By Richard / Review, $301 - $400, Sennheiser, Neutral, Full Size / March 29, 2023

Sennheiser HD 600 Review

Sennheiser HD 600 Review's image

The reviewer is giving his honest experience with the product and was not paid to write a favorable article. The gear was purchased due to interest and enjoyment in quality of sound.

Tonal Balance / Neutrality10
Price / Performance Ratio9.5
Sound Fidelity10
Build Quality10
Bass Extension10
Bass Balance10
Treble Balance10
Treble Extension10
Bass Control10
Tone Density9.8
Macro Dynamics9.8
Micro Dynamics10
Sound Stage Width9.6
Sound Stage Depth9.8

The Sennheiser HD 600 is a headphone that has been in my memory ever since I started reading about HiFi, however, at the time, neutral meant bright or maybe even flat and nonmusical to me. I have sensitivity to treble and spent a lot of time with the HD 650 trying to find an ideal setup with a slightly warm yet detailed signature instead. 

The Sennheiser HD 600 is considered by many to be a headphone that is for audio purists. It’s a transparent signature that has a reputation for being the standard for high-fidelity listening. Sennheiser has also said that it’s a headphone that gives an impartial scale of everything in the audio chain.

HD 600 next to a bookshelf at an angle

If you prefer a more life-like presentation, there are more deeply resolving and layered, highly analytical, yet also fun headphones like the HE1000se, but the Sennheiser HD 600 stands as a great and highly musical headphone, if you don't mind the more faithful presentation. I can use the HD 600 when experimenting with different components in my chain; it helps me discern different characteristics in my chain and how they sound while still being really enjoyable.

I remember the HD 600 being on the market for around ~$200 dollars, but the price is now $399 retail, and ~$279 on sale on Amazon, which is what I got it for. 

The build quality of the HD 600 is top-tier and comfortable. The fit has been mentioned by Sennheiser as something they have worked tirelessly to achieve. When wearing the HD 600, I notice that it definitely feels secure, premium, and also lightweight. It’s snug but not too tight on my head and I can wear it comfortably for extended periods.

HD 600 next to a bookshelf at an angle

I’ve grown to enjoy neutral signatures like the HD 600 because I can experience music through the capability of the source components and experiment in a fashion to know my chain more, and what works for me.

The HD 600 is nimble, it's accurate and transparent, and the engagement depends on your source components. It can get incisive, more defined, airy, and more detailed in note definition when paired with the Topping D90SE, or it can be slightly warmer, still transparent, having a wider sense of stage, take on more holographic qualities in imaging in a more forward, tonally dense, and impactful in the notes when paired with the Audio-GD HE-7. Going further back in the chain, USB audio bridges like the Matrix Audio X-SPDIF-2 or Singxer SU-6 also affect the warmth or transparency of the sound. It's all dependent on your source components, and it isn't excessive in any region unless it's called for from your sources. If you can appreciate this kind of straightforward, from the source rendition, there is unlimited potential.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed the HD 600; it allows me to pinpoint nuances of the signature of my components; which parts need tweaking, which parts could use a little less or more, to suit my needs at the moment. It’s a good headphone to have because it’s meant for analytical listening, and I’ve recently become someone who has developed a taste for the purer detail retrieval, and the loss of musicality isn't a problem like I had previously thought, unless I'm doing direct comparisons.

I wasn't always inclined toward neutral, but I’m impressed with the HD 600; it’s a great headphone that is great for its versatility and its function of revealing the source of the playback and showing its liveliness; it takes on the character of your chain.

The note definition, in a sense, feels slightly softer, adding to the sense of space. The lack of coloration to the sound makes the notes more definable, and frequency extension can be lovely when you don’t have coloration affecting the stage, but this doesn't mean that some coloration in headphones like the HD 650 isn't great; about half of the time, it's preferred for me, I enjoy the more elevated engagement through the syrupy dynamics sometimes. It doesn't mean the HD 600 isn't bold, or less engaging; its tonal density is strong and it's resolute. The comparably swifter notes of the HD 600 allow more clarity and clearness in the stage while also accommodating with energy in the source.

My preconceptions of neutral signatures were pretty much shattered after hearing the HD 600. The detail coming through the presentation of the HD 600 can be a totally different experience in revealing sources in a satisfying way that I find to be highly fun to experiment with; you basically have a different headphone for every source component, and its transparent nature means you get it "as it is".

I don’t experience fatigue when listening with the HD 600, as it isn't super exacting for my treble-sensitive ears; it's slightly cozy and it manages to sound great while being an excellent headphone for unfiltered detail retrieval, making it a great all-rounder for my purposes. The HD 600 is a headphone that I believe offers unique value for many enthusiasts, and I feel it's in a class of its own for its utility to reveal and ability to be truly faithful to the source components.

Product link:

Cables: Worlds Best Cables (RCA Neutrik, RCA Amphenol)

Sources: Audio-GD HE-7 MK I, Schiit Modi Multibit, Yulong D18, Topping D90SE

Amplifiers: ampsandsound Nautilus, ampsandsound Kenzie OG Rev 2, Yulong A18

USB: Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2, Singxer SU-6


About the Author


Software Engineer by trade, always loved music, but discovered Hi-Fi in 2012. Decided that since interest in sound quality was growing, could share experience with different products.


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