Sennheiser HD660S2 Measurements: The Clone Wars

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Mar 1, 2024.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Subjective impressions and other measurements here in this thread: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...on-to-be-controversial-hd-660s2-thread.13205/

    Sennheiser HD660S2 (New Pads)
    Frequency Response
    (compensated to DF 1/db downward slope)
    upload_2024-3-1_9-14-6.png

    Let's compare to HD650 and JAR600 below. Measurements are mostly consistent with my concise subjective impressions here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...sial-hd-660s2-thread.13205/page-4#post-425945. A summary:

    • HD600S2 is more full bodied (or has less bass hump depending how we want to look at it)
    • HD600S2 is recessed in upper mids
    • The funky thing that I mentioned (subjective): HD600S2 has more edge or is more prickly than either JAR600/HD650. The measurements show HD660S2 to have less treble overall from 7-10kHz, but why is this? Could be be the 5.5kHz peak? Let's look at CSD and Burst Attack Envelope later...
    • Measurements alone would suggest that the JAR600 would be more difficult in the highs than the HD660S because the JAR600 has a bump around 8kHz, but I actually found the JAR600 to be more even sounding, less prickly, less edgy, than the HD600S2.
    Sennheiser HD660S2 -vs- HD650 (WHT)
    Frequency Response
    (compensated to DF 1/db downward slope)
    upload_2024-3-1_9-14-35.png

    Sennheiser HD660S2 -vs- JAR600 (WHT)
    Frequency Response
    (compensated to DF 1/db downward slope)
    upload_2024-3-1_9-16-33.png
     
  2. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    I fully expect the 5kHz peak to be a resonance / ridge in the CSDs with resulting overshoot and ringing in the burst response.

    Does it sound smoother than the old HD660S? Comparing against a JAR600 is maybe a bit unfair. Is it smoother than a stock HD600 from memory?

    Still looks like it has those HD700 driver type issues. Hopefully less bass distortion this time around.
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    From a tonal signature and transient response perspective, the HD660S2 sound worse! I actually like the tonal response of the HD660S (just a bit of 2kHz weirdness, but minor complaint really).

    upload_2024-3-2_10-28-56.png

    ^ The 4800Hz attack envelope is probably explains what I did not like about it: edge and prickliness. It's not a pleasing pattern based on available data. Will explain a bit more down below.

    Here is the HD660S (OG)
    upload_2024-3-2_10-31-51.png

    LCD#2
    upload_2024-3-2_10-32-13.png
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Naturally burst attack envelope will not explain everything (it's important look at FR, CSD, distortion, and many others to get a more complete picture). However, I thought I should offer these comparisons.

    I think the overall smoothness - the more gradual rise and descent) of the burst amplitude in the HD600S and HD600S2 (to a lesser extent) do make them less annoying (in the highs / transients) than the HD700's transient attack behavior, which is more sudden.

    hd660s2trans.jpg
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    They need Axel Grell back. They need to get their shit together. Sennheiser could have come up with a proper e-stat solution that offered better flexibility. They could have done so and priced it at $7k and sold thousands of them. Instead they decided to go full stupid and make a 911 GT3RS (which BTW no one gets at MSRP, unless they've purchased $1M worth or Porsches at a local dealer). Talking about the HE-1 system made of marble. Heck, they could have just re-released the HE90 which was a better e-stat headphone than the HE-1.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    HD660S2 L
    CSD
    upload_2024-3-2_10-54-32.png

    HD660S2 R
    CSD
    upload_2024-3-2_10-51-50.png
     
  7. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    It's actually impressive how it's got MORE edge than the RS2 with TTVJ pads. The HD660S2 has a WAY higher peak at 4800Hz and persists for longer before beginning to settle, like damn:

    [​IMG]

    The 6kHz doesn't ring nearly as much as expected, but yeah that still looks rough. I don't think you've shared CSDs of the HD600 or HD650 (either stock or modded) where it goes down to 20Hz like with the more recent CSDs, or maybe I just missed them? Would be curious to see if the low end gets "filled in" too, which would imply perceived bass could be greater than FR implies.
     
  8. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    I do not have the time spent with an HD650 modded or not. I’ve spent even less with the HD600. I’ve spent somewhat more now with the 660S2, and I really enjoy it. I feel like that going from my poor memory, that it does everything the stock Senns do, but better. Maybe the mods make the difference. With the caveat that I got mine from Sweetwater for $399, I’m going to say that out of the box, they are the best of the 600 series. Just my opinion. I listen to mine on an OG BF2 with a SW51+.

    Edit: Any newbs reading, @purr1n knows far, far more than I about these headphones so bear that in mind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    It's where the peak lies. A sharp peak at the first line I don't find annoying. Any sort of bump that lasts on the second line is where I find the highs glarely, prickly, or edgey to varying extent.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Very nice distortion characteristics though with the driver - to dynamic driver standards. Second harmonic > third harmonic which is nice, increasing at higher SPL in the lows.

    HD660S2 Distortion Surface - Second Harmonic
    upload_2024-3-8_10-56-5.png

    HD660S2 Distortion Surface - Third Harmonic
    upload_2024-3-8_10-56-50.png
     
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  11. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    This actually is kinda surprisingly good, not sure what else I was expecting given Sennheiser's recent track record for measurements-riding. Nothing in the crapfactor area worthy of note?
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    D4 below, rest of crap factor, that is higher harmonics are clean and not worth showing. Typical Sennheiser, they good at this.

    upload_2024-3-8_11-22-53.png
     
  13. chesebert

    chesebert Friend

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    “The funky thing that I mentioned (subjective): HD600S2 has more edge or is more prickly than either”

    This was my experience as well. Unit variation helps to a certain extent. I had 2 660S2 and 1 was nicer/lesser annoying than the other, which sounded like auto tune on steroids with female vocals.
     
  14. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Curious that there's that much variance among Senn headphones, but makes sense I think since even the HD800 line was subject to the same. Same pads used between units, and same chains?
     
  15. chesebert

    chesebert Friend

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    Both new units and same chain. Unit variation is not anything new with cans.
     
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  16. kman1211

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    Thanks for these measurements, I was wondering why the headphone sounded like it had such an edge to it’s treble despite being quite dark sounding to my ears. I think it sounds a bit artificial in the vocals, it was fun to listen to at first but starting to have mixed feelings about the S2, they didn't go the right direction from the S1. My HD 600 and HD 650 are much better than it in terms of vocal reproduction. My Beyer T1.3 has better and more organic vocal reproduction as well despite its unconventional tuning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2024

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