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Dec 23, 2016
Just received my pair today and am listening to them after being awake for a marathon mix lasting from 9:30 p.m. Wednesday until now, so my perceptions might be addled.
Skeptics should know that the guarantee of a two-year warranty is printed right on the box, as is "Made in Ireland." These headphones don't come with a case because the hard-cardboard box and foam cutouts are the case, and no one but Massdrop envisioned HD650s being carted around in mobile scenarios (which is why the short cable and miniplug seem ridiculous).
That said, I'm still buying a third-party case.
I thought I knew what stereo sounded like, but even my HD600s don't attain this level of soundstage and imaging. These headphones reproduce spatial depth and positioning on a level that none of my other headphones do.
Another striking feature: You don't have to turn them up to attain revelatory detail, tonal balance and visceral punch. More than any other headphones I've heard, these convey those aspects of a music performace at extremely low levels.
It's also a pleasure to have control of the gain structure at last. I'm really tired of headphones that are too efficient and force you to use the lowest levels of your volume controls, which can affect the stereo balance and impact if concessions for too-efficient headphones weren't factored into the amp/source's design.
Aesthetically, I think that the 6XX is two stopesteps down from the HD650s. The original cups' pointillist variation in silver-gray, and the gray plastic complementing metal that connects earcups to bridge piece, create a varied texture that the matte plastic of the 6XX just doesn't have. The uniformity of the look and feel of the 6XX makes them seem cheaper than the 650 and causes you to wonder about the longevity and construction even though those potential differences might be an illusion.
I'll be interested to read the inevitable review of the 6XX on Head-fi by an owner of both versions of the HD650. They'll discuss the differences between the two in clinical detail, which should be helpful.
Dec 23, 2016
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