Do you want to learn all about Sennheiser headphones? Stick around until the end of this article and don’t move a muscle.
Greetings friend and Welcome aboard. Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
Are Sennheiser Headphones Any Good?
Simply put, Sennheiser is one of the most reliable, time-tested audiophile brands out there. What is an Audiophile? If there were ever a headphone that you should buy without thinking twice, it’s probably a Sennheiser.
I can think of few other products in this niche that I haven’t had a single issue with from the start. I first bought an HD600 in 2016 and it functions just as well as the day I got it. Sennheiser HD600 Review. You will have to replace the pads about once a year (more or less depending on usage), but that’s the great thing about them; all parts are replaceable.
Do they need to be repaired?
I wouldn’t necessarily say they ever need to be “repaired” because they truly never break down in terms of their structural integrity (for the most part). I would caution new users not to stretch the headband too far as it’s been known to snap under pressure like Henry Hill from Goodfellas.
Where are they made?
Other than that, my original made in Ireland model has withstood countless drops over the last 5 or so years without so much as a single dent, nick, or scratch. Do keep in mind that not all are made in Ireland. Some are made in Germany, and yes, others like the HD598 and Momentum in China and/or Taiwan.
Contrary to popular belief, made in China does not = bad, especially in the case of electronics. China makes some of the best audio products around to be quite honest. FiiO is another example of a Chinese brand that I’ve never had a single issue with. Great products, great company.
I do take really good care of my 600’s for the most part, but I have run over the cable hundreds of times with my computer chair and it still looks and feels like new. Upon close examination, the cable has a few small dings and blemishes, but it really takes a hard look to find them.
One cursory glance at it and you’d think it was a cheap piece of crap from your local drug store. It’s thin, flimsy, and rather pathetic looking, but looks can be deceiving. For me, it’s been one of the most durable cables I’ve ever owned or come across dating back to 2010 when I was first introduced to the hobby via an MDR-7506. The Sony MDR-7506 Will Change YOUR Life!!
All Sennheiser headphones that I’ve tried outside of the HD600 are equally as durable, and I haven’t had one single complaint with any. From a build and comfort standpoint, they are totally worth it.
As far as the best and which you should buy?
That’s a tough one, but there are a couple that really stood out to me.
Regardless of what some clueless parrot on Reddit tells you, the 6XX is NOT a clone of the 650 and NOT identical to the 650. They’re not even close to sounding the same. Read: Before You Buy A Sennheiser HD6XX, READ THIS!!
The 6XX is probably Sennheiser’s best, followed by the HD600 and then the 650. I’ve gone back and forth a little on the 600 vs. 650 comparison as far as preference, but the 6XX is a much better value at around $200 regardless. Even if the 650 and 6XX were identical (which they aren’t), there’s literally zero reason to spend $200-300 more on a 600 or 650. It makes no sense.
Aside from that, the 6XX is crisp and lively, but the mid-range doesn’t annoy me as it does with the HD600. It also doesn’t have the 650’s problem of being too dull, relaxed, and laid back in the mids.
For me, it struck a perfect balance between the 2 headphones and is much cheaper to boot. If you’re reading this right now, I wouldn’t hesitate. It’s one of the easiest purchases you’ll ever make in this hobby or otherwise. Read: The 5 Best Audiophile Headphones For Under $500
If you’re into harder genres like Metal, Hip-Hop, EDM, etc. I think this is a perfect complement to the HD6XX. The Best Headphones for Metal [In Depth Guide]
While I can technically listen to those genres with a 6XX, I much prefer an HD25. It has a really good mid-bass impact without sounding bloated or artificial, there’s a nice sizzle to the treble without sounding too essy (most of the time), and the mid-range is perfectly clear and sounds fantastic.
It is a bit of a V-shape, but for snobby connoisseurs such as myself. In other v-shaped headphones, the bass tends to drown out the mid-range. Not so with the HD25.
In my opinion, this is how a V-shaped headphone should actually look and sound. Not over the top, but still with some extra spicy.
Do keep in mind that the HD25, because it’s an on-ear, isn’t nearly as comfortable as the 600 line. You’ll find yourself making very frequent adjustments after about 30-45 min. so keep that in mind. Read: The Sennheiser HD25 Will Change YOUR Life!!
These are the 2 Sennheiser headphones you should consider first.
After that, you could graduate to the HD800 but you may not like the spike around 5kHz. Aside from that, the headphone is nearly flawless with an impeccable Soundstage, but it’s really not for everyone. What is Soundstage? [Detailed Explanation]
Speaking of Soundstage, how are Sennheiser headphones for gaming?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they aren’t that great. Even so, the HD650 surprised me in that it does have a slightly wider stage than the HD600’s (at least in gaming). I was using an Audioengine D1 at the time for what it’s worth, but I found myself more immersed in the gaming environment regardless. Read: The Best Headphones for Gaming [In Depth Guide]
I suppose the HD600’s could work in a pinch for gaming, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to use them. The image is simply too boxed in and claustrophobic sounding. The problem with the 600 line for gaming is that the sounds, while separated, aren’t spaced far enough apart (at least for my liking).
You never get a sense that you’re truly immersed in the gameplay environment as you would with something like a K702. If you’re looking for gaming headphones at a more affordable price, I’d consider the 702 first. Before YOU Buy An AKG K702, READ THIS!!
Most other headphones in the line suffer the same fate for gaming, with the obvious exception being the HD800. That is probably the single best headphone you’ll likely come across for gaming, Sennheiser or otherwise.
Something we touched on earlier and what makes Sennheiser headphones worth a purchase is indeed their comfort level.
The clamping force can be tight at first with the 600 line, but it does open up over time. I personally love the way an HD600 feels on my head and always have. It’s super snug like a bug in a rug, and I’ve always described it as receiving a warm hug from an old friend. There aren’t many headphones out there that I’d rank higher in terms of comfort.
The HD25 by contrast is not comfortable at all. Being an on-ear headphone with faux leather pads, it’s going to dig into your earlobes fairly quickly and you’ll find yourself wanting to adjust after about 30-45 minutes.
I will tolerate this because of how great the sound is, but your mileage may vary.
You’ll get differing schools of thought on this, but I think Sennheiser headphones are great for mixing as long as you understand that the treble is fairly dark/subdued sounding on the 600 line in particular. Just be careful not to overcompensate in your mix by raising it too much as it will sound bad with other speakers and headphones. Read: What is the Sennheiser Veil?
Both the bass and mid-range are just about perfect for mixing, as you’ll be able to hear a lot going on with vocals and instruments. You can also give the bass some nice punch without feeling like you’re overdoing it, but I wouldn’t boost it considerably or anything.
Mixing for me is mostly based on feel. I can comfortably mix with any headphones if I know their strengths and weaknesses; i.e. what to boost and what not to, etc.
I have not heard these yet, but I will update the article when I do. I’ve heard that the 58X is just a less refined, slightly grainier sound with more bass, but take that with a grain of salt.
Ready to grab a 6XX?
Listen to harder genres?
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion on Sennheiser headphones and came away with some valuable insight.
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Which one of these are you going to purchase? What genres of music do you mostly listen to? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,