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(I specifically said "If Audeze can put a nice sounding planar on the market for ~$700 (the EL-8), then I know Sennheiser can put something out in the $1K-2K range."
Fascinating. What an great chance encounter.I would have thought that Sennheiser with all its resources and technical experience should be able to match the efforts of a small independant like Audeze at 2/3 the price, not double. On the other hand, frankly, I wonder if they could improve or even match what some others are doing, even if they wanted to. I haven't heard the current top of the line Sennheisers so can't comment on those, but I did borrow a pair of HD-650s 13 years ago to take to Armenia as a convenience backup to my Etymotic ER4Ss while recording an orchestral concert, convenience in that they would be faster to put on/take off than IEMs. I was monitoring what I was doing off the mixing board with the Etymotics. When I tried the 650s on to see how they compared, expecting them to be similar—possibly better, based on price and reputation—I was shocked at what I heard. The Etymotics sounded (and always have at other recording sessions) almost identical to the acoustic sound I heard when taking them off; the Sennheisers were not even in the ballpark. I really was puzzled; you could say shocked. It sounded like I was listening through three layers of blanket. I never used them again on that trip, but when I returned home I made a point of tracking down another 650 and a 600 to make sure that the pair I heard were not defective and an aberration. Apparently they weren't. This was the beginning of my realization of the sometimes profound difference between what has become considered desirable in 'high end' home hi-fi and the better professional gear.Sorry Sennheiser fans, but this is a carefully considered recounting of my experience and I write this in an effort to stimulate the re-thinking of some long-held assumptions. Headphones, like loudspeakers, are the biggest variables in the replay chain.
Sennheiser HD650's also require some decent amping behind them. At the very least, you need something with a low output impedance so you don't get wonky FR variations due to the HD650's massive impedance spike in the midbass.
Often wondered why most Senns do that. I don't see it elsewhere. But for a high-impedance design like the 650 should it matter as much as if it was, say, a 50 ohm phone? BTW 660S (which is half the impedance) has a big peak too according to Innerfi's measurements.
Link: Innerfidelity underwhelmed by new Sennheiser HD660SSo maybe it doesn't matter that the drivers are not retrofittable to the 600/650. Haven't heard the 660S myself so can't comment on the sound (there wasn't one at Capital Audiofest) but Tyll is pretty reliable and backs up his reasoning with data so if you've read his stuff, you have an idea of how your tastes in general relate to his.I can tell you that the Beyerdynamic Amiron is a strong contender at a $100 uptick. Writing a review, bit by bit (Holiday season in retail).
Hope you have something with some juice to drive them, the 600 series are a tough load, You'll get sound out of portable devices but not dynamics. Dragonfly Red out of a computer or phone would be a good choice.
There is a new model at HifiMan site called Sundara at $499, its show a all new headband and can strap, on the photos its not beautiful:http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/sundara.html
Now showing as out of stock!
I think it looks good! To each his own though.
Hooefully it won't peel off!
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