REVIEW: DROP x SENNHEISER HD6XX - OPEN BACK - ENG

Aktualisiert: Nov 16

Neutral reference at an unbeatable price in deutsch


frequency range: 10 - 41000 Hz | sound pressure level: N/A | impedance: 300 Ohm | dynamic

Life is not a rainbow-colored unicorn, so you can't really blame the HD6XX for trying to stay authentic.

Sound 8.7

Bass Mids Trebles Stage Imaging

8.5 9 9 8.5 8.5

Handling 8.5

Processing Comfort Earpads Headband Weight

9 8 8 8 260 grams

Total 8.6

Price 185 €

Quickcheck

Pro Contra - good wearing comfort - somewhat high contact pressure

- tonal correct - extension at both ends

- neutral sound - not particularly exciting

- price-performance - imaging

Intro

DROP (formerly Massdrop) is in the end nothing more than an online shop. But with the subtle difference that they also put their resources into product development with well-known big players. In most cases, the aim is to revise or reissue an existing product, make it more cost efficient and thus make it accessible to a wider audience. Examples are the AKG 7XX, HIFIMAN HE4XX, or the SENNHEISER HD6XX, which is based on the HD650 in terms of sound and appearance. This is still listed at SENNHEISER for 459 €, but is available at Thomann for just under 340 €. Well, the HD6XX is available via DROP for about 185 € and that without big differences in processing and sound (if you can believe the manufacturer, since I can't make a direct comparison at the moment). DROP also produces on demand and therefore in different batches, hopefully with the same quality control. So the product is not available on the shelf, but only exclusively through DROP and therefore not permanently.

Soundwise you should be able to get something out of the SENNHEISER house signature, which is usually a bit more reserved and neutral, warmly tuned, at least when we talk about the H5XY and H6XY models.

Handling

Keyword cost efficiency. The HD6XX, consists of a good 80 % of plastic. Only the reinforcement on the headband, which also allows the headphones to be adjusted to the shape of the head, and the back grills of the ear cups are made of metal. However, the HD6XX does not make a cheap impression, because the workmanship is of high quality and no production errors or rough tolerances can be detected.

The earpads have a velour cover (which crunches a little bit with glasses), which encloses the complete ear and fits very securely due to the (a little too tight) contact pressure of the housing.

On the headband there is a foam padding, which prevents pressure pain as far as possible and allows wearing the headphones for a long time.

The wearing comfort is therefore good, but somewhat limited by the high contact pressure and the somewhat spartan padding on the headband. I prefer a flexible headband.


The accessories are reduced to a minimum, i.e. a 3.5mm cable (1.8m) and an adapter to a 6.3mm jack. The cable consists of two quite thick strands (left/right), which are led parallel. The connection to the headphones is done via a 2-pin connector (both sides). With the detachable cable you have the possibility to use the HD6XX balanced, whether with an adapter (25 €) to MMCX, or 2-Pin 0.78mm (a balanced cable to 4.4mm, or 2.5mm is required), or with a quite expensive balanced cable directly from Sennheiser.

We don't get much, but we get the most necessary, which is quite sufficient in terms of price. Here, the headphones themselves are clearly in the foreground, and even without accessories, the price would justify itself for me.


One cannot speak of isolation due to the open construction, which makes the HD6XX only suitable for public use to a limited extent, whether on the street or in the office.

Sound

Bass

The bass is quite linear, with a slight drop in the subrange. Therefore, it is more emphasized in the mid-bass without being exaggerated, but still close to the neutral ideal. I would like to see a bit more punch and firmness, but when it comes to fun in the low end, the HD6XX likes to give the sceptre away and prefers to limit itself to a natural response and realism. For me it would be close to the ideal if it would give off 2-3 dB in the upper bass and add this to the sub bass. If you prefer a well-dosed, natural bass, which is a bit softer but not muddy, the HD6XX is the right choice.


Mids

For my taste, the mids are the heart of the HD6XX. However, I understand also such opinions, which describe them as somewhat veiled and conservative. Well, they certainly don't have a WOW-factor, but they are damn natural in their presentation. The point of criticism is the clarity, so I go with the first argument. But only to a limited extent, because I don't have the feeling that something is being withheld from me or that the mids are falling behind compared to the bass or trebles. On the contrary. The HDXX is a slightly mid-focused headphone, which however harmonizes very well with the bass and treble and is oriented towards a neutral frequency response. The mid/upper bass gives them a bit more warmth, to speak of absolute neutrality, but this makes the mids more musical and gives them a natural sounding timbre. Vocals should be mentioned here as a highlight, but the tonality of instruments is not to be blamed either.


Trebles

In the high frequencies the HD6XX is a bit more reserved than it should be. It sounds absolutely realistic and provides a lot of information, but in the top end it might be a few dB more without making the sound too bright or artificial in my opinion. This could also give the HD6XX more transparency. Here I would like a more direct response, but as in the bass and mids this is criticism on a high level, because basically the HD6XX does everything right when it comes to natural sound reproduction. Only a little bit the effervescence is missing, but life is not a rainbow-colored unicorn and therefore you can't really blame the HD6XX when it tries to stay authentic. Sibilants or peaks I can't make out, which makes for an absolutely safe and fatigue-free sound experience. Tonal correctness is clearly more important for the HD6XX than the big show.


Stage

Thanks to the open construction, the stage has a lot of space in the width, but it is somewhat limited in the vertical. This means that the sound information is displayed in a somewhat compressed form when compared with the AKG K/Q701, for example. However, this gives the HD6XX a pleasant intimacy and it has a robust foundation.

Imaging

When it comes to imaging, the HD6XX doesn't necessarily play over budget, but it plays within it. Due to the somewhat lacking clarity and sharp separation, the HD6XX doesn't have any localization problems, but the space between the individual pieces of information is not the biggest and can collide here and there. Nevertheless, a very coherent 3D image is created, which I find realistic, even though I would like to have a little more space to the top.

Outro

The HD6XX is often considered the best value for money at the moment when it comes to a laidback, neutral sound with a warm touch. This is true, but this characteristic is also a reason why the headphone won't knock people out in rows, because the HD6XX doesn't offer an exciting sound experience. Instead, a very natural one, with slight deficits in stage and imaging, which means grumbling on a high level. The relaxed and somewhat "veiled" sound presentation (typical for SENNHEISER) is certainly not to everyone's taste, but for me the HD6XX sounds just right and sufficiently musical, which it has ahead of many AKG models. In addition, there are no limitations in the audibility, which is a bit at the expense of the expansion at both ends.

Also by its appealing detail rendition, the wearing comfort and the authentic sound, especially in the voice reproduction, it is indeed a value that is hard to top, since the HD6XX is above all a weapon in tonal terms.

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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