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Massdrop X Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones US$194 (~A$269) Delivered @ Drop

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Massdrop X Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones US$194 (~A$269) Delivered @ Drop

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  • +8

    Such an amazing set of headphones. I have owned a set for a few years now, they are my daily go to.

    • IMO, even better with parametric equaliser settings offered in ASR review. MathAudio PEQ is free for foobar2000.

  • +2

    Noob question - can these be plugged directly into a laptop or do they need an amp?

    • They need an amp.

      • Thanks

      • +4

        They don't NEED an amp, I have run mine off my laptop and iPhone.

        They do sound comparatively dull and boring when you do, but it works.

        Even a relatively budget amp like a Fiio K5 pro or Topping L30 will make a huge difference though.

        I'm running mine on an L30 and E30 stack through my pc and it sounds fantastic.

        • +2

          You may not need an amp for these, but you're not getting the best out of them. These are audiophile headphones and they do sound considerably better with proper amp/dac.

          • @DisabledUser27274: Correct yes. You don't need to explain it when you agreed with me in different words

    • +9

      These headphones will work fine without an amp, they will be quiter than normal headphones. I have had HD650s for over a decade now and used them in a range of sources. I daily drive them with an amp but it can be an upgrade down the road.

      • +8

        I really don't think this is correct. These headphones are 300 ohms. They will not sound very good out of unamplified or poorly amplified output. You really need a dedicated amp to drive these. There are much better options at this price range if you don't want to buy an amp (DT990 pro for example).

        I bought these headphones 4years ago. Listened to them through multiple motherboard and phone outputs, a BTR5 and my current setup - a topping ex5. It's insane the step up in sound I got after I bought the EX5. These headphones really do need an amp to sound at all reasonable.

        • +1

          What's the cheapest amp option to match with the HD6XX?

          • +1

            @monkeyoutlet: It depends. There are lots of nuances to amps. It took me years to pick the EX5. I specifically wanted an amp that could also output to my bookshelf monitors without having to unplug cables and to select the output. This left the EX5 as the cheapest option that had both and amp and a dac. It doesn't hurt that the topping is very neutral and sounds fantastic. It also has plenty of power to drive these headphones.

            The BTR5 was ok, but it didn't have enough power, even in USB powered mode.

            A reasonably cheap amp if you don't care about the above would be the fiio k5 pro (but this offers no switching on output). A DAC is preferable as it really cleans up the sound, so try to get a DAC/amp combo if possible.

            • @blergmonkeys: Okay I see thanks, I already have a E10K DAC but was thinking to get an amp like the Atom, but the US shipping really kills it for me. Will check out the Fiio K5 though

              • @monkeyoutlet: If you were looking at the Atom, have a think about the topping DX3 pro. It's about $350 and is the older version of the topping EX5.

                I got the EX5 as I know I'll use it for at leaset 5-10 years, assuming it lasts that long so was a worthy $450 investment for me.

                • +2

                  @blergmonkeys: Worst advice ever.

                  Spend $260 for headphones, and then $350+ for AMP that may not even be required.

                  Go save for a $600 headphones and $50 amp instead.

                  • @skeptic: These headphones are regularly $600. Go look up the HD650.

                    The amp is definitely required, based on my experience. Do you have any idea what you're talking about? It seems you're just making things up as you go, as demonstrated by your idea that all an amp does is increase volume.

                    • -1

                      @blergmonkeys: "as demonstrated by your idea that all an amp does is increase volume."
                      That is precisely what an amp is for.

                      If you think headphones sounds better with an amp, that means you like the way the amp distorts the sound.

                      • @skeptic: You literally have no idea how headphone amplifiers work, do you?

                        This is like saying "all an engine does in a car is move the car"

                        It's so much more nuanced. This is an obvious demonstration of sitting on the far left of the Dunning-Kruger.

          • @monkeyoutlet: You want an amp for these. They sound lifeless without it.

            I would suggest looking at the Schiit Magnius as a starter amp. Good price, good build quality. You can add the matching DAC later if you really get into it. Shipping from Schiit was fast, also available locally, but for a premium.

            Amp: https://www.schiit.com/products/magni-1

            DAC: https://www.schiit.com/products/modi-1

            Be warned, its a gateway drug.

            • @Evoken: Shipping is $93 to Australia!!!

              • +1

                @mextiki: Addicted to Audio are the Australian distributor (I think) but most of their stuff has been sold out for quite some time now.

        • Yes I agree with you, but if an amp is a consideration down the road, picking these up now would be a great buy and can still be used until an amp is purchased down the road.

          • @Gigbot: The point is, these headphones sound awful out of non-dedicated amps. I was super disappointed the last few years with these headphones until I got my EX5. If someone doesn't have or isn't planning to buy an amp, these are not the headphones for them. Get something that's easier to drive and step up to these when you can afford the combo.

            • @blergmonkeys: I think it's a case of YMMV, I've had them sound great directly out of previous phones without using a dedicated amp. Some laptops have sounded decent too. These are sensitive headphones, and while they have high impedence they can surprise you. I have other headphones that I would definitely not own without an amp, but I wouldn't classify these as one of those. The best advice is always go and try where possible with headphones, sound is subjective.

              • @Gigbot: I wholeheartedly disagree but sound is subjective so you’re right, ymmv

              • @Gigbot:

                Some laptops have sounded decent too. These are sensitive headphones, and while they have high impedence they can surprise you.

                Apple touted their headphones jack on new MacBook Pro designed for high impedances.

        • Are these dac/amp combos appropriate for movies/plex with headphone use? I want to hook up a oled to the optical connection and then left right or usb to pc(music/games) and be able to just switch input easily with the same headphone.

          So far looking at:
          higher end:
          -EX5
          -SMSL M500
          lower end:
          -Creative Sound Blaster X3
          -SMSL AD18 HiFi Audio Stereo Amplifier
          -Loxjie D30

          • @gogo1234: Are you going to use the oled as your output?

            In theory, it should work, so long as the optical is an input on the amp/dac you're looking to use. Not sure, though. May need to do your research.

            • @blergmonkeys: Yes the optical cable direct to the tv. Advise on popular places to research this stuff? I've just been looking at comment here and then youtubing them.

              • +1

                @gogo1234: audiosciencereview is a fantastic forum
                head-fi also excellent

                you can also always email the manufacturer; topping was very good at responding re my queries on their products and one of the engineers is regularly on the audiosciencereview forums

                I believe the optical cable route should work (but don't quote me, as I'm not sure if there will be a loss of signal over optical and I also doubt the amp/dac can decode anything beyond normal stereo sound). Alternatively, you could use your computer's HDMI to output to the OLED for movies and the USB for audio via the amp/dac.

                Another option — get a home theater receiver.

                • @blergmonkeys: I'll check out the forums, thanks.

                  Home theater reciever is something i was looking at but are not sure if a amp/dac gives better quality for headphones..

          • +1

            @gogo1234: The Schiit Magni/Modi Amp/DAC stack may be something that fits your needs? One of the audiophiles here may be able to give better advice, but the Modi has an input switch on the front so changing channels would be as simple as flicking the switch from the Optical input to the USB input.

            I've just bought this stack myself and am very keen to give it a go. From most reports it's pretty highly rated, especially within the price range.

          • +1

            @gogo1234: https://www.amazon.com.au/Topping-E30-Optical-Coaxial-Portab...

            As te DAC, remote switcing would be perfect for this, then any amp of your choice. I would consider the THX 789.

            • @Gigbot: Thanks! Think i'll go with this and the Schiit Magni, if I spend any more I might aswell go for a ex5.

      • -1

        Agree, these are fine without an amp, but it depends on your audio source. You only need an amp if the volume is not loud enough for you.

        • -1

          You only need an amp if the volume is not loud enough for you.

          Not true whatsoever. Amps do not just increase the volume. They drive the headphones to perform better across the dynamic range.

    • +9

      They'll work, but mid-bass control will be sloppy and treble will roll off. It's still pleasant, but not as dynamic as it could be.

      It's planar headphones down at something like 90dB/mW SPL where you'll not get enough volume out of them.

      • +4

        Can confirm this is accurate. Sometimes having people just say "oh you need amp." without sharing how it sounds without amp, is just not helpful.
        Just to add a bit about this, volume wise it's fine. Having good amplification is not just about volume anyway..

      • Listen to this guy. He’s not wrong. These headphones don’t sound very pleasing without amplification.

    • If you get the new MacBook pros you can plug them in directly. If not, no sir I wouldn’t!

    • I've used them on my desktop PC, laptop, and phone. Each has been able to power them plenty. I like my music reasonably loud, people saying you need an amp I could swear give themselves hearing damage with the volume they use…

      • Volume is not the metric of good sound that audiophiles look for. Amps do a lot more than increase volume. You really need to listen to these through a decent amp/dac because you don’t know what you’re missing. The sound is addictive.

    • Grab a Tempotec Sonata HD Pro from Aliexpress for $50 and you’re G2G.

    • It depends on the laptop. Most (but not all) windows laptops have crappy sound outputs. Most MacBook Pros have very good audio out. You can improve the sound further with a dedicated amp, but you'll have to get a fairly decent amp to be better than a MacBook Pro.

  • Anyone had an order shipped from Drop lately? My last order was USPS which I hear are not delivering to Australia ATM. Trawled their FAQs and there is no mention of issues.

    • +1

      I've had two deliveries from USPS this month (different retailer), and both took under two weeks to get here.

    • +1

      I bought the THX789.
      Ordered on the 20Sep, and got it on the 8thOctober.
      Sent via DHL.

      • Thanks, hoping my Aeon X order is OK…

        • Got a tracking number last night, coming DHL Global Mail.

    • +3

      I've only ever seen DHL be used, but by far my biggest issue was the Melbourne Gateway shutdown, despite Sydney being in full operation for international mail. Took 3 weeks once it hit the shore.

      I believe that's fixed now, but next month until 2 weeks into Jan is probably going to be a shitshow.

    • +2

      DHL, but not the usual speedy DHL. I'd rate their DHL service to be below the normal economy DHL. Very slow.

    • +2

      Mine arrived about a two weeks ago. Shipped through DHL.

      Very happy with the purchase. Blows my M50x out of the water.

    • +3

      I had a set of these shipped from Drop a couple of months ago. They took so long to get here that I was just starting the process for an item lost in the post, and I went and bought a set of Sundara locally to offset the disappointment. It was 5 weeks ish from posting to arrival via DHL, so I am thiking that they may have actually got lost for a while.

      Then they turned up, so now I have both.

      • How does this compare to the sundara? Current sundara owner looking for another pair of cans to fuel the audiophile addiction

        • +2

          So they are different enough that I think having both is worthwhile. Once not great with the words to describe it but, Sundara is much more open, great for positional instruments, and the mids are much more… there. The 6xx are very closed in and everything feels right on top of you, which IMO is not worse, just different.

          Sundara is waaay more comfortable. Just the right amount of clamping and softeness, doesn't try to squeeze your head like the 6xx can.

          Love them both, find myself alternating constanly just to hear different songs between them.

    • I saw an actual USPS van outside my apartment in Sydney yesterday. Was weird.

    • I had mine delivered in August with no problem at all. It took a few weeks to come but wasn't an issue at all. They dispatched through DHL which was then passed to AusPost once it cleared customs

  • How is this compared to hd800s. Whether I should save this 200 bucks for the 1500 one?

    • +1

      The big difference is soundstage and imaging. I prefer the HD650 for daily usage, but will often switch between them when purely listening to music. Both are amazing for long listening sessions and I would recommend trying both before purchase.

    • +2

      I have HD650 (similar to 6XX) and HD800S and use them both. HD650 are better if you are moving around, you need to sit still for the HD800S or they slide around.

    • +1

      bass is better on this, but the hd800s is better in every other way. However is not like 1300usd better tho, maybe like 1.5 to 2 times better. Anyways can get pretty subjective once you go above the HD6xx.

      • +3

        1.5 to 2 times better. The difference would be huge

        • +1

          Not that I want to justify the HD800S price but… It does come with a 2nd balanced XLR cable that goes for $480 at ATA. Also, they have hand matched drivers that are tested at the factory. They send you the test graphs on a USB. Plus they are unmatched for soundstage. Mind you I have the original, not sure if the drop edition is the same.

    • +1

      If you just love listening to music the HD600 + a $200 dac/amp is all you need. If you are an audiophile and you are obsessed with sound reproduction, sure spend and extra $1200 and go for the HD800s but really these are great.

  • +3

    Tried it but the code doesn't stack with the new user $10 off code.

  • Thanks, just got a pair. Have a schiit stack so got the balanced cables and 2.5mm to XLR adapter and earpads. Will see what the difference everything makes to the sound.

    I boost bass in eapo and disable all the windows sound processing so these should sound great.

  • +1

    Do these open back headphones get dusty inside? How do you clean them?

    • There is a question I've never heard before. I keep most of my cans in cases. But my LCD-2Cs I leave out as they get a fair bit of use. I do notice dust on the pads, but never had an issue with sound. I recon some good bass tracks would blow any dust out:-)

    • +1

      Not if you're using them all the time. Dust travels in, dust travels out, but you can use a pouch bag of some kind.

      Maybe every 1-2 months, you can unplug them and use a damp cloth on the pads every so often then let them air dry.

    • +1

      personally I've had mine sitting out in the open for years and have never noticed dust

  • +1

    How are these compared to the Sundaras? Are they worth the extra? Never see them on sale

    • +1

      Someone posted a while back that Sundaras where on special last Black Friday, so keep your fingers crossed. I was going to buy some, but my headphone budget is blown on the Aeons…

      • +3

        HIFIMAN mid-range is getting a shake up anyway, worth sitting back for at least a month.

    • +5

      Sundara's bring the detail up more at the slight expense of timbre. Imaging is sharper in some aspects, more diffuse in others. Tonality is more neutral on the Sundara, which you might not like as it's a very studio sound, versus the naturalness of the 6XX.

      There's also some new HIFIMAN products coming through that might disrupt the Sundara's position: the Edition XS and the DEVA Pro (not the original DEVA). Early impressions suggest the competition is now pretty hot at AUD $500-$600 in the HIFIMAN line-up, and you might find yourself landing on the Edition XS.

      There should be more in-depth reviews out before the November sales, which is when you want to be buying any of these headphones anyway.

      • +1

        Thanks for the detailed replies

      • +1

        Glad I waited :D

        Looks like the XS is available for AUD$576
        https://hifigo.com/products/hifiman-edition-xs?rfsn=4326572....

        Looking forward to some reviews being released.

        • +1

          No listings on Amazon yet, but I might enquire about that… promising price point if it's approaching anything like the Edition X v2.

        • +3

          Early update: Edition XS is currently Chinese-only, so reviews from other regions may be slow to arrive. Suspect if it is well received there will be an international version, as with what happened to the HE400SE.

          DEVA Pro will hit the Amazon store when stock levels rise, but I don't think that will be a worthwhile pick over the Sundara.

  • +1

    Great deal for what is one of the benchmarks in the audiophile world. The one alternative I'd consider is the Sennheiser HD560S that some people seem to prefer. Not necessarily better, just different flavours!

  • +1

    how are these compared to my 58X's? worth getting another pair?

    • I have these and compared them to my brother in law's 58x. The 6xx is superior, I don't have the words to describe it as I am new to this, but they felt cleaner, maybe warmer. For a first buy I would go for the 6xx, but I am not sure its enough to warrant the upgrade if you have the 58x already.

  • Thanks OP, grabbed myself one. Appreciate the post.

  • +2

    I already have more headphones than I have a need for but for some reason I still really want to buy this. I must resist the temptation, I already have a 58X.

  • Bought them during the last deal… they were fantastic.

    Alas I also bought a thx 789 lmao, so they became an expensive purchase all up haha

  • Never had open back headphones. Am sorry people judge my taste of music

    • Yeah, the Tibetan pan pipes sound much better on open backs;-)

  • planar 4X is also cheap as chips.

    • The HIFIMAN HE400SE Stealth Magnet Edition, which is very similar, is $219 on Amazon right now with a warranty that's much more easily supported.

      Once you account for stacking cashbacks, on Black Friday it'll be cheaper than the X4 is today.

  • +1

    The biggest part of this deal is that they're actually in stock ready to ship. The past year they've always had a 4-5 month waiting time.

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