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Sennheiser HD600 Review (Headphone)

solderdude

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Also, the pads are slightly different.

One might have the old pads, the other one might have a new pad. You can easily figure out which pad is the newer and older one.
These do measure and sound somewhat different.

Perhaps the resistance of the very thin HD600 cable is affecting damping factor just a little bit too much

The only difference is sheathing which is thicker in the HD650 cable.
Both have the same thin litze wire inside so there is no resistance difference.
And if there were the DF would not be different as the driver is 300 ohm. Damping current difference between say a 0.5ohm cable and 2 ohm cable = 0.5% = 0.04dB
 

MdeVelde

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One might have the old pads, the other one might have a new pad. You can easily figure out which pad is the newer and older one.
These do measure and sound somewhat different.



The only difference is sheathing which is thicker in the HD650 cable.
Both have the same thin litze wire inside so there is no resistance difference.
And if there were the DF would not be different as the driver is 300 ohm. Damping current difference between say a 0.5ohm cable and 2 ohm cable = 0.5% = 0.04dB

Upon doing a closer inspection, both the HD600 and HD650 I have have the new pads.
And the HD650 pads appeared thicker to me but now I'm not sure it looks like they are the same. Don't know why I feel like I have slightly more room for my ears in one vs the other. Headband is set the same.
(edit: The HD650 I have here has quite a bit more clamping force (pressing 2-3 times as hard perhaps) than the HD600. Maybe this is responsible for giving slightly less room for my ears, the compression of the pads)

As for the cable. I have no idea why then. My amp is 0.035 ohm 20hz-20kHz.
Just did a google on HD650 cable on the HD600 and apparently I'm not the only one who tried this out.
Many are hearing a difference but some are also not hearing a difference. Haven't come across an explanation why there would be a difference.
But I'm really hearing one. And I hope to think of myself as an experienced person in audio who doesn't imagine things easily.
The track I happened to have playing was Little Crimes by Melissa Menago. And the HD600 sounded closer to the HD650 in the mids to me in certain ways with the HD650 cable. Though maybe it was in another area where the sound changed and this became apparent in the mids by different context.
I've ordered the HD650 cable (10 euro inc shipping) and will test some more when I get it. Am returning the HD650 so don't want to test more with it / swap cables a bunch of more times, since I already decided it goes back.
 
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solderdude

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You can adjust the clamping force if needed but if you are going to return the HD650 I would not bother.

The output resistance of the amp, being it 0.03 or 3.00 is completely immaterial for the HD600.
The DF number difference is huge but that's just a meaningless number used by sellers of equipment.
What damps is not the output resistance of the amp. It is tempting to think this way as output R and impedance are in parallel.
They are in parallel for voltage but not for current. It's the current that damps.
For current the entire chain is in series: Rout+ Rcable (incl connectors) + Rdc driver.
So the same U (they are in parallel, lets use 1V) will be 0.035 (amp) + 0.3 (cable) 300 = 300.335 ohm = 3.33mA in current
with 3 ohm amp: 3 (amp) + 0.3 (cable) 300 = 303.3 ohm = 3.30mA in current so practical change is nothing.

Note: for low impedance headphones with a substantial impedance peak this becomes an entirely different thing.

Don't worry about hearing differences. There are millions of people stating they hear differences in headphone cables. There are folks spending hundreds of dollars on cables. When you feel better and only spend little money it is totally worth it (as it brings peace of mind)
Let me show you the differences, actually measured acoustically (so output of the drivers) between a silver cable and a copper cable.
In this case a 250 ohm DT1770 with the original 3m copper cable vs a 1m braided silver cable.
And in this case the return wire is even a common wire. The HD600/650 cable is 4-wire.

silver-cable-vs-original-cable-1.png


The reason you only see the teal trace is because the purple trace is underneath. No difference.

Also note that there isn't a single cable in the world that acts as band filter or can introduce changes in the audible band.
Well ...there is a cable that actually does but that's something entirely else and totally on purpose :)
 

MdeVelde

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You can adjust the clamping force if needed but if you are going to return the HD650 I would not bother.

The output resistance of the amp, being it 0.03 or 3.00 is completely immaterial for the HD600.
The DF number difference is huge but that's just a meaningless number used by sellers of equipment.
What damps is not the output resistance of the amp. It is tempting to think this way as output R and impedance are in parallel.
They are in parallel for voltage but not for current. It's the current that damps.
For current the entire chain is in series: Rout+ Rcable (incl connectors) + Rdc driver.
So the same U (they are in parallel, lets use 1V) will be 0.035 (amp) + 0.3 (cable) 300 = 300.335 ohm = 3.33mA in current
with 3 ohm amp: 3 (amp) + 0.3 (cable) 300 = 303.3 ohm = 3.30mA in current so practical change is nothing.

Note: for low impedance headphones with a substantial impedance peak this becomes an entirely different thing.

Don't worry about hearing differences. There are millions of people stating they hear differences in headphone cables. There are folks spending hundreds of dollars on cables. When you feel better and only spend little money it is totally worth it (as it brings peace of mind)
Let me show you the differences, actually measured acoustically (so output of the drivers) between a silver cable and a copper cable.
In this case a 250 ohm DT1770 with the original 3m copper cable vs a 1m braided silver cable.
And in this case the return wire is even a common wire. The HD600/650 cable is 4-wire.

silver-cable-vs-original-cable-1.png


The reason you only see the teal trace is because the purple trace is underneath. No difference.

Also note that there isn't a single cable in the world that acts as band filter or can introduce changes in the audible band.
Well ...there is a cable that actually does but that's something entirely else and totally on purpose :)
Ah yes. I'm all for the approach you just described :)
And I'm not at all a cable nut (at least I used to not be a cable nut at all until just now with the HD650 cable).
But perhaps something is going on regardless with the HD600 cable vs the HD650 cable. Perhaps the HD600 cable is so badly constructed or has a problem with the adapter plug (not present on the HD650 cable) that it induces some crosstalk between signal and ground? Or perhaps there's something wrong with the HD650 cable that makes it sound different. I don't know, all I can tell is that they did sound slightly different to me. But I'll test again once the new HD650 cable comes in.

Btw, do you happen to have both cables yourself and a HD600? If not I'll be happy to gift you a HD650 cable if you wish to measure them :)
I'll have some in-ear mics myself soon but I wonder if I can make repeated measurements with them myself of enough precision, though I'll try (will be in a few weeks).
 

solderdude

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I have a HD650 cable, HD58X cable ad some very old cables from older Sennheisers.
They are all 4 wire with the return wires connected in the plug.
The old ones were quite high in resistance but that belongs to a 2kohm headphone.

I did measure the resistance once and posted it on ASR somewhere. Can't find it that quick though.
 

Hugo9000

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I have a HD650 cable, HD58X cable ad some very old cables from older Sennheisers.
They are all 4 wire with the return wires connected in the plug.
The old ones were quite high in resistance but that belongs to a 2kohm headphone.

I did measure the resistance once and posted it on ASR somewhere. Can't find it that quick though.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ull-tester-prove-his-claim.11075/#post-313125

In that post you shared measurements for the HD 650 and HD 58X cables, but I don't see measurements for the old, higher resistance ones.

At the bottom of the above-linked post, you also shared a link to your measurements on the deliberately different cables for AQ Nighthawk.
 
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solderdude

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Tried to find that cable but no dice. Should have it somewhere.... measured it with the HD250 cable because of the DIN plug that did not have the 6.3mm adapter. I also know I have such an adapter ... somewhere... in the attic.
Found a HD560 Ovation II cable (and a HD250-2) cable which both measured 0.9 ohm for each conductor.
I suspect that's the same cable as used on the HD600.
I can be 0.1 ohm off in measurements, using a simple multimeter.
 

MdeVelde

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Tried to find that cable but no dice. Should have it somewhere.... measured it with the HD250 cable because of the DIN plug that did not have the 6.3mm adapter. I also know I have such an adapter ... somewhere... in the attic.
Found a HD560 Ovation II cable (and a HD250-2) cable which both measured 0.9 ohm for each conductor.
I suspect that's the same cable as used on the HD600.
I can be 0.1 ohm off in measurements, using a simple multimeter.
Yes from looking at pictures that HD560 Ovation II cable looks about the same as the HD600 cable.

Not sure though if the frequency response would necessarily have to show the difference. Perhaps the difference could show up in non-linear distortion.
I'll try to test/measure it myself once I have my in-ear microphones.
 

MdeVelde

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Did some more comparing the HD650 with the HD600 after finding the Oratory1990 EQ presets for both.
On top of that I found that my HD650 had a bit of a quality control issue. The bottom backside of the right headphone was slightly wider than the left. Turns out it wasn't clicked in completely. Pushed on it and it clicked in. I had a very small channel imbalance with it before so I tested it again, also with the new EQ presets. Also the extra HD650 cable arrived already so I could compare both headphones with the same cable without having to switch the cable every time.
Found I do prefer the HD650 over the HD600 after all. It's a bit more detailed to me.
Though there's still a very small channel imbalance present in my HD650 so I'll be switching it for one that doesn't have this problem.

Can really recommend the Oratory1990 EQ preset though:
Compared it to all the other ones available through AutoEQ (there's also an AutoEQ version of the Oratory1990 measurements of the HD650 but I prefer the EQ preset made by Oratory1990 himself). (tested with pink noise and suitable music)
Preset is for EqualizerAPO - Peace. (be sure to select the 'q as slope' versions of the low and high-shelf filters in Peace or the settings will be wrong)
On top of that I additionally corrected for the new style pads with a 260hz low shelf (q as slope) of +1dB with a Q of 0.5

Oh, and here is the HD600 EQ preset: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dm0m6u3s3b4zqzl/Sennheiser HD600.pdf
 
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solderdude

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I'll try to test/measure it myself once I have my in-ear microphones.

These won't tell you anything. Just measure using these a couple of times. You will find every sweep will be different.
You will also find that the FR you will measure won't look like anything that is published, also not with Oratory EQ.
Reason: the IE mics are blocking your ear canals, the angle and position of the mic is not similar to your ear entrance.
It is fun to play with it though and making binaural recordings.

Perhaps the difference could show up in non-linear distortion

Cables do not produce non-linear distortion, there is no transfer function that can causes this in a cable (unless defective and making very poor contact). In the latter case you'll know when touching a connector.
 

MayaTlab

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These won't tell you anything. Just measure using these a couple of times. You will find every sweep will be different.

Depends on the headphones and individual.

These are example of headphones which give me fairly repeatable seatings to seating variations (here five individual traces, mic wasn't moved between them) - H400SE, HD560S, HD650 with Dekoni Elite Velour pads, with blocked ear canal entrance mics :
Screenshot 2021-07-30 at 11.44.34.pngScreenshot 2021-07-30 at 11.43.22.pngScreenshot 2021-07-30 at 11.43.55.png
And fairly repeatable session to session results, here these three headphones for four different sessions weeks apart (mic was moved between each session), each trace is an average of five individual measurements :
Screenshot 2021-10-13 at 09.19.36.png
The differences may not be entirely caused by the mics being re-placed in slightly different locations, but may also perhaps originate from pads breaking in over time, or me re-positioning them slightly differently over several weeks, or maybe even my hair being a little bit different, for example, among other possible factors.

But for other headphones, things can get tricky real quick indeed (ten individual traces, R/L channels, same session) :
Screenshot 2021-08-11 at 21.05.02.png

So that's got to be tested on a HP per HP and individual to individual basis over time in my opinion.

You will also find that the FR you will measure won't look like anything that is published, also not with Oratory EQ.
Reason: the IE mics are blocking your ear canals, the angle and position of the mic is not similar to your ear entrance.

Yep. + mics calibration may not be perfect.

I'd also warn @MdeVelde against this :

Though there's still a very small channel imbalance present in my HD650 so I'll be switching it for one that doesn't have this problem.

In ear mics may not be an appropriate way to test for channel imbalance as your own head is most likely... imbalanced to start with. There are only a few situations / circumstances where I think that they can be used for such application.

Also, perhaps even more importantly : blocked ear canal measurements may provide more or less inaccurate relative comparisons between headphones, particularly in the ear canal gain range, and above 7kHz or so.

And anything that protrudes from the ear canal entrance is unlikely to give you accurate relative results past a few kHz.
 
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solderdude

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On top of that... there is no reference so while you have a measurement it doesn't say much about the sound.
The plot will have no 1:1 correlation to what you heard.
 
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MdeVelde

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These won't tell you anything. Just measure using these a couple of times. You will find every sweep will be different.
You will also find that the FR you will measure won't look like anything that is published, also not with Oratory EQ.
Reason: the IE mics are blocking your ear canals, the angle and position of the mic is not similar to your ear entrance.
It is fun to play with it though and making binaural recordings.



Cables do not produce non-linear distortion, there is no transfer function that can causes this in a cable (unless defective and making very poor contact). In the latter case you'll know when touching a connector.

Thanks for the heads-up.

As for cables. I'm not very versed in electrical things :) I believe you when you say it cannot affect non-linear distortion.
Though maybe the contact of the HD600 cable isn't that great inside the HD600 and a resonance there at a certain frequency can have effect. I don't know. Or perhaps the impedance of the HD600 cable is high enough to matter slightly in damping in the high frequencies. I remain mostly convinced that what I hear was real.
I was planning on trying to measure it but since I've decided to go for the HD650 after all I don't think I'll be ordering a HD600 cable to try to test it later (also more expensive than the HD650 cable).
 

solderdude

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Or perhaps the impedance of the HD600 cable is high enough to matter slightly in damping in the high frequencies.

Same resistance and damping current is exactly the same. Cable contacts are similar in design (both goldplated springs).
As lomg as you don't hear drop-outs, crackling or noise while wiggeling the connectors the connection is fine.
 

MdeVelde

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Depends on the headphones and individual.

These are example of headphones which give me fairly repeatable seatings to seating variations (here five individual traces, mic wasn't moved between them) - H400SE, HD560S, HD650 with Dekoni Elite Velour pads, with blocked ear canal entrance mics :
View attachment 158729View attachment 158730View attachment 158731
And fairly repeatable session to session results, here these three headphones for four different sessions weeks apart (mic was moved between each session), each trace is an average of five individual measurements :
View attachment 158733
The differences may not be entirely caused by the mics being re-placed in slightly different locations, but may also perhaps originate from pads breaking in over time, or me re-positioning them slightly differently over several weeks, or maybe even my hair being a little bit different, for example, among other possible factors.

But for other headphones, things can get tricky real quick indeed (ten individual traces, R/L channels, same session) :
View attachment 158734

So that's got to be tested on a HP per HP and individual to individual basis over time in my opinion.



Yep. + mics calibration may not be perfect.

I'd also warn @MdeVelde against this :



In ear mics may not be an appropriate way to test for channel imbalance as your own head is most likely... imbalanced to start with. There are only a few situations / circumstances where I think that they can be used for such application.

Also, perhaps even more importantly : blocked ear canal measurements may provide more or less inaccurate relative comparisons between headphones, particularly in the ear canal gain range, and above 7kHz or so.

And anything that protrudes from the ear canal entrance is unlikely to give you accurate relative results past a few kHz.

Thanks for sharing the info on in-ear mic measurements and their limitations!

The reason I'm getting them is as another reference point.
I have a small anechoic chamber at home and will be testing/measuring the relative HRTF of myself and other people.
I'm doing this now with a measurement mic held close against the head so the in-ear mic should give a slightly better reference I hope.
I only need to know the change in HRTF of certain angles relative to the forward HRTF. And luckily I don't need to know it precisely for high frequencies, only the rough amount of head shading.
Reason I'm testing this myself is that I want to get it fairly precise also for far-field distances. I'm writing a new type of crossfeed plugin.

As for the channel imbalance on my HD650. I didn't measure it but I heard it.
There was no channel imbalance on the HD600 at all. And there was a small imbalance on the HD650. I heard it slightly with perhaps half the music I played through it. And then tested it with mono music and it was audible with mono music too. Was only at certain frequencies in somewhere in the mids it seemed. The sound had a tendency to get pulled left a little.
Btw, I also tried the HD560s and the AKG K371 and both those headphone had more severe channel imbalances.
But still, if I'm paying 330 euro for a pair of HD650's I want great channel matching. Seems the HD650 I had here slipped through QC (also with the back of the right earcup not properly assembled, had to push it in myself until it clicked)
 
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Khronikos

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I will probably be getting a new HD600 since my olds ones have some peeling and I wanted a pair for vacation and rougher use.

Was also thinking about the HD650. I would love to hear it. But mostly I love the mids on these things. I EQ the treble from 2K onward from around -.36dB to just under -2dB at the top. I do not EQ for gaming or movies though, and I have no issues there. Music I play at high volumes, and the treble in a lot of mixes bothers me on MOST headphones.

So I was curious about the 650 being a little warmer so to say, but I don't want to mess with a good thing because EQ'ing up is always way harder than EQ'ing down in my experience. Just a little roll off and the 600s are nearly perfect for me. The only real missing thing is better extended bass with less distortion, but that costs a lot of money to get right. Opinions on the the new redesign of the 600? Are they still mostly the same? They look a bit nicer for sure. They don't even come with a box anymore. Cutting costs, so I hope they still feel the same and are matched well.

The argument between these two never ends though. But in my experience being able to EQ down wins out in the end.
 

solderdude

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As for the channel imbalance on my HD650. I didn't measure it but I heard it.

When in mono you can also put L-R reversed on your head, I assume the balance in the treble pulls to the other side at that moment.

Not all HD650 are created equal.

hd650-bl-vs-hd650-blnew-pads-vs-hd650-veiled.png


It is possible that you may have slightly different drivers. If so return it and ask for a replacement. Maybe Sennheiser is less strict now with channel matching to cut costs ?
 

MdeVelde

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When in mono you can also put L-R reversed on your head, I assume the balance in the treble pulls to the other side at that moment.

Not all HD650 are created equal.

hd650-bl-vs-hd650-blnew-pads-vs-hd650-veiled.png


It is possible that you may have slightly different drivers. If so return it and ask for a replacement. Maybe Sennheiser is less strict now with channel matching to cut costs ?
I already sent the HD650 back and received a new one.
The new one has no audible channel imbalance and I'm perfectly happy with it :)

And yes, I really do think the first HD650 slipped past quality control as the right earcup wasn't fully attached as I wrote earlier. This was visible and should have been spotted. Also a final quality control measurement would have probably shown this it seems to me so there probably isn't a final measurement or the criteria for passing may be fairly relaxed.
Or I just got one that slipped past quality control somehow, I don't know.

Oh and one more crazy thing. The new HD650 is as roomy for my ears as the HD600 I had.
I checked, same new pads as the others.
No idea what was causing the less roomy feeling with the first HD650. It wasn't the clamping force (I checked that later).
Maybe natural variation.. Don't know.
 

Robbo99999

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I will probably be getting a new HD600 since my olds ones have some peeling and I wanted a pair for vacation and rougher use.

Was also thinking about the HD650. I would love to hear it. But mostly I love the mids on these things. I EQ the treble from 2K onward from around -.36dB to just under -2dB at the top. I do not EQ for gaming or movies though, and I have no issues there. Music I play at high volumes, and the treble in a lot of mixes bothers me on MOST headphones.

So I was curious about the 650 being a little warmer so to say, but I don't want to mess with a good thing because EQ'ing up is always way harder than EQ'ing down in my experience. Just a little roll off and the 600s are nearly perfect for me. The only real missing thing is better extended bass with less distortion, but that costs a lot of money to get right. Opinions on the the new redesign of the 600? Are they still mostly the same? They look a bit nicer for sure. They don't even come with a box anymore. Cutting costs, so I hope they still feel the same and are matched well.

The argument between these two never ends though. But in my experience being able to EQ down wins out in the end.
Think about getting the HD560s instead:
I own the HD600 too, as well as some other headphones, and HD560s is for me way better than HD600 whilst also being cheaper. It has the same dependablity & reliability in terms of on head placement not affecting the sound as the HD600, but has better soundstage & better bass, whilst retaining the same clarity levels. But I will say if you're not fussed about soundstage (and bass) then the HD600 is probably just a tiny smidge better.
 

MdeVelde

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Think about getting the HD560s instead:
I own the HD600 too, as well as some other headphones, and HD560s is for me way better than HD600 whilst also being cheaper. It has the same dependablity & reliability in terms of on head placement not affecting the sound as the HD600, but has better soundstage & better bass, whilst retaining the same clarity levels. But I will say if you're not fussed about soundstage (and bass) then the HD600 is probably just a tiny smidge better.

I actually compared the HD560s, HD600, HD650 and AKG K371 at the same time.
DAC and amp I use is the Anedio D2.
In the end I rated the headphones like this:
HD650 > HD600 > HD560s > K371
This is based on all headphones EQ-ed to the Harman curve with the Oratory1990 measurements and EQ presets (tried several others but these worked best for me).

I found the HD560s to have a less good soundstage than the HD600 and HD650. It was smaller for me especially vertically.
I found with the HD560s that I also had less good instrument separation because all sounds came from the same point while with the HD600 and HD650 I could 'imagine' the bass sitting lower than the treble etc and can separate the instruments that are panned center and playing at the same time.
The HD560s sounded technically good to me but less 'involving' for a lack of a better word. Perhaps also because of this limited soundstage vertically. They did not invite me to hear 'into' the music.
Additionally I found the HD560s less comfortable than the HD600 and HD650.
And there was a left-right balance problem that was immediately apparent with the HD560s (also with the AKG K371 and every headphone with a single chord on one side I've ever tried)

edit: btw, if I'm not mistaken. The same or a very similar driver is also used in the HD58x Jubilee, which is similar again to the HD660s. All 150ohm based originally off the HD700 driver I think.
So if you're looking for an HD560s in a more comfortable headphone with the chord going to both sides then perhaps the HD58x is worth checking out? About the same price as a HD560s too.
I'd be curious myself to check out the HD58x and suspect the better housing would solve my personal soundstage problem with the HD560s but I live in Europe and didn't want the long wait and no return of order from Drop in the US.
 
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