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Sennheiser HD650 - The classic beauty in a grey dress Appreciation thread!

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Ryanr1987, 15 Dec 2015.

  1. Ayahuasca

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Apr 2014

    Posts: 23,441

    Location: Huem

    Well I got the 700's when Sennheiser did that outlet deal so they cost nowhere near 3-10 times as much. Cost me around the same as some HD650's would brand new.

    I would never have bought them full price.
     
  2. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey

    Nice! 4003 is my 2nd fav tube in that family!

    If you ever come across one, the CV491 is probably the best tube I've ever heard!
     
  3. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey


    Yup headphones are priced stupid and most of them are not even better than the HD600/650
     
  4. swampy

    Gangster

    Joined: 25 Dec 2002

    Posts: 289

    Location: Uxbridge

    :) I have one a mullard cv491 blackburn 1950's dark plates and It broke few months ago!
    I payed £80 odd for it ! but that seems a cheap now

    The cv4003 comes close than the other mullards , the cv4003 I have now is brand new from 60's I think and I have another going bad cv4003 with different writing print that sounds better than my good one! Its weird but the normal mullard 12au7 all sound the same to me

    great amp when modded this is and with my hd600 and computer sound card zxr creative I'm very happy just would like a little more slam bass now as I've got so used to it...but when my friends listen its way to much bass! lovely sound I've had the hd650 and hd800 and like my old hd600 the most :)
     
  5. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey

    That sucks :( I prefer the sound of the 1950's Mullards. The 1970's and up all pretty much sound the same to me. 4003 is such good value but I've recently seen them going up in price lately.
     
  6. darreny

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 May 2004

    Posts: 2,845

    The same could be said of anything tho and there are many things to consider with the price of headphones and #1 is retail markup as this is always percentage based so if a headphone costs £90 to make and retails for £180 and another costs £100 to make and retails for £200 you are effectively putting £10 extra in the retailers pocket for doing the exact same job.

    you are also saying that hearing doesn't get any better than you have as previously i stated i couldn't hear that much of a difference between the hd598 and the k712 but you said to you the difference is night and day. so who's to say to someone else the difference between the hd650 and hd800 isn't night and day for the better.

    and sonny just doesn't like the fact someone may have something better than him ;)
     
  7. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey

    Not really. The HD650 is in a position that is ahead of the rest until the price bits about 1-2k that is actually pretty rare for a product these days!

    I don't mean this is a rude of condescending manner at all but if you don't hear a difference between the 598 and K712 maybe you have not trained your ears to tell the difference between gig resolution, distortion, linearity and all that Mumbai that comes with high end gear? Maybe it's your equipment? Low conscentraition? There's some people on headfi that couldn't tell the difference between the Annie and K712 and I thought man, how can you not hear this! But some people are just not sensitive to difference until they gain experience.

    If anyone says the HD800 is night and day in terms of quality I would personally question their ears and experience as when you enter that sort of level upgrades are minor and sound signature is the main difference.

    What you have to realise is people also exaggerate, they hear something like the 650 which is warm, smooth no forced bumps then hear a K701 which has massive bumps, dry response and think wow look at all this clarity, soooo much cleaner when in reality they are hearing false detail from the exaggerations in the uppers.

    I dunno man I'm not saying my word is good, to be honest I find it hard to trust people when it comes to audio, I will say I'll always be honest! Honesty got me banned from headfi a few years ago..

    I sometimes hate reviewing things and I'm prob not going to anymorewheb I finish my guide as people always read hype and exaggeration and when I'm honest about something people complain why I'm not being nice to the product when it's got glowing reviews...This hobby is full of hype and the amount of sites that get money form positive reviews is unreal. People always feed of good reviews and it clouds judgment.
     
    Last edited: 29 Dec 2015
  8. mrk

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 87,960

    Location: South Coast

    Well I can say for sure the K7XX excels in some areas the HD650 does not and vice versa! Bass extension and detail is better on the K7XX post bass port mod, removing the foam donuts on the XX unlocks further imaging and thus detail but on most amps this will introduce a brighter sound than standard - But as I'm on a NAD amp, this is a non issue.

    The HD650s have a lusher sound though, more centralised and instruments, while not as wide, are more precise and natural sounding.

    Swapping between the two on the same track it's obvious both cater to 2 different preferences. The 650 for music wins hands down, it's easy to hear why they remained kings for over 10 years running.

    For games and other multimedia the AKG for sure. But the XX is also great for music if it's the only phones to hand :p

    I'm not going to do any of the HD650 mods.
     
  9. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey

    With AKG's I get that sense of false detail like I do with most Audio Technicas. With the HD650 I get better micro detail which just sounds like distortion on the AKG line. The AKG has more treble detail for sure as its boosted in those area but I don't think it's detail that you really want to hear although if you preferences lean that way, you will love it! I prefer a more smooth top end that rolls off.

    The 650 also scales so things like the Teton and Eddie Current amps or the Bottle Head Crack, Project Ember will bring them to that next level.

    I hear my detail on my AD700X when playing games and the K7XX and 712 as they have those peaks that work for creating virtual space in games. I personally just wished the 650 had more sub bass!
     
  10. darreny

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 May 2004

    Posts: 2,845

    I didn't mean to sound rude. I probably don't have the best hearing as I've worked with woodworking machines all my life.
     
  11. mrk

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 87,960

    Location: South Coast

    I think the sub bass on the 650 is about right. On some songs I wondered if bass was too weak, but then another would play that had superb bass, so clearly how bass is used by the musician is key, and how it was mastered I think.

    I'll explore headphone amps to truly get more out of the i in time I think. The NAD is good, but I get the feeling a headphone amp that gets better results will cost more than the amp?
     
  12. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey

    I just find it to roll off compare to my SE535 and old LCD-2s but I don't find it bad also. Me being greedy probably! If you don't mind a bit of DIY the Bottlehead Crack with speedball makes the 650 breathe fire! I regret selling it but it wasn't universal enough due to the high impedance so it would be HD650 which isn't bad but I want my Audeze's when consistency is better.

    The Bottlehead with 650 is the best pairing I've heard without paying loads for an Eddie Current Amp. It's about £300 or a bit less for the kit I think. If you can't be arsed with DIY the Valhalla 2 by Schiit at £290 is also a beast and it should also play nice with your K7XX.
     
  13. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey

    You didn't dude. I was worried about me coming across rude! Internet talk is difficult Haha
     
  14. Freddie1980

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Sep 2009

    Posts: 7,497

    Location: Billericay, UK

    Is it worth getting HD650's for a PC? I already have HD515's which are very solid but I couldn't help notice how big this thread was getting. And if I did get these for the PC would I need a dedicated AMP/DAC to drive them?
     
  15. mrk

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 87,960

    Location: South Coast

    I use them on PC via a hybrid DAC/Amp. I have never heard the 515 though but do thoroughly enjoy the sounds coming out of PC content whether it's games or music.
     
  16. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey

    Depends on your sound card. My laptop sounds like crap makes the 650's sound hollow with no definition. Higher end computers will prob sound better but I'm not really knowledgable when it comes to PC audio.

    They are better than the 515 but are harder to drive. A basic Dragonfly Dac/amp will be an improvement or a Schiit stack for £200 will get you better sound.
     
  17. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 76,219

    One thing I've come to realise - a lot of integrated audio on motherboards and laptops, etc. even when they use a nice sound processor then follow it up with some ropey op amp in the differential to single/DAC output buffer :( and then no matter how nice your equipment is after that you still have that in the chain limiting quality.

    Which is often why an external DAC can make such a huge difference even when sometimes they aren't actually using a higher specced DAC, etc. (and being further removed from the other PC noise doesn't hurt).
     
  18. titaniumx3

    Soldato

    Joined: 11 May 2006

    Posts: 5,754

    Best to get a decent external dac/amp for the HD650. Out of most onboard sound outputs they'll sound too quiet and lifeless.

    Your other option is to get a soundcard that has a dedicated headphone amp built in. My 650 sounds very good straight out of an Asus Essence ST which has one. The Essence was one of the first, but there's quite a few soundcards that have this feature now, though I've not seen many reviews about how well they drive high impedance headphones like the HD650. The Essence is well known to drive the HD650 adequately, but is a little pricey. Might be worth seeing if you can get one second hand.

    Lastly, I use my 650 for everything including music, movies and games and have no issues. The sound signature of the HD650 is very 'upfront' and 'intimate' which is why people say they aren't the best for games and movies that benefit from an expansive sound stage. This is somewhat true, but not the end of the world unless you absolutely need pin point positional audio.
     
  19. mrk

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 87,960

    Location: South Coast

    My PC has no sound card any more! Since going DAC, sold the Essence STX and never looked back!
     
  20. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,169

    Location: Pompey

    I spent the last few hours comparing the Nighthawkand HD650 again, it seems these get brought up a lot in convos and comments make me revisit. I've also been taking notes of comparison to finish my headphone guide. There's areas where the Nighthhawk was superior like its treble detail, air and extension, articulation of the Bass and it's extension also went to the Hawks. The if thing for me was how the HD650 presents the music. It just sounds like how I expect the recording to sound without as little interference as possible. The Nighthawk wins in two big areas but when it comes to the smoothness of the frequency response it's mid range Magic and the cohesiveness the 650 just is on another level.

    That's the thing about the 650 you go away from it, try something that has exaggerations in the response like bass and treble and then return and it sounds just so correct. It's clear that Audeze wanted to try replicate that sound but with more extension and they came so close but couldn't keep things consistent.

    Everything else seems to put you just outside the music, the 650 put you in it!