Wayback Wednesday: Sennheiser HD650 – Love your music

Disclaimer: This article about the Sennhieser HD650 is part of the Wayback Wednesday series.  Check out the other Wayback Wednesday articles HERE

 

A lot of readers have been asking me when I was going to feature the good old Sennheiser HD650 on our Wayback Wednesday series, and well, today is the day. If you’ve been following my audio journey over all these years you of course know that I have a special connection with the Sennheiser HD650, but you’ll also know that a lot of people don’t like really like it. Normally I would say that that’s a very normal thing, but in case of the HD650 I would say you’re delusional: if you don’t like the HD650, you don’t like music.

In all seriousness though, I can see why one would prefer the HD600 or HE-560 over my precious headphone but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad headphone. A year or 10 ago I actually bought the HD600 first and I really liked it, but it was only after I bought the Beyer DT990 and the Lafigaro 339 amp that I felt I was missing something while listening to the HD600. Right now I would label it as musicality, even though the HD600 fans won’t agree with me. (But that’s perfectly fine)

It’s the HD650 that made me fall back in love with music.

To get the best out of your HD650 I recommend using a very detailed and neutral sounding dac, combined with a desktop amplifier, preferably one on tubes. Hook up the 250Ohm HD650 to an OTL amplifier such as the 339 or the Bottlehead crack and you should get goosebumps. If you don’t, I recommend seeing a doctor. Urgently.

The HD650 lets you enjoy your music. It’s detailed, sounds dynamic and it has excellent bass and treble with nicely rich (but not very extended) mids. With the right amp the HD650 doesn’t sound veiled, don’t let anyone fool you with that argument. But yes, the HD650 is a bit slower with full bodied and impactful bass. Its delivery is smooth and musical and it’s all about the music.

So basically as soon as I had my HD650 I sold the HD600 and I haven’t regretted it ever since. If I need a faster, cleaner sounding headphone, I pick up the Hifiman HE-560 and to me this combination of headphones will have all your wishes covered. We’re never sure that Sennheiser will keep making the HD650, so as a precaution I have bought an extra unit just to be sure I. The second HD650 is safely stored away in my office, it has never been unpacked and I don’t plan on doing so unless my first unit becomes irreparable.

Is there anything I would like to change in the HD650? Well, I wouldn’t mind Sennheiser changing their paint/headband material thing so the headband wouldn’t chip as fast as it does now. But I wouldn’t change the sound signature as there are enough other headphones on the market that deliver a different sound. Let the Sennheiser HD650 be a romantic headphone, it does so perfectly.

Still not convinced about the HD650 (which you really need to own at least once in your life time), then check out Dave’s review of it here:

The Dark Sennheiser HD650: All For The Music

 

Wayback Wednesday: Sennheiser HD650 – Love your music
4.4 (87.41%) 27 votes

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. Coming from a musical family he's always been interested in good sound. Unlike his family members the only musical instruments he plays are amps and DACs. He loves playing with old tubes and discovering new products while staying faithful to the good old Sennheiser HD650.

16 Comments

  • Reply June 15, 2017

    Himanshu

    hey! i am looking to buy new pair of headphone
    i am confuse between these and DT 1990 pro
    which one is best buy?

    • Reply June 15, 2017

      Lieven

      Extremely different headphones!

      Source?
      Amplifier?
      Music?

      • Reply June 15, 2017

        himanshu

        source – chord mojo
        Amplifier -(suggest any if required)
        Music – POP,DANCE,EDM

        • Reply June 15, 2017

          Bharat

          For that, get the Fostex – Massdrop TH-X00 just not the ebony. you don’t need an amp for that.

          HD650 isn’t for POP or EDM, it can do it but won’t do justice to it,

          A AKG xxx will work great too.

          • Reply June 18, 2017

            himanshu

            Are they(fostex) available in India?

  • Reply June 15, 2017

    tronco

    I got into this hobby about 4 years ago and the HD650 was my third headphone. I’ve bought and sold many headphones but this one stayed in my collection.

    I haven’t heard a better headphone in this price range. And you can get a used one for about 200 (swiss) bucks. Unbeatable value.

  • Reply June 15, 2017

    himanshu

    source – chord mojo
    Amplifier -(suggest any if required)
    Music – POP,DANCE,EDM

    • Reply June 15, 2017

      Lieven

      Go for the DT1990 then, the HD650 needs a different type/kind of amp imo

      • Reply June 15, 2017

        himanshu

        sure thanks for advice..

        • Reply June 15, 2017

          himanshu

          i,ve heard that highs are fatiguing in DT1990 are they? that is why i am considering HD 650..

  • Reply June 15, 2017

    Jonas Bonér

    Thanks for a great post. HD650 is a favorite of mine as well. I’m interested in getting the LaFigaro 339. Which tubes would you recommend with the 650? Also, which DACs would you recommend for this setup? Thanks.

  • Reply June 19, 2017

    Rob L

    I tried a WA7 with HD650 and I was not impressed. It was a little better with my Violectric V100. I have been using a Ressonessence Herus as a DAC for a few years now and I really like it, and I would like to pair it with a tube amp worthy of properly powering the HD650.
    Question – Do you think I will hear a difference between the WA7 and the 339?

    • Reply June 20, 2017

      Lieven

      Oh yes, there’s a big difference between both these amps. The 339 is an OTL amp and its character is more tube-ish than the WA7. I prefer the 339 myself, I never was the biggest fan of the WA7 (and I love Woo Audio)

  • Reply June 20, 2017

    Dave

    Well, I could hear the difference between the WA7 (which I did like) and the 336, so…

    • Reply June 20, 2017

      dale thorn

      I was really interested in the WA7 once, but then they introduced the alternative with the extra power supply box for more $$$. While I can appreciate that customers should have a choice of better gear for more money, I just don’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the good-better-best propositions with some products. Radio Shack used to do that a long time ago, and more recently AudioQuest with their Forest-Trees-Lake-River-Copper-Diamond-Gold etc. cables in 17 quality steps – no thanks. I want to buy from someone who makes the best product they can at a realistic price, then maybe later, like Chord with the Mojo, they try to squeeze as much of the flagship product into the affordable/portable version as they can, for much less money. It seems more honest that way.

  • Reply June 26, 2017

    Gregory

    These headphones are super cool!

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