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Old 04-15-2012, 06:53 PM
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Default Sennheiser HD650 Debate

I know this thread is a bit unorthodox the way it began based on the 2nd post in another thread here but I felt that we were trampling all over the other thread asking for headphone recommendations so I moved all the off topic posts here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
Sennheiser HD650 is a good choice for jazz but the Cowon J3 probably won't be able to drive them too well. They are also very unportable as they don't fold.
Agreed, the 650s aren’t portable friendly but the J3 should drive them fine, even better with an amp but I'd hate to see how long the battery life would be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
Beyerdynamic DT880 is a decent alternative, they have much clearer highs than the Sennheiser, but the mids are a tad rolled off (just a tad). They are not portable in any way either though.
Sorry, I disagree, the highs on the 650s are greatly underestimated by most that don’t use them and they’re extremely clear across the whole audio spectrum. While it’s possible that some folks do not like them because of their warmth, they’re far from not being clear in the mids or highs and work well with all the music genres I’ve thrown at them, including jazz.

Edit: to be clear here I wouldn’t recommend them for biking or portable use as they’re not suited for that IMO, I just posted to clear up a point as I use them daily.
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Last edited by WalkGood; 04-17-2012 at 09:09 PM.

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  #2  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
Agreed, the 650s aren’t portable friendly but the J3 should drive them fine, even better with an amp but I'd hate to see how long the battery life would be.


Sorry, I disagree, the highs on the 650s are greatly underestimated by most that don’t use them and they’re extremely clear across the whole audio spectrum. While it’s possible that some folks do not like them because of their warmth, they’re far from not being clear in the mids or highs and work well with all the music genres I’ve thrown at them, including jazz.

Edit: to be clear here I wouldn’t recommend them for biking or portable use as they’re not suited for that IMO, I just posted to clear up a point as I use them daily.

This is a bit off-topic but this is largely a matter of subjective taste between the two popular mid-fi cans. Many people consider the Beyers to be too bright in an unnatural way, and many other people consider the Sennheiser to be too dark and muffled in the highs. Both the HD650 and the DT880 are excellent cans that offer comparable levels of sound quality and choosing between one and the other is a matter of personal preference.

I actually prefer the HD600 and the DT250 when it comes to Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic, personally. IMO they are both more natural sounding than either the veiled HD650 or the overly bright/mid-recessed DT880.

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Old 04-16-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
This is a bit off-topic but this is largely a matter of subjective taste ...
Agreed and I'll leave it at "subjective taste," but to say they're not clear and now veiled is an injustice IMHO. If the one's you speak of were mine, I'd either check them out to make sure they're preforming right or check the recordings because I don't get that with mine at all. Regarding off topic you're right as well but I feel strong enough about the 650s to throw in my 2 cents when I read a statement inferring that they're not clear, veiled, or distorted in any way because I don't feel that way.

For those reading that may not know the meaning:
Quote:
Veiled - Loss of detail due to limited transparency. Like a silk veil is over the speakers. Slight noise or distortion or slightly weak high frequencies.
Edit: Not really my cup of tea but try “Rebeca Pidgeon - Spanish Harlem” off the Ultimate Demonstration Disk 1995 on your 650s and tell me they’re not clear or have a hard time with the highs. BTW Bahrak my apologies for going off topic but it wouldn’t make sense to start another thread to disagree with a statement made in this thread.
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Last edited by WalkGood; 04-17-2012 at 09:15 PM.

  #4  
Old 04-16-2012, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
Agreed and I'll leave it at "subjective taste," but to say they're not clear and now veiled is an injustice IMHO. If the one's you speak of were mine, I'd either check them out to make sure they're preforming right or check the recordings because I don't get that with mine at all. Regarding off topic you're right as well but I feel strong enough about the 650s to not throw in my 2 cents when I read a statement inferring that they're not clear, veiled, or distorted in any way because I don't feel that way.

For those reading that may not know the meaning:


Edit: Not really my cup of tea but try “Rebeca Pidgeon - Spanish Harlem” off the Ultimate Demonstration Disk 1995 on your 650s and tell me they’re not clear or have a hard time with the highs. BTW Bahrak my apologies for going off topic but it wouldn’t make sense to start another thread to disagree with a statement made in this thread.
But in relative terms, compared to a Beyerdynamic DT880 or an AKG K701, the Sennheiser HD650's high frequencies are not as emphasized and this results in that trademark laid-back sound signature that they have... So for a fan of Beyerdynamic-style treble presentation, the HD650 indeed does sound veiled and very slightly muffled.

  #5  
Old 04-16-2012, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
But in relative terms, compared to a Beyerdynamic DT880 or an AKG K701, the Sennheiser HD650's high frequencies are not as emphasized and this results in that trademark laid-back sound signature that they have... So for a fan of Beyerdynamic-style treble presentation, the HD650 indeed does sound veiled and very slightly muffled.
Sorry I don't see it that way, I found the hd800s, the higher end grados and AKGs to be overly emphasized in high frequencies in an unrealistic manor. Not even 5 minutes later listened to the 650s and I don't fined them muffled, veiled or unclear in any manner of direct comparison. They don't lean forward but can handle the highs fine and very clear. I'm not a fan of the 800s, GS1000i's or the 701s, too much of a focus on upper mids and highs IMHO but like you said earlier, "subjective taste." BTW did you listen to the song I suggested on the 650s you are comparing? Then tell me the highs don't have a great representation or are not clear.
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2012, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
Sorry I don't see it that way, I found the hd800s, the higher end grados and AKGs to be overly emphasized in high frequencies in an unrealistic manor. Not even 5 minutes later listened to the 650s and I don't fined them muffled, veiled or unclear in any manner of direct comparison. They don't lean forward but can handle the highs fine and very clear. I'm not a fan of the 800s, GS1000i's or the 701s, too much of a focus on upper mids and highs IMHO but like you said earlier, "subjective taste." BTW did you listen to the song I suggested on the 650s you are comparing? Then tell me the highs don't have a great representation or are not clear.
We'll just have to accept that we have different ideas of what 'realistic' sounds like, and this is OK. I prefer those brighter, more mid and treble oriented cans and this is why to me, the HD650 sounds a little muffled by comparison.

I currently don't have a HD650 at hand to do a comparison, I am basing my views on a HD650 that I had on loan from a friend for a few weeks, as well as on various auditioning sessions where I was able to compare it to various other headphones, including the DT880 (which I don't have anymore either, I sold them to fund other purchases). Based on these observations (as flawed as they might be), the HD650 just didn't have that feeling of resolution and detail that the DT880 have. They were still very good and tonally correct cans, and not very fatiguing at all, but I still prefer the DT880 approach to detail...

These days I'm looking for very flat, neutral and natural sounding cans, though... Neither the DT880 nor the HD650 satisfies these requirements for me, since the DT880 is too bright and has recessed mids, while the HD650 is too dark. As mentioned in a previous post, I prefer the HD600 over the HD650, since I think it sounds more neutral. Just my opinion.

  #7  
Old 04-17-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
We'll just have to accept that we have different ideas of what 'realistic' sounds like, and this is OK
Where did I make the statement “realistic?” What I said is “I found the hd800s, the higher end grados and AKGs to be overly emphasized in high frequencies in an unrealistic manor.” To say it a different way - over emphasis on a forward sound signature is just not realistic to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
I prefer those brighter, more mid and treble oriented cans and this is why to me, the HD650 sounds a little muffled by comparison.
I get you don’t like them but they’re far from muffled, not even a little as you say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
I currently don't have a HD650 at hand to do a comparison, I am basing my views on a HD650 that I had on loan from a friend for a few weeks, as well as on various auditioning sessions where I was able to compare it to various other headphones, including the DT880 (which I don't have anymore either, I sold them to fund other purchases). Based on these observations (as flawed as they might be), the HD650 just didn't have that feeling of resolution and detail that the DT880 have. They were still very good and tonally correct cans, and not very fatiguing at all, but I still prefer the DT880 approach to detail.
I can understand … it sounds like you owned the DT880s and you were use to them for some time, you and their sound were burned in tune. You then tried the 650s and didn’t like them in comparison which is understandable. But to make statements like you’ve made in this thread is not correct and misleading to others reading ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
These days I'm looking for very flat, neutral and natural sounding cans, though... Neither the DT880 nor the HD650 satisfies these requirements for me, since the DT880 is too bright and has recessed mids, while the HD650 is too dark. As mentioned in a previous post, I prefer the HD600 over the HD650, since I think it sounds more neutral. Just my opinion.
You realize that you went from the first paragraph in the same post (this one) stating “I prefer those brighter, more mid and treble oriented cans” to this last paragraph where you now state you like neutral and that neither of the phones discussed do it for you. I only have one question, are you sure you remember the facts correctly because I have compared the 650s to many phones, while I’ve never written any review about them, I’ve read many and none make the statements like you’ve made here “not clear, veiled, muffled."
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2012, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
Where did I make the statement “realistic?” What I said is “I found the hd800s, the higher end grados and AKGs to be overly emphasized in high frequencies in an unrealistic manor.” To say it a different way - over emphasis on a forward sound signature is just not realistic to me.
And similarly, over-emphasis on a dark sound signature is not realistic to me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
I get you don’t like them but they’re far from muffled, not even a little as you say.
They are a little muffled, IMO. YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
I can understand … it sounds like you owned the DT880s and you were use to them for some time, you and their sound were burned in tune. You then tried the 650s and didn’t like them in comparison which is understandable. But to make statements like you’ve made in this thread is not correct and misleading to others reading ...
I've actually heard the HD650 before the DT880s. Not that it matters, I still think the former is a tad too dark and the latter a tad too bright. I stand by the statements I made in this thread and I take offense to you saying that they are not correct and misleading. How can an opinion be incorrect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
You realize that you went from the first paragraph in the same post (this one) stating “I prefer those brighter, more mid and treble oriented cans” to this last paragraph where you now state you like neutral and that neither of the phones discussed do it for you. I only have one question, are you sure you remember the facts correctly because I have compared the 650s to many phones, while I’ve never written any review about them, I’ve read many and none make the statements like you’ve made here “not clear, veiled, muffled."
Was I not being clear? I DO prefer bright cans over dark ones, but I prefer flat/neutral cans over either coloration. Is that contradictory in any way? Neutral > Bright > Dark. Given the choice between a bright and a dark can, I'd choose the bright one. I'd rather not make that choice, hence my current love for neutrality and a flat frequency response curve.

Furthermore, I don't believe I ever made any statements that condemned the HD650's veil as being an enormous problem. It's not. Its a fantastic headphone. But its dark. Compared to a DT880 it doesn't sound as detailed, to me. YMMV.

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Old 04-17-2012, 08:17 PM
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This debate is pointless, you don't own them and you are basing your opinion on memory and your own contradictions. While I may not agree with all the points made by By NwAvGuy --> http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/06/...er-hd-650.html he backs his points with more realistic terms of comparisons that give food for thought. You would benefit from the read and comparisons made ...
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:47 PM
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Nice read WG, thanks!!! I think I need to get a listen to those 650's!!!

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Old 04-17-2012, 09:05 PM
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Nice read WG, thanks!!! I think I need to get a listen to those 650's!!!
You should easily be able to find a show or meet in NY that you could check them out. But be prepared to spend a little more if you plan to purchase them ever because they do need an amp to fully shine IMHO.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:13 PM
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This debate is pointless, you don't own them and you are basing your opinion on memory and your own contradictions.
Please reveal to me where I'm contradicting myself. From where I'm standing, it rather seems that it is you who is grasping at straws to make a logical argument. You have managed to squeeze two logical fallacies into the statement above.
-The fact that I don't own them is not relevant to the argument. It does not discredit my opinion of these headphones in any way, particularly since I have already explained my familiarity with them.
-The underlined bit is a clear example of an ad hominem argument. You are discrediting my argument due to your perceived (and assumed) evaluation of my person. How do you know that I am basing my opinion solely on memory? I happen to take notes whenever I audition and compare headphones and this is the data that I am basing my opinion on. As for contradictions, as I have already mentioned, there are none.

Quote:
While I may not agree with all the points made by By NwAvGuy --> http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/06/...er-hd-650.html he backs his points with more realistic terms of comparisons that give food for thought. You would benefit from the read and comparisons made ...
I am quite familiar with all of NwAvGuy's articles and I respect his opinion greatly. Nevertheless, as is very clear in this very article that you claim to have read and understood, he never gives any proof to any of his claims. In other words, this is just as subjective a review of the HD650 as any other, and I respectfully disagree with him. To use his (IMO flawed) analogy, I don't want my headphones to be polarizing sunglasses, I'd rather risk the occasional bit of glare in favor of seeing the world as it really is. Besides, quoth NwAvGuy:

"If you prefer a more exciting and/or a brighter sound, the 650 might not be a great choice. Serious thump and sizzle fans are even more likely to be disappointed. And if you’re looking to reveal flaws (say for mixing work) the 650 is probably too forgiving and polite."

Last edited by jupitreas; 04-17-2012 at 09:19 PM.

  #13  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:31 PM
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Read your posts the contradictions are obvious, if you can’t see them maybe that’s the problem.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:23 PM
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I see. Oh well, if you choose a hollow, patronizing tone to masquerade your confirmation bias for the HD650, instead of making proper arguments, I guess this debate truly is pointless.

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Old 04-18-2012, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post
I see. Oh well, if you choose a hollow, patronizing tone to masquerade your confirmation bias for the HD650, instead of making proper arguments, I guess this debate truly is pointless.
Wonderful you’ve managed to take a conversation in another thread to a debate and now to an argument. lol, yes hollow, I don’t own them like you … how can I make as you state “proper arguments,” when you can’t even listen to a track that I suggest or any other track that we could mutually agree on for a proper discussion. Dam, you are so right they are muffled, not clear and veiled, I must have confirmation bias because I tried to correct your use of certain terms or don’t agree with you’re opinion.

It appears that you are annoyed that a non-audiophile would challenge your audiophile opinions about statements of being muffled, not clear and veild. Of the few posts I’ve read made by others with a similar opinion of hearing veil, I’ve seen where they actually came back and said they used underpowered amps, not sure that I believe in this because the 650s are not as power hungry as others paint them, but then again they actually own them. Maybe the pair you tested are fake or didn’t have enough hours on them so the drivers were not fully flexed if you believe in that sort of thing. Or what’s more likely you have a misunderstanding and misuse of the terms that you use to describe them.

I know there are better headphones on the market; many with a more entertaining sound signature whether more forward or neutral but few are as forgiving. For now this debate is over (closed), when you get a pair that we can compare notes feel free to contact me and we can pick up there.
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