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Sennheiser HD569 Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 18 11.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 100 61.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 35 21.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 9 5.6%

  • Total voters
    162

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Sennheiser HD569 closed back headphone. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $80 on Amazon.
Sennheiser HD569 Closed Back Headphone Review.jpg

While the feel is a bit plasticky, overall comfort was good despite the rather thin pads. Speaking of which, they had deformed non-symmetrically which I think was partially responsible for wide variation in channel response as you will see later. A very long and silicone feeling cord is included along with a shorter one. I tested the longer one and while it was microphonic, I appreciated the length and rather low memory in it.

Sennheiser HD569 Measurements
I had a hell of a time getting consistent response and balanced results from the two channels. I suspect a lot of this is in the drivers but also the thin pads not holding their shape at all. So please don't micro analyze the frequency response measurements:

Sennheiser HD569 Closed Back Headphone Frequency Response Measurement.png

I was pleased to see a lot of bass but not at the expense of treble region. And don't know what to make of the dip around 300 Hz. Overall compliance to the target ranks fair to poor to me. I expect the sound to be muffled, devoid of spatial qualities:
Sennheiser HD569 Closed Back Headphone relative Frequency Response Measurement.png


The good news is that distortion is very low especially in higher frequencies:
Sennheiser HD569 Closed Back Headphone Relative THD Distortion Measurement.png


Sennheiser HD569 Closed Back Headphone THD Distortion Measurement.png


I was surprised how low the impedance is:
Sennheiser HD569 Closed Back Headphone Impedance Measurement.png


Combined with high sensitivity, you should be able to drive the unit with just about any source:
most sensitive headphone closed back review.png


Indeed, even at loud levels, my RME ADI-2 Pro volume was at -30 dB.

I was also surprised by the clean look of group delay:
Sennheiser HD569 Closed Back Headphone Group Delay Measurement.png


Sennheiser HD569 Listening Tests
Out of the box, the sound was exactly as the measurements predicted: muffled with good bit of bass. I took out the EQ and first dialed in a high Q filter around 5 kHz. But had to turn that down as it sounded too bright:
Sennheiser HD569 Closed Back Headphone Equalization EQ Parametric Measurement.png


I then worked backward to deep bass. Once there, the sound was quite transformed and overall response very good. Spatial effects were nice but not extreme. Note that without EQ, spatial effects are almost non-existent.

Conclusions
I did not check the price until I started to write the review. At sale price of just $80, the quality of the headphone is pretty good. What is not so good is the tonality though. While not offensive at all due to lack of high-frequency response, the sound was dull and especially impacted female vocals. They were drawn out by the rest of the instruments. With EQ, as is typically the case, the headphone comes to life. Correction based on measured response was not reliable enough for accurate tuning but good enough to make a get the headphone into the ballpark.

I cannot recommend the Sennheiser HD569 unless you apply equalization to it.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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respice finem

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Seems "not terrible" to me, considering the probable use case - most of them probably end up as TV headphones for the elderly. No joke, I've seen many of similarly priced Sennheisers in this role in my years in Germany. The illusion of "buying German" included. :D
 

usern

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Surprisingly low distortion. Sensitivity to mounting is not surprising though due to angled drivers. I experience same thing with 560S. 100€ price is huge advantage. These might be my office headphones. Added to shopping cart.
 

Doodski

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The microphonic silicon feeling cable is a interesting thing. I have the HD 598SR and they have a similar or identical looking cable but no micro phonics in the cable. :D Sennheiser must be using different but similar looking cables.
 

solderdude

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The copy I tested did not have this much channel imbalance and showed similarish response up to 1kHz as the measured left channel. This was 4 years ago though.
The biggest differences are in the 2-6kHz range where unexpectedly 5kHz is reported at a much higher level.

fr-hd569.png

.
 
Last edited:

Vovgan

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I had lost a little bit of faith in the universality of the Harmann curve after I realized that its target for the highs is too bright for me. Measured my ears with Mimi app and it showed that I have less hearing loss in the 4K-8K region than in the regions below! Asked my iPhone to apply this audiogram to AirPods Pro (which are not bright at all according to measurements but sounded bright for me) - and it sounded so much nicer ( = listenable for prolonged periods of time) afterwards. Truthear iems are too bright for me, and they stick to the curve pretty well.
I’m 43. Maybe Harmann target sound curve is a good target for guys with good deal of hearing loss?
 

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OP
amirm

amirm

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Truthear iems are too bright for me, and they stick to the curve pretty well.
IEM target is different than for normal headphones.
 

respice finem

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I had lost a little bit of faith in the universality of the Harmann curve after I realized that its target for the highs is too bright for me. Measured my ears with Mimi app and it showed that I have less hearing loss in the 4K-8K region than in the regions below! Asked my iPhone to apply this audiogram to AirPods Pro (which are not bright at all according to measurements but sounded bright for me) - and it sounded so much nicer ( = listenable for prolonged periods of time) afterwards. Truthear iems are too bright for me, and they stick to the curve pretty well.
I’m 43. Maybe Harmann target sound curve is a good target for guys with good deal of hearing loss?
Any preference curve applies to a majority, and does not have to (and cannot) fit everybody. Hearing loss (early I assume) below 4 kHz is relatively typical for persons working in noisy conditions, operating heavy machines etc. (but not limited to these causes). I would get a professional audiometry if I were affected.
 

GeekyBastard

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From my own experience with these two headphones, at $80 price point, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is a much better choice in nearly any aspect, the tonality's more neutral, sounds clearer, detachable one-side cable with carrying pouch, quite durable yet foldable design, you basically can't go wrong with this.
 

usern

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From my own experience with these two headphones, at $80 price point, the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is a much better choice in nearly any aspect, the tonality's more neutral, sounds clearer, detachable one-side cable with carrying pouch, quite durable yet foldable design, you basically can't go wrong with this.
I have M50x and much prefer Sennheiser comfort as AT phones rest on the ear more. Besides that these days I value low distortion more than tonality which can be equalized. Sennheiser also has detachable cable.
 

Waxx

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I've used this headphone, or at least it's precestors a lot as dj headphone (i'm kind of retired as dj). It's cheap (if i loose it or break it it's easely replaced), has a lot of bass (easier to beatmix music with) and sounds decent. But i never was into listening active to headphones, so for me it was a good one. I don't remember it as good sounding the few times i used it to listen to music, it was acceptable decent, but not more.

I like the AKG (K240 and K271) and Beyer (DT990 and DT770) headphones way more. I've done some studio work, and they are kind of standard there for a reason. I would not say those are the most neutral, but they translate very well when mixing on them, and the closed back versions are very good for musicians to hear themselves while recording, and have a good id how they sound.

But when there are speakers availeble, even crappy ones, i prefer speakers. I hate listening to headphones. So i may not be a good reference for that...
 

DSJR

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I still like my HD25SP's for when I'm not wearing my 'aids, the peak in the upper kHz region no longer a major issue and the bass is clean and not boomy/thick. Prices of this simple model without the more sophisticated main model's headband not bad last time I looked.
 

staticV3

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Truthear iems are too bright for me, and they stick to the curve pretty well.
To my ears, Harman IE2019v2 sounds noticeably more shrill and shouty than Harman OE2018. I'd be happy with a headphone that meets the OE target, but I would not be happy with an IEM that meets the IE target.
That is to say: I would not dismiss one because I don't like the other.
 
Last edited:

Maiky76

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Sennheiser HD569 closed back headphone. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $80 on Amazon.
View attachment 246400
While the feel is a bit plasticky, overall comfort was good despite the rather thin pads. Speaking of which, they had deformed non-symmetrically which I think was partially responsible for wide variation in channel response as you will see later. A very long and silicone feeling cord is included along with a shorter one. I tested the longer one and while it was microphonic, I appreciated the length and rather low memory in it.

Sennheiser HD569 Measurements
I had a hell of a time getting consistent response and balanced results from the two channels. I suspect a lot of this is in the drivers but also the thin pads not holding their shape at all. So please don't micro analyze the frequency response measurements:

View attachment 246401
I was pleased to see a lot of bass but not at the expense of treble region. And don't know what to make of the dip around 300 Hz. Overall compliance to the target ranks fair to poor to me. I expect the sound to be muffled, devoid of spatial qualities:
View attachment 246402

The good news is that distortion is very low especially in higher frequencies:
View attachment 246403

View attachment 246404

I was surprised how low the impedance is:
View attachment 246405

Combined with high sensitivity, you should be able to drive the unit with just about any source:
View attachment 246406

Indeed, even at loud levels, my RME ADI-2 Pro volume was at -30 dB.

I was also surprised by the clean look of group delay:
View attachment 246407

Sennheiser HD569 Listening Tests
Out of the box, the sound was exactly as the measurements predicted: muffled with good bit of bass. I took out the EQ and first dialed in a high Q filter around 5 kHz. But had to turn that down as it sounded too bright:
View attachment 246409

I then worked backward to deep bass. Once there, the sound was quite transformed and overall response very good. Spatial effects were nice but not extreme. Note that without EQ, spatial effects are almost non-existent.

Conclusions
I did not check the price until I started to write the review. At sale price of just $80, the quality of the headphone is pretty good. What is not so good is the tonality though. While not offensive at all due to lack of high-frequency response, the sound was dull and especially impacted female vocals. They were drawn out by the rest of the instruments. With EQ, as is typically the case, the headphone comes to life. Correction based on measured response was not reliable enough for accurate tuning but good enough to make a get the headphone into the ballpark.

I cannot recommend the Sennheiser HD569 unless you apply equalization to it.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

Here are some thoughts about the EQ.

Notes about the EQ design:
  • The average L/R is used to calculate the score.
  • The resolution is 12 points per octave interpolated from the raw data (provided by @amirm)
  • A Genetic Algorithm is used to optimize the EQ.
  • The EQ Score is designed to MAXIMIZE the Score WHILE fitting the Harman target curve (and other constrains) with a fixed complexity.
    This will avoid weird results if one only optimizes for the Score.
    It will probably flatten the Error regression doing so, the tonal balance should be therefore more neutral.
  • The EQs are starting point and may require tuning (certainly at LF and maybe at HF).
  • The range around and above 10kHz is usually not EQed unless smooth enough to do so.
  • I am using PEQ (PK) as from my experience the definition is more consistent across different DSP/platform implementations than shelves.
  • With some HP/amp combo, the boosts and preamp gain (loss of Dynamic range) need to be carefully considered to avoid issues with, amongst other things, too low a Max SPL or damaging your device. You have beed warned.
  • Not all units of the same product are made equal. The EQ is based on the measurements of a single unit. YMMV with regards to the very unit you are trying this EQ on.
  • I sometimes use variations of the Harman curve for some reasons. See rational here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pro-review-headphone.28244/page-5#post-989169
  • https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pro-review-headphone.28244/page-6#post-992119
  • NOTE: the score then calculated is not comparable to the scores derived from the default Harman target curve if not otherwise noted.

Poor L/R match.

I have generated one EQ, the APO config file is attached.

Not easy to EQ.
Not sure is it is going to translate well across several units.

Score no EQ: 33.2
Score Amirm: 34.1
Score with EQ: 96.8

Code:
Sennheiser HD569 APO Score Full EQ [email protected] 96000Hz
November282022-174619

Preamp: -9 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 21.43 Hz Gain 5.33 dB Q 1.52
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 72.98 Hz Gain -2.33 dB Q 1.62
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 163.33 Hz Gain -1.69 dB Q 1.79
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 287.69 Hz Gain 3.24 dB Q 2.48
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 914.65 Hz Gain -1.09 dB Q 1.53
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3432.79 Hz Gain 3.06 dB Q 0.62
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3223.05 Hz Gain -4.51 dB Q 4.39
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 6272.59 Hz Gain 7.72 dB Q 0.52
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 6079.79 Hz Gain -3.61 dB Q 7.57
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 8180.30 Hz Gain -5.40 dB Q 7.96

Sennheiser HD569 APO Score Full EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz.png
 

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solderdude

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Wow.... 5kHz +8dB ?
The EQ score may be higher but I suspect people using this EQ will hate the sibilance and brightness, especially since the bass (which is very seal dependent) is also lowered 3dB.
 

Miiksuli

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The copy I tested did not have this much channel imbalance and showed similarish response up to 1kHz as the measured left channel. This was 4 years ago though.
The biggest differences are in the 2-6kHz range where unexpectedly 5kHz is reported at a much higher level.

fr-hd569.png

.
I would lower frequencies at 100-200 Hz. I think Amirm had bad measurement.
 

Ari Pereira

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Eu tinha um desses por aqui, então assim que pude fazer o teste, eu o devolvi. Eu odiava esse fone de ouvido.
 

solderdude

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Eu tinha um desses por aqui, então assim que pude fazer o teste, eu o devolvi. Eu odiava esse fone de ouvido.


Most folks can't read Portugese so here it is translated in Icelandic, which most people also cannot read :):

Ég átti einn slíkan hérna, svo um leið og ég gat prófað hann skilaði ég honum. Ég hataði þetta heyrnartól.
 

CedarX

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Most folks can't read Portugese so here it is translated in Icelandic, which most people also cannot read :):

Ég átti einn slíkan hérna, svo um leið og ég gat prófað hann skilaði ég honum. Ég hataði þetta heyrnartól.
So Ari did not like the HD569…. But if we continue and translate the Icelandic to another language, and another one, and etc. and eventually back to Portuguese, it may say the opposite. The HD569 may be good for some folks… or not! The Harman target is like “Good Sound” in English: understood as such by most, but not universal!
 
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