These are some of the most accurate and well respected headphones on the planet. They are a little warmer, lusher, and thicker than their younger brother, the HD 600. They are also a bit more refined.
They are also a little less neutral and more enjoyable to listen with. As an open back model, these will leak sound so be weary of that and know that they perform best in an isolated studio environment, absent any extraneous noise and distraction.
Another thing to note is the impedance level. At 300 Ohms, these will need an adequate amplifier to reach their full potential. What is Headphone Impedance?
More on amps a bit later!!
They take a bit of burn in time to really get acclimated, so prepare to really be 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.
Extremely accurate and transparent
Great body, warmth, and smoothness
Nice sound-stage and imaging. You are able to place where the musicians are on stage, and being an open backed can, the sound won’t get trapped in your head and leave you fatigued.
A forward and engaging mid-range. helps with the presentation of the male voice.
Tight and authoritative bass response. less neutral than the HD 600. The bass, rather than being bloated and loud, is accurate and precise. You will be able to hear the tone of a kick drum as well as different textures in frequency. An important thing to remember is to make sure your sound source is of good quality. These will reveal flaws in haphazard mix downs and masters.
Not too picky about which amp you choose to pair with it. Sounds pretty fantastic with most amps.
Very versatile in terms of genre, handling a wide range of musical styles. Rock music is it’s strongest suit.
Comfort. those velour ear pads make it so you can wear these for hours and not get fatigued.
Replaceable parts, which ensures longevity out of your purchase.
Too smooth. Like Fonzie except not, these headphones are so chill that they may make you fall asleep!
Treble is lacking a bit. This is the “veiled” sound that people talk about in regards to Sennheiser headphones. Somewhat lacking in air and harmonic content. What is the Sennheiser veil?
HD 600. Many people prefer the more neutral HD 600 over the laid back sound signature of the HD 650. Others like the fact that the 650’s bass has a little more impact and weight behind it.
The great thing about the HD 650 is that it isn’t too picky about which amp you choose. At 300 Ohms, it does need one to reach it’s full potential, and a few good options would be:
As alluded to in the open, this is a very versatile headphone that handles a wide variety of genres including:
It’s bread and butter is most definitely for Rock music. This is in part due to the mid-range as well as the bass not drowning out other frequencies. The treble also has a lot to do with it.
Since 2003, It’s been one of the most beautiful sounding headphones around. It’s extremely accurate, has a really great mid-range, accurate bass, and is very comfortable over a long period of time. It’s treble is lacking a bit in the upper registers, and it has been criticized for being a bit too smooth, almost lulling you to sleep. Regardless, what you are getting with these is a brand new music collection. Why? Because they revolutionize everything you own, plus the music you haven’t heard. It’s like hearing all of your old favorites for the first time again. You will start to notice things in music that you never knew were there. This is one of the best things about higher end headphones. They make you realize what you were missing!
Ah, the HD 700’s. Many people refer to these so lovingly as the HD 800’s evil twin brother. Or sister. Lol.
They are an exceptionally warm set of cans, but at the same time neutral and honest. They have a really good sound-stage as well, with a more relaxed treble reproduction. Where as the 800’s have been accused of an overly bright representation in the high end, the 700’s are much darker.
Warm character. These are very transparent, and elegant, with a musical warmth.
They don’t over emphasize any particular frequency range. Neutral but warm. They allow for nuances in sound to be heard in each instrument and voice.
Clean and transparent sound.
Chord is somewhat iffy. It’s a solid chord overall, but may break near the 1/4″ phone plug. Alternatively, you could purchase the cable that sells with the HD 477 and 497, each of which fit the HD 700.
The Silver mesh material on the cups is very easily damaged.
While they are pretty solidly built, I saw quite a few complaints regarding some of the materials used. Specifically, people were saying they were disappointed over how much plastic was used in such a high end model.
Headband cushioning could have been better.
I’ve read a lot about these headphones, and many say that they do need an amp to reach their full potential. However, The jack from the iPad and iPhone were both said to work phenomenally well.
What are people using?
Grace Design M903
JDS Labs 02
Schiit Magni/Modi (Amp & DAC)
Audioquest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC/Amp.
Steer clear of:
FiiO E7. This cannot drive them correctly.
Go with the Schiit Magni/Modi combo. It’s an Amp/DAC that will work for a lot of different headphones, and is a great entry level option that won’t break the bank. Learn more in:
Metallica, Genesis, Tears for Fears, Metallica, NWA, Sting, The Scorpions, Post Malone.
Gaming, Watching movies.
Not as good for:
Pop, Rock, R&B. Some did say they were good for Rock, while others disagreed.
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
Your listening volume should be on the conservative side. The music can get very loud very quick.
Music that had been previously obscured by layers of sound is suddenly audible and distinct. The HD 700’s are really a crystal clear sounding set of cans!
Chord should be stretched and left out for a day before use to loosen it up (removing knots and kinks), or wrapping the chord around a foam ball, and letting the outward pressure of the ball smooth out the odd bends in the fabric. You should be aware that quite a few people complained about the chord, but it was never a deal breaker.
These are darker sounding headphones with not as much treble presence as say the HD 800’s. With the 700’s it’s like being in the front row. With the 800’s it’s like your on stage.
These are not portable. They are designed for the home audio enthusiast. They also have zero noise isolation. Don’t expect them to block out any sound. You will be able to hear things going on outside of them as well.
You may not feel “connected” to the music or be emotionally involved. Even though you can hear every instrument in a complex orchestral work, and every subtlety, there is just this sense of artificiality.
May need to EQ these for EDM, as the sound can sometimes get a bit harsh/sharp/piercing.
They really need good source files. Expect the sound to be crappy from poor audio sources.
I’ve heard these are like a cross between the HD 600 and HD 800.
These have a more analog quality as opposed to digital.
The HD 700’s are an extremely comfortable, grand listening experience, complete with a really good sound-stage and a crisp overall sound. Be aware of the lackluster cable (which can be replaced if need be), and the plastic like feel.
Similarities & Differences
There are really no glaring similarities to speak of here. In actuality, these are vastly different headphones. Generally speaking, both have good sound-stage, comfort, and do well with classical and jazz.
The HD 650’s cable terminates in 3.5mm jack, and comes with a 1/4″ adapter. The HD 700 terminates in a 1/4″ jack and does not come with a 3.5mm adapter. You would have to purchase that separately.
The HD 700’s are easier to drive than the 650’s.
The cups are a bit roomier than the 650’s.
They are more comfortable than the 650’s.
The HD 700’s have better all around technical prowess. They are clearer, cleaner, more articulate, and crisper.
They have better transients, and better speed.
They overall sound is tighter and more coherent.
The bass is a lot tighter.
They have better resolution and are more detailed.
They have a reasonably improved sound stage and imaging.
They are more open and speaker like.
They have more detailed and believable vocals.
The 700’s however are more fatiguing over long listening sessions.
The additional treble makes the 700 brighter than the 650.
The 700’s sound less natural and musical.
Their tonality isn’t as neutral; vocals a bit upfront.
The 650 is more musical, lush, smoother, and sweet.
The bass isn’t as tight but it’s more natural and with greater punch.
The treble isn’t as sharp; it is smoother.
The 650 is more suitable for extended listening.
The 650 does better with rock music.
The HD 700’s bass is super tight, with up front vocals, and a tighter sound overall.
The 650 is more neutral and balanced. It sounds smoother and sweeter, and more musical.
Soundstage and Imaging
The HD 700’s sound-stage is a bit better overall.
The HD 700’s vocals are more articulate and realistic. They have better resolution and are more detailed, upfront, and crisp.
The HD 650 is more musical, rounded and smoother.
The HD 700’s bass is a lot tighter.
The HD 650 is far more hollow and rounded, more natural. It’s smoother, with more punch (like Hi-C :P).
The HD 650’s treble is better, while the HD 700’s is a bit peaky and takes time to adjust to. HD 650’s is more natural and balanced.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.