Description: There was a time when the Sennheiser HD 650 was the absolute best in the Sennheiser lineup. But despite its decade-old design, it is still considered as one of the best headphones in the world in its price range (or any price range, for that matter).
It has been many years since the first Sennheiser HD 650 was launched back in 2003. New advancements in headphone technology have been introduced, and more versatile designs have been put forth. Yet many audiophiles still cling to their Sennheiser HD 650s for comfort. For them, it’s still the best when everything is considered.
Sennheiser HD 650 Features
So what kind of features are we talking about here? Just what is it about the HD 650 which makes so many discriminating music lovers unable to part with their decade-old accessory?
Let’s take a look at some of the features:
- Metallic silver finish
- 300 ohms impedance
- Total harmonic distortion at 0.05%
- User-replaceable, Kevlar-reinforced copper 9-foot Y cable, with a ¼ plug and a mini adapter
- Metal grills
- Velour padding
- Neodymium ferrous magnet system
- Can be connected to high-quality hi-fi components
- 2-year international warranty
Sennheiser HD 650 Pros and Cons
There are three crucial elements whenever you consider any set of headphones, and in each the HD 650 is superb.
The sound quality is excellent. There’s no question about that. The detail is amazing, the bass is quite full, and the sound seems relaxed and laid-back. Crank up the volume, and you won’t overwhelm it.
I should further emphasize, here’s the gist of the sound quality: once you get used to the HD 650 all the other headphones you’re likely to encounter will sound noticeably inferior. Yes, it’s that good.
It’s very comfortable. The best-sounding headphones in the world are ultimately useless if you can’t wear them for long in comfort. And that’s not a problem with the HD 650 (or in any of the Sennheiser HD headphones, for that matter).
It’s quite light, and the fit is snug. While you won’t forget that you are wearing headphones, it won’t bother you. The velour padding is also quite nice, and perfect for warmer climates, The sound quality also helps here. Because it’s warm and relaxing, you won’t succumb to music fatigue.
The design is quite durable. That characteristic is a Sennheiser trademark. The metal grills are much more durable than the HD 600’s, and you’ve got some flexible metal to work with if you want to stretch out the headband.
But for the most part, the overall build durability is enough for it to last for decades. The only thing you’ll need to replace is the padding, which may deteriorate every 5 years or so. Just don’t drop it too often, or you’ll dislodge the drivers sooner or later.
There are other great things about it too, such as the nice metallic silver look. But since you ought to use this just for your home, the look isn’t really important, is it?
Of course, it’s not perfect for some people. If you’re a DJ, then you’re better off with some of the other Sennheiser DJ headphones which can block out outside sound more effectively (and which also has ear cans which swivel).
If you want to use it in an airplane, then the open design will annoy your seatmate who may not appreciate your choice of music. And of course the bulkiness of the HD 650 doesn’t make it suitable for mobile use, especially when you’re out jogging.
In fact, the main gripe about the HD 650 is that it can seem too good. With these, you will know which of your CDs were poorly recorded. It’s like the zoom in high-def TV when you’ll see every pimple and blemish on the face of your favorite actress. Here; just about every recording sin will be exposed.
The price may also be somewhat problematic for some who may be on a tight budget. This is a top-of the line audiophile-grade set of headphones and not some dinky set of earbuds. This is for the people for whom sound clarity matters.
Finally, you can’t expect superb sound quality right away. You’ll have to break it in. But 50 hours of use should do it.
Sennheiser HD 650 Consumer Reviews
Out of the 212 (so far) reviews it has accumulated in Amazon, 163 them has given it the highest five-star rating. That’s about 77% of all the reviews. In contrast, there have only been 6 one-star reviews, and that’s not even 3%.
Most of the reviews on these ecommerce websites tend to fall into two possible categories. One type of Sennheiser HD 650 review is the one written by audio neophytes who dared buy them due to the reasonable price, since other audiophile-grade headphones can cost thousands of dollars. These reviews tend to offer unconditional praise—it’s the best they’ve ever listened to.
The other type of Sennheiser HD 650 review is a bit more analytical and written by those who’ve had a lot of experience listening through high-quality audio equipment. But after you read through them the conclusion is still the same—these Sennheiser HD headphones are really excellent.
Sennheiser HD 650 Price
So should you buy the HD 650? That depends. First you have to have the money for it. It costs less than $450, and that’s only if you buy them from Amazon. If you don’t then they retail for $500. In some places, it’s actually offered for $550.
Then there is the second consideration. Do you care about sound clarity? Are you that picky about the quality of the music you listen to? Do you want your movies to sound just as great as they look on your huge flat screen TV?
If you care about sound quality, and if you don’t plan to use it outside the home where you can bother other people, then the HD 650 is just right for you. You get superbly detailed sound for a reasonable price, while you wear it in comfort and in full confidence that it will last for a very long time. At around $450, it’s more than fair—it’s a bargain.