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Sennheiser HD600 or HD650?


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Hello,

 

I am planning on upgrading from my current headphone which is the Audio Technica ATH-M50S. How large of an improvement will I notice listening to FLAC files through my FiiO X3, if I upgrade to either of these headphones?

 

Also, is there any advantage that the HD650 has over the HD600, as the HD600 was what I was planning to get due to a slightly lower price?

 

Thanks,

 

Keyser

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Hello,

 

I am planning on upgrading from my current headphone which is the Audio Technica ATH-M50S. How large of an improvement will I notice listening to FLAC files through my FiiO X3, if I upgrade to either of these headphones?

 

Also, is there any advantage that the HD650 has over the HD600, as the HD600 was what I was planning to get due to a slightly lower price?

 

Thanks,

 

Keyser

 

I have the M50s and HD 650. It's a huge step up in "refinement" to go with the Sennheisers. Note that these are 300 ohm headphones, however. If not correctly amped they can be quite disappointing, IMO. Unfamiliar with the FiiO X3, so not sure if that will be a good match or not.

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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The HD600 is regarded as having the more neutral/accurate sound of the two, though both are highly regarded headphones. I don't think you would be disappointed with either.

 

You may want to have a read over this article:

The Very Important Sennheiser HD 580, HD 600, and HD 650 | InnerFidelity

 

I have both. I prefer the HD600, it sounds more open to me. My sources: Fiio X3, Ray Samuels Predator, and Headroom Micro w/ Desktop module. Both are hard to drive, they sound ok out of an X3 but shine out of X3+amp.

mini+Roon > RAAT > dCS Rossini DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

system pics

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I was on the market for both of these phones, and had the chance to go to Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this past fall, so I tried both of them, along with a bunch of others.

 

The HD600's are excellent, and I preferred them over the 650s, however I did not end up with the HD600's. I tried at least 6 or 8 headphones, and in the price range, I felt the Hifiman HE-400i was the clear winner for overall tonal balance, comfort, weight, and long term listening.

 

I'm glad I had the chance to try so many, because I would not have ended up with them. I probably would have been happy with the HD600's had I not tried the others at the Fest, so I don't think you can go wrong with them at all. They were my second choice (other than blowing the budget for the HE-560's, which were even nicer).

 

At the Schiit booth, I was able to try those two Hifiman models plus the two Senn's and few others on the same amp, so A/B testing was relatively easy to do.

 

I ended up with a Lyr2 and the HE-400i driven by my Fiio X5.

 

Good luck with the decisions.

 

 

---Michael

Server ---> Rpi ---> Audiophilleo2 ---> Metrum Octave ---> Audio Horizons Pre ---> Pass Labs XA30.5 ---> Sonus Faber Liuto Towers

Computer ---> Audio Hardware ---> Air ---> Ears ---> Brain

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I was on the market for both of these phones, and had the chance to go to Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this past fall, so I tried both of them, along with a bunch of others.

 

I ended up with a Lyr2 and the HE-400i driven by my Fiio X5.

 

Good luck with the decisions.

As much as I like the HD600 and HD650 I would advice you that they will need an amp to sound great. There are others with lower impedance (normal impedance is about 30 Ohm, these Senns are 300 Ohm) that will sound better when you're not using an amp. This is an important consideration.

mini+Roon > RAAT > dCS Rossini DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

system pics

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That's true about the HP amp... but I think that is going to be the case with almost all headphones.

 

I tried the HD600's with my X5 direct (without the Lyr2) for a good bit (the guy I was staying with has a pair, so I listened to them in the evening while reading).

 

I found them to be quite good driven directly from the X5, but I don't know how that player compares to the X3 with respect to driving a difficult load.

 

 

---Michael

Server ---> Rpi ---> Audiophilleo2 ---> Metrum Octave ---> Audio Horizons Pre ---> Pass Labs XA30.5 ---> Sonus Faber Liuto Towers

Computer ---> Audio Hardware ---> Air ---> Ears ---> Brain

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I have both. I prefer the HD600, it sounds more open to me.

 

I also have both, and I'd say the same about preferring the lesser-priced HD600.

 

My amps are the Burson Soloist (solid state) and Woo Audio WA-7 (tubes; and manufactured in the county where I was born and raised...not that affects sound quality too much).

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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As much as I like the HD600 and HD650 I would advice you that they will need an amp to sound great. There are others with lower impedance (normal impedance is about 30 Ohm, these Senns are 300 Ohm) that will sound better when you're not using an amp. This is an important consideration.

 

Agreed. I would also say budget for cable upgrade. Dont lose sleep over these two but if you get a better cable, both make a significant jump in quality.

Less and less: Ikeda 9TS with Kuzma Stogi Ref and Vendetta Phono => Lamm L2 Ref & Lamm 2.2 => Tidal Piano Cera.

 

More and more: Mac Book Pro Retina (mid-2014) with 128GB SSD: with Audirvana 2.0) and all the while auditioning different DACs.

 

(something small and sometimes portable - she who must not be named demands it).

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Caveat: don't use the stock cable *unless* it's the one with a 1/4" phone plug. The standard cable "looks" like it's 1/4" but comes with a 1/8-to-1/4" adapter mounted, it can fool you, very disappointing.

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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Caveat: don't use the stock cable *unless* it's the one with a 1/4" phone plug. The standard cable "looks" like it's 1/4" but comes with a 1/8-to-1/4" adapter mounted, it can fool you, very disappointing.

 

I'm sorry but that's not true. There's only one stock cable for the HD 650 and it terminates in a 6.3mm plug with a flying lead adaptor down to 3.5mm.

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I'm sorry but that's not true. There's only one stock cable for the HD 650 and it terminates in a 6.3mm plug with a flying lead adaptor down to 3.5mm.

 

Thank you for the correction. It only makes sense; cheaper Senns like my HD280 probably still come as I described, 1/8" with 1/4" adapter. And their ad copy was misleading, showing a 1/4" termination. I purchased the inexpensive but solid Senn 1/4' cable later for my phones.

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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I've bought & tried out fancy aftermarket cables and I've ended up just using the stock cable. It's virtually bulletproof, flexible & non-microphonic. Sound-wise I can barely hear any differences at all. The Sennheiser HD 650 is a very fine headphone indeed and only seems to get better with better amplification. I'm currently road-testing a Project Ember hybrid valve amp and it's sounding better than ever. Certainly better than my previous gold standard, the O2.

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