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View Full Discussion I'm unsure if they'll replace my Beyerdynamic DT-990s (600 Ohm) as my favorite headphones. Personally, unlike most people with audiophilia leanings, my music of choice is hip hop, specifically indie/underground, it doesn't mean I'm above good sound. Like most people, most of my music collection is high bit rate MP3 or AAC although I have a bit of rare soul music in FLAC from my What.CD days. Rather than type out a comprehensive review, I'll compare the HD-6XXs to the DT-990s.
DT-990s v Sennheiser HD-6XX
- The bass is a bit punchier on the HDs, forward although not as meaty on the exceptionally low end bass as the 990s.
- I'd argue that the HD-6XXs are more desirable to bass heads, it certainly takes center stage. I find it a hair over exaggerated but nothing nearly as silly as Sennheiser Momentum series. It still feels a bit much for audiobooks.
- These aren't reference headphones, and that's a good thing.
- The soundscape is slightly more compressed, it brings forward some of the more subtly at the cost of being slightly more pronounced. They're well-detailed although not to the extreme of the Grado SR-125s.
- The HD highs aren't as sparkling. It feels a little sleepy coming from the DT-990s.
- Both sets have absurdly articulated stereo imaging.
- Both sets really put my DT-770s to shame.
- The HD-6xxs really remind of my IEM Shure X10s (I miss those, I have the X11is which just weren't as good),
- The DT-990s are more comfortable but the HD-650s aren't bad but cushy pads of the DT-770/880/990 are more pleasant
- HD-6xxs have a user replaceable cable, the Beyerdynamic still do not have this. They win handedly in this department.
I used as comparison Blu & Exile - Below the Heavens, A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders, Apathy - Eastern Philosophy/Handshakes with Snakes, Skyzoo - Peddler Themes, Elzhi - Elmatic. I'd think the HD-650s were dope but then I'd swap the DT-990s and brought a darker soulful sound making a song like Let It Fly by Skyzoo's voice cutting through the mix sitting on top of swirling soul harmony? While I haven't touched mega-spendy cans, to this day I don't think there's better headphones for hip hop. There's time that the DT-990s treble a little rough but good god. Both sets sound great, but when you get the chain gang break down in Dr Dre's All In Day's Work, the HD-650s just color the shovel sounds less pleasantly.
I'd give the edge to the less expensive DT-990s but I've also been living with them for more than a decade. I suppose taking mild umbrage to one of the most defining characteristics of the HD-6xxs, the plentiful bass might be unusual, especially in the era of bass-heavy headphones. I like these headphones quite a bit and will have to give them more time. I think most people prefer the sound stage of the HD-650s but I don't think I'll end up as one.
Still, these are great headphones, and really should be THE $200 set for everyone looking to jump into the world of higher end headphones and they're remarkably easier to drive than than the 600 Ohm variant of the DT-990s.
Thank you so much for comparing them just coming from the DT-990s! (Which are my main headphones atm).
It just so happens that my main gripe with the 990s are the "Sparkling Highs", so the HDs 6xx might be just what i need!