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Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones
$220

Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones

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$220
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What’s the difference between the HD6XX and the HD650?
Reedo
349
Oct 3, 2019
There is no difference other than branding - these will have Drop logos/HD6XX printed on the headband, while the 650 will have no Drop logo and will say HD650 instead. Acoustically, they are identical.
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What is the best amp (or amp/dac) to pair with the HD6XX?
They go well with my Modi/Magni Schiit stack
silot
23
Mar 26, 2020
It's good some good schiit.
RingoLebowski
9
Jul 21, 2020
never heard that joke before :-D
ARaudio
30
Aug 26, 2020
Are the new age Desktop Motherboards good enough for the sound experience? Objective: To test and compare the sound quality of various equipment and their configurations to find an optimum configuration for sound experience. Disclaimer: This is a pseudo-scientific experiment based on my personal perception rather than scientific measurements. Equipment used: 1.    Desktop with ASUS Z370-A Prime Mother board which featured Realtek® S1220A, 120 dB SNR stereo, 32-Bit/192kHz playback, Japanese-made audio capacitors, EMI protection, with an Intel i7-8700k processor 2.      DAC/Amp Combo #1: Schiit Modi 3 and Magni 3 3.      DAC/Amp Combo #2: Micca Origen+ 4.      Headphones #1: Sennheiser HD 6XX (300 Ohm) 5.      Headphones #2: AudioTechnica ATH-M50 (38 Ohm) 6.      Cable #1: USB to Micro USB 7.      Cable #2: TosLink Optical 8.      Audio files: Lossless Wav extracted from CDs 9.      Sample Tracks: Amy Winehouse’s Rehab, A.R.Rahman’s Maa tujhe salaam, Dido’s White Flag I tested the following configurations. I played each configuration multiple times to arrive at an opinion. I do not have any sophisticated audio equipment to make a fair scientific comparison, but I have relied solely on my personal perception which is very subjective and debatable. Table 1: Configurations tested See the picture
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Notes 1: Since the impedance of two headphones are different, I have manually adjusted the volume knobs on the Amplifiers and in the PC to maintain a similar level of volume across all the test configurations. I acknowledge that there are still some minute differences in volumes as I cannot manually adjust the dB precisely across all the Configs. Note 2: There are natural differences in sound signatures between the 2 headphones, I have considered those differences in the analysis. Note 3: I was not able to test USB Cable to Micca Origen+ as the Windows 10 drivers for Micca were broken which is a well-documented issue. Note 4: I was not able to test with any other Laptop as I do not have access to old Laptops. Perceived result: Most of the combinations resulted in a similar experience. It was surprising to me but they all sounded remarkably close to each other. I have tried multiple times, sometimes the combination that involved Micca sounded a tad bit better than the others, but the difference is negligible and not noticeable when I do not play the different configurations immediately back to back. One popular sentiment everyone shared, including me, is that a DAC/Amp will greatly help 6XX because of their higher impedance. I assumed that the Cong #7 Motherboard-6XX will sound bad, but interestingly it sounded equally well just by raising the volume in the PC. I assumed that the motherboard alone cannot pump-in enough power to drive the 6XXs, but my assumption turned out to be false; though I had to turn up to 80% of PC volume, it was loud and clear enough. Tentative Conclusion: The only conclusion I can arrive is that the new age Motherboards have excellent DAC modules which are able to produce the sound equivalent to popular standalone DACs. The Motherboards can pump-in enough power to keep the high impedance headphones perform to their potential eliminating the need for a dedicated Amp. I believe that the standalone external DAC/Amp still hold the value when combined with other systems like Old laptops and old desktops with weak sound modules. Further Discussion: My tentative conclusion was counter intuitive to most of the audiophiles including myself. I am curious to know where I went wrong if I did. It seems that the difference that DAC/Amp making to the setup is so minute that it almost raises a question about the extra money spent on them considering one already spent good money on a state of the art Motherboard in the first place. Wondering if anyone else has tested any configurations with whatever equipment they have with new age Motherboards. If not yet, then wondering if they can spend few hours and do a quick check and express their findings. Please make a constructive criticism and inform if I missed to consider something significant. I did not do a blind study, wish someone else can fill that gap. Your opinions are appreciated. Thank You.
(Edited)
ARaudio
30
Aug 28, 2020
Dawid does tech stuff on YT did a study.. MB and DAC were soo close as per his tests... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfX6bjuobxs
stantse69
0
Jan 9, 2021
If you're going to buy a decent headphone like this, you should show it some respect and get a decent amp/dac. I haven't tried Schitt yet, but those seem pretty good and topping is quite good. As these are balanced, you should pair it up with balanced. No point in getting a BMW M3 only to install a Civic engine into it. If possible, you should go with a a more expensive amp/dac especially if you're planning on upgrading headphones as this would give you more options. Your mileage may also vary depending on how sensitive your hearing is.
(Edited)
Neowise__33
14
May 16, 2021
You have no idea about headphones beyond more expensive is better and it shows.
celloh
7
Sep 1, 2021
These are budget-ish priced headphones. I am not buying these for luxury why the heck would I spend money on more expensive gear if they do not make a difference in sound quality? It's pointless...
jkaufman
0
Sep 2, 2021
You're about as clueless as Neowise and the only thing pointless here are your comments that offer no argument.
madrev
8
Nov 8, 2021
your findings are correct just be careful in your motherboard selection, mid-range to high-end motherboards have made great improvements in audio but not all (so read the box) some go as far as providing separation on the mb to fight against feedback and other electronic oddities that may bleed through into your headphones. the quality of dacs used is no longer second thought...
moonshire
3
Nov 24, 2021
thank you for this! fantastic review, saved me some dosh too
Reedo
349
Oct 4, 2019
I think it depends on your budget and source - you can power these headphones off of a phone or your computer motherboard if you want, although they'll get louder off of a good amp, and sound different/interesting off of a good tube amp. Generally, the priority ranking is headphones>amp>DAC. Some decent starter amps include the JDS Atom, Schiit Magni 3, or Monoprice Liquid Spark, while decent starter DACs include the Topping D10/D30, JDS OL DAC, or Khadas Tone Board. I use my HD6XX with a Topping D10 feeding a JDS Atom and a Cavalli Tube Hybrid, and I enjoy both setups immensely.
Waves333
8
Oct 3, 2019
The Darkvoice 336SE. It's like this amp was made for the HD6XX.
AlexPT777
17
Sep 26, 2020
Hi there. Not sure but iFi have a new amp and dac on sale on here - the ZEN DAC & ZEN CAN Signatures. The ZEN CAN Sig. has an EQ 'button' to switch on a curve that is tailored to alleviate the 6xx's weak spots, it says.
Z0d1Ac
240
Oct 3, 2019
I too would recommend the darkvoice 336se for the 6xx headphones. You can also upgrade the tubes for a different sound. Any separate dac will do. As for solid state amp if you want the best for under $500 and need portable I really like my chord mojo. Of course you can spend a lot cheaper and get something like a topping nx4. As for desktop the massdrop 789 is a good choice to pair with their balanced sdac or spend less and get a jds labs atom with a topping d10.
OMan
112
Oct 4, 2019
Chord Mojo is a good amp for these headphones. As a matter of fact, it is the only amp that I have that can drive them all the way.
Peegbert
3
May 8, 2020
I second this. Mojo sounds fabulous, and the amplification really wakes up the HDs. AQ Dragonfly Cobalt sounds pretty nice as well, if you want to save $200 -- but Mojo is better. I also prefer Mojo to my Schiit Bifrost Uber (original) and Asgard2 combo for driving the HDs.
MonthOLDpickle
2
Jun 3, 2020
Is this a DAC & Amp? I am thinking about buying these headphones and I have never bought an amp or dac.. Any suggestions?
OMan
112
Jun 3, 2020
MonthOldpickle, yes the Chord Mojo is a DAC and Amp. It is very good and the amp would drive any headphones.
ntobey
0
Jun 15, 2020
I got this exact setup -- 6xx headphones and DarkVoice 336se -- and my main concern is volume. Even with volume all that way up, the sound is still pretty faint to my ears, and I also hear a continuous buzzing when it's otherwise quiet. I have an RCA to miniplug adapter to plug into my computer from the darkvoice. What should I switch out or try? I will say that the sound is clearer with the amp, by a longshot, than without, but that the volume is just too low, either way, with these headphones.
Z0d1Ac
240
Jun 15, 2020
Sounds like (no pun intended) there is something wrong with the setup or devices if the volume on the darkvoice is all the way up and it's still too quiet. I don't know what the issue can be. If you have no dac, 3.5mm to rca cable from the green output plug on the back of a computer to the rca input on the darkvoice. Enable device output on sound setting on computer and make sure volume on windows is %100. Make sure tubes are installed correctly?
ntobey
0
Jun 15, 2020
Well here's the setup. I got the TUNG-SOL 6SN7GTB tubes, which seem to sound a bit better than the stocks. Would welcome and appreciate any advice, I have no idea what I'm doing (but am trying!)
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Z0d1Ac
240
Jun 16, 2020
Well good thing you provided pictures. I assume both of those tubes are the same? TUNG-SOL 6SN7GTB?
  • The bottom tube is the driver tube which accepts 6sn7 type. Which is fine because the tung sol is compatible. Leave it be.
  • But, there in lies the problem. The top tube is the power tube which accepts 6as7 type. Which means you need to take out that one tung sol tube and try again with the stock power tube the darkvoice came with.
  • I don't have the list of compatible power tubes. But I do remember is also accepts things like the 6080w type and not just the 6as7 type.
edit: Btw, you also have the rca in the wrong port. The red one goes on the right channel (bottom port) and the white one goes on the left channel (top port on the darkvoice). Input is correct tho (not the red and white outputs).
  • 3.5mm into laptop is fine. Just note laptops can have crap outputs so some time down the road you may want to get a dedicated dac.
(Edited)
Evshrug
2468
Jun 16, 2020
Did you ever fix this? It may seem to simple to check, but it sounds like you’re describing a bad connection with the RCA to miniplug adapter. Like, maybe as simple as the miniplug not being inserted all the way... even a millimeter or two will have the left and right channels connected to just one of the laptop’s output channels, and have poor grounding. Make sure there is no lint or obstructions in the laptop, and plug the miniplug in all the way. Some jacks are so tight that it feels like it’s in all the way, but push harder and they suddenly “snap” into place. Of course, the adapter itself could have an internal fault. Even less likely but possible there could be an issue with the Darkvoice’s input. But I would try connecting the Darkvoice to any other source before jumping to conclusions! A home theater receiver, integrated amp, phone with dongle, a friend’s computer, your clock-alarm, ANYTHING, just to check! Good luck!
ntobey
0
Jun 16, 2020
Thanks! Trying it again now. Here’s the dac I have, which I haven’t been able to figure out how to use in this setup. Any feedback on that?
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ntobey
0
Jun 16, 2020
Ok, I made all the changes you suggested, and it does sound a bit louder now for sure. The loud buzzing sound is still present when music isn’t playing. And I still wouldn’t say it’s as loud as I’d expect, but seems at first glance like the proper tube has made a difference. i wonder if the issue is the input to the computer somehkw
Evshrug
2468
Jun 16, 2020
If the DAC isn’t outputting 2 Volts, that could be an issue. And contrary to popular belief, the analog section of a Digital to Analog Converter has a big impact on the final audio quality... the analog half is basically an amp without a volume control. I still find the interconnects the most likely cause, but it’s worth considering the rest of the chain. and yeah, some tubes give the whole tube industry a bad name! I found some that I really like and I’ve stuck with them!
(Edited)
ntobey
0
Jun 16, 2020
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ntobey
0
Jun 16, 2020
I got this little cheap dac and have no idea how to connect it right now - hah - not going well. Would this dac actually work? what would the wiring setup be?
Z0d1Ac
240
Jun 16, 2020
What inputs does the dac have? The pictures of it on amazon a few different versions only have optical, and coaxial inputs on the dac. Most laptops don't have those ports. You need a dac that has at least a usb input and use a usb output on the laptop if it supports audio out. Some dacs do have 3.5mm line in. But bare in mind the laptop has already converted the diginal signal to analog and amplified it to around 2v line out signal. The dac will receive it and either passthrough the laptop signal to the amp or it might try reconverting it if it has a adc built in then coverts it back to dac. Which means it going to take the crappy laptop signal either way and I don't recommend this method. Your best bet is to use a dac with usb input.
Z0d1Ac
240
Jun 16, 2020
Also the darkvoice may have a little bit of hiss around the half way point on the volume. As for hum. Have you also tried the stock driver tube as well and compared the hum to the tung sol driver tube? If the tung sol is humming a lot more it may be a bad tube or non burned in tube. For example when I tried a russian 68hc it hummed a lot compared to some other tubes I had so the problem was with the tube itself. even tho it was a 6sn7 type it was a special tube that runs at a slightly different voltage which means it may have not been fully compatible with the darkvoice. Another thing to consider other than tube hum. Is to make sure you don't have any ground loops because that can cause hum as well.
ntobey
0
Jun 17, 2020
Wow, I think it was the russian tube! The stock one, no buzz!
Evshrug
2468
Jun 17, 2020
Must have been an incomparable tube type for that socket. Also, if you’re connecting straight to your laptop, make sure to turn up your laptop’s volume too.
Tomcruz
3
Nov 24, 2020
are you having issues with excessive heat? Chord Mojo...
OMan
112
Nov 24, 2020
It does get hot, but apparently it is normal. After about 20 - 30 minutes is when it peaks and it does not seem to get hotter (measurement by touch). I have a PS Audio Sprout100 and it gets as hot, being a desktop amp.
Z0d1Ac
240
Nov 24, 2020
The chord mojo gets hotter than other portable devices and makes it good for a hand warmer but I will say it never gets excessively hot. If you read the faq it has heat protection built in so I would not worry about it unless something seems out of the normal.
Tomcruz
3
Nov 25, 2020
Trying to snag a great amp-dac on the first go... cant afford to keep buying and trying. My main goal is brilliant, goose bump inducing, beautiful music...
Evshrug
2468
Nov 25, 2020
Hah! That’s pretty much everyone’s goal :) I’d say skip the $30 made-for-tv DACs, there’s plenty of frequently suggested options that sound great (some mentioned in this thread). My EPOS Audio GSX 1000 is great with my HD 58X Jubilee and PC37X, but a little lacking with my HD 650 without a little extra help from another amp. For a more compact option, the Apogee Groove is a little more powerful and sounds good with the HD 650, and it’s pretty brilliant and revealing as well. On a higher end of the price range, the Sennheiser HDV 820 just dominates any headphone I plug into it, with a good sense of body and rich, tight bass with full extension. Goosebumps indeed.
(Edited)
Tomcruz
3
Nov 25, 2020
Very much appreciated.
Evshrug
2468
Nov 26, 2020
Also, the Mojo gets warm, but not too hot to touch, or get so warm it would hurt the battery.
Manbear
236
Oct 3, 2019
If you’re handy with a soldering iron, it’s worth picking up a Bottlehead Crack with the Speedball upgrade. The pair has been a great match for years and it is still one of my favorite setups.
KristianN
108
Oct 3, 2019
Try an OTL tube amp like Darkvoice or La Figaro 339.
ARaudio
30
Aug 26, 2020
Has anyone tried the Schiit Magni Heresy, the new model Amp with 6XX? Some reviews said that it is significantly better than Magni 3, I don't know how much of the review is an exaggeration and how much truth.
TomDac
9
May 16, 2020
Schiit Valhalla 2 and these cans are a magical combination. WOW
ARaudio
30
Aug 26, 2020
Using stock or new Tubes? If new which ones? Thanks.
Ixtayul
22
Oct 5, 2019
my 6xx work great with both the Dark Voice 336SSE and OPPO HA-1. And especially using the oppo as a dac to feed the dark voice.
jgp1212
289
Oct 4, 2019
Paired with theThx 789 or aune x7s, these headphones sound fantastic.
Radar1611
2
Oct 3, 2019
@work I use an iFi Nano Black Label DAC/Amp which can unfold MQA music files and it sounds amazing with my HD6XX cans. @home I use a tube amp which also has a sweet warmth thru the 6XXs
JustInTime
2
Oct 3, 2019
I don't think we need one, i just plug into my mp3 straight
Reedo
349
Oct 4, 2019
An amp can be nice, but they're totally not necessary to enjoy the headphones. I have plugged my HD6XX directly into my phone, and they sound great. Admittedly, I like the way they sound with my Cavalli Tube Hybrid even more, and they get louder/a little more clear with my Topping D10 + JDS Atom, but it's not like they'll sound bad without an amp or anything like that. I think the whole thing is a little overblown to be honest.
Cliff_21
97
May 16, 2021
Singxer SA-1
stantse69
0
Jan 9, 2021
I just have the Topping D90/A90 stack so it better pair up well with that. I just seriously bought these by accident, anymore expensive and I would be scrambling to cancel the order! :S March something?!?! January is just getting warmed up!! WOW! That is seriously a long wait.
Ye.m
1
Jan 6, 2021
Heard good things about JDS atom stack
Tomcruz
3
Dec 1, 2020
Audiosciencereview.com takes the snake oil out of the equation. After careful research, i decided on the jds atom dac and amp. The thx aaa 789 did well too i believe.
(Edited)
Hearst
170
Apr 20, 2021
Audio science review is for idiots who don't know how to listen for themselves.
MRCc
22
Nov 27, 2020
Please don’t listen to people saying these don’t need an amp. That’s ok as a short-term stopgap if you can’t afford one right away, but these need power. Consider something like an iFi nano as a bare minimum. Mojo sounds pretty decent with them as another portable option but is a little analytical. Lots of good recommendations here, but plugging directly into your phone or laptop is not one of them.
JithDragon007
0
Nov 11, 2020
i use sybasonic, its enough to get the 6xx to get ear piercing loudness. i also have arc mk1, just sent it for firmware upgradation.
(Edited)
SinisterDev
7
Nov 2, 2020
I've been using them with the Mayflower Electronics 02 amp and 02 DAC and they sound incredible to me. I don't really have any other equipment to compare it to unfortunately. I'd like to see what differences I'd experience with other Amp/DAC combos.
HifiHawaii808
6
Sep 19, 2020
I am surprised nobody has mentioned the Bottlehead Crack with the Speedball upgrade. I own this tube amp and use the Schitt Modi Multibit DAC to connect to my iPad. I got them specifically to pair with the HD 650/6XX headphones. It's a DIY Amp, but you can buy them professionally assembled and customized. The added benefit is that there are so many ways to upgrade this kit with tubes, capacitors and even power cables that you can have fun listening to your favorite music in ways you never imagined possible.
(Edited)
ARaudio
30
Aug 26, 2020
Many people mention many different varieties of Tubes and the information is never complete anywhere. Is there a list or a database of all the suggested alternate Tubes that are better than the stocks on DarkVoice 336SE and Valhalla 2?
RingoLebowski
9
Jul 21, 2020
I have a JDS Labs Atom and a Schiit magni 3+. Both power the 6xx very capably, with power to spare (I only have them cranked in the 4-6 range, out of 10, i.e. 11-1 o'clock on the volume knob. settled on the Atom for my turntable headphone setup as they seemed a bit crisper than the magni, whereas the magni seemed a bit smoother so it made a good match for my Roon digital headphone setup. ymmv. The 6xx are MAGNIFICENT headphones. hope that info helps someone
frosted_poptart
0
Mar 25, 2020
They sound fantastic with my Mani + Vali 2 stack.
OMan
112
Oct 4, 2019
PS Audio Sprout combines beautifully with these headphones. Massdrop Liquid Carbon sounds good, but it does not have enough power. They get load enough, but sometimes you want loader.
RayF
22301
Apr 18, 2021
Chose either from the list below: A) any B) all. By the way, young Grasshopper, here is no such thing as best.
What are "open back headphones"?
thomsonSMG
68
Oct 3, 2019
Open backs project sound both towards your ears and out the sides of the earpieces. This makes the sound feel as if they are coming from further away. Good for replicating the directions of where each vocals and instruments are coming from; like at a concert. Close backs sound as if the music is coming from the centre of your head; you get less "directional" experience but they feel more intimate. Open backs leak sound so if you are riding on public transport, the people sitting next to you might look at you sideways wonder why you are playing music for everyone around you. Most high end headphones are open back so don't worry about losing any sound quality from the leakage!
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What’s the difference between the HD6XX and HD58X?
DrMEB
65
Oct 3, 2019
I have both. The HD6XX are definitely worth the premium and, to my ears, have fuller and crisper bass and clearer more defined highs. They are harder to drive, but I feed them with a Schiit Stack or EarStudio ES100. The HD58X feels lacking comparing side-by-side, but on its own is still a very pleasant listening experience.
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Njychen
24
Oct 3, 2019
Is it possible to reduce or adjust the clamping force of these headphones?
DrMEB
65
Oct 3, 2019
This video helped me a great deal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNxK-NwSR5U
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