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

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

  1. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 5, 2014

    Posts: 1,745

    Location: London

    These are hands down the most popular headphone in the world, that isn't beats anyway.


    It deserves it's own thread for anyone interested in this headphone, all information can be found in one place :) I've bought and sold this headphone so many timers. I've always sold it knowing it would return back into my collection.

    Review

    There's a review in my guide but I'm starting to see the benefits of reviewing a headphone after really long use.

    I've said it many times, this is a special headphone. It was made in 2003 and is still a flagship level headphone. When I see people buying flagship headphones like the T1 and Hifiman HE-560 it really amazes me that the HD650 isn't considered as it's hands down a better headphone than those.

    The LCD-2F & 3F are equal or inferior to the HD650 depending on the luck of the draw. This is amazing when you consider how old it is! The older LCD-2's I think was better than the HD650 because it had equal mids but better bass extension with similar resolution.


    Sound

    A gift from god. If god could come down and sing in your ear, you'd be freaked out and amazed at the same time..I get that a lot with the HD650. I don't get it all the time, my moods change like every other human. This headphone provides me with a lot of joyful moments. This headphone is very cohesive! most headphones I can pick them out in sections but the HD650, just like the LCD-2PF presents the music as a whole. Looking at graphs, you would see a lack of low bass, I don't get that feeling as much as other headphones because I'm getting a headphone that puts everything together and presents the music as one.

    When a singer is has their guitar, and sings, you get this sense of intimacy, a voice sounds real, engaging. Nothing sounds like it's forced or false. When a string is flicked, you get this realistic decay that again, I could only name a handful of headphones replicate well. Now I love my Nighthawk, a lot! but when switching between vocalist, you get the Nighthawks tone injected in your ear to the point it's coloured, like I can separate one singer from another as I'm listening to the Hawks. When I listen to the HD650, they adapt to the different tone of a voice better than the Hawks.

    I was blown away by the Nighthawk, but as time as gone on I've found it's faults. The bass, warmth overtook me. Everything I've said positive about it still stands! but the way it portrays the human voice isn't correct. If you look at a HD650 graph you won't find one peak, it's so smooth. You know what?! who cares about the tech talk, this headphone is amazing on emotion alone!

    I've recently found the Chord Mojo, without an amp pairs really well with the HD650. I call it my lazy boy set up and it's fantastic. By the way have you heard of the Sennheiser HD650 veil? yeah it's BS. Treble is great, present, smooth a little rolled off right at the top.

    Soundstage? Cohesive, good width and depth. Imaging? yes. It does what a top level headphone should do. Build quality? for god sake you ask too many questions! yes it's built so well and it's modular. Cables? please stop...yes good.

    How does it compare to the Q701? It destroys them

    How does it compare to the HE-400i? it wins here too.

    HE-500? Equals, I think they both do everything brilliant but the HE-500 has better treble detail and better bass texture. HD650 has better mids, micro detail and resolution.

    What sounds better than the HD650? Emotionally, nothing except neck and neck with the LCD-2PF. Technically I'd have to say some of the top headphones like the HE-1000, HE90, HD800(This actually a closer battle than you think) LCD-3PF and some of the Stax(hate the tonality of the SR009)

    On lower end gear, the AKG K712, Annie, HE-400i, Nighthawk could be considered better headphones and I reviewed them as such as not everyone wants to build a big system for the HD650.




    So that's my review thing...
    So thinking about the HD650? any concerns? ask away and let's talk 650!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  2. TwsT

    OcUK Staff

    Joined: Feb 7, 2011

    Posts: 7,454

    Location: OcUK HQ

    stap stap stap SOON,

    as soon as the guy pays me for the 5930k i've just sold they will be mine all mine!
     
  3. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 5, 2014

    Posts: 1,745

    Location: London

    About time! ;)
     
  4. TwsT

    OcUK Staff

    Joined: Feb 7, 2011

    Posts: 7,454

    Location: OcUK HQ

    i know man I've gone full circle but I happen to have some money that isn't required for anything and I've recently had some bad news which has actually freed up some funds for me so silver linings and all that. So christmas present to myself will be the 650's which sadly have risen in price in the last 24 hours but i won't worry about that till next week.

    I figured I'll get the 650's first then I'll probably look at buying the vali2
     
  5. darreny

    Mobster

    Joined: May 19, 2004

    Posts: 2,560

    I've seriously got to stop reading this stuff. Do I sell the 712s and get a pair or don't I?
     
  6. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 5, 2014

    Posts: 1,745

    Location: London

    It will be money well spent! the Vali 2 is looking like another awesome bit of kit! slap some Mullards on there and I bet it will be heavenly.

    The HD650 is flat out better, thing is if you gear is entry level the K712 will thrive better. Mids are better on the HD650 no matter what the gear. I like the AKG driver, it's a classic driver but it's lower in technical performance than the Sennheiser.

    650 has this sound that just feels right and homely.
     
  7. james.miller

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 17, 2003

    Posts: 16,709

    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    I have a real love for the 650's. wouldnt change them for anything other than more of the same with a better sub-bass extension. Had mine 6 & 1/2 years and there's barely a mark on them.

    Very very very very very good headphones.
     
  8. darreny

    Mobster

    Joined: May 19, 2004

    Posts: 2,560

    Does someone want to send me some to test
     
  9. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 5, 2014

    Posts: 1,745

    Location: London

    Many shops will let you demo, find out local stores near you. If you are in London I could meet you with my portable rig.
     
  10. darreny

    Mobster

    Joined: May 19, 2004

    Posts: 2,560

    That is kind but I'm up north, I like the 712s and stevie nicks even sounds OK on them
     
  11. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 5, 2014

    Posts: 1,745

    Location: London

    If you like em, keep em. If you want to take a next step then 650's are pretty much a stop point unless you want to go to sillyprice-fi
     
  12. .:SAmSuNG:.

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 12, 2009

    Posts: 4,276

    Location: Germany

    These a good upgrade from the K7XX's? Are the HD700 not worth the extra money?
     
  13. mraerosmith1981

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 10, 2011

    Posts: 1,469

    Location: Burnham On Sea

    Has to be said, I recently got some 650's and some BEYERDYNAMIC T90's.

    And I cant easily decide which one too keep, which in itself says a lot when you consider how much older the 650's as a set of cans are
     
  14. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 5, 2014

    Posts: 1,745

    Location: London

    Honestly the the HD700 are the biggest load of crap Sennheiser has put there name on! terrible headphone..

    The K7XX shines on lower equipment better than the HD650. On mid-high end equipment the HD650 is in a different league. The K7XX is a great headphone though, really enjoyed it.
     
  15. Mason-

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 18, 2010

    Posts: 4,362

    Location: Essex

    Had mine for over 3 years now. Never going to sell them.
     
  16. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 55,217

    I have a theory about that, though I could be completely wrong, the 600 series seems to thrive on voltage gain - more than typical while not being very current demanding - if your equipment driving them lacks the voltage gain or ability to swing the voltage as required efficiently enough the treble collapses (and the bass loses a bit of control) which IMO is where the talk of them being veiled comes from. With some half decent equipment driving them they really open up.
     
  17. DagsJT

    Gangster

    Joined: Nov 17, 2011

    Posts: 477

    Location: Warrington

    How would you compare them to the Fidelio X2's? You mention them for music but what about gaming?
     
  18. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 55,217

    I've used mine for gaming but wouldn't be my first choice for i.e. competitive online play where you want something that is artificially revealing really to separate sounds more.

    EDIT: Sorry I've used my 600s - never tried the 650s for gaming I suspect similar story however.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  19. Ryanr1987

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 5, 2014

    Posts: 1,745

    Location: London

    Yeah I've noticed the HD650 are more N shaped when they are not powered.

    Compared to the X2 the HD650 images better. Soundstage is about equal. The X2 struggles with separation and can sound a bit blurred when things get busy. The problem with the 650 for gaming at least on consoles, is that it isn't as resolving as it can be. When I had the Bottlehead Crack, I connected it to my Mixamp and found it really good.

    I personally would rather an AKG or AD700x for gaming.
     
  20. rids57

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 25, 2012

    Posts: 5,824

    Location: Ankh Morpork

    With the HD650 for music and the AKG K702 for gaming, my full sized headphone journey is done, until something significantly better appears at a sensible price and that may take quite a while. :D