Open Headphones for Home Listening.
Sennheiser’s HD 650 is today considered a modern classic. It first hit the scene back in 2003 and has been beloved since. Rightly so. These open headphones have been developed for the enjoyment of audio at home, with so much thought and innovation put into the design and development of them, there’s hardly anything of note to taint them. Things start well with the box contents, with essential accessories like a three-metre symmetrical cable, dust-free storage box, plus a jack adapter (6.3mm to 3.5mm) included. What’s more, the oval ear pads found here can be changed easily for something more to your tastes or listening requirements. The same is also true of the headband.
Processing & Comfort
Sennheiser uses plastic to produce most parts here, but this still doesn’t steal away from the overall impression of high quality. Metal can be seen at places like the temples and cover grilles of the earpieces, adding a stripped-back aesthetic accent that definitely appeals. Individual components can be replaced relatively easily should you encounter defects and damages over time, with nothing integral to anything else. The cable sockets grip tightly and securely, while the cable itself boasts a good level of flexibility. The cable terminates in a long blade connector that might seem a little antiquated today, but still proves its worth and practicality. The same applies to the 300 Ohm impedance you’ll find here. With a weight of around 270 grams, these headphones aren’t too heavy, although you can expect a degree of contact pressure courtesy of the mounting brackets of the earpieces. It’s not notably uncomfortable, but if you’re unfamiliar with this model, it will take a little getting used to. The HD 650 is still generally considered a comfortable option. The receiver is open in both directions, while high volume levels mean incoming audio can often be heard loudly to outside ears.
Sound capabilities of the HD 650 are legendary. Again, this is rightfully deserved. It’s a sound that’s shaped the listening of a generation of audiophiles, with a fine resolution that’s complemented by warm and inviting mid tones. The foundation and lower midrange are both present and slightly emphasised to produce this agreeable audio effect. Things might not be completely neutral, but the tuning here is beyond credible and bound to captivate. Basses go without an overemphasis here, at least in the upper bass range. With the lower bass range, however, things run out of steam somewhat. The warmer quality of these headphones means that the virtual stage is presented relatively intimately and in close proximity, so there’s a sense of airiness that is lacking. However, the positions and contours of individual sound sources are clearly outlined. Pieces of music with small instruments and acoustic input will tend to benefit from this. For more modern genres and tracks favoured by younger listeners, there might be a touch of aggressiveness and punch missing from the final product, with the HD 650 sometimes seeming a touch too soft in areas where more action is called for.
With its finely balanced, warm and relaxed sound, these Sennheiser headphones are bound to hit the spot. A colourful approach to audio never grates or tests your nerves, with the HD 650 still the standard recommendation for music fans listening to all genres and styles. It saps the aggressive character from more modern productions to an extent, but blossoms when playing quieter, more reserved recordings. As an open listener with a high impedance, this is a headphone designed with a key focus on those listening from home via their home stereo systems. Bear this in mind, and there’s no reason why you should have a bad time with these iconic headphones.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 39.500 Hz
- Impedance316,1 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)94,7 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head818,5 g
- Weight with cable346 g
- Weight without cable269 g
- Cable length300 cm
What's in the box
- 6.3/3.5 mm stereo jack plug
- Storage box