Sennheiser HD650 Measurements
Dekoni Audio is pleased to share a “deep dive” look into our Sennheiser HD 6XX line of Earpads, specifically tuned to elevate your listening experience.
We start with comfort, using our soft, high density, slow rebound memory foam for an extra plush experience that conforms to the shape of your face (and accommodates glasses stems). Like all our earpads, they are offered in a wide range of fabric options, including Elite Sheepskin, Elite Fenestrated Sheepskin, Elite Velour, and our Elite Hybrid pads. We also have just added HD 6XX pads in our new Choice Leather and Choice Suede. We ensured the pads mount just as securely as the stock pads – these pads will fit the HD 660 S, HD 6XX, HD 58X Jubilee, HD 650, and HD 600. Finally, we shaped and measured the pads to tune the sound and share a preview of how they sound compared to stock pads.
In our measurements, we use the measurement data from the headphone coupled with the realistic ears of our microphone dummy head. We have been fortunate to have acquired a certain well-known Audio Precision-based measurement rig, and will continue to keep the measurements coming! The data is presented raw and uncompensated, except to cancel out the ear response of our microphone dummy head, and it’s the average data from 5 slightly different seatings of the headphone. Some measurements by others are made without headphones actually sitting on ears, or with adjustments to reflect the effect that the shape of a generic inner and outer ear will have on the sound waves – we don’t do that, because as every experienced audio enthusiast knows, we all have different ears! So, as part of a series of Dekoni Describes posts, we will walk our readers through understanding our graphs.
The first thing to understand about an uncompensated graph is that it will sound different to the listener than the graph will show. For one, we haven’t smoothed our graphs, so there are many peaks and valleys that would have been lost information, but also there are other factors, such as the effect from the earcups and pads resting against a head and around ears, the human ear’s extra sensitivity to vocals, and that the shape of our ears and depth of our ear canals can actually amplify certain frequencies. For the purposes of swapping earpads, it is enough to say that a flat line along the 0 dB line wouldn’t sound “good” on these uncompensated graphs, a dip in the midrange is to be expected since human ears are more sensitive to that region, and mainly we want to focus on how a Dekoni pad compares to the Stock pad. With our measurements, we used the well-known HD 650, which comes Stock with Sennheiser’s velour pad.
We use supple, natural Sheepskin that is the softest and most breathable available today, available in solid or Fenestrated. With our solid Sheepskin, overall we see a similar frequency response curve shape as stock, except the bass response is stronger relative to the rest of the frequencies than before. Great for anyone who felt the HD 650 was a little flat, and could use a touch of excitement (and leather)!
Our Fenestrated (French for “windowed,” it has little holes in it) Sheepskin is also a bit bass-stronger than stock, except the bass boost isn’t as strong as the solid Sheepskin and the upper mids/treble rise is a little more subdued. One thing the graphs don’t show but we hear all the time from our customers: the Fenestrated Sheepskin seems to unmask extra detail. This has been our bestselling pad for this model! Fenestrations are also airy in that they allow some more heat to escape through the pads, but are small enough to allow a damp cloth to wipe away sweat and grime easily without damaging the memory foam beneath.
Our Elite Velour has a higher thread count and tighter weave than typical velour pads, soft and breathable but as you can see there is no loss of foundational bass – in fact it is stronger relative to the mids and highs! This is the most v-shaped pad in this lineup with more bass and a bit more treble relative to the midrange, but still our Velour pad presents largely the same sonic character as stock, and improved comfort due to the less stiff memory foam which also retains its shape better through repeat listens.
Our Hybrid pads, which are sealed with solid Sheepskin on the outside face, neutral Fenestrated Sheepskin on the inner face, and comfortable with Velour on the face facing your face, measure very closely to the Fenestrated Sheepskin, which makes sense because both have Fenestrated Sheepskin on the side of the pad that faces the driver and the path of the sound, however it has the soft Velour on the side that touches your face and head, and a sleek sheet of Sheepskin to dress up the exterior face of the pad.
Last but not least, the newest pads are the Choice Leather and Choice Suede pads. Boasting a 3 dB increase in bass, they trace a very similar signature to the Sheepskin, though it should be noted that the Suede option creates the least energy near 10,000 Hz out of all the pads. instead of procured from animal hide, it has a more even grain structure, and it’s thinner to contain less heat.
The subjective factor of experiencing headphones and earpads matters the most, of course. If it sounds good, it is good! We listen with our pads for several revisions before release, and we want to thank the reviewers and our patrons on Head-Fi and other platforms who have shared their experiences. Real user experience is the best judge, and we thank everyone who has tried to describe their experience!
Our Sennheiser pads are available now at our fine dealers internationally, and dekoniaudio.com.