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raansire7
522
Oct 17, 2018
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Guys, my expectations have been exceeded with the HD 6XX, which I avoided like the plague since they came out. But people grow and mature, and I matured, so I decided to hear them with my own ears. While other people are not wowed by them on first listen, I was the opposite. Coming from the Beyerdynamic and Audio-Technica camp of bright sound, I was wowed since the first second. INSTANTLY. I felt cheated on by myself. How could I live without this sound for so many years? I always thought that bright treble was like...the right way to present music. The HD 6XX sat me down for a mature talk like an experienced elder counsels a disoriented youngin'. What did I hear? Reasonably tight, weighty bass that digs deep, smooth, speaker-like mids without being too upfront, and refined, anti-aliased highs that reveal even more detail than they'd suggest on first listen. The stereo image is well outside the head and to the rear of the ears. There is a lot of frontal depth, and every sound is in its own layer on the field. This always depends on the DAC and amp used, but no matter what I use on the HD 6XX, they sound way more open than I've read about them. They do sound the widest, the clearest and the most holographic with the MIYO DAC/amp. The aural image is just more...visual. I came to this world equipped with a mild form of synesthesia , so I apologize if this doesn't make sense. If number four is green to you, then you know what I mean. The HD 6XX just have an unusually clean, clear sound that just makes me smile. Musical and satisfying. Perfect recipe to my ears. As good as most people say they are. What I noticed is that they remove unneeded harshness, making one think they're less detailed on first glance. But listened closely, all the detail is left, allowing one to hear deeper into the music. I produce music for my own enjoyment, so I know my tracks like they're my babies. Every little nuance and detail I've intentionally put in them is presented with clarity on the HD 6XX. While not as bright as my other headphones, I don't consider my pair dark sounding or veiled. If I have to mention darkness, reverbs do sound darker and less open. That's as bad as it gets. Just reverbs. Everything else sounds at the least as clear and at the most, even more clear. As a matter of fact, because of their smooth highs, I can hear some details and nuances way more distinguished here than on my brighter headphones. They're like polarized glasses, removing certain aspects of the visible light to allow you to see better. Compared to my HD 58X, which are my favorite cans for enjoying music, these are the better headphones to my ears. While the bass on the HD 58X is punchier and thumpier, sometimes it's too much to my ears, and I listen mostly to gospel reggae. The bass on the HD 6XX is balanced just right with the mids and the highs. I wouldn't want any more, and I'm a rehabilitated basshead. The mids on the HD 6XX are not as upfront and zoomed-in, presenting a more expansive sound stage. They're not as aggressive, and are so smooth, the Jubilees, which are smooth themselves, sound harsh to my ears when wearing them right after. Same with the highs. I feel relief taking off the Jubilees and wearing the HD 6XX. This is just a comparison. The Jubilees are very smooth compared to most headphones, and I consider them baby HD 650. The HD 6XX are just more refined-sounding, more revealing headphones to my ears. They give me more detail than the HD 58X even if those are funner in terms of dynamic presentation. Although the HD 6XX don't have excessive high-frequency sizzle, all the macro and micro details are evident. I don't consider these cans relaxing or boring at all. To me, they're as exciting as my T90 and SRH1840, which are shoutier and more fatiguing, even if those are on a higher echelon of technical audio performance. I won't deny that. The HD 6XX are on a lower echelon, but that means nothing to me in the sense that they're basically on the border of diminishing returns. The HD 6XX could be the highest end you could go and you wouldn't be missing a lot. They're already up there in objective technical ability. That people deny that to justify spending more money is a different subject. What would I want to be improved on the HD 6XX? NOTHING. I love them just the way they're. The mids are as good as people rave about them. They just dig deep and present music, not just sound. Now I understand why they've attained such legendary status and are considered an audiophile benchmark. They truly give me all the detail with none of the fatigue. Nothing I own has mids as delicious as the HD 6XX. I have to say it. Whatever hyperbole you have read about them is really no exaggeration. The general consensus, and I agree with it, is that the HD 650/6XX are on a category of their own. In my opinion, the Jubees with their similar sound signature cannot touch them detail retrieval-wise and sound signature-wise. Not taking away from the incredible value of the $149 Jubees, spending $50 more for the HD 6XX is worth it. By the way, I don't know if my pair are factory freaks, but the bass is dynamically impressive, the mids are not dark, and the highs are not rolled off. There just seems to be a removal of high frequency harshness, but all the treble detail is there, just with none of the annoying sheen and sizzle. Some trebley tracks still bother me on the HD 6XX. Anyway, if you think about it, real life instruments or percussion are not sparkly or sizzly. Their treble never sounds in person as sharp and tizzy as it sounds with bright headphones. The HD 6XX sounds like real-life treble to my ears. One more thing: Just to test, expecting the worst performance, I plugged them to my Denon DA-300USB, which has the weakest amp of all my gear and the most easy-going sound. WOW...at -30dB, which is the highest I go without feeling cerebral alert, it's plenty of volume and dynamic vividness. I would've never imagined they would sound so good here. The polite, gentlemanly Denon is rocking the HD 6XX with authority. I would've NEVER imagined. Now, with the Asgard 2, the level of performance is higher. They sound brighter and clearer than I expected. That Schiit amp is smooth up top, but still, it managed to open up the Sennheisers way more. The Mimby/Asgard 2 combo here makes everything sound so realistic and alive. I have never heard my Asgard 2 sound so musical before; it is in my opinion a great companion to the HD 6XX . I think for the first time in two years of ownership I get to really listen to my Asgard 2. What an impressive pairing. The depth into the sounds is astonishing me. I'm REALLY hearing the sound of every sound with the HD 6XX. I've never been taken so far with my Asgard 2 before. This is synergy, guys. I never noticed PRaT much before or cared about it, but I'm totally perceiving it clearly with this combo and it's a relevant thing in my opinion. It matters as much as the sound signature, because I'm understanding now why some combinations sound good but boring. It's like a perceivable micro time envelope. Anyway, coming from bright headphones for so many years, I honestly and without hyperbole say that, to my ears and brain, NOTHING is lacking on the HD 6XX's sound, and NOTHING needs to be fixed or improved. They don't leave me wanting to reach for my brighter headphones, and they even reveal a lot of nuances that my pricier headphones obscure due to their high frequency sizzle. For $199, in my entire lifetime, this has to be the highest value to price ratio I've ever experienced on audio equipment. What headphones would I buy next regardless of price? I have no clue. I mean...why keep going? If I wouldn't have bought the HD 6XX last, I think I still would've reached the conclusion that regardless of price, they're on a category of their own. My ears and brain just classifies them as the superior headphones in terms of musical enjoyment. Do I own better headphones than the HD 6XX? Yes. Do they better the HD 6XX? No. So what is better then and why does it matter? Thanks for reading and God bless you! EDIT: [November 18, 2019] A year later, I still agree with every word in this review...AND I haven't purchased any more headphones! EDIT: [January 9, 2020] I got curious about the beyerdynamic Amiron Home and decided to order them. I received them yesterday. They sound amazing, technically better than the HD 6XX, but guess what I'm wearing RIGHT NOW? I know...it's crazy!
(Edited)
Oct 17, 2018
Teee
16
Oct 18, 2018
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Thanks for taking the time and effort to do so such a thorough, detailed review!
Oct 18, 2018
raansire7
522
Oct 18, 2018
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You're welcome, friend. My pleasure! 😀
Oct 18, 2018
Megazine
470
Oct 18, 2018
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Are those the Shure SRH1840 in one of your photos? How do they compare to the 6XX or 58X; I own both.
Oct 18, 2018
AnalysisParalysis
16
Oct 18, 2018
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How long have you had the 6XX? Could you do a more detailed direct comparison with the 58X or would you say most of the online reviews between them are spot on?
Oct 18, 2018
cwelton17
103
Oct 18, 2018
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I totally agree about the clear, smooth highs. I'm realizing there's a plenty of songs in my library with certain parts that I instinctively flinch at when I listen but on the HD 6XX the harshness never comes and I just enjoy listening. It's very nice because I've pretty sensitive to harsh treble.
I usually reach for my TR-X00 because they're more mobile, but I'll have to make an effort to sit down with the HD6XX and spend a little more time with them. Thanks for the post!
Oct 18, 2018
raansire7
522
Oct 18, 2018
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Yup. I intentionally placed them there just in case anyone would ask! :D They are on a higher echelon of technical performance compared to the 6XX and 58X, but I'm still trying to fall in love with them months later. The thing is that while the bass is detailed, it's flat, so it doesn't satisfy my brain. It hits, but it's not full. It lacks weight.
It's there, but it needs more beef. The upper highs to my ears somehow sound rolled-off even though they aren't because of the shouty lower highs, and the mids are very forward and bright but lack certain smoothness. These Shures don't sound lively at all to me even though a lot of people praise them for being almost perfect. I get what people mean, but the emotional engagement factor is not triggered in me.
I don't understand what's missing, because again, they have impressive clarity and speaker-like sound due to the air between sound layers. That's the thing, that they really don't have any obvious flaws or anything that stands out, but they sound boring to me. The Shures' sounds seem to be on the same plane even though they sound on different layers. The layering of sounds is not very holographic, so from left to right there is more width than front to back depth.
The center channel sounds above the center of the head instead of in front. It's somewhat disorienting and distracting. The 6XX place the center channel in front of the forehead. The SRH1840 sound open and wide, way more than the Jubees, but not 3D-like, because the stereo image is more zoomed-in than on the 6XX. They're have more of an intimate presentation compared to the 6XX but less than the almost closed-in 58X.
The sound presentation, while more detailed and clear than the 6XX and 58X, is not as involving. A weird pair of headphones for sure. They sound more like Sennheisers than any other brand I own, but the deliciousness factor is missing somehow. Also, the 150 ohm Jubees sound louder at the same volume than the Shures that are only 65 ohm.
The 6XX sound stuffy in the mids but in a good way in terms of textural detail, not muddiness. The Shures sound empty and lonely even though they aren't thin sounding. There is more air between sounds, but the music is not there, just the sound. Dynamics-wise, one would expect the more refined Shures to win in terms of PRaT, but the 6XX smoke them.
I would've felt remorse at $500, but at $374, it's a fine buy. I almost paid $500 for them due to the excellent reviews, but thank God when I decided to pull the trigger, they were discounted everywhere to $374 by Shure for a really short period. They do sound like $500, but they aren't dopamine pumps like the 6XX and Jubees. In terms of which one is technically better, obviously the SRH1840, then the 6XX and last, the 58X. While it sounds almost like the 6XX, it's on a lower echelon of performance.
I don't recommend anyone to deaf-buy them unless it's on Amazon where and you can return them if you don't like them. As a matter of fact, on fun factor and enjoyment alone, I'd steer people towards the Jubees even if they're less detailed and refined than the 6XX. God bless!
EDIT: If I was going to place them on easy to understand terms... Bass detail - SRH1840/6XX/58X Bass thump - 58X/6XX/SRH1840 Bass weight - 58X/6XX/SRH1840 Bass tightness - SRH1840/6XX/58X Mids detail - SRH1840/6XX/58X Mids brightness - SRH1840/58X/6XX Mids smoothness - 6XX/SRH1840/58X Highs detail - SRH1840/6XX/58X Highs brightness - SRH1840/58X/6XX Highs smoothness - 6XX/SRH1840/58X Airiness - SRH1840/6XX/58X Clarity - SRH1840/6XX/58X Sound layering - SRH1840/6XX/58X Soundstage width - SRH1840/6XX/58X Soundstage depth - 6XX/SRH1840/58X Holographic aural image - 6XX/SRH1840/58X Overall detail resolution - SRH1840/6XX/58X Overall refinement - SRH1840/6XX/58X PRaT dynamics - 6XX/SRH1840/58X Fun factor - 58X/6XX/SRH1840
In terms of echelon of technical performance, the SRH1840 is Tier A, the 6XX is Tier B and the 58X is Tier C. The $50 price difference is to my ears at least a $200 sound difference. No hyperbole. By themselves, impressive sound and incredible value, but compared to the 6XX, the 58X lose composure at higher but still sane volumes, where bass can get a bit bloaty and the mids a bit muddy.
Just a bit, nothing ugly, but enough to fill the ear canals and distract from the musical enjoyment experience. Now, this is compared between all three. By themselves at $149, the Jubees are comfortably Tier A, beating basically everything else out there that costs the same or more. All of this is my personal opinion, so keep that in mind. :D
Oct 18, 2018
raansire7
522
Oct 18, 2018
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I've had them for eight days now. In understandable terms, I place them like this:
Bass detail - 6XX/58X Bass thump - 58X/6XX Bass weight - 58X/6XX Bass tightness - 6XX/58X Mids detail - 6XX/58X Mids brightness - 58X/6XX Mids smoothness - 6XX/58X Highs detail - 6XX/58X Highs brightness - 58X/6XX Highs smoothness - 6XX/58X Airiness - 6XX/58X Clarity - 6XX/58X Sound layering - 6XX/58X Soundstage width - 6XX/58X Soundstage depth - 6XX/58X Holographic aural image - 6XX/58X Overall detail resolution - 6XX/58X Overall refinement - 6XX/58X PRaT dynamics - 6XX/58X Fun factor - 58X/6XX
Most intelligent reviews are accurate. The 6XX are clearly superior, but the Jubees are more fun and unrestrained. They pound the ear drums with more aggression due to their more intimate soundfield. I do think sometimes they have too much bass on some tracks, and I'm a reformed basshead.
Oct 18, 2018
raansire7
522
Oct 18, 2018
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Yup. Totally agree with you. Happens to me too. I don't flinch in those parts with the 6XX even though ALL the detail is there. You're so welcome, friend!
How are the TR-X00? Do they sound closed-in? How do you like them?
Oct 18, 2018
Megazine
470
Oct 20, 2018
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Thank you for your contributions. I‘ve read that the SRH1840 are reference headphones and why it may sound boring to many people. From my experience, I put the Jubilee superior to the 6XX. I feel the bass tightness just brings all the other sounds together in harmony.
Oct 20, 2018
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