Sennheiser 600, 650, 660s to analyze bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ics1974, Aug 28, 2020.


  1. ics1974

    ics1974

    Apr 13, 2012
    If anyone owns any of these headphones can you please let me know how clearly you can hear bass guitar in a mix. I want to analyze bass for transcription using one of these headphones but not sure if they are good enough.
     
  2. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I use the HD600s. I have no problem hearing bass. I REALLY like the 600s.

    I *do* know that some reviewers have recommended an appropriate headphone preamp to drive the 600s and 650s. You may want to assess your existing equipment to see if you'll get the most out of those headphones.
     
  3. ics1974

    ics1974

    Apr 13, 2012
    Is there a lot of clarity in the bass? how clear can you hear bass lines that are a little buried in the mix?
    Is the bass punchy?
     
  4. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Depends on the song and the specific mix, I guess. But generally speaking, I've had no problems.

    Give me an example of a song that you think might be difficult to hear bass - I'll give it a listen for you and report back.
     
  5. ics1974

    ics1974

    Apr 13, 2012
    How about AC/DC "Hell's bells"? I really appreciate this.
     
  6. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    No problem - have that in my library already....queuing it up.
     
  7. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I can hear the bass perfectly on that song with these headphones - incl. the subtle little runs at the end of each chorus.

    Edit - so we're clear, I'm listening to the mp3 I downloaded from iTunes. Headphones are plugged into an SSL2+ interface. No EQ.

    I'd do a comparison test with cheaper headphones, but my spares are at my jam space right now.
     
    Oddly likes this.
  8. ics1974

    ics1974

    Apr 13, 2012
    Excellent! Thanks again for helping. I am really interested in these headphones now
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  9. ics1974

    ics1974

    Apr 13, 2012
    One last question. In bass heavy songs can you "feel" the punch of the bass?
     
  10. Ryno1330

    Ryno1330 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2020
    I can check out Hell's Bells on My HD650s in a little while for you.

    I will tell you though that I have extremely sensitive hearing and a good analytical ear and as such have ditched many headphones due to issues with either a hyped bass response/too muddy or harsh treble frequencies.

    @MDBass suggested the 650s for this reason for tracking and mixing and I love them. I actually like to slip them out of my studio and listen to music with them on my phone (with a lossless format like Quboz) because it's incredible - like listening to studio monitors.

    The bass is present but as it should be. It's not artificially hyped and the low-mids aren't pushed for extra punch. The treble is detailed but not harsh. I'm sure the 600s are also great. I will mention that they aren't huge headphones (and I have a pretty large head - hat size of 7 1/2) so I have worn more comfortable sets. They do stretch over time though.
     
    MDBass, Relayer71 and DirtDog like this.
  11. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    In that tune, for me, the snare and kick have the "punch", the bass sits, well-rounded and very clear and smooth in the spaces between the kick and snare. I'd characterize the bass as "well-defined" in that mix. It has a little bit more "relative" punch in the bridge after the second chorus where the guitars and drums come down a bit. The bass defines that part. But again, well rounded and clear.

    The nice thing about the mix in that tune is the guitars generally are panned and separated (eq'd) nicely. Incredible mix, really. But I would have expected nothing else by that point in their recording career. Brad Samuelsohn, the mix engineer, had just come off mixing the Stone's Emotional Rescue album which, to me, was a bass and drum heavy kind of album (for the Stones).
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
    ics1974 likes this.
  12. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    @ics1974 - was just reading in another thread about you considering the A-T ATX-M40 or M50s.

    I've got a set of M50s as my "tracking and practicing" headphones. Closed back so somewhat better sound isolation. Used 'em for years. Then I tried to start mixing when them. Less than great results.

    Those cans are bumped a bit in the bass freqs, so I was looking for headphones that has less bass baked in. Hence the HD600s - with a flatter frequency response curve and noticeably less bass freqs baked in. I was set on HD650s, but I saw these at deep discount at a local shop last year so I nabbed 'em.

    So, if you DO want some hyped up bass to better pick out those freqs, the ATX-M40 or M50 might be a better option for you. But like another response in that other thread said, it might make it muddier.

    Now I really want to do a head to head comparison of the HD400 to the ATX-M50 and see how "Hell's Bells" sounds! Hypothesis being that the cheaper, bassier headphones will result in a muddy bass listening experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
  13. ics1974

    ics1974

    Apr 13, 2012
    I would love to know your results.
     
  14. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    I can partially offer some advice, as I'm kinda in the same boat. I use the HD 280's because they offer a neutral listing experience designed for studio mixing. They have an impedance of around 60 ohms and have a tight flat response for bass. My question is what is your listening source?

    One route I took for my rig was a good sound card for my PC. I'm currently using an Asus Xonar Essence STX II for my sound card and plan on using an op-amp upgrade through Burson Audio. If I'm doing recording playback, I use my Focusrite Pro 40's while working in Presonus. I've found that having a good playback source really helps. The HD 600 and 650 are currently on my list of headphones but only because they are rated at 300 ohm's and my sound card can drive just about any can's on the market. However, I would classify those more as "premium recreational listening" cans, and not exactly working headphones. The Sony MDR 7506 are fantastic reference headphones if paired with a good source.
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    What associated gear are you using that you plug your headphones into. I think someone asked this already but you have not provided this crucial information.
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  16. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I would do it today, but those headphones are in my guitarist's basement a half hour away. And I'm currently in hardcore distancing mode.

    I have a pair of even older Sony headphones around here somewhere. I'll poke through some boxes but no promises!
     
  17. scowboy likes this.
  18. Scott Shaw

    Scott Shaw

    Jun 6, 2019
    39601
    I bought some Beats wireless ear buds to use at the gym, and they sound really good. They definitely have a bump in the low end, but a flattering one. Makes it very easy to pick out the bass line. I think the whole Beats line emphasizes bass frequencies. Might be worth a look.
     
  19. StuStu

    StuStu

    Apr 1, 2016
    SWFL
    I've been happy with my HD600 pair. As others have mentioned, how you power them matters....a lot.
     
    Raw N Low likes this.
  20. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    HD580, 600 and 650/660 have great low end resolution. As long as you have a decent headphone amp (stand alone or in a receiver/integrated amp).

    I don't love mixing with them because they tend to have more resolution than most speakers out there. So it can sound magical on the Sennheiser but not great on a regular stereo. May be just me. I'm no recording expert. I do know what sounds good and have a lot invested in playback systems.
     
    Relayer71 likes this.
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