It's Headphones Week at AudioFanzine and this Sennheiser HD650 review is the first one in a series of five reviews. Five different headphones will be reviewed by three of our editors, Los Teignos, Red Led and Will Zégal.
Los Teignos' Conclusion
The high-frequency range is so weak that I first thought the ones we received at AudioFanzine were faulty. I checked the problem and unfortunately the headphones were not faulty! Throughout the whole session, I had to regret always the same things: in many situations, the HD650 are not capable of reproducing important details of a mix, for instance attacks, reverb tails and other subtle signals. And although they give good results in the lows, the Ultrasone are a serious competitor in this respect. To keep it short, I don't recommend the HD650 for professional tracking, mixing or mastering. For consumer applications like home cinema, these headphones will seduce audiophiles who will praise the "deep" lows and the "silky" highs while drinking a cup of tee. Unlike the HD25, which offer a lot of good things and are a real reference product in their price range, we can hardly find any positive features here. The HD650 are much too expensive considering their performance. Even for half the price, these headphones are still not a good choice...
- Nice looks
- Sturdy construction
- Fat low-end — typical Sennheiser
- No accessories
- Ear cup cushions not replaceable
- Where are the high frequencies?
- Heavy — you'll always know when you have them on
- Bad value for money
Red Led's Conclusion
I don't recommend these headphones, regardless of the application (tracking, mixing, mastering). The HD650 feel pretty comfortable but the high-frequency range is very poorly detailed. The low-end is reasonable but not as good as with the Ultrasone. And above all, the unbalanced frequency response is too obvious.
- Not tiring
- Cable available as a spare part
- Lack of details in the high-frequency range
- Unbalanced frequency spectrum
- Non-replaceable ear-cup cushions
- Value for money
Will Zégal's Conclusion
I must confess that I can't understand why these headphones are such a big success among audiophiles. Sennheiser's marketing efforts and excellent reputation alone can't be enough to do the trick. True, their soft sound and ergonomics result in a great listening comfort, but the price you pay is a loss of "air" and dynamics that make certain music styles sound dead. For example, I can't imagine these headphones seducing classical music fans. The headphones aren't that bad and, to a certain extent, you will learn to put up with the disadvantages and be able to work with them. For example, they will allow you to fine-tune the low-end if your monitor speakers can't reproduce very low frequencies. But even though I'm in this exact situation right now, I wouldn't choose these headphones... You can find much better ones out there.
- Five-star comfort
- Soft sound (even silky)
- Not very detailed
- Lack of air
- Cruel lack of dynamics
- Music sounds dead