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172 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful sound
I have owned a pair of these headphones for almost a year now, and the sound they produce is quite simply divine. The first time I put them on, I felt the pads did press quite hard on my head, considering what I was expecting from reviews. After a little tweaking of the headband, I found them to be more comfortable and once I had been wearing the phones for a couple of...
Published on 17 Mar 2007 by N. Bearman

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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too coloured and expensive for what they offer or don't
First off I'd like to say that the sound signature these cans produce is just not to my liking but other people might love the colouration so take my review with a grain of salt and try them out if you have a chance because my poison could be your meat or something to that effect... To avoid people saying that I'm not driving them properly I drive these headphones from...
Published 24 months ago by cas


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172 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful sound, 17 Mar 2007
By 
N. Bearman - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
I have owned a pair of these headphones for almost a year now, and the sound they produce is quite simply divine. The first time I put them on, I felt the pads did press quite hard on my head, considering what I was expecting from reviews. After a little tweaking of the headband, I found them to be more comfortable and once I had been wearing the phones for a couple of days the pads softened. The result was the most comfortable fit I have ever experienced in a pair, and believe me I have worn many a pair of headphones..

I think after stumbling upon the review below, I felt compelled to leave my feedback as I thought the reviewer seemed truly misguided. The sound these headphones produce, while not completely geared towards a completely flat response (as this was the idea of the 600s) is very truthful. You will find that if you have not been subjected to 'proper' sound, for example in a studio environment, you may think that they sound perhaps different to what you would expect. The average person's opinion is perhaps generally that one wants lots of deep bass and high treble to create an 'impressive' sound. While this may impress, at the end of the day one has to fiddle with equalization controls to adjust the sound for different records, as not all of them will sound good. The reason for this would be that the sound the equipment (speakers or headphones) is producing is not a balanced sound. One will probably, for example find that some records appear 'harsh' on the ears when up loud on a lesser system, and this would be the fault of the listening equipment. There are many other factors that would make this review too long, but the general idea is that if you want to hear exactly what the producer created in the studio, then you want something that matches the 'standard' of sound as closely as possible.

I have been producing, recording, editing and listening to music for many years and these headphones represent what I would consider to be some of the best in headphone sound quality. I actually think that I will never want another pair to replace them.

Decent sound comes at a price, as the materials chosen have to be picked and put together extremely accurately so as to perform exactly as required. Creating accurate headphones is an art, and Sennheiser's many years of experience has clearly lead to their producing headphones of such a high quality. To think that a company with such experience in building accurate devices such as these would place a piece of material in their headphones that degraded their sound is completely ridiculous. Do you really think that a company that invests so much money in developing accurate drivers would sully their reputation and bring down the quality of their high end products by not considering such a thing? I think not. The headphones were designed to be used as they are presented, no changing of cables and ripping out of integral parts will make them more accurate, in any case it will probably do the reverse.

On a brand note, I did have the opportunity to experience Some high-end Sony DJ headphones, which did sound quite good until I compared them to the 650s. The immediate thing I noticed as the harshness of the Sony sound. Playing 'Hunter' by Bjork, I found that the vocals became ear piercing on the Sonys, yet remained silky smooth and accurate on the 650s. All the separate sounds in the track remained clear and were never drowned out, a problem I discovered with the Sony earphones.

(if looking for high quality headphones I highly recommend this track for judging the quality of the midrange, (something often overlooked) as the vocals really push the equipment you are listening to to it's limits and at high levels will really sound painful on anything of a lower quality)

The bottom line is, if you are looking for headphones that will impress the un-trained ear, then go for some of a lower calibre. Perhaps consider some sub-100 Sennheisers, as these are of a pretty high standard and probably will sound better than most of the other 'high-street' brands. If you are, however looking for a pair of headphones that will give you the true sound of your records and will probably make you hate every other piece of sound equipment you have ever listened to, then buy these. The quality is superb for all genres, and until you have sat down and watched a big budget film with an orchestral soundtrack on these cans, you do not know what you are missing.

** You do not need ridiculous hardware to appreciate these headphones. Integrated circuits today are of such a high quality that even cheap amplifiers (as long as they have the EQ turned off) will produce a decent sound. The only thing one has to worry about is how powerful the amp is. I found that my friend's iPod for example did not really have enough 'kick' to turn these up loud. Not all portable devices have the same output power and I am sure to some 'audiophile' reader's disgust I should point out that I had the opportunity to try the 650's on a sub 10 CD player, and they sounded just as good as they did when plugged into my hi-fi. A lot of this expensive CD player business is just a great big con!
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully neutral, 28 Aug 2010
By 
Mr. M. T. Kay - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
There has been a lot of talk in the reviews about the use of headphone amps in realation to the quality of these headphones. Without wishing to veer off on to a completely separate discussion, I just wish to make the following point:

These are a quality pair of hi-fi headphones. If you do not use a headphone amp, they will still sound great. If you do use one (e.g. Grahma Slee Solo), they will sound even better.

If you are looking for headphones to use with an iPod or similar device, do not buy these. They are hi-fi headphones (i.e. not designed to be portable or driven by low output equipment). Your money would be far better spent on a pair of B&W P5s or Klipsch Image X10s which will give you far better results from that kind of source.

Do not jusge these headphones (or any headphones, for that matter) straight out of the box. They sound muffled, veiled and distant, like they are full of cotton wool. Give them 50-60 hours to burn in and they turn into a completely different beast.

Gone is the distance and the veil. Music sounds a lot more immediate and focused. The soundstaging is excellent, giving the impression of space. The music is presented as if it were coming from speakers either side of you (which it effectively is) rather than being piped directly into your ear.

The level of detail and clarity at this price is stunning. Mid-range and vocals are stark without being harsh. Bass feels tight and responsive. They do what all good audio equipment aspires to do - present the music as it is intended by the source. There is no colouration, no quickening, no 'enhancing', just clarity.

I have heard detail on records and CDs that I have never heard before. I suddenly want to dig out everything from my music collection and listen to it all at once and fall in love with it all over again. I feel like I am discovering my favourite bands and artists for the first time.

In my eyes, that is the highest recommendation of all.

NB. This review is my opinion of these headphones. Your ears are different to mine. Just because these are a great pair of headphones to many, does not mean they will be to all. Some people just do not get on with Sennheisers, others may have systems that do not match (I have heard that these do not match well with a valve orientated set-up). All headphones have their own characteristics - it is important to find what works best for you.

Other headphones in a similar price bracket include Grado 325is and AKG 702s, both of which are excellent and well worthy of an audition.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audiophile sound, 15 Jun 2007
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This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
Contrary to a couple of other reviewers who have stated that these will not sound good without a quality headphone amplifier - balderdash! I own a quality headphone amplifier, and whilst this doubtlessly improves things (as one would expect) the HD650s still sound excellent when plugged directly into my CD player or even my Hi-MD walkman, no problems driving them at all. And the supplied literature backs this up, stating that they can be 'directly connected to stationary hi-fi components of the highest quality' - well, admittedly, whilst mine are good they are not the HIGHEST quality, but nevertheless, these phones have no trouble delivering. But, yes, a dedicated headphone amp does take things to the top level.

And the sound - it is close to perfect. The bass is completely realistic and well extended, rather than overblown or muddy as is the case with many cheaper phones. The high frequencies are naturally airey and clear, making for relaxed listening without the need to push the levels too hard (unless you really want to of course).

The mid range is sounding very clear and undistorted. These cans have only been out of the box for an hour, and they have a recommended run-in time of at least one or two days constant useage, so I only expect this already wonderful sound to improve further still.

Comfort is not a major issue. The earcushion on each of the cans fits very nicely around each ear with room to spare (for my 35-year-old ears anyway). The pressure is, however, just a tad too tight on the sides of the skull (but I can cope - and maybe they are expected to loosen with age). The literature also states that the pads should be replaced periodically for hygenic reasons, but I can't work out how these are detached since they appear to be stuck very securely in place. I've already tried pulling as hard as I dare without the risk of ripping them. So I don't get it.

Anyway, the earcushions (in theory), along with the 3 meter cable (which does detach easily enough from each of the cans) are replaceable, to extend the life of the product.

And it all comes in a hard box with a hinged lid.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me re-think what music is!!!!, 5 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
As a former Beats Pro owner ( Yes I know... it was an impulse buy ) I was used to listening to my music with the base turned way up. I decided to go for something more high-brow as a replacement and after reading several reviews, I decided to go for the HD650.
The headphones arrived in a beautiful box ( as you would expect for the price ) and although they feel slightly plasticky, the robust build is something I can't argue with. They feel like they'll last me a lot longer than my now defunct Beats.
As far as sound goes, these are not the type of headphones you are going to run from your iPod or phone. I am using a Fiio E7 portable amp ( will shell out for a more powerful one eventually ) and listen to mainly FLAC files and Spotify. At first I was slightly disappointed by the sound, having listened to the Beats for the past two years.
The HD650 sounded flat, muffled and not very powerful. I've been braking them in for three days now, and I am simply astonished by the improvement. They sound so damn crisp and warm - they just make me appreciate music on a whole new level. The Beats had bass I could feel, but the HD650s have lows that are not intrusive and let everything else about the music shine, especially the vocals and high notes. It's a pleasure listening to them, and honestly, I have re-discovered my music library. I can now just sit and listen to a song with my eyes closed and appreciate every single little note that goes into it.
My old Beats Pros were more powerful, louder and had a lot more bass, but that delicacy in the music that I have found with the HD650 is lacking, and I'd have that over the bass any day of the year. Honestly, best 330 quid I ever spent. I am loving my new-found music enjoyment and I am looking forward to upgrading my amps and music collection.
My only complaint is the hyper long cable ( not bad in its own right ) but I wish Sennheiser supplied a second shorter cable as this one gets tangled in my legs quite a lot.
Apart from the, the HD650 are just brilliant. I feel like such a knob end for having used the Pros for so long. I love music <3 :)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HD650 Review by a regular Joe, 30 Sep 2010
By 
S. Aspery (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
Ok, i am not an audiophile, i want to be, but i am not. I dont have the budget for it and i am not in pursuit of that pure sound that i hear many audiophiles talking about.

I know what i like things to sound like, this may not be right in the audiphile sense, but it makes sense to me.

I purchased these headphones after reading several reviews and i just want to say they are FANTASTIC!

I use them for Gaming on my PC (shock horror) Watching Movies and also listening to music, everything from rock to classical.

You dont need 00000s of pounds worth of kit for these headphones to let you know they are special, that being said they need a fairly reasonable system.

Ignoring all other tasks i set before my headphones, and just concentrating on music, i can say these headphones will deliver you a perfect, very clean, natural sound.. things sound as they should. a cello is clearly a cello, wind instruments sound like they should.. Odds are if your a regular person like me, you wont understand fully until you hear these headphones and audition them against other types. I am told the top end is rounded off very slightly, this my poorly trained ear will have to just agree with. What i can say is the sound is just right.

I then use an EQ to bring the bass to where i want it, the mids, the treble... and across the world many audiophiles who read this and are calling me heathen. But my modest little system and these headphones give my ears the sound that i want, and it is crystal... perfection!

These were an upgrade for me from the HD555, which i also recommend, but really.. if you have the budget these are the best headphones i have ever heard!
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sennheiser HD 650s - the best!, 18 Mar 2007
By 
Derek J. Johnston "windhoek" (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
I do not intend to get technical, but will simply focus on my experience of using these headphones over the past year. I will identify the key weaknesses and assets of these headphones.

The Weaknesses:

1) - At nearly 200 they are considerably more expensive than the average headphones.

2) - Your speakers will probably sound awful when you take your HD650s off.

3) - They are a bit uncomfy (see asset 4).

The Assets:

1) - They come a in fab presentation box which is a good (though unrequired) bonus.

2) - They allow you to hear the most subtle detail - for better or worse.

3) - They sound great with music, TV and film (especially modern programmes and films) and playing games on the PC. For example, Stargate SG1 is amazing - you feel like you are there.

4) - The more you listen to them the comfier they get. I can use them for hours and not really notice that they are there i.e. they become comfortable in time.

5)- They are upgradable via specialised cable such as Cardas.

If you are thinking about buying these, but are not sure, consider the following.

1) - Spending money on these does not mean that you will have no money to buy more cds, currys, clothes or whatever. All the other things you want to buy will be there next month and the month after that and so on.

2) - Your next wage is probably only 4 weeks away at the most. If you've never starved in the past, you probably won't starve if you buy these.

3) - If you buy these you can rest assured that you will not have to buy a new version 6 months from now. As headphones have been around much longer than new technologies such as the mobile phone and mp3 player, headphone technology has already matured past the initial design and redesign stage. Headphone technology is pretty stable and established. Therefore, these headphones can reliably be claimed to be more or less at the pinnacle of headphone technology.

4) - If you buy a punto, you get a punto. If you buy a Daimler, you get a Daimler.

5) - Go and buy them!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
Let me just start off by saying that I couldn't imagine spending almost 300 on some headphones, but these headphones have received so much praise across the audiophile community, and for good reason. In the end I decided to buy them and I am so glad I did.

These headphones represent so much value, they used to be Sennheiser's flagship model before the arrival of the HD700 and HD800. The fact that they are still some of the best headphones you can buy for under 400-500 years later demonstrates how good these headphones really are.

The comfort of these headphones is very, very good. In fact I couldn't imagine having anything more comfortable. Yes when you first put them on, the clamp is a little tight but these will loosen up the more you use them. Eventually you will forget they are even on your head.

Moving onto the sound. These really do need to be used with a headphone amplifier and a relatively good DAC. Using these straight out of an iPod/Laptop is a waste of money as there are many headphones cheaper that will do a better job. When you do plug these into an amp and DAC these headphones will blow you away.

I'm using a very modest setup. Fiio E7 + E09k. Will soon be upgrading to a tube amp, probably the Crack OTL when funds permit.

Lows:

The bass is actually perfect for me, I like to have some bass presence and punch when I'm listening to music. Too little and it will not sound engaging, too much and you start affecting the detail and produce a "muddy" sound. The bass is very clear and controlled.

Mids:

This is where these headphones truly shine. The mids are absolutely gorgeous, female vocals will send shivers down your spine. A very lush/warm sound.

Highs:

Now this is where the opinions change for most people, some people will refer to the 650s as having a veil, and I can understand maybe why people would perceive that. I myself can't detect this veil but the highs do lack a bit of sparkle and the highs roll of slightly. This is what I actually prefer, it gives it a very non fatiguing and laid back sound signature but with plenty of detail. I could listen to these headphones for hours and hours.

Soundstage:

Appears to be very good, a nice open and airy feeling but not as good as the HD598 in this department although you do get excellent imaging that surpasses most headphones at this price point.

All in all, fantastic headphones couldn't be happier with my choice, well done Sennheiser!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sennheiser HD650 Headphone Initial & Subsequent Impressions, 5 Oct 2012
By 
Angus (Wolverhampton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
My purchase arrived from Amazon very well boxed and presented by the manufacturer. First listen to be honest totally underwhelmed me. They lacked any sparkle and sounded flat with little soundstage however the detail in the music was very evident. Alarm bells began to ring - What have I done buying these? I decided to leave them plugged in with music playing continually for several days. They do leak rather a lot of noise when wearing them but this is inherent with the open back design which goes with the genaral theme of most audiophile headphones. Not only do others hear what you are listening to but you can hear the TV or conversation cluttering your listening experience. You need to go somewhere quiet. 5-days passed by and I tried them again with familiar tracks that until now have been experienced through a friends HD600 headphones from the same manufacturer. I use a Heed Canamp dedicated headphone amplifier connected directly from my CD player. The "running in" period has made a huge improvement to the point where I want to listen to them as often as time permits. They are most definately worthy of the praise that many bestow upon them. At times I have felt the hairs on my neck stand up as the female voice on some tracks seems so real. The soundstage is very wide and deep and on several occasions I have had to check that I have not left my main amplifier and loudspeakers switched on. As with all recorded music if the source is poor the HD650 will not make it sound great however well produced recordings can instil real emotion and make you feel like you were actually there in the studio with the artist. They have a different sound signature from the HD600 although the Sennheiser type sound is evident when listening to both. The HD600 for my taste is a little lean in the bass department the HD650 having slightly more bass presence without it overtaking the presentation - Just right for my ears. To be honest they both sound superb through the Heed Canamp but I always find myself picking up the HD650 in preference. Strangely enough my friend has just put his HD600 on eBay, like me he finds both models engaging and the HD600 will likely appeal more to the puritan than the HD650 however my friend based his sale on the basis that he too preferred to listen to my HD650 over his HD600 because their presentation appealed to him more. If possible listen to them both and make your own choice however there are excellent models from alternative manufacturers such as AKG, Beyer Dynamic, Grado, Hifiman which you may prefer. Some younger listeners fed a diet of modern style sequencer style music may find the Sennheisers a little too easy on the ear as they are used to a more up-front bash, bang,wollop sound akin to Monitor Audio loudspeakers. Me being a more mature listener prefer the non-fatiguing listen for hours approach such as a KEF reference or ProAC loudspeaker. having said that the group Yello come through the Sennheisers with real presence and clout - Enjoy.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No need to buy new headphones ever again, 2 Aug 2006
This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
I spent ages trying to decide what earphones to get. I love my music, it's the first thing I do when i wake up in the morning turning on my music. My last pair of earphones were sony mdr-ex71slb's. Good headphones for portable mp3 players. These I wanted for gaming and much more importantly music listening as I like my music loud (which the neighbours don't like much). After reading various reviews on other top brand earphones I decided to go with Sennheiser's. Couldn't tell you why really, I guess I thought they looked good and hadn't read any bad reviews of them. I combined them with my Creative x-fi elite pro on my computer. First I thought there wasn't anything particularly exceptional about them, infact almost disappointed for the price I paid for them. I am now a year on since I bought them, I've spent many hours listening to music and finally I can say that the sound on them is exceptional. They take a long time to break in, but once they do you'll never want to listen to your speakers again. I also own a set of Creative Gigaworks S750's that also have amazing sound quality, but when I really want to enjoy my music, my Sennheiser HD650's take precedence. They are very comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and much more comfortable to listen to at louder volumes for longer periods of time than inner-ear headphones. It's so wonderful to listen to music at loud and quiet volumes regardless and be able to hear every instrument in the song (be prepared to find the breathing of singers more noticeable in songs)

If you want exceptional sound quality, these are for you. Thankyou sennheiser and thankyou Amazon for very fast deliver
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-notch cans, 21 Jan 2009
By 
D. A. Morgan (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sennheiser HD650 Reference Over-Ear Headphone (Electronics)
I am a long-time headphone user and recently decided to upgrade my ageing Sennheiser HD600s. First I went fot the highly regarded AKG K701s and although they were very good after several weeks I found they were simply too uncomfortable to wear for long periods. I then tried Grado SR-225s, which were very disappointing indeed. In particular they felt cheap and nasty - certainly not up to Beyer or Sennheiser in terms of build quality - and the sound seemed merely average.

Then I bought the Sennheiser HD650s and...Nirvana. Build quality is excellent (the cable is much sturdier than that on the HD600s) and comfort is streets ahead of the AKGs (though they fit more snugly than the HD600s). But it was the natural sound that bowled me over, not to mention the extended bass and sweet treble. I listen to classical music and believe me these cans are the business. For the first time in a long time I can't wait to get home, pop in a disc, slip on the Sennheisers and just enjoy the music.

Are they a worthwhile upgrade from the HD600s? I'd say so, especially if you have good-quality kit. They are leaner sounding but more natural and extended. And the detail and nuance you can hear is just astonishing.

It's been a long journey via Beyer, Grado and AKG but I've finally found some cans that really sing. Unreservedly recommended.
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