Sennheiser’s HD 650 (6xx) headphones for $199

MrMitch

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I just can't get behind ordering these, paying now, and not shipping until December 20th. Odds are you'll find the actual 650's for a decent deal with the holidays by then.
 

ameer214

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I just can't get behind ordering these, paying now, and not shipping until December 20th. Odds are you'll find the actual 650's for a decent deal with the holidays by then.
Yeah...Good point. I haven't decided yet.
 

Phattio

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I just can't get behind ordering these, paying now, and not shipping until December 20th. Odds are you'll find the actual 650's for a decent deal with the holidays by then.

especially because 660S was announced
 

geniekid

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especially because 660S was announced

The 660S is $500 versus the $200 6XX. That said, it probably won't be long before 1) the retail price drops closer to the 650 ($315 on Amazon now) or 2) Massdrop does its own version of the 660S for $200-$300.

Feels kind of like computer hardware, where the next best thing (or price drop) is always just around the corner.
 

UnknownSouljer

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You can always wait for the next thing and then just never have anything.

Excellent price on excellent headphones. This is a known quantity. As long as you have a semi-decent amp to drive them, it’s not like you’ll be disappointed by a set of 650s. Ever.

In the absolute worst case, you could buy these and then flip them in December for likely more than you paid and move to 660s. If you want high end headphones at a bargain price, unlikely you’ll do better.

If you want a nice set that will last you a long time, pull the trigger. It’s not as if these will all of a sudden suck or become obsolete after 660s drop. This is audio. It’s not like computer tech. Good stuff continues to be good for a long time.
 

DFenz

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Thanks I got in on the drop, been wanting to try the 650s since I been using the 600s for 9 years or something.
 
D

Deleted member 222586

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I've heard more like shades of gray?

Both being flavors of excellent

Why do you say night and day?

They are wildly different animals. Both outstanding, but different.

The HD600 are analytical, clynic. Delicious treble, but not anemic. With specific sources are incredible.. but a pita for daily usage (games, youtube, not-perfectly-recorded audio..), as they spit the defects at you.

The 650 have incredible mids. What makes thrm unique is that anything sounds good through them. As if they filtered the sound. Crap mp3 or youtube, doesnt matter.

So.. sold my 600 long ago. Have my 650 and also bought the Massdrop version.
 

ameer214

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99
Ok, I joined. Everything says these are the best headphones under $1000.

I think I will probably forget I had ordered these by the time they come in...
 

Archaea

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I wonder how these would compare with the 595... I assume I'd need to pick up an amp?
I have 595 and have owned 600.

For what it's worth I really like my 595.

600 were a small step up, but if using something like a onboard soundcard you'll not have as much output.

Something like an inexpensive portable mp3 player wasn't really powerful enough to drive the 600, but is sufficient for the 595.

I will probably buy a pair of these 650 to try.
 
D

Deleted member 222586

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You need a decent amp to drive 650’s. There will be a night and day difference between under driven phones and properly driven in this case.

Agreed, did my fair share of trials. Though "decent" should refer to its power delivery (voltage / amperage) and nothing else.

Fancy dacs, though, useless.
 

tsuehpsyde

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Drop just sold out! I ordered a set since I've been on the hunt for a set of 650s for a few months. Looking forward to giving them a try; I'll pick up an amp once they arrive.
 

N4CR

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If you want a nice set that will last you a long time, pull the trigger. It’s not as if these will all of a sudden suck or become obsolete after 660s drop. This is audio. It’s not like computer tech. Good stuff continues to be good for a long time.

Agreed. The 2600k/McLaren F1/benchmark of speakers is still made today, since 1993 for a reason - in any colour or finish you want. Sure there are incrementally better speakers out there these days, but not much better. And none that look like this.
Nautilus resized.jpg
 

Archaea

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Agreed. The 2600k/McLaren F1/benchmark of speakers is still made today, since 1993 for a reason - in any colour or finish you want. Sure there are incrementally better speakers out there these days, but not much better. And none that look like this.
View attachment 39735

The drivers that make that speaker don't cost anymore than a speaker that doesn't look like that.

I saw a 800,000 speaker setup at Axpona this year that had a $200 Dayton Audio Ultimax subwoofer driver in it (with a carbon fiber cone). That isn't to say the Dayton Ultimax subwoofer driver isn't good (it is excellent and a fine choice) -- rather it is to say that the $800,000 speaker system was based on looks, expectation, unique form factor, huge size, brand novelty, wow factor - - - and not expensive drivers or miraculous sound.

There's a lot of snake oil in the audio business. That speaker above, though I haven't heard it, looks like par for the course.
 

N4CR

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The drivers that make that speaker don't cost anymore than a speaker that doesn't look like that.

I saw a 800,000 speaker setup at Axpona this year that had a $200 Dayton Audio Ultimax subwoofer driver in it (with a carbon fiber cone). That isn't to say the Dayton Ultimax subwoofer driver isn't good (it is excellent and a fine choice) -- rather it is to say that the $800,000 speaker system was based on looks, expectation, unique form factor, huge size, brand novelty, wow factor - - - and not expensive drivers or miraculous sound.

There's a lot of snake oil in the audio business. That speaker above, though I haven't heard it, looks like par for the course.

Snake oil indeed is rife in this industry, an 800k speaker is par for the course of course. I bet it wouldn't sound too bad though! What was it out of interest?
And you're right though a subwoofer can only be made so well, little has changed there, no harm in using a cheaper unit. Not much in the way of resonance to worry about at low Hz, cone stiffness and power handling and linearity are the main issues and not even to the same level as other higher Hz drivers. I do find the velodynes with their secondary feedback coil to be quite a unique solution though.

Expensive drivers in a traditional 100 year old box speaker design perhaps, things have moved far beyond this point nowadays. The B&W Nautilus is a little different as it is both form and function and regarded by most as a benchmark in the industry. Each speaker enclosure is a tapered wave guide/transmission line that reduces reflection to front and radiation of rearward sound and increases damping as much as possible. It was stumbled upon as a solution to reduce mostly unwanted resonance around upper-mid drive unit. This lead to basically a perfect infinite baffle design.
One of the main tricks with these drivers is the hollow magnet which allows sound to radiate in to the wave guides, so yes in some way they are special. They also developed kevlar cones and were first to develop diamond tweeters which pushed breakup well out of audible range. They also were first to use laser-dopler velocimetry along with finite element analysis and other pioneering methods back in the 90s to develop this speaker. Flat fronted mid range cone is actually a driver behind foam, in order to reduce re-radiation by the upper mid range unit.
Lots of interesting tricks and research went into this design.
I am more of a function over form type but when you can have both, it's quite pleasing :) it is in essence a nearly perfect speaker.
I'd still whack a 21"+ long throw sub with it though to give response down to 8Hz, or a rotary sub to really do the job.

One of the lead designers went on to develop another speaker brand based on these techniques with further development. The guides do not need to be straight and can be curled and hidden in a slightly more traditional looking box and I believe this was done with that speaker. It's called the Vivid Audio Giya G1.



That said I'd love to see someone pull the 650 and 660S apart and spot the differences, I doubt there would be much in a blind review. Just like speakers in the ultra-high end range which share similar designs. Colouration though is a unique trait and more often found in Hifi than e.g. monitor speakers. I remember one senny model that had foam inserted to dampen high end a little in reviews, likely because it shared drivers with a pricier unit lol.
 
D

Deleted member 222586

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Agreed. The 2600k/McLaren F1/benchmark of speakers is still made today, since 1993 for a reason - in any colour or finish you want. Sure there are incrementally better speakers out there these days, but not much better. And none that look like this.
View attachment 39735

I thought they were a limited edition?
 

bobow

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Agreed. The 2600k/McLaren F1/benchmark of speakers is still made today, since 1993 for a reason - in any colour or finish you want. Sure there are incrementally better speakers out there these days, but not much better. And none that look like this.
View attachment 39735
See while the Nautilus looks ridiculous to some people, it is pretty much the peak of transmission line speaker design, especially when each of the 4 drivers have their own dedicated pathway. You simply can't design a 4-driver TL system without it being gigantic and boxy, so B&W went and just upped the ridiculousness a bit more and got something that even looks good for a TL-speaker. Transmission line speaker haven't been as popular recently mostly due to more difficulty in designing them as well as the huge sizes, and you generally only end up with a 2-way speaker. For the consumer market nowadays, many people equate more driver = better, which isn't necessarily true, but this makes it all the harder to market low to mid range 2-way TL-speakers.

On the other hand you say there's nothing much better, which is true for the TL-design (nothing better period), but the JBL M2 Reference easily beats the Nautilus in accurate sound reproduction for a fraction of the cost. Different speakers types and markets but on paper it is objectively better. Audio is highly subjective though, so there's no point in arguing over what sounds best to each person.
 
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IdiotInCharge

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You can always wait for the next thing and then just never have anything.

The problem here, of course, is that even if you buy- you're gonna wait.

------

I have my HD600's, and I love them- and while I think that the HD650/HD6XX sound signature may be more appealing to me, I don't think that finding out is worth US$200 to me personally.

But if you want essentially the best you can get sub-$500 (with proper amping!) and are willing to wait, these are awesome.
 

UnknownSouljer

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The problem here, of course, is that even if you buy- you're gonna wait.

There is a difference between waiting and being passive. My point was that most people are passive and never make a move.
Buying them will have a definite solution to the issue of wanting/needing excellent headphones. Passivity will not.
The sale is already over. For those that got in on them, they'll be rewarded with excellent headphones and a bargain price. Well worth the wait.

And to those who decided to be passive it's likely that the buyers will receive their headphones before a better deal, or perhaps even any deal comes around.
You may find another solution with faster turnaround, but you probably won't find a deal that will beat the price. Truly a litmus test for those with the long view.
 

N4CR

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See while the Nautilus looks ridiculous to some people, it is pretty much the peak of transmission line speaker design, especially when each of the 4 drivers have their own dedicated pathway. You simply can't design a 4-driver TL system without it being gigantic and boxy, so B&W went and just upped the ridiculousness a bit more and got something that even looks good for a TL-speaker. Transmission line speaker haven't been as popular recently mostly due to more difficulty in designing them as well as the huge sizes, and you generally only end up with a 2-way speaker. For the consumer market nowadays, many people equate more driver = better, which isn't necessarily true, but this makes it all the harder to market low to mid range 2-way TL-speakers.

On the other hand you say there's nothing much better, which is true for the TL-design (nothing better period), but the JBL M2 Reference easily beats the Nautilus in accurate sound reproduction for a fraction of the cost. Different speakers types and markets but on paper it is objectively better. Audio is highly subjective though, so there's no point in arguing over what sounds best to each person.

Great post and yeah fair call, it's all subjective.
The JBL next to an 800D2 would also be incredibly close (the later nautilus designs beat the original too). I do wonder about the lightly horn loaded HF driver on the JBL.. not always been a a fan of the sound of them.
At 20k they're hardly cheap either.. about 1/3rd the price though of a new OG Nautilus though haha.

Each to their own and that's my favourite part of audio.. so many different paths to audio nirvana.
 
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