Sennheiser HD 650 Over-Ear

Available At:
HD 650

Audiophile-grade stereo headphone open, around-the-ear stereo headphones,hand-picked dynamic drivers with highly-efficient neodymium magnets and aluminum voice coils,frequency response: 10-39

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
Spiderking31   AudioPhile [Sep 02, 2011]

Jus got the hd650's about 2 weeks ago...I've broken them in, and let me tell you, they are the closest thing to being at the recording studio with the band!! I mean, they sound so real, and authentic, that its unbelievable!! i mean, what can I say? They are one of the best headphones out there, and I would truly recommend them! The sound is very natural, and laid back. Want the best? Look no further! They're right here! Sennheiser hd650...the best...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Audiophilesque   AudioPhile [Apr 01, 2009]

This site is quite funny. A lot of these "reviews" are just plain awful! (Mine could be too, depending on who you are...) The "reviews" on YouTube are even funnier, but entertaining.
I don't claim to be a recording engineer or other professional. I like music a lot and have owned a variety of different systems over the years.
The main reason I got into headphones: LOUSY LISTENING ROOM. I figure most people have one too and don't realize it. I have spent countless hours moving speakers around, trying different formulas and playing with a few acoustic treatments. No sonic bliss for me. A lousy room is a lousy room unless you want to spend muchos bucks and a lot of time. I'm getting too lazy. Enter headphones.
I just got the HD650's. I have put about 30 hrs. or so on them. I'm running them with the Benchmark DAC1 USB.
I also own the Beyerdynamic DT-880 (2003 Version)
The main reason I bought the HD650's : I have found the DT-880 too "bright" and lacking bass. They sound good with a lot of material but they can get on your nerves after a few hours. Add the fact that most cd's are "bright" and you have sonic irritation.
So, my simple observation after just 30 hrs. using varoius material is: The HD650's have more bass than the DT-880's. They also have a fuller midrange and are less fatiguing. These are exactly the sonic characters I was hoping for. I will have to do a follow - up later with more hours on the 'phones.
So that's it. I'm not going to say they are the best, or blow away this or that. Try them for yourself and YOU decide. Get to work!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tommybcao   Casual Listener [Jan 29, 2009]
Strength:

none

Weakness:

every thing.

This head phone suck compare to my shure scl5($250.in ebay). It look like a cheap head phone. The scl5 is a lot better than hd650 in any frequence. The price is too high for such headphone like this. It should only cost $100.00 at the most. I use my zhaolu d2.5c dac with a upgrade headphone to test them both. The hd650's bass is suck. It sound like only have one kind of bass. The mid and the high is even worst than the bass. I returned it in 2days. I want to give it 0 star but the lease star I can give is 1 so I give it 1 star.

Similar Products Used: shure scl5
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
towert7   AudioPhile [Dec 01, 2008]
Strength:

Very comfortable and remains cool
Non-Fatiguing sound
Lush Mids
Lifelike Bass
Great Price
Detachable Cable (easy to upgrade)

Weakness:

At this price these headphones have no major weaknesses.
In absolute terms though, these headphones are lacking the last bit of detail that your 1000$+ headphones can deliver

The Sennheiser HD650 are a great headphones in their price range (300-700$us).
Whereas a Grado HF-1 or RS-1 will be of the same sonic quality, they have completely opposite sonic signatures.
The HD650 excel at presenting a very non fatiguing listening experience in which the high frequencies are nicely rolled off and never sibilant/bright. The bass is also nicely rolled off. The bass does not sound dry and has enough weight behind it to make instruments sound lifelike and not artificial (which I find is one of the hardest things for a headphone to accomplish). Extreme low frequency and high frequency detail is lost as a result of these being rolled off, but that is what gives it the easy to listen to quality.

Soundstage presentation on the HD650 is very impressive! It is able to present the subtle room acoustics with ease.

On top of this, I find the HD650 to be an extremely comfortable headphone. The grip never gives me pain, but is enough to keep these headphones securely in place. The Velour ear pads are very soft. Since this headphone is open, it remains relatively cool on the head. The cable is detachable which is a nice feature. Custom cables are plentiful for this headphone, so there is room to tweak the sound even further.

These have been my main headphones for over a year now, and I no longer have the urge to purchase others. I use the stock cable. These are sourced by a MHDT labs Havana NOS Tube DAC and amped by a HeadAmp GS-1 headphone amplifier.
This combination results in an extremely musical setup with not even a hint of listening fatigue.

If you are looking at headphones around this price range, you owe it to yourself to give the HD650 a try.

Similar Products Used: Grado HF-1
Grado RS-1
Sennheiser HD580
Sennheiser HD25-1
Beyerdynamic DT770pro
AKG K701
AKG K340
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Helios909   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 16, 2008]
Strength:

Excellent Transparency
Dynamic Soundstage
Rich, Deep, Controlled Bass
Clarity, Definition
Fast Response, Detailed
Hardly feel like you're wearing them...

Weakness:

Sometimes a bit too transparent, if rarely ever
Open ear design does not withold emitted sound, and allows for exterior interference

Sennheiser HD650
Project Head Box SE II
Cardas Audio Headphone Cables
Alchemist Forseti APD33A CD Transport
Alchemist Forseti APD34A DAC
Blue Circle BC6000

So the open ear design I would have to say is exclusively for home listening, otherwise you can hear external sounds very clearly with these headphones. Admittedly, up to some level of noise even enclosed headphone designs let in external noise, albeit muffled. Interestingly enough, some would argue that noise cancelling headphoens detract from the sound quality... so where does this leave us with the Sennheiser HD650's?

Sennheiser's design is an appropriate paradigm to a great home listening experience. These headphones are just so natural sounding; a sense of purity and accuracy are discernable when listening to these headphones. Any type of music, any style, any form: these lightweight aluminum voice coils deliver gracious and eloquent replications of the original sound. The neutrality, and presence is exquisitely depicted in broad soundstage. Truly engaging.

I have never heard these headphones labour, even at high volumes. The burn in period was fairly long at what I approximate was around 90 hours of listening time, but they really seem to have opened up and demonstrated their full capabilities after break-in. I haven't heard any problems like rattles or buzzes of even the smallest magnitude, even during intense musical moments with the low frequency extension limit being reached in the process. I can't say this for other headphones I've listened to in the Sennheiser line, except for the HD600.

These headphones in no way are considered anything less than a first rate reference audio product, and sound great with solid state headphone amplification. Highly recommended.

Similar Products Used: Sennheiser: HD570, HD580, HD595, HD600.
Stax: SR-007 Omega II
Grado Labs: RS-1, SR325
Denon: AH-D5000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jorn S.   AudioPhile [Mar 25, 2006]
Strength:

Headpphones: Musicality!
Cable discussed: Detail and control.

Weakness:

Well, expensive for headphones and a cable - but hten, so much cheaper than and amp and speakers!

If you a) have read the other reviews on this site or b) have ears and have auditioned the 650s, you already know that these are probably the best headphones in the world.

So what do I have to add? How about an upgrade recommendation? Don't get me wrong: I used these headphones for a year without even thinking about upgrades. Didn't know there were any and didn't feel like I needed 'em either.

Then I read about the Cardass cable and since I am nowadays doing almost all my serious listening through my Musical Fidelity X-Can V3 and Sennheiser 650 combo (attached to a Densen 400 XS cd-player connected with a Goertz Triode silver cable), I thought, why not see where this goes.

Well, I wound up buying the Zu Cables Mobius. For 300 euros. If you have never heard of this company before (like I hadn't), here is their site: www.zucable.com. The effect is nothing short of spectacular! I got a 5m cable (long, I know...) and burned it in attaching it to my tuner and letting it play in the background for a couple of days. Then on to the listening!

As is so often the case with fine Hifi, the right cableing let's you know just how good a product actually is. Same thing with the Sennheisers. What I got was an actual soundstage - something I thought was impossible even in the finest headphones, since everything kinda happens "in your head". But here it is now. Clearly structured and amazingly wide, instruments mapped out on, well, a stage.

How is this possible in headphones? I think, the cable mainly increased detail and control. When you have that, the instruments behind the music become visible. Add the natural musicality of the 650s and you have a musical experience which is amazingly like listening to an excellent amp-speaker combo.

There are other upgrade cables around. I'm sure, many of them are good. The Cardass, though, is clearly at the lower end of things. So if you find yu have another 3-400 to spend and you listen seriously with your headphones, give the Zu a shot. It's bring out the best in your Senns!

Similar Products Used: Sennheiser 600, AKG 500 and 501. Cardass upgrade cable.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Fergymunster   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 10, 2006]
Strength:

Music reproduction

Weakness:

None

Let me start by saying that these headphones are not something you plug into an ipod or any other jack that doesn't have some kind of amplfication.Once you purchuse these headphones your off into spending more money in order to make these headphones worthwhile.I've been waiting for the price of these headphones to come down because I know that there are other headphones waiting in the wing.Once I recieved them I pluged them into my mini system to burn them in.With that going on I now had to create a system which sent me on the hunt for a good CDP with a high quality DAC and of course a good headphone amplifier to go with it.Once that was accomplished I needed about 15' of cable so I got the Cardas cable to go with the headphones.Once everything was burned in I was now able to judge these headphones.What I found was that these headphones shine into what ever music I'm listening to at the time especially when playing accoustic music as it is truely an extraordinary experince.I can't find fault with anything these headphones have to offer.All in all this is a cheap short cut to get the very best in high quality music in this day and age.For about $1400 I have a system which in my opinion I can't put a price tag on.All there is to do now is decided what kind of CD I want to listen to and I'm off into another world.A great escape from the everyday insanity of the outside world.Don't believe me try searching for an upgraded power cord and you'll see what I mean.

Similar Products Used: CA azur 640c v1.Creek 21se headphyone amp.AQ king cobra RCA.AQ nrg-2 power cord.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
stevephones   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 13, 2005]
Strength:

Clearness Sound quality Like hearing all my old friends for the 1st time Smoothness Jazz is really over the top

Weakness:

Headphones feel heavy after awhile(longer than an hour) Jazz, acoustic, classical, alternative sounds better than heavy metal

I wanted a great set of headphones and decided to research on the internet, read reviews, then go for it. I had Pro 280's and wanted better. After 6 months this is what I bought: Sennheiser HD 595 and Sennheiser HD650with Stefan Art Equinox Cables. The 595's are really clean and upfront sounding. I love them for a change of pace and they are so light I forget I am wearing them after about 5 minutes. The real nirvana is the HD650 with the equinox cables. I found a pair on ebay with the cables already attached. The waiting period just to buy the cables from Stefan Art was 6 weeks. These cables are far superior to the Cardas in my opinion. I want to listen to my music loud and since no one else in my house likes all the music I listen to I wanted great headphones. These cans need and crave a headphone amp. I finally decided on the Musical Fidelity system. I bought the X-Can v3 on ebay. I was running this through my walkman. I couldn't believe the quality. I then purchased the X-Rayv3 cd player. I heard lyrics, instruments, and counts on songs I had never heard before on my $6000.00 stereo system. After talking to Signal Path, the US distributor for Musical Fidelity, I decided to go the distance and bought the XPSUv3 power supply, The X-10v3 tube buffer, and the XLPSv3 phono stage for my B&O turntable. I had to break in the units for a good 60 hours before the true beauty came through. It is a sound I cannot describe, other than it is better tahn I could have hoped for. There is no tweeking necessary! If you want a GREAT no nonsense system, this is it. HANDS DOWN. I have no complaints. The tube buffer gives the already CLEAR, precise sound a fuller range, while the PSU brightens the highs and give the bass a nice punch without being overbearing. There is absolutely no need for treble and bass controls. Eq is not a need. I wanted a great headphone system and now have it. My records sound fantastic, but the cd's are supreme. I finally have to say with this system I prefer cd over vinyl. I never thought I would say it, but the blackness of the background and the distinct sound of each instrument and voice is in my opinion hard to beat. The system: Sennheiser HD650 Stefan Art Equinox Cable Musical Fidelity X-Rayv3 CD Player Musical Fidelity X-Canv3 Headphone Amp Musical Fidelity XPSUv3 Power Supply Musical Fidelity X10v3 Tube Buffer Musical Fidelity XLPSv3 Phono Stage B&O RX turntable Audioquest Diamondback Interconnect cables

Similar Products Used: Who cares, this is nirvana for me, and I have been listening to music for 40 years!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bassdude   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 10, 2005]
Strength:

See my original reveiw below.

Weakness:

Although the sound good right out of the box - they need some "tweaks" to sound their best.

"Upon further review..." This note is just to add a comment to my earlier review of the HD650's below. Some users notice a bit of a "fog," or "veil" with the HD650, which makes it seem to be less clear and dynamic than the Grados, or some other phones. I discovered a couple of "tweaks" to reduce, or eliminate that "veil," if you notice it and want to eliminate it. These are all courtesy of "Head-fi," if you haven't been there go to: www.headfi.org - it's well worth you time. The "tweaks" are: 1. Make sure their "burnt in" with a 100+ hours of use with the cable you're using. They don't loosen up / open up until their properly "burnt in." 2. You can "De-veil" your HD650's by carefully removing the velvet ear pads (they just snap in and out with a pressure fit), and then removing the loose foam lining, and carefully press the ear pads back into place. The foam lining apparently muffles the sound a bit. If you want to protect the drivers, you can obtain some fiberglass mesh screen material (what they make window screens from - cost about $6) at Lowes, or Home Depot, and cut it to fit, replacing the foam. This little tweak, significantly clears up the "fog," or "veil," and the HD650's become much more clear and dynamic, allowing them to rival the Grados for clarity. 2. As I said in my review, you may also want to buy the Cardas Cable, or the Zu Mobus Cable (more expensive). Both of these cables will increase the dynamics, clarity, definition and impact of the HD650 - the Zu Mobus reportedly a bit moreso (just do a Google Search for these cables). I find the less expensive Cardas just fine, with the HD650's, expecially after they're "de-veiled," and matched with a good headphone amp. 3. Buy a good headphone amp. I have the Musical Fidelity XCAN v3, which is a hybrid design (tube + solid state), so it has the best of both worlds (the warm, lush, liquid tube sound + the speed, pace, dynamics and impact of the solid state sound). You can pick up "like new" units on Audiogon, and Ebay for about $300 - and if you want to improve the sound even more, you can upgrade the two 6922/E88CC tubes to EH's, JJ's, Sylvania's, Amperex's, Mullard's, or whatever. Or, if you want an all tube design that reportedly drives them really well, you can buy the Antique Sound Lab MG Head DT/OTL MKIII, and upgrade it's tubes - also for about $300 at the same places. Or, you can buy the amp that Sennheiser Demos the HD650 with - the wonderful Lehmann Black Cube Linear Class A solid state amp; or the Gilmore GS-1, or Gilmore Lite + PSU, or the Ray Samuels HR-2 (these will cost you from $500 to $800). All of these amps will do an outstanding job of driving the HD650's as they should be driven, with enough power to control their drivers, making them really fast and dynamic. 4. You can further dramatically improve their sound by buying the Musical Fidelity X-PSU v3 power supply to power the XCAN v3 amp, and a high quality pair of interconnects, and power cable. If you get the right cables - it will improve the bass, dynamics, clarity and soundstage even more. However, these last "tweaks" could be placed on your "wish list" - you'll still be very pleased with the sound. If you're not prepared to make these "tweaks" and investments in your HD650's - you may want to just stick with the Grado PS SR225's (sound identical to the Grado RS-1 for $160) and the Grado RA-1 head amp (for about $225 on Ebay, or Audiogon) (best sound you can obtain for anything less). But, if you are prepared to do so - you will be amazed at the sound that can not be reproduced for less than $1,500 otherwise.

Similar Products Used: See my original review below.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bassdude   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 13, 2005]
Strength:

Wonderful sound, quality construction, comfortable fit, and value if you buy it right on the Internet (I would have been very unhappy had I paid MSRP).

Weakness:

Too large for portable use, more expensive than the Grado SR225, and just slightly less detail and resolution than the Grados (but not enough to quibble over).

Sennheiser HD650 Headphones + Cardas Cable $312 + $125 or $437 for combo from Internet retailers Summary: As HeadRoom (www.Headphone.com) says – the HD650 just may be the “World’s best headphone.” Especially when upgraded with the Cardas Cable, or the Stephen Audio Arts Equinox Cable (which is way, way, way overpriced relative to the sonic improvement over the stock cable, or to the improvement of the much less costly Cardas Cable). You should be aware that the HD650 will sound veiled, foggy, or muffled (a bit like your listening with cotton in your ears), until it is well broken in after at least 100 hours of play. After break in, the veil and fog are lifted, and the full detail and dynamics begin to shine through. The sound becomes much more clear, well defined, and resolved, and the soundstage becomes bigger and more defined – the bass tighter and punchier, the mids warmer, the highs crisper and more crystalline – all with better attack, more timbre and texture, possessing qualities similar to those of the famous Grado RS-1, but with less sibilance and stridency in the highs and upper mids. The HD650 has all the qualities of the HD600 + just a little more - detailed and dynamic throughout the extended audio range. Their sound is dynamic, well defined, with extended, big bass and mids, and well defined, detailed, extended, crystalline highs, presented in a huge soundstage with excellent reproduction of the acoustics of the environment of the recording. You can hear all the nuances of the recording, which make the audio experience enjoyable such as: the squeak of the fingers on the strings, the rasp of the bow on the strings, the slap of the hand on the bass, the thump of the piano stops, the breath of the vocalist, the mellow, aged timbre of the brass, the shimmer of the individual brush fibers on the cymbals, and more. I have the HD650, the Grado RS-1 and the Grado SR225. All are truly exceptional headphones, but I believe the HD650 with the Cardas Cable upgrade provides the best overall sound. It presents slightly less detail than the Grados (perhaps 5-10% less), but it doesn’t suffer from the somewhat strident upper mids and highs of the Grados. If I had a system that would attenuate the stridency of the Grados, I would consider their sound better than the HD650 – because of the exceptional presence, detail, clarity, texture and resolution of the Grados, but without that attenuation, I prefer the HD650. As a sidelight, the Grado SR225 sounds virtually identical to the Grado RS-1 – with only very slightly less bass extension and soundstage (perhaps 5% less) – there’s not enough difference to justify the $400+ higher price of the RS-1. None of the other Grado headphones sound as good as these two models. And I do use the Grado SR225’s with my portable Sony Walkman. Now the “kicker.” These observations were made primarily using my Sony Walkman CD Player ($30), with my Shellbrook Audio Labs Maxi Moy headphone amplifier with the OPA627BP opamps ($150). The sound from this combination was every bit as good as from my much more expensive Music Hall MMF CD25 with the 1+ upgrade, playing though either my Musical Fidelity XCAN v3 headphone amp, or my Grado RA-1 headphone amp. In conclusion, you can obtain 95% of the best sound available from less than $500 worth of equipment: Grado SR225, Sony Walkman, and Shellbrook Maxi Moy. But, if your budget will permit a bit more extravagance – go with any of the others. You will be amazed by any of them.

Similar Products Used: Bose Tri-Port, Sennheiser HD225 Pro, Sennheiser HD600, Grado SR325i, Grado SR125, Grado SR225, Grado RS-1, and a variety of cheap Sony’s.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 19  

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