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Sennheiser HD 650 - With A Bit Less Lower Mids Studio Headphones
Old 18th September 2011
  #1
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at4033's Avatar
Sennheiser HD 650 - With A Bit Less Lower Mids

Hi Folks,

I'm very happy with my Sennheiser HD 650 headphones - with one small exception: I wish they were a tad less robust in the lower mids. Everything else is wonderful.

What headphones should I look for that will get me there?
Old 18th September 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 

most headphones are variously anaemic in the low mids

sure you're not just in the process of recovering from years of headphones that didn't sound right?
Old 18th September 2011
  #3
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at4033's Avatar
Hi recorder2,

Thanks for the response. I understand your question (it's a good one), but I don't think that's it.

I used HD600s for years (until they gave up the ghost). They were sonically a good match for the Genelec 1031s I had for years, so I could go between them both and not feel disconnected.

To my ears, the newer HD650 sound more aggressive (thicker) in the lower mids than the older model.

Perhaps I am alone in this?
Old 18th September 2011
  #4
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by at4033 View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm very happy with my Sennheiser HD 650 headphones - with one small exception: I wish they were a tad less robust in the lower mids. Everything else is wonderful.

What headphones should I look for that will get me there?
Probably the HD 600

Or the HD 800 if you want to spend £1,000 (like I did).
Old 18th September 2011
  #5
epp
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by at4033 View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm very happy with my Sennheiser HD 650 headphones - with one small exception: I wish they were a tad less robust in the lower mids. Everything else is wonderful.

What headphones should I look for that will get me there?
What headphone amp do you use?
Old 18th September 2011
  #6
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SteelyDani's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by at4033 View Post
Hi recorder2,

Thanks for the response. I understand your question (it's a good one), but I don't think that's it.

I used HD600s for years (until they gave up the ghost). They were sonically a good match for the Genelec 1031s I had for years, so I could go between them both and not feel disconnected.

To my ears, the newer HD650 sound more aggressive (thicker) in the lower mids than the older model.

Perhaps I am alone in this?
Nope. I agree 100% with you.
Old 19th September 2011
  #7
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Fidelis's Avatar
 

Same here! I think I'll downgrade to a hd600 to see if it's better.


www.ricardomosca.com
Old 19th September 2011
  #8
I've heard a few people mention that the HD600s sound flatter than the newer HD650s. I've only ever owned the HD600s, and am very happy with them, see no reason to upgrade to anything else.
Old 19th September 2011
  #9
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I listened to the HD800 and BD Tesla T1 last week and I hated both of them, the soundstage is wide and shows so much detail that the music feels ripped apart/disconnected, I would never feel good about listening to music in one of those. That is great though since I had decided I needed to upgrade from my HD600, I thought I needed a little bit more detail and less lowmids. I don't..not if it equals HD800. Artificial and uber Hifi.
Old 19th September 2011
  #10
Fezzle
Guest
Yeh +1 for HD600's being pretty flat.. ive heard others say the same about the 650's with the extra low mid oomph
Old 19th September 2011
  #11
I tried 600's many years ago and found them clogged in the mids. The response graph showed a bloom in the mids around 200~500 hz. The other thing I didn't like was 20 k hz was down some 6 db or so, not acceptable.
Old 19th September 2011
  #12
Jim, what did you find that WAS acceptable to you? I would be interested to know...
Old 19th September 2011
  #13
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msquared's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epp View Post
What headphone amp do you use?
This is definitely a valid question.
Old 19th September 2011
  #14
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steffo View Post
I listened to the HD800 and BD Tesla T1 last week and I hated both of them, the soundstage is wide and shows so much detail that the music feels ripped apart/disconnected, I would never feel good about listening to music in one of those. That is great though since I had decided I needed to upgrade from my HD600, I thought I needed a little bit more detail and less lowmids. I don't..not if it equals HD800. Artificial and uber Hifi.
What is your source and what is your amplifier?

I use the HD 800 through a Grace m902b and have found them to be neutral, natural and revealing.

Listening to my own recordings they sounded exactly as they dis when I was listening with my ears in the room while I was setting out the microphones.

I do find that the HD 800 show up deficiencies earlier in the chain - so I would think that it is more likely that the HD 800 is showing up these deficiencies than anything else.

Or - you have gotten used to a more coloured sound and a neutral sound just sounds wrong to you.

Just my thoughts - as everyone I know who uses the HD 800 on a good amp. loves them.

Oh - and when I first started listening to them I was listening for almost 6 hours and thought it was only about 2 - on a good recording they do let the music through.
Old 19th September 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post

Or - you have gotten used to a more coloured sound and a neutral sound just sounds wrong to you.

Just my thoughts - as everyone I know who uses the HD 800 on a good amp. loves them.
I listened In the hifi store show room, very expensive amp. I have listened to the HD800's 3-4 times in really good amps.

You're right, I'm definitely used to coloured speakers, I like JBL/NS10 and other midrange speakers as mixing reference. The reason is probably because I listen at very low volume and if the speaker has weak (straight) high mids I feel no bite/energy and I get turned off by what I'm hearing. I also tend to mix boring in a boring headphone/speaker. I also think a lot of bass gets in the way of what is important.

I did not say the HD800 are bad, I just think they sound artificial and uber hifi. The HD600 sounds narrow, a bit compressed and has a lot of low mids, I think I like them a lot more then the T1/800's because they are more like monitors at a low volume, the source is in front of me, not around me. When the sound field is really wide it feels like mixing with the monitors at each side of my head pointed straight to my ears. Panning is a mystery with a stereo field like that. With the HD600 I can mix just like I would on speakers. It's a great mixing tool.

I should have been more clear though - It's all about my taste, not about the best spec. It's always about taste though..
Old 20th September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
Jim, what did you find that WAS acceptable to you? I would be interested to know...
Stax electrostatics. Everything else is an analogy.
Old 20th September 2011
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Stax electrostatics. Everything else is an analogy.
Thanks Jim, I've heard this before, although I've never tried a pair. Seems like it might be a good time to start demoing some. Are the whole range better than the average dynamic cans, or do you need to look only at the top end?
Old 20th September 2011
  #18
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at4033's Avatar
Hi Folks,

Thanks for making this a helpful thread! Epp, I use a Presonus Central Station.
Old 21st September 2011
  #19
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Lehmman's Avatar
 

I must agree with the others, still prefer the 600 to the 650.
There are some sites suggesting mods to better the 600, never tried though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by epp View Post
What headphone amp do you use?
Definitely worth a check:
New reference headphone monitoring system
Old 21st September 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

On my second set of 650's now. They're sweet.
Old 21st September 2011
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
Thanks Jim, I've heard this before, although I've never tried a pair. Seems like it might be a good time to start demoing some. Are the whole range better than the average dynamic cans, or do you need to look only at the top end?
Lamda's are the low end version. They require a 150 watt amp to work well. The sound is liquid, like nothing you've ever heard in any dynamic headphones. It's as if you are inside the sound. It's like a C-12 compared to a SM57.
Old 21st September 2011
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by at4033 View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm very happy with my Sennheiser HD 650 headphones - with one small exception: I wish they were a tad less robust in the lower mids. Everything else is wonderful.

What headphones should I look for that will get me there?
It's a matter or personal hearing. i don't find them too hyped in the low mids. Compare that with K271. Those have really hyped low mids.
Old 24th September 2011
  #23
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at4033's Avatar
As I say, I'm very happy with the HD650s, but sometimes the low-mids get in the way.

It's also interesting to note that some people I have in don't like them because they think they lack top end. I'm inclined to suspect they may have some hearing attenuation, though I have to admit that I can see how the robust lower-mids would mask the top for some listeners.

I'm checking out a new pair of AKG K701. Good lord, these things sound HORRIBLE! I mean, really bad: harsh top, hollow sounding, strange spatial thing I can't quite figure out, peaky in the upper mid-range and really lean bass and lower-mids. My ATH-M50s beat the snot out of them.

I've read that they require break in (100 hours, according to some people). I dunno: I've run audio through them for close to 30 hours and no improvement at all. Sure, the headphone amp could be playing a roll, but it's not impairing the other headphones. Maybe it's a bad match for the preamp, maybe not.
Old 24th September 2011
  #24
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Plush's Avatar
#650 are super accurate, so I can't agree that the 650 presents a mid-range build up. The midrange build up heard would be the midrange build up in the auditioned recording.

#701 need a lot (tens of hours) of breaking in before they present their glorious and beautiful sound. You have to know this before dissing them.

Stick with what you had before if they suited your uses.

However, you posit a falsity up front, then seek
commentary on the false premise.
Old 24th September 2011
  #25
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at4033's Avatar
"However, you posit a falsity up front, then seek commentary on the false premise."

Plush, is that your sig or a comment?
Old 24th September 2011
  #26
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at4033's Avatar
Quick follow-up:

Plush, if you own a pair of the AKGs, how long did it take you before they were fully broken in?

You note they take tens of hours. After more than 30 hours of break-in the sound is unchanged. In your experience, is 100 hours really the amount of break in we're talking about?
Old 24th September 2011
  #27
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Plush's Avatar
Here we are using 3 pair AKG 701 and each took around 6 months of use to sound good. That is a looong time and it IS bogus. But they sounded great afterwards.

Not my SIG, sir. Rather my view on the opinion.
Old 24th September 2011
  #28
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by at4033 View Post
Quick follow-up:

Plush, if you own a pair of the AKGs, how long did it take you before they were fully broken in?
The AKGs do have a very long burn-in time. I have heard 500 hours mentioned on several occasions - 100 hours seems to be the minimum before they start sounding good.
Old 10th January 2012
  #29
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Don't say that you need to burn in headphones (or speakers) around here; those in the know might strenuously attempt to debunk your ability to make decisions based on what you hear.
Sorry , I couldn't resist.
Cheers, Ross
Old 10th January 2012
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
Anonymatt's Avatar
 

Try the 600s. If you're happy with the 650s but hoping something will be just a little bit different....

600s took a few days to "burn in". Maybe 20 hours? New headphones always sound stiff when you're retiring an 8 year old pair of HD265s. Sounded wooden to me at first.


DID ANYBODY'S 600 SMELL LIKE FEET WHEN THEY FIRST GOT THEM???? I don't know if it's a glue that they use on the inside of the carton or what, shoot, that stench took weeks to go away. I got them off ebay, but they were new, WTF?
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