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Sennheiser HD560S Review (Headphone)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 22 7.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 139 46.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 140 46.4%

  • Total voters
    302

Robbo99999

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I second this, the HD560s can compete with the 600s. This isn't a scenario of 'you get what you pay for', Sennheiser did a good job of tuning these to almost reference tuning, which many of their upper grade headphones don't have. These are still a good recommendation to have for entry level audiophile headphones before leaping to the upper echelons.
I agree, but I'd probably go further & say that these don't even have to be entry level, I'd be surprised if there are many headphones that are better once EQ'd. For me there's only two headphones that I've tried so far where I think soundstage "has been done right", and that's the HD560s and K702, and it's really a physical design property of the headphone, as to me it seems that each headphone has a certain amount of soundstage ability baked into it's physical design.....it can be manipulated a bit with frequency response EQ eg Harman, but to me it always boils down to the model of headphone in question. I mean there might be headphones with better soundstage like the HD800s (I've not tried it), but those two headphones sound and seem quite unique to me. I really wouldn't want to describe the HD560s as entry level, I think that sells it short.....it's certainly entry level in price though compared to say the £300 / £500 / £1000+ market!
 

ishouldbeking

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The frustrating part is that you can often get a 58x for quite a bit cheaper, and the build quality is much nicer than anything else in the 500 series, including the 560S. Obviously the drivers are a different size and deployed differently (angled vs not), but it'd be amazing if they could have ported over the sturdiness from the 600 line.

In this case, the "upgraded" HD 400 Pro is a real missed opportunity. If they wanted to sell these at a premium, they could have justified it by actually building a nicer, more robust headphone, instead of just throwing in an extra cable, swapping the paint, and adding $50-100 to the price tag.
 

Count Arthur

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Some thoughts on EQ.

I tried Amir's EQ settings in JRiver: https://www.jriver.com/

Within JRiver I can quickly enable and disable all EQ settings or just a single setting using the checkboxes in the DSP:

These aren't the settings for the HD560, but you get the idea:
1641831304404.png


Enabling and disabling the +7dB at 20Hz, Q1.0, I notice that it makes very little difference to the sound.

I looked at the Analyser while playing several bass heavy tracks; the one below is Daniel Avery:


1641831145950.png


Dispite being a track with plenty of bass, there's a substantial drop off below 40Hz. Other tracks I looked at showed similar drop off.

Therefore I wonder whether the large boost at 20Hz does much, other than likely increase distortion and reduce the headroom of the headphone drivers.
 

staticV3

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Some thoughts on EQ.

I tried Amir's EQ settings in JRiver: https://www.jriver.com/

Within JRiver I can quickly enable and disable all EQ settings or just a single setting using the checkboxes in the DSP:

These aren't the settings for the HD560, but you get the idea:
View attachment 177976

Enabling and disabling the +7dB at 20Hz, Q1.0, I notice that it makes very little difference to the sound.

I looked at the Analyser while playing several bass heavy tracks; the one below is Daniel Avery:


View attachment 177975

Dispite being a track with plenty of bass, there's a substantial drop off below 40Hz. Other tracks I looked at showed similar drop off.

Therefore I wonder whether the large boost at 20Hz does much, other than likely increase distortion and reduce the headroom of the headphone drivers.
That's exactly why people like Jaakkopansanen with AutoEQ or sometimes Maiky76 with his EQ designs here on ASR limit bass boost in both amplitude and frequency.
Beyond a certain point you will just get more distortion and less digital headroom without a perceptible gain is bass response.
 

Robbo99999

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The frustrating part is that you can often get a 58x for quite a bit cheaper, and the build quality is much nicer than anything else in the 500 series, including the 560S. Obviously the drivers are a different size and deployed differently (angled vs not), but it'd be amazing if they could have ported over the sturdiness from the 600 line.

In this case, the "upgraded" HD 400 Pro is a real missed opportunity. If they wanted to sell these at a premium, they could have justified it by actually building a nicer, more robust headphone, instead of just throwing in an extra cable, swapping the paint, and adding $50-100 to the price tag.
Yeah, the HD400 Pro does seem like a bit of a rip off vs the HD560s, I wonder if they've tightened channel matching & unit to unit variation given that it's more expensive - thing is we won't know until a load of HD560s have been measured as well as a load of HD400 Pro. If someone is interested in the HD400 Pro it might be worth asking Sennheiser if they've done anything to tighten the specs for channel matching & unit to unit variation vs the HD560s.
 

Robbo99999

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That's exactly why people like Jaakkopansanen with AutoEQ or sometimes Maiky76 with his EQ designs here on ASR limit bass boost in both amplitude and frequency.
Beyond a certain point you will just get more distortion and less digital headroom without a perceptible gain is bass response.
That's what I've done for all the EQ's I use, I roll the bass away from the Harman Curve at around 35Hz, to me that enhances clarity in all my headphones, apart from the Hifiman HE4XX which I EQ all the way up to Harman down to 20Hz, doesn't seem to effect clarity on that headphone. I haven't tried boosting HD560s to Harman all the way down to 20Hz, I should try it to be sure for that headphone.
 

Pdxwayne

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Some thoughts on EQ.

I tried Amir's EQ settings in JRiver: https://www.jriver.com/

Within JRiver I can quickly enable and disable all EQ settings or just a single setting using the checkboxes in the DSP:

These aren't the settings for the HD560, but you get the idea:
View attachment 177976

Enabling and disabling the +7dB at 20Hz, Q1.0, I notice that it makes very little difference to the sound.

I looked at the Analyser while playing several bass heavy tracks; the one below is Daniel Avery:


View attachment 177975

Dispite being a track with plenty of bass, there's a substantial drop off below 40Hz. Other tracks I looked at showed similar drop off.

Therefore I wonder whether the large boost at 20Hz does much, other than likely increase distortion and reduce the headroom of the headphone drivers.
Try some songs in the BASS! thread.


2049 is a good one that goes below 20hz
 

infinitesymphony

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In this case, the "upgraded" HD 400 Pro is a real missed opportunity. If they wanted to sell these at a premium, they could have justified it by actually building a nicer, more robust headphone, instead of just throwing in an extra cable, swapping the paint, and adding $50-100 to the price tag.
The new Pro series (300 and 400) makes me extra salty because somewhere in the fog they killed off the HD 380 Pro, which to my ears was like a lower-cost, closed-back, no-frills, folding version of something like the HD580-650. Now we have the 300, which apparently is like a redone HD 280 Pro, and the 400, a redone HD560S. And the 400s don't even fold! The HD 380 Pros even came with a sturdy Sennheiser carrying case.

7286704_thumb.jpg
 

infinitesymphony

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Dispite being a track with plenty of bass, there's a substantial drop off below 40Hz. Other tracks I looked at showed similar drop off.

Therefore I wonder whether the large boost at 20Hz does much, other than likely increase distortion and reduce the headroom of the headphone drivers.
You're correct about that. Given that the mastering target for music has gotten smaller over time (laptop and phone speakers, maybe car audio at best for most people?), it is common to high-pass and even low-pass music to free up potential headroom and reduce distortion on both ends of the spectrum.
 

Count Arthur

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Try some songs in the BASS! thread.


2049 is a good one that goes below 20hz

Here's a couple of tracks from that thread.

1. hemk - styczeń:

1641887511839.png


Once again, you can see that things drop off significantly below ~40Hz.

2. Infected Mushroom:

There's a bit more going on below ~40Hz on this one:

1641888966642.png


3. Here's the Falcon Heavy launch:
that Ray measured here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/bass.18999/page-4

1641888147452.png


This was to check that the drop off is in the source file and not a function of the player, or the analyser.

I checked a whole bunch of tracks from my collection, and I have a fair amount of EDM and electronica with plenty of bass, and they all seem to exhibit this drop off below ~40Hz.

It would seem that with a fair amount of music, although the bass may sound pretty deep and heavy, there really isn't a great deal going on below ~40Hz.
 

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solderdude

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Just play a tone using this online tone generator and listen how low 20Hz and 30Hz really is.
People think they can actually hear 20Hz. You will have to cranck the volume up really loud and even then it is more likely one hears harmonics, rattles or air moving rather then the pure tone.

Do not use this generator with speakers !
Set to 400Hz and adjust the volume to comfortable loud levels and only then start listening to higher and lower frequencies.
 
Last edited:

Count Arthur

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Just play a tone using this online tone generator and listen how low 20Hz and 30Hz really is.
People think they can actually hear 20Hz. You will have to cranck the volume up really loud and even then it is more likely one hears harmonics, rattles or air moving rather then the pure tone.

Do not use this generator with speakers !
Set to 400Hz and adjust the volume to comfortable loud levels and only then start listening to higher and lower frequencies.
Good call.

Using my headphones, I can just about "hear" 20Hz, although it's more a sensation than hearing. Once you get to ~30Hz it gets more "hearable".

I did use it with my little PC speakers: https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/iloudmm/, I could just about hear down to 40Hz, but it was pretty feint, and there wasn't really very much happening below around 60Hz, which is kind of what you'd expect from mini monitors with a tiny 3" mid/bass driver.
 

Merkurio

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Just play a tone using this online tone generator and listen how low 20Hz and 30Hz really is.
People think they can actually hear 20Hz. You will have to cranck the volume up really loud and even then it is more likely one hears harmonics, rattles or air moving rather then the pure tone.

Do not use this generator with speakers !
Set to 400Hz and adjust the volume to comfortable loud levels and only then start listening to higher and lower frequencies.

Done this in the past, but I tried now with the APM at 50% volume and I was able to hear the tone even as low as 14 Hz (although very subtle and almost completely masked by rattling and air moving tickling my ears). :eek:

At 1 Hz I just hear this.

These are sub-bass canyons, for sure.
 

perdido34

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I agree, but I'd probably go further & say that these don't even have to be entry level, I'd be surprised if there are many headphones that are better once EQ'd. For me there's only two headphones that I've tried so far where I think soundstage "has been done right", and that's the HD560s and K702, and it's really a physical design property of the headphone, as to me it seems that each headphone has a certain amount of soundstage ability baked into it's physical design..

I wonder the same thing. Perhaps angled drivers and/or pads plus the distance of the drivers from the head make the difference. BTW I own K702's; I wish they had more bass, but I have no complaints about soundstage.
 

Vini darko

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My hd560s arrived today. Honestly these sound garbage to me out of the box. Guess I'm getting some useful experience correlating measurments against what I hear.
After about 20 mins I had to reach for EQ and crossfeed. That has fixed the frequency response (to taste) and divorced the sound from the drivers.
Looking at the EQ I've used these may not be saveble with mods ( but I shall probably try).
The clamp and pads are unpleasant too.
20220111_165517.jpg

Is it possible to get better pads for these headphones? I can fix the clamp. Have some ideas to increase bass. Putting a damping material in front of the driver could reduce treble to an acceptable level but will kill upper air frequencies. Maybe solderdudes mod could work for me.
How do these headphones come apart? Any links to teardown guide would be appreciated.
 

GaryH

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My hd560s arrived today. Honestly these sound garbage to me out of the box. Guess I'm getting some useful experience correlating measurments against what I hear.
After about 20 mins I had to reach for EQ and crossfeed. That has fixed the frequency response (to taste) and divorced the sound from the drivers.
Looking at the EQ I've used these may not be saveble with mods ( but I shall probably try).
The clamp and pads are unpleasant too.
View attachment 178211
Try these EQ settings. Even better, use this EQ with a parametric equalizer such as the one found in Neutron Player (free trial here), as opposed to the limited graphic equalizer you're using. Oh and try with a better source file than 128 kbps MP3.
 

Vini darko

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Try these EQ settings. Even better, use this EQ with a parametric equalizer such as the one found in Neutron Player (free trial here), as opposed to the limited graphic equalizer you're using. Oh and try with a better source file than 128 kbps MP3.
The EQ was just an experiment it's not a global one (wich I don't have). I want my headphones to work wherever , whenever with whatever. Wich is why mods trump EQ for me.
 

pk500

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My hd560s arrived today. Honestly these sound garbage to me out of the box. Guess I'm getting some useful experience correlating measurments against what I hear.
After about 20 mins I had to reach for EQ and crossfeed. That has fixed the frequency response (to taste) and divorced the sound from the drivers.
Looking at the EQ I've used these may not be saveble with mods ( but I shall probably try).
The clamp and pads are unpleasant too.
View attachment 178211
Is it possible to get better pads for these headphones? I can fix the clamp. Have some ideas to increase bass. Putting a damping material in front of the driver could reduce treble to an acceptable level but will kill upper air frequencies. Maybe solderdudes mod could work for me.
How do these headphones come apart? Any links to teardown guide would be appreciated.
Are your source files all 128 kbps? That's low quality. Try some higher-res and/or lossless files to improve your overall fidelity, too.
 
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