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Apr 18, 2018
A review for casual users...
A few words for someone who appreciates a quality set of headphones or speakers, but who (like me) doesn't consider themselves an audiophile in terms of their hardware collection or even their ears (I suffer from mild tinnitus from a reckless youth of overly loud music and overly loud tools).
OVERALL: I gave these a try because I wanted a clean, accurate set of headphones that were comfortable to wear for extended periods. In particular, I find that between my glasses and the size/placement of my outer ears, most headphones don't fit me perfectly for one reason or another. These headphones met my needs in all these regards. They're pretty much everything I hoped they would be.
FIT: I'm very happy with how these fit. I'd have preferred a closed-back set for use while traveling, and for use in public spaces, but I wanted to try the HD 6xx because of the obviously large over-ear design. I don't link on-ear designs because they tend to compress my ears against the arms of my glasses. I've also found most over-ear designs don't quite cover my ears completely (without touching them on one edge or another) or comfortably. The cups on these are huge. They'll easily cover the largest ears on the largest heads. The band keeps them in place without excessive compression against your head, and the pads/pad-coverings and head-band padding are super comfortable. You can easily wear these for extended periods in comfort.
OPEN-BACK DESIGN: In practical terms... Though the design does allow more sound to radiate out around you than a closed-back would, it doesn't seem to be excessive. I've yet to try and evaluate how loud they are to others in a truly quiet space (like a library), they don't seem particularly bothersome in most environments. There is another unintended consequence that's both a Con and a Pro to the open design of these headphones though... Because of the large open backs and the thin transducer material, You can hear ambient noise pretty clearly with these on. At first, this seems like a problem, because most people want to be immersed in their audio when they're wearing headphones, but it's also quite handy when you're walking around with these. I can walk down the street and both clearly hear my audio AND still clearly hear enough environmental noise so I don't walk in front of traffic. This limitation actually makes them quite practical to use in the real world. I'm sure it's off-putting, but you can also hear conversations pretty clearly through the drivers so you can converse with your barista without taking your headphones off (turning down or pausing audio is enough).
SENSITIVITY: I can't comment from personal experience, but I'm convinced that these will really open up and that the bass will fill out if they're driven by a quality headphone amp. It's clear that they want more power than my iPhone or computer want to provide to them. However, this turns out to be another unintended benefit of a headphone that's clearly not designed to replace portable set. They're plenty loud-enough for use with my iPhone, but they're naturally limited to a volume level that's safe. With my iPhone's volume limiting off--- they only get as loud as a lesser set would get with the volume-limiting on.
Overall, the inherent limitations that come with using these on-the-go actually turn out to be quite helpful in real-world use. They're clearly designed to be used with a Hi-Fi setup in home though. In particular, the included cord is really too long for walking around with. It nearly swings down to my knees when my phone is in a pocket around my waist area. I'm considering purchasing a shorter aftermarket cord to make them more practical.
Apr 18, 2018
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