Home Headphone Comparisons Sennheiser HD600 vs. 650 [Full Guide]

Sennheiser HD600 vs. 650 [Full Guide]

by Stuart Charles Black

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Updates.

  • 5/20/19.
  • 6/17/21. Article Update.

3,593-word post, approx. 6 min read.

First, check out this quick comparison before we get started!


Comparison Chart


Preview
Best For Reference
Sennheiser HD 600 Open Dynamic Hi-Fi Professional Stereo Headphones (Black)
Best For Casual Listening
Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
Title
Sennheiser HD 600 Open Dynamic Hi-Fi Professional Stereo Headphones (Black)
Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
Color
Speckled Blue, Black
Grey/Black
Fit
Circumaural (Around Ear)
Circumaural (Around Ear)
Weight
9.2 Oz.
9.2 Oz.
Padding
Velour
Velour
Impedance
300 Ohms
300 Ohms
Sensitivity
97dB/mW
103dB/mW
Termination
3.5mm with 1/4" Adapter
1/4" with 3.5mm Adapter
Primary Use
Mixing, Mastering, Reference, Critical Listening
Casual Listening, Fun
Cable Detachable?
Amplification Required?
Open Back?
Prime
Price
$278.12
$379.45
Best For Reference
Preview
Sennheiser HD 600 Open Dynamic Hi-Fi Professional Stereo Headphones (Black)
Title
Sennheiser HD 600 Open Dynamic Hi-Fi Professional Stereo Headphones (Black)
Color
Speckled Blue, Black
Fit
Circumaural (Around Ear)
Weight
9.2 Oz.
Padding
Velour
Impedance
300 Ohms
Sensitivity
97dB/mW
Termination
3.5mm with 1/4" Adapter
Primary Use
Mixing, Mastering, Reference, Critical Listening
Cable Detachable?
Amplification Required?
Open Back?
Prime
Price
$278.12
Best For Casual Listening
Preview
Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
Title
Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
Color
Grey/Black
Fit
Circumaural (Around Ear)
Weight
9.2 Oz.
Padding
Velour
Impedance
300 Ohms
Sensitivity
103dB/mW
Termination
1/4" with 3.5mm Adapter
Primary Use
Casual Listening, Fun
Cable Detachable?
Amplification Required?
Open Back?
Prime
Price
$379.45

Main Difference


HD650

The HD650 offers a warmer and more relaxed overall sound. It tends to smooth over the rough edges in music, like sandpaper to wood.

It’s better suited for casual listening where your goal is to sit back, relax, and not analyze the music too much.

I also found the Soundstage on the 650 to be a bit better for Gaming and movies as it’s more immersive and tends to separate details and sounds better.


HD600

The HD600 by contrast is a little cleaner sounding, and definitely less warm than the 650.

This is a mixing and mastering headphone above all else, as it will reveal flaws in the recording quite easily.

I would also say that the mid-range sounds a bit more forward, due to the increased roll-off in the bass, or simply a bump around 1-3k.

In all honesty, I don’t hear this amount of “forwardness” with the 650, and at times the mids of the 600 can simply be too much from a pure musical enjoyment standpoint.


If you’re interested in my in-depth look before you pull the trigger, read on.

Back To Top


Hey there friend, and Welcome aboard!!

This article will attempt to cover any and all questions you may have regarding the Sennheiser HD600 vs. 650, two former flagship models that really set a standard for audiophile headphones back in the late ’90s and early 2000’s.

The HD 600 debuted in 1997 and the 650 followed in 2003.

They have both been around a long time, and have a great track record as some of the most respected, and best all-around open-back cans in existence to this day.

Before we get started with all the fun, grab a snack, sit back, and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!

Specifications

Sennheiser HD 600

Specifications

  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check B&H! | Check eBay!
  • Type: Open back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 300 ohms.
  • Sensitivity: 97dB/mW.
  • Frequency response: 12Hz – 39000 kHz.
  • Material: Metal Grilles, Carbon Fiber, Velour Ear Pads, Plastic.
  • Color: Speckled Blue Finish, Black.
  • Weight with Cable: 315g (11.1 Oz.)
  • Weight without Cable: 262g (9.2 Oz.)

Sennheiser HD 650

Specifications

  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check B&H! | Check eBay!
  • Type: Open back. Closed back vs. Open back headphones.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 300 Ohm.
  • Sensitivity: 103dB/mW.
  • Frequency response: 12 – 39000 Hz.
  • Material: OFC copper (Kevlar Reinforced), Velour, Plastic.
  • Color: Grey and Black Metal Flake Finish.
  • Weight with Cable: 370g (13 Oz.)
  • Weight without Cable: 259g (9.1 Oz.)

Build

The build of each of these is roughly the same. They are very similar in weight as well. The internet has them both at 9.2 Oz., but I weighed them on my scale and the 650 is a bit lighter at 259g vs. 262 for the HD600 – something you likely won’t notice or really care about.

As you can see from above, with the cable the HD650 is significantly bulkier because it needs a 1/4″ to 3.5mm adapter. The HD 600 terminates in a standard 3.5mm jack and comes with a great snap-on adapter.

Most of them are of the screw-on variety, but the 600’s are unique because of the black base. I no longer have to worry about trying to find it. It sticks out like a sore thumb!

The padding on each headband is also a bit different. The 650 has one uniform pad with a sort of crater in the middle, while the 600’s utilize 4 individual pads. Both are made of the same material and feel great to the touch.

Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650

Visually, the HD 600 has that speckled blue/marbled finish that you’re either going to love or hate. Personally, I love it. A friend of mine Cory from YouTube actually loved the color so much he did a custom controller mod with it!

Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650

Cory Tucker’s Sennheiser HD 600 color mod. Dope!

In contrast, the HD 650 utilizes a Grey and Black Metal Flake finish, and personally to me, it doesn’t have as much character as the 600’s.

Termination & Wiring

Another notable difference between these two headphones is their termination and cable.

The HD 600’s cable is very thin and very retro. I tend to run over it a lot with my chair, but it’s held up remarkably well.

Still, it’s kind of a bear to get the wire out of the ear cup. Each piece is incredibly small and it’s hard to get your fingers around it.

On the 650, I have no such issues. This time around Sennheiser made the cable larger overall, and thicker at the base. I can easily pull the cables out of each ear cup and they also feel a bit sturdier.

On the 600, there is a red cable to indicate that it should go into the right cup vs. all black for the 650. Both also have small “R” and “L” indicators on each piece. In this picture, you cannot see that for the 600 because they are turned over.

Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650

Aside from all that, these headphones are the same throughout.

They have the same grilles, the same velour ear padding, and are made of roughly the same materials.

The headband adjustment going from the ear cup to the headband is also that same sliver of metal, and while it doesn’t look very durable, it actually is!

Both headphones’ ear cups move slightly in but don’t rotate otherwise. Lastly, both also have the rectangle on the side with “HD600” and “HD650” written. This adds an official touch and looks very nice as well.

Comfort

Both of these feel almost the exact same on your head. They are both extremely comfortable but do need to be stretched out a bit at first. To do this, you can either:

  • Just wear them as normal and wait for them to loosen up a bit.
  • Stretch them out over some books, a pillow, or something similar.

Just be very careful with them.

The HD 600’s headband has been known to snap under pressure, sort of like Henry Hill in Goodfellas. 😛

Even though the headband padding on both is slightly different, I didn’t find much of a difference at all with regard to the comfort level. Fortunately, the padding is fantastic on both and never digs into your head over long listening sessions.

After both open up, clamp pressure is snug like a bug in a rug, and you’ll pretty much forget you’re wearing them.

Not much more to say here. In addition to the HD 598, both of these are some of the comfiest I’ve ever worn.

Sound & Imaging

HD 600

The HD 600 has a fairly balanced sound signature aside from that bump around 3k, which I’ve talked about ad nausea. Keep in mind that these headphones will sound fantastic for the most part.

There’s loads of detail, great instrument separation, smooth bass with some nice impact, and a darker sounding but still detailed treble.

The only real issue I’ve had with it since 2016 is that mid-range. It’s just too forward at times, and you will notice it at some point (especially the more time you spend with it).

HD 650

By contrast, the 650’s mid-range tones that area down a bit, and it’s much more enjoyable overall. The other main difference is that the treble will be a bit darker than the 600, and dare I say “more veiled.”

In some ways, I think The Sennheiser Veil is kind of a myth, but it sort of does apply with the 650.

There are times when it’s so relaxing that it may actually lull you to sleep! Definitely not a bad thing in my opinion, but something to keep in mind.

In a world where most headphones overemphasize the treble, the 650 is a welcome deviation from the norm.

The other main difference here is the ever so slightly more elevated mid-bass on the 650. It’s a bit more subtle but still noticeable even though it may not show up on certain graphs.

Thank you to Crinacle for both the HD600 and 650 graphs!

From the above graphs, you can see the 600’s mid-range is a bit more elevated than the 600’s; something that shows up on pretty much every measurement – even terrible ones like mine.

The best way to describe the difference in sound is akin to something like wood and sandpaper. With the HD600, you’re getting a raw piece of wood.

The HD 650’s sound is like the effect of that same piece of wood after it’s been sanded down. It kind of smooths over the rough edges in music, and therefore becomes more accessible for the average listener who just wants to know what the whole audiophile experience is like. What is an Audiophile?

In fact, I firmly believe that the 650 is the quintessential audiophile headphone. Once you listen, you’ll kind of have a better understanding of why people get sucked down the rabbit hole and end up mortgaging away their life savings for better sound.

I find the bass roll-off with each of these two headphones to be a lot more tolerable than both an AKG K240 and a Sennheiser HD 598. With those, it’s almost too lean and won’t provide enough impact for more bass heavier genres that I like to listen to: namely Indie Pop, Hip-Hop, EDM, and the like.

Imaging/Soundstage

As far as Imaging is concerned, I was surprised to find that the 650 excels a bit more here, especially for Gaming and Movies. I found myself more immersed in the environment and hearing sounds a lot farther away. The image is wider, with more depth and better spacing. The Best Headphones for Gaming!

The HD 600 does have a tendency to sound kind of closed in and narrow, but instrument separation is still phenomenal. Just don’t buy these headphones expecting them to work well with Gaming. They just won’t be as good as a 650.

The reason is that the Soundstage itself is also very closed in. If you put your hands on either side of your head and then move them out about 6 or so inches, that’s about all the width you’re going to get.

With a K702, it’s almost infinite. You’ll start to think you’re hearing stuff outside of your apartment, below you, above you, etc. It’s subtle, but definitely mimics the effect of speakers much better than an HD600.

Video Comparison

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Photo Gallery

Click to see them in action!

Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650Sennheiser HD 598 vs. HD 650 vs. HD 600Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650

Amplification

At 300 Ohms, these will also need an adequate amplifier to reach their full potential. They simply resist more power than your average headphone and also require more from an amp to reach acceptable listening levels. What is Headphone Impedance?

Interestingly enough, the HD650 at 103dB Sensitivity will not require quite as much, and you’ll have an easier time driving it.

I find that I’m not having to dial up the volume as much with an HD650, whereas with an HD600 I feel like I’m constantly adjusting and re-adjusting the volume based on the source, as well as their “on the cusp of being low” Sensitivity.

The 600’s are simply not as receptive to a steady volume level, which I find rather irritating at times. What is Sensitivity in Headphones?

They take a bit of burn-in time to really get acclimated, so prepare to really be thoroughly impressed after around the 50-hour mark.

Things start to open up considerably and everything kind of settles in. The sound becomes focused and tightly in place, which results in a very clean overall signature. Related: Do headphones need to be burned in?

I’ve prepared some helpful resources for you on How To Choose A Headphone Amp, as well as The Best Headphone Amps For The Sennheiser HD600 & 650!

If you have any questions let me know. 🙂

Genre Pairing

I find that both of these headphones handle a wide variety of genres pretty well. There aren’t really any standouts until you get to Rock.

I would say both probably do best for this type of music, as there’s the perfect amount of bass, good presence in the mid-range, and the treble isn’t over the top.

You’ll be able to kick back and listen for a long time with the HD 650, but be prepared to take semi-frequent breaks with a 600.

That said, I wouldn’t rely on either of these headphones for really crunchy guitars or genres like Hard Rock and Metal. While it will still sound good, it’s going to lack the raw power and excitement that something like an HD25 provides in spades.

I’d say these will do well with anything from Jazz, Classical, Hip-Hop, Rock, Indie/Pop, Acoustic, Folk, Bluegrass, and really anything in between.

Comparison Section

What are these good for?

Production

Critical listeners and producers looking for an honest mix down. The HD650’s signature isn’t as conducive to mixing, but they will still work. Just know that even though there are differences between the two headphones, they are fairly subtle. More on that in a bit!

Right now I’m actually working on a mix with the HD600, and everything just sounds “correct.”

There’s really no guesswork involved in trying to figure out if I’m EQ’ing correctly. I can quickly and easily boost the frequencies I need to in the sample without worrying about if I’m overdoing it. The HD600 will certainly let me know.

While bright treble in other headphones helps you find flaws quickly, it can sometimes be a detriment to the final mix if you end up boosting something unnecessarily and don’t fix it.

In other words, it can potentially be harder to detect.

Jazz and Classical

The HD650 in particular is sublime with certain Jazz recordings.

Make sure you’re primarily listening to the highest quality sources possible, but also know that the 650 tends to smooth out the rough edges in music. It’s a headphone that’s a bit more immediately enjoyable, as opposed to the more sterile sounding HD600.

Hip-Hop/Indie Pop

There are some folks who wouldn’t outright recommend either of these for Hip-Hop, but I’m not one of those people. I think they do exceptionally well for both, as well as Indie Pop.

Why?

Because instead of feeling the bass, you’re able to now hear it. Because of this, the music immediately has more detail and sounds much better than a pure bass head can. You’ll start to hear things that you never dreamed were there.

For instance, I much prefer Lauryn Hill’s “Lost Ones” with a 600/650 than I do with a more V-shaped can. It just sounds so much better and more refined.

Rock

Perhaps their bread and butter, both of these headphones do phenomenal for Rock as there is a perfect amount of bass and the mid-range is really allowed to shine.

The somewhat darker treble never gets out of line either, but still retains a great sense of clarity and detail.

They sound good with just about every type of music though and have been called a genre master.

What are they not good for?

Not for every recording.

They are really honest and will reveal flaws in your everyday recordings.

A reviewer I came across on Amazon mentioned that he was tempted to throw away all of his old badly mastered stuff.

Make sure your source is of good quality!

The 650 is a bit more forgiving in this case, so it will match better with the more casual listener.

I do find myself skipping over some tracks with the HD600 as the mix/master just sounds awful. This is the exception and not the rule, but still, something to keep in mind.

Office and portable use, etc.

They will bleed sound and aren’t really made for on the go situations or where there’s the potential for disturbing others.

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. These headphones are designed to be used in a quiet, isolated environment.

Back To Top

How about specifics?

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • Both headphones are Open back. Closed back vs. Open back headphones.
  • Both headphones have 300-ohm Impedance and do well with similar amplifiers.
  • Both headphones have a Circumaural fit (around the ears).
  • Both headphones have that nice velour padding and are very comfortable.
  • Both have an open, airy sound, and provide great Soundstage as well as instrument separation. Be aware that the Soundstage on the HD600, while good, isn’t particularly wide like an AKG model. You’re getting more of a pinpoint accurate sound. With the 650 it’s a bit wider. More on that below. What is Soundstage?
  • Both have detachable cables.
  • Both weigh roughly the same.
  • Both have the same grilles and headband adjustment.
  • Both ear cups move in the same way.

Differences

Sennheiser HD600 vs. 650

Color.

The HD600 has a blue speckled finish, while the 650 sports a grey and black metal flake finish.

Sound.

The sound of each is very similar, but you will notice that the 650s are a little warmer & more colored.

Their target audience is people who prefer a more enjoyable listening experience rather than the critical one that the 600’s provide. The 600’s are a bit livelier and crisper by contrast.

This difference is rather subtle and took me going back and forth a few times before it became apparent.

Bass.

With the 650, you’re getting that warmer, lusher, and slightly more in-your-face bass.

It’s a bit more syrupy like Sunday Mornings with Aunt Jemima. It hits a tad harder but is still in no way out of line.

The main thing to understand is that because the bass is warmer, it renders the 650 slightly less clinical/sterile as opposed to the 600.

The 600’s are crisper, with a tad more clarity, while the 650 comes off as a bit more exciting. I suppose the 650 may suit the casual listener a little more.

Soundstage.

Sennheiser HD600 vs. 650

This is rather subtle as well, but I noticed that the 650’s Soundstage is a bit wider than the 600’s.

This may explain why part of me enjoys the 650 more than the 600, even though I prefer the more clinical sound of the 600.

Detail & Transparency.

The problem with the HD600 revealing more detail than the 650 is that it can make certain recordings sound downright awful because it’s so honest and transparent.

That said, with stellar recordings, there is really no contest. I’ve heard things with the 600’s that really have no business being heard. Even so, they have a tendency to become a bit metallic and somewhat harsh at times in the way that they portray instruments and voices.

On the other hand, the 650 kind of smooths out a lot of imperfections in music and sounds more pleasant with a wider variety of tracks. This renders them better for pure musical listening enjoyment.

The casual audiophile is likely to be more drawn to this type of sound and cares little about accuracy even though the 650 is an accurate headphone in its own right.

Hip-Hop.

The 650s do a little better with this genre because of that slight bit of extra bass emphasis.

Headband padding.

The padding on both headbands is made of the same material but shaped differently.

The 600 has 4 small pads while the 650 has 2 uniform pads. I didn’t notice a difference in comfort with either. Both are very comfortable.

Wires.

Let’s face it: the HD600’s chord looks and feels like 1997. It’s cheap and belongs on a $20 set of headphones. That said, I haven’t had issues with it. It’s long and cumbersome, so you may want to grab a twist tie.

I’ve run over mine countless times with my computer chair but it’s still doing fine. Maybe it’s not so cheap after all?

On the contrary, the 650’s chord is much improved, thicker, and detaches from the ear cup with greater ease. I found myself tugging rather hard to get the chord out of the 600’s cups.

Both have the same termination, but the pieces that insert are smaller on the 600, and therefore are harder to pull out with your fingers.

Sennheiser HD600 vs. 650

Final Word

The HD 600 and 650 are two very similar sets of headphones.

If you are planning to do more mixing in the studio, and need a revolutionary reference can that has the ability to reveal even the smallest of nuances, look no further than the HD 600.

They just may be the finest example of an open-back model that has ever been made. Don’t believe me? Out of 58 headphones reviewed, only 4 from this man’s collection received an A+ price to performance ratio.

Out of the 100+ headphones I’ve demoed at the time of this writing, the HD600 and 650 are both in the Top 3-5 easily.

Interested in the HD600?

 


If you prefer a more colored sound and want to enjoy the experience rather than be too critical of it, the 650s may suit your tastes better.

They are less analytical overall and have been called the more “fun” sounding headphone out of the two.

 


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed my Sennheiser HD 600 vs. HD 650 comparison review!

How did I do? Which of these suits your needs better? Let me know!

Also if you have any other specific questions, drop me a line down below or Contact me! I very much look forward to hearing from you.

All the best and God bless,

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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28 comments

Jolie July 10, 2015 - 12:30 am

Thanks for this review Stu, my brother bought me a pair of (entry level) Sennheisers and I’ve been a fan of the brand ever since. I think I’m more partial to the 600s for a mixing application – the 650’s sound like they’d give a brilliant listening experience, but it doesn’t make sense to mix using these if everyone else listening to your tracks is going to be listening through below average speakers/headphones! I’ve heard before that Sennheiser’s have a warranty on all parts (or maybe it was that all parts are individually replaceable?) or something like that.. have you heard anything like this before?

Reply
Stu July 10, 2015 - 2:50 pm

You are totally right. The HD 600’s will most likely be my next purchase. I went from the MDR 7506’s, to the ATH M50’s.. I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD 280’s (a great set)..

Yeah while the 650’s are amazing, they are mostly for just listening.. I have heard about the 10 year warranty/guarantee! Is this what you’re referring to?

-Stu

Reply
Eddie August 25, 2016 - 4:42 pm

Hey Stu, in your opinion, is there any value of getting the HD650 if I already have the HD600 or are they too similar?

Reply
Stu August 26, 2016 - 2:33 am

Hey Eddie!

It depends on what you’re using them for, but the HD600 is more known as being a true mixing/reference can, while the 650 has more bass and is generally considered the headphone to get if you want to enjoy the music rather than be critical of it. The good news is that you can still mix with the 650.

Tyll from Inner Fidelity once said that he preferred the 600’s because they were a bit “snappier” and lively. I’ve heard that the 650’s are so smooth they may lull you to sleep!

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions..

-Stu

Reply
Jack January 16, 2017 - 8:31 pm

Hello Stu:
I really like your comparisons on HD600 and HD650. Basically, I had HD600, and HD800. I have really wondered how the HD600 and HD650 differ in terms of soundstage? I mean from your comparisons. You do mention the soundstages. I guess I could say HD650 soundstage is better according to you saying we can point out where and what…
Thanks!

Reply
Stu January 21, 2017 - 2:24 am

Hey Jack!

I’ve found that the 650 has a bit wider of a Soundstage than the 600 but it’s not a night and day difference. You’re getting incredible instrument separation, clarity and detail with the 600 and 650. But yeah, both have pin point accuracy. Thanks for the comment!

-Stu

Reply
Rob January 26, 2017 - 11:54 pm

Stu, you have an amazing site! Just wanted you to know that I just bought a Sennheiser HD600, all thanks to your thorough review and mentioning of the gold standard. Good job with this site, I run a music website and would love to work together with you one day on some articles.

Reply
Stu January 27, 2017 - 1:26 am

Sounds good brother! We’ll have to work something out. So glad you like the 600’s. I’m sitting here listening with them as we speak. 🙂 Contact me and we can bounce ideas.
-Stu

Reply
Leon September 29, 2017 - 9:53 am

This is an excellent comparision. I really enjoyed the content and found it very informative. A proud HD600 owner here. Thanks

Reply
Stuart Charles Black September 29, 2017 - 9:41 pm

Thank you so much Leon! Ever need anything just contact me!

Reply
Conrad Ball November 23, 2017 - 3:58 am

I bought my HD600 in about 1999 for HiFi listening. I have upgraded everything in my system a number of times except the HD600. They are a bit battered now and the foam bits around the ears are long gone, but they still sound exactly as you describe in the review. Best AV purchase I ever made.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black November 23, 2017 - 4:52 pm

Thanks for the vote of confidence man! I really love mine too. Only had them for about a year, but I can tell they’re built to last. Every part is replaceable! Truly priceless. What amp are you using?

Reply
Lok Which January 18, 2019 - 10:16 pm

This is really interesting, and really came at the right time because I’m seriously in need of an headphone. Reading through this comparison, they both have good features which are really convincing but I really love going for the best. As for me I think I will be getting HD 650 I really love it.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black January 20, 2019 - 2:09 pm

Thanks man!. You’ll really love the HD650. It’s probably the best overall headphone recommendation I can make for a budding audiophile. It’s going to work well for most people who just want to know what music is supposed to sound like. 

Reply
Sujandar Mahesan January 18, 2019 - 10:18 pm

I have always been confused between the Sennheiser HD 600 vs. 650. This article just helped me make a wise decision on it. 

After reading the review and the chart about both the headphones I am going to go with the Sennheiser HD 600 because at last it comes down to the price for me.

Thank you for helping me choose between these two headphones.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black January 21, 2019 - 5:17 pm

My pleasure Sujandar! Always glad to help. Let me know how you like the 600’s!

Reply
Jamiro Hazel January 18, 2019 - 10:27 pm

I really love kicking my feet up and enjoying some me time with my music and headphones. I am a lover of headphones and good sound systems so I am always on the look out for good quality products. I love the comparison you made about the two products and I am definitely leaning towards the Sennheiser HD 600. I will be visiting your site more often to check out what other cool products you might have. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black January 20, 2019 - 8:14 pm

Thanks Jamiro and no problem! Keep me posted!

Reply
phranell86 January 18, 2019 - 10:29 pm

Both models are awesome, as with most upgrades, there may be only slight noticeable differences. For its cleaner sound, I would prefer the HD600 headphone over the HD650. A great headphone certainly changes the way a piece of music sounds. To be honest, I wouldn’t want to pay an extra buck for only a slight difference. Having an extra-long chord is the only set back I see with the HD600. I have one worry about the HD650 – I easily get dizzy with increased intensity of music. Do you think using the 650 would ease the impact of that? 

Reply
Stuart Charles Black January 19, 2019 - 3:35 pm

Hey Phranell!

To answer your question: Most certainly. The HD650 is a very very relaxing and non fatiguing headphone, while still remaining incredibly detailed. It’s very hard to put into words just how good it makes your music sound. I would say if you’re having those issues the 650 is the perfect headphone for. In fact I kind of prefer it over the 600 personally because the 600’s mid-range will start to fatigue you after awhile. 

Hope that helps! Please keep me posted on your decision..

Reply
Vicki January 23, 2019 - 3:30 am

I have been looking everywhere for some good reviews on headphones and have decided to go with the Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone for my next set. I like the specs and I am going to take a look on Amazon when I finish here.

I am going to do some acoustic recording and I think these will be adequate for my listening and fine tuning aspects so thank you and I have bookmarked your site for future reference as well as you are very thorough

Reply
Stuart Charles Black January 24, 2019 - 3:17 pm

Thanks Vicki def keep me posted on your decision!

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zuchii January 23, 2019 - 3:40 am

Great article, bringing all the details necessary for a wise decision depending on one’s budget and need. Personally, I would go with the 650 because of its relaxing features. I once used a Headphone which I couldn’t wear for more than 20 minutes before feeling uncomfortable, not a good experience. Since then I have always learnt to go for comfort and then sound when buying a headphone.

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Stuart Charles Black January 23, 2019 - 4:43 pm

Agreed Zuchii! With either the 600 or 650, you’ll be able to wear them for extended periods without a break. I’m a bit more forgiving with regard to comfort but less so as I get older. I’m selling off most of my headphones, but one of the reasons I can’t part with the 600 is because of how comfortable it is. Even more astonishing when you consider that it’s an over 20 year old design!

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Michael Kaplan March 31, 2019 - 5:18 pm

Hey, Stu! I love your headphone reviews. I am currently pairing HD600’s with a Little Dot MKII. My music source are Apple Lossless digital files fed from a MacBook directly into a Chord Mojo as a DAC only. The Mojo feeds into my Little Dot. Would I notice a difference using a Little Dot MK III instead?

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Stuart Charles Black April 1, 2019 - 6:10 pm

Hey Michael thanks so much! Honestly man you’re not going to see much difference with the MK III besides a bit better of a build and some more power. If I were you I may just hold tight but I understand the want/need to upgrade. That’s interesting you’re using just the DAC on the Mojo. Really love that thing!

Keep me posted and let me know if I can help further.

-Stu

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Jesse August 7, 2019 - 9:34 pm

Hello Stu. Long time no see.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts and comments, the Sennheiser HD 650 have and remain my default headphone for various uses and applications. Considering though how torn I was around December 2018 regarding whether I wanted to purchase the HD 600 or 650, I kept in mind to at some point acquaint myself with the 600s. Fast forward about 8 months, downsizing some of my headphone collection, and the 600s being just under $270 new on Amazon; I decided to purchase them. Also, I wanted to benchmark the similarities and differences between the two. Though the pad wear on my 650s was by no means dramatic, I also got new Sennheiser pads to more objectively spot these discrepancies/sonic characteristics.

I would not rule out that the somewhat apparent pad wear was due to the 650s being clampy initially out of the box First things first, the stock cable for the 600s are plainly substandard especially the base of the plug which connects to each ear cup. Interestingly, I liked how the ear cup surface was more of a matte finish vs the glossy finish on the 650s. Another thing which caught my attention was how the 600s had more tension in the headband out of the box compared to the 650.

Sound-wise, the 2 cans are very similar though differences could be noted. the 600s are slightly thinner sounding especially in the mid-range. Though it gives the impression of being more lithe and nimble compared to the 650s though both headphones are equally capable. Bass is well textured, nuanced, etc. Though there are instances where I’d favor the 650s slightly more voluminous yet very tight bottom end. Treble extension and detail on the 600s are pretty close to ideal in not being overdone or too recessed.

One thing I took note of after a while plus you mentioned in your review of the 600s regards the forwardness of the upper-mid/low-treble region. Based on what I heard, it’s around 1.5K to about 3.5/4K to give an educated guess. While it didn’t particularly become a deal-breaker for me, there are times where it does stand out more than I’d like.

Otherwise than this observation, the overall response is quite outstanding. Meanwhile, the 650s with new pads are very close sonically speaking. Mid-range has great body and feels a touch more effortless compared to the 600s. Treble detail and extension is right there with their older brother. Though for listening to classical music or genres where more treble presence is to be expected, there’s a slight and I do mean slight lack of airiness. Honestly, I really enjoy both headphones which did not surprise me. Anyway, I wanted to illustrate some of my commentary on this matter. Keep up the great work, Stu.

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Stuart Charles Black August 10, 2019 - 3:25 pm

Hey man! Great to hear from you again! My responses are in bold 🙂

Hello Stu. Long time no see.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts and comments, the Sennheiser HD 650 have and remain my default headphone for various uses and applications. Considering though how torn I was around December 2018 regarding whether I wanted to purchase the HD 600 or 650, I kept in mind to at some point acquaint myself with the 600s. Fast forward about 8 months, downsizing some of my headphone collection, and the 600s being just under $270 new on Amazon; I decided to purchase them. Also, I wanted to benchmark the similarities and differences between the two. Though the pad wear on my 650s was by no means dramatic, I also got new Sennheiser pads to more objectively spot these discrepancies/sonic characteristics. Great choice! I downsized as well. Got rid of like all of my headphones except for the HD600 and SHP9500.

I would not rule out that the somewhat apparent pad wear was due to the 650s being clampy initially out of the box First things first, the stock cable for the 600s are plainly substandard especially the base of the plug which connects to each ear cup. Interestingly, I liked how the ear cup surface was more of a matte finish vs the glossy finish on the 650s. Another thing which caught my attention was how the 600s had more tension in the headband out of the box compared to the 650. Agreed. I’m actually demoing the HD 6XX and going to do a comparison to the 600. I’ve always hated the cable on the 600. Way too long and constantly gets in the way. I had to coil up part of it and put velcro around it. Didn’t ever notice the gloss vs. matte. Interesting. I don’t have a 650 on hand at the moment. I normally borrow it from a friend. Yeah, 600’s are pretty clampy but I kind of like how snug they are.

Sound-wise, the 2 cans are very similar though differences could be noted. the 600s are slightly thinner sounding especially in the mid-range. Though it gives the impression of being more lithe and nimble compared to the 650s though both headphones are equally capable. Bass is well textured, nuanced, etc. Though there are instances where I’d favor the 650s slightly more voluminous yet very tight bottom end. Treble extension and detail on the 600s are pretty close to ideal in not being overdone or too recessed. Yeah I agree about the 650. I just enjoyed it more. Nice choice of wording there (voluminous is a great way to describe it).

One thing I took note of after a while plus you mentioned in your review of the 600s regards the forwardness of the upper-mid/low-treble region. Based on what I heard, it’s around 1.5K to about 3.5/4K to give an educated guess. While it didn’t particularly become a deal-breaker for me, there are times where it does stand out more than I’d like. Yup. Still annoys me to this day. Lol.

Otherwise than this observation, the overall response is quite outstanding. Meanwhile, the 650s with new pads are very close sonically speaking. Mid-range has great body and feels a touch more effortless compared to the 600s. Treble detail and extension is right there with their older brother. Though for listening to classical music or genres where more treble presence is to be expected, there’s a slight and I do mean slight lack of airiness. Honestly, I really enjoy both headphones which did not surprise me. Anyway, I wanted to illustrate some of my commentary on this matter. Keep up the great work, Stu. Your impressions are spot on! Still love the 600 but I’d honestly rather just have a 650 at this point although the 600’s fare a bit better for mixing/mastering.

Keep on the lookout for a 600/6XX comparison and def stay in touch!!

-Stu

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