The Sennheiser HD 650 deliver an excellent and open sound that's great for critical listening. They're comfortable and decently built but unfortunately, like most open critical listening headphones, they won't be suitable for more casual uses. They do not block any noise and they leak a lot so they're best used in isolation where you can really benefit from their sound quality.
Below average for mixed usage. The Sennheiser HD 650 are best used as critical listening headphones since they won't be versatile enough for more casual use cases. They have a bulky and cumbersome open-back design that doesn't block a lot of noise so they won't be suitable for commuting or to use outdoors. On the upside, they deliver a good audio reproduction with a decent soundstage for more critical listeners.
Good for neutral listening. They're decently comfortable and have a decently well-balanced sound quality with an open-sounding soundstage. Unfortunately, they lack a bit of bass compared to closed-back neutral listening headphones and also tend to be a bit forward with instruments and vocals but overall they have a good sound quality that's suitable for casual and neutral listening.See our Neutral Sound recommendations
Not made for commuting. Their open design does not block any ambient noise and leaks a lot. They're also bulky and have no controls so they won't be practical to use on the go or while travelling.See our Commute/Travel recommendations
Subpar for sports use. The Sennheiser HD 650 have a bulky critical listening design that's not meant for running or workin out despite being decently stable on the head.See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
Subpar for gaming. The Sennheiser HD 650 have a good sound and a low latency wired connection but are not as convenient or as customizable as most wireless gaming headsets. Also, they don't have a microphone.See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
The Sennheiser HD650 have the same design as the HD 600 with a few minor differences. They have a two-tone, dark gray and black color scheme with a glossy coating. The large open ear cups have a suede-like finish on the padding that gives these headphones a premium appeal. They do not look as eye-catching as the HD 600 because of their slightly bland color scheme, but the style will work for some.
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 HD 650 are slightly more comfortable than the HD 600. Like the previous model, these headphones have large ear cups that fully encompass most ears. They are also covered in a suede-like fabric that feels good on the skin and adds to their overall comfort level. The headband design is better than the HD 600, it's not as tight, and it's better padded.
These headphones do not have any controls.
The Sennheiser HD 650 have an open-back design that makes them decently breathable. They still seal your ears within the ear cups which obstructs a good amount of airflow but thanks to their open back design and slightly porous earcup pads they do not get as hot as most closed back over-ear designs.
These headphones are not designed to be very portable. They're large and bulky and do not fold into a smaller format for transport or easy storage. They also don't offer a dedicated case or pouch to carry the headphones in, which is slightly disappointing. Although the box they come in could be a substitute for a case, it's too big and impractical for regular use.
These headphones do not come with case or pouch to carry them in.
The build quality of these headphones is above-average with a few minor flaws. It doesn’t feel as high-end as the HiFiMan Sundara or the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. The headband is the weakest part of their design. The metal frame is connected to the earcup by a fragile-looking joint that's susceptible to breaking under moderate physical stress.
The Sennheiser HD 650 are a little less stable than the HD 600 because they have less tension in the headband. They stay in place during casual listening sessions and are stable enough for some low-intensity, physical activity. However, they are not designed for sports, and the slightly looser headband may cause them to fall off your head if used while running. The detachable cable will also pull the headphones of your head before it disconnects from the ear cups, which is slightly disappointing.
The frequency response has above-average consistency. Due to their open-back and ear pad design, these headphones has near perfect consistency in delivering its bass. The maximum amount of deviation throughout the bass range was less than 1dB. However, they are prone to inconsistencies in the treble range, and depending on the positioning and ear shape, there could be as much as 6dB of variation in the treble response.
The bass of the Sennheiser HD 650 is great. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 40Hz, which is good. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres, is lacking by about 5dB. This will be noticeable, but subtle. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and punch of kick drums is within 0.3dB of our neutral target. High-bass, however, is overemphasized by almost 3dB, adding a bit of muddiness to the overall sound.
The mid-range is great. The response throughout the range is very even and flat, but consistently over out neutral target by about 2.5dB. This results in a clear and well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments, but with a bit of excess emphasis on the mid-range.
The Sennheiser HD 650 have a very good treble performance. Low-treble and mid-treble are flat and consistent, but with a 5dB tilt favoring lower frequencies. This results in a treble that lacks a bit of brightness and brilliance, which will be mostly noticeable on vocals, lead instruments, and cymbals.
The imaging performance is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.15, which is excellent. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This ensure 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.
The Sennheiser HD 650 have an okay soundstage. The PRTF graph shows that these headphones don't interact with the pinna that much, and therefore show very little activation. They don't show a dip notch around the 10KHz area either. This means that although these are open-back headphones and may feel more open and spacious sounding that closed-back headphones, their soundstage won't be perceived to be large or located outside of the listener's head.
The Sennheiser HD 650 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.
The leakage 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 60dB SPL and peaks at 74dB SPL, which is a lot louder than the noise floor of an average office.
The Sennheiser HD 650 have no microphone so the recording quality has not been tested.
The noise handling has not been tested since the HD650 have no microphone.
These are passive headphones with no active components and no battery.
The Sennheiser HD 650 headphones do not have a dedicated, compatible app for added customization.
These headphones are wired and do not have a Bluetooth connection. If you want a good Bluetooth headset for more casual use, check out the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
These headphones have practically no latency since they have a wired design. Unfortunately, this also means that they're limited by the range of the provided cables.
These headphones come with 3 audio cables with no in-line remote. This means they will provide audio when connected to your PS4 or Xbox One controller but do not have a microphone for voice chat.
The Sennheiser HD650 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.
The Sennheiser HD 650 are great for critical listening but average headphones for everyday casual use. They deliver a good and open sound reproduction that caters well to all tracks. They're comfortable and don't feel tight on your head like the HD 600. Unfortunately, their soundstage isn't as spacious as other similarly designed open back critical listening headphones. Their build quality also isn't as durable as some of the competing models below. See our recommendations for the best audiophile headphones, the best DJ headphones, and the best over-ear headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 650 and the Sennheiser HD 660 S are very similar headphones. Their build is almost identical and their sound profile is practically the same as well. The biggest difference is how they feel once on your head. The HD 650 don’t feel as tight as the HD 660 S do, which could be more comfortable for most people. We also measure a more open-sounding soundstage on the HD 650, but since their design is the same, we expect them to sound very similarly. The HD 660 S come with a 0.17 inch (4.4mm) balanced audio cable, which the HD 650 don’t have.
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.
The HiFiMan Sundara are better headphones for neutral listening than the Sennheiser HD 650. They get more bass, and perform more consistently in the treble range. They also have a more impressive soundstage and are more comfortable, but there have been reports of quality control issues with the brand, so the Sennheiser is still a good choice too.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO are slightly better critical listening headphones than the Sennheiser HD 650. They're noticeably better-built and feel premium. They have a better bass performance than the HD 650, although some people may feel like they sound overly bright and sharp.
The AKG Q701 are better critical listening headphones than the Sennheiser HD 650. The HD 650 have a disappointing soundstage for open-backs, and their treble range depends on the positioning of the headphones and ear shape. The Q701 also has an extra 20-foot cable. The HD 650 are also more expensive, making the Q701 a better pick.
The Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee are better critical listening headphones than the Sennheiser HD 650. Their bass is slightly better and has less roll-off. Both headphones are still very similar, but the HD 650 is more comfortable as it doesn’t clamp as much as the HD 58X. On the other hand, the HD 58X Jubilee are less expensive and will offer better overall value, but are only available on the Drop website.
The Sennheiser HD 650 and the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are differently-designed headphones to serve different purposes. The more bass-heavy Sonys have an excellent active noise cancelling feature to help isolate disruptive noise, while the more balanced-sounding open-back Sennheiser intentionally let in ambient noise to create a more spacious sound.
Both the Sennheiser HD 650 and Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are good critical listening headphones, but the Sennheisers are open-back, which could make them sound more open-sounding. The HD 650 are also a bit more comfortable, but they don’t have the nice and sturdy build of the DT 770 PRO. Additionally, the Beyerdynamic have a better sound profile, notably because of their closed-back design, which helps with a fuller-sounding bass. Their closed design also means they block more ambient noise and leak less than the HD 650.
The Focal Elear are better critical listening headphones than the Sennheiser HD 650, but they are also more expensive. They have better build quality and feel like more premium open-back headphones. On the other hand, the HD 650 have flatter treble, and they are more lightweight and stable on the head. Both are great headphones, but the HD 650 might be a better choice if you’re looking for your first pair of audiophile headphones.