You may recognize the Strauss and Wagner name from their wired and wireless headphones and earbuds. The EM205, EM8C, TW401, and BT501, are known to be great entry-level headphones with sound that shoots above their price point. They’ve recently released a ton of new audio accessories, including DAC, and balanced adapters. You’ll also see that they have new cables, some of which are specifically made for Sennheiser’s 600 series headphones. I thought it would be helpful to test this new cable with each 600 series of headphones to see if they’re worth the upgrade.
Why The Sennheiser 600 Series?
The Sennheiser HD 600, 650, and 660 are major staples for mid-budget open-back headphones. They are used by audiophiles and producers looking for a detailed sound close to reference. They are used for pleasure and as tools for the studio. It makes them very versatile headphones that can be enjoyed by many.
Even though these headphones aren’t as serious of an investment as other audiophile headphones, they could still be worth putting more money into with certain upgrades to make the sound even better. Different DAC/Amp combinations, earpads, and cables can all help bolster the performance of your headphones. The HD 600 and 650 only come with one type of cable that’s a single-ended quarter-inch jack. You get an additional 4.4mm balanced cable with the 660S2. Cable upgrades for the 600 series can be hard to come by since the headphone connectors are proprietary. This is where the Strauss and Wanger Lucerne comes in.
Strauss & Wagner’s New Cable
Strauss and Wagner’s new line of HiFi accessories includes an OFC silver cable for the 600 series that terminates to 4.4mm. This cable is called the Lucerne, and it only costs $59.95. When attached to any one of the 600 series headphones, the Lucerne looks like a natural fit. Especially with the 650, the silver of the Lucerne works very well with its glossier finish.
How The Lucerne Changes The Sound Of the 600 Series Headphones
A majority of my time listening to these headphones with the Lucerne I was using the Questyle M15. Of course, this will have its effects on the performance of the headphones, but I wanted something small and powerful that had a 4.4mm output. Starting with the HD 600, the Lucerne shows you immediately what its advantage is going to be when you pair it with these headphones. The soundstage completely blows up with all three headphones. For open-back headphones, the 600 series never felt too wide or in front of you, but the Lucerne expands the stage to completely engulf your head. Vocals feel like they’re sitting in front of you, while all the instruments hover around you. Neither headphone loses accuracy here, but the presentation is less strict and more immersive.
In terms of timbre, the HD 600 is slightly more textured in the lows, but not as much as the 650 and 660. With the 650, the highs are heavily extended, which is to be expected with silver. However, the 650 contained the most expressive treble with the highest amplitude. Overall, the HD 600 is much smoother and lets the soundstage fill in the spaces nicely. The HD 660S2 gives you the best of everything, with the highest amount of detail from the cable. You get the most pinpoint accuracy from spatial imaging, but not as engulfing as the 650.
Should You Consider The Lucerne?
If you own either one of these headphones, then the Lucerne is worth it. Listening to the HD 600 and 650 with a 4.4mm silver cable like this makes a great pairing that offers more from a pair of headphones you already know and love.