Preferred headphones store
Reviewed on Sep 28, 2018

Sennheiser HD 600
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
5.7
Mixed Usage
7.7
Critical Listening
4.5
Commute/Travel
5.6
Sports/Fitness
5.0
Office
5.8
TV
5.7
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sennheiser HD 600 are good critical listening headphones not meant for other use cases. They're decently comfortable and have an above-average build quality. They also have a well-balanced sound that has an excellent mid-range and detailed instruments and vocals but lack a little low-end bass, which might not be ideal for everyone. They also do not isolate by design so they won't be a good option to use outdoors.

Test Results
Design 6.4
Sound 7.9
Isolation 2.3
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 4.8
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Open and spacious sound quality.
  • Stable and comfortable design.
Cons
  • Open-back design, so they leak a lot.
  • Poor noise isolation, by design.
  • Weak headband build quality.
Update 8/12/2019: We've updated the Comfort score to better reflect how tight these headphones are.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

6.4

Design

The Sennheiser HD600 are comfortable over-ear headphones with ear cups large enough to fit around most listeners' ears. They are also decently well padded with a soft microfiber fabric that feels good on the skin. However, they are a bit tight on the head, which won't be as comfortable for everyone, especially during longer listening sessions. They don't offer any control options for your audio since they are critical listening focused headphones and their open back design means you won't be using them outdoors casually like more versatile over-ear headphones. They also have a slightly weak headband design that doesn't feel as well built for their price range, but on the upside, they're fairly lightweight, and their open design makes them breathable.

Style

The Sennheiser HD 600 look very similar to HD 650 with a few differences in the headband design. These headphones have large open ear cups with a suede-like finish on the padding that gives them a premium appeal. They have a cool blue patterned finish that makes them stand out from the other models in the Sennheiser HD series.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.57 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.4 lbs

Update: 08/12/2019 After comparing these headphones with other models, we found them to be very tight and reduced their score accordingly.

The Sennheiser HD600 are comfortable but a little tight. They have large ear cups that easily fit around most listeners' ears. They're well padded and covered in a suede-like material that adds to their comfort level. Unfortunately, the headband exerts a little too much pressure on the head compared to the HD 650 and HD 598, which can get uncomfortable during long listening sessions.

0 Controls
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A

These headphones do not come with a control scheme or an audio cable that has an in-line remote.

7.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 3.6 C

The Sennheiser HD600 have an open back design that allows a fair amount of air to flow through the ear cups. That and the soft suede-like padding means you can have them on for extended critical listening sessions and not feel a big temperature difference after hours of continuous play. Simply put the tight fit of the headphones will be more noticeable over time than the gradual rise in temperature.

5.4 Portability
L : 7.68 "
W : 6.89 "
H : 3.94 "
Volume : 208.16 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Sennheiser HD 600 are big and bulky headphones that do not fold into a more compact design for transport. They're not made to be carried around often, and they do not come with a case to easily store them in your bag, which makes them less portable. The box they come in can be used as a substitute for a case. Unfortunately, it's far too large and cumbersome for regular use.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case or pouch.

7.5 Build Quality

The Sennheiser HD600 have an average build quality. The open ear cups feel dense enough, to not crack or get damaged by a few falls. However, the headband feels fragile. Also, the metal frame that links the ear cups to the headband is connected by a thin joint that looks weak and feels susceptible to breaking under moderate physical stress.

7.5 Stability

These headphones are not designed for sports. However, they deliver a tight, stable fit that will remain in place during casual listening sessions and even during mild physical activities. They are not ideal for the gym due to their bulky design, but they offer a tight enough fit to be stable in most situations. The detachable cord, unfortunately, will not disconnect before yanking the headphones of your head if hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 9.84 ft
Connection : 1/4" TRS

The Sennheiser HD 600 come with a 1/4" TRS-TRS cable, with no inline controls.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.9

Sound

The Sennheiser HD 600 is a very good sounding pair of open-back over-ear headphones. They have a good, consistent, and punchy bass, a great, well-balanced, and clear mid-range, and a great treble. However, their bass lacks a bit of thump and rumble, and their mid-range is a tad overemphasized. Overall, they are a very versatile pair of headphones that sound great on classical, rock, jazz, and other vocal-centric genres, but their bass may be a little bit lacking for the fans of bass-heavy music. Additionally, they have very good imaging, but their soundstage is not as good as Sennheiser's larger headphones like the HD 800 S and the HD 700. Compared to the HD 650, the Sennheiser HD 600 have a bit less sub-bass but have a more neutral and well-balanced treble. However, the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee will sound slightly better and offer better overall value. 

7.5 Bass
Std. Err.
:
3.12 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
56.57 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-6.06 dB
Mid-Bass
:
-0.89 dB
High-Bass
:
1.96 dB

The bass of the Sennheiser HD 600 is good. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 57Hz, which is decent. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres, is lacking by about 6dB. This will be noticeable, but subtle. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and punch of kick drums is within 1dB of our neutral target. High-bass, however, is overemphasized by almost 2dB, adding a bit of muddiness to the overall sound.

8.4 Mid
Std. Err.
:
2.11 dB
Low-Mid
:
1.79 dB
Mid-Mid
:
1.39 dB
High-Mid
:
2.62 dB

The mid-range is great. The response throughout the range is very even and flat, but over out neutral target by about 2dB. This results in a clear and well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments, but bring a big of excess prominence to their mid-range.

8.8 Treble
Std. Err.
:
2.54 dB
Low-Treble
:
2.7 dB
Mid-Treble
:
0.21 dB
High-Treble
:
-1.06 dB

The Sennheiser HD 600 have a very good treble performance. Low-treble and mid-treble are flat and consistent, but low-treble is slightly overemphasized which could bring a bit excess intensity and projection to vocals and instruments. Overall, the treble of the HD 600 is quite well-balanced and neutral.

7.6 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.47 dB

The frequency response consistency of the HD 600 is good. Due to their open-back and ear pad design, these headphones have a very consistent bass delivery across multiple users and re-seats. However, their treble delivery could vary noticeably across users and re-seats, depending on the different ear shapes and positioning preferences.

8.5 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.18
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.92
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.76
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
4.97

The imaging performance of the HD 600 is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.18, which is excellent. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched. This is important for the accurate localization and placement of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image.

6.6 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.91 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
2.43 dB
PRTF Distance
:
9.21 dB
Openness
:
9.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
8.6
Correlated Crosstalk
:
-0.2 dB

The Sennheiser HD 600 have an average-at-best soundstage. The PRTF graph shows little interaction and with the pinna and therefore, doesn't activate its resonances much. There is not a deep notch present around the 10KHz area either. This means that although these are open-back headphones and may feel more open and spacious sounding than closed-back headphones, their soundstage won't be perceived to be large or located outside of the listener's head.

7.5 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.654
Weighted THD @ 100
:
5.347

The harmonic distortion performance of the HD 600 is good. The overall amount of harmonic distortion in the mid and treble ranges are very low, regardless of the volume. However, THD in the bass range is slightly elevated and is affected by an increase in volume. Compared to the HD 650, the HD 600 show a little bit more distortion, but the difference won't be audible in most scenarios.

2.3

Isolation

The Sennheiser HD600 headphones are not designed to isolate listeners. Leakage is encouraged to improve their overall sound quality. Unfortunately, this means that whatever you're listening to can be heard by the people around you, even at moderate volumes and on a bus. They also do not block much noise and will not fare well in loud environments. 

2.7 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-3.0 dB
Bass
:
0.03 dB
Mid
:
1.15 dB
Treble
:
-9.86 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

The Sennheiser HD 600 have a poor isolation, due to their open-back design. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, they achieve no isolation. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they also achieve no isolation. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and Ts, they isolate by about 13dB, which is below-average. Compared to the HD 650, they have a nearly identical isolation performance.

1.6 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
63.75 dB

The leakage of the HD 600 is poor. The significant portion of their leakage is spread between 400Hz and 20KHz, which is a very broad range. This means the leakage will be fuller sounding compared to that of closed-back headphones and in-ears. The overall level of the leakage is quite loud too. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage averages at 63dB SPL and peaks at 78dB SPL, which is a lot louder than the noise floor of an average office. The leakage of the HD 600 is nearly identical to that of HD 650.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The Sennheiser HD 600 do not come with a microphone. For a wired headphone with a good in-line microphone, check out the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear II, the Bose QuietComfort 25 or the Apple EarPods.

0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a microphone so the recording quality has not been tested.

0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A

The Sennheiser HD 600 do not have a microphone so the noise handling has not been tested.

0

Active Features

The HD600 are passive headphones with no battery or app support.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A

These headphones do not have any active components and do not require a battery.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones do not come with an app or software for added customization options.

4.8

Connectivity

The Sennheiser HD600 have a simple 1/8"TRS audio cable with no in-line remote. They will only provide audio when connected to your console or PC and have practically no latency since they are wired. However, this also means that they will not have the range and convenience of wireless headphones

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A

These headphones are wired and do not have a Bluetooth connection. If you want a good-sounding wireless headset, then consider the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless.

7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only

The Sennheiser HD 600 have a simple 1/8" TRS audio cable with no in-line remote/microphone, so they will only provide audio when connected to your PS4, Xbox One or PC.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

The Sennheiser HD 600 do not have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a wireless range since they only connect via a regular audio cable with an in-line remote.

10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The wired connection has negligible latency which is suitable for gaming and home-theater use.

In the box

  • Sennheiser HD 600 Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • Audio cable
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

The Sennheiser HD 600 are good-sounding, open-back headphones for critical listening but lack a few features for everyday, casual use. They're also quite comfortable but a little tight on larger heads. They have a well-balanced sound that represents instruments and vocals accurately but maybe slightly lacking in bass for some and too bright on some tracks for others. Their build quality also feels somewhat cheap for their price range, especially when compared to some of the headphones below. Overall, they're one of the best headphones for music and a great choice if you love to listen to more instruments and vocal heavy genres. See also our recommendations for the best headphones for recording and the best over-ear headphones.

Sennheiser HD 650

The Sennheiser HD 650 are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 600, although not by much. The biggest difference between the two models is that the HD 650 are a bit more comfortable, so you can wear them for longer than the HD 600. They have pretty much the same sound quality, although the HD 650 does have slightly better bass and less treble. However, it's very hard to tell by listening alone. On the other hand, the HD 600 offer a better value for your money for about the same sound quality.

Sennheiser HD 598

The Sennheiser HD 598 are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 600, mostly due to comfort. The HD 598 have a better over-ear fit that does not clamp your head and feels very comfortable. They also have a slightly more elevated high bass which some may like since it adds a bit more punchiness than the HD 600, and they come with an additional cable in the box. On the other hand, the HD 600 are more balanced and will not sound boomy on some tracks like the HD 598. The HD 600 also have a slightly better build quality which should last you a bit longer than the HD 598s.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are better critical listening headphones than the Sennheiser HD 600. The Beyerdynamic offer a better value thanks to their excellent build quality and great audio reproduction. They feel a lot more durable than the HD 600 and have a slightly better sound that packs more bass. However, the HD 600 have a slightly better representation of instruments and vocals in the mid-range and do not sound as sharp as the Beyerdynamic on bright tracks. They also have a slightly more spacious soundstage than the DT 990 and come with detachable cables, unlike the Beyerdynamics.

Sennheiser HD 599

The Sennheiser HD 600 and Sennheiser HD 599 are very similar headphones in performance, and the HD 599 might offer better overall value. Their sound profiles are fairly similar, but the HD 599 are noticeably more comfortable and don’t feel as tight as the HD 600. On the other hand, they don’t feel as well-built as the HD 600. Some may find the HD 600 sound a bit more neutral.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

If you prefer a closed-back design for your critical listening, then the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x will be the better option. If you want an open design, then go for the Sennheiser HD 600. The Audio-Technica have a deeper bass that some will prefer. Also, since they have a closed-back design, they're a bit more versatile to use outdoors. They're suitable for commuting and the office since they do not leak as much as the HD 600 and block more noise. On the other hand, the HD 600 have a more spacious-sounding audio reproduction. They also have a more accurate representation of the mid-range.

Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee

While the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee are very similar to the Sennheiser HD 600, they are slightly better critical listening headphones. If you don’t find them too tight, you’ll enjoy a slightly better sound with less bass roll-off, which adds a bit of punch to the HD 58X. They are also quite cheaper and will offer better overall value.

Stax SR-L300

If you only care about sound, the Stax SR-L300 are better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 600 for music without low-bass. Their audio fidelity is better and more accurate. They also sound significantly more open than the HD 600. However, they are very flimsy and feel cheaply made. The HD 600 are sturdier and will be more versatile due to their 1/4” TRS connection. You won’t need an amp and energizer to drive these as you would need with the Stax.

Sony MDR-7520

The Sennheiser HD 600 are better critical listening headphones if you want a wider soundstage and do not care about leakage. However, if you listen to your music at work, or in noise-sensitive environments, then the Sony MDR-7520 will be a better choice. The Sony have a better more durable build quality and than the HD 600. They also have a better bass range, and since they are closed-back, they isolate a bit more in noisy environments. On the other hand, the HD 600 have a more open sound that most critical listeners will prefer. They also have a slightly more comfortable fit, although they can be a little tight on the head.

+ Show more

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

5.7 Mixed Usage
Below average for mixed usage. The Sennheiser HD 600 are critical listening headphones, not intended for other use cases except maybe home theater. They deliver a good sound and a decently comfortable design but have poor isolation and a bulky, cumbersome build. They are best used at home and in isolation and will not be suitable for commuting or sports.
7.7 Critical Listening
Good for critical listening. The Sennheiser HD600 deliver a good, well-balanced frequency response. Instruments and vocals are clear and crisp, and the open design gives these headphones a spacious soundstage. Bass is a little lacking, but they will accurately reproduce the detail in high-res audio, especially plugged into an amp.
4.5 Commute/Travel
Not designed for commuting. The open-back ear cups do not block any ambient noise and leak a lot. Also, They're not portable and do not have a control scheme for mobile devices.
5.6 Sports/Fitness
They're big, bulky and cumbersome and may require an amp which makes them not suitable for sports.
5.0 Office
Not made for office use. Unless you work in an isolated environment, the leakage will distract your colleagues.
5.8 TV
Mediocre-at-best for home theater. They're decently comfortable headphones with a good and open sound quality. They also have no latency since they're wired. However, they're limited by the range of their audio cable and may require an extension cord.
5.7 Gaming
Below-average for gaming. They're decently comfortable, they have a good sound and a low latency wired connection. However, they do not have a microphone for voice chat when gaming, and no customization options which are typical for most gaming headsets. Also, they do not have the convenience of wireless design or multiple connection options for an optimized experience on Xbox One or PS4.

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion