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Sennheiser HD 650 vs HD 800


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How different are these two?

 

they are quite different headphones in sound. the 650 is more bass heavy and punchy. the hd800 is similar in sound to the hd600 and hd580 which are smoother sounding phones with more of a delicate feel to the sound. so depends what your chasing. if you want a good compromise between the two the hd700 is a good bet :)

 

I've owned all the above and sold them to keep just the 580 and last year bought the 700 which very happy with.

 

can read of my comparisons here,

http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/58826-sennheiser-headphone-comparisons-hd800700-hd650600/

 

and specifically on the HD700 here,

http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/59188-sennheiser-hd700-headphone

 

I'd suggest get to a retailer where can do some side by side comparisons like I did to get a feel for difference/similarities between the models, and keep in mind amp choice. especially with the hd800 if going for something like that be sure to check out the sennheisser amps as do think they make a good match for this headphone :) 

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The 700's were my pick when @al and I listened to them last year through those expensive Senny amps. They being 650/700/800 and some Stax. Did I get the models right al?

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The HD800 don't have to sound analytical bright and neutral - paired with very good valve amplification and the right valves they can also be warm and musical :-)

 

No matter what amplification or front end source you throw at them they are still a bright sounding headphone. The Anax rabid dog mod removes some of this 5-6k treble peak identified but removes too much of it's clarity away imo. If you're wanting to throw heavy tubey sound amplification to roll off the HD800 sound signature which will be distinctly different to it's stock sound you might as well buy a laid back/warm sounding headphone to begin with. Those who appreciate some neutrality, large airy soundstage, very good microdynamics and crazy clarity would want the HD800's.  

 

P.S the HD700's are horrible. 

Edited by DefQon
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How different are these two?

 

 

I've A/B both at length, as a mate has the 800's and I have the 650's. And we both prefer the 650's as they do all music well and are exciting, where the 800's seem to prefer classical, and don't get the foot tapping on MOTR or rock..

 

Cheers George   

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Saying the hd700 are horrible is plain odd as far as am concerned ! But then again we form our own judgements based on our tastes and preferences. In my experience they're a good in between option between the hd800 and hd650. And hence my pick :)

I wouldn't call the hd800 bright as such. They are neutral smooth sounding along same line as the hd600 and hd580s prior. It's just the hd650 are more punchy, hard hitting and fuller in bass. More excitement factor... But also tiring I found...and kept going back to the hd580s also own for solace...

The hd800 can be a bit too lean for some perhaps...too smooth sounding ??... Just matter of taste ...I'd suggest :)

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Somebody should've suggested the HD600. More neutral then the HD650.

 

Yes the HD800's one of the most finicky beasts to setup right in terms of source and amplification. The SPL Auditor/Phonitor (both same first doesn't have VU meters and crossfeed) really sound nice with the HD800's. 

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  • 1 month later...

I have both of these headphones connected to an audio gd 10.32.  I can a/b them sort of as I have both balanced (hd800) and SE (hd650).   The dac/amplifier is regarded as one of the best so that can be take out of the equation.  With a good source/mastering the HD800 is the better especially in balance setup.  

The HD650 is a more intimate sound as the soundstage is narrow.   The sound is much closer.  The HD800 is quite fair bit more cleaner in sound across the whole spectrum and the soundstage is way wide, close to a speaker setup wide  ( no you dont get imaging like speakers, dont think any hphone can create this).   I can see why some people prefer the HD800 for classical as this correlates with wider soundstage music.   The HD650 is very nice with music like Jack Johnson where you want to feel a warm cosy feeling.  

I used to swap out between the HD650 and the HD800 reguarly but since I have gone balanced with my HD800 I find the HD650 fairly redundant.   Admittedly  I don't have the HD650 balanced so that might bring it closer again.   

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If you read about how Negative Feedback amps effect the HD800 specifically (I am involved in a thread over on Head-Fi search HD800 and Aurix) you will really appreciate how FEW headphone amps actually suit the HD800 - I have 2 of them (the Metrum Aurix/Octave stack and the WA6SE with many tube combinations) - both sound fantastic on the HD800 and neither sound particularly lean - yes if you then plug in an HD650 (which I also have) you will hear a leanness to the sound but once your ears have adjusted I don't think you will be complaining about the HD800

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@@Beyer guy  but what about 800's run through  April Music Eximus DP-1 or Sennheisers own matched amp range for them or a Eddie Current Balancing Act headphone amp  ? Amps that are perhaps a bit hard to procure hear in Oz admittedly.

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@@Beyer guy  but what about 800's run through  April Music Eximus DP-1 or Sennheisers own matched amp range for them or a Eddie Current Balancing Act headphone amp  ? Amps that are perhaps a bit hard to procure hear in Oz admittedly.

 

I don't have any experience of these, so far my limit on expenditure on amps has been $1500 (plus.....urmmmm a lot of extra on tubes....). I guess my point is that dropping good money on an amp won't guarantee good performance with the HD800 more than most other headphones due to their sensitivity to negative feedback in amps  - I'm not an expert but some of this thread (hope this is allowed) explains it better than I can http://www.head-fi.org/t/689743/metrum-acoustics-aurix/15. I'm guessing the sennheiser amp would quite possibly get it more right than most :-)

 

If I were looking for an amp now for the HD800 I would look for a good Transformer coupled (which the eddie current is I believe) or something like the Metrum Aurix for SS (which sounds nothing like other SS amps I have tried). This conclusion surprised me as I started out with the firm conviction that OTL would be the perfect combination for the HD800 (much like the DT800 600ohm which just loved a good OTL).

 

I would also steer clear of any of the current crop of Sabre style dacs for the HD800. I am biased extremely on this (of course) but I have managed to get a totally non fatiguing/laid back but detailed combination with the Metrum Octave and the WA6SE /HD800 with the right combination of tubes (if you have the patience to buy and swap until you get it right). 

 

That is why saying that no matter what source/amp you have the HD800 is still a bright headphone (earlier posting) does not align with my experience - I'm extremely sensitive to treble and if they were in that category (which they would have been based on my audition with quite a few amps) they would have been sold ages ago....I've heard 'bright' sounding headphones and the HD800 with the right amplification does not fall into that category - It will never be for bass heads but that's another argument...

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Saying the hd700 are horrible is plain odd as far as am concerned ! But then again we form our own judgements based on our tastes and preferences. In my experience they're a good in between option between the hd800 and hd650. And hence my pick :)

I wouldn't call the hd800 bright as such. They are neutral smooth sounding along same line as the hd600 and hd580s prior. It's just the hd650 are more punchy, hard hitting and fuller in bass. More excitement factor... But also tiring I found...and kept going back to the hd580s also own for solace...

The hd800 can be a bit too lean for some perhaps...too smooth sounding ??... Just matter of taste ...I'd suggest :)

If anyone is interested based on al's opinion, here's a REALLY cheap price from A2A..

http://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au/product/sennheiser-hd700-open-back-headphones

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I bought a pair of HD700's. I for one support :)al's opinion.. Cracking set of phones. Audition them first though. There a polarising set of cans. I for one fall in the positive camp:)

Edited by migasson
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I bought a pair of HD700's. I for one support :)al's opinion.. Cracking set of phones. Audition them first though. There a polarising set of cans. I fit one fall in the positive camp:)

 

great your enjoying them :)

 

I was actually thinking of flogging them off ! :O just being spoilt with the Grados and the earmax tube amp lately. but then listened again this morning with the mf xcan v8 + psu and the hd700s work really well as a combo sounding deliciously yummy :)

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great your enjoying them :)

 

I was actually thinking of flogging them off ! :O just being spoilt with the Grados and the earmax tube amp lately. but then listened again this morning with the mf xcan v8 + psu and the hd700s work really well as a combo sounding deliciously yummy :)

Yeah. I dearly would like to love Grados. I've pretty much listened all of them North of the SR325is.. And none have clicked with me! You own and like them, so that's what matters! Enjoy!

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