The Sennheiser HD 600 has been a popular enclosed hi-fi classic from the German manufacturer for over 20 years. The headphones are now available in an updated edition. Read for yourself how the new version performed in our test.
Clear – timeless – easy to service
The contents of the HD 600 package are straightforward. In addition to the headphones themselves, all you need is the cable with a stereo mini-jack plug, the adapter and the operating instructions.
The revised shape and black-grey colouring of the headphones underline the clean lines of its simple, timeless design. The oval over-ear shells of the HD 600 are anatomically adapted and the ear cushions are replaceable. On the backs of the open ear-cups, metal grills open the way for incoming sound vibrations.
The retractable cable, about 3 metres long, is made of low-oxygen copper, surrounded by a Kevlar fibre sheath. Optional accessories include symmetrical cables, optionally with XLR or 4.4 mm jack plugs. Should the headband cushion wear out, it can be replaced by Sennheiser servicing, so you don’t need to buy new headphones.
Tried & Tested
From a technical point of view, Sennheiser made no changes to the HD 600 model from 2019, so it is identical to its predecessor. The transmission ranges from 12 Hz to 40.5 kHz (manufacturer’s specification), which puts these headphones in a great position. The impedance of 306.85 Ohm (average), which characterises them as genuine hi-fi headphones, is primarily designed for use with headphone amps of corresponding power. These headphones are powered accordingly and output a maximum sound pressure level of a not-too-high 93.1 dB SPL.
Comfort meets convenience
The size adjustment of the headband is notched so that once set, the size is retained even after you take them off. The contact pressure of the headphones – which weigh approx. 250 g without the cable – is medium. Soft velour ear cushions on rotating and swivelling ear cups, a padded headband covered with fabric and a medium contact pressure make the HD 600 comfortable to wear. However, unplugging and connecting the interchangeable cable requires an inconvenient combination of strength and intuition. The adapter is screwed on so that it is guaranteed not to remain in the headphone amplifier when the cable is removed.
Sennheiser promise an uncoloured sound that conveys three-dimensionality and naturalness, and I am immediately thrilled by the openness of its output spatial impression. This Sennheiser model convinces me, starting with the stereo impression, continuing with good depth gradation, up to the appealingly detailed resolution of the audio signal. This is mainly due to its combination of fine, airy trebles and the not too unobtrusive mid-range. Nevertheless, due to this sound pattern, guitar-heavy music, such as rock and metal, should be listened to with caution to avoid bringing on ear fatigue.
In the bass range, the 2019 HD 600 is still discreet, but still well-positioned. Here it offers large reserves, which can be used by switching on the bass boost or the equaliser. These over-ears reproduce even the deepest sub-basses loudly and distortion-free up to high volume ranges. At the other end of the frequency spectrum, too, super-high frequency reproduction can easily be driven to its peak.
The 2019 version of the Sennheiser HD 600 is still a classic that does not differ from its predecessor in terms of technical data. The new version also impresses with its natural sound, which is minimally middle-heavy and offers enormous reserves in bass and treble. In combination with its great wearing comfort, the HD 600 is suitable for long hi-fi sessions. It is best suited for genres which are not quite so guitar-heavy, such as pop, classical, jazz and speech productions. It is also a promising candidate for playback of your favourite TV series or streaming channels. Measured by the quality of its relatively neutral sound, the Sennheiser HD 600 remains a classic and a real bargain in 2019.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)12 - 40.500 Hz
- Impedance306,85 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)93,1 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head767 g
- Weight with cable295 g
- Weight without cable250 g
- Cable length300 cm