Home Open Back Headphone Reviews Sennheiser HD6XX Review – Still #1 In Mid-Fi?

Sennheiser HD6XX Review – Still #1 In Mid-Fi?

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on
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Shoutout to Shawn Quint for lending me these!

Greetings mate 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…

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At A Glance

Preview
Sennheiser HD6XX Open Back Professional Headphones - Black
Title
Sennheiser HD6XX Open Back Professional Headphones - Black
Color
Midnight Blue, Black, White
Weight
9.2 oz (260g)
Fit
Circumaural (Over-Ear)
Type
Open Back, Dynamic
Materials
Plastic, Velour, Carbon Fiber (AFAIK)
Connector
Proprietary 2-pin, 3.5mm
Headband Style
Traditional
Impedance
300 Ohm
Sensitivity
103dB/mW Sensitivity
Frequency Response
10Hz - 41kHz
Primary Use
Mostly Everything
Cable Length
6 ft. (1.8m)
Cable Detachable?
Folding?
Amplification Required?
Prime
Amazon Prime
Price
$269.95
Details
Preview
Sennheiser HD6XX Open Back Professional Headphones - Black
Title
Sennheiser HD6XX Open Back Professional Headphones - Black
Color
Midnight Blue, Black, White
Weight
9.2 oz (260g)
Fit
Circumaural (Over-Ear)
Type
Open Back, Dynamic
Materials
Plastic, Velour, Carbon Fiber (AFAIK)
Connector
Proprietary 2-pin, 3.5mm
Headband Style
Traditional
Impedance
300 Ohm
Sensitivity
103dB/mW Sensitivity
Frequency Response
10Hz - 41kHz
Primary Use
Mostly Everything
Cable Length
6 ft. (1.8m)
Cable Detachable?
Folding?
Amplification Required?
Prime
Amazon Prime
Price
$269.95
Details

Sennheiser HD6XX

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Drop!

In The Box

Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones 

⅛–¼ in (3.5–6.35 mm) adapter

2-year manufacturer’s warranty 

Specifications

  • Type: Open Back.
  • Fit: Circumaural (Over-Ear).
  • Impedance: 300 Ohms.
  • Sensitivity: 103dB/mW.
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 41kHz.
  • Material: Metal grilles, carbon fiber, velour earpads, plastic.
  • Color: Midnight Blue, Black.
  • Cable Length: 6 ft. (1.8m)
  • Weight: 9.2 oz (260g).
Sennheiser HD6XX Review

Pancakes go really well with the 6XX.

The HD6XX has long been #1 on my Top 5 Under $500 list, but that could change after hearing HIFIMAN’s updated HE400se.

I haven’t completely decided yet as I’m still demoing the 400se, but I’m leaning that way.

Still, the 6XX was certainly a “market disrupting” headphone and continues to be.

In other words,

it still easily makes the list and will likely stay there forever, even if it ends up dropping a spot or 2 down the road.

The reason it was market-disrupting?

Well, the 6XX routinely sits at around $220, but it’s gone as low as $195 AFAIK.

That was around 2019, but since then the price doesn’t come down quite as often – really only around the holidays.

Even at $220, they’re basically giving it away considering I basically paid retail for the original HD600 back in 2016.

The introduction of this Drop collaboration with the Ireland-based company essentially made $400-500 for a mid-fi Sennheiser much too expensive.

In the early to mid-’90s, people probably wouldn’t think twice about paying retail for these headphones.

They were groundbreaking and almost revolutionary in a sense.

Nowadays? Well, let’s just say there’s an overabundance of almost everything in this hobby – from headphones to DACS and Amps, to cables and earpads, the list goes on and on.

Almost by default, the oversupply relegated once worshipped headphones into nothing more than a great deal.

A staple in a good diet, if you will.

Now, that’s not to say that the 6XX should be an afterthought; because it’s anything but.

There’s simply way more competition in this niche than there has ever been, and that can be both a good and bad thing depending on how you look at it.

If I had to do it all over again, I’d probably invest in an HD6XX, for a few different reasons.

Before we get into that, let’s begin with some things that haven’t changed.

#1

Build & Comfort

Sennheiser HD6XX Review

Do you auto-ship Ace/King preflop facing a raise?

The 6XX is vintage Sennheiser, meaning it’s more or less a carbon copy of the original mid-fi line in terms of its physical appearance, weight, structure, etc.

The cables still terminate in Sennheiser’s proprietary 2-pin connection into either ear cup, but you can swap them out for balanced cables if you wish.

The headband and earcups are the same as well, though they opted to continue with the single uniform cratered pad of the HD650 rather than the 4 nugget pads on the HD600.

Fortunately, comfort is still top-notch even despite the clamping factor when you first start to break them in.

The clampy nature of the headphones is well known at this point, but they do tend to open up the more you listen.

I personally love how they feel on my head and have compared it to receiving a warm hug from an old friend in past videos and articles. 🙂

The HD580/600 line easily made my Top 15 most comfortable headphones of all-time list, and the 6XX is no different.

#2

Longevity

Sennheiser HD6XX Review

As mentioned previously, the 6XX is basically identical to the others in the line, meaning all parts here are replaceable.

I will say that the grille tends to be fairly fragile; as in, it may dent a little over time under duress.

The good news (for people who love bad news) is that you can replace everything as needed, with the pads requiring the most replacements over time.

They will flatten out in addition to collecting dust and other undesirables, so plan accordingly.

Not only that, but pad wear does tend to alter a headphones’ sound signature, and it’s no different here.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the grilles unless they really get damaged.

For instance, the left grille on my HD600 is slightly dented towards the bottom, but it wouldn’t even be noticeable to someone unless I pointed it out.

This was caused by me pressing a little too hard whilst pushing it back into place.

In other words,

don’t push the grille itself, push the outsides when returning it to its position.

Some of the other differences boil down to minor cosmetic variations:

  • The logo at the top of the headband is black vs. white for the HD600.
  • The terminations into the earcups mimic the HD650s instead of the smaller HD600s (which also happened to have the very convenient Red color for the right side.
  • The 6XX’s midnight blue contrasts the Gray Metal Flake and speckled blue of the HD650 and 600 respectively.

Sennheiser HD6XX Review

Sennheiser HD6XX Review

Sennheiser HD6XX ReviewOn the inside of the right headband adjustment, we have the “Massdrop” logo silk-screened in white.

On the outside of the headband adjustment at the bottom, the familiar lettering appears again inside of Sennheiser’s ‘ol rectangle, giving the headphone its distinct look.

It reads “HD 6XX”, which hearkens back to the “HD 600” lettering on the older model.

The other similarity is that both say “Made In Ireland” on each side of the inner headband adjustment, right near the start of the padding.

You do really have to look rather closely for it, but it is there.

I’m not sure if either is still being made in Ireland, but my HD600 and the 6XX model I demoed both were.

Sound

One of the burning questions is, “Is the HD6XX the same as the HD650?”

Well, if you frequent Reddit and don’t think for yourself, then yes.

Before we dive into the question, let’s discuss what these headphones sound like on their own for those reading this who are new to the audiophile hobby.

There are a few reasons why the 600 line has remained popular over the last 3 decades or so.

In addition to build and comfort, not only do the headphones sound excellent, but they’re a huge step up from what most people are accustomed to.

For instance,

I let a friend (who was brand new to the hobby) borrow my HD600 in 2019 and she never wanted to leave her room.

This will likely be your reaction as well, especially if you’ve never heard anything better than glorified drugstore dog food.

The overall sound signature is almost dead neutral, with an emphasis on the presence region (the mid-range if you will), around 3kHz.

This is where our ears (and subsequently our brains) expect a rise of some sort.

It renders vocals and instruments with plenty of life and thus ends up sounding incredibly realistic – at least more so than we’re used to.

Likewise,

both the bass and treble deviate from the norm, and in the case of the latter, it’s become quite a hot-button topic ever since I’ve been a part of the hobby (and likely much longer than that).

Yes, people actually get upset about other people’s opinions. Shocker, I know.

The debate is whether or not the HD600 is “veiled.”

Sennheiser HD6XX Review

Is it veiled? Idk, give me a cup of coffee first and then I’ll tell you.

Some say there’s a loss of detail, others enjoy the fact that you’re able to listen without fatigue.

In other words,

the “essy”, “bright”, or otherwise sibilant nature of sounds that fall within this range of frequencies – generally 6-10kHz and beyond, is not an issue.

Personally, I don’t have a problem either as I find I can listen for hours on end without needing to take the headphones off.

That is to say that I’ve only heard the “veil” once, and subsequently made a video on it in an attempt to clarify that no, it’s not a black-and-white issue and both sides have a legitimate argument.

The result?

People still got upset.

People getting upset?

Boy, I didn’t see that one coming… said no one, ever.

The HD600, like Grado headphones, is an extremely divisive topic.

Imagine 2 people arguing about something that in the grand scheme of things, means absolutely nothing.

We call those people “Audiophiles.”

I call them “AudioFILES.”

Anyway, yes, the HD600’s treble leans “dark”, meaning it’s not bright. xD

No, it simply means that you’re not going to experience the same sparkle as you would with something that places more emphasis on the treble.

It’s really that simple.

Bass

If you’re a bass head and used to headphones like Beats which place almost unnecessary emphasis on 100-200Hz (i.e. the mid-bass bloat), listening to a headphone like the HD6XX may end up being quite a jarring experience.

As Metal571 hilariously pointed out once in a video in the nerdiest voice possible, “But where’s my Beats Bass?!”

Not only do we not have that bloat/bump, etc., but the bass below 60Hz tends to roll off considerably.

It’s not enough to render the bass response “anemic” – as in the case of the K240, but you’ll definitely know it’s not overly emphasized.

Again, this is a matter of taste but I tend to really enjoy this type of signature even despite being a former bass head.

One of my favorite descriptions of the HD600 came from Metal as well; he likened it to a blank stare.

As if to say, the headphones will portray the music exactly as it was recorded, good or bad.

This is probably the best way to describe the sound.

There’s not much here that’s overemphasized, although you could argue the mids are a bit too forward.

I’ve certainly experienced that myself in the past, but overall, there’s not much to complain about here.

The headphones work for a wide variety of genres and especially go well with Rock, and even Hip-Hop. 

But are they identical to the HD650?

I would argue no.

Let’s take a gander at a comment I received a while back on one of my YouTube videos:

Happy New year Stu!. I hope that you are doing well. I guess that you know that rtings.com issued recently the results of the tests of the Sennheiser 6xx.  https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/sennheiser/hd-6xx Unsurprisingly it scores very high…but surprisingly the results are different from the HD650, concluding that they are not exactly the same Headphones. So once more it was proved that you are a pioneer, my friend!. You were the only one among all reviewers who always said that the sound profile of the 6xxs was not identical to the HD650 :-). <span class="su-quote-cite"><a href="https://youtu.be/BGvCgdjdRBE" target="_blank">José Pedro</a></span>

Here are 3 graphs of the HD600, 650, and 6XX:

Sennheiser HD600

Sennheiser HD650

HD6XX

The HD650 has always been the warmest, smoothest, and most glossed-over headphone out of the bunch.

Few people would argue with you on that and graphs back it up. It can be rather dull-sounding for sure.

When I first demoed the 6XX, it sounded markedly snappier than a 650, and as we can see from the graph above, those findings back that up.

Heck, one listen to each of them should make it pretty obvious that they aren’t clones at all.

From a purely graphical standpoint, the headphones are not identical.

In fact,

you could make a better case that the HD600 is the same headphone as the 650 (which it also isn’t).

I’m not going to dig up a bunch of Reddit threads right now, but pretty much everything I’ve read is people parroting the same exact thing.

I have to wonder, did these people actually sit down and demo the 6XX, or are they just repeating stuff that others say?

I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter.

To me, this is a clear example of misinformation getting spread around the internet, but again, it probably doesn’t matter much in the grand scope of the universe.

With all that said, just know that my stance is simply this: Each of the headphones has subtle differences that are absolutely distinguishable to a discerning ear. That’s all.

Is the HD6XX hard to drive?

Sennheiser HD6XX Review

No, it’s not hard to drive, but in reality, none of them are.

Any of the FiiO K5 Pro, K7, JDS ATOM, ATOM HEVI, or iFi’s Zen DAC will work well here.

DON’T OVERTHINK IT!

A 300 Ohm Impedance may sound like a lot, but their Sensitivity is also pretty high meaning they’re efficient and don’t need much power from an amp to reach acceptable listening levels.

In other words, don’t go too crazy.

The HD600 line pairs well with many different types of amps and will sound fantastic regardless.

I wouldn’t purchase a FiiO K3 unless you strictly plan to use them balanced, but it can work in a pinch.

I’d just rather have more power.

Something like an E10K is perfectly fine, but I’d still go with one of the above options because you’ll likely just upgrade later anyways.

Circling back to my original point that I’d probably invest in a 6XX if I had to do it all over again, here are some reasons why:

Price

If you have the option to pay $300-500 vs. $195 – $220, you’d probably choose the latter every day and twice on Sunday – especially if it means you have more cash left over to invest in an Amp/DAC.

This is really a perfect scenario since the cost of the 6XX + a Zen is still only around $330-350.

$330 just so happens to be the price I paid for the HD600 back in 2016; not quite the retail price that Sennheiser advertises on their website, but definitely not cheap.

Most regular folks would gasp at the thought of spending that much on a pair of headphones, but we’re not like most people, are we?

We’re AudioFILES and proud.

Sound

To me, the HD650 is much too warm.

There’s not enough variance in its sound signature to get all that excited about it.

It sounds good but lacks oomph and impact. It’s too glossy for me.

The HD600 improves that to a degree and sounds much snappier by contrast. The issue I have with it is that the mid-range can sound too forward at times.

In my mind, the 6XX is the perfect counterbalance between the 2.

It’s not overly warm but doesn’t sound overly in your face. It’s crisp and has punch, but doesn’t ever sound artificially boomy or anything.

While I would recommend these for mixing, I wouldn’t use them for gaming.

The Soundstage is much too narrow although I did find the HD58X to be a fairly decent gaming headphone!

Sennheiser HD58X Review

Do keep in mind that the 6XX’s image is slightly wider than the HD600’s, but that could be my imagination.

The 58Xs’ is definitely not as narrow as either of them though.

Final Word

If it wasn’t obvious by now, I do wholeheartedly recommend the HD6XX as the go-to in the line.

I still hang on to my HD600 for sentimental reasons (plus it’s made in Ireland), but if I went back in time to 2016, knowing what I know now, I’d purchase the 6XX.

Interested in one of the best-selling headphones of all time?

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Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sennheiser HD6XX Review and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

Is this product worth an investment? What are your thoughts on the hobby as a whole? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

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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16 comments

pevsfreedom September 29, 2022 - 11:29 am

Maybe it’s the date of your reviews, but I find almost all of your reviews regarding the HD600/650/6xx to be very contradictory of themselves. I just read an article of yours between the 600/650 and you say the 650 is the best thing since sliced bread, and here you’re saying they are boring. It’s very confusing. You should try to clean up discrepancies like that between articles, as it makes the reviews almost impossible to believe.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black September 29, 2022 - 1:41 pm

Hey there! Thanks for the comment.

Just read over the 3,500-word 600 vs. 650 article. What I actually said was: “In fact, I firmly believe that the 650 is the quintessential audiophile headphone.” That one line must have slipped through the February update. I will go back and fix it. Thank you. At one point, I did prefer the 650. I don’t anymore.

A few things:

1) I have hundreds of articles on this site and there are bound to be some discrepancies. 2) My opinions/recommendations change over time and with new experiences & products (i.e. the newer 6XX) 3) All of my reviews? You cited one. Are there any others you’d like to mention?

My order is 6XX > 600 > 650. That’s pretty consistent across this blog nowadays.

Lastly, I do plan on consolidating the 600/650 into a bigger article covering 600/650/6XX/58X so stay tuned for that!

Anyway, hope that clears it up. If you can find any others, let me know.

Reply
Pevsfreedom October 1, 2022 - 10:59 pm

Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be abrasive. I left a similar comment to this but I am not sure if it posted –

Your website is very helpful and I thank you for taking the time.

I am a bit frustrated trying to decide between the 600, 650, and 6xx. I have demo’d the 600 and 650 all day today and am hard pressed to find a difference. I think the 600 is a bit more comfy, and I “like” that aggressive mid range, though that likeness leads to ear fatigue and ear ringing.

I listened to Uriah Heep’s – Magician’s Birthday on the turntable, and found that the bass was a bit low, the treble a bit high, the mids very fatiguing, and the soundstage a bit narrow. It all sounded quite good, but that was what I noticed. Am wondering if the 6xx might help those issues. Again, with the 650 – I think the only thing I noticed is the bass was definitely more pronounced, and a bit less aggressive mid range.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black October 2, 2022 - 9:14 pm

No worries and thank you much! I’ve actually been going back and updating a ton of other articles as well to reflect current positions on products.

Yeah, the differences there are subtle. I’ve found the 650 is a bit warmer with more mid-bass emphasis but it’s kind of marginal. You’re spot on with your impressions of the 2.

The 6XX is similar but to me it sounded less shouty in the mids (600) but also not overly warm (650). This, in addition to its price, is why I recommend it nowadays. A lot of people will tell you that the 650 is the same as the 6XX but that wasn’t my experience and the graphs also indicate they are a bit different.

In any event, I wouldn’t pay near the asking price of the 600 or 650 now when you can just get a 6XX for way less. I touch on this in the 400se video as well if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1NN5m67K3g

I paid $330 for my HD600 in 2016 and wouldn’t pay that now. In fact, they still sell these 2 on some sites for over $500. A crazy thought. Def get the 6XX and don’t think twice about it.

Keep me posted!!

Reply
Pevsfreedom October 12, 2022 - 10:11 pm

So: I demo’d the HD600 and 650 for a few days. The 600 “won”, whatever that means. They were shockingly similar to my semi untrained ear. I am more of a speaker person. I’m getting this for the rare guitar recording/editing (digital) and weekly “lay on the ground and listen to the turntable in the dark sessions”. As I am new to the world of headphones.. I did realize I was listening way, way too loud. Above 95 dB. It sounded fine and loud, as I like it, but I realized that’s a huge no-go for future use. My ears were very mad at me. I’m setting volume at about 25% instead of 50% now, and it’s much more enjoyable. The “warmth” of the HD6xx’s plays into the lower volumes in a good way.

I ended up buying a pair of HD6xx’s for.. $202 shipped and tax. The HD600s I was about to keep were $330. For that $128 difference I could buy all kinds of records or whatever. For the price, and the little bit more emphasis on bass and less on treble, and the extraordinarily better (shorter/thicker) cable, I think I made the right choice in returning the HD600 (on the last day of the return window :D).

I haven’t done any “serious” listening yet with the HD6xxs, just the Hollow Knight OST, which sounds great, but I’m sure they’ll meet my expectations.

My only complaint is that the clamping force seems more intense than the HD600s, which I found to fit my huge head perfectly. The HD6xx’s kind of squeeze more at the temple, and I find I prefer the 4 cushion HD600 headband more. I read there are some tricks to reduce this, but I think just wearing them in and them adjusting on their own will be fine. It’s not terrible.

I wanted to ask you on your opinion regarding headphone jack on the S501 amp. It is 470 ohm output jack, which, I’m finding conflicting reports on is if that’s a “big deal” with 300 ohm headphones. I read a proper headphone amp is about 0.2 ohm. From what I gather I might be getting a slight boost at about 100hz, and it’s kind of just a preference thing at that point (vs getting a separate headphone amp). I understand if these were 30-50 ohm headphones they’d probably sound terrible – but I think I might be OK with the S501 > HD6xx?

Thanks for the posts!

Stuart Charles Black October 14, 2022 - 5:55 pm

It’s so funny you mention those nugget pads. I just got done revising the HD600/6XX article to include the 58X and 650, and like you, I too have always found the HD600 slightly more comfortable.

It seems odd that they have completely scrapped the nugget pads for the cratered one found on the original 650. They’ve utilized it now twice in the 6XX and 58X. Perhaps the consensus from the majority was that it’s more comfortable. Who knows.

In any event, glad you went with the 6XX! Again, funny you mention $330. That’s actually the exact price I paid in 2016 for the original, made in Ireland HD600. Still have it and plan to keep it, but if I had to do it again, I’d get a 6XX. It wasn’t available back then though. I think it’s crazy that they’re still pushing both the HD600 and 650 on some sites @ original retail ($500-600). Such a ripoff. They probably know some people are brand new and don’t know any better.

Yeah, don’t quote me on this because my experience is a bit more limited, but I think you’ll be fine plugging a 300 Ohm headphone into that receiver. And you’re right; 30-50 Ohm would NOT be a good idea. Just let me know how it sounds. I’m probably going to do another little test of my own since I use a receiver and run a lot of stuff off it.

My stance on Tube amps and higher output impedance gear has changed a bit (read: I think it’s all a bit overrated and unnecessary), but if that’s what you have, it’s great. I just prefer neutral and honest for the most part as you’ve alluded to with your 0.2 comment. Low output impedance amps to me are what most people should target.

And you’re welcome!

Talk soon.

-Stu

dysmedia November 23, 2022 - 5:28 pm

Thought I should mention something remarkable: I’ve never been especially happy with the HD 6XX, and I now realize it’s a matter of amplification. I just bought the 14″ M1 Macbook Pro, and Apple makes a point of emphasizing that the headphone jack on this is now optimized for high-impedance headphones. It’s a revelation: the HD 6XX (with no external amp or DAC) now sounds precisely as wonderful as it’s supposed to. I’m not the only one raving about the sound out of this new MacBook, btw. Note that this update is found only on the 14″ and 16″ M1 MacBook Pro models — the 13″ Pro has not been altered, nor have the MacBook Airs (as far as I know; maybe the M2 has?)

I’m also fooling around with the EQ settings for the HD 6XX calculated by Innerfidelity and Rtings, and both are an improvement in the treble, I think, with Innerfidelity perhaps having the edge.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black November 25, 2022 - 3:22 pm

Thank you for your impressions! What Amp/DAC were you using before?

Reply
RustyToaster18 January 26, 2023 - 3:47 am

The HD 6XX are fantastic with the FX-Audio dac-x6. Great budget combo for gaming and listening to flacs.
As a note, the HD 6XX are still made in Ireland.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black January 29, 2023 - 2:16 am

Nice! Thank you for the comment.

Reply
José María October 7, 2023 - 11:51 am

Hola Stu!!
¿Y qué te parece el KA3 de FiiO para mover este 6XX? Por potencia en su salida balanceada parece más que suficiente. Si no crees que sea la opción, ¿cuál te parece que lo sería en DAC/AMP portátil?
Gracias por tus reseñas!!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black October 7, 2023 - 3:55 pm

¡Hey hombre! Gracias por el comentario. No he escuchado el KA3, pero al observar sus números de potencia, sí, ¡más que suficiente, tanto equilibrado como desequilibrado! Tendré que intentar conseguir este porque, para su tamaño, son números muy impresionantes.

Reply
Darkred December 24, 2023 - 3:33 pm

Hi, thank you for your review!
I’m on the hunt for finding mixing headphones 🙂
I tried both the HD600 and HD650, but I’m not sure:
– The HD600 I tried had 2 nugget pads – is this how the HD600 sold today, or did I get a non-authentic unit to try? (as I know it’s supposed to have 4 nugget pads).
– The HD600 sharp peak hurt my ear – will the HD6xx be gentler?
– With both HD600 and HD650, I felt the singer was behind the band, and it bothered me (it was more prominent in the 650 than the 600). How do the vocals sound in the HD6xx compared to 600/650? (I might use EQ anyway, but I want to make sure for times I don’t).
– You say HD6xx is your favorite out of the three, but in your “best-studio-headphones-for-mixing” article you chose the HD600 out of the series, so I’m confused.
Thank you!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black December 26, 2023 - 9:49 pm

Hello and thank you for reaching out!

Wow, that’s interesting. Even the newer models have the 4 nugget pads, so I’d be wary of that for sure. My original Ireland model also has 4 nugget pads. I will have to look into this a bit more and get back with you.

Wait, what sharp peak are you referring to? The HD600’s treble is pretty tame in comparison to most headphones.

Vocals on all 3 are pretty similar, but I’d say the HD600’s are likely the most forward.

Thank you for the heads up! I will have to edit that section to reflect that both are very good and don similar sound signatures. Yes, there are some subtle but noticeable differences which I go into in the 6XX review, but for mixing, it’s not going to really be a big deal which one you choose; both are fine.

My overall preference for the 6XX mostly stems from its much more affordable price and I’m always trying to help people save money. The other part of it is that in listening to the 6XX, I did feel as though it wasn’t as shouty in the mid-range. A lot of people say that it’s identical to the 650 and I just don’t believe that to be true.

In any event, I hope that clarifies my stance. Keep me posted!

-Stu

Reply
Darkred December 28, 2023 - 6:21 pm

Thank you for your reply!
I know that the treble of the HD600 is pretty tame, but I guess I’m very sensitive to high treble – when I tried the DTs I had a headache for a whole day… 🙂
Anyway, maybe it’s not the treble of the HD600, maybe it’s the shouty mid-range? The cymbals pierced my ear.
The store where I tried the headphones is in front of a noisy road, so maybe I was listening at a high volume without noticing and it created an exaggerated feeling? 
The HD650, on the other hand, was pleasant, but less flat/neutral, so it lacked a little bit of treble/air/sparkle, plus the singer got pushed back more.
In the meantime I found that if I buy the HD6xx I can’t get any warranty because of where I live, and I have to add a payment of taxes and more… so I’m still not sure what to get, but hope to get it right 🙂
Thank you again!

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Stuart Charles Black January 2, 2024 - 9:42 pm

My pleasure!

Sorry to hear about that. I’ve been taking a break from headphones actually haha. Been loving the Yamaha HS7s I got.

It definitely could be the shouty mids! Did you get a headache? Because it does tend to cause fatigue in some form or fashion. Also, if it was the cymbals, there’s a high chance it was simply how the track was recorded. Did you try a bunch of tracks to see what it was? Because sometimes I notice that certain issues go away with well recorded, mixed, and mastered songs. That exaggerated feeling you mention could also be it. There are so many variables!

Yeah, the 650 is definitely more relaxed and a bit dull actually.

Please keep me posted on everything and reach out if you need help!

-Stu

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