Sennheiser HD 600 or 650 - Which would you pick and why, and how do you drive them?

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259 posts since 2 Sep, 2012

Post Sat May 15, 2021 12:27 pm

synchronizer wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 6:50 am
DMG68 wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 6:42 am
I have the 600 and have been using them for maybe 8 years or so. I’m very happy with them, I’ve used them for mixing a lot and the mixes translate really good for me. I have no complaints about the frequency response. I plug them in directly to my Allen & Heath Zed R16. It’s the same as anything else, you have to get accustomed to whatever you use for monitoring, no matter how neutral they may or may not be - I think there’s always a period of time to get familiar with the sound.
Is there any chance that the midtier MOTU will be able to drive them at an acceptable level? All the sales representatives claim I need an external amp.
I really don’t know. You might be able to check the manual for the zed r16 and get the headphone specs and then see how they compare to the MOTU.

266 posts since 25 Jan, 2010

Post Sun May 16, 2021 5:29 am

have HD 600 love them and mix with them thru a Fireface UCX

2206 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Sun May 16, 2021 6:04 am

Download a demo of SonicWorks ID for headphones... Both of these headphone variations are in the profiles and you can see the average frequency response based on multiple samples that they tested. I looked at both of these specific headphones not long ago and concluded that I'd probably go with the 650s but they are extremely close to each other based on their profiles.

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450 posts since 10 Jan, 2017

Post Mon May 17, 2021 4:09 am

HD650 plugged straight into my old Fireface 800 here. Never felt the need for a dedicated headphone amp... though the Fireface is a fairly hefty mains powered interface so maybe that helps.

I have no direct comparison with the HD600 though my lecturer from back in the day used them driven from an old Digidesign rack interface with no issues. I still trust his ears implicitly!


Topic Starter

910 posts since 27 Sep, 2010

Post Mon May 17, 2021 5:00 am

In other forum topics it looks like people thing the amp in my interface won’t be good enough. The Fireface is a lot more heavy duty than what I have, so I really don’t know.

5 posts since 11 May, 2021

Post Mon May 31, 2021 3:49 pm

FWIW I have the 6XX (should be the same as the 650) - I can run them straight out of my Macbook and they are ok, running out of my old OctaCapture (mains powered interface) and they're much nicer.

I really like my 6XXs - I have some old DJ headphones and in ear etymotics that I was using before this to do some rough mixing on when I couldn't use my actual monitors. The 6XX blow them away with instrument separation, making it much easier to mix

2350 posts since 26 Mar, 2002 from london

Post Fri Jul 16, 2021 1:16 am

I've never used 650s. I used to use AKG 240 and at one stage bought HD600s to check whether I was missing anything on the AKGs. My initial impression of the 600s was that the bass was a little over-stated, and I preferred the much cheaper AKGs. Years later I've started making music again and the AKGs have disintegrated, so I'm using the HD600s and finding them to be fine, but I am having to cross reference with other mixes a lot as my intuition is to dial the bass down.
Every day takes figuring out all over again how to f#ckin’ live.

84 posts since 24 May, 2017

Post Fri Jul 16, 2021 1:31 am

HD600, splendidly transparent, very happy with them. That said I have not tried the HD650 so I can't compare directly.
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4 posts since 30 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Jul 16, 2021 2:11 am

hd 650 here, they're supposed to be warmer/bassier than the hd600
I went full overkill and have an Eddie Current Zana Deux amp for them through which they sound pretty amazing
for most headphones I think dedicated amps are probably unnecessary but the hd 6xx range definitely sound better the more power you give them - there are lots of relatively inexpensive solid state headphone amp options that would work pretty well with them I think - I don't bother using them out of my MacBook because I know what I'm missing, I use much lower impedance nad hp50

155 posts since 31 May, 2017

Post Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:49 pm

keel wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 1:31 pm
HD600 has this terrible 3k boost, which makes them shouty and boxy. I have owned HD600 4 times, because I wanted to like them, but no.
Not saying you are wrong, but i don't hear that 3k myself and i would recommend everyone else to test if that is something they are sensitive of. That said, i'm running the Oratory1990 EQ curve for the HD600 and there is a fairly significant cut around 3100Hz so maybe you are onto something, yet even when i disable that cut, i don't mind the result at all. Nothing like that Beyerdynamics 7k+ assault which truly deserves the word 'terrible' :D

I think the shape of our ear canals affects resonance sensitivity a great deal, even the way we wear it on our head, if we use glasses etc. Many factors. The best thing is to actually try it and see if it sounds nice or not.

The 600 sounds natural to me (if it is neutral or not, i can't say) and i find they translate well. I also truly recommend EQ and Goodhertz Canopener (or a crossfeed alternative of similar quality) on the output, night and day difference. HD600 + CraveEQ (with Oratory1990 curve) + Canopener = best audio i can possible get for the money, i think.

I think the issue of HD600 vs HD650 matters less if you EQ, as they will have more or less the same frequency response.

86 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:14 pm

600 all the way ! the other one has a weird and useless bright EQ boost. If you want more treble, get the HD600 and add a clean 2db boost in the region you want.
There's a new version of the 600 too, I think the new one is bit more balanced. The best would be to compare them side by side. But apparently they're relatively the same.

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1319 posts since 4 Oct, 2012 from Utah

Post Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:23 pm

HD6XX(650) here, I drive them with a Schiit Audio Magni being fed by my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

75 posts since 13 Jul, 2021

Post Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:49 pm

Pick either. Not much difference.

2101 posts since 31 Dec, 2002 from London, UK

Post Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:58 pm

I love my HD650. Never compared to the HD600 though.

Anyone tried the new HD560S? It's getting surprisingly good reviews.
DMS (one of the biggest YouTube headphone reviewers) amongst others, are saying it's setting the new standard for headphones under $200. I'm certainly tempted to get one as an alternative to the HD650.


Topic Starter

910 posts since 27 Sep, 2010

Post Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:49 pm

For what it’s worth, I got the 600s paired with an amp. I like them! I just wish it were easier to adjust the length...

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