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Sennheiser HD600 Review (Headphone)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Sennheiser HD600 headphone. I purchased this sample new after I visited major labels around year 2000 and noticing this was a reference headphone they used. I handed it to my son Karman who has been using it for years and replacing the worn out pads. He was visiting us (we are all vaccinated) and brought it with him. I had shown him how to make measurements and what you see below are his.

Other than showing some wear, you can't tell the HD600 from HD650:

Sennheiser HD600 Review.jpg


The measurements you are about to see are made using a standardized Gras 45C. Other measurements made using different fixtures and protocols will vary from mine. I confirm the approximate accuracy of the measurements using Equalization and listening tests. Ultimately headphone measurements are less exact than speakers with large variations in bass and treble as a minimum. As such, you better take a high level view of headphone measurements. Anything else is not supported by the state of measurement system for headphones.

Sennheiser HD600 Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurements:

Sennheiser HD600 Measurements open back headphone.png


This is basically the same as HD650 given the vagaries of headphone measurements, fit, pad wear, etc.:

Sennheiser HD600 Frequency Response Measurements open back headphone.png


Distortion is higher but this could just be wear and tear:

Sennheiser HD600 Relative Distortion Measurements open back headphone.png


Sennheiser HD600 Distortion Measurements open back headphone.png


Here is Group Delay which again is similar to the HD650:

Sennheiser HD600 Group Delay Measurements open back headphone.png


Sensitivity is essentially the same. Variation is due to slightly different reference point:

Most efficient headphone review 2021.png


Sennheiser HD600 Listening Tests
I only made a brief evaluation of the HD600 with and without equalization I made for HD650. I could not tell a difference between the two in the confines of slow switching time between the two headphones. As with HD650, I was yet again impressed by how good this headphone sounds. Equalization made an improvement but the headphone was very listenable without it.

Conclusions
I don't know what is supposed to be different between HD600 and HD650. Based on both objective and subjective testing, these two headphones perform the same.

To the extent the HD600 is available and costs less than HD650, it would make just as good a purchase.

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

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MayaTlab

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Thank you for destroying another audio myth :). I hope the PROVEN similarity of HD 600 and 650 will make all the subjectivist owners think about the perceived differences, which they wrote about in forums for years.....

Sennheiser uses different part numbers. It's rather likely that the (evidently small) differences between them are buried under other causes for variation (sample variation, pads wear / compression, etc.).
I'm pretty certain that @solderdude will have more info on that.
 

solderdude

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HD600 vs HD650

hd600-vs-hd650.png


midbass hump in the 100Hz to 300Hz range is 1.(something) dB higher in the HD650 and around 1.2kHz the HD600 had about 1dB higher level.
Initially I thought drivers were the same and only differed in the amount of rear damping foam over the magnet hole but the foamies seem similar.
HD600 driver (incl. baffle) = order code: 091570
HD650 driver (incl. baffle) = order code: 092855

I measured the THD (in the lows) also to be just slightly higher in the HD600 vs the HD650.

below CSD for HD600 and below that CSD for HD650 which shows the HD650 has better damped area around 2kHz so drivers appear not to be the same. Also power rating is different.

hd600-csd.png


HD650
hd650-2017-csd.png


The HD600 I measured had channel imbalance:
hd600.png


Amir measured the efficiency as 103.7dB/V which differs from Sennheiser spec (97dB/V) but they made an oopsy.
97dB/mW = 102dB/V which seems more likely a mixup between dB/mW and dB/V
RAA measured both HD600 and HD650 as 105dB/V.
Tyll measured the HD600 as 102.7dB/V so I reckon Amir's measurement is correct.
 
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Fernando

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I have always thought that hd600 and hd650 only have aesthetic differences, but by saying so they could call you heretic.
Thanks again for this review, clear, short and concise, straight to the point.
Hd700 next???
 
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MZKM

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LTig

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I really like to know how the HD600 differs from the HD580 precision. I bought the latter in 1994 and when I once listened to a HD600 (not in a direct comparison though) I couldn't find a difference, at least not that big that an update made any sense.
 

Veri

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DanTheMan

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It’s not hard to see that the differences have been blown out of proportion for sure. I will say that I utterly love me 650 and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Well, okay, maybe for the world, because then They’d still be mine.
 

solderdude

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Sennheiser claimed HD650 had closer matched drivers.
The only HD600 I measured had worse matching drivers than the 3 HD650's I measured.
No idea if driver matching is still done and if they improved this on HD600.
All rumours no confirmed facts.
 

beeface

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Sennheiser claimed HD650 had closer matched drivers.
The only HD600 I measured had worse matching drivers than the 3 HD650's I measured.
No idea if driver matching is still done and if they improved this on HD600.
All rumours no confirmed facts.

PC component manufacturers employ a similar practice to this, so it wouldn’t surprise me
 

LeoL

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The HD650s sound warmer and smoother, overall, compared to the HD600. While not a drastic difference, it is noticeable. I've owned both models for years (still have 2 versions of HD600) and have compared them to other samples of said models. This difference between the two models seems consistent regardless of vintage.
 

alont

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From my personal experience comparing the two headphones, the HD600 was a tad brighter and the highs were slightly less smooth. I don't think it's right to say that there's no difference whatsoever between the HD650 and HD600 since the measurements do show low amplitude, low Q differences which should definitely be audible.
 

raif71

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From my personal experience comparing the two headphones, the HD600 was a tad brighter and the highs were slightly less smooth. I don't think it's right to say that there's no difference whatsoever between the HD650 and HD600 since the measurements do show low amplitude, low Q differences which should definitely be audible.
I don't have the hd650 but hd6xx and I do prefer the hd600 sound over the hd6xx. I agree that hd600 is brighter (than 6xx).
 
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