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Sennheiser HD 650 for mixing
Old 25th October 2014
  #31
Gear Nut
 

Hi,

I am not an experienced mixer and I have not tried other headphones of this calibre (only sennheiser hd-25 II), so take my comment on the 650 with a pinch of salt.

I find them a little bit DULL. I always end up mixing the Highs too loud. It is not difficult to learn what is a proper level of Highs on the 650s, but I just need to be aware of it while i'm using them or I end up with loud hihats and so.. Something I correct when I switch to the hd25s and of course my monitors (Dynaudio BM6A mk2).

I love the low end response, i repeat, i haven't tried cans like these but i was impressed by how low they could go. I'm hearing a LOT of stuff i couldn't hear with the dyns or de 25s.

Space and imaging is also great, and the clarity on the whole spectrum.

I am very happy with them and I haven't heard headphones of this range better than this ones. My mastering teacher recommended them to me.. 15 years experienced mastering engineer.. you can't go wrong here i think.
Old 25th October 2014
  #32
F5D
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F5D's Avatar
 

Before the modification, the HD650's are a little bit dull, I would say. Before the mod, they sound good, but not as bright or clear as some monitors. It is like taking away a curtain, when you take that foam away. The driver can move more freely. A lot clearer sound, and extended bass response. Just be aware that you cannot undo the mod, i.e. put the foam back. Also, the max spl you get from them is reduced, so if you have already ruined your hearing dj'ing or doing something else, then it might be a problem, but for typical monitoring purposes, they are loud enough.
Old 25th October 2014
  #33
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 

I have 650s and use them a lot. Lavry DA10 for headphone amp. I also have Adam S3As and NS10s. I've been working on the Sennheisers a lot late - not sure why - i used to hate working on headphones. I guess it helps block out the rest of the world - even if no one else is there!

My main comments: Usually, I'll place the vocal way too loud on the 650s, so that when you switch back to monitors, you'll wonder what the hell you were thinking. I have to guess to compensate for this. Same with reverb levels.

There's not much 'super sub'. I have some Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros and they are closed-back and have that really low, bloated sub. It's actually really useful to be able to check the muddiness in the bass/sub. The Sennheisers, being open-backed, don't really have this. There's no bass 'feeling' like people expect in cans (as they're used to closed-back).

Otherwise, they're decent cans. I haven't heard better, but I am not willing to spend any more!

Cheers

Ed
Old 27th October 2014 | Show parent
  #34
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dariva's Avatar
So it seems many people think the HD600 might be a better choice for mixing than the HD650?

If someone with experience with both could chime in and give some more info on how do they compare, that would be great! Especially considering the fact that the 600s are like 40 EUR cheaper.
Old 27th October 2014 | Show parent
  #35
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dariva View Post
So it seems many people think the HD600 might be a better choice for mixing than the HD650?

If someone with experience with both could chime in and give some more info on how do they compare, that would be great! Especially considering the fact that the 600s are like 40 EUR cheaper.
It seems people prefer the hd650 reading back through the comments. I was originally intending to go for the 600'a but after reading around other forums and a sound on sound article it seems people prefer the hd650's.
Old 28th October 2014 | Show parent
  #36
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zebastian21's Avatar
 

I have the 650s and love them, Im using it with Apogee Duet 2, do you guys think I would need a better headphone amp for them?
Old 28th October 2014
  #37
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Love my HD650s for pure music enjoyment more than for critical mixing.
Silky smooth, can go loud without ear fatigue but not revealing enough for me, at least when compared to AKG701, which I also use.
Old 28th October 2014 | Show parent
  #38
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I can almost do everything with the HD650. always nice to check things on your monitors though.
Old 28th October 2014 | Show parent
  #39
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eXode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXode View Post
I have the HD650 now, had them for years. Had the HD600 for several years before that. Both are great, but my advice would be to go for the HD600's as they are flatter and have a more natural response than the HD650's. So for mixing I think that the HD600 are better, and they are cheaper too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dariva View Post
So it seems many people think the HD600 might be a better choice for mixing than the HD650?

If someone with experience with both could chime in and give some more info on how do they compare, that would be great! Especially considering the fact that the 600s are like 40 EUR cheaper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanomusic View Post
It seems people prefer the hd650 reading back through the comments. I was originally intending to go for the 600'a but after reading around other forums and a sound on sound article it seems people prefer the hd650's.
See my earlier post on the subject (quoted above).
Old 28th October 2014 | Show parent
  #40
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Grant Ransom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by erdi View Post
They are a lot better than HD650. However you can find them used for $600~. That is $200 more than new HD650.
But are they 1 better or 2 better?
What does that walnut bring for the discerning professional?
They weigh 600g vs 260g for the HD6x0s... is that better?

My plan was to get something relatively flat and meeting my functional and operational requirements for a relatively sensible outlay, so they could be replaced, anywhere, in an instant if needed.

One would have to adapt to any tool, and use (hopefully, in my case :-) ) skill to predict how that tool's action will translate out in the world.
That's how/why some legendary productions were mixed on NS10s.

I ended up with HD600s for open-backs . But there are more that would fit the bill, including the 650s.
But none of them are much more expensive. I don't see a personal need for modern Hi-Fi enthusiast cans in this scenario. I think once they fit your needs you are only massaging specs and tradeoffs.
Old 12th December 2014
  #41
Gear Head
Hi Deanomusic

You may have bought some cans by now, but I have the Senn 650 and 600; 600 is more accurate/natural to my ears. 650 makes everything sound too good (600 does this too), and hides hiss that I can clearly hear on my cheapo monitoring system of a Yamaha AS500 amp and Monitor Audio BX2 speakers (running via a UAD Apollo).

I'm actually looking for brutally honest headphones and monitors at the moment and leaning towards some Focal Solo 6 be (also looking at Unity Audio The Rock) and Spirit Pro headphones.
Old 12th December 2014
  #42
Check Grado headphones! Way better than Sennheiser!
Old 22nd December 2014
  #43
Gear Head
 

Hi, I ended up buying the 650's in the end and I can honestly say I really like them. whatever I do in them pretty much translates well to my monitors, but I've not finished anything In them yet. Although there is one issue (If we can call it that) When i used to produce in my old bedroom which sounded a bit better than my current room, my tracks translated well on other systems and club systems etc, but when i listen to the same tracks on my sennheisers hd650, they kind of sound different, for instance my kick drum and certain other instruments don't sound as powerful as they do on other systems and my monitor speakers, but when i listen to my old tracks on crappy headphones and even a gaming headsets they sound punchy. It may just be that I'm not used to the headphones yet, or it could be the fact I'm powering the headphones off my focusrite 6 and not a headphone amp?
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #44
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Synth80s's Avatar
Deano,

Don't feel like you need to break the bank on a headphone amp to go with the HD-650s. I've had a set of HD-650s for 10 years and I've used them with some fairly high-end amps (tube and solid state) with varying results.

Then a few years back, I bought a $65 "Altoid amp" from JDS Labs for portable use and, to my ears, the HD-650s sound excellent with that amp -- almost as good as amps that cost 5-10x as much. Note that there's a dual battery option for powering high-impedance phones like the HD-650s -- that's the model I have. JDS Labs - cMoyBB v2.03 Headphone Amplifier

If you're going to use the phones a lot, perhaps you'll want to opt for something AC-powered. In any event, just a heads up that JDS Labs and others offer cost-effective options for properly powering high-impendence phones.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyziggyk View Post
Hi Deanomusic

You may have bought some cans by now, but I have the Senn 650 and 600; 600 is more accurate/natural to my ears. 650 makes everything sound too good (600 does this too), and hides hiss that I can clearly hear on my cheapo monitoring system of a Yamaha AS500 amp and Monitor Audio BX2 speakers (running via a UAD Apollo).

I'm actually looking for brutally honest headphones and monitors at the moment and leaning towards some Focal Solo 6 be (also looking at Unity Audio The Rock) and Spirit Pro headphones.
If you can hear hiss in your monitors and not the headphones it's more likely the monitors and amp causing it, especially as they're cheap. I can hear hiss on my HD-650 when it's there. I can also hear hiss on my monitors just by turning them up and not playing anything through them.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #46
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Johnny Wrong's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by F5D View Post
I use typically only a pair of HD650's for mixing. I have also Yamaha HS7's, but not possible to fully use them in my apartment due to stupid neighbours. I have modified my HD650's by taking off the foam at the back of the coil. After that, they sound much closer to nice monitors, totally different, HUGE. Great for mixing, best that I have ever used. Google for the sennheiser modification in the internet.
just done this, really liking the difference, cheers
Old 23rd December 2014 | Show parent
  #47
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ Reynolds View Post
If you can hear hiss in your monitors and not the headphones it's more likely the monitors and amp causing it, especially as they're cheap. I can hear hiss on my HD-650 when it's there. I can also hear hiss on my monitors just by turning them up and not playing anything through them.
Hi AJ Reynolds, thanks for the input, but I believe it to be the headphones. The hiss is masked with the HD650 whether I use the audio interface UAD apollo headphone socket or the Yamaha AS-500 headphone socket.

Got some Unity Audio The Rocks mkII last week and the hiss is definitely in the rig.

Love the headphones, but they are not accurate, they are made to be musical sounding. The HD600 are more accurate but still a bit too musical for my tastes.

However, that said, I haven't come across anything better and I use the HD600 for my rig and HD650 for listening to music (and for that they are incredible).
Old 23rd December 2014 | Show parent
  #48
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lowkey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyziggyk View Post
Hi AJ Reynolds, thanks for the input, but I believe it to be the headphones. The hiss is masked with the HD650 whether I use the audio interface UAD apollo headphone socket or the Yamaha AS-500 headphone socket.

Got some Unity Audio The Rocks mkII last week and the hiss is definitely in the rig.

Love the headphones, but they are not accurate, they are made to be musical sounding. The HD600 are more accurate but still a bit too musical for my tastes.

However, that said, I haven't come across anything better and I use the HD600 for my rig and HD650 for listening to music (and for that they are incredible).
Agreed. I have missed hiss in my tracks before on the HD650's. Sent tracks to the Mastering Engineer and was requested to re-mix without the hiss.

Going back I could hear the hiss. But it was recessed and didn't sound too bad. But it was there.

I'm traveling on holidays ATM and only took my HD25s (650s too big). I was thinking I might sell the 650s and just keep one pair, but the 25s aren't accurate enough either. They tend to hide low end mud quite well.

I think my conclusion is you always need 2 reference points.
Old 24th December 2014
  #49
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Grant Ransom's Avatar
 

Hmm. Never once had that with the hiss...

But I agree about having at least 2 references.
Old 28th February 2017
  #50
F5D
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Just bought my 2nd set of Sennheiser HD650's for backup. I simply love the sound of these headphones. The reason for buying the 2nd set was to make sure that I have backup set available, if something happens to my original HD650's, and if Sennheiser suddenly stopped making them. I would be in deep trouble. I cannot use speaker monitors at all, so going with headphones is the only way. I often read people saying that it is impossible to monitor with headphones. I agree, if they are some other headphones, since all other headphones that I have tried are really colored and have their own tone. However, these are different, like listening to quality monitors. It is hard to believe, but that is how I find them. If somebody is wondering about monitoring with headphones, I recommend checking these out. They are currently the only set of headphones I would ever accept for monitoring. In practice, they are totally free from resonances typically found in other headphones, just fantastic frequency response and imaging. Total joy to listen to music or monitor recordings. I have owned my 1st HD650's for about 10 years, replaced the cable and ear cushions a few times and just recently replaced the headband with its cushion as well, cost something like 65 eur. In practice, I have like two new sets of HD650's, except the 1st are with well driven in drivers.

As I have mentioned earlier, I modified the 1st set of HD650's some years ago with instructions found in the internet. The main part of the mod is to remove the damping foam behind the drivers gently with tweezers. That changes the damping characteristics of the driver and it can move more freely. It made a huge difference in the sound of my 1st HD650's. However, I was surprised today, when trying out the 2nd set stock from the package. Maybe Sennheiser has done something to the design, because they sound much closer to my modified HD650's than the 1st set sounded before the mod. I remember when I did the mod originally, it was late in the evening, so late that I decided to only quickly try them after removing the foams but found myself so amazed after doing it that I kept listening to music like 2-3 hours more, before finally going to sleep. Maybe Sennheiser learned about the mod and did some changes to get the sound closer to that, who knows? At least I have read that they changed the driver design a little bit at some point, from the so called "black version" to "silver version". I still need to open my both headphones and check if the drivers are different. I will probably modify the 2nd set too, but I am just wondering, if some other users have bought HD650's recently and how did they find them sounding stock without any mods? IMO they now sound really good also without any modifications. I have read some people saying that the HD650's after modification rival or exceed the sound quality of the HD800, the HD800 being slightly sharper. The HD650's are not among the cheapest headphones typically marketed towards studio use, but offer sound that could be hard to beat in any price range. Stock HD600's might be slightly better for monitoring than HD650's, but I have read that the HD650's are better with the modification, because it opens up the top end (and low too), without making them too harsh. Modifying the HD600's are supposed to have higher risk of making them too bright, but I don't have experience of this.
Old 3rd March 2017
  #51
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digital 1010's Avatar
I pair my HD650s with sonarworks calibration tool, low end is amazing and is primarily what i use them for. Depressing to listen to old mixes since recently changing to doing the lowend with that setup but thats the learning path. I have small room so use yamaha msp5s as my monitors which i love but not the best for lows but love the rest of the range in here so best of both worlds.

Just about to change my audio interface to one of the new Apogee element series interfaces so cant wait to hear that with the headphone out on the apogee.

Last edited by digital 1010; 3rd March 2017 at 11:30 AM..
Old 3rd March 2017
  #52
Lives for gear
Something I've noticed recently is I find the attack transients on drums much easier to get right on monitors. When I'm designing drums on HD650 then play them on my monitors the attacks are way too spiky! on the other hand, when I do drums on monitors they translate well to the headphones.
Old 3rd March 2017 | Show parent
  #53
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digital 1010's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ Reynolds View Post
Something I've noticed recently is I find the attack transients on drums much easier to get right on monitors. When I'm designing drums on HD650 then play them on my monitors the attacks are way too spiky! on the other hand, when I do drums on monitors they translate well to the headphones.
Agree with that mate which is why i only really do the low end on phones and monitors for everything else. Panning and stuff like that i really cant do on phones.
Old 3rd March 2017 | Show parent
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ Reynolds View Post
Something I've noticed recently is I find the attack transients on drums much easier to get right on monitors. When I'm designing drums on HD650 then play them on my monitors the attacks are way too spiky! on the other hand, when I do drums on monitors they translate well to the headphones.
The HD650s are just not revealing enough. I find that there are percussive elements that I don't hear as well on these headphones as I hear on others. So when working with the HD650s, you are compensating for this 'darker' sound by boosting frequenting which you don't hear.

People love the sound of the HD650 and I love it too, but it's a 'luxurious music listening' sound, not a 'pro monitoring' sound , at least for my ears.

I have a headphone fetish and own 4 pairs and have used many more besides, including some very expensive Audeze ones. The HD 650 are almost perfect if not for that very slight, but noticeable hi freq dip.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #55
Gear Nut
 

I just noticed the sub bass is slightly more powerful on the right with my new pair of 2019 HD650. Hopefully in a few weeks it will even out but so far I have to tweak my headphones tighter on the left to correct the imbalance. So disappointed by Senhheiser, perfect headphones otherwise, best I ever had for mixing.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #56
Gear Maniac
The right amp will bring out plenty of detail on the 650s. My experience mixing is that the stereo image is too wide and it gets disorientating to judge mixes. They're the best on the planet for everything else but I prefer to view the big picture on cheaper cans with a well-defined center.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #57
Gear Nut
 

Actually problem solved: with my Audient ID14 I can set the level of left and right output, so I'm decreasing the right side and it's perfectly panned now.

Not sure whether the imperfection comes from the soundcard or the HD650, probably the headphones though because I never noticed that before on my former Audio Technica.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #58
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unease's Avatar
I've used HD650 for about 10 years in my homestudio for general monitoring, mixing and such. I think they are very nice in that you can wear them for whole days without fatigue or sweaty ears. The sound is nice but I always had problems with the anemic sub-bass response. When mixing with these I need to guess a bit what is happening in the sub regions.

I recently added a pair of DT990 Pro (250 Ohms) and found that these has the sub bass that the 650 lacks. However, they are a bit boomy instead. But I still prefer to hear what is going on there than having to guess. I also noted (as some people already mentioned) that some high frequency sounds, like noise and slight distortion were much clearer in the DT990 than in the HD650. Also here, to me, the high frequencies are a bit exaggerated in the DT990 but they are more revealing I think.

I guess the thing is that you should basically always use some kind of headphone equalization when possible since no headphones are completely flat. Looking at the measured frequency responses of these headphones I think it looks very well inline with how I experience it. You can see that the sub-bass below 50Hz is a bit subdued in the HD650 as well as higher frequencies over 6kHz. With the DT990 there is a flat hump in the bass region 30-200Hz making them a bit boomy and also some resonant peaks in the higher registers at ~6 and ~12kHz.

HD-650:
https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro....php#gsc.tab=0

DT-990 Pro:
https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro....php#gsc.tab=0
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #59
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Cake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeWestSE View Post
My experience mixing is that the stereo image is too wide and it gets disorientating to judge mixes.
You can try an amp (I use SPL Control2) or software with crossfeed, I'd also recommend SonarWorks for HD650 users to iron out any frequency bumps.

Sonarworks + crossfeed + HD650 = : )
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemosit View Post
You may or may not need a headphone amp.

I have a pair of HD800's, and they sound just as good plugged into my RME Fireface UFX as when I use a very expensive headphone amp I was persuaded to buy.
Agreed. Beware of this notion of night and day difference when using an amp. My motu ultralite delivered a very decent sound with my 600's. I eventually bought a Schitt amp because of the hype and didn't notice a tremendous difference.

Also, 600's are better than 650's imo, but the 600's lack sub bass, that's a problem for me making techno.
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