As flagship models, these headphones are the top choice for audiophiles. Surprisingly, both headphones have been around for so long, and they still keep rocking the headphone market.

In 1997, HD 600 was released, and in 2003, HD 650 hit the market. Even twenty years later, we are still talking about these headphones, which indicates their outstanding performance.

Which of these headphones is better, considering both are equally good? We will compare them based on different features to help you decide.

Sennheiser HD 600 vs HD 650 Comparison Chart

ModelSennheiser HD 650Sennheiser HD 600
Weight  0.6 lbs0.57 lbs
Length7.7″7.7″
Width7.1″6.9″
Height3.9″3.9″
FitCircumaural (Around Ear)Circumaural (Around Ear)
PaddingVelourVelour
Call/Music Control NoNo
Sensitivity103dB/mW97dB/mW
Open Back?YesYes
Impedance300 Ohms300 Ohms
Amplification Required?YesYes
MicrophoneNoNo
Cable Detachable?YesYes
Termination1/4″ with 3.5mm Adapter3.5mm with 1/4″ Adapter
Volume Control NoNo
Microphone Control  NoNo
Channel Mixing NoNo
Battery Type No BatteryNo Battery
Passive Playback Passive HeadphonePassive Headphone
App Support No AppNo App
Primary UseCasual Listening, FunMixing, Mastering, Reference, Critical Listening

Sennheiser HD 600 and HD 650 Descriptive Comparison

Design

Sennheiser HD 600 

Both headphones share many similarities in terms of design. With 260 grams of weight, both models are dynamic, open, and have identical designs.

However, their designs differ a bit as well. With HD 600, you’ll get a marble finish created by mixing blue and black. Many people find this design unattractive because it has an outdated marble look.

In addition, the lettering “Sennheiser” on the outside of the headband makes the headband stand out. But the lettering on the headphone tends to fade over time, which is something that Sennheiser can improve on. Apart from that, HD 600 is of solid build quality, although it could have been a bit more elegant.

Sennheiser HD 650

HD 650 has a grayish metal outer case and black padding on the inner side, it has a greyish metal outer case. The combination of grey and black is more subtle and matches any dress. Metal borders surrounding the outer edge of the ear cup lend a touch of elegance to the design. 

Both ear cups are equally comfortable and large. The large ear cups can fit any ear size and keep the headphones in place without causing discomfort. These headphones are also very comfortable for long periods thanks to the high-quality padding that prevents the ears from touching the drivers.

With the 650, the pads have a slightly thicker border than the 600, but that does not make any noticeable difference. Both headphones also feature adjustable headbands, making them perfect for anyone.

It is more versatile since the headbands can be adjusted, whether it is for kids or adults. Its open-back design is another critical feature. Because of this, both headphones do not provide noise isolation, and the sound leaks out.

Build

They both have roughly the same build. Also, their weight is similar. With the HD 600, you get a standard 3.5mm jack and a snap-on adapter. Combined with the cable, however, the HD650 is considerably bulkier since it requires a 1/4″ to 3.5 mm adapter.

In general, screw-on models are the most common, but the 600s stand out due to the black base. There is also a difference in padding on each headband. The 650 has a single uniform pad with a type of crater in the middle, while the 600s use four pads.

Both pads are made from the same material and are incredibly smooth to the touch. On visual grounds, the HD 600 has a speckled blue/marbled finish that some might love, and others might hate.

As opposed to the HD 600, the HD 650 uses a Grey & Black Metal Flake finish, and I feel like it lacks some of the characters of the 600.

Overall comfort

They are both very comfortable, though the bands may feel tight if you have a large head circumference. The headband will eventually become looser with continued use, but stretching it might not be the best idea.

Comfortable oval-shaped ear cups are airy and allow you to use them even in warm and humid climates. You might be able to make it more comfortable with a headband cover. The earpads can compress after some years because of their sturdy nature. But you can replace their parts if needed.

Termination & Wiring

Both headphones have different terminations and cables. The HD 600’s cable is relatively thin and retro in design. The chair I use often runs over it, but it’s been held up admirably. Removing the wire from the ear cup is still a little challenging.

I found getting my fingers around each piece challenging because they were so small. This is not true for the HD 650. In this cable version, Sennheiser increased the overall size and made the base thicker.

It is now easier to pull out the cables from the ear cups and feel sturdier. For the 600, there is a red cable that indicates that it goes into the right cup, whereas the 650 has all-black cables.

HD 600 has the same grilles and velour ear pads and is made of roughly the same materials. Also, the adjustment on the headband between the ear cup and the headband is made of the same sliver of metal, and it doesn’t look exceptionally durable, but it is sturdy! There are also the small “R” and “L” indicators on each piece.

The ear cups of both headphones move slightly inward but don’t rotate otherwise. This gives them a more official appearance and is visually appealing as well. Furthermore, the rectangle with “HD600” and “HD650” is written on it.

Sound Quality

Sound quality is crucial since it is why we buy headphones. On the HD 600, there is no coloration in the sound. This gives the music a very natural feel, making it sound right as it is.

This is why it gives you a more realistic sound than ordinary headphones. As a bonus, the tuner is easy to use and provides much better detail than you would expect from a pair of cans.

To hear vocals better, you should listen to them in HD 600 because they sound a little bit better and provide a more specific emphasis on the vocals than in HD 650. It will even help isolate the vocals so you can enjoy them more.

There are also differences in terms of brightness between the two. Particularly at the top end, HD 650’s sound is brighter. A little bit more clarity is evident in 650 compared to 600. Furthermore, HD 650 has better imaging and lets you hear more of your surroundings.

It’s not always good to sound bright on top, as you’ll discover with HD 650. In most cases, when the top-end is bright, you will reduce the volume, which means that the low range, particularly the details, will be missed. This is something you should consider. 

650 is good if you aren’t too concerned with details, as its bright sounds can get you moving. If you prefer more detail in music, 600 is a better option.

These headphones’ main selling point is their mid-range. It sounds natural and smooth. Furthermore, neither offers sub-bass, making it a not-so-good choice for bass heads.

The 650s are particularly powerful in the lower segments, something the 600 lacks. There is a good bass in both. Besides the drums and their reverberations being audible, this makes the listening experience even more enjoyable.

In the 600, however, the bass is strong but not boosted because its purpose was to give a neutral feel to the music. The 650, however, has a bit more brightness and bass, so it sounds better.

Those who plan on listening to bass for a long time are advised to choose 600 as it makes the sound neutral and more enjoyable than 650. Both headphones seem to have mixed reviews regarding the bass levels. 

There are even those who state that 650 isn’t ideal for metal. But the reality is that 650 is not so terrible. There is a difference between the two headphones in the way the bass sounds due to the type of bass and the purpose of the headphones.

What is the better of the two? Hard to say since they are both equally good. What you prefer will depend on your taste in music. 650 is best suited for audiophiles that enjoy listening to good music, and 600 is better suited for people looking to analyze music and get deeper insights into the details. It is thus hard to tell which is better in terms of sound quality between the two. What you choose is up to you.

Imaging/Soundstage

Regarding imaging, the 650 performs slightly better, especially when gaming and watching movies. It was like being immersed in my surroundings and hear farther away sounds.

The HD 600 tends to sound closed in and narrow, but it still offers excellent instrument separation. Moreover, the image is wider, with better depth and spacing. If you want to use them for gaming, you shouldn’t buy them.

These headphones won’t be as good as the 650. This is also because the Soundstage itself is very closed in. Putting your hands on either side of your head and extending them about six or so inches is as wide as you’re going to get.

Amplification

For these to perform to their full potential, an amplifier that can handle 300 Ohms will also be required. Their power resistance is higher, requiring a more robust amp to reach acceptable listening levels.

It turns out that the HD650 at 103dB Sensitivity does not require as much, and you’ll have a much easier time driving it. An HD650 does not need me to adjust the volume as much, whereas an HD600 requires me to continually adjust and re-adjust the volume based on the source and its “on the cusp of being low” sensitivity.

I find it rather frustrating that the 600s don’t seem as receptive to constant volume levels at times. Once they have had a fair amount of burn-in time, you will be thoroughly impressed after around 50 hours. Once everything settles down, things open up considerably. In the end, the overall sound is focused and tightly in place, which produces a very clean signature.

Controls

There are no controls on HD 650 headphones. There is no control scheme or cable with an in-line remote on HD 600 headphones.

Noise Isolation 

Because they have an open-back design, the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones have poor noise isolation. There is no isolation in the bass range, where the rumble of airplane engines and bus engines resides.

They also do not achieve isolation in the mid-range, an essential range for blocking out speech. Their isolation in the treble range, where S and Ts are prominent, is slightly below average at 13dB.

As a result of their open-back design, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones offer poor noise isolation. They can’t achieve any isolation in the bass range, where you can hear the rumble of airplanes and buses. Furthermore, they do not achieve isolation in the mid-range, which is essential for blocking out speech.

As a result, in the treble range, where sharp S and Ts are prevalent, they isolate by about 13 dB, which is less than average. Their isolation performance is nearly identical to the HD 650.

Microphone

There is no microphone on these headphones, so the recording quality has not been tested.

Battery 

Batteries are unnecessary for these headphones since they do not contain any active components.

App Support

There is no dedicated, compatible app for customizing the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones.

Bluetooth

Hd 650 headphones do not have Bluetooth connectivity and are wired instead. Since they are wired, the HD 600 headphones have practically no latency. Unfortunately, they can only use the cables provided within a certain distance. Gaming and home-theater applications benefit from the wired connection’s minimal latency.

Price

These Sennheiser studio headphones are among the best at a reasonable price. Sennheiser HD 600 costs $399.95, while Sennheiser HD 650 costs $499.95.

The Sennheiser HD 600 on its own is a great choice and will do the job wonderfully, but if you’re willing to spend a little more for better performance, then the Sennheiser HD 650 might be a better option.

Is it worth the price to buy these headphones? The Sennheiser brand is quite well known for producing high-quality audio equipment. Although pricey, these studio headphones are highly durable and high-quality so they will last for years. Sennheisers will never let you down.

What’s In the Box?

Sennheiser HD 650

  • Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • 1/8″ to 1/4″ Adapter
  • Manual

Sennheiser HD 650

  • Sennheiser HD 600 headphones
  • Audio cable
  • 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter
  • Manual

You can read our Comparison Guides for:

Conclusion

Even though they aren’t much better than the HD 600, the HD 650 headphones from Sennheiser are slightly better. They have similar sound quality, though the HD 650 has slightly better bass and less treble. But it’s difficult to tell the difference by just listening. You can wear the HD 650 a bit longer than the HD 600 because they are more comfortable. Meanwhile, the HD 600 offers more value for your money while providing the same sound quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Sennheiser 650 worth it?

While Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are excellent for critical listening, they do not rate as the best headphones for everyday casual use. These headphones are comfortable and do not feel too tight on your head like the HD 600. The sound reproduction is open and caters to all tracks well.

Is HD 600 still good?

These are no-brainers at this pice for anyone who owns an OTL tube amp such as the bottlehead crack. They scale well with good amplifiers and have high impedance, so look for one that fits your system well. I’d say the HD600 is worthwhile, especially if you can find them for a reasonable price.

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