Sennheiser is one of the leading brands when it comes to headphones, and HD 650, as well as HD 600, justify its position as one of the leaders in this segment.
Let’s do a detailed comparison of these two headphones across different aspects to understand which is better.
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Sennheiser HD 600 vs HD 650: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Both these are flagship models as they set the standard for being the top headphones for audiophiles. Surprisingly, both of these headphones have been around for a long time and they continue to rock the headphone market. HD 600 debuted in 1997 while HD 650 entered the market in 2003. The fact that we are talking about these headphones even twenty years later reflects their fantastic track record.
Since both these headphones are equally good, which one to buy? Let’s compare them across different features to make your decision-making easier.
In terms of design, both the headphones are similar in many ways. Both have a dynamic and open design and weigh identical at 260 grams.
At the same time, they also differ a bit in the design. HD 600 is a mix of black and blue intertwined to give you a marble finish. This design is not so appealing to many people, as the marble look is kind of outdated and not preferred. Also, the lettering “Sennheiser” on the outer side of the headband makes it stand out. After some time, the lettering tends to come off as well and this is definitely something that Sennheiser could have done better.
Otherwise, the build quality of HD 600 is solid though it could have been more elegant as well.
HD 650, on the other hand, comes with a greyish metal on the outside with black padding on the inner side. This colour combination is more subtle and pairs well with any dress. The metal borders on the outer side of the ear cup add a nice touch of elegance to it.
When it comes to ear cups, both are equally large and comfortable. The large ear cups make it ideal for any size ear and they clamp down comfortably without putting too much pressure on the ears.
Also, the good quality padding ensures that the ears don’t touch the drivers at all and this makes these headphones super comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The 650 has a slightly thicker border on the pads when compared to 600, but that makes no significant difference at all.
Also, the headbands are adjustable in both the headphones and this makes it perfect for anyone. Whether it is for kids or adults, the fact that the headbands can be adjusted makes it more versatile.
One feature that needs to be mentioned here is the open back design. As a result, there is no noise isolation and sound leaks out of both the headphones.
Time for the verdict – HD 600 or HD 650? Definitely, HD 650 because its design is more elegant and blends well with any costume. The marble design is a big no-no for many people and the lettering is also not so great. So, HD 650 is the winner in design.
2. Sound Quality
Sound quality is a critical aspect as this is exactly why most of us buy headphones!
When it comes to HD 600, the sound is neutral without any kind of colouration. This gives a very natural feel to the music and makes them sound just as it is. This is why the music you hear from it is a lot more realistic when compared to other headphones. In addition, its tuning is easy and gives a lot more detail than you would expect from a pair of cans.
When you listen to vocals, you are better of them listening to them in HD 600 because they sound a little bit better and emphasize on the vocals better than HD 650. It even helps you to isolate the vocals and enjoy them better.
- Lightweight aluminum voice coils ensure excellent transient response
Another difference between the two is in terms of brightness. The sound from HD 650 is definitely brighter, especially on the top-end. Also, the sound tends to be a little bit clearer in 650 than in 600. Also, HD 650 has better imaging and you can hear your surroundings a little bit better.
Sounding bright on the top-end is not always a good thing, as you’ll realize in HD 650. Typically, when the top-end is bright, you will lower the volume and this means, you’ll miss out on the low range music, especially the detail. So, this is something to think about.
If you are not particular about the detail, 650 is good as it can really get you moving with its bright sound. On the other hand, if you like the detail in your music, 600 is a better choice.
The bread and butter of both these headphones is their mid-range. They sound great and natural. Also, both have a good mid-bass, but neither of these has sub-bass, and this makes it a not-so-right choice for bass heads.
What about the bass? Both are good and have tight bass. You can hear the drums and their reverberations clearly and this adds another layer to the whole listening experience. The 650s, especially have a punch in the lower segment which the 600 lacks.
But then, the 600 has a strong bass which is not a boosted one because the idea behind making 600 was to give a neutral feel to music without having any add-ons. 650, on the other hand, has that little bit of brightness and bass, which enhances the experience. If you plan to listen to bass for long periods of time, go with 600 as they make it neutral and more enjoyable than 650.
Many users have mixed reviews about the level of bass in both the headphones. Some even go to the extent of saying that 650 is not ideal for metal. But the fact is it is not so bad. The type of bass and the intent of the headphone as a whole varies, and this is why there seems to be a difference between the two headphones when it comes to bass.
Which of the two is better? Well, it's hard to say because both are equally good. The choice depends on the kind of music you like the most. For example, if you like vocals like Sam Smith or even Adele, you're better off with 600. On the other hand, if you like to listen to a lot of techno, 650 is a good choice.
Also, if you prefer to get a grasp on the details and want to do some critical listening, 600 is the one for you. But, if you want to just listen to music while doing other things, 650 is a good choice.
In a nutshell, 650 is ideal for audiophiles who like listening to good music while 600 is neutral and is ideal when you want to analyze the music and get more insights into its detailing. So, there is no better or worse between these two in terms of sound quality. It just depends on what you want.
Both the headphones are well-packaged and come in a high-quality foam padded hard hinged box. The outer cardboard sleeve is simple with the name "Sennheiser" printed on the lower right-hand side. The case cover is black for HD 600 and a dull white for HD 650.
Besides the case, both the headphones come with proprietary cables that fit into the right and left ear cups. One end of the cable is in black and the other end is red to ensure that you can distinguish which end of the cable should go to which side of the ear cup.
One problem with these cables is that one of the endpoints is slightly smaller or thinner than the other, and this could pose a little bit of a problem in getting them to fit well. In other words, you should spend an extra few seconds to get the correct end into the right hole on the ear cup. Instead of this proprietary cable, Sennheiser can consider having a single hole to connect the cable to the headphone. This would not just make it easier, but also give the flexibility to buy any cable.
In both these headphones, you will have to replace the cable only with another one from Sennheiser. You're out of luck if the cable is not available or doesn't ship to you when you want it. The process of replacing a cable is definitely not as easy as walking into a store and buying a generic cable. So, this is something Sennheiser can think about in upcoming editions.
That said, the cable is of excellent quality though. It is thin, straight and lasts for a long time. Both come with a 3.5mm adapter that terminates in a quarter inch adapter. This 3.5mm adapter makes it convenient to connect to mp3 devices and computers. The cable length in both the headphones is 3 meters.
When you compare the two cables, one nice aspect in 600 is that one end of the cable is red and the other end is black, so you know which cable has to go into which ear. This marking is missing in 650, as both the cable ends are black in colour. In fact, this is a little bit of a hassle on 650, as you'll have to check each time when you insert in a 650 headphone.
In terms of cable quality, 650 is better as it feels more solid than 600. In fact, a common complaint in 600 headphones is that the cable breaks often and have to be replaced. Considering that the cable alone costs around $40, this is not going to be cheap.
So, which of the two is better in terms of cable? Well, HD 600 slightly edges out HD 650 because of the red marking. Otherwise, there is nothing much different. Also, the place where one adapter fits into the other is so smooth and seamless that it is hardly perceptible unless you look closely. With 650, the 3.5mm adapter comes with a small cable, which is fine too.
Both the headphones are comfortable to wear as they come with excellent padding on the inner sides to ensure that you don't feel fatigued even if you end up wearing it for hours together. One difference in terms of padding is that HD 600 comes with four small pads. You can see four little bumps on the inner side of the headband. This was designed to ensure that there is a good flow of air, so you don't feel hot sports or sweaty after some time.
HD 650 has two large bumps instead of four in HD 600 and this makes HD 650 slightly more comfortable to wear. Generally speaking, these headphones are average in comfort when compared to a few others available in the market today.
When you wear these headphones, you definitely feel them. There are some headphones in the market that are so comfortable that you forget you're wearing headphones at all in the first place. Both HD 600 and HD 650 don't belong to that category. You definitely know you're wearing headphones because they clamp down on your ears. In fact, one common complaint about these headphones is that they clamp down too much and this makes it feel uncomfortable for many users.
That said, you get a good fit because the ear cups are stiff and don't sway as you move. Also, they are not too large or bulky and these aspects make it ideal for gaming sessions.
Overall, both the headphones score average when it comes to comfort, but they give a great fit. There is a little bit of room for air circulation, so you don't feel sweaty while wearing it for long periods of time.
Which is better? Hard to say because both are equally good in terms of fit and good when it comes to comfort.
While the prices of HD 600 and HD 650 are quite high, you can get them at cheaper rates on Amazon, thanks to the many deals that keep happening.
There is not much of a difference between the two Sennheiser's. Does price of HD650 justify the features of the headphones?
Not really. It would just depend on your preferences for sound and look and feel. HD 650 is definitely more comfortable and sounds brighter when compared to HD 600. Also, a personal opinion is that HD 650's simple and plain finish is better than the marble finish of HD 600.
But to answer the question of whether the price difference justifies the features, it totally depends on you. If you like a better finish and brighter sounds, it justifies the difference.
Also, if you're not particular about critical listening and want a more "fun" headphone that doesn't point out to the flaws in a recording, the higher price tag is justified.
If none of this is convincing enough, then HD 600 is a great value for your money.
- Lightweight aluminum voice coils ensure excellent transient response
6. Sennheiser HD 650 vs HD 600 - Pros and Cons
Here is a quick glance at the pros and cons of both these products to help you decide which of the two is right for you.
Sennheiser HD 600 - Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of the Sennheiser 600 are:
|Excellent bass. It is not too overpowering, but at the same time, it is clear and well-defined||Sub bass is not present. You may have to buy a sub-woofer separately if you're particular about bass|
|Solid build quality||Its clarity brings out even the smallest flaws in recording and music. So, this may not be everyone|
|Neutral and accurate when it comes to sound output. Everything sounds as it is and there is no additional distortion or colouration whatsoever||Treble could be better, especially at the upper registers|
|Perfect sound-stage||Not ideal for noisy environments or while travelling as these headphones tend to bleed sound|
|The sounds are airy and detailed||Require a good amp to deliver the right sound and quality|
|Comfortable to wear|
|Great mid-range tones|
|Vocals are crisp and clear|
|Ideal for critical listening, mixing, soft rock and instrumental music|
Sennheiser HD 650 - Pros and Cons
Sennheiser HD 650 is not all perfect, as it comes with some drawbacks as well. It is important to know these shortcomings, as they will help you to make the right decisions.
|Has one of the highest levels of accuracy and transparency||Sometimes, these headphones can be too smooth|
|Mid-range tones are warm and smooth||Treble needs to get better|
|Sound-stage and imaging are top-notch||A laidback sound signature, especially when compared to HD 600|
|Since this is an open-backed model, the sound will not leave you feeling fatigued||The bass is also less neutral when compared to HD 600|
|Engaging and forward when it comes to male vocals|
|Authoritative bass response|
|Sounds great with most amps|
|Handles a wide range of genres very well. In this sense, it is versatile|
|Comfortable to wear and you will not get sweaty or fatigued with long hours of wear|
|Replaceable parts, so your headphone can last for a long time|
|These headphones are perfect for the following genres: rock, jazz, classical, hip-hop, soul and acoustic|
|"Fun" sounding headphone, as it is not too critical about the mixing or music|
These are the pros and cons that could maybe help you to make a quick decision, especially if you're pressed for time.
So, it is time for the final verdict. Both the headphones are fantastic and can greatly enhance your listening experience. There are only subtle variations between the two when it comes to sound quality. HD 600 is neutral and doesn't add anything to enhance your listening experience while HD 650 adds that little bit of brightness and bass.
But, this addition doesn't augur well always and is not necessary too in many cases. This is why you will have to turn the volume down a bit when you hear 650 for a long period of time. When you turn down the volume, the lows are not so audible. So, 600 is definitely better there as it is neutral.
The bass is slightly different, but it is hard to say which of the two is better. Guess it just depends on what kind of bass you like and what genres you prefer listening to.
In terms of comfort and accessories, both are equally the same. But in design, 650 is better than 600. Both are durable though and are made of solid materials. Again, the fact that they have been around for more than 20 years speaks about their quality.
Sennheiser HD600 and HD650 are two popular, well-built and quality over-ear headphones. If you’re looking for a quality pair, you have to choose between these two.
Coming down to the important question of which is better, there is no straight answer to it. It depends on you and the kind of music you like.
Regardless of which one you pick, you're sure to have a great listening experience as both of them offer the best sound quality.