Sennheiser HD 650 Review

Updated May 31, 2014
Sennheiser HD 650
Bottom Line

The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones provide reference-quality performance -- at a price.


Pure, natural sound. Reviewers describe music on the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones as smooth, natural and open. Bass is a particular strength, though some experts say that definition isn't the best, meaning that some sonic details occasionally get lost. These headphones require a lot of power so they're not suitable for portable players, and they have an open design, meaning sound leaks in and out. Users and pros alike recommend using an amplifier to get the best performance.

ProsExcellent sound quality, Comfortable, Good bassConsBulky, Expensive, Sound leakage


Big, comfortable cans. The Sennheiser HD 650s are big and bulky, weighing in at just over 9 ounces. Still, reviewers consistently comment that they are comfortable nonetheless. "We logged many, many hours of listening time and came away thoroughly impressed with their comfort," says CNET's Steve Guttenberg.


Pricey, home headphones. "The formidable Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are fit for a king -- and have a price tag to prove it," Guttenberg writes. They are also too power hungry for portable use -- and that's just as well because, as's Mike Kobrin points out, they'll ruthlessly expose all the "sonic flaws" of compressed MP3 files. Still, Kobrin adds, "If you're looking for something with which to do serious listening and are willing to spend the dough, the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are worth every penny."

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Our Sources


Sennheiser HD 650, Steve Guttenberg, April 5, 2006

CNET praises the styling, bass response and comfort of the Sennheiser HD 650. For high-energy music like rock, however, reviewer Steve Guttenberg thinks they're "tame." Cost is also a concern, though the review calls them "fit for a king."


Sennheiser HD 650, Mike Kobrin, March 8, 2006

The Sennheiser HD 650 receives an Editors' Choice award and 5 out of 5 stars for clean, rich sound. According to the review, they create a direct connection between the music and the listener. Mike Kobrin doesn't think they're heavy but admits they're bulky. He warns users, though, that imperfections on low-quality tracks will stand out.


Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones, Contributors to, As of May 2014

Of the 200-plus user reviews on, the majority give a perfect 5-star rating to the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones. Owners echo pros in praising the HD 650's stellar sound quality. "These headphones are quite possibly the most fantastic sounding bit of kit you can buy," writes one user, who says he works as a musical engineer. Some are less enthusiastic about comfort, claiming these headphones can be tight, while others complain of sound leakage.


Sennheiser HD 650 Over-Ear Headphones, Contributors to, As of May 2014

The 20 or so users who posted reviews here agree that the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones excel in sound quality. This site attracts audiophiles, and several users recommend an amplifier to get the most out of the HD 650. Some also say a cable upgrade (the included cable is detachable) is worth the money.


Sennheiser HD 650 Headphones Review, "Headphone Girl", Aug. 12, 2011

Though it's named an Editor's Choice here, the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones are not a good choice for the casual listener thanks to their price, according to this brief and somewhat superficial review. However, they are "an audiophile's dream," with sound "that is at once crisp, rich, warm, and inviting."


Sennheiser HD650 Review: A Sound Quality That Loudspeakers Can Only Dream About, Richard Black, Sept. 2, 2008

Richard Black awards the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones a 5-out-of-5-star rating, calling the sound excellent, with little distortion and great detail, though not as flashy at high and low frequencies. "Among a number of fine headphones on the market today, this is a particularly attractive one," he writes.