Showing 1 of 7395 conversations about:
Oct 24, 2018
TL;DR: I can hardly take them off now. I use QC35s for commuting but schlep the HD6xx and a Schiit Magni 3 in my bag and hook it up at work everyday!
--Full review follows--
Table of contents Introduction Review Things to consider Final thoughts
Introduction: I've been using all the Bose QuietComfort headphones ever since their first models came out. I just liked how much "better" they made my music sound. I've always wanted a pair of Sennheisers but could simply not justify buying them when I had perfectly functioning $300+ Bose cans.
Then I saw an ad about Massdrop about the HD6xx. I spent 2 whole months researching reasons why I should and should not buy them, scouring Reddit, Youtube, reviews, and articles. After much research, I decided I would invest roughly $350 on a setup for home use to complement my QC35ii commute headphones.
Review: Bear in mind I am by no means an expert, I'm just a regular guy trying to help another newbie in deciding if he/she should buy these headphones.
1. Since the HD6xx are of an open-back design, you will not have as much isolation from the rest of the world as with closed-back active or passive headphones. Why does that matter? Simply put, the sound signature feels more natural, as if the music is all around you (a term I often see describing this is "soundstage").
2. Music is much more "defined" with the HD6xx that with any of the headphones I've used in the past (remember I'm not a seasoned audiophile who has tried on dozens of high-end headphones) Why does that matter? Imagine for a second that you listen to one of your favorite songs, a song you've heard hundreds of times, only to discover some new instrument in the background. When it happens, it is an amazing feeling!
3. The comfort of these is spectacular. This is in partial due to the open-back design which creates some airflow (don't expect air-conditioning levels of air but it is better than no airflow in closed-back headphones). I can wear the HD6xx for well over 8 hours at work without ever feeling any discomfort which I cannot do with the QC35s. Why does that matter? I mean it's comfort. What's not to like about comfort?
Things to consider: If like me, you're completely new to this field, there are three things I wish to impart on you:
1. You will need more equipment than just a pair of HD6xx such as an amp and possibly cables.
Yes, you can use the HD6xx without an amp but you have to understand you are not getting the whole "experience". The best I can describe it in my newbie way is that, without an amp, it is similar to watching a 480p movie on a 4K UHD television. You can comfortably watch the movie and you can understand the story line perfectly, but you cannot distinguish individual blades of grass in the field behind the actor. I personally went with the Schiit Magni 3, priced at $99 and a $10 RCA to 3.5mm (or 1/8inch) cable and am more than happy about the combination.
2. Yes, the HD650/HD6xx is an older pair of headphones but it is by no means outdated. In any field, it speaks volumes when a design is so good that it still sells 15 years after it released.
3. There are excellent resources online that can greatly help you understand the basics as well as help in your decision to buy the HD6xx or not. There are many Youtubers on the subject of audiophilia and on the HD6xx in particular. I highly recommend Joshua Valour's channel (I would link it here but I'm unsure if that's allowed so I'll let you search for him). Reddit is also a great place to ask questions, especially r/audiophile.
Final thoughts:
It is a great introduction to open-back headphones. If you have a little over $300 to put towards a new set of headphones and accessories, the HD6xx are at the very least worthy of your attention. Hopefully this information will help you in some way, shape, or form!
Oct 24, 2018
Oct 25, 2018
Good review, thanks for the info!
Oct 25, 2018
View Full Discussion