So got around listening to this live, amongst some other songs I used to test, and here's my opinion on the HD6XX overall, paired with a Schiit Jotunheim on high gain vs a CA Andromeda on low gain. I try to keep the two at about the same volume according to my ears but I'm not a robot so it's not perfectly balanced. (This is pre-burn in impressions, so maybe in another 80 hours some of these things may change.)
1. This video: (Youtube Quality)
As I had expected, the soundstage of the 6XX is quite good, even on a more horizontal (soundstage) amp like the Jot. Compared to the CA Andromeda, which also has a pretty wide soundstage for an iem, the 6XX is even wider, making the live sound much... livelier. In this regard I'll give it to the 6XX for wider soundstage.
The guitar sounds quite good, not as sharp as the Andromeda, but is not as shrouded as I had feared. In fact it's actually pretty clear coming out of the Jot. For a live recording, I think the 6XX did well. Now, for the Andromeda, as I had previously mentioned before the guitar is quite forward, but is still within the acceptable range. So depending on preferences one might like the 6XX more than the Andromeda, for not being as in your face about it.
However, when the vocals came in, boy, it really took another pair of headphone that is "good" to make me re-appreciate what my Andromeda is capable of. When I first listened to the 6XX I thought the vocal was pretty good, I did not really think it was much different than my Andromeda, and then I put on my Andromeda to listen to the recording again. ...Well, rainbows and unicorns.
To me, vocals sounds so much more intimate on the Andromeda than the 6XX, while the 6XX is not bad by any means. In my opinion, if the 6XX is a well made sculpture of a fair maiden, then the Andromeda is that fair maiden given life, crawling like a cat upon your body, her warm body pressed against yours, her sultry, beseeching voice next to your ear, sending chills down down your spine, a wild, steamy night under the silver moonlight... Ahem... Anyway, what I mean to say is the way voices are reproduced from the Andromeda holds more life than that of the 6XX, it's the difference between oh I'm listening to a recording vs oh you mean this is a recording and not the singer singing into my ears?!
Overall verdict: 6XX has a better stage presence for lives, has a less aggressive approach when it comes to strings/ guitars, but lacks depth and life in vocals compared to the CA Andromeda when paired with the Schiit Jotunheim. However, given the price difference of the two it's not a huge surprise.
2. Thriller- Wanna be Startin' Somethin' (CD Quality FLAC, 16/44)
Bass is much more punchy and lively on the 6XX, vocals, mid/highs are better/ more lively on the Andromeda. (Andromeda's base is supple enough, but a bit on the dry side if you're really into those omphin' bass sounds) I feel the 6XX isn't so much shrouded as it just doesn't have as much energy up in the mid/highs, the clarity is still quite excellent, it just lacks an amount of depth that makes the vocal come alive. However, again, if the 6XX is the first pair of "audiophile" headphones it should be quite an amazing experience compared to the regular $10/$20 stuff. Compared to my Grados SR80E, which is about $100 ish, it's got a much better mid/high presence and a much cleaner bass that is still punchy.
3. Your Lie in April- Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso (CD Quality FLAC, 16/44)
A violin/ piano duo, even if it's from an anime soundtrack album, I still really like this version and listen to it quite often. In this recording, I feel the dynamics of the 6XX is slightly lacking behind that of the Andromeda, the points of which the violin reaches its climax and dips back down sounds more exciting on the Andromeda than the 6XX. The 6XX does a good job reproducing the recording, but the slight lack of dynamics (even on high gain which boggles my mind) compared to the Andromeda makes me feel much less excited when listening to this piece I have heard possibly a few hundred times already on my Andromeda.
It's the difference between a gentle, conservative, but loving wife and a wild, passionate, fearless... uh... cat... yeah... cat! That's totally where I was going with that... Well, I suppose it's up to personal preference which one you would prefer. I personally like the wild one, but hey, I'm sure there's people out there that prefer a more relaxed, warm cradle.
4. Your Lie in April- Piano Sonata No. 14 (Moonlight Sonata) Movement No. 3 (CD Quality FLAC, 16/44)
A piano piece this time, again, same problem as the above, not as dynamic, not as exciting, your preference will determine which one you prefer.
5. Melody Gardot- Your Heart is as Black as Night (MP3 Quality 320)
I thought I'd give MP3 a try as well since I had a little bit of time, overall opinion, without repeating myself too much, is that the 6XX sounds more spacious, the Andromeda more intimate. Vocals can't tell as much difference, maybe due to the recording.
Overall, I am still quite pleased with the headphones, once the burn in passes I suppose it'll sound better, though this has made me appreciate my Andromeda more.
OH, and by the way, XLR does nothing for me besides making things a little louder, it seems Schiit really wasn't bullschiiting us when they said SE and XLR sounds the same, just different output power.