Sennheiser HD600 HD650 HD660S Analysis

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    On the topic of old vs new versions... (note: the following are not my own photos)

    Here are some earlier HD580 drivers:
    [​IMG]

    And then here are some later ones:
    [​IMG]

    And then here are some HD600 drivers:
    [​IMG]

    I've disassembled HD650 before and all HD650 drivers are closer to the style of the HD600 drivers shown above.

    So yeah, the magnet assembly is a bit different in some HD580s. I've seen HD600 headphones with the same style magnets (gold/brass/copper ring in the middle), which I'm guessing are actually just HD600 shells housing some older/earlier HD580 drivers (didn't disassemble those so I have no idea, I'm just guessing). HD580/600 are interchangeable. Don't think I've measured much difference in FR between the different magnet styles, but I didn't dive that deep into distortion figures.

    That might be worth investigating if anyone has the time.
     
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  2. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Contributing some measurements here:

    Frequency Response:

    HD660S_fr.png

    Distortion Right:

    HD660S_distortion_right.png

    Distortion Left:

    HD660S_distortion_left.png

    CSD Right:

    HD660S_csd_right.png

    CSD Left:

    HD660S_csd_left.png

    Comparo with HD600s:

    HD660S_vs_HD600.png

    There are some differences. But it's not much IMO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Distortion profile on right driver (comparison between HD660S and HD600):

    HD600:

    HD600_distortion_right.png

    HD660S:

    HD660S_distortion_right.png

    It seems to me this particular HD660S exhibits a little more distortion than my particular HD600.
     
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  4. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Finally got around to trying out the HD660S in full today. Was only able to listen a wee bit here and there before. Here are some basic impressions vs my modded HD650:

    - More neutral sounding in the lowest and highest areas of the spectrum. Sounds more similar to the HD650 than the HD600. But relative to the HD650, can sound a bit weak in the low-end and a bit splashy and bright in the high-end.

    - Bass quality sounds similar to that of a stock HD650. A bit softer and less defined than the modded HD650. Doesn't help that the HD660S clearly has less bass, so it sounds softer and leaner. The HD660S sounds more constrained and less dynamic too.

    - HD660S sounds sharper, clearer, and faster. Less veiled. No way around it. This makes some things pop and sound more detailed. But if you listen closely, you can hear that some musical nuances are buried relative to the modded HD650. And the HD650 just sounds more coherent and "together" than the HD660S, which sounds less refined and rougher.

    - The HD650 is not known for having a grand sounding stage. Mods help, but it's still an HD650. It sounds open but somewhat as if on a flat-plane. The HD660S is even worse in this regard, as it sounds rather forward and claustrophobic in comparison. So, in comparison, the HD650 has a more "grand" sound to it, and more lush at that.

    Still, lets be honest. I could easily see someone preferring the HD660S to the HD650 or HD600. They all do things differently. Yeah, it might not have the nuance of its brothers, but some might very well prefer the tone on the HD660S and leave it at that. It's more neutral than the HD650 without having the hot upper-mids like the HD600. And, even then, I still think the HD660S has a very solid level of performance, better than most headphones out there. Most headphones suck compared to the HD660S.

    On the other hand, this is obviously some sort of cash grab on Sennheiser's end. They tried to market this as some sort of successor to the HD650, and it's not, really. It's a great headphone compared to most, but there are also some downsides to it that I'd say make it a slight tier below the HD600/650 but above the HD5XX line. And seeing as one can easily mod the noticeable cheaper HD650 or HD6XX to get the same sort of sound as the HD660S, the question becomes, "Why?"

    So, in a market without the HD600 or HD650, sure, the HD660S is pretty damn good. And even with those two, it's still a great headphone...just not quite as good. I can try to reason back and forth, but I ultimately come back to thinking that this is a headphone without a real need or purpose, and that everyone considering it should instead just buy an HD650 and mod it.

    I put this in a status update a few days ago, but here is my picture-based review of the HD660S:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  5. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Measurements for the HD660S. All of these will be directly compared to my personally modded HD650. I used the HD660S pads on both headphones to reduce pad wear being a variable in differences. The pads I use on the HD650 are rather worn and need to be replaced...eventually...(or maybe I like that sound...):

    Frequency response shows the HD650 has about 1-2dB more lower-mids and bass, starting around 200Hz. Yes, the HD650 digs a bit deeper because of this, but, no, not everyone will like this, because the bump starts in the lower-mids.

    Interestingly enough, the HD660S seems to have more cohesive treble, whereas the HD650 has that 5KHz bump and slightly rolled treble after that. Yet, to me, the HD650 sounds smoother, more coherent, and more refined from the midrange up compared to the HD660S.

    HD660S FR vs HD650 Hands Mod.png


    Distortion profiles look very similar (1KHz at 90dB). My modded HD650 does have a bit less bass distortion, but, still, neither headphone is excellent here.

    HD660S Left Channel Distortion.png HD650 Hands Mod Left Channel Distortion.png


    HD660S CSD results actually look quite good. You can see some resonance and ringing, but it's rather clean. When we drop the floor to -45dB, however, we can see some lower-level ringing and resonances up till about 5KHz.

    HD660S Left CSD -35dB.PNG HD660S Left CSD -45dB.PNG


    The HD650 looks somewhat similar with a -35dB floor, but it's a bit cleaner overall even with a greater 5KHz bump. But when we drop down to -45dB, the HD650 is clearly the cleaner headphone of the two. In fact, the HD650 always has consistently very impressive CSD results. While some may complain about the tonal balance and "veil," it's obvious the relatively coherent and smooth frequency response, very low distortion, and very clean CSD all contribute to why the HD650 is so tough to beat in many regards.

    HD650 Hands Mod Fresh Pads -35dB CSD.PNG HD650 Hands Mod Fresh Pads -45dB CSD.PNG
     
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