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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time poster in this thread, so please be gentle.



After years of using my beloved Grado SR60's (and Ety ER-6i for portable use), I wanted something a bit "more". After some diligent research, and testing out various brands and types (including "Brand B"'s NC's), I pretty much settled on Sennheiser due to their outstanding reputation in quality, performance and customer support. I also narrowed it down to open air cans as long term comfort is critical. Closed ear headphones left my ears gasping for air and relief from eardrum pressure.


So I journeyed to World of Sound in Mill Valley, CA, where they were kind enough to let me demo their full line of Sennheiser headphones for as long as I wanted. I came armed only with my iPhone and Headroom's Total Airhead amp.


I had several to choose from and tried to keep myself "blinded" as to which model number I was testing so as not to be influenced by price. I wanted to go no higher, $$ wise, than the 650's. I quickly eliminated the lower priced phones (no surprise here) as they all paled in comparison to the HD 650.


I had all but settled on the 650, but there was one left to compare - the cheaper (by $100) HD 600. I thought... let's be thorough, so I gave them a shot. Since the Total Airhead has two outputs, it was easy and fast to A/B the two.


Much to my surprise, I liked the 600's better. I realize a lot of this is personal taste, but I found them to be sharper and more "clear" in the high end - they just sounded crisper. Bass wise, I could tell the 650 was a tad lower and more controlled, but I do like just a bit of "thumpy", so perhaps this is why I gravitated to the 600. Saving $100 was a bonus, but I would have happily paid the extra for the 650 if I thought they sounded better.


I also realize that Senn cans have a tendency to "hold back" some, which can be overcome by upgrading to the Cardas cable (which, btw, I have ordered for the 600's). But all other things being equal - was I imagining things?


I'm curious - any of you who have or extensively listened to both the 600's and 650's - how would you compare the two?
 

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I've only heard (and own) the HD600 so I'll just add observations about them. In my experience the little Airhead amp (I own one) just does not do them justice. I find that any of my receivers will drive them decently but it's a struggle for the portable. As for the sound I find the HD600 very detailed to the point of being unforgiving of bad recordings. Where I find them a bit lacking is deep bass punch. I love the HD600s for classical but always liked the Grado sr325 for rock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree re: bass, but then I am always bumping up the bass (EQ). I like things just a tad thumpy, and even the 650's seem to lack bass. Personal preference, nothing I can do about it.



re: Amps - the Total Airhead just barely got things loud enough with the high gain activated. I do need a better solution for my desktop. I am trying to keep this total headphone purchase to ~$1000. With the 600's and Cardas, I have around $400 left.


Can anyone recommend a decent headphone amp for around $400? I have read some good reviews for the Matrix-M, but the only place I have seen it for sale is on eBay from China. I am a bit hesitant to go that route. Any others?
 

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Just curious but I have the 595, how did they compair to the 600 and 650? I didn't have the ability to compair them since I had to order online.


What were you mainly focusing on? The instrauments or vocals? I find some speakers/earphones sound clear and sharp with instrauments, but then sometime the vocals can sound a little empty...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sholling /forum/post/19598615


I'd ask on a headphone forum like Headfi and headcase.

I looked over their amp section. I settled on the FiiO E7 and E9 combo. The E7 is a standalone portable amp with DAC, similar to Headroom's Total Bithead (only cheaper!). The E9 has just been released - it's a standalone amp with a docking station for the E7. Used together, the E7 becomes the DAC. It looks really cool, is a bargain at $230 total, and has gotten great reviews on Head-fi. Best of all, it's available from Amazon Prime - free shipping!

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by truwarrior22 /forum/post/19600215


Just curious but I have the 595, how did they compair to the 600 and 650? I didn't have the ability to compair them since I had to order online.


What were you mainly focusing on? The instrauments or vocals? I find some speakers/earphones sound clear and sharp with instrauments, but then sometime the vocals can sound a little empty...

The 595 was one of the first I checked out. I'd say it's a terrific bargain. It didn't have the bass or range of the 600 or 650, but then those are quite a bit more expensive.
 
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