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Sennheiser HD600 Review (Headphone)

maverickronin

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Sennheiser went on to develop the horrible sounding HD800.
Only without EQ. With EQ, there's not really anything that's directly comparable.

Even without EQ the soundstage is enough to overcome the tonality issues for quite a few people.
 
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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.
Finish of the headband and metal instead of plastic grilles for the 600 should be the only differences. An identical sound wouldn't surprise me here.
 
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If Amir walked into a store having HD600 and HD650 ready to audition he would have most likely agreed with the rest of the folks here. There is an audible difference between these headphones. Just not much with the versions he had on hand and measured.
Without having measured them first? Are you sure? :p I have my doubts but who knows.

As you said, the most measure, maybe owned, ,talked headphone in the world, and the most common compared (with the 600).

What really shocked me is that after the great sounding HD600 and HD650, Sennheiser went on to develop the horrible sounding HD800.
You can't have tried them with EQ or modded. I can tell you that @solderdude's adapter+ SDR makes it a worthwhile HP (if u like its pluses and just dislike the most common minus - treble).


Like many of you i also had more than one pair of each of these HP's, even if the measurements would be 100% alike, i have trouble understand how would they sound exactly the same that while i am trying to ignore the comparison of a brand new and a model with used, old, pads.
 

Billy Budapest

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You can't have tried them with EQ or modded. I can tell you that @solderdude's adapter+ SDR makes it a worthwhile HP (if u like its pluses and just dislike the most common minus - treble).
Is this any better? To wit:

I find it ridiculous that Sennheiser’s engineers produced the great sounding HD600 and HD650, but then developed the horrible sounding HD800, which is so bad that purchasers have resorted to “homebrew” adapters and modifications to make them listenable.
 

MayaTlab

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One thing to consider about the HD600:
How much is one really losing out on the sub bass response? As I understand it’s considerably rolled-off.
Is the HD560S the better purchase as a result of having better subbass and (as I understand it) a more present treble response and wider soundstage?
Say both are the same price. What is the better option in that scenario (objective and subjective impressions welcome).
I have both the HD560S and the HD650.
I would be a little bit careful about presuming that the HD560S will necessarily have more subbass when on your head. I was quite surprised with how each of them actually measured with in-concha mics even though both are fully open headphones : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the...-at-a-breakthrough-value.943107/post-16300055
The HD560S' trebles response is a lot, lot, lot more uneven on my head than the HD650, and I find the latter a better basis for EQ as a result (in fact the latter are the least peaky over-ear headphones I've tried so far past a few kHz, but perhaps that may not be what will happen on your own head). Both of them measure well enough in what we've seen so far that it's difficult to make predictions about your own preferences.
I find both of them EQable enough below 100hz to bring them to my own satisfaction - but perhaps I listen at a volume that doesn't result in excessive distortion after EQ, who knows ?
 

Billy Budapest

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Sennheiser fixed some of the issues with the HD800 when they came out with the HD800S, as documented here:

https://www.stereophile.com/content...tweaked-and-delightfuland-french-diy-response
Haven’t heard the HD800S. Tyll’s article you linked above pretty much nails what is wrong with the HD800, shortcomings that render it unlistenable to me:

“But the HD 800 is also quite problematic. It has a sharp sounding peak at around 6kHz that will, at times and with problematic recordings, drill a bleeding hole in your eardrums. Adding to this problem is an overall cool response, lacking the bass extension that, say, an Audeze LCD planar magnetic can has.”
 

welsh

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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.....
For years, people were telling me that HD 650 was for rock music and HD 600 for classical… or perhaps it was the other way round?
 

welsh

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HD650 is generally touted as being a slightly warmer headphone than the HD600, which is backed up by some measurements out there, but they are undeniably very similar. I've got the HD600 (bought new last year) and for me it's the only headphone I truly enjoy without any equalisation applied (and you likewise thought it was good at stock), however it's my least favourite headphone once equalisation is applied due the inherent small soundstage of the HD600/650. Vocals are a real joy with the HD600 even at stock and were the standout quality for me. Re distortion, the HD600 is generally shown in most measurements to have slightly more distortion in the bass and slightly less distortion in the mids & treble when compared to the HD650, but there's not much in it. The HD600 is a really solid headphone if you're not bothered by the small soundstage but enjoy some beautiful vocals/mids.
At least nobody has mentioned the “Sennheiser Veil” which was endlessly promoted by subjectivists…
 

maverickronin

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Haven’t heard the HD800S. Tyll’s article you linked above pretty much nails what is wrong with the HD800, shortcomings that render it unlistenable to me:

“But the HD 800 is also quite problematic. It has a sharp sounding peak at around 6kHz that will, at times and with problematic recordings, drill a bleeding hole in your eardrums. Adding to this problem is an overall cool response, lacking the bass extension that, say, an Audeze LCD planar magnetic can has.”
The "S" version is not all that much better.



If they weren't selling to a market obsessed with misguided notions of "purity" they could have actually fixed it by building in something like @solderdude's passive EQ network.
 

acbarn

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My experience is that all of the 600 series headphones are much more alike than they are different. I could be happy with any of them, and would have a difficult time identifying one over the other if I didn't have them on hand to compare directly. Making them sound identical would not be difficult using EQ. For what it's worth, I've settled on the 660S, which to my ear incorporates some of the characteristics I like from both the 600 and 650.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #197
The largest audio consumer demographic is portable listeners with no choice but to listen at stock.
If they are reading this forum, they better find a way to EQ their headphones.

The EQ crowd here are outliers since most consumers don't listen that way.
Most consumers don't read your posts.

The advantage of the "purist" approach is that you have a headphone that will sound good whether it is plugged into EQ or not.
And leave a lot of quality on the table.
 
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To be honest, this review kinda questioning the credibility of the the site, because basically anyone can tell that there is a clear difference between the 650 and 600's sound. Would be really good to measure a new pair of HD600, because this review are kinda useless in this form. 20year headphone with ancient, flattened pads..

This could become a meme/ laughing stock. Every subjectivist a**hole would mention that this is the joke site where people think that the 600 and 650 are the same, while every random people in the street could tell the clear difference.
My first post. I have been reading this forum for a while but had to join up when I saw this review.
I agree. This review is so far from my experience having owned both these headphones that it makes me question the accuracy of other reviews. As many have said the 650 is warmer and bassier than the 600. The difference is obvious. How Amir cant tell the difference amazes me. Also where is this bass boost coming from the reference line? No headphones do this
 

garbulky

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This thread is full of more robust measurements that show there are consistent audible differences between the two throughout two decades of manufacture.

This thread has shown many too eager to jump on the "myth busted" wagon.
I think the HD6XX is similar to the HD650. I listened to the HD6xx vs the HD600 and the differences were pretty obvious. (But it wasn't a blind test of course).
 

bobbooo

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This mindset works on paper but it's generally impractical for many.

I for one listen to music through my phone. I don't have space on my workdesk for an amp (which is needed to EQ certain frequencies without distortion on a 600/650), and I can't exactly bring one from workdesk to couch to Train to coffee shop.
This is why Amir's subjective impressions are mostly lackluster, since they commonly result in "recommended with EQ".

The largest audio consumer demographic is portable listeners with no choice but to listen at stock.
This is why for some of us, how the 600/650 sounds at stock matters quite a bit. The difference in warmth is negligible for someone who EQs , but noticeable in everyday listening.

The EQ crowd here are outliers since most consumers don't listen that way.
The advantage of the "purist" approach is that you have a headphone that will sound good whether it is plugged into EQ or not.
Despite disagreeing with you, I'll try to give you the grown-up reply you (and everyone) deserve, sans any aggressive, contemptuous rudeness. I also listen primarily from my phone (audibly transparent and powerful enough for most of my headphones), but in terms of EQ things have improved a lot in recent years, and there are thankfully now several options for fully parametric EQing from a phone. Personally, for offline files the app I use and would recommend is Neutron Music Player, free trial here (which also has optional and configurable crossfeed that can give a more speaker-like sound, depending on the recording). Then there's Universal Audio Player Pro (despite its name it's not only for external USB DACs), which has an optional PEQ add-on (extra charge).

And for PEQ system-wide (and so including all music streaming), nothing beats the Qudelix 5K DAC/amp (which in addition to USB-C, also has optional LDAC Bluetooth connection, effectively turning any headphone into a 'wireless' pair). It's also plenty powerful (max 4V balanced, 2V unbalanced), yet tiny, so won't take up any room on a desk. (There are also system-wide software PEQ options if you have rooted your phone.)

As for the PEQ profiles themselves, I'd highly recommend redditor (and professional acoustic engineer / headphone measurer) Oratory's brilliant list. Of course, it would be ideal for a headphone to have the perfect frequency response without EQ, but this is simply unrealistic. Every headphone / IEM I've tried has been improved by Oratory's profiles, even those already close to the Harman target (my preferred).

Try out one of these options, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how good well-made PEQ based on professional measurements can sound, that are now easily available for even phone users.
 
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