Review: Sennheiser HD630VB – Closed Magic

Disclaimer: We were sent the Sennheiser HD630VB on loan for the purpose of this review. It has to be returned to them as soon as we’re done with it. We’re all pretty much fans of Sennheiser here at HFN, our expectations for the Sennheiser HD630VB were high.

The Sennheiser HD630VB

At long last, the Sennheiser HD6xx family gets a new member.  Oh happy day!  Of course, the HD600 and HD650 are two legends of the hobby, and need no introduction (they have no less than three reviews here on Headfonia alone (https://headfonia.com/?s=hd650), including the first review I wrote for the site).  To those who might not be familiar with Sennheiser’s HD6xx line of headphones, I welcome you to the world of headphones and am honored that you chose my review to be the first one you read.  The HD6xx are known for their pleasing warmth and body, their bass impact (especially the HD650), their preference for tube amps, and the ability to listen to them for hours without ever feeling fatigued by your music.  While other headphones have come and gone, the HD6xx’s remain as beacons of musicality, and another addition to their lineup is truly cause for celebration!  Can you imagine how great it will be to have a closed back HD600?

Well, keep imagining, because the first thing you need to do when listening to the HD630VB is to pretend that the HD600 and HD650 don’t exist, because the HD630VB shares nothing in common with the older models, in either sound or fashion.  Why did I begin the review raving about the older HD6xx models if I they shouldn’t be compared, you ask?  Simple.  I couldn’t resist the bait-and-switch.  Moving on.

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Sennheiser, as most of you are assuredly aware of, is a privately held German company that makes headphones.  All kinds of headphones, as a matter of fact: budget, DJ, gaming, wireless, monitoring, audiophile, assistive listening, god (New Orpheus).  No less then Tyll Hertsens called Sennheiser the best headphone maker in the world, and it is easy to see why.  Their hits to misses ratio, is pretty darn good.  And while there are a couple of issues I have with the new Sennheiser HD630VB, I can happily say that it is a more than worthy entry into Sennheiser’s stable.  The HD630VB is a full sized, closed back headphone with a rotary dial on the right ear cup that lets you add or subtract the bass to your liking.  Sound interesting, doesn’t it?   So, without further ado, let’s play a quick round of “the good, the bad, and the… what, really”.

The Good

Well, it should come as no surprise that this is a very well built headphone because, well, that is what Sennheiser does.  Ohhh, it’s shiny!   That’s solid aluminum right there.  The user replaceable ear pads are a plus.  Not sure what I would call the styling… maybe Sci-fi with a hint of industrial?  The ear cups swivel and tilt, but, despite only having one connecting arm attaching the ear cup to the headband, it feels rock solid.  The twisty bass dial is well marked, and has enough resistance to it that you are unlikely to spin it by accident and turn your bass drum into cannon fire, but easy enough to turn that you won’t pull a muscle, either.  This definitely has a sturdier feel to it than the HD6xx models of old.

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Another advantage this has over the older headphones is its drivability.  While the HD650 need an amp that can swing lots of voltage to really come alive, the HD630VB can be driven by anything, and I do mean that literally.  With the sensitivity at 120db and an impedance of 20, if it has a headphone out (ipad, DAP of any flavor, 3DS), it will be driven with no problem.  Of course it goes without saying that it will benefit from a better source, but enough of these shenanigans…

Click HERE or below to go to the rest of the article on Page Two

Review: Sennheiser HD630VB – Closed Magic
3.8 (75.14%) 37 votes

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26 Comments

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Rasmus Horn

    “Click HERE or below to go to the rest of the article on Page Two” –> IT goes back to Page 1 🙂

    • Reply March 29, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      Fixed that, sorry. And Thanks!

      • Reply May 9, 2016

        Ben

        Apologies in advance for slightly hijacking this thread but i’m looking for a relatively newbie recommendation for an over ear headphone.

        Essentially i’m after a full sized over ear headphone, for long listening sessions at work, so comfort and not getting hot ears is a must. Musically I’d love something that sounds great with female vocals like Joanna Newsom and reveals lots of detail, making current Radio Head tracks sound fantastic. I also listen to streamed radio KEXP etc… so would happily avoid a set of cans that would murder the sound on a lower quality source. Happy to buy a DAC/AMP like the Chord Mojo for playback from a Mac and blow my mind.

        Really like the site, lots of sensible information ,more so than anything else i’ve discovered to date. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Rasmus Horn

    I have to say that I too was dissapointed with this headphone after giving it a short listen at CanJam in Essen last year. But reading this review makes me think it deserves a second chance.

    Even though I am used to bright and detail-oriented sound I still think it was too thin and had an almost metallic treble from the tube-amplifier I was testing it with. So I didn’t really think much if this headpone after that first short bad experience. I thought it was a desktop headphone and not a portable design. I will make sure to give it another try with my portable gear next time.

    • Reply March 29, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      I have to say it surprised me at Canjam as well. I expected something like the HD600/650 but a closed variant and that wasn’t the case. That doesn’t mean it is bad though, I’d love to try it at home to get a better idea of it.

    • Reply March 29, 2016

      Dave Ulrich

      Like I said, it took me awhile to get used to it, and I can see how someone wouldn’t favor the sound, but I found it to be pretty darn good with the right recordings. I still don’t think it is portable, however.

      • Reply March 30, 2016

        dalethorn

        With the not-right recordings, it’s probably just some peakiness in the treble. Find and EQ and enjoy more recordings that way is what I say. It looks like an awesome headphone.

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Headfonia_L.

    Custom Cable sennheiser worldwide spares specialists have taken apart the HD630VB and established the cable can be replaced and it is a spare part offered by sennheiser

    • Reply March 29, 2016

      Dave Ulrich

      That is a plus. I still wish it were user replaceable.

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Juan

    I have a pair of HD600 and I don’t use them beause I found the pressure in my head extremely unpleasent… I’ve never tried the Hd650. Would you say that the HD630 are even more unconfortable than the HD600? I find surprising how people can stand this things for a very little gain in music quality 🙂 even more with the given prices. I had same problem with akg k518dj, this one at least was cheap.

    • Reply March 29, 2016

      Dave Ulrich

      I actually find the HD600 and HD650 to be comfortable. So yes, I find the HD630 less comfortable than the HD600

      • Reply March 29, 2016

        Juan

        Thanks for the answer. Definitely not for me then. I’m using the hd600 now to check what was on my memory and I can’t help but to open and close my jaw very frequently to alleviate the pressure in my temp and jaw… they sound quite good though.

        • Reply March 29, 2016

          Juan

          … It’s been five songs and back to the box they go, I can’t stand them.

          • Reply March 29, 2016

            Dave Ulrich

            Maybe give them a little more time. My HD650 doesn’t clamp hard

          • Reply March 30, 2016

            dalethorn

            If they’re velour or fabric earpads, there may be a way to soften them.

  • Reply March 29, 2016

    Juan

    … And not including a detachable cable It is just crazy stuff 🙂 I guess they can sell more of then when they brake or charge for them to be repaired. I can’t imagine other reason than that.

  • Reply March 30, 2016

    Pascual Villaseca

    Between this and the oppo pm-3, which would you recommend as a whole?

    • Reply March 31, 2016

      Dave Ulrich

      Sorry I can’t be of help. I haven’t head the PM-3.

  • Reply April 13, 2016

    Andrea Calabrò

    Would you recommend the 630 or the Momentum Over Ear? Thanks.

    • Reply April 18, 2016

      Dave Ulrich

      one is a headphone that can be had for less than 1/2 the cost of the other. I haven’t head the momentum, but I understand they are on the warmer end of things, and quite comfortable. The HD630 is very cool in its sound. You need to decide what works best for your music. I would recommend giving them both a try if you can.

  • Reply April 15, 2016

    Jin Y

    I don’t give this headphone much attention because of its weight. I used PXC450 as daily headphone for 3 years in past and I sold it finally. PXC450 weighs about 290g, I think on-the-go headphone should keep weight below 250g. Now I more enjoy some light, open small headphones, PX95 for example, more than those closed, great sound giant headphones.

  • Reply May 14, 2016

    Dietmar Gsell

    “per say “, pleeeeeese! It is “per se”!

    • Reply May 14, 2016

      dalethorn

      It definitely kept me awake a night or two.

    • Reply May 14, 2016

      Dave Ulrich

      Thanks for pointing that out. It is the kind of thing that would get under my skin, as well.

  • Reply January 4, 2018

    Malfunkt

    Finally managed to get a pair, and they really are stellar despite a couple odd design decisions. The cable could have been made removable but perhaps this would have bene made a bit more complex thanks to the implementation of the iOS/ android controls. It think had it had a removable cable and no headphone controls, it may have been seen as a more ‘serious’ headphone. Truthfully, I’m not sure if this was a mistake as it may have sold well enough – it’s just not as popular with the headfi/reddit set.

    Which is a shame, because these are truly audiophile-grade. The distortion levels alone are incredible, some ringing but not too serious, and the 630VB has a very-balanced sound that allows it to shine well with jazz/classical as well as play well with best recorded/engineered pop and electronic. The bass dial can tune the bass to below HD700 levels, but can also make it quite punchy. Bass is of very good quality and creates a ‘room-feel’.

    There is some sculpting with the tuning, but not nearly as much as say something like the HD700. It is more natural but has plenty of sheen without the brightness you might get from say a D2000. If one wants something closer to the HD650 mid-range naturalness, get an HD250 which actually has a bit more treble and quite a bit more bass.

    Great to have this level of performance and something that sounds this open in a portable closed-back. It is good enough quality to test DACs with, and while it doesn’t require much power, use a good DAP or quality phone at the very least. Pad quality is good, and like a number of headphone – HD650, HD25 included – after a bit of wear they are starting to become more comfortable. They still have a bit of clamp though, and while gigantic I’m happy to use these as a portable.

    A misunderstood Sennheiser gem.

    • Reply January 11, 2018

      Dave

      Glad you liked it!

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