The Sennheiser HD600 hardly requires an introduction. They are most likely the most well-known headphones released in the last 20 years.
Following the Sennheiser HD560 Ovation, the German company released the HD580 in 1993, which served as the foundation for all subsequent open-back models, including the HD580 Jubilee (1995), HD600 (1997), HD650 (2003), HD6XX (2016), and HD660S. (2017).
The HD600 are cutting-edge headphones with exceptional sound quality and value when compared to the majority of today’s offerings.
Top 3 Best Sennheiser HD600 Gaming Headphone to Buy Online
SENNHEISER HD600 BUILT & STYLE
Some may find their appearance dated and reminiscent of the 1990s due to the blue “marble effect” covering the plastic, but I think they’re pretty. To be honest, when it comes to headphones, I’m not particularly concerned with aesthetics. However, I completely understand why some people enjoy owning nice-looking gear.
1. Used Material
The Sennheiser HD600 is mostly made of plastic, but it has a higher-quality plastic feel in the hands than competitors like the AKG K701 or the Beyerdynamic DT880. The build quality is excellent, particularly the metal articulation between the headband assembly and the ear cups.
External grills protect the driver’s enclosures, which can be easily twisted if enough pressure is applied; hopefully, they are removable and repairable. Although the ear pads are made of high-quality velour, they will undoubtedly wear out after a few years of heavy use.
The stock cables, on the other hand, are a little too cheap for a $300 pair. The connectors are too thin and fragile, and they can fail quickly. The Sennheiser HD650 comes with a thicker cable. All cables are compatible with the HD580/600/650 line of Sennheiser headphones.
2. Durability Factor
One of this model’s strongest points is its durability. Each component is easily replaceable and can be found online. The HD600 is made of simple elements and can last for a long time. The drivers are also extremely dependable.
The oldest pairs have been around for around 20 years and are still in perfect working order. My own HD600 is an early version from 2001, and I’ve only had to replace the ear pads (twice) and the cables (I bought the cables from the HD650 as they are thicker and more reliable).
This is a useful article about the various HD600/HD650 variants. Older HD600/HD650 models have a black dampening foam cover over the driver (visible behind the external grills), while newer models have a grey cover. I couldn’t find an exact date for this color and material change, but it was most likely made between 2007 and 2009. This image exemplifies it well.
SENNHEISER HD600 COMFORT ZONE
I rank the HD600 as the summit of comfort among over-ear headphones, with just a few other models such as the DT880 or K501. Simply put, I can wear them without break.
1. Ear Pads
It’s difficult to find cozier ear pads than the HD600. The oval shape is comfortable for most ears, and the inner foam is very plush (around 2.5 mm). The non-round shape would be a little tighter on very large ears. The velour is ideal for long sessions, and even more so in the summer.
2. Weight Distribution & Headband
They weigh 270g, which is on the lighter side of open over-ear headphones, which typically weigh 300 to 400g. With a sturdy headband and four pieces of very thick foam, the lightweight is evenly distributed throughout the construction (1.5 cm). With the passage of time, this foam will lose its thickness and sponginess, necessitating its replacement.
Alternative Video: Sennheiser HD600 Review
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SENNHEISER HD600 SOUND QUALITY
They have the ability to sound effortless while maintaining a very balanced tone. The HD600 is very close to neutral in my opinion, with coherence from the bass to the treble.
There is a slight but noticeable midbass bump around 100 Hz, followed by a gradual roll off below 80 Hz. Modern music that has been recorded with an emphasis on the bass will sound fine with the HD600; however, most other tracks will sound bass-light or slightly below average in terms of bass quality when compared to recent headphones.
Going back to the year of their release (1997), they definitely offered a nice impact compared to the competition at that time. AKG K501 or Sony CD3000 don’t carry the same midbass weight.
The quality of the bass is decent: the distortion is barely audible, but sometimes the midbass and upper bass light boosts leave an impression of muddiness in contrast to the clean linear bass of a planar pair.
The midrange is lively and slightly forward. Every time I switch to the HD600 after spending time with another pair, I am immediately smitten by their personality and tonality. However, over time, I’ve grown less fond of genres with a high density in the upper-mids (and lower-treble) – around 3-5 kHz. In that area, the HD600 can be piercing and too elevated.
The vocals and string instruments sound great, and the upper-midrange emphasis is offset by a slight lower-midrange emphasis around 100-400hz. The mids sound full, with no single tone flaw and no graininess.
The highs on the HD600 are excellent; well calibrated and free of sibilances. They are quite long. Nowadays, the “Sennheiser veil” is unquestionably a myth (although I could understand people who could find the HD650 a bit veiled since they have reduced highs).
The lower treble is definitely smooth for our ears’ health, even though it has enough energy above 9 kHz to keep it from sounding too muffled or lacking air.
4. Dynamics & Soundstage
When properly amplified, the Sennheiser HD600 have a correct soundstage and detail retrieval that is among the best I have heard from a sub-300€ pair of headphones. The presentation is very engaging, and it is both frontal and open. Still, I wouldn’t describe them as laid-back.
However, their qualities and presence in the mids may cause them to sound a little misty on very mid-centric music.
Because of their 300 Ohm impedance, they scale well with higher-end amplification, particularly OTL amplifiers like the Bottlehead Crack. When connected to a smartphone, the bass will be very loose and the dynamics will be more compressed than usual, making them sound dull.
SENNHEISER HD600 MID-FI HEADPHONES COMPARISONS
1. AKG K701
The AKG is more analytical, with less musical charm, but a much wider and more open presentation. The bass impact is slightly lean, and there is far too much lower-treble for me to enjoy them over time.
2. K712 AKG
The K712 are good mid-fi headphones with good sound quality. They have a more technical bass (a little more punch and extension) while sounding more open and with more treble. I’ve never been a fan of their midrange; it can sound artificial at times and lacks natural quality.
3. Audio-Technica AD900X
The AD900X has a very open and airy sound, but it lacks bass impact and the midrange has always sounded strange to me. I can recommend them for gaming, but as a sole pair of headphones for music – no way!
4. DT880 Beyerdynamic
These German-made headphones have the best analytical sounding mid-fi sound I’ve heard. They have a wider sound than the HD600, with slightly tighter bass but much more mid-treble and a drier midrange. I’ve never been a big fan of them for just listening to music.
5. Hifiman HE-400i
The Hifiman HE-400i sound excellent and remain one of the few mid-fi offerings that I enjoy listening to. They have significantly better bass quality than the HD600. As far as I’ve heard, they have more treble energy and a slightly less present midrange, but no odd peaks or dips.
6. x2 Philips Fidelio
The X2 are very different from the others; they have a rather fun profile with a strong bass and a lot of treble energy. The midrange is distant and recessed, with a wide image. They are, in fact, an excellent complement to the HD600.
7. Sennheiser HD650
The HD650 has a similar sound to the HD600, with a larger boost in the mid/upper bass and less energy above 2 kHz. People looking for sparkle and air will be disappointed because the treble has been rolled off. They are simply a warmer version of the HD600 with a fantastic, smooth, and romantic tone.
CONCLUSION: SENNHEISER HD600
They have a neutral sound profile that isn’t overly analytical. They are extremely comfortable, simple to repair and maintain, and not overly difficult to drive.
They are genre-master and would only be average on tracks with loudness in the sub-bass. For the rest, I can’t stop recommending them. The general trend of highly priced new headphones makes them even more appealing, much more than a few years ago. Go for them; enjoy for a long time!
FAQs About Sennheiser HD600
Should I buy Sennheiser HD 600?
The Sennheiser HD 600 is regarded as one of the best neutral headphones available. After more than two decades, this headphone still delivers true audiophile sound quality. The HD 600 is ideal for critical listening and comes at a very reasonable price.
Are HD600 still good?
That’s a big thumbs up for the HD600, especially if you can get them for a reasonable price, as you mentioned. They have a high impedance and scale well with good amps, so make sure they’re a good fit for your system. At the price, they’re a no-brainer if you have an OTL tube amp like the bottle head crack.
Why is the HD600 so popular?
The ability to easily work on the headphones yourself, as well as purchase spare parts, is a huge plus for long-term durability. The HD600 and HD650 truly shine in this category.
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