I currently own a HE400i and HD650; and I also like to listen to jazz. I wouldn’t want you to expect that one will perform better than the other in this genre and then be disappointed. Best to listen to both with some of your preferred reference recordings. Keep us posted.
I do like the HD 650 with the kiss mod. mcth and ember amp it well but the crack with my latest upgrades is heavenly. I have the HE4xx and enjoy them quite a bit along with the HD 598x? from Massdrop. Both are very good and versatile with different amps. Others interest me but I will not get anymore for a while, uh, I am in the kickstarter for the Verum1. Couldn’t resist the '60’s Jetsonesque styling and the excellent reviews.
I’m also on the Verum1 Kickstarter, looking forward to them… mostly because of how unique they are.
I own a set of HE-400S and they are smoother than the 400i. I had a chance to compare them and the 400S is the way to go if you are buying the HiFI Man HE-400 cans. The weakness of the 400S is in the bass. You can get a set of Focus or Focus A ear pads from HiFI Man and that helps on the low end. The addition of the Focus pads plus some equalization and the HE-400S is a beautiful listen.
The rest of the spectrum on the HE-400S is completely smooth and a joy to listen to. There is s slight hint in upper frequency grain if you listen very carefully but the HE-400S cans are much better than their asking price would indicate.
The HE-400S are light and easy to wear over long periods of time. It is very easy to enjoy their sound and a lot of people love these cans. The Inner Fidelity web site rated the HE-400S very high and prefered them over Sennheiser HD-600 or 650s due to their smooth and forward sound.
The HE-400S is also very easy to drive but I recommend that you use a good quality headphone amp for the best possible sound quality. Planar magnetic headphones can be power hungry but the HE-400S are pretty efficient. Here is the full review of the HE-400S as performed on Inner Fidelity: Inner FIdelity HE-400S review
PS. I don’t use my HE-400S any longer because I bought a set of Focal Clears. They are still a great set of headphones and for $300 you will have a really hard time finding anything better.
Regarding Sennheiser, is HD58x a good everyday hi fi headphone or is the 6xx worth waiting for? I finally sold my NAD VISO headphones and looking for a good open back pair under $300.
I’ve never heard the HD6XX. I used to own the HD600 and didn’t particularly care for it. I now own the HD58X and love it. Since buying it, I hardly use my other headphones.
I prefer the 58X to the 6xx, for me it just sounded better and had a little more warmth.
It depends on what you’re looking for. The HD58X is a more consumer friendly-sound signature with better bass extension in exchange for worse detail retrieval and midrange tonality. The HD58X is a solid option if you want one open headphone and would take bass over midrange but the HD650 is super special to me because its midrange is fantastic in a way not even most flagships can match.
The HD58X can be made to sound more detailed by bringing the bass down a bit, which can be done using the felt mod. I find that this does bump up clarity and detail by reducing masking from low frequencies, but I tend to prefer the stock tuning.
@pwjazz, you like jazz, right? Mids and highs are important in classic bop because there is so much horn work, but the saxophone and bass are important layers, too. I’m interested in the comments about timbre. That would seem to an important element for critical jazz listening.
Ah, I should try that later. Does that help the midrange at all? I just got a black silk HD600 to compare to the HD58X and I’m shocked at the midrange difference; the 600 pulls away pretty handily.
The felt mod reduces bass bleeding into the lower mids. Other than that though, I think the mids are pretty great.
@jflores476 I do love Jazz and the HD58X had very natural timbre. I’m picky not just about horns but also percussion, and the HD58X does very well with both. Freddie Hubbard’s Red Clay sounds excellent with these.
[EDIT] I should add that when properly amped (or at low volumes), I don’t hear any problem with bass bleeding into mids.
I have a DFB as my every day DAC/Amp and just got a Bravo Audio Ocean to try some tube rolling.
The Dragonfly helps most of my headphones but I’m still experimenting with the Bravo. So far, I find it adds warmth but maybe too much on some cans.
Yes, in terms of midrange at least.
I pulled the trigger on the HD58x! Wish me luck. I will write up impressions and maybe unboxing.
I currently own HD6XX, HD650, HD58X, used to own HD600 and have heard the HD660S quite a few times.
If you are like many of my friends who don’t want to deal with amps/DACs then the HD58X or HD660S would be my recommendation but if you are willing to find a decent/good OTL amp then the HD650/6XX would be my recommendation since to me and a few of my friends who have heard/compared them with the HD58X there is a bit of grain in the treble of the HD58X while the HD650/6XX and HD660S don’t have this grain or its much harder to notice.
Another thing I noticed is that the HD58X/HD660S sounds better IMO on SS or hybrid gear while the HD650/6XX sound better with a OTL amp like BH Crack, Elise, WA6 or EC ZDS.
It’s not the midrange, but I did notice some irregularities in the HD58X’s mid treble response. I’m playing around with EQ to smooth that out.
I don’t remember if you EQ, but if you do you might want to try this and see if it helps.
After a little trial use, I’m going to try the felt mod. I don’t have the tools to do precise measurements but I know what I like. My 58x shipped today so hopefully I’ll have some first impressions this weekend!