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I have a question about the detailness of the HD 6XX: I received mine last Friday, and I have been extensively testing them. While they sound nice, warm, and open, I was a bit underwhelmed with the amount of details I could hear in them. Everything I read about HD650 suggests that these should be very detailed, but the ones I got have as much details as AKG Q701s (and I assume similar to AKG 7XX), and definitely less detailed than my closed MrSpeakers Alpha Dogs. I am burning in the HD 6XX (about 40 hours now) and hoping that the drivers open up and become more transparent. Has anyone else had any chance to evaluate the resolution and transparency of these headphones and compare with other models? I am just wondering if the ones I received are a little substandard, or are Alpha Dogs are just so much better? Thanks
Alpha Dogs have planar magnetic drivers, which (along with electrostatics) have an inherent advantage in reproducing detail. Different technologies have different sound characteristics. The 6XX has dynamic drivers like your AKG, which gives the two of them a similar sound character.
High detail and resolution doesn't necessarily mean "better". This is subjective and many feel that overly detailed sound is sterile, not realistic and doesn't convey music well.
Thanks @Metro . I do like the sound of HD6XX, and they complement the brighter Q701 very nicely. But I do have to say the additionally clarity of Alpha Dogs (paired with their neutral sound) is very beneficial for music with acoustic instruments and clear vocals. I guess that is why it is difficult to rely on a single pair of headphones. Now I am ready to try some vintage Stax!
What source equipment are you using?
No 650s are known to be veiled but I also wonder if these are substandard.... never heard 650s, but the drop stated these would be the exact same drivers of 650s. Has anyone tested these against other 650s they have?
Nope now someone posted and AB test of the recent 650s and these HD6XX and reported no differences.
@Nosaj1969 I compared the HD 6XX against AKG Q701 and MrSpeakers AlphaDogs on my home set up: Old Yamaha CD player via optical link to ARCAM rDAC to OutlawAudio RR2150 . I use Rasputina CDs as the primary source (cello, drums, and female vocals), and could see a noticeably larger amount of details with the ADs.
HD 6XX had very full base, and altogether was very smooth, but I do think it missed a bit of clarity in the voice and the cello's notes were not as visceral. I was more curious to compare the HD 6XX with the AKG in respect to the stage and transparency, and these two were very comparable, with the Q701s potentially being slightly more detailed? It is also possible it was due to the fact that the Q701 are much brighter then the HD6XX.
Alpha Dogs are Planar Magnetic or Orthdynamic(first is USA second is Yamaha same tech) this is why they sound better. In terms of detail it goes like this Electrostatic > Planar Magnetic(Orthodynamic) > Dynamic(Diaphram(Cone) and Wire). HD650s are one of the top Dynamics of modern times but they will never have the detail of Planars. Sounds like your a fidelity tech and what you are looking for is the extremely expensive world of electrostats and the Stax SR-009.
@iCeOL8TRAmnesia , yeah, you are right. Hearing the smallest details is what I love in live concerts (the smaller venue the better), and it is what I appreciate in good headphones. HD 6XX are smooth, open and pleasant, but do not quite immerse me into the sound as fully as I would like. I did consider other planars (Oppos's, Hifiman, Audeze), but I think I want to jump all the way to Stax: SR-009 are just a tiny a bit out of my range (10x?), but older SR-X or Lamda's may be a good starting point. Has anyone tried HD700 or HD 800 to compare with the planars? And I also heard that Fostex Th-X00 are not as detailed/transparent as some other planars, so does it mean that their sound signature is going to be more like the dynamic cans?
I've been looking for driver comparison pics between the Fostex TH-X00 and TH-900s but I haven't yet found them(been very busy with other deals as the month before black friday to Christmas there is 3x the volume of deals to check and I check them all). The X00s are supposedly smaller magnets and less detailed but somehow have a tuning that people find less grating and more "musical" but the 900s are supposed to have more detail and air. Back in the day people said the Hifiman HE-5L and 500 were the ones to get but both are discontinued so you have to find a used one for a reasonable price. The 900s are of course 1000 or more and the X00s are much cheaper. The only Dynamics that come close to planars are the Tesla Beyerdynamics and the new Sennheisers there may be others but I'm somewhat new to Headphones and haven't fully explored the market I'm still knocking down the main best headphones hence these are my first 650s. There is a deal on T90s(these are so resolving you have to play flac or better on them or you can hear digital "jaggies" if your not used to beyerdynamic sound sig you will have to get used to it it is almost the complete audiophile opposite of the 650s) right but but they lack bass and dont really shine unless your playing dsd tracks(somehow on DSD chamber music size space tracks there seems to be no lack of bass) and have a dac that can play those well.
I don't know where you live but this site has all kinds of deals even on top of the line headphones its mostly for the US but they have had T1s and HD800s for 900 now a few times each and almost every other audiophile headphone. I bet if you were making pricey purchases shipping to a foreign country would be less of a problem. I check this site twice a day they always post drops and I get all my dacs and headphones off here and I do it help checking the deals a jam session rather a chore to keep it fun(not like I have a choice tho the deals eventually purify your economic and standard of living logic until all you see is pure deal and no you could never live without deal stream feed). Use chrome or srware iron and linkclump and hotkeys to navigate tabs. Ignore that last tip at your own peril(difference between checking every deal for 2 hours or 4 hours or more especially on days where you can to clear 40 pages of 30 deals per page = 1200 deal tabs.
The T90s were just a deal I saw today checking the days deals its not really a suggestion to buy just something I came across during my daily routine to give you an idea of the site. It was the most poignant of the days deals to this thread.
@iCeOL8TRAmnesia I am checking the T90s reviews right now: the part about them which I like is the transparency compared with HD6XX, but they do not have the stage which O like, and some people complain about their suitability for the acoustic instruments and female vocals... But the price is very good, hence my interest...
I guess the larger question is whether it is better to try to find one "perfect" pair of headphones, or have a few pairs to match to the specific music. My previous idea was to have Q701s and HD6XX being the bright/dark pairing, but that combo needs to be reevaluated... I never listened to beyerdynamic cans before, so do not quite know what to expect. MrSpeakers were a most pleasant surprise, HD6XX so far has been a little bit of a disappointing... Alas...
I'm exploring that question for myself as well. I figure that I'll acquire at least one pair of high quality headphones in the two broad categories — dynamic drivers and planar/electrostatic. The general consensus seems to be that planar magnetic and electrostatic provide the highest accuracy and resolution, but are not as good at reproducing bass and dynamic slam. It will take some time to form my opinions.
HD6XX will be my current representative for dynamic headphones. Interesting to think that the 650 was near the top of hi-end 10 years ago, but now almost considered mid-level. For a planar, I'm seriously considering one of the MrSpeakers Ether variants. And then there is the completely separate category of in-ear modules, which I think is a very different listening experience.
@Metro I would love to try MrSpeakers Ethers, but those are a bit pricey for me. ADs have a very impressive bass, but I am not a basshead. The HDX00 sound nice, and go nicely with the cheapo tube amp Little Dot, but do not have the dynamic impact I enjoy in the ADs. The bass is good in both, and is something that was lacking in the AKGs, but no surprise there. I would love to try an Audeze as those are supposed to have a very dynamic sound, but those are pricey and supposed to be really heavy? So many phones to try... And I have not even looked at IEMs yet at all!
Which model of Little Dot do you have, and do you feel it drives the 6XX well? I am reading that the Little Dot I may be insufficient for the 650.
@Metro I got the Little Dot mark II with Jan 5654 driver tubes here at Massdrop, and I like it quite a bit. It drives the HD6XX pretty nicely (very smooth and warm and open sound), but I do have to go to about 2 o'clock knob position (range from about 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock) for the high volume. No distortion is heard at this high volume, but HD6XX are extremely smooth. I have bigger issues with this little dot mark II powering the Alpha Dogs as the border between high sound volume and appearance of distortion is extremely fine.