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Sennheiser - Around Ear Headphones (HD 650)
  • Top-of-the-range open, dynamic hi-fi stereo headphones
  • High-quality titanium/silver finish
  • Specially modulated connecting cable
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • $499.95
  • Free Shipping (restrictions apply)

5 out of 5 eggs Sennheiser HD 650 Mini Review 10/20/2013

This review is from: Sennheiser - Around Ear Headphones (HD 650)

Pros:

Mid centric
Lush mids
Good bass
Non fatiguing
Very comfortable
Reference class
Can be considered end game for most

Cons:

Needs heavy amping to sound right
A little too dark

Other Thoughts:

Hi guys.

HD 650 made in 2013.

Brief Impressions of HD 650
It is a dark sounding, smooth, laid back yet high resolution headphone which is engaging enough to listen to hours at a time while being mid centric with a mid bass boost. The deep, tall and engaging soundstage is a good point as well.

The So Called Veil
I didn't find it on the Beta22 at all. On Ember I sometimes feel it, sometimes I don't. It is pretty good with Ember, though perhaps zero veil at all times, though. Not a deal breaker though. However, with a preamp phono with headphone out it did have a veil. So it does need heavy amping. Anything less than $200-500 on the amp and you will probably feel veil, and even then it won't disappear completely.
However, with Project Ember it is enjoyable and very often there is no veil.

Dark Sound
With RCA Black Plates 12AT7 it is darker, so the veil seems more present. With brighter tubes like Telefunken 12AU7 or brighter still RCA Clear Top 12AU7, the veil is less present and the tonal balance is more neutral. On the other hand, it sounded the warmest/darkest with the Beta22 but with no trace of the veil.
I recommend a bright amp with the HD 650 or a ultra high end neutral Amp. So if you choose a tube amp make sure that it uses a bright tube.

Low Volume Listening
Not ideal for low volume listening, especially because of the slight veil and HD 650 nature. However, moderate and loud volumes are very enjoyable. However, when I say moderate, that is probably low for most people. So this isn't a deal breaker for anybody, trust me. You will be fine! :)

Off an Asus STX
Sounds horrible. The RS 180/170 and Pioneer SE A 1000 sound okay, but not their best. However, after listening to it on the Project Ember for a few days, I decided to try the Asus STX amp, and it sounded bad. Not even comparable to the Ember. If you need to use Asus STX then it really sounds like a $50 headphone and you are better off with a HD 598 and Bravo Ocean.

Overall
It is an all rounder headphone though some people may not like it because of its dark nature. However, with the right amping, most people will get used to it. It definitely scales very well with an amp and does need a mid-fi amp as a minimum requirement if you really want it to perform as intended.

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  • Dinesh T.
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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