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I was really looking forward to these headphones to replace my old Audio-Technica A700x headphones I use at work. At home I also have a pair of AKG K812 and Meze 99 classics. So a comparison was in order.
First the 'Sennheiser Veil': After listening for over 30 hours to classical music, rock, pop, jazz and R&B, I can wholeheartedly state that is a myth, probably perpetuated by people who have listened to headphones like my Audio-Technica A700x's. The A700x's accentuate treble a lot, and when you compare the two the first thing I thought was "the veil is real". After more listening, you start to realize that the A700x's aren't being true to the recording and the sound is actually out of balance. The HD6XX's are actually amazingly flat in their frequency response and that probably comes across as veiling the upper treble to many.
So how do they compare to the A700x's - which cost $200 a decade ago? The Sennheisers win flat out on sound quality. The A700x's win on comfort - because the 6xx's have narrow ear cups that simply fit a bit too snug on my head and create a bit of heat due to the snug fit. The A700x's are much easier to drive, but I use a headphone amp, so its not an issue. The Sennheisers do win when you are on the move, because the A700x's design has plastic molding that rubs on other plastic pieces making annoying sound right next to the ear cups, making the A700x's almost unlistenable when walking/jogging.
The Meze 99's are a closed design, and while the 6xx's are truer to the sound, the 99's are not only more comfortable, but thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. In fact the only issue with the 99's are they are a bit sloppy in the bass, but overall I prefer the Meze 99's to the Sennheisers. The 99's do cost $100 more (50% more), so I'm glad I didn't get the Sennheisers from another retailer that charges $330 and up.
The AKG 812's are simply in a class by themselves. Unbelievably comfortable, relatively easy to drive, flat frequency response and create a sense of space that the other headphones don't come close to.
Overall I'm satisfied with the Sennheiser HD 6XX's at the $200 price point. They are true to the sound, aren't overly difficult to drive. I'd give them 5 stars if they were more comfortable to wear.