Sennheiser HD650s - the right choice?

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Hi, I'm posting on this site for the first time and am in need of advice. I've just bought a pair of Sennheiser HD650s as a spurious impulse buy and am now having the wobbly knees, what have I done sensation! For a few months I was going to buy Audio-Technicas ATH-AD700 which were highly rated and in my original price range (£100) .... Then I decided I needed a pair of headphones that would allow cross over between hifi and home studio monitoring. Having read that the HD650s fit this crossover bill, I found a new set on eBay for a great price and impulsively bought.

To cut a long story short, I have a modest and ageing hifi system (Audiolab 8000A as the hub) but will be upgrading to a mid-range combined home cinema/ hifi set up in the new year (possibly Onkyo TXSR875 or the new Marantz SR7002) with a new cd player (perhaps the Marantz CD6002). The question is, have I bought something I won't get value from? I've read numerous reviews stating that to get a performance befitting the price from these headphones, a separate headphone amp is required and the hifi system must match the quality of the HD650's.

Sorry, I probably sound like I have money to burn (which I don't), however, I don't mind paying a bit more for top quality (especially in terms of "accessories"). The question is, will I have to spend a fortune on extras to enjoy the HD650s or should I trade up for a cheaper, more hassle-free alternative that won't require bank breaking to optimise (yet still be suitable for crossover hifi/ home studio use). HELP PLEASE?!
 
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Anonymous

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Place the HD650s on ebay and with the money you get back, buy a pair of Grado or Alessandro headphones that can be driven with a not to expensive headphone amp.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="DubLinn"]
The question is, will I have to spend a fortune on extras to enjoy the HD650s or should I trade up for a cheaper, more hassle-free alternative that won't require bank breaking to optimise (yet still be suitable for crossover hifi/ home studio use). HELP PLEASE?!

[/quote]

Don't worry- it's a good investment ! Owning a pair of sennheisers hd650 myself, I can confidently say they remain very listenable even in computer use, the amplification being only a measly compaq amplifier! So you need an amplifier, but it don't need to be a very expensive one. The sennheisers do get a lot better when using with good quality components, so it's a good future proof investment. How it's gonna work in a crossover hifi/home studio I cannot predict. Why not try them out on the system you had in mind?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have the HD650s with the Musical Fidelity X-CAN v3 amp which is plugged into semi high end sound card (Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro) on my PC.

Sound quality is amazing. Detail, Bass, handles all types of music, it's got it all. Those headphones really do need an amp otherwise it's pointless using them.

Previously i owned the Grado SR80 and SR225. They don't need as much amplification as the Sennheiser's and to be honest they do deliver a warmer sound. The best way to describe it is that Sennheiser deliver a more mechanical sound while the Grados have a more organic, natural sound.

But it's difficult to judge which is better, it depends on your ears. With the right setup you might like the Sennheisers more.

Advantages of Sennheiser HD650: Good sound but needs a good amp, well built, comfortable to wear, replacable wire.

Disadvantages of Sennheiser HD650: Expensive, Less expensive Grados deliver as good as or better sound.

Advantage of Grados: Awesome sound, you may need an amp though.

Disadvantages of Grados: Headphones broke down on one side after a year because the wires kept twisting and you can't replace them.
 

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