Sennheiser HD 660 S

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by John Storey, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    SF Bay Area, USA
    Phones are a pretty personal thing, some users are saying the 660 is just right, with actually less grain and more organic sounding than the 6xx. But I'm a pretty big fan of the 600 and 650 and don't have much interest in the 660, and honestly don't use phones that much of the time anyway so it would have to be a pretty significant upgrade for me to make a move like that :)
  2. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    650s is this a new model ;)

    Full link: Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Open Headphones

    I completely agree with Tyll's review of the HD700 as well. One of the worst Sennheiser headphones I've heard.
  3. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    South Central PA
    650(s) or 650's if you prefer.
  4. Tyll's review of the HD660S is a bit negative when comparing the 660S to the 600 and 650. But on it's own, he still says he'll recommend the HD660S. A followup to the HD600/HD650 is a hard act to follow.

    I'd consider the HD660S if I wanted to use it with my PonoPlayer. The 150 ohm impedance will be easier for the PonoPlayer and similar portables to drive. But I'm not using the Senns with my PonoPlayer, so there is no need.

    Massdrop just announced a Massdrop X Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee. First drop is Friday the 22nd. $150. And uses the 150 ohm drivers. Tempting if I was planning to use the headphones with my Pono. But I'm not planning on that. So I'll let this one pass. I already have an HD650, HD6XX and an HD600 and an HD580. And I have big amps that can drive them and allow the Senns to scale up. I don't need the 150 ohm variants.
  5. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    I have listened to these on three different amps, they are very nice for their price point. If your new to headphones, just go here for Christmas.
  6. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    Doesn't sound like good advice to me, especially for a newbie. Spending $100+ LESS on a sonically superior HD600 sounds like better advice. Best advice for a newbie? HD598 for $130, these are often said to be almost as good as the 600's, high praise for any headphones!;)
    Joe Spivey likes this.
  7. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Regardless of whats measured, I found them more enjoyable than the 600 or 650 on the same equipment.
    JCM likes this.
  8. Darwin1984

    Darwin1984 Active Member

    Carlsbad, Ca.
    See what he says about the 660s and Tylls review;
  9. beercanchicken

    beercanchicken Legendary Stickman


    It seems most of the popular Youtube reviewers REALLY like them, Tyll seems to be the outlier on this one. How long does it normally take for the price to drop on Sennheisers? 6 months? a year?
  10. It seems the reviewers who have experience with better headphone amps hear the HD650 and HD600 as being better and understand how the HD660S is lacking. While reviewers who lack experience listening to better amps prefer the HD660S and don't understand why the HD650 and HD600 are better.
    Opeth and kBear like this.
  11. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    South Central PA
    Let's remember, Tyll from InnerFidelity not only listens to the headphones but also does elaborate testing as well. Not all these fly by night reviewers do that.

    As always, you should listen first and decide for yourself.
  12. William K

    William K Forum Resident

    NW Indiana
    Nice Avatar Ham :) I too have the 580's with a Little Dot MKIII amp. I was thinking about getting the 6xx's in the Massdrop deal. In your opinion do you think that would be an upgrade or should I just use the 580's and be happy?
  13. The HD6xx is going to be more similar than different from your HD580. The $199.99 for the HD6xx is also a really good deal. Very tempting.

    It would come down to whether spending $200 on an additional headphone that is similar and only slightly better than what you have is worth it to you. If that purchase keeps you from buying a new DAC or saving for a new amp or a headphone that is more different or more music then not really worth it. But if you like headphones and like to explore and have the budget to do it then it's worth it. I've got a HD580, HD600, HD650, and HD6xx. They're all worth it to me. Even though they're all much the same.
    William K likes this.
  14. honzator

    honzator Forum Resident

    Well, I actually bought them new two days before and I'm instantly hooked to their sound. Absolutely love them. They have only about 10 hours counted in foobar but man these are pretty fantastic. I'm using them with Schiit Jotunheim with delta-sigma balanced dac module & with balanced out. (The multibit module is out for “Jot” if anybody is interested also planning/saving for Yggdrasil multibit DAC) Yeah I know it is a bit pricey but many consider it as their endgame so why bother with something else? But back to the sound of 660S model. VERY dynamic and way better in this regard than my beloved HD650 which I bough only 5 monts ago (yeah a HD650 fanboy here right after hearing them soooooooooooo smooth and musical). 660S is much more detailed with airy sound and no fatigue in any region or any hole in the sound + keeping all the qualities of the 600 and 650s. Bass is more defined and so to speak not melted together with mids like on 650s. Excellent separation along with better and faster transients. I have no idea what are those complains about grain?! These cans are silky smooth with very nice extended highs (I'm sensitive to ringing highs hence the 650's love :)) The balace and neutrality in sound is absolutely spot on with no peaks. IMHO Both 650 and 660S complement each other perfectly. I literally can't waith hearing both with Yggy dac. One bad review shouldn't discourage you from at least give them a fair try. Most of the users who actually tried them praise them a lot. As opossite I've read those who have heard way more pricey cans 2x or 3 times more saying those can even rival with these! I don't regret a single cent invested in both! Enjoy your music. ;) btw I think the big mistake on Sennheiser side is advertising them as successor not a new addition for 6xx series. All 3 6xx cans deliver different sound and NONE of them should be discontinued anytime soon. Also don't believe nonsese about driving them directly from a phone. (maybe LGV20 or V30 are capable) but not nearly as good and dynamic/revealing as dedicated desktom dac+amp.
    JCM, JNTEX and William K like this.
  15. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    It really seems as though it's hard to go wrong with any of the Senn 6xx series (600 lover here). They punch way above their weight class. And they're so damn comfortable (never had a problem with clamp).
  16. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    I hope that somebody gets a group buy going for these. I'm in if they do.
  17. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    I already have the HD 600 and the HD 650. I wonder if I'll get a prize if I complete the collection with the 660s.

    @Ham Sandwich, I watched the review of Tyll at innerfidelity but I confess I'm not sure he is right this time. He had several reviews that left me baffled (e.g. the one on the ATH-M50) and I wonder if the 660s review is one of them.
  18. What was weird about Tyll's M50 review? Both for his comments about the M50 and the M50x versions.

    You also have to keep in mind what Tyll is comparing headphones against and with what sorts of gear. Headphones can reveal different characteristics and levels of performance depending on the amp used. High-end amps can give you a different impression of a headphone than lower end amps. For example, a high-end amp can reveal that a headphone may be lacking in micro-detail while a lower end amp can hide that deficiency.
    Claude Benshaul likes this.
  19. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    I never read his review on the M50. I was referring to the review on the M50x (which I also own) and I disagreed with almost everything:
    • He found them to be comfortable - I didn't. What is very obvious with their design are the drivers that protrude too much into the ear cup cavity.
    • He found them to have a mildly warm and fairly balanced sound with a slightly withdrawn mid-range. I think that this is a strong contender for the newspeak of the year prize. My own impression is that these headphones have a very accented bass, almost non existent mid and if you push them a bit harder to reveal the mid you will hit the stage where the treble becomes seriously weird.
    • Isolation. Well here I must concede that Tyll's opinion is as valid as mine. He called them circumaural headphones while I would define them as over the ears. He must have smaller ears and they could fit around and provide isolation. However I'm no elephant and while my ears are not small they are still within the normal average and these headphone can't fit around my ears. So they might provide some isolation - as long as your ears fit inside.
    • Value for price: He thinks they are a good value for their price and I disagree. Value for Money is not fixed and depends on time and location. here in 2018 Israel they are overpriced and provide no value for money, except for the halo effect since they do enjoy a cultish status.
    I can't comment on the amplification influence. I tried them with an Apogee Groove, a TEAC AI-501DA and a Violectric HPA V281. IMHO the ATH-M50x sounded equally awful on all 3, but in this case I can't ignore that I may not have been impartial and patient.
  20. The fit issues are personal. Many people have ears that fit comfortably in headphones like the M50, Sony 7506/V6, Beyer 250, and similar headphones. For those people the M50 is going to be plenty comfortable. If you're ears don't fit in the M50 (or the others) then the headphones are going to be uncomfortable and the headphones will not isolate well. But if your ears fit the headphones will be comfortable and isolate as well as Tyll says in his review. The M50 fit my ears. I find them comfortable and they isolate as well or better than many other closed headphones.

    If you have large ears then your headphone selections are going to be much more selective. You'll have to pay much more attention to the size and depth of the ear cups and ear pads. Some headphone reviews mention that. Most don't. If you have large ears then it's going to be difficult to find headphones and reviews that fit larger ears.

    The M50 have a somewhat boosted bass that is more suitable for electronic and modern rock. It's not a headphone I would choose for classical music listening where you want a more balanced bass. The M50 are predominantly recommended for electronic and modern rock. Not much recommendation for classic rock and jazz and classical. But a headphone like the Sennheiser HD600 or HD650 may be great for classical but so great for people who want bass bump and thump with electronic and modern classical. The M50 and M50x are for people who want that bass and thump for under $200 with a headphone that can be driven with a basic amp.

    I don't own the M50 or M50x and won't. They're not for me. I want more balance. I listen to too much classical. But for people who listen only to electronic and modern rock they are something I would recommend. As long as they don't have large ears.

    Such as it is with headphone recommendations. Fit depends on the size of your head and ears. Sound preference depends on whether you listen to classical or just electronic and modern rock. Similar problems with speakers. Speaker preference depends on the size of the room and music preference.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
    Claude Benshaul likes this.
  21. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    @Ham Sandwich It's a good thing we are all different because discussions would be very boring otherwise.

    BTW, I didn't say that Tyll's M50x review was weird, just that it left me baffled. Usually I agree with him and that's why, at least for me, this review was an outlier. I still think it may be a similar case with the 660s.
  22. JCM

    JCM Forum Resident

    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm in the market for new headphones. And it's a three way tie between these bad boys. I'm quite literally being pulled in three directions.

    Hoping someone that has heard the HD 660 S can help me settle on one. For many, many years now I have used a pair of Sony MDR-V6's and Sony MDR-7506's as my daily drivers. I always felt they were fairly accurate and neutral for their price point. I'm looking for something similar in an open back pair and the Sennheiser 6xx series seems to be where that party is being held. Not too long ago I had some Yamaha HS7 Studio Monitors that I was using to play music and I loved the sound. I liked hearing an accurate representation of what is actually on the recording without any funny business. Some people might consider that to be a boring listening experience but I prefer accuracy over "fun" when it comes to listening.

    I'll obviously need an amp to drive these and I have my eye on JDS Labs' The Element. I like the looks of it, aesthetically, and everything I've read about the sound uses words like 'neutral' and 'uncolored'. It also has a lot of juice to power any of these 3 headphones. It's a Class AB amp based on an opamp design, from my understanding. I'm like 99% sure that'll be my amp of choice.

    That said, I'm still torn on which headphone I want.

    HD 600 — These are obviously a classic for many reasons. They have been on the market for 21 years, which for me is half a lifetime ago. They are considered accurate, 'flat' and 'neutral' which checks those boxes for me.

    HD 650 — Being the follow up to the HD 600, these are supposed to have a darker sound from what I read. A little more low end than the 600's too.

    HD 660 S — Different driver than the above two and a different sound signature from both. Everything I've read makes it sound like they took the best bits of both the HD 600 and HD 650 and fused it into the HD 660 S.

    I'm slightly leaning towards the HD 600 because of the sound signature but I like the looks of the HD 660 S and would like to have a newer headphone; although ultimately it does not matter at the end of the day. I would love to get an unbiased opinion of someone that has plunked their own money down for the HD 660 S on whether or not it lives up to the high standard and legacy of its predecessors. I respect Tyll from Inner Fidelity but I also respect the opinion of the average consumer that spends their hard earned money on something.

  23. JCM

    JCM Forum Resident

    Columbus, Ohio
    Did I kill yet another thread?
  24. honzator

    honzator Forum Resident

    I will not say anything surprising but again HD 600 and 650 are suppose to be a bit more smooth laid back and analog like while HD660s is more up front but still incredibly smooth and better in trasitions, detail retrieval and separating bass from mids (sometimes a little problem with 650). All the points are better explainend in my post above. I own both HD650 (first buy) and then HD660S, never heard HD600 but IMO both (or even all 3?!) are worth owning on their own. I would change that amp for something like Schiit Jotunheim which seems to be highly regarded and clearly surpasses a lot of amps and cost only a fraction of their price. I'm using one in balanced mode (in which all of these bad boys shine) with delta-sigma module (you can upgrade to multibit one if you like) or later buy something “better” like Bifrost or Yggdrasil. It also seems to be way more powerful than the one posted above. Both HD650 and 600 are hard to drive and 660S is no exeption while it is only a bit more efficient. More headroom is always a good thing. Anyway you must try them with your own ears and then decide....
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  25. JCM

    JCM Forum Resident

    Columbus, Ohio
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I ultimately decided to get a pair of HD 6XX's off of eBay. I've never really had a pair of "Hi-Fi" headphones before so I figured it was a safe place to start. I'm driving them with the JDS Labs Element Amp/DAC combo.

    I still have my eye on the HD 660 S though. Especially after living with the HD 6XX's for close to a week. I wish there was just a smidge more treble and that they were a little less laid back. But they are indeed very pleasing to listen to for hours on end.

    If the price comes down on the 660 S, they may be coming home with me.

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