The Sennheiser HD650 headphone has seen an enduring popularity among audiophiles for it’s high price-to-performance ratio. But for $499, how much sound is this open-back headphone packing? And is it the right headphone for you?
Sennheiser HD650 Review
Built with space-age plastic, the headphone also features aluminum extenders. A removable, dual-entry cable completes the ensemble.
While the clamp force of these headphones is considerable, the liberal velour padding on the headband and earcups goes a long way in terms of comfort. The first time you put them on, you may be at odds with the fit, but given a few minutes to warm up to the feel, you will fall in love with them.
Wearing style: Headband
Frequency response (headphones): 10 – 41000 Hz
THD, total harmonic distortion: < 0,05 %
Contact pressure: ca. 2,5 N
Jack plug Jack: 6,35 mm stéréo plaqué or
Cable length: 3 m / symétrique /détachable
Transducer principle: dynamic, open
Weight w/o cable: 260 g
Nominal impedance: 300 Ω
As evidenced by these specs, the HD650 offers a wide frequency range, low distortion, and a whopping impedance of 300 ohms. You’ll definitely want to invest in an amplifier to drive this baby. For this review, I used the Hifiman EF100 amplifier – a $499 hybrid model that handles the 650 very well indeed.
On the low end of the frequency range, the sound of these headphones is characterized by deep, articulate bass with little to no bleed. Everything is crisp and distinct, with plenty of detail.
In the midrange, the 650 offers strong instrumentation and great vocals, but the mids themselves can sometimes seem overshadowed by the high and low ends of the frequency range. As such, these headphones clearly exhibit a v-shaped sound signature.
When it comes the HD650’s high end, the sound is articulate if a little bit bright. Strings can get somewhat piercing, but the overall bright sound isn’t necessarily a detriment – to me, it seemed to compliment the low end quite well, resulting in a balanced, dynamic sound well-suited to several genres.
Ooh la la. The soundstage on these headphones is impressive, with ample depth and placement. The “open” sound may be just slightly hindered by that extremely dynamic sound signature, but we can’t complain too hard; this headphone still sounds freakin’ awesome.
A strong contender from the word go, the Sennheiser HD650 has acquired a reputation for sounding “fun.” With a rich, dynamic flavor, it’s a headphone that almost anyone can love – provided that they aren’t looking for the flattest sound imaginable.
Rock fan? Hip-hop fan? EDM fan? Definitely consider purchasing this headphone. While many of our reviews mention bass and clarity, few balance it as well as the Sennheiser HD650, while offering an immersive soundstage. What’s more, there’s a certain level of assurance that comes with the Sennheiser brand – they’ve been around since Jesus was a Cub Scout, and they offer a two-year warranty. Now, if you’re like me and you love classical music to death, these may not be the optimal choice. If you’re looking for the most detailed sound possible (at the expense of the HD650’s dynamic sound), I would recommend considering the $399 HD600, or the more expensive, more awesome HD700 (for $599).
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