52 posts / 0 new
Last post
quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650
English

As the title says, I have just discovered the HD650. I've heard it in shops a few times and thought is was just OK, but after trying it on a few different DAC/head amps I am really blown away by them! I know I'm really late to this party and there are a bunch of fans out there thinking I'm crazy for not trying it sooner. I think I avoided it for so long because I thought it was a very safe headphone, not that exciting perhaps. I've heard some people describe it as 'dull', but that's not what I'm getting at all.

I know Jason recently got the HD650 and he's loving them as well, He said that they were great for soundtracks and maybe that's what pushed me over the edge to get them, but wow am I so glad that I did. I am a bit of a soundtrack nut (about 250 CDs and counting - lots of good stuff on Spotify too) and Jason was right on the money with this recomendation, this is by far the best headphone that I've ever heard for soundtracks. The bass is very powerful and the soundstage is just ridiculously good, noticably better than the Beyerdynamic DT880 or AKG Q701! 

There is perhaps a little too much bass in this presentation somtimes, but they respond so well to different amps. My favourite so far is the Fostex HP-A3, because of it's soundstage and very tight bass, it's better on the Fostex than the usually amazing Audiolab M-DAC, but I haven't tested many other DAC / headphone amps yet. 

It seems like one of the most popular hifi headphones out there, perhaps because of it's relatively modest price (although it seems to be goign up all the time). I see that 58 people have reviewed it on Amazon and 49 of those are 5 stars, that's quite something.

One thing that I would say is that although I haven't had too much time with either headphone yet, the SoundMAGIC HP200 and the Sennheiser HD650 sound similarly interesting. Although the HD650's ability to kick ass with soundtracks is going to take the prize for me. 

I was wondering if there are many people interested in the HD650 at the moment? It's been out for a while now and although lots of good things have been said about it I wonder if some assume that it's been bettered by newer and cheaper things. Part of me had assumed that could be the case. Anyway, if you're interested in the HD650, what kind of music would you be most interested in listening to on them? The reason I ask is that I'm thinking about doing a big comparison between 4 of the big open back headphones in this price range soon - Beyerdynamic DT880, AKG Q701, Sennheiser HD650 and the SoundMAGIC HP200. Anyone interested in this?

dalethorn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 4 hours ago
Joined: 07/12/2011 - 21:10
Posts: 1226
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

Once again, whathifi dumped my reply text saying "Comment feld required". 

I got a 650 in 2003 when I was using the 580, 600, and Grado 325. My new 650 sounded as close to my 600 as two samples of the 600 sound compared to each other, yet I read now that the 650 is very different, and I've never read an account of the transition. In any case, the 650 probably has the most impressive reputation in all of headphone'dom.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

clinton333's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 4 days ago
Joined: 25/03/2011 - 21:48
Posts: 103
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

I received mine yesterday... after much deliberation and i am very impressed already...

I know little about headphones but do have a pair of RS180's for rare moments when I cannot use my whole system. I purchased these HD650's as it looks as though these rare occasions could become more frequent;so I decided to stick with the same brand.

I am currently giving them a good running in via my AV888, Oppo 105, ipad and soundblaster extreme pc card... they sound great with all of them, even now, especially the headphone amp in the Oppo.

Also I was a little worried that because the design is a few years old they may look dated but again I am totally impressed with the finish and the comfortability. They feel like I could wear them for a long period which is what I was after as I will use them for AV and hifi...

:cheers:

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

dalethorn wrote:

Once again, whathifi dumped my reply text saying "Comment feld required". 

I got a 650 in 2003 when I was using the 580, 600, and Grado 325. My new 650 sounded as close to my 600 as two samples of the 600 sound compared to each other, yet I read now that the 650 is very different, and I've never read an account of the transition. In any case, the 650 probably has the most impressive reputation in all of headphone'dom.

Sorry to hear about the text dumping again :(. You seem to get that a lot! Out of curiosity which browser do you use?

I saw two articles recently about how people think the HD800 presentation has changed a lot recently. The one I tried was quite noticably light in the bass. People were essentially saying they'd bought a version recently which had quite a bit of body in the bass, which wasn't in earlier versions. I wonder if Senneheiser has done something to the sound profile of these two headphones to address a general leaning in people's preference. You and I seem to prefer a bit of a darker sound it seems to me and I don't think we are alone.

clinton333 wrote:

I received mine yesterday... after much deliberation and i am very impressed already...

I know little about headphones but do have a pair of RS180's for rare moments when I cannot use my whole system. I purchased these HD650's as it looks as though these rare occasions could become more frequent;so I decided to stick with the same brand.

I am currently giving them a good running in via my AV888, Oppo 105, ipad and soundblaster extreme pc card... they sound great with all of them, even now, especially the headphone amp in the Oppo.

Also I was a little worried that because the design is a few years old they may look dated but again I am totally impressed with the finish and the comfortability. They feel like I could wear them for a long period which is what I was after as I will use them for AV and hifi...

:cheers:

Congrats on the HD650 clinton333! Ha, that's funny, I have the Oppo BDP-105EU here at the moment. I am writing a review for the headphone amp section, but I am blown away by the machine as a whole! I can confirm that the headphone amp section is extremely close to that of the Audiolab M-DAC, which means you're only paying £400 more for an extremely high end Bluray player that really does everything. I can't believe it has four ES9018 DAC chips in it!! I love the Netflix button too Smile

Apparently it's ideally matched to headphones at 300 Ohms so the HD650 is a perfect match for it. Although I prefer what the Fostex does to the sound it's still a pretty kick ass combination!

sogophonio11's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/06/2011 - 16:10
Posts: 220
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

Use the HD650,s for monitoring purposes at work. Simply brilliant headphones8)

Upgrade the cable,then they really do start to sing!

Cheers.

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

sogophonio11 wrote:

Use the HD650,s for monitoring purposes at work. Simply brilliant headphones8)

Upgrade the cable,then they really do start to sing!

Cheers.

Nice! I think there is a guy in our office that uses the HD600 for monitoring too, well he is a sound guy, I assume that's what he uses them for. Anyway, which cable do you use with yours btw? I've heard the silver ones can lean out the bass a bit, if so I want one as it's a teeny bit too much for me at times and even the Fostex amp can't keep it completely under control. 
sogophonio11's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/06/2011 - 16:10
Posts: 220
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

Use Russ andrews cable. Bit pricey(Ouch) But you get what you pay for:star:

Cheers.

sogophonio11's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/06/2011 - 16:10
Posts: 220
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

Why is it that smileys(Emocions) Work sometimes and not others?|(

sogophonio11's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/06/2011 - 16:10
Posts: 220
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

See what i mean :exmark:

Jason36's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 23/07/2008 - 10:40
Posts: 1001
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650


[/quote]Anyway, which cable do you use with yours btw? I've heard the silver ones can lean out the bass a bit, if so I want one as it's a teeny bit too much for me at times and even the Fostex amp can't keep it completely under control. 

[/quote]

I can highly recommend the Toxic Cables products....I have just bought a Silver Viper cable (silver coated copper) for my HD650 but I have read a number of extremely positive reviews on the Silver Poison cable (silver and gold) and in fact I have this cable for my Heir 4.ai, amazing detail and soundstage.

Have a look on Head Fi mate there are loads of recommendations for aftermarket cables for the HD650.

 

Glad you are enjoying the HD650 and that my recommendation was on the ball as far as soundtracks go. I can also highly recommend them for female vocals....especially Jazz type vocals and also acoustic stuff. Bang for buck they have to be one of best....if not the best headphone in my opinion. Can't wait to hear your opinions of them connected to the Modi / Magni combo

Helmut80's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 08/01/2011 - 12:25
Posts: 490
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

Hi quadpatch!

I'm currently in the market for a amp/DAC + cans combo for roughly £500, so I would be very very interested in a comparison with the Q701s ( are the others you mentioned same price range?). I know you got the AKGs very cheap iirc, but they seem to be up to around 250 again ATM. 

 

Slightly OT, but here it goes...

I know the Denon D7000 are more tht twice the price of the Sennheisers ( almost four times if you consider that the HD650 can be had for a little over 250) but I would be interested in a brief comparison of sonic signatures nonetheless.  You say the Senns have more bass than the AKGs. Does that mean they sit somewhere in between the AKGs and the D7000?

i randomly stumbled across your review of the Denons, gave them a listen and loved them. But I am new to headphones (Bose and Beats for the daily commute, which seem incredibly dark after having heard the AKGs).  so wanna try something cheaper first before I get arrived away. Also, because I have the beats, I don't necessarily need the perfect allrounder. I can always use them for serious bass. 

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

Hi Helmut80,

If £500 is your total budget I guess you are happy to go 50/50 between the DAC/amp and headphones. That will open up your options quite a lot. As for your queries about bass strength here is how I would rate a few you might be interested in, in order, least bass heavy first:

AKG Q701

Beyerdynamic DT880

SoundMAGIC HP200

Sennheiser HD650

Denon AH-D7000

 

The AKG and Denon are quite far on the extremes and can't be compensated for much with amplification, whereas the middle 3 have much more potential to push either way. The AKG is a bit too lean for me these days, as good as it is.

Do you have any idea which DAC/amps you might like?

Oh and btw from the price you suggest for the Denon I think you are looking at the current model (AH-D7100), which is £1000. The AH-D7000 has been discontinued but can be found from £500 second hand. 

Helmut80's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 08/01/2011 - 12:25
Posts: 490
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

I've been looking through your wonderful list that you have compiled, but tbh, because I am new to this, I don't really know where to start.  I should probably narrow it down to 2-3 headphones, and further unless they are similar in how easy a load they are, then think suitable amp.  Suede is my Mac mini.  Was hoping for 24/192 async, but would probably settle for 24/96. Would an rPac be capable of driving the sennheisers? The Schiit stuff looks tasty, so does the Teac UD-H01 (250 currently and it was down to 150 at some shops a while ago, grrrr).  Would also be happy to buy secondhand.  I've asked around elsewhere and got the impression that 250 for amp/DAC combo is on the budget end of things, especially if you say the 650s respond positively to better amplification.  I just like the idea of a single box (although the Schiit boxes look neat). 

 

Reslly appreciate your input quad. I'd ad a smiley, but I'd just lose my entire post, for s,e reason the ipad struggles with this forum Sad

Helmut80's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 08/01/2011 - 12:25
Posts: 490
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

So...

 

done a bit of YouTube research. The Beyerdynamics are going on my list, maybe also the Denon AH-D600. Same price as the sennheisers on amazon. Saw an interesting comparison of the denon d600 with the sennheiser hd600 and learned a bit about the differences been open and closed.  Have the feeling hat closed is NOT what im after, but would be interested to try them all out now.  Maybe bluewater. 

 

Something else important is comfort.  I wear glasses and àm yet to try cans that are still comfortable after 30 minutes.  

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

Your thoughts are making me think of a million things to say, but I can't type that much and keep my sanity, so I will try to boil it down to a few simple statements, but please feel free to ask as many questions as you'd like.

A few things to note about the Denon's... I haven't tested any of the new range yet (D600, D7100 etc.), but I have lots of very positive experiences with the older ones (D2000, D5000, D7000), if you can find any of those for a good price they should be in the running because they have really great soundstage, comfort and bass while still being very nice in the mids. Now the bass is strong, so I would only advise dropping them from your thoughts if you'd like something less bass heavy. They are all listed as closed, but really they should be called semi-open as far as isolation is concerned - the soundstage is really that good!

The rPAC will drive the HD650 (300 Ohms) absolutely fine, unless you're on a path to destroy your hearing. The rPAC struggles with the 600 Ohm Beyer DT880, but even then only just. I love the rPAC, great with almost everything (nice and smooth in the slightly plump bass), but that didn't make the best synergy to the HD650, the bass of which I personally would like to lean down a bit (considering a re-cable for that too).

All of 5 headphones that I mentioned above are among the most comfortable ones around because they're all large circumaural sized cups that don't touch your ears. Perhaps the least so is the SoundMAGIC because the driver isn't quite deep enough not to press against ears that stick out a bit (like me). Open back headphones with soft felt / velour lilke ear pads are the best for glasses wearers (like me). Leather / pleather like pads tend to try and make a seal and thus squash against the frames of the glasses. Saying that the SoundMAGIC ones are very soft and friendly and the Denon ones seem equally friendly. Here is where I would put them in comfort order:

AKG Q701

SoundMAGIC HP200

Beyerdynamic DT880

Denon AH-D2/5/7000

Sennheiser HD650

The AKG is last because of it's ridiculously shaped headband cushioning, the ear pads are fine, but they also cause squeeking for glasses wearers :(. Like I say before the SoundMAGIC is second to last because the drivers don't quite clear my ears, but they are still fantastically comfy and generally well designed. The old Denon models are amazingly comfy for leather pads, just like the £1500 Fostex TH900 (same design), I nearly put them first but the Sennheiser HD650 (or HD600 or HD598) are just that bit better by being fluffy and the open back combined with that means they don't get hot in the summer too!

OK one more thing for now... The best and cheapest async DAC I've tried for around £250 is the Yulong D100 mkII. I think you can pick it up for around £300. It only does 24/96 over async USB but it does do 24/192 via optical and coax. I really need to review this one at some point as it's one of the DAC / amps I've had the longest, but I keep getting distracted. Like the rPAC it's a really friendly sound to many headphones, it's not quite as smooth as the rPAC, but it does warrant the extra cash, just for it's sound quality.

Helmut80's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 08/01/2011 - 12:25
Posts: 490
RE: Just Discovered - Sennheiser HD650

Thank you for such a detailed reply, extremely helpful  Smile

 

Another set of closed phones I've come across today are the Sennehiser Momentums. Might check them out if I get the chance. Did you addition all of yours before purchase or were any bought on a whim?

I'm afraid I have another specific question. How do the 'really good' portable amp/DACs compare to the budget desktop ones (ie <£300). I am specificaly thinking of the Dragonfly, and the brandnew Meridian explorer. So sexy! (on the frontpage of computeraudiophile, and also reviewed by Hifi+ and ToneAudio). 

 

 

Pages

Log in or register to post comments