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Sennheiser HD560s Owner's Thread.

Yearofthegoat

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I was getting exited about the 560S until these last few posts!

I'm looking for headphones mainly for mixing using DAWs (Ableton Live, FL Studio, Reaper) and I'm wondering whether my USB audio interface would be sufficient to drive the 560S? The interface specs say:

"Headphone out: 30mW x2 (into 32Ohm load),
Output Impedance: 33Ohms"

I've read pages of stuff so far about which headphones should go with which amps. For instance, the '8x' rule would suggest I'd need ~250Ohm headphones, but I'm not convinced the interface would have the power for those types of headphones.

My thinking is the 560S, at 120Ohms, would be better - and their sensitivity is good (high?) at 112 and easy(er) to drive.

I could push the audio out via SPDIF to a Denon 2805 receiver, but I've no idea of the headphone specs for that, and it would be more electricity to use just for the headphones, so not a great option.

Lastly, I'm also tempted by the 599SEs that are currently only £90 on Amazon (UK), maybe they'd tide me over (with EQ) until the 560S's QA is tightened up. Or just gamble on getting a good pair of 560S's now?!

Any advice would be fantastic - thanks.
 

Doodski

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"Headphone out: 30mW x2 (into 32Ohm load),
Output Impedance: 33Ohms"
The output impedance is high. The power output of 30mW/ch is a result. That will also cause current limiting, a voltage drop and frequency response anomalies. Are you sure you want a open back for DAW work?
 

Yearofthegoat

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Sounds bad... ('A result' is usually a good thing though?)

Re. open back, not necessarily, just need some headphones that are a) fairly flat (or EQable to become so) and b) not expensive, i.e. <£200/US$250. Need to be able to wear them for hours (and hours and hours...) though.

A couple of reviewers of the interface (a Zoom U-44) say they've had good results with 50Ohm headphones (HD595) - but that would seemingly fail the 2.5-8x Ohms check (if that's even a real thing).
 

Skinner001

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Well, if you have no issue using open-backs I think you should try the 560s - here in the UK with Amazon - it should be no issue returning them if you spot channel imbalance (I have no such issues with mine) and they are pretty easy to drive. I see no risk in trying and returning if necessary.

I might recommend AKG371 - very good measuring, cheap, but I wouldn't be able to wear them for hours - though that's just me - again, you could try them and if the comfort isn't there, return them - or keep them for other purposes. The 560s is quite comfortable for me.
 

Doodski

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The 560s is quite comfortable for me.
I have the 598 and they are very comfortable and vent pretty well unless it's like 27C or warmer. II wear them for hours at a time without issue. Sometimes I forget I am wearing them. They have a nice strapped in feeling when aware of them. Strapped into the system.
 

Robbo99999

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I was getting exited about the 560S until these last few posts!

I'm looking for headphones mainly for mixing using DAWs (Ableton Live, FL Studio, Reaper) and I'm wondering whether my USB audio interface would be sufficient to drive the 560S? The interface specs say:

"Headphone out: 30mW x2 (into 32Ohm load),
Output Impedance: 33Ohms"

I've read pages of stuff so far about which headphones should go with which amps. For instance, the '8x' rule would suggest I'd need ~250Ohm headphones, but I'm not convinced the interface would have the power for those types of headphones.

My thinking is the 560S, at 120Ohms, would be better - and their sensitivity is good (high?) at 112 and easy(er) to drive.

I could push the audio out via SPDIF to a Denon 2805 receiver, but I've no idea of the headphone specs for that, and it would be more electricity to use just for the headphones, so not a great option.

Lastly, I'm also tempted by the 599SEs that are currently only £90 on Amazon (UK), maybe they'd tide me over (with EQ) until the 560S's QA is tightened up. Or just gamble on getting a good pair of 560S's now?!

Any advice would be fantastic - thanks.
About the last few posts that damped your excitement for the HD560s, I think it's good to put it in perspective - Oratory has measured 3 units and 1 had bad channel matching, Solderdude measured 1 headphone and it had great channel matching, Crinacle has measured 2 headphones and they had good channel matching, there was one headphone measured by a hobbyist in this thread and it had bad channel matching - so altogether you're looking at 7 units of HD560s that have been measured and two of them had bad channel matching - that would be 28%. However, Resolve has also measured an HD560s and the frequncy response of that one was close to other units measured, so that one probably didn't have bad channel matching, so it might be two of eight which is 25% having bad channel matching. Additionally, if you were to discount the accuracy of the hobbyist measurement done by someone in this thread (not saying you can, but if you do), then this would be 1 in 8 which is 13% having bad channel matching. Generally the units that have good channel matching have pretty darn good channel matching from what I've seen. There's always some risks associated with unit to unit variation, and Sennheiser have a good reputation on this....I'm still gonna be recommending the HD560s. I'll be soon posting up some other positive measurements that Oratory did on my HD560s, such as distortion, they are impressively low distortion - waiting to hear back from Oratory on a couple of points first though, or I might just go ahead and wack all the measurements out there in a day or two (to be honest I don't need to hear back from him, there's no issues - I'll post them up soon).
 

adama99

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I'm looking for headphones mainly for mixing using DAWs (Ableton Live, FL Studio, Reaper) and I'm wondering whether my USB audio interface would be sufficient to drive the 560S? The interface specs say:

"Headphone out: 30mW x2 (into 32Ohm load),
Output Impedance: 33Ohms"

...

Lastly, I'm also tempted by the 599SEs that are currently only £90 on Amazon (UK), maybe they'd tide me over (with EQ) until the 560S's QA is tightened up. Or just gamble on getting a good pair of 560S's now?!

@solderdude has reviews of both headphones on his site (DIY Audio Heaven), and his testing shows that the HD 560S is less sensitive to variations in output impedance than the HD 599. Portable devices can drive the 560S without issue, so your USB audio interface should have more then enough power.

Between the two, unless you specifically want the warmer sound signature of the HD 599 I'd recommend getting the HD 560S instead.

hd560s-vs-hd599.png


(Red = HD 560S, Black = HD 599)
 

Skinner001

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About the last few posts that damped your excitement for the HD560s, I think it's good to put it in perspective - Oratory has measured 3 units and 1 had bad channel matching, Solderdude measured 1 headphone and it had great channel matching, Crinacle has measured 2 headphones and they had good channel matching, there was one headphone measured by a hobbyist in this thread and it had bad channel matching - so altogether you're looking at 7 units of HD560s that have been measured and two of them had bad channel matching - that would be 28%. However, Resolve has also measured an HD560s and the frequncy response of that one was close to other units measured, so that one probably didn't have bad channel matching, so it might be two of eight which is 25% having bad channel matching. Additionally, if you were to discount the accuracy of the hobbyist measurement done by someone in this thread (not saying you can, but if you do), then this would be 1 in 8 which is 13% having bad channel matching. Generally the units that have good channel matching have pretty darn good channel matching from what I've seen. There's always some risks associated with unit to unit variation, and Sennheiser have a good reputation on this....I'm still gonna be recommending the HD560s. I'll be soon posting up some other positive measurements that Oratory did on my HD560s, such as distortion, they are impressively low distortion - waiting to hear back from Oratory on a couple of points first though, or I might just go ahead and wack all the measurements out there in a day or two.
I think Amir also has 560s to measure in the near future if I'm not mistaken.
Also, worth keeping in mind with any product - flaws tend to be talked about loudly, while satisfied customers tend to be quiet as they have nothing much to say - sometimes the internet gives us skewed ideas about products.

Sometimes, the evidence is overwhelming - e.g. Elex - but a lot of times you hear the minority of bad stuff compared to the overwhelming majority of no issues.
 

Yearofthegoat

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Thanks everyone for all the help.

Maybe I read it wrong but @Doodski seemed to be saying the 560S was no go with my interface ("current limiting, a voltage drop and frequency response anomalies"). I'm not going to replace it as I have microphone capsules for it and an H6 too. Besides, everything else AI-wise is great (SPDIF in/out, direct monitoring, good latency etc.).

It can be mains powered, but I don't believe (I could be wrong) that would improve power - IIRC it's just a substitute for USB power, i.e. for use with an iPad or other device that doesn't provide USB power.

@Robbo99999 25% or even 13% with poor channel matching is still very high, IMO. But, as @Skinner001 said, flaws get a lot of mentions, and I could simply return a bad pair to Amazon. Sennheiser have a lot of good reputation to uphold so I'm sure they won't let high proportions of poor units go out for long.

@adama99 Yeah, the 599 is very tempting but only because of the bargain price atm. The downside is that I actually don't want a warm sound, unless I can eq it away.

The phones I have at the moment are an old pair of Rotel RH700s and a pair of Technics RP-F295s. The latter are fine for TV but aren't great with music (too bassy). The Rotels seem tinny and the pads have gone flat so they're emergency use only now (not worth refurbing either?).

Thanks for the tips folks, roll on Black Friday and maybe I can grab a deal somewhere.
 

Robbo99999

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Thanks everyone for all the help.

Maybe I read it wrong but @Doodski seemed to be saying the 560S was no go with my interface ("current limiting, a voltage drop and frequency response anomalies"). I'm not going to replace it as I have microphone capsules for it and an H6 too. Besides, everything else AI-wise is great (SPDIF in/out, direct monitoring, good latency etc.).

It can be mains powered, but I don't believe (I could be wrong) that would improve power - IIRC it's just a substitute for USB power, i.e. for use with an iPad or other device that doesn't provide USB power.

@Robbo99999 25% or even 13% with poor channel matching is still very high, IMO. But, as @Skinner001 said, flaws get a lot of mentions, and I could simply return a bad pair to Amazon. Sennheiser have a lot of good reputation to uphold so I'm sure they won't let high proportions of poor units go out for long.

@adama99 Yeah, the 599 is very tempting but only because of the bargain price atm. The downside is that I actually don't want a warm sound, unless I can eq it away.

The phones I have at the moment are an old pair of Rotel RH700s and a pair of Technics RP-F295s. The latter are fine for TV but aren't great with music (too bassy). The Rotels seem tinny and the pads have gone flat so they're emergency use only now (not worth refurbing either?).

Thanks for the tips folks, roll on Black Friday and maybe I can grab a deal somewhere.
It's quite hard to get a proper handle on channel matching for a headphone, as oftentimes perhaps less than only 5 or 10 units might be measured on the internet for such a property, so if you're unlucky and get one sample that's bad in there then that can really skew results. But generally, headphones when measured either have two channels that are seen to be close or they're not, for instance it was pretty poor on both my K702's, but for the HD560s all the samples that had acceptable channel matching had really good channel matching - so I think this points to a tight process by Sennheiser, whereas with my K702's the matching wasn't unacceptable but it wasn't close or really good, so there is a distinction there....I would still go as far to say that generally the HD560s has very good channel matching (there does seem to be a few rogue units though), but it looks like if you get an HD560s with acceptable channel matching then it will be close & good channel matching.
 

Patrick1958

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It's quite hard to get a proper handle on channel matching for a headphone, as oftentimes perhaps less than only 5 or 10 units might be measured on the internet for such a property, so if you're unlucky and get one sample that's bad in there then that can really skew results. But generally, headphones when measured either have two channels that are seen to be close or they're not, for instance it was pretty poor on both my K702's, but for the HD560s all the samples that had acceptable channel matching had really good channel matching - so I think this points to a tight process by Sennheiser, whereas with my K702's the matching wasn't unacceptable but it wasn't close or really good, so there is a distinction there....I would still go as far to say that generally the HD560s has very good channel matching (there does seem to be a few rogue units though), but it looks like if you get an HD560s with acceptable channel matching then it will be close & good channel matching.
How big a chance is it to buy 2 and both have bad channel matching..... in my case 200%.
 

adama99

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How big a chance is it to buy 2 and both have bad channel matching..... in my case 200%.
Generally speaking, the odds of that occurring to one specific individual are low.

However, the odds of it occurring to someone, somewhere in the population at large are surprisingly good.
 

Jimbob54

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I would still go as far to say that generally the HD560s has very good channel matching
I'm not sure that's what the measurements nor the more anecdotal reports could lead one to conclude....
 

Yearofthegoat

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Sorry for the n00b question, but is this channel imbalance clearly audible (am guessing it is), or imbalance visible in a graph, audible or not?

If I buy a pair of HD560S, how do I check that they're a good pair? I guess all headphones will show some imbalance, if you zoom in far enough in the graphs.

I could put a figure 8 mic in the middle and play some test material (goes off to read up on testing methodologies).

At the end of the day, if the return process is free/cheap enough, and you have the time, keep returning until you get a good pair?
 
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Jimbob54

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Sorry for the n00b question, but is this channel imbalance clearly audible (am guessing it is), or imbalance visible in a graph, audible or not?

If I buy a pair of HD560S, how do I check that they're a good pair? I guess all headphones will show some imbalance, if you zoom in far enough in the graphs.

I could put a figure 8 mic in the middle and play some test material (goes off to read up on testing methodologies).

At the end of the day, if the return process is free/cheap enough, and you have the time, keep returning until you get a good pair?
This would be a pretty bad example https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...heiser-hd560s-owners-thread.27208/post-968098

The 2 or so dB gap between blue /red (L/R) between around 60 hz up to around 4khz would be quite noticeable and once noticed, cant be unheard if you see what I mean. How much it bugs you depends on how sensitive you are to it, what music etc etc. Not sure there is an easy way to test for it though.

Buying a pair, testing them yourself to see if anything stands out and returning if unsure about them would be sensible.

Whether this particular model is worse than any other brand /model, I'm far from sure there is enough data to form any conclusion on but the "bad" examples mentioned here shouldn't have made it out of the factory. From this or any other manufacturer.
 

Skinner001

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Sorry for the n00b question, but is this channel imbalance clearly audible (am guessing it is), or imbalance visible in a graph, audible or not?

If I buy a pair of HD560S, how do I check that they're a good pair? I guess all headphones will show some imbalance, if you zoom in far enough in the graphs.

I could put a figure 8 mic in the middle and play some test material (goes off to read up on testing methodologies).

At the end of the day, if the return process is free/cheap enough, and you have the time, keep returning until you get a good pair?
The best ways I've noticed imbalance, with my far from perfect ears, is by playing a mono track, and usually I'll spot it easier at lower to medium levels - which makes sense purely psychophysically considering how just noticeable differences tend to follow Fechner-Webbers law.

I have had times I've noticed amp channel imbalance, haven't had headphones with perceivable imbalance - through luck of the draw in combination with whatever my sensitivity is - you may be more or less sensitive so smaller or bigger imbalance may or may not be audible to you.

Buying, making some sensible checks through listening, deciding whether you're happy with it seems the most sensible thing to do without hard numbers saying X in 1000 have Y amount of imbalance.
 

Robbo99999

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How big a chance is it to buy 2 and both have bad channel matching..... in my case 200%.
You've been unlucky for sure, especially if your 2nd unit measured by the "hobbyist" was an accurate portrayal. (first unit obviously measured by Oratory)
I'm not sure that's what the measurements nor the more anecdotal reports could lead one to conclude....
Where channel matching is good it looks very good, 2 cases where channel matching was bad. My intuition on the situation based on the patterns we've seen is that you either get a good one or a bad one and not really inbetween, so I think it should be easy to know if you have a good or bad one. So I think people can buy one with a fair degree of confidence that if they don't hear any channel imbalance then chances are that it is a good close channel match.....but there are a few rogue units by the looks of it. I'm not sure we can garner much more by debating it. I'm putting a positive spin on it, and you two are putting a negative spin on it. My positive spin is that channel matching is very good in the unaffected units, but there are rogue units.....dice roll as with all headphones, but some brands are better at this variable than others. Sennheiser have a good reputation for channel balance & unit variation, and probably their higher tier products receiving a bit more attention in that department. I have no problem recommending this headphone, no way am I going to not recommend it due to a few rogue units. It's certainly something worth keeping an eye on in any reviews or if anybody measures more units of HD560s, I'd certainly want to keep an eye on it to see how it develops, but I don't see an issue to prevent recommendation of this headphone currently.
 

Patrick1958

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Sennheiser have a good reputation for channel balance & unit variation, and probably their higher tier products receiving a bit more attention in that department.
Scroll to bottom part : The Veil… [insert ominous music]. Add to that the new (chinese) earpads = end result a headphone with very poor treble.
Top that with Sennheiser HD 700 poor quality earpads, they torn after few months where pleather and velour meet, are melted together (3 pairs in 18 months). So sennheiser decided to no longer fabricate any earpads for the HD 700 so i had to resort to third party brand (dekoni) which results in audible change of frequency response. They are being shipped to Austria next week to be remeasured with dekoni earpads.
From the looks of it apparently i'm the poor quality magnet buyer. The few rogue units seem to land on my door.
 

fosix

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Setup: E30 + L30
I've bought and returned 6 !!! of them because of channel imbalance.
Left driver was in all 6 cases more sensible around 8k-13k making the sound image tilt to the left by 5-10%
I've done mono tests, reverse test, reverse stereo image + reverse hp to rule out my ears being sensible to specific frequencies, wife test etc :)
I even ordered them from different batches (different serial numbers) to rule out a possible faulty batch issue.
Finally ordered a Sundara and guess what: no channel imbalance
 

Robbo99999

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Scroll to bottom part : The Veil… [insert ominous music]. Add to that the new (chinese) earpads = end result a headphone with very poor treble.
Top that with Sennheiser HD 700 poor quality earpads, they torn after few months where pleather and velour meet, are melted together (3 pairs in 18 months). So sennheiser decided to no longer fabricate any earpads for the HD 700 so i had to resort to third party brand (dekoni) which results in audible change of frequency response. They are being shipped to Austria next week to be remeasured with dekoni earpads.
From the looks of it apparently i'm the poor quality magnet buyer. The few rogue units seem to land on my door.
The description of "veil" there was found in this particular unit (talking HD650 now, rather than HD560s), it was a pushed in dome of the driver (and by no means is a correlation to what people have often referred to as "Sennheiser veil") - that's a rogue unit. I'm not going to indulge you on the earpad front and silver driver front as Oratory has determined that all different "versions" of HD600/650 are the same & fall within unit to unit variation. Sorry, I'm not gonna indulge you by continuing to go down your negatively coloured rabbit hole & general Sennheiser bashing agenda - you've already conveyed your experiences & thoughts, thankyou.
 
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