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Sennheiser HD600 Review (Headphone)

MiloTheFirst

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Hi Guys,I need your help
I've the chance to buy a pair of Second hand HD600
One seller has 2019 edition (the last one made in Romania) and the other one has the old HD 600 (the one with painted headband made in Ireland)
Any difference in sound between the 2?
Thanks

They have the same driver. The only change made for the update was the color and padding of the head band. However, in 2020 sennheiser did acknowledge to have changed providers for the earpads of the whole 600 series and in their own words there might be a very slight variation to the sound (i think it was between 0.5 and 1 db which is negligible, but please don't quote me on the exact figure). This shouldn't affect your decision anyways since whenever the time comes for you to buy new earpads the newer ones are the only ones you will be getting from sennheiser. My advice will be to buy the headphone you can determine to have the less ammount of use and of course do consider the reputation from each seller if you are buying from an online market place. personally i find the old colour ugly so there is also that
 

Robbo99999

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The seller with the new one told me that Headphone were used for about 1 season, around 100-200 hours of use.
The seller with the old one told me They were purchased, in 2016/17 and have been in the box for about 4/5 years.
It’s all original, including the pads, the cables and the box. As for the hours of use, he told me that he used it for 6 months occasionally.1 or 2 times a week for about 30min/1h in the evening in his free time
Which one should I pick?!?
It depends on how much you trust what those people are telling you, as the older one has less hours on it according to what they're both saying....however you can always buy new pads for them if whichever one you get has pads that look like they need replacing. I don't like the look of the blue-marbled original version, so you might want to take aesthetic appearance into account to. What price are they both going for? (And take reputation of seller into account like Milo says above). I think I'd still go for the newer one all things being equal.
 

bracko

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Hugo9000

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Hi Guys,I need your help
I've the chance to buy a pair of Second hand HD600
One seller has 2019 edition (the last one made in Romania) and the other one has the old HD 600 (the one with painted headband made in Ireland)
Any difference in sound between the 2?
Thanks
If you think you might wish to sell them down the road, I'd recommend buying the 'old style' made-in-Ireland pair with the infamous/beloved (depending on your point of view haha!) "countertop" paint job. There are always people who want the old look, and don't like the cosmetic changes Sennheiser made to the HD 600.

If you think you are likely to keep the HD 600 long-term, then I'd suggest buying whichever of the two styles that looks better to you. I bought the new style, personally, because I prefer the new finish and the change from rounded edges to the subtle bevel. Mine are flawless cosmetically, and the drivers are beautifully matched, no issues whatsoever with the Romanian assembly.

The drivers are reported to be unchanged between the two units you're considering, and all drivers actually originated in Ireland, even for the headphones that were assembled in Romania.

Many people have tested both the "marbled" painted version and the later one, and the results indicate no change in tuning. Oratory1990 is noted for his careful measurements on a standard rig.

As others have said, compare feedback of the sellers as well.

To summarize (lol):
Pick the look you prefer if you think you'll keep them.
Pick the marbled blue painted one if you think you'll probably want to sell them in the future.
 

WickedInsignia

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One seller has 2019 edition (the last one made in Romania) and the other one has the old HD 600 (the one with painted headband made in Ireland)
There are some build and comfort improvements in the new version. They have a new head cushion which mimics the HD650's (ignore the marketing images that use the old head cushion). They also have new pads that are designed to last longer, with less compression over a longer period of time, which means less frequent earpad replacements (it's recommended to replace them every year for the old version). These new pads should work on the old model.
The headband is a different type of plastic. There seems to be no consensus on how much better it is, but it feels fine and no cheaper than the original. The box is very different too: the old 600s come in a foam padded case that you can use to store them away, whereas the new 600s come in a cheap cardboard box. You can still store them in that, but it's drastically inferior.

I've had both. The build quality is equally fantastic, but I can't comment on how similar the sound is since the old version had very worn-in pads. From the measurements and user testimony I've seen around however they are meant to sound identical, with inaudible (if any) deviations based on comparative measurements.
Personally I would recommend the old version. It's basically a collector's item now and when the pads wear down you can replace them with the new ones (although check up to make sure this is 100% possible. I would be surprised if not). I would love to have that original box to store my own 600s in. It's also a plus that they're made in Ireland, although I doubt Romania would do any worse.

The HD600 is wonderful and well worth owning. Whichever you choose, relax and enjoy!

Sennheiser-HD-600.jpg
1578231399-3134408753_n.jpg
 

matty007

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I will never part with my HD600’s. Despite me also heavily enjoying the Hifiman Ananda (superior in some aspects), the 600’s just have such a comforting and well balanced sound that always satisfies.

For me, the stock FR is by far the most precise of any headphone, and the timbre is so natural and faultless. The 600’s are still yet to be topped by Sennheiser IMO

Unfortunately my right driver has developed a rattle/distortion on low bass, and despite me carefully checking the driver etc and removing a couple of hairs, the issues still remains.

I shall therefore replace both drivers to try and ensure better matching and I can honestly say I wouldn’t do that for ANY other headphone.

For general music listening and mixing I just can’t be without these. They just tell you what’s there and no more
 

milosz

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I've had MANY 'phones. HD-580's, HD-800's and HD-650's from Sennheiser, Grado PS1000e (AWFUL!!), various Stax Lambdas, Stax SR-007's (I've had two variants - the "MK II" and also the "original" ones; I like the original ones and sold the MK II's) Koss ESP-950, Some Sony which had fantastic magnesium framework but which were too bright; some Denon TOTL which were bass monsters; Audeze LCD-2s, HiFiMan HE-6, some Audio Technicas, 600 ohm Beyer DT-880, AKG, and probably some that I have forgotten. I have kept Stax Lambda Signatures, Stax SR-007, Koss ESP-950 - all of these sound great on a KGSSHV amp which is so much better than any Stax amp I've tried; I have a Dan Clark STEALTH which is about the best headphone I've ever heard in terms of neutrality and transparency; I have my Sennheiser HD-600's, which I use to audition headphone amps that I've built as it is a 'phone which likes a good amp but is not too power-hungry and which is similar to the kinds of headphones that someone who might buy one of my builds would use; and I have the 600 ohm Beyer DT880 which are fun on my Bottlehead Crack amp and some other misc. OTL tube amps I play around with. I also have some cheap Audio-Technicas that are the first headphones I try with any new amp build; if the output transistors short and send 22 volts through the headphones, or the amp goes into ultrasonic oscillation when they are connected- well, they're cheap and expendable.

The Sennheiser HD-600 is, in a sense, my "STANDARD" headphone. My yardstick.
 

Emlin

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I've had MANY 'phones. HD-580's, HD-800's and HD-650's from Sennheiser, Grado PS1000e (AWFUL!!), various Stax Lambdas, Stax SR-007's (I've had two variants - the "MK II" and also the "original" ones; I like the original ones and sold the MK II's) Koss ESP-950, Some Sony which had fantastic magnesium framework but which were too bright; some Denon TOTL which were bass monsters; Audeze LCD-2s, HiFiMan HE-6, some Audio Technicas, 600 ohm Beyer DT-880, AKG, and probably some that I have forgotten. I have kept Stax Lambda Signatures, Stax SR-007, Koss ESP-950 - all of these sound great on a KGSSHV amp which is so much better than any Stax amp I've tried; I have a Dan Clark STEALTH which is about the best headphone I've ever heard in terms of neutrality and transparency; I have my Sennheiser HD-600's, which I use to audition headphone amps that I've built as it is a 'phone which likes a good amp but is not too power-hungry and which is similar to the kinds of headphones that someone who might buy one of my builds would use; and I have the 600 ohm Beyer DT880 which are fun on my Bottlehead Crack amp and some other misc. OTL tube amps I play around with. I also have some cheap Audio-Technicas that are the first headphones I try with any new amp build; if the output transistors short and send 22 volts through the headphones, or the amp goes into ultrasonic oscillation when they are connected- well, they're cheap and expendable.

The Sennheiser HD-600 is, in a sense, my "STANDARD" headphone. My yardstick.
I think that measurements using something other than a yardstick would be more useful in this case.
 

milosz

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Let me clarify

I do measurements when testing a newly-built headphone amp, using the HD-600's or a non-inductive resistor as a load. The instrumentation I have is somewhat limited, I have nothing like an Audio Precision system. But if I measure that THD and IM are below 0.01% , FR is 10 to 20,000 Hz ± 0.5 dB* and S/N exceeds 90 dB (100 dB A-weighted) power is at least 2 watts at 30 ohms and a few hundred mW at 250 ohms, and output source impedance is below 0.5 ohms for a 30 ohm load, then I figure that the amplifier "works."

Beyond that, I need to listen to the amp on some kind of headphone that I can assume is somewhat of a "standard yardstick" for 'phones that buyers might use. For that "yardstick" I have chosen the HD-600. Likely, given the measurements thresholds the amp has met or exceeded, the sound will be OK. But I need to verify the quality with some listening. I have yet to find an amp that measures OK but which sounds wrong; just because I haven't encountered it doesn't mean it is impossible.

=================================

* I loosen this up a little on the low end for amplifiers which use capacitive output coupling.
 

KeithPhantom

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The HD 600 opened my eyes of how a well-designed headphone could sound. The HD 650 always lacked ever-so-slightly detail and the lows felt somewhat “bloated”, the HD 600 we’re for me the first time I used them. It was closer to what I would say it is a pretty good-sounding headphone than all of what I’ve tried up un that time. And I am talking about “flagship” headphones of many recognized companies.

I loved them with priority for a pretty long time, until I tried to get a perceptual bass boost out of them, then I understood their engineering limitations and why they were so close of perfect for me, yet not quite. Also, having tried the HD 800 (S) didn’t help matters in the spaciality area.

But looking for a replacement wouldn’t be an easy task. I tried even more headphones, but none of them were enough. I always came back to my trusty HD 600.

One day I tried the HD 560S. I saw the measurements and it was promising. Listen to them, they were “meh”. Back then, I had the LCD-X (2021) and the HD 600. The Audeze had better bass than anything I’ve owned, but their highs, even with EQ, weren’t the best. I returned the 560S and sold the HD 600, but their limitations started bothering me when my music taste started to change.

After a while, I rebought the 560S to give them a fairer chance, but this time when EQing, instead of using a preset, I generated the EQ myself from the actual target (both Oratory’s and AutoEQ presets don’t follow strict Harman OE 2018), and that really opened my eyes.

We’re talking about taking a LCD-X, a HD 800, a Focal Clear, and a HD 600, somehow fusing them, and giving that resulting headphone all the main qualities and characteristics of the ingredient headphones (just a bit worse, but still extremely competitive). That is the HD 560S I listen to everyday. The only thing I complain about them is that that THD isn’t less than 1% from 0.02-20 kHz. Just that.

The HD 600 is my reference of FR when it comes to a stock headphone and what I expect as a minimum from any “flagship” or headphone costing more than the HD 600. It also taught me to value lightweight headphones (I hate neck-breaking headphones nowadays), and FR consistency. It is a great headphone I wouldn’t doubt to recommend to somebody looking for a balanced sound without the bass boost of the Hartman target.
 

sharock

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After a while, I rebought the 560S to give them a fairer chance, but this time when EQing, instead of using a preset, I generated the EQ myself from the actual target (both Oratory’s and AutoEQ presets don’t follow strict Harman OE 2018), and that really opened my eyes.

We’re talking about taking a LCD-X, a HD 800, a Focal Clear, and a HD 600, somehow fusing them, and giving that resulting headphone all the main qualities and characteristics of the ingredient headphones (just a bit worse, but still extremely competitive). That is the HD 560S I listen to everyday. The only thing I complain about them is that that THD isn’t less than 1% from 0.02-20 kHz. Just that.
If the Audeze had the best bass you've heard, how does an EQ'd 560s compare for bass?
 

KeithPhantom

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If the Audeze had the best bass you've heard, how does an EQ'd 560s compare for bass?
It’s inferior, but the other traits make up for it (better-sounding highs, lower weight, better spatial qualities). The bass sounds “not as detailed?” at the lowest frequencies (20-60 Hz I approximate). This is due to the technological limitation of a full-range dynamic transducer in such low frequencies (and maybe the +1% THD down in the bottom octave). But the 560S has great bass still, just not beating a technology better in this application.
 

sharock

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It’s inferior, but the other traits make up for it (better-sounding highs, lower weight, better spatial qualities). The bass sounds “not as detailed?” at the lowest frequencies (20-60 Hz I approximate). This is due to the technological limitation of a full-range dynamic transducer in such low frequencies (and maybe the +1% THD down in the bottom octave). But the 560S has great bass still, just not beating a technology better in this application.

Thanks.

I have a Denon D7000, K371 and HD650 currently. I'd like something that is a tier above those but am tempted by the HD560s just because it's relatively cheap and gets so much praise.
 
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