Beyerdynamic DT880 vs. Sennheiser HD600 (And Why It Matters)
Hello there friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get into the Beyerdynamic DT880 vs. Sennheiser HD600, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
For this article, I will do a quick and dirty comparison, and then link to my official recommendation towards the end! 🙂
DT880: Pro vs. Premium Model
DT880: Impedance differences
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
Ah, two of the best studio headphones for mixing! I really do believe that these guys go toe to toe with each other, and it became extremely hard for me to make a decision. That said, I ended up going with the HD600 because it’s the Gold Standard, and a benchmark headphone that does pretty much nothing wrong. It’s about the best investment you can make as far as audiophile headphones are concerned, and the price to performance ratio is outrageously good.
DT880: Pro vs. Premium Model
The big thing to know is that the Pro model is more suited towards mixing/mastering, and reference, while the Premium model is better for casual listeners.
Between the 250 and 600 Ohm models:
The treble and bass are a little more prominent with the 600 Ohm.
The clarity is also a tad better with the 600 Ohm version.
The 32 Ohm will work much better with your mobile devices, and does not require amplification.
DT880: Impedance differences
The DT880’s come in 3 different impedance versions:
32 Ohm. These will work well with your mobile devices and do not need an amp.
Sound. The DT880’s are very cold and analytical, revealing everything about the sound, whether good or bad. They aren’t as enjoyable as the HD600. The 600’s are analytical as well, but not in a way that seems harsh. They’re warmer and more inviting. They’re fun. You can put them on and really enjoy what you’re listening to while also being critical of it if need be. The 880’s are very clinical and do best in mixing/mastering situations due to their brutal honesty. The 600’s are much more laid back, natural, and smooth sounding.
Bass/Treble. The DT880 has better bass and more detailed treble, while the 600 has simply morebass. It’s also quite detailed, so no worries there. The detail on the 600’s is there in spades, but there isn’t this spotlight on it like with the 880’s. The 880’s are more in your face. Do be aware that because of this, they have a tendency to become somewhat harsh/sibilant in that treble range at times. What does Sibilant mean?
Mid-range. Because of the HD600’s superior mid-range, it sounds more natural than the DT880. While the 600’s mid-range is forward, the 880’s seems to take a step back.
Soundstage. The DT880 has a wider and more 2-d Soundstage, while the HD600’s is more 3-d and natural. There are times when I have to rip off my headphones and turn around to make sure nothing is behind me, but for the most part, you aren’t going to get an extremely spacious Soundstage with these guys. What is Soundstage? The DT880 is more in your head sounding, while the 600’s feel more like speakers (by comparison). Again, it’s marginal. The 600’s are not known for having a big Soundstage, so keep this in mind.
Genre. The 880 does have more bass and sparkle, so it does a little better with stuff like Rock, Progressive, Metal, and Electronica. The 600’s excel with Acoustic, Guitar, and Jazz type stuff, but make no mistake: They will sound great with all genres. The key here is source quality and amplification. Get a good amp and some good quality files (WAV or FLAC), and you’ll never go back. Hehe.
Comfort. The DT880’s are more comfortable, but that’s no knock on the 600’s. They are probably some of the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn. Beyerdynamics are known for their comfort, so it’s no surprise that they slightly edge the 600’s.
Mid-range vs. Treble. Neither is completely flat or neutral, and each has qualities that stand out more than others. For instance, the 600’s mid-range is definitely forward, which gives vocals and instruments that extra sparkle and realism. The 880’s standout feature is treble. There’s a peak around 8 kHz that gives off that sizzle/sparkle that we previously said may contribute to some sibilance and a sort of metallic sound. That said, the DT880’s by comparison is more neutral than the 600’s.
Clamp Force. The HD600’s are known to have tight clamp pressure at first, which opens up over time. The 880’s by contrast do not, and will be comfortable right out of the box.
Color and Look. The 600’s are black vs. the grey of the 880’s.
As mentioned in the introduction, the HD600 wins this one by a hair. I’ve read extensively and experience its glorious sound for myself, and I have to recommend it over the 880. While the 880 is a phenomenal headphone in its own right, the sibilance factor did sour me a bit. It’s also not quite as natural and has the capacity to sound a little artificial at times.
The HD600 is the all in one solution and can almost do no wrong. It’s not amp picky, does well with most genres, has incredible instrument separation and clarity, isn’t fatiguing in the least, is super comfortable and durable, has all replaceable parts, and has been around since 1997 with little to no upgrade, modification or alternate versions. It’s the benchmark for which all headphones should be compared. Interested in learning everything you need to know about my favorite headphone?
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.