I think they're decent and the best stock headphones I own. Potentially the best headphones with EQ too, but I need to do a bit more testing (not too soon). (Have you got miniDSP EARS or measurement rig just to check for a dud re channel balance, just to be sure?)

EDIT: I appreciate that not everyone can like "the same headphone" but just as another loose datapoint the Amazon reviews have shot through the roof with 5* reviews over the last year corresponding quite well I think with the release of the "New Version" of the headphone.
 
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Jimbob54

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Ha, Jimbob, you got loads of headphones I know, so it would be a shame not to have an HD560s New Version for a bargain! I think they're decent and the best stock headphones I own. Potentially the best headphones with EQ too, but I need to do a bit more testing (not too soon). (Have you got miniDSP EARS or measurement rig just to check for a dud re channel balance, just to be sure?)

EDIT: I appreciate that not everyone can like "the same headphone" but just as another loose datapoint the Amazon reviews have shot through the roof with 5* reviews over the last year corresponding quite well I think with the release of the "New Version" of the headphone.
No measurement rig or intention to get. Youve recently got an 800 and working with it which I've had for a few years. You've had 560s a while and rate so I'm intrigued where our post eq profiles on each end up after a period of listening /eq trials etc.

I suspect my post eq FR on both will be similar, as will yours, but how far apart are our "house' curves
 

Robbo99999

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No measurement rig or intention to get. Youve recently got an 800 and working with it which I've had for a few years. You've had 560s a while and rate so I'm intrigued where our post eq profiles on each end up after a period of listening /eq trials etc.

I suspect my post eq FR on both will be similar, as will yours, but how far apart are our "house' curves
Yep, I'll work with you on that. I need to devote some more time to the HD800 including reseating one of the pads & remeasuring, and then subsequent EQ work, so that's something I'm gonna do as an upcoming project so-to-speak as light on time for such things at the moment, but I've already got the HD560s New Version dialed in.
 

Jimbob54

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Well- got them yesterday. For £130 or so one cannot argue.
Grip is way too tight but can be relaxed.
Comfy pads. Feels like more space for my big lugs than on the 6// models where always feel something is touching.
Feels cheap- but then it is cheap.
Definitely needs a bass boost (what open back doesn't though). Still playing around with this- there is a reason no doubt that Oratory does not EQ up to full Harman at the far left.
Just using a couple of little dips in the mids but again will be playing around with these.

Overall its a no brainer for anyone wanting a comfortable and decent sounding open back (if you can boost the bass). Need some time to compare but there isnt much spaciousness to the sound. More of a 600 sound stage/ ambience than an 800.
 

Robbo99999

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Well- got them yesterday. For £130 or so one cannot argue.
Grip is way too tight but can be relaxed.
Comfy pads. Feels like more space for my big lugs than on the 6// models where always feel something is touching.
Feels cheap- but then it is cheap.
Definitely needs a bass boost (what open back doesn't though). Still playing around with this- there is a reason no doubt that Oratory does not EQ up to full Harman at the far left.
Just using a couple of little dips in the mids but again will be playing around with these.

Overall its a no brainer for anyone wanting a comfortable and decent sounding open back (if you can boost the bass). Need some time to compare but there isnt much spaciousness to the sound. More of a 600 sound stage/ ambience than an 800.
However, Oratory does boost to Harman for the bass, apart from 1dB down at 20Hz, it's probably because he ran out of parametric filters rather than anything else:
HD560s nearly boosted to Harman apart from 20Hz.jpg

Yes, soundstage is not as big as HD800, but I find it way better than HD6XX line in that regard. In my New Version HD560s I wouldn't boost the bass if that was the only thing I was gonna do, I say that because I think at stock that it's perfectly balanced. Yes, I do use a full parametric EQ on them and that does improve them, but just adding a bass boost to stock New Version HD560s would unbalance the headphone (& would require increases North of 1kHz to balance the bass boost). Perhaps some unit to unit variation, or we have different tastes. Following is more how New Version HD560s would measure on GRAS vs Harman (just to aid in visualisation of changes you make):
1708444731790.jpeg
 
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Jimbob54

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(& would require increases North of 1kHz to balance the bass boost).
Edit it is 2 dips per image . Work in progress though . And I'm sure our tastes do differ but to my ears these need a bass boost. Im happy with about 3db 20hz peak q0.5 so it's not much.

Screenshot_2024-02-20-16-27-23-891_com.extreamsd.usbaudioplayerpro.jpg
 
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Robbo99999

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Edit it is 2 dips per image . Work in progress though . And I'm sure our tastes do differ but to my ears these need a bass boost. Im happy with about 3db 20hz peak q0.5 so it's not much.

View attachment 351056
When I've done my HD800 EQ I'll catch up with you to compare it to what you're using. I'll see if we share the same differences between HD560s and HD800 EQ's. Initially I'd say you prefer a fair bit less SPL between 1-2kHz. To be honest though, you're only giving it +3dB at 20Hz so I don't think that changes the tonality all that much, but combined with the your decreases 1.25Khz & 5kHz that would be quite significant I think. Perhaps you like a darker tilted headphone than me (but also with less bass and less pinna gain). I'll catch up with you when I've finished my HD800 EQ as it'll be interesting to see if our individual tastes span the same way between each of those headphones.
 
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