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This is my third HD6xx type headphone and I have come to realize I hate trying to write a review for any of them. I gave the HD58X 5 stars despite not getting a working cable because accidents happen and I absolutely love them for the music I enjoy most. Despite preferring those over these and the HD600 I still find it hard to give the HD6XX anything less than 5 stars. If you happened to see any of my posts with sennheiser here you will understand why I am also giving them a bonus 5 star rating for their troll game as well. lol.
I know I gave these 5 stars but want to make it clear that this 5 star doesn't carry the same weight as my 5 star opinion of the HD58X. Those are very special to me and filled a spot in my collection that no other headphone I own could. The HD6XX are just really good headphones at a great price. I have had a lot of people tell me tubes are a must with these and the HD600's. I wish I had more to experiment with but for tubes all I have is a stock dark voice and while I like using that with the HD600's I prefer a decent solid state with these. That's probably blasphemy to hear but the HD6XX just seems a bit slower compared to the 600's and I find that becomes worse with my dark voice.
My only real issue with the HD6XX is the midbass. It just seems bloated and at times loose bleeding into other frequencies. It does tighten up a bit with more power but never gets to the point where it isn't smothering out near by frequencies. It really only seems to be a problem with hiphop but does show up in some bass heavy acoustic stuff as well as stuff like Rage and Korn. It isn't bad enough to ruin a song but it does make the midbass the focal point in cases where it shouldn't be. For my taste the emotiva basX A-100 has been the best experience I have had with these. It seemed to add a little control to the midbass without taking away the silky sennheiser sound. It even seemed to tame the shout I noticed in some songs that I expected only the dark voice to be capable of.
What stands out to me with the HD6XX is the soundstage. It still isn't crazy wide like having people playing around you in a room but it offers more than both the HD600 and HD58X. You could argue the imaging on the HD600's is better but I find those to not offer much or any verticality. I've tried gaming in all of them and the HD6XX is the best of the group by far for that purpose. They make it very easy to judge distance and elevation which is a rare thing. If you are looking at one of those three headphones and gaming is of importance the HD6XX is probably the best if not only choice. You can game in the other two but it is much harder to judge distance and annoyingly difficult to tell if someone is shooting down on you from a roof. With the HD6XX you can actually tell the angle and instinctively snap to a roof top on your target. I was extremely impressed how well they did with gaming. One of my personal favorite gaming headphones are still the beyerdynamic t90's since they do all that with much greater detail and separation plus have that murderous treble that lets you easily hear people trying to creep up on you. Unfortunately those T90's can be painful with music without an aggressive tube or eq.
I have three things I absolutely love about the entire HD6xx style lineup. The first is the fact you never need to worry much about what you plug them in to as long as power is available. They just sound good at all times. There's no need to mess with eq so you don't get a headache after prolonged listening and you never really feel like you are missing anything. The only time I noticed anything wrong is when trying to run these unamped. The second thing I love is the comfort. I know these are generally thought of as having a tight clamp but I actually like that and find them all extremely comfortable. They also do a very good job of allowing your ears to breath. Overall they feel really nice to wear. The third thing I love is one others may not and it's the build quality. Yes they all feel like they are mainly cheap plastic but I love how you can rip them completely down without a single tool. Somehow you can pull them apart by hand and play around with whatever you like and pop them back together and still not have a single rattle. Somehow they managed to pull that off while there are headphones out there that struggle to do that using an abundance of screws. The engineer that designed the style for the series is a genius and probably made Sennheiser tons of money in areas other companies just can't figure out.
Sorry about another long review but it is hard to keep these things short and still get across why I am a fan. I also want to step back to reality for a moment and put these up against the HD600's and HD58X. This is entirely personal opinion and largely due to the music I enjoy the most so keep that in mind. If for some reason I had to get rid of one of those three and didn't play any games the HD6XX would be the pair I let go. The midbass bloat can be bothersome in some of my music. Since I do play games I would probably let the HD600's go since the HD58X has been my go to since getting them and the HD600 just can't compare to the HD6XX for gaming. All three are great in different ways and I can definitely see how some people can prefer a different model then I do. The big factor is price and it's amazing you can get something as good as the HD6XX and the HD58X for the prices they are here.