Sennheiser Headphone Advice

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Ryan Bedlack, Nov 23, 2021 at 4:52 PM.

  1. Ryan Bedlack

    Ryan Bedlack Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States
    Hey everyone,

    Looking for a great set of headphones to listen to vinyl with on my home system. I have a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3's, and am looking to upgrade to a new set for Christmas (Sennheiser in particular), and came across the following:
    • Sennheiser HD 600 - $399
    • Sennheiser HD 660S - $399
    • Sennheiser HD 650 - $499
    Can anyone tell me some differences between them and make some recommendations? I've heard many conflicting opinions and was wondering how different from each other they really are.
  2. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Troy, MI, USA
    I have no experience with the 660, but the main difference between the 600 and the 650 is the 650 has matched drivers.

    I have a pair of Massdrop HD6XX and they sound very similar to my friend's HD-650s. Not *exactly* the same, buy *very* close. They usually sell for around $180, so that might be another option to look in to (the HD6XX are made by Sennheiser for Drop)
  3. nomad709

    nomad709 Forum Resident

    Own all 3, HD660S by far are my favorite!

    Power them with a Bryston BHA 1 and I find the 660s to do everything right in my listening. Very dynamic, intimate soundstage, mids are full with body and detail. They sound lively and smooth, very fun to listen to!

    The HD600's are brighter cans in comparison, the highs sound bright and the mids/bass are a bit light lacking fullness. A more neutral flat sounding can. Struggles a bit with instrument separation within complex passages of music in my experience.

    The HD650's are more bass heavy and have a thick sound signature to them that may make them sound veiled and lacking liveliness.

    My preference

    1. 660s
    2. 600
    3. 650
  4. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    You are going to need a dedicated headphone amp to make any of those Senns shine. Have owned several pair of Senns over the years. Good luck in your search!
    Ryan Bedlack, The FRiNgE and gakerty like this.
  5. aunitedlemon

    aunitedlemon Music is medicine, dose often.

    I also have a pair of the Massdrop edition HD6XX. They're nice. Real comfy, enveloping sound. Only Senn's I've ever heard. Usually my go to pair when I reach for headphones. I like my Philips Fidelio X2HR a lot too, though, and they were only $100. Better bass in the Philips, better believability and clarity in the Senn's. Happy shopping!
    SBurke, paulmock and Ryan Bedlack like this.
  6. gakerty

    gakerty Forum Resident

    To add-- The 650s need a relatively powerful headphone amp to drive properly, as they are high impedance. Without breaking the bank, my Schiit Valhalla 2 drives my 650s vividly. None of that "HD650 veil" that folks complain about. I also have the 580s which seem easier to drive, but lack the range and detail of the 650s.
  7. Ryan Bedlack

    Ryan Bedlack Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States
    I was also thinking of pairing these with the Rega Ear Headphone Amp, you think that would be a good match?
  8. brucej4

    brucej4 Forum Resident

    San Mateo, CA, USA
    I have both the 600 and the 6xx. I kept the 6xx on my main system, driven by Schiit Asgard. The 600 are attached to my desktop computer via Magni 3 and Bifrost DAC.

    I really have never had "veiled" issues with any Sennheiser headphones over the last 20 years.
  9. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Northwest, USA
    HO-LY swack...I didn't know headphones cost that much nowadays. I need to get me one only for recording monitoring...
  10. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    i am no Sennheiser or even headphone expert but i also have a pair of the drop/sennheiser 6XX and really like the sound. not quite as much as my OPPO PM3's but close. i also am craving a new pair of Grado's and keep thinking about the new 325's they just released.
    SBurke likes this.
  11. George P

    George P Notable Member

    My Marantz SA-KI Ruby player has an adjustable gain on the headphone output that enables me to hear just how good my HD580s can sound.
  12. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Analog Recording to the Next Level

    Northwest, USA
    Don't they all sound the same?...:biglaugh:
  13. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Bay Area
    I'll second this. I had a pair of HD650s with the first-generation Valhalla and it sounded lovely. I added a Silver Dragon cable and it got even better.
  14. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Eagle, Idaho
    I've owned two of these Sennheisers and the Hifiman Sundara. I'd take the Sundara in a New York minute.
  15. Gabe Walters

    Gabe Walters Forum Resident

    Anybody have a recommendation for a balanced cable for Senn HD 600/650?
  16. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member

    Glen Ellyn, IL
    I've got 2 for you:

    I use their HD800s cable. Not the cheapest, definitely not the most expensive. Lord knows how many random senn cables I've tried since the 2000's and head-fi days. This was by far the best built, most user friendly senn cable i've used - no microphonics, flexible, great build quality, quality sound.

    The other recommendation is Blue Jeans Cable, believe it or not. I had them make me a cable for my focal elex, they use their LSA-1 cable and it works really well! Could not beat the price lol. You may have to supply them with the senn connectors though, and they might have issue or not agree to do it because those senn connectors are really small, but cannot hurt to ask!
    Gabe Walters likes this.
  17. Gie663

    Gie663 Forum Resident

    Flanders (Belgium)
    I own both a Grado SR80 and a Sennheiser HD650. They are both nice headphones, but when listening to classical music I prefer the Sennheiser.
    SBurke likes this.
  18. Wngnt90

    Wngnt90 Forum Resident

    Love my Sennheiser/Drop HD-6xx's. They sound awesome!
    SBurke likes this.
  19. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Having owned both the 600 and 650's, I ultimately enjoyed the 650's more but they're both good for the price.

    I've still yet to hear the 660, would like to.
    mackat likes this.
  20. Ryan Bedlack

    Ryan Bedlack Forum Resident Thread Starter

    United States
    What’d you like about the 650s?
  21. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    With the Rega amp I'd suggest the HD660s. The HD600 and HD650 want a bit more amp than what the Rega will deliver, though the Rega amp will get both the HD600 and HD650 more than loud enough. The 660s is lower impedance (150 ohms) and easier to drive for an amp like the Rega.

    With bigger more powerful amps I'd suggest the HD650 or HD600 or HD6xx over the HD660s. Choice depends more on the amp, but also depends on preference.
  22. Bungo

    Bungo Forum Resident

    Madison, WI
    I like the 600 better than the 650 because the former is more neutral whereas the latter has exaggerated mid-bass that make it sound a bit congested to my ears. IMO the 600, even though it has been around for more than 20 years, is still the best headphone I've heard at that price. (However, I have not heard the 660S.) I'll always keep mine even though I now own several much better and much more expensive headphones. Agree with others that you'll want an amp to get the best results.
    FJC1966 likes this.
  23. Limopard

    Limopard National Dex #143

    Leipzig, Germany
    660s is a bit easier to drive (150 vs 300 ohms), so most USB dongles will suffice, while the other two need decent desktop amps unless you are satisfied with moderate volume. The 660s differs noticably sonically from the other two, there is a dip between 2 and 5k, which makes the overall sound impression darker than 600/650. EQ can help a lot here.

    The imaging of the 660s is excellent, really pin-point accurate.

    600 and 650 are more alike than different, with 650 being slightly warmer than the more neutral 600. I like the 600 best, but use the 650 cable on it. This doesn't change it's sound but is more durable.
  24. GyroSE

    GyroSE Forum Resident

    Connect the Sennheiser HD600's to a high quality headphone amp and you're in for a treat. Around 1 year ago I got an used Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear, my HD600's do shine at their best when combined with this headphone amp. As someone wrote above the headphone amp is essential to get that really good headphone listening experience. I know there are better (and more expensive) headphones out there but I'm very happy with what I got. Great sounding combo. :righton:
  25. Paul_s

    Paul_s Forum Resident

    I ran the HD-600 with a Rega Ear Mk.1 many years ago - excellent combo.

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