Picture Sunday – Sennheiser HD660S

Disclaimer: The star of this weeks’ picture Sunday is the Sennheiser HD660S. This post is a part of our Picture Sunday series.

 

Sennheiser HD660S

It wasn’t really a surprise when Sennheiser announced the launch of the HD660S a few months ago. Their HD600 and HD650 headphones are getting older yet they still are immensely popular in the community. Most of the time headphone listeners are either fan of the HD600 or the HD650, and I don’t know a lot of people that like both.

A few years ago Sennheiser tried to bring these fan groups closer together with the launch of the HD700 and while I personally liked that headphone, it didn’t turn out to be a huge success in the headphone world. Now Sennheiser is back with the HD660S, and this time it just might work. The Sennheiser product page can be found here: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/headphones-audiophile-high-end-hd-660-s

By using the 6-line product name, people get the feeling of this headphone being closer to the one they already love and marketing wise that is a smart move. If we look at the driver of the new HD660S, we can see that it’s related to the HD700 driver and not the HD600/HD650 drivers.

Sennheiser it self is calling the HD660S the successor of the legendary HD650:

The new HD 660 S lets you enjoy sophisticated audiophile sound in even more listening situations. The successor of the legendary HD 650 excels with the improved performance of its new transducer design. Thanks to its lower impedance, it delivers reference-class sound also when connected to hi-res mobile players, thus offering much greater versatility. The HD 660 S is an elegantly designed piece of high-quality engineering that indulges the demanding listener with aural precision and great wearing comfort.

While it of course is the successor of the HD650 (it was launched last in the 6-series, not looking at the 630VB) it to me sound wise really is in between both models. The HD600 is fast, detailed and has a more neutral tuning and the HD650, is thicker, slower and more romantic. This new HD660S, at least to me, combines the best of both these headphones and to me it really works.

Made for the demanding listener, the HD 660 S surpasses the exceptional performance of its predecessor, the legendary HD 650. With a crisp bass, excellent mid-frequency response, and a gentle, pleasantly natural treble, the HD 660 S has an expressiveness that immerses you in every emotion and nuance of music. Still, it always stays exceptionally accurate and transparent.

The full review, including comparisons with the HD600 and HD650 will be online on soon!

 

Picture Sunday – Sennheiser HD660S
4.7 (93.79%) 29 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.

14 Comments

  • Reply February 4, 2018

    dale thorn

    Innerfidelity has some bad news…

    • Reply February 4, 2018

      Lieven

      And yet they do give it an award. Special!

  • Reply February 4, 2018

    Jeremiah

    Most reviewers I trust gave it a bad review.

    • Reply February 4, 2018

      Lieven

      That’s maybe a bit black/white.

  • Reply February 4, 2018

    dale thorn

    This is very peculiar, since it uses the HD700 drivers (modified somewhat), and Innerfidelity thinks it has a “grainy” kind of sound (albeit it’s subtle). I’d like to read more people’s views on that aspect of the sound that Tyll found to be grainy. Probably there’s something going on he isn’t aware of. He did say that pretty much the entire midrange was clean and neutral.

    • Reply February 4, 2018

      dale thorn

      Second thought: I hadn’t intended to buy the 660s since I haven’t been buying many headphones lately, and didn’t see a free sample coming. So I might just spring for one of these for $500 (or whatever I can get), if someone can offer a good second opinion on Tyll’s review, especially the “a little bit grainy” comment, or whatever that translates to. From past experience, the Sennheiser 6xx series are never disappointing.

      • Reply February 5, 2018

        Eduardo

        Some impressions I had about this line and its Reviews.
        When the HD660S launched I had already read a lot about the HD600 and HD650 to know which I would buy and which would replace my HD599. It is difficult to know for sure if the person will like a headphone, because they can not test, most of us have to believe in the reviews. The best I could do was to read a lot of revisions, shake the opinions and see which one fit the best.
        I followed the beginning and continuity of the topics in Forum Headfi on the 660. I noticed that the HD660S was more appreciated by people who used the HD600, but they were people who had other headphones and who liked to have another new sennheiser and more sound details. But for those who would have it as a single headphone, it would be a more serious choice. For my taste and for a smart choice, I chose the HD650. Mine is the latest version, after 2015, which has the frequencies of 10-41000. Sennheiser has made a very smart choice in making a new HD6xx line headphone, because in my opinion, the 600 and 650 is a work of art in design and sound quality. The wise question of the choice for the 650 is that along with the 600, these Drivers have been used, tested and improved since the early 90s, so I would be buying the 650 version updated and with decades of experience on this Drive and in the subjects. The new 660s is a drive that still has a lot to look forward to. I know it should be great because Sennheiser knows what she’s doing, but when the 600 (1996-97) and 650 (2003) were released people were surprised and also some complained, and Sennheiser always working to improve the already so good. In Tyll’s review, he says one thing right, about the sound of the 600 and 650 being softer, organic and natural, and he most complained about not feeling it in the new 660, and one would expect a sound a bit different, the driver of the 660 is more agile and better, but it is a new driver and with that, as we all know, different drivers and speakers do not have the same sound and signature, and one thing I noticed in the reviews and in the comments is that these 600 and 650 Drivers together with the oval housing make a unique signature sound that no rival can do, can do with more details and other things, but never the same, and with that so many love. He is one of the people who says that even using and testing more recent, detailed and better headphones than the 6xx, when he returns to hear the 600/650 he feels how good these headphones are. I do not agree with much with what he says, but some are even considerate.
        The sennheiser should keep the 3’s, since one does not replace the other, just as the 650 arrived with a more open sound than his older brother the 600, and still did not replace.

        Who was king never loses his majesty

        • Reply February 5, 2018

          dale thorn

          So, could it be that Tyll heard more “grain” in the HD660, because it is more revealing than the 600 and 650?

          • Reply February 5, 2018

            Musikverein

            Good insight. It is more revealing indeed.
            Which doesn’t mean grain, to me at least. And I would hear grain immediately in a HE660s since I am used to a HE60 for nearly two decades.
            Elsewhere it is said that this cognitive bias of grain is a weird individual attitude of those who would never listen to a Grado GH2 for example. Which is n o t grainy either. It is just more treble energy imho.

          • Reply February 6, 2018

            Eduardo

            say that the more emphasis you have on high frequencies the person notes, and also depends on the quality of the music. If the 600 already was revealing for some recordings, this should be more, and also they have defined the sound of this new headphones as a sound that brings the instruments closer, the person feels closer to the stage, thus leaving a more exciting sound , this is what people have defined about this new one, and this made me want 650 even more, because its signature is more my taste, I prefer to feel that I am more in the middle of the audience.

            • Reply February 6, 2018

              Musikverein

              Yep.This is what audiophile is all about I guess.
              It is often a matter of taste or even mood of the day. For instance as you say the flavor of being w i t h the musicians, the HD660s and to a lesser degree e-stats like the HE60 signature –
              Or having this ‘in the audience row ten middle seat’ HD650 feeling or the same in fifth row with the K712.
              Above all, enjoy the music!

              • Reply February 6, 2018

                dale thorn

                Good points. When the HD580 was introduced, Gordon Holt of Stereophile described the sound as “Row M”. The HD600 was more up front than that, but the HD650 didn’t just move back a few rows, it made other interesting changes. Hmm, I’m getting more curious about the 660s.

                • Reply February 6, 2018

                  Eduardo

                  That! all this is how we like to listen to music and to enjoy it in a concert or concert. That’s why also the sennheiser even launching some new loudspeakers with technologies, they maintain the previous ones, is the case of the 600 and 650 and now 0 660, and also the launch of the 800s and keep the 800. All these show the essence and signature similar to sennheiser, all of them with many details and still others more analytical, but each with a signature similar but unique. And there goes the taste of each one. In a concert the frequencies are equalized for the voice to be the forte and the instruments are around the environment, and with that I chose the 650 because the vocal is the main one with an open presentation around the instruments. But some like to be even closer and this is the 660, and the 600 for example makes a more intimate sound. All are great! That’s why sennheiser is smart in keeping everyone: D

  • Reply February 20, 2018

    Marc

    I spent about 10-15 minutes listening to the HD 660S in the store, and my first impressions are that the HD 660S is clearer and more balanced than the 600 and 650, but rougher and grittier in the midrange just like Tyll said. It’s missing the smoothness and the silkiness of the 600 and650. Honestly it sounds like the Noontec Zoro HD, another well balanced, yet gritty sounding headphone.

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