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Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Dec 09, 2020 at 07:32 am
Sennheiser HD 6XX Picture
8.2
Neutral Sound
3.6
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
4.3
Office
4.4
Wireless Gaming
6.5
Wired Gaming
1.5
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are open-back wired headphones. They're a collaboration between Massdrop and Sennheiser, and can only be purchased on the Drop website. They have a neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different audio content, and their open, spacious soundstage can help create a more immersive listening experience. However, like most open-backs, they aren't very portable, have terrible noise isolation, and leak a bit of sound. However, if you're an audiophile who loves listening to audio in the studio, they're a solid choice.

Our Verdict

8.2 Neutral Sound

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are impressive for neutral sound. They have a very neutral, balanced sound profile, so vocals and lead instruments are clear, present, and detailed. They have a decent passive soundstage, and their open-back design helps create an open and spacious soundstage. However, like most open-back headphones, they're lacking some low-bass.

Pros
  • Open and spacious soundstage.
  • Consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • No sound customization features.
3.6 Commute/Travel

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are bad for commute and travel. These decently comfortable headphones are passive, so you don't have to worry about them running out of battery. However, due to their open-back design, they leak a lot of noise, which can annoy those around you. They also can't block out background noises like bus and plane engines or voices from other passengers.

Pros
  • Well-built and decently comfortable.
Cons
  • Terrible noise isolation.
  • Leaks a lot of noise.
5.3 Sports/Fitness

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are inadequate for sports and fitness. They're stable enough for casual listening sessions, but they aren't designed for sports use, and they may fall off your head during more intense physical exercise. They're decently comfortable, but these bulky over-ears aren't very easy to bring on-the-go.

Pros
  • Well-built and decently comfortable.
Cons
  • Not stable enough for exercise.
  • Not very portable.
4.3 Office

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are poor for office use. They're decently comfortable, and thanks to their wired connection, you don't have to worry about them running out of battery. However, due to their open-back design, they don't block out background noises typically found in an office, like chatter from other coworkers. Also, they leak a lot of noise, which can be distracting for people around you.

Pros
  • Well-built and decently comfortable.
Cons
  • Terrible noise isolation.
  • Leaks a lot of noise.
4.4 Wireless Gaming

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are wired-only headphones, so they aren't suitable for wireless gaming.

6.5 Wired Gaming

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are okay for wired gaming. You can plug them into your PC or Xbox One and PS4 controller, but they don't have a microphone, so you can only receive audio. Thanks to their wired connection, they have low latency, and they're decently comfortable. However, they lack low-bass, so you may not feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes.

Pros
  • Well-built and decently comfortable.
Cons
  • No microphone.
1.5 Phone Calls

The Sennheiser HD 6XX don't have a microphone, so they aren't suitable for phone calls.

  • 8.2 Neutral Sound
  • 3.6 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 4.3 Office
  • 4.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.5 Wired Gaming
  • 1.5 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are open-back headphones with the same design as the Sennheiser HD 650, but with a few minor differences. They're available in a midnight blue color scheme, unlike the gray-and-black Sennheiser HD 650. They have large, oblong ear cups with a metal grille on the outside to help protect the drivers.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.69 lbs
Clamping Force
1.6 lbs

These headphones are decently comfortable. They're lightweight, and the ear cups are well-padded, so they feel soft and comfortable against your skin. However, they clamp a bit tighter than the Sennheiser HD 650, which can feel a bit fatiguing after long listening sessions.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
No Controls
Ease Of Use No Controls
Feedback No Controls
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

These headphones don't have any controls.

5.4
Design
Portability
L 7.4" (18.8 cm)
W 7.0" (17.8 cm)
H 3.7" (9.4 cm)
Volume 192.00 inยณ (3,146.30 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These headphones have poor portability. Like most over-ears, they have a big and bulky design, so they may not fit easily into your bag. They also don't fold into a more compact format, and they don't come with a case to protect them when you're on-the-go.

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

These headphones don't come with a case or pouch.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sennheiser HD 6XX have a good build quality. They feel very similar to the Sennheiser HD 650. They're mostly made of plastic, with a metal headband and metal grilles covering the ear cups. However, there isn't a lot of padding on the headband.

7.0
Design
Stability

They're decently stable. They clamp tight on your head, and they should stay on your ears during casual listening sessions. However, they aren't designed for sports and may fall off your head during more intense physical activity. Also, the wire could potentially snag on something, which could pull the headphones off of your ears.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sennheiser HD 6XX headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" adapter
  • Detachable TRS audio cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-3.21 dB
Treble Amount
-1.74 dB

The Sennheiser HD 6XX have a very neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. Like most open-back headphones, they're lacking some low-bass, which can be disappointing for fans of bass-heavy music genres like EDM and hip-hop.

8.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.32 dB

These headphones have impressive frequency response consistency. There's some inconsistency in the treble range, so their audio delivery can vary depending on their fit, seal, and positioning on your head.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.08 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
60.8 Hz
Low-Bass
-6.09 dB
Mid-Bass
-1.34 dB
High-Bass
1.4 dB

They have good bass accuracy. Like many open-back headphones, their low-bass is underemphasized, so audio lacks deep thump. However, they can still reproduce punch and boom quite accurately.

9.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.86 dB
Low-Mid
-0.33 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.21 dB
High-Mid
0 dB

These headphones have remarkable mid accuracy. The entire range is quite even and neutral, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix.

8.0
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.99 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.82 dB
Low-Treble
0.29 dB
High-Treble
-8.59 dB

These headphones have very good treble accuracy. Vocals and lead instruments are present and detailed, but the dip in the mid-treble can make sibilants like cymbals dull and lispy. However, their treble delivery can vary across listeners, so your experience may differ.

7.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.35 dB
Dips
0.92 dB

The Sennheiser HD 6XX have very good peaks and dips performance. Due to the dip in the low-bass, you don't feel the deep thumps, but the peak in the high-bass adds a boomy quality to the mix. The slight dip in the mid-mids may nudge vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix, while the peak in the low-treble can make those same instruments harsh and painful. The mid-treble is uneven, so sibilants like S and T sounds can be alternately dull or piercing.

8.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.15
Weighted Phase Mismatch
5.67
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.83
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.1

The Sennheiser HD 6XX have excellent imaging. Their weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit are well-matched in amplitude, phase, and frequency response. As a result, objects like voices, instruments, and footsteps are accurately placed and localized within the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, so your experience may vary.

7.2
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.24 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.3 dB
PRTF Distance
5.37 dB
Openness
9.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
8.1

They have a decent passive soundstage. The soundstage is natural and speaker-like, but it isn't perceived as being very large or located outside of the listener's head. Due to their open-back design, they have a more open and spacious soundstage than headphones with a closed-back design.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

8.2
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.127
WHD @ 100
0.120

The Sennheiser HD 6XX have an impressive weighted harmonic distortion performance. The frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
No Microphone

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
1.2
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-3.1 dB
Bass
-0.17 dB
Mid
1.06 dB
Treble
-9.87 dB

The Sennheiser HD 6XX have terrible noise isolation due to their open-back design. They don't block out any sounds in the bass and mid-ranges, so you can hear the deep thump and rumble of bus or plane engines or chatter from people talking around you. While they perform a bit better in the treble range, you may still hear sounds like the hum of nearby AC units.

2.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
60.09 dB

Due to their open-back design, they have awful leakage. They leak a lot of sound, and it's audible even in noisier settings like an office. It may be distracting for people around you. Also, the leakage is fuller-sounding compared to that of closed-back headphones and in-ears.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Sennheiser HD 6XX don't have a microphone.

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

The Sennheiser HD 6XX don't have a microphone, so the recording quality isn't tested.

0
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
N/A
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample N/A
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample N/A

There's no microphone, so the noise handling isn't tested.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None

These passive headphones don't have a battery.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

They don't have a companion app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

These wired-only headphones don't support a Bluetooth connection.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These wired-only headphones don't support any wireless connectivity.

9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 5.80 ft (1.77 m)
Connection
1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

The Sennheiser HD 6XX come with a long 1/8" TRS cable, but the cable doesn't have an in-line remote.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio Only
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio Only
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

You can plug these headphones into your Xbox One controller, but they don't have a microphone, so you only receive audio.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

The Sennheiser HD 6XX don't have a base or a dock.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are available in 'Midnight Blue', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update the review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are wired-only open-back headphones designed for neutral sound. Their sound profile is very neutral and balanced, but like most open-backs, they're lacking some low-bass. They're well-built, but they may not be comfortable for all listeners over longer listening sessions. Like the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee, they're also only available on the Drop website. While they're often compared to the Sennheiser HD 650, they have a more consistent audio delivery and a better soundstage performance. See also our recommendations for the best headphones, the best open-back headphones, and the best headphones for audiophiles.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Sennheiser HD 6XX are both open-back headphones, but the Sennheiser are a bit better for neutral sound. The Sennheiser have a more consistent audio delivery and a better soundstage. Also, their sound profile is more balanced and neutral. However, the Beyerdynamic are more comfortable and better-built, and they also come with a pouch to help protect the headphones.

Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee

The Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee and the Sennheiser HD 6XX are open-back headphones with a similar overall performance, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Jubilee have a more stable fit. However, the 6XX have a more consistent audio delivery across different users.

Sennheiser HD 650

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are better open-back headphones for neutral sound than the Sennheiser HD 650. The HD 6XX have a more consistent audio delivery and a better soundstage performance. Also, while both headphones are lacking a touch of low-bass, the HD 6XX have better bass accuracy. However, the HD 650 are more comfortable.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are better for neutral sound than the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. The Sennheiser are open-back headphones with a more neutral, well-balanced sound profile and a more speaker-like, spacious sound stage. They're also much more comfortable. On the other hand, the Beats block much more ambient sound, thanks to their impressive ANC feature, and they have a more bass-rich sound profile, which some listeners may prefer. They also have a significantly better build quality.

Sennheiser HD 560S

The Sennheiser HD 560S are slightly better headphones for neutral sound than the Sennheiser HD 6XX. The 560S are more comfortable, have a neutral and accurate sound profile, and their passive soundstage performance is a bit better. However, the 6XX are better built.

Sennheiser HD 600

The Sennheiser HD 600 and the Sennheiser HD 6XX are open-back headphones with similar overall performances, and they're both great for neutral sound. The HD 6XX have a more consistent audio delivery across different listeners. However, the HD 600 are more stable.

HiFiMan Sundara 2020

The HiFiMan Sundara 2020 are better for neutral sound than the Sennheiser HD 6XX. Both have similarly well-balanced sound profiles, but the HiFiMan have better treble accuracy, and their passive soundstage is perceived as being larger. They're also much more comfortable.

Sennheiser HD 660 S

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are better for neutral sound than the Sennheiser HD 660 S. The HD 6XX have a more neutral sound profile and a better passive soundstage performance. However, the HD 660 S have a more stable fit and come with a longer audio cable.

Sennheiser HD 599

The Sennheiser HD 599 and the Sennheiser HD 6XX are fairly evenly-matched headphones, and you may prefer either. The 599 are much more comfortable and have a better passive soundstage performance, but their sound may be a bit muddy to some. On the other hand, the 6XX have a more stable fit, a better build quality, and a more accurate mid-range response, but their treble response isn't as neutral, so sibilant sounds are a bit dull. That said, there isn't a huge difference between the two sound profiles, and either pair is a great option if you're looking for headphones for neutral sound. 

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO

The Sennheiser HD 6XX are a bit better open-back headphones for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. The Sennheiser have a more consistent audio delivery across listeners, and their sound profile is more balanced and neutral. However, the Beyerdynamic are better-built, more comfortable, and their soundstage is better. Also, they come with a case, unlike the Sennheiser.

Drop + Sennheiser PC38X

The Sennheiser HD 6XX and the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are both great choices for neutral sound, but the Drop are more suitable for wired gaming. The Drop have a boom microphone that's able to capture your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. They're also more comfortable and have volume as well as mic controls. However, the Sennheiser have a more consistent frequency response. 

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