• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Sennheiser HD560s Owner's Thread.

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,035
Likes
3,523
Location
UK
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
(Interesting that you happen to become a member on Monday (8th November), I'll try not to be too paranoid so I'm not gonna illustrate the point but I see the pattern - thanks for your input I guess).
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
8,802
Likes
11,050

Patrick1958

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
499
Likes
397
Location
Belgium
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.
FACT : If you were to ask me what my favorite headphones are my answer would be Senn HD 6XX and HD 700.
FACT : The veiled Senn HD 650 with new (chinese) earpads sound like a different headphone compared to the Senn HD6XX. I'm not saying less treble, i'm saying lack of treble.
FACT : I'm not here to bash Sennheiser, just stating that their QC isn't that exemplary as you are stating.
FACT : looks more you are jumping to conclusions because you have a good HD 560s unit.
FACT : I love my Sennheisers (HD 58X, HD 600, HD 660, HD 700 with original senn earpads, HD 800) with the exception of the HD 650 and in lesser degree the debacle with the HD 700 earpads.

PS : the veiled sound on the HD 650 was not caused by the pushed in dome, please re-read the article.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,035
Likes
3,523
Location
UK
FACT : If you were to ask me what my favorite headphones are my answer would be Senn HD 6XX and HD 700.
FACT : The veiled Senn HD 650 with new (chinese) earpads sound like a different headphone compared to the Senn HD6XX. I'm not saying less treble, i'm saying lack of treble.
FACT : I'm not here to bash Sennheiser, just stating that their QC isn't that exemplary as you are stating.
FACT : looks more you are jumping to conclusions because you have a good HD 560s unit.
FACT : I love my Sennheisers (HD 58X, HD 600, HD 660, HD 700 with original senn earpads, HD 800) with the exception of the HD 650 and in lesser degree the debacle with the HD 700 earpads.

PS : the veiled sound on the HD 650 was not caused by the pushed in dome, please re-read the article.
I think you've definitely had your say & made your points a number of times already, this is an HD560s thread anyway.
 
OP
_theLaughingman

_theLaughingman

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
1,025
Likes
1,456
Location
Ohio
i've been watching this thread for the past few days and have noticed good conversations regarding the HD560s. I have also noticed that due to one or two bad instances and poor terrible luck some people have had bad sets of 560s with channel imbalances. I think most companies in this day and age of mass production deal with this kind of variation and its hard for any manufacturer to reduce down variances. That being said I think 560s are not bad headphones and do not suffer from poor quality as it is made to seem in this thread. Lets stay off of bashing the headphones and stick to the sharing valuable experience of having owned them and how you can help fellow owners.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,035
Likes
3,523
Location
UK
Hi folks, as some of you might know from reading this thread, Oratory has measured my unit of HD560s that I sent him....he's done many different measurements on them and also provided commentary and explanations on each of the graphs he sent me, I asked him if I could cut & paste his words as well as show the graphs he sent me, and he's totally fine with that, some of this is quite educational generally as well, following is Oratory's measurements & words (cut & pasted):

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pretty good (low) unit variation on this one.
I have measured the HD560S before, but that one had one of the earcups perform significantly different than the other (much more energy at 1-3 kHz).
Your unit (#0141) performs basically identical to the well-performing earcup of the first unit I measured.

I couldn't get the same performance in the bass in all measurements, which is likely caused by seal. I did verify that by doing one measurement on the 43AG (which has a flat cheek), where it performed just as expected. The other measurements are done on the 45BC, where not all headphones get a good seal.
For the EQ settings I used the low-frequency performance as measured on the 43AC, which is closer to what we hear when wearing them on a human head (where the headphones seal more easily due to the flexible skin).

Channel Matching on your Headphone:
HD560s Channel Matching.png



Sensitivity Measurement:
This shows how the SPL increases at increasing signal voltage. From this we can very accurately calculate the sensitivity. You'll notice that for very low frequencies, the measured frequency response starts to become slightly different at very high signal levels, that's because the driver can't reach the full excursion anymore and starts saturating/distorting. Remember though that this only happens at very high signal levels. Not a big problem.
HD560s Sensitivity Measurement.png




All Measured Frequency Response as an Overlay:
this shows how much power compression is happening: at 20 Hz the SPL is about 2 dB lower than expected when the headphone is playing at full power (>113 dB).
I did measure the headphone up to 1.75 Vrms / 2.5 Vp (25 mW).
HD560s Compression Test.png



For a more detailed view: Here's the measured SPL at 100 Hz over different input levels . When we scale the voltage-axis logarithmically, we get a linear curve. That's the "characteristic curve" ("how much output at a given input").
HD560s Compression Test#2.png

At 20 Hz, the characteristic curve starts to become nonlinear:
HD560s Compression Test#3.png


The power compression itself ("SPL being lower than expected") isn't audible, but what could be audible is the effects of that: The power compression necessarily causes harmonic distortion (because the characteristic curve is nonlinear).
So if we look at THD at different voltage levels, we see that for very high levels (equivalent to 113 dB at 1 kHz) we see 5% THD at 20 Hz:
HD560s Distortion.png


A more intuitive view is to plot the THD-axis logarithmically:
HD560s Distortion#2.png

There we see that the THD rises by a fixed amount depending on the input voltage, as we would expect from a system like that.

All of that is interesting to look at of course, but it is of no big concern when actually listening.
The biggest issues of the HD560S are the treble peaks at 4-6 kHz. The rest is fine actually.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is me talking now, Rob....so that's some pretty comprehensive testing there by Oratory & some good explanations/commentary. It looks like good channel matching for this unit and also very low distortion, I'll have a look now at some comparisons re distortion against other headphones to put it into some context & edit this post in a short while....

EDIT: re putting distortion measurements into context, better distortion measurements than the planar headphone DCA Aeon RT closed back:
index.php


better than another planar headphone the Hifiman Sundara:
index.php


better than another planar headphone, the Hifiman Ananda:
index.php


better in the mids & treble than the much lauded (deservedly) & expensive planar headphone Hifiman HE6se, not better in the bass though:
index.php


better than the HD600:
index.php


better than the planar Hifiman Arya:
index.php


better than the deservedly well-lauded Sennheiser HD800s dynamic driver headphone:
index.php


Ok, ok, I'm not gonna keep posting graphs, because that's enough comparisons. I will say that distortion is one of the lesser important headphone variables in my experience, which is how my K702 can be my joint favourite headphones whilst still having relatively high measured distortion, so I'm not a "low distortion headphone nut" because distortion level doesn't equal my preference for my headphones, but I think it's interesting to compare headphone distortion measurements, and if all else is equal it's better to choose a lower distortion headphone.

EDIT#2: it's possible the smoothing levels are different between Amir & Oratory for their distortion graphs, which might iron down some sharp peaks in Oratory's, but I don't know....general trends will still be the same though.

EDIT#3: Oratory let me know he uses 1/24th smoothing which wouldn't remove any important peaks in the measurements, so they are comparable with Amir's results re distortion measurements, the following is what Oratory said cut & pasted:

"....for the record, I used 1/24 smoothing, which is very little smoothing.

The only thing it does is smooth out the noise artifacts that arise from the measurement method.
Less smoothing (or no smoothing) would not reveal anything about the device under test (=the headphone), only about the measurement method / the calculations done after the measurement (mostly the windowing and sweep length)"
 
Last edited:

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
8,802
Likes
11,050
Hi folks, as some of you might know from reading this thread, Oratory has measured my unit of HD560s that I sent him....he's done many different measurements on them and also provided commentary and explanations on each of the graphs he sent me, I asked him if I could cut & paste his words as well as show the graphs he sent me, and he's totally fine with that, some of this is quite educational generally as well, following is Oratory's measurements & words (cut & pasted):

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pretty good (low) unit variation on this one.
I have measured the HD560S before, but that one had one of the earcups perform significantly different than the other (much more energy at 1-3 kHz).
Your unit (#0141) performs basically identical to the well-performing earcup of the first unit I measured.

I couldn't get the same performance in the bass in all measurements, which is likely caused by seal. I did verify that by doing one measurement on the 43AG (which has a flat cheek), where it performed just as expected. The other measurements are done on the 45BC, where not all headphones get a good seal.
For the EQ settings I used the low-frequency performance as measured on the 43AC, which is closer to what we hear when wearing them on a human head (where the headphones seal more easily due to the flexible skin).

Channel Matching on your Headphone:
View attachment 165353


Sensitivity Measurement:
This shows how the SPL increases at increasing signal voltage. From this we can very accurately calculate the sensitivity. You'll notice that for very low frequencies, the measured frequency response starts to become slightly different at very high signal levels, that's because the driver can't reach the full excursion anymore and starts saturating/distorting. Remember though that this only happens at very high signal levels. Not a big problem.
View attachment 165354



All Measured Frequency Response as an Overlay:
this shows how much power compression is happening: at 20 Hz the SPL is about 2 dB lower than expected when the headphone is playing at full power (>113 dB).
I did measure the headphone up to 1.75 Vrms / 2.5 Vp (25 mW).
View attachment 165355


For a more detailed view: Here's the measured SPL at 100 Hz over different input levels . When we scale the voltage-axis logarithmically, we get a linear curve. That's the "characteristic curve" ("how much output at a given input").
View attachment 165356
At 20 Hz, the characteristic curve starts to become nonlinear:
View attachment 165357

The power compression itself ("SPL being lower than expected") isn't audible, but what could be audible is the effects of that: The power compression necessarily causes harmonic distortion (because the characteristic curve is nonlinear).
So if we look at THD at different voltage levels, we see that for very high levels (equivalent to 113 dB at 1 kHz) we see 5% THD at 20 Hz:
View attachment 165358

A more intuitive view is to plot the THD-axis logarithmically:
View attachment 165359
There we see that the THD rises by a fixed amount depending on the input voltage, as we would expect from a system like that.

All of that is interesting to look at of course, but it is of no big concern when actually listening.
The biggest issues of the HD560S are the treble peaks at 4-6 kHz. The rest is fine actually.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is me talking now, Rob....so that's some pretty comprehensive testing there by Oratory & some good explanations/commentary. It looks like good channel matching for this unit and also very low distortion, I'll have a look now at some comparisons re distortion against other headphones to put it into some context & edit this post in a short while....
It does look good and I might well look for a black friday pair
 

MrBrainwash

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
47
Likes
32
I didn't test my unit but they sound good to me I don't have any problem with them.

With every day I like them more. Spacial capabilities are much better than in HD58x. Or we can say there is different presentation.

Now I am using them with ES100 with AutoEQ 10 band EQ via balanced cable. If someone find 10 band EQ from Oratory1990 please share it with me. :)

Most (if not all) traits of HD560s were meantioned on the internet already or we can see what's going on on the graphs. The bass is overall good but somewhat on light side. I would like to have little more weight there. But I accept that as we deal with open headphones here and if I need more bass I can put X2 on my head or some other headphones. :) The similar situation is with the high frequencies. The "air-ness" factor is reduced but I think this influence darker background and helps with tracking the rest of the sounds, the timbre is more "studio-like" as my imagination goes.

Other frequencies are ok. They do have some RAW tilt but I can apprieciate this becouse it helps focus more on music. They don't add any pleasent effects on bad recordings, but we will know when the good one is played. I believe if someone create music and is happy with the mix then on other headphones effects will be good enough for sure.
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
8,802
Likes
11,050
I didn't test my unit but they sound good to me I don't have any problem with them.

With every day I like them more. Spacial capabilities are much better than in HD58x. Or we can say there is different presentation.

Now I am using them with ES100 with AutoEQ 10 band EQ via balanced cable. If someone find 10 band EQ from Oratory1990 please share it with me. :)

Most (if not all) traits of HD560s were meantioned on the internet already or we can see what's going on on the graphs. The bass is overall good but somewhat on light side. I would like to have little more weight there. But I accept that as we deal with open headphones here and if I need more bass I can put X2 on my head or some other headphones. :) The similar situation is with the high frequencies. The "air-ness" factor is reduced but I think this influence darker background and helps with tracking the rest of the sounds, the timbre is more "studio-like" as my imagination goes.

Other frequencies are ok. They do have some RAW tilt but I can apprieciate this becouse it helps focus more on music. They don't add any pleasent effects on bad recordings, but we will know when the good one is played. I believe if someone create music and is happy with the mix then on other headphones effects will be good enough for sure.
Oratory 10 band on his standard list https://www.reddit.com/r/oratory1990/wiki/index/list_of_presets
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,035
Likes
3,523
Location
UK
I didn't test my unit but they sound good to me I don't have any problem with them.

With every day I like them more. Spacial capabilities are much better than in HD58x. Or we can say there is different presentation.

Now I am using them with ES100 with AutoEQ 10 band EQ via balanced cable. If someone find 10 band EQ from Oratory1990 please share it with me. :)

Most (if not all) traits of HD560s were meantioned on the internet already or we can see what's going on on the graphs. The bass is overall good but somewhat on light side. I would like to have little more weight there. But I accept that as we deal with open headphones here and if I need more bass I can put X2 on my head or some other headphones. :) The similar situation is with the high frequencies. The "air-ness" factor is reduced but I think this influence darker background and helps with tracking the rest of the sounds, the timbre is more "studio-like" as my imagination goes.

Other frequencies are ok. They do have some RAW tilt but I can apprieciate this becouse it helps focus more on music. They don't add any pleasent effects on bad recordings, but we will know when the good one is played. I believe if someone create music and is happy with the mix then on other headphones effects will be good enough for sure.
Oratory's EQ's for all his headphones:
Oratory's EQ for the HD560s (it's 10 PEQ filters like you mentioned):
C'mon you know where to find these surely! :p:)

EDIT: or do you mean you're after a Graphic EQ for these headphones, as in not Parametric EQ? So you mean using only the following frequencies? You could ask Oratory on his reddit if he'd do you one for it.
Type​
Fc​
Q​
Peaking​
31 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
62 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
125 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
250 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
500 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
1000 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
2000 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
4000 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
8000 Hz​
1.41​
Peaking​
16000 Hz​
1.41​

EDIT #2: actually he's already done a fixed 10 band Graphic EQ for them:
That doesn't look too bad actually considering the restrictive nature of a fixed band Graphic EQ, would probably sound pretty good.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,035
Likes
3,523
Location
UK
Oratory let me know the smoothing he uses on the distortion graphs he does, 1/24th smoothing, which is very little smoothing so would be comparable to Amir's distortion measurements, this is what he says (in the spoiler):

"....for the record, I used 1/24 smoothing, which is very little smoothing.

The only thing it does is smooth out the noise artifacts that arise from the measurement method.
Less smoothing (or no smoothing) would not reveal anything about the device under test (=the headphone), only about the measurement method / the calculations done after the measurement (mostly the windowing and sweep length)"

I've updated the measurement post with the new information, EDIT#3 of the following post:
 

Pdxwayne

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
3,219
Likes
1,145
Currently Amazon is selling for $180. Good deal? Wait?
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,035
Likes
3,523
Location
UK
Currently Amazon is selling for $180. Good deal? Wait?
Looking at camel price tracker then it looks like this headphone was $200 for a long time, and dropped to $179 beginning of this month.
Because it's dropped already so close to Black Friday, perhaps no deals on it gonna happen???? Lowest it's been was some pretty short blips down to $166 lasting perhaps less than a day by the looks of it. I think it's a good deal at that price.
 

Pdxwayne

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
3,219
Likes
1,145
World Wide Stereo via Walmart has it for $169. You can also order direct from Sennheiser for 161.95 since the 10% coupon stacks with the current discount but ordering direct from Sennheiser site is notably hit-or-miss.

Wow, getting better and better. Thx!
 

Wavebuster

New Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
3
Likes
6
It is now ~$154 in Amazon.....I wonder if I should wait for Black Friday for further discount....

Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones - Neutral Frequency Response, E.A.R. Technology for Wide Sound Field, Open-Back Earcups, Detachable Cable, (Black) (HD 560S) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08J9MVB6W/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_TSYP7TRNM376JKPG7BW9
Indeed, prices dropped further in the last day or two which surprised me since the HD560S has held its $200 price tag since release to just a few weeks ago. I would caution against ordering from Amazon though as I've read around that Sennheiser no longer trusts Amazon as an "authorized retailer" for warranty purposes (It's not a small secret that sloppily accepted returns wind up in Amazon's "new" supply chain). World Wide Stereo's own site has updated their price to $160 or you can order direct from Sennheiser's site using their coupon for peace of mind regarding the 2-year warranty. Your credit card might also offer a warranty extension as a benefit so keep that in mind should these fail within that window.

As an update from my end, I ordered mine from Sennheiser website last weekend (using a cashback extension and referral bonus to drop the total price+tax to $140). They sent me an email for the order confirmation but not one for shipping confirmation + a tracking number, and it came on Wednesday. It's a good thing I happened to be home that afternoon. :rolleyes:

As far as deal hunting there are a few cashback extensions out there that work with online retailers selling the 560S including Sennheiser and WWS and they are also offering substantial referral+sign up bonuses for the holiday season. If you want such a referral you can DM me for that so we don't get off track. It was a significant part of my decision to finally buy the HD560S at what I considered agreeable for its build quality.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
4,035
Likes
3,523
Location
UK
It is now ~$154 in Amazon.....I wonder if I should wait for Black Friday for further discount....

Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones - Neutral Frequency Response, E.A.R. Technology for Wide Sound Field, Open-Back Earcups, Detachable Cable, (Black) (HD 560S) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08J9MVB6W/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_TSYP7TRNM376JKPG7BW9
I think your $154 might have been "Amazon Renewed" as in a returned headphone:
I'd be a bit wary about buying a return. Just buy a new one I think instead.

I'd grab it when it goes down to $165, see Camel tracker:
 
Top Bottom