|Brand Name||Sennheiser Pro Audio|
|Item Weight||9.1 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||12.4 x 10 x 4.33 inches|
|Item model number||508825|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||No|
|Item display height||9.3 inches|
|Audio Sensitivity||103 dB|
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Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
|Brand||Sennheiser Pro Audio|
|Model Name||HD 650|
|Headphones Form Factor||Over Ear|
About this item
- Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an incredible 0.05 percent
- Improved frequency response is 10 39,500 Hertz ( 10 dB)
- Hand selected matched driver elements; Highly optimized magnet systems for minimum harmonic and inter modulation distortion
- High power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency; 3.5 millimetre jack plug. Frequency response (Headphones):10 41000 Hz
- Lightweight aluminum voice coils for very fast transient response
- Cable length 118 inches
- Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an incredible 0.05percent
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From the manufacturer
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
Here's a perfect addition to your high-end home entertainment system. Hand-picked components, special acoustic materials and exceptional engineering make these headphones an audiophile's dream. The audiophile HD 650 is the ultimate in open, dynamic headphone design. Developed from the award-winning HD 600, the HD 650s feature improved materials for even better sound reproduction. They captivate the listener with their expressiveness and emotion while maintaining absolute precision and lifelike reproduction. Enjoy sound in perfection!
- Systems with narrow tolerances (± 1 dB), hand-picked in pairs
- Highly optimised magnet systems for minimum harmonic and intermodulation distortion
- High-quality titanium/silver finish
- A specially developed damping element, made from fine acoustic metal mesh, ensures a precise damping over the entire diaphragm surface, highly constant in all climates.
- Specially modulated connecting cable (detachable) made from highly conductive OFC copper, with very low handling noise, i.e. low structure-borne sound sensitivity
- Extremely lightweight aluminium voice coils ensure excellent transient response
- Gold plated 1/4" jack plug with adaptor lead to 3.5 mm jack plug
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Sennheiser HD 660 S - HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone
|Sold By||Instrumentpro||Liquid Audio Inc||Focus Camera LLC||Instrumentpro||Bsd Wholesale||Circuit City|
|Headphones Form Factor||Over Ear||Over Ear||On Ear||Closed||On Ear||Over Ear|
|Item Dimensions||12.40 x 10.00 x 4.33 inches||0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 inches||8.70 x 4.70 x 9.10 inches||9.64 x 7.36 x 3.30 inches||6.70 x 7.90 x 3.90 inches||10.12 x 4.25 x 12.60 inches|
|Item Weight||0.57 lbs||0.57 lbs||0.55 lbs||1.28 lbs||0.66 lbs||0.58 lbs|
From the Manufacturer
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Top reviews from the United States
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These are, bar none, the most wonderful headphones I've ever heard. For perspective, I have or have had: Audio-Technica ATH-M50 (of course) and M40x, Fostex T50RP MK3, Oppo PM-3, Philips Fidelio M1MKII and L2, and both the Sennheiser HD598SE and HD600. None of these but the HD600 come close. If you're considering the HD598 as a lower-priced alternative, it's a great headphone in its own right (especially if you don't want to go down the rabbit hole of choosing a suitable amp), but there isn't as much family resemblance in the sound as you might think.
Still, it was through buying the 598 that I decided to take the plunge on the 650—Sennheiser's 5xx series is clearly a gateway drug to the 6xx series, which fortunately is so good there's little reason to step up to the 700 and 800 besides bragging rights. There's a lot of warped machismo in the world of audiophilia, and to the greatest extent possible I'd like to avoid that in this review.
Simply put, the 650 is about the best all-around headphone you can buy for its current Amazon price of $315.99. If you already have an amp and/or a dedicated listening setup and you've never heard these, you owe it to yourself to try them. Worst-case scenario, you don't like them and you're out $6-7 for a return label. Best-case scenario, you find out just how good (and yes, also how bad) recorded music can sound. These are very much the BMW 5-series of the headphone world: there are bigger, faster, and more expensive options, but these remain the perennial gold standard. Maybe they're not your style, but there's no denying their refinement and artistry.
I think they sound absolutely perfect. Some complain they're too "laid back," even "veiled." I suspect those people just don't hear very well, because if you have sensitive hearing, "exciting" headphones are a euphemism for "death by treble." I have dog-like hearing, and most of the time it's more curse than blessing. Even with the 650, the treble can be brain-piercing with the wrong amp.
As for amp recommendations, this is a contentious and fiercely debated topic. As a general rule, you should spend the most on the final device in your playback chain (speakers/headphones), and progressively less on the "upstream" components: amp, DAC, media player. Given a budget of no more than $300 for an amp, you could buy the excellent Aune B1 Class A Portable Phone/Headphone Amplifier and still have enough left over to pay for a year of streaming music. Of course, if you want to pair the 650 with "endgame" gear, by all means do! The 650 has a reputation for "scalability," meaning its sound will (allegedly) continue to improve with better amps, DACs, recordings, etc. My own gear is fairly modest, so I can't speak to how this sounds plugged into a $5,000 amp or rewired with $700 cables. I will say that it REALLY comes to life with a tube amp (I have a Darkvoice 336SE), but I completely understand if that's a can of worms you'd rather not open.
All I know is that the 650 sounds good enough to be the end of the headphone rainbow for me. The audio hobby is usually a desperate, futile struggle against diminishing returns, and as far as I'm concerned, the 650 IS that threshold in the headphone world. In other words, you can spend ten times more, but it won't sound ten times better.
Given that, you might be wondering whether you even need an amp with these. "Need" is a strong word, and in the context of expensive headphones it's pretty hard to maintain a sense of perspective. I've done the unthinkable and plugged these directly into my iPhone's headphone jack, and you know what? They STILL sound phenomenal, but only for easy music. What's easy music? Pop, rock, basically anything recorded to be uniformly loud. Without an amp, the 650 can fall apart on classical and jazz recordings with a wide range between loud and quiet sections—there simply isn't enough power on tap to move the diaphragm as nimbly as this sort of music demands. If you never listen to instrumental music, you might be able to get away with not using an amp, but I can't recommend it. Buying such marvelous headphones and not amping them properly would be like buying a beautiful painting and not framing it. You can do it, but for a little more money you might as well get the full effect.
Let me end with some totally subjective words that describe the sound of the 650: rich, natural, musical, effortless, clean. Now some words that could just as well be applied to a fine wine (the combination of status anxiety, groupthink, and reckless cognitive bias unites both hobbies): broad-shouldered, velvety, well-mannered, savory, harmonious. In either case, a smooth finish. :)
Bonus section: HD650 vs HD600
Obviously if you've read this far, you're deep enough into the audio hobby to have realized an important psychological truth about yourself: you can't leave well enough alone. Neither can I. That's why, even after falling head over heels in love with the sound of the HD650, I ordered the HD600. I just had to know.
The verdict? It's almost too close to call, but for my preferences the 650 is the better headphone. The two have been compared to death online, but if you have the capacity to think for yourself, audio review sites and forums are usually an unsavory if fascinating combination of shilling, self-justification, and "follow the leader" parroting of received opinions. Many self-proclaimed "audiophiles" have strong opinions about equipment they've never actually heard, which I can't accept.
Given that, I decided the only way to compare the two headphones honestly was to listen to both myself for hours, going back and forth on a wide variety of recordings. The difference between a good recording and a bad recording dwarfs the difference between lossy and lossless, and the HD600 (more so than the HD650) may end up changing your taste in music because it makes good recordings sound SO GOOD and bad recordings sound SO BAD. In other words, it reveals the "truth" of the recording, and sometimes the truth hurts—it's really hard to enjoy The Killers now.
The fact is that the 600 and 650 are ultimately more alike than different, and the popular insistence that they sound completely different has more to do with what Freud called "the narcissism of small differences" than the headphones themselves. If you Google some variation on "HD650 vs HD600," you'll hear over and over that the 650 is "bassier" or "darker." Not really. There's actually very little difference across this parameter. Piano music presents an exception, but this is rarely what people think of as a bassy genre.
There are two significant differences. The first is soundstage. The HD650's soundstage is wider, but that doesn't mean it can make a cramped recording sound airy. The HD600's soundstage is more intimate; there's less space between left and right channels, but it's not a huge difference, and I could see people preferring (or at least not minding) the HD600's tighter spacing.
The most striking difference between the two headphones is in what I'd call "smoothness." The best analogy I can think of comes from digital photography. As an image sensor increases its sensitivity, it also increases its noise because you can't amplify a signal without also amplifying noise. There are two rival philosophies for dealing with noise: leave it as "grain" or smooth it out. Grain has its devotees, and the advantage of grain is that it preserves fine detail. The disadvantage is that past a certain point it becomes a distraction. The advantage of smoothness, meanwhile, is that it looks superficially nicer. The disadvantage is that when you look closely you won't see all the fine details. Like all things, it's a continuum of compromise. The 600 is the headphone to get if you value detail at the cost of an occasionally unpleasant grainy and even metallic quality to the sound. The 650 is the one to get if you care more about music than sound and don't care if your headphones sand down the sharp edges of your music a bit.
Going back and forth between the two, it quickly becomes clear that the 650 is the stronger all-around performer: it sounds nicer on more recordings and across more genres. The 600, meanwhile, is the champion of a particular niche: good recordings with lots of micro detail. Want to be able to count how many times the skin of a drum reverberates after it's struck? Want to hear such fine vocal gradations you'll know how a singer felt during recording? The 600 is for you.
Make no mistake: at its best, the 600 produces the most astonishingly detailed sound I've ever heard. Unfortunately, at its worst it sounds grainy, jumbled, and not particularly musical. I'm sorry to report that piano music sounds particularly off on the 600: low frequencies disappear and take the fullness of the keys with them. Vocals can sound oddly recessed, even far away. In general, the 600 seems to fare better with female vocals than male ones, and with strings over pianos. It's absolutely glorious for acoustic guitar, but then, so is the 650.
The 650's great advantage lies in its ability to bring out vocals like a spotlight. They stand out so clearly and powerfully from the instrumentation that you'll feel like you're hearing your favorite songs for the first time. The effect is really quite incredible: it's like there's a special sonic column reserved for vocals and unpolluted by other sounds. Based on Sennheiser's own specs, the 650 has lower distortion than the 600 and it's clearly a more refined driver unit. Whatever the technical reason, the 650's background is pitch black: sounds rise from and fall back into a sea of silence. Be forewarned: a well-recorded vocal track through the 650 may bring tears to your eyes, and that's why I kept the 650 and returned the 600.
The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are open dynamic, well designed, well made with high quality materials and comfortable to wear. The external headphone ear cups are made of highly durable plastic material and the outside headband is also made of this material. It appears that the external body of the headphones is designed for long lasting wear and use. The inside of the headband also has nicely padded foam that provides a comfortable feel while wearing the headphones.
The internal ear cups are silk lined, well padded, and provide a very adequate cushion to the ears. The ear cups are very adequate size and provide a very good listening experience.
The Sennheiser HD 650 is a step up from the well regarded Sennheiser HD 600. The drivers for the HD 650 are a bit different from the HD 600. Both headphones are similar in ability and appearance, but the HD 650 is just a bit better in every aspect.
The Sennheiser HD 650 produces a excellent, vibrant, clear, delineated, warm, balanced and open stage presentation. The vocals and the instruments; horns, guitar, drums, cymbals and strings are extremely well balanced and crystal clear. The bass has a nice deep sound, clear punch presence, but not too loud. Many professional reviews have indicated that the Sennheiser HD 650 has a outstanding warm, veiled sound with some coloration.
The horns; trumpet, trombone, wind instruments have bite, depth, harmony, clarity and separation. The sounds and music of the guitars are wonderful, the clarity is amazing. The sounds of the drums, the tight sound of the snare, the depth of the tom toms and floor toms and the crystal clear sound of the cymbals are very present.
The beauty, clarity of the music, the detail and nuances are outstanding. You will hear a level of musical sound that you may not have heard before with lesser quality headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 650 produces stellar, outstanding sound on well made, well mixed and well produced Cd's. However, you will also hear sounds from musicians and background sources such as a tapping of a beat on the floor, movement from sitting in a chair. The HD 650 pick up the peripheral sounds.
On a poorly recorded Cd, one that was not well made and mixed, the defects will be heard. This is how good these headphones are!
Once you start to use the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones, you will most likely feel that this was one of the best music listening headphones at the price point of approximately $400.00 to $500.00.
To obtain the maximum sound quality of the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones, you will need a good quality stereo pre-amp and or stereo amplifier to power the headphones. The better the stereo components, including the internal headphone amplifier, the better these headphones sound.
These headphones will not perform to full capability on low power sources such as cell phones, computers, laptops and low wattage amplifiers.
The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are made in Ireland and have a two year warranty. The headphones also come with a upscale foam encased padded storage case.
Top reviews from other countries
Legendary and deserving of all the praise heaped on them. Muted in appearance, innocuos even. These amazing set of headphones are all about the tuning.
The sound is not in your face aggressive as is fashionable nowadays. Treble doesn't have the bleeding bite, bass doesn't have the thunderous boom. No, no.... so what is so special about the HD 650 if by those descriptors they sound , well , quite frankly boring. It's the way Sennheiser have made the mids so damn glorious, Both ends of the frequency spectrum compliment the mids, which is a rare treat. The bass and treble are there and detailed enough without pushing for your unreserved attention. They are garnish on the masteepiece.
Soundstage isn't huge and cavernous. It's close and intimate. Again it's not an over the top headphone, but rather a smooth operator.
The first time I heard the HD 650 was listening to Andrea Bocelli. Goosebumps were felt and a tear may have been shed but owning them I also use them for every other genre. Pop, rock, rap, as well movies all share the same consistent sound quality.
In the end, I would say. The HD650 is an investment for anyone who enjoys an audio treat. A Definite Must Buy
They arrived and first I was highly impressed by the quality. The build is fantastic and although they are made of plastic, it studies and very pleasing to hold. What's more, the 'muffs' are a very soft material - almost like velvet. They fit very comfortably and they offer several increments of adjustment for bigger sizes heads, or to relieve more pressure.
The moment of truth came and I plugged them in to listen to some classical. There is nothing much I can say other than that I was completely blown away. Not only was every section (instrument) as clear as day, it was distinctive AND it had a direction as though I was sitting in the room with people around me. So too, I could make out detailed sounds which could not otherwise be heard at all through speaker or cheap headphones. I listened to The Beatles and found loads of hidden gems amidst the music, which I didn't even realize was there, despite listening previously over 100 times.
Listening to 3D audio in theses, is borderline frightening. The reality is profound. My father had a shot (of the Barbershop 3D audio on YouTube) and he almost jumped out of his seat when the guy slammed the door. IT literally seems like something is happening in the room you are sitting it.
You have to witness these SENs! I'll own these for the rest of my life, I'm sure!
I have what could be described as a very entry-level computer-based audiophile set up. A dedicated Mac-Mini with Audirvana installed as the music library manager & playback program. This plays music directly to a USB Headphone DAC/Amplifier (I bought an AUNE X1s, made in China by a specialist manufacturer. Incidentally, high quality indeed at the price). This in turn has been driving a pair of Sennheiser HD558 headphones up till now.
I was looking to upgrade the HD558's for headphones that would suit this set up better and my genres of music that I tend to listen to (mostly Acoustic, Rock, Popular & Jazz). They would need to be comfortable and capable of rendering music at high-resolution...so, detailed & accurate as possible for my budget. I wanted to avoid anything overly bright that in my experience can lead to listener fatigue. The AUNE amplifier is also reputed to make bright headphones sound slightly harsher.
I decided on the HD650 based on the many positive reviews both on Amazon and other websites. The AUNE is optimised for the likes of the HD650, as well as the AKG701 and BeyerDynamic 770. However, I felt that the AKG & BeyerDynamic would be too bright. Anything else would be beyond my budget or taste.
Delivery & Presentation
The item arrived on time and as advertised...full marks to Amazon.
The first thing I did was verify that these were the genuine article, using Sennheiser's Verification VR code process. A useful authenticity check.
It came in a larger box than I was expecting but then these are large headphones. The outer sleeve removed, revealing a good quality wooden presentation box covered in textured black vinyl, with metal hinges and foam inlay inside. I think over time this has improved over the previous presentation. This looks and feels a quality item although some may say it's austere looking. I'm perfectly happy with the quality & appearance...sound is more important to me. The lead is also of high quality...thickish but pliable and terminated in a 6.3mm jack at one end and Sennheiser individual connectors for each cup at the other. There is a 3.5mm adapter included and this is also a quality item, although I would question whether this would fit phones and tablets that have covers fitted... the adapter would probably be too big in many cases. It doesn't fit my phone with a Spigen case. That said, these are probably overkill for a phone or tablet and are designed more for home system listening.
I agree with other commentators...they are on the tight-side. I have got used to that. I suspect that if the headband was looser, the cups may slip down onto the ears and that would be more uncomfortable. I have used them for many hours at a time and have no complaints.
Sound - what to expect
Straight out of the box these headphones do not impress. They sound like they are playing behind a thick curtain...rather dull and lifeless. As others have observed, these headphones need a 'running-in' period. I just played music rather than using pink-noise as others have suggested. The potential sound quality only starts after about 10 hours playing and improves greatly after that. After 40-50 hours, they open up as if that curtain has lifted. Give them time and they will realise their full potential.
After running-in, the listening experience is fairly laid back, but full of detail and instruments sound like they should, thus fulfilling my original aim. The sound is not in the least harsh and I have been happy to listen for many hours at a stretch without suffering any fatigue.
Bass is plentiful for my genres of music, deep and tight with plenty of 'punch'. They possibly may not suit other music genres that require yet more bass.
Mids are nigh-on perfect. Treble possibly not 'zingy' enough for some tastes but in turn that can lead to harshness which is something I was trying to avoid....it's not evident with the HD650 and therefore perfect for me personally.
The 'stage' and 'imaging' of players is excellent with plenty of depth...this is one of the HD650 top strengths.
These headphones are detailed, meaning they sound excellent with good source recordings converted to FLAC or ALAC lossless digital formats. However, poorer quality recordings or lossy conversions (low MP3 or AAC) will be revealed for what they are. I personally feel that anything converted to below 320kbps on MP3 or below 256kbps on AAC bitrates would not be good enough to do justice to the HD650.
I would also suggest that they do sound much better through a dedicated DAC/Headphone amplifier via USB. Doing the comparison, there is more detail, ambience and instrument accuracy. Quality DAC/Headphone amplifiers are plentiful at reasonable prices (e.g. SHIIT Modi2/Magni2 combination for $200 or AUNE X1s for $289).
I paid £232 for these headphones and at that price they are remarkable value for money. They have come down in price significantly over the years and still represent a first-class buy subject to the points made above.
A worthwhile step up from the HD558's for me personally.
I can see many years of listening with these headphones.
I can, and have, worn these for hours without the need to take them off to rest my ears. These were an expensive buy, but absolutely no regrets!