Description: It has been 17 years since the Sennheiser HD 600 was released in 1997, and today it is still considered among the most important and best sounding headphones in the world. Find out why audiophiles cling to this now-classic technology.
From the first days of its launch back in 1997, the Sennheiser HD 600 was controversial. There was endless debate about its features and about how good it really was. Everyone admitted that it sounded great. But audiophiles are nothing if not nitpicky, and many nitpicked about so many aspects of the HD 600.
But now it has been almost two decades since it was released, and the industry has finally recognized the Sennheiser HD 600 for what it is—a great headphone that still sounds great even today. Audiophiles still look for it and say that it is still, even now, one of the best headphones in the world. This is the standard by which modern headphones are measured.
Sennheiser HD 600 Features
So what are these features which audiophiles appreciate and which makes these headphones a consistent favorite among audiophiles and sound mixers and engineers?
- High impedance at 300 ohms
- Open, dynamic design
- High-quality open metal mesh grilles
- Computer optimized neodymium ferrous magnet systems
- Extremely lightweight aluminum voice coils
- Detachable, Kevlar-reinforced, OFC copper cable
- Deep, oval-shaped, velour-covered earpads
- Painted blue speckled finish
- ¼ and ⅛ inch stereo jack plugs
- 2-year international warranty
Sennheiser HD 600 Pros and Cons
There’s a lot to say when it comes to the good things about the HD 600. First, there’s the sound. Oh my god the sound is glorious. Truly. If you are used to piddling earbuds or those headphones which are popular because of their looks, then the sounds you’ll hear will be beyond belief.
These are audiophile-grade headphones, and in truth the audiophiles themselves consider this among the best in the world. You will hear notes in perfect clarity even at low volume, after you break them in. The sound is quite warm, and it suits every type of music you will want to play. Whether it’s rock or classical, jazzy or acoustic, hip-hop or pop, it will sound great.
Look at it this way: imagine you’ve been watching your video tapes with your dinky 12-inch conventional TV. Now you can watch them in Blu-ray format on a 60-inch LED TV screen. That’s what it feels like when you listen to your old CDs with the HD 600.
Of course, comfort is crucial too, and most people find this very comfortable. It’s quite snug, but if you have a big head then you may want to stretch it out carefully a bit for a more comfy fit. It’s also quite cool, which makes it perfect for hot and humid climates.
The build quality is also impressive, which should be expected since it’s Sennheiser after all. The earliest models had some inferior contact springs, but those have since been corrected. If you happen to have an ear-piece connection problem just buy 4 units of the right part (#036205) at just 16¢ each.
In about 4 years, you’ll want to replace the earpads and the headband pads. Aside from these, the HD 600 can last for decades. Even its looks don’t seem to look outdated.
So is there anything wrong with the HD 600 at all? For the important stuff, there’s nothing to complain about. Of course, you can always complain about the price, especially if you have allotted only a hundred bucks or so for your headphones. The design is also definitely retro.
You can also point to the sub-bass response, which is just a teeny bit weak. It’s true that it’s not absolutely the best-sounding set of headphones in the world. Some headphones are just a little bit better-sounding—except that you’ll have to fork out a lot, lot, more for them.
You can always gripe about the characteristic flaw of the open system of the Sennheiser HD headphones. It’s not designed for privacy, and people near you can hear some of the sound from the cans.
This also means that it may not work as well as the Sennheiser DJ headphones which can block more club noises. And of course, if you just want to use this for your iPod, then there are cheaper alternatives. The sound quality of any song you listen to also depends on your amplifier, and if you just use these puny iPods then there’s no point at all.
Sennheiser HD 600 Customer Reviews
The customer response to the HD 600 is overwhelmingly positive. In fact, the tones of the reviews border on the ecstatic. The acclaim is virtually universal among customers. The majority, or I should say almost all the online reviews I went through were five stars and based on my experience, this is just outstanding. You can hardly find that kind of approval ratings for any electronic gadget with more than a hundred reviews.
Since just about every Sennheiser HD 600 review raves about the HD 600, the reviews seem like a thesaurus for the word “great”. You’ll encounter words such as “outstanding”, “incredible”, “fantastic”, and “unreal”. Also, you’ll get tired of reading how the HD 600 is the best pair of headphones the reviewer has ever owned or listened to.
If there’s any caveat to these reviews, it’s the fact that even non-audiophiles will recognize that the sound is extremely dependent on the source. You’ll need a good amplifier for this set of headphones to truly maximize your enjoyment.
Sennheiser HD 600 Price
You can pretty much buy a Sennheiser HD 600 these days by browsing online retailers for less than $400.
But the question is, should you? But that’s not a real question at all if you think about it. It seems almost rhetorical. But if you want a real answer then yes—even at $400. Hell, even at $500 this seems like a total bargain.
This is one of the best headphones in the world, and this is not just according to regular customers. This is the considered judgment of professional audiophiles who listen to music for a living and who know what they are talking about. In its price range, it is simply unmatched.
Having seen, purchased and tested very many headphones, I would highly recommend this one as it delivers for its price range. Factor in the superb build and the comfort they provide, and the value for money of the HD 600 is almost unbelievable. Those have been into headphones for even a short amount time and know a bit about features and price ranges, would totally understand and agree with what I am talking about.