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Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Headphone Review


In this Sennheiser HD 650 Review, I hope to provide a balanced perspective of a product that is hailed as one of the top performers in the audio equipment industry. I have had my fair share of the audio device world, including products such as Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and M40x, Oppo PM-3, and Philips Fidelio M1MKII,

I must say the HD 650 stands out among its peers. For those considering the HD598 as an alternative, I can certify that the step to the 6xx series, particularly the HD 650, is a justifiable improvement – and a journey worth plunging into.

Performance and Price Value

Without an air of exaggeration, the Sennheiser HD 650s justifies its current Amazon price of $315.99, making them the best all-around headphones you can buy without emptying your wallet. In my humble opinion, they are the BMW 5-series of the headphone world. While there are bigger, faster, and more expensive options, these remain the gold standard. They perform incredibly well, and if paired with a dedicated amp, you’ll appreciate the finesse and craftsmanship even more.

Audiophile Verdict – HD650 vs HD600

A comparison of these two products revealed that the HD650 Clings the crown for its all-around performance. The HD600 does exceedingly well with detailed sound on good recordings, but its performance varies with the quality of the recording. Conversely, HD650 delivers consistent performance across genres and preserves musicality regardless of the sound quality of the recording.

Amp Recommendations

Pairing the HD650 with an amp opens another world of ‘audiophile’ enjoyment. I particularly like the Aune B1 Class A Portable Phone/Headphone Amplifier. Alternatively, you could tackle the highest tiers of audiophile enjoyment and look into methods of scalability involving better amps or even rewiring your headphones. However, you’ll be plunging into a greater depth of investment.

Do You Need an Amp with the HD 650s?

While it is not necessary, amplifying such exquisite headphones amplifies the experience. Without an amplifier, although still impressive, the headphones may struggle with more complex pieces such as classical and jazz, detailing that is effortlessly highlighted with proper amplification. Not using an amplifier is likened to buying a beautiful painting and not framing it, so why not eliminate all the nuances this device offers?

Sennheiser HD 650 Headphone

Sound Description

Sennheiser HD 650s offers a rich, natural, musical, effortless, and clean sound. It is harmonious and well-mannered, giving a smooth finish to audio rendering. It fits the description of a fine wine, broad-shouldered with the right balance across the sound spectrum. Vocals in music tracks especially stand out, making you feel like you are hearing your favorite songs for the first time, a breathtaking effect.

Room for Improvement

It’s worth noting that despite all the overwhelming positives, the HD650 struggles a bit with volume handling without an amp. The headphone’s performance slightly dips when presented with ‘easy music’ recordings, such as Pop and Rock, without being powered by an external amp. More complex music genres with a wide dynamic range, like Classical and Jazz, could use the additional boost from an amplifier to fully experience the capabilities of this headphone.

Comfort and Other Considerations

Comfort-wise, the Sennheiser HD 650 does a marvelous job. They are light, and their large oval cups accommodate even the largest ears. The clamping force is also just right, balancing fit and comfort. However, I must also point out that 300-ohm headphones require a pretty good amp, so that is something you will need to consider.

Pros and Cons


  • Great price-performance ratio
  • Great overall sound quality
  • Pairs well with external amps
  • Pristine and powerful vocal rendering
  • Consistent performance across a variety of genres


  • Struggles with complex pieces without an amplifier

Final Words

A comparison with other headphones in the same price range puts the Sennheiser HD 650s at the top. SmIt pairs and musicality are key strengths of these headphones. If you desire an audiophile experience that digs into the soul of music while sacrificing a few sharp details, these are your best bet.


The Sennheiser HD650 is a game-changer headphone that genuinely deserves acclaim. It optimizes the audio hobby experience, offering value for every dollar spent. While it may not be your style, its refinement, artistry, and value make it a remarkable headphone of choice.

Bass Response
The HD 650 doesn't disappoint when it comes to the reproduction of low-end frequencies. This headphone skillfully handles the bass, balancing it well without overpowering other elements of the sound. However, the bass might slightly lack impact on some complex tracks.
Treble Detail
With regard to higher frequencies, the headphones exhibit a commendable level of crispness and clarity. However, the treble can sometimes be piercing with the wrong amplifier setting, requiring careful adjustment for a more comfortable listening experience.
Midrange Clarity
The headphones excel in delivering clear and natural-sounding vocals and instruments, which reside in the midrange frequencies. Particularly, the capacity of the HD 650 to spotlight vocals is remarkable, as they stand out clearly and powerfully from the background, making you feel like you're hearing your favourite songs for the first time.
Sound Quality
The Sennheiser HD 650 offers a majestic and wonderful auditory experience, marked by a rich, natural, and musical sound. These headphones produce phenomenal sound across a wide range of recordings and genres, flawlessly spotlighting vocals and delivering them with incredible clarity and power from a near-silent background.
Comfort & Fit
The HD 650 fits securely on the head and stays put during movements. While the initial clamping force may feel a bit strong, it lessens over time, thus contributing to prolonged comfort.
Build Quality & Durability
The build quality of the Sennheiser HD 650 is apparent in its modular construction, which facilitates easy disassembly. Complementing this structural stability is its attractive aesthetic, featuring a nice clear-coat finish that sparkles subtly around sunlight. Furthermore, the headphones promise durability, further reinforcing their overall value.
Soundstage Imaging
The HD 650 produces a wide soundstage that enhances the overall listening pleasure, but doesn't significantly expand cramped recordings. The headphones demonstrate superior sonic columns reserved for vocals, granting a spacious and immersive sound field as though watching a live performance.
Noise Isolation
While it doesn't entirely eliminate external noise, the passive noise isolation capability of the HD 650 is decently effective, enough to provide an engaging, distraction-free listening session in somewhat noisy environments.
Value for Money
Despite the high price tag, the Sennheiser HD 650 offers an impressive value proposition with its exemplary sound performance, durability, and comfort. Regardless of the initial investment, these headphones suffice the need for a refined aural experience without leading you to continually upgrade your gear, offering a remarkable return on investment.
Total Score
Rating Summary
The Sennheiser HD 650 is beyond ordinary; they're captivating, splendidly crafted headphones that invite you to a unique auditory jaunt you'll find yourself wanting to revisit time and again. Gifted with an alluringly rich and melodious sound, they bring forth an experience that makes music more than just an audible treat. Their response to both low-end and midrange frequencies leaves nothing to be desired, adding depth and authenticity to your favourite tracks. The treble, while requiring caution, beautifully complements the entire soundstage to provide a comprehensive listening sensation. The headphones adhere snugly on the head, assuring long-wearing comfort, backed up with a sturdy, modular build exuding elegance. The spacious soundstage is a cherry on the top, augmenting your sound encounters into 3D experiences. Furthermore, the HD 650 blocks a decent amount of ambient noise passively, allowing for a more immersive listening stretch. Considering the price-point, these headphones might seem steep at first glance, but they are undoubtedly a worthy investment for a durable high-grade audio ally. To put it simply, the Sennheiser HD 650 transforms music into an all-encompassing experience. While they might not be perfect, they get pretty close in delivering superior sound quality and comfort, ensuring that you get your money's worth in every possible way.