Hifiman HE400S vs Sennheiser HD650 are very popular among audiophiles. So, which one is better? In this article, we will try to figure out the best headphones in the sub-$300 category by comparing them against each other. So, continue reading below!
Our discussion will cover everything about:
– The design and build quality of each headset
– The comparison of their comfort
– What accessories that are included with each model
– The sound quality of Hifiman HE400S vs Sennheiser HD650
– Which headset that is generally more recommended for you
Hifiman HE400S: Design and Comfort
At first, Hifiman HE400S may look bulky, but this is not really a bad thing. Besides the fact that the headset is not designed for commuting or traveling in the first place, the earcups are actually quite thin due to using planar magnetic drivers. The bulk mostly comes from the square-shaped frame. See also: Sennheiser HD1 Vs HD1 Free
You will be able to adjust the fit simply by moving the headband along the frame. This is cool because the fit is consistently snug and precise, even when tested by people with different head sizes. The earcups are pretty wide.
Hifiman HE400S still looks great despite the somewhat bulky size, thanks to the silver accents and the premium-looking black grills. The overall build quality is excellent, too. The frame is really robust. It should be able to last for quite a while.
Design is one important factor, but comfort is arguably even more important. Fortunately, Hifiman HE400S does feel nice on the head. The earcups have thick pads, and they will cover your ears properly as expected from well-designed over-ear headphones. In addition, the headband has a soft vinyl-like finish which ensures a comfortable and slip-resistant fit.
Perhaps the only issue is that, after wearing the headset continuously for a few hours, it can get pretty hot. But there is nothing major with the heat. You can take the headset off for a few moments to let your ears cool down before resuming. In general, Hifiman HE400S is still a very comfy headset that you can wear for a few hours just fine.
Hifiman HE400S: Accessories
Since Hifiman HE400S vs Sennheiser HD650 are not really designed for portable uses, they don’t come with carrying cases. To be honest, there aren’t many items that are included in their boxes. But, again, this is not a real issue because these headphones aren’t meant for such uses anyway.
Hifiman HE400S comes with a Y-shaped cable. It is a braided cable, and it is both strong and good-looking. It connects to the headphones via 2.5mm ports, and to audio sources through a 3.5mm jack. A 1/4-inch adapter is also included, so you should be able to connect the headset to most devices. Keep in mind that you will need a decent amp to drive this headset properly.
Hifiman HE400S: Sound Quality
Hifiman HE400S is a well-designed and comfortable headset, but the good things don’t end there. In terms of sound quality, Hifiman HE400S is also great.
First of all, note that this headset is not meant for people who prefer bass-heavy or overly bright sounds. Hifiman HE400S is targeted at budget audiophiles, and it offers a very natural sound. It is smooth and very easy to listen to. It is quite accurate, but without being too analytical, and it won’t cause ear fatigue.
Both Hifiman HE400S vs Sennheiser HD650 have open-back headphones. As the effect, noise isolation is not something that these headphones can provide. Environmental noise will enter your ears through the open grilles of the earcups, and your music will also leak to the environment. That’s why these headphones are only suitable for home listening.
However, open-back headphones can provide a lot more realistic sound. Hifiman HE400S is very good in this regard. It can easily create a wide and realistic soundstage, and you can hear different instruments clearly.
Hifiman HE400S is quite easier to drive than Sennheiser HD650, and this is a notable advantage. You can use the Fiio E17 external amp, and Hifiman HE400S will sound good. On the other hand, Sennheiser HD650 is quite more difficult to drive; it sounds weak and lifeless on the Fiio E17 external amp, so it requires a more capable and possibly more expensive unit.
The mids on Hifiman HE400S are really nice and well-defined. They have good presence without being overbearing. The highs are also nice. The high-end is very rich so that violins, high-pitched vocals, and cymbals can sound really great in the mix. However, the bass is relatively weak. The bass does have good definition and accuracy, but a slight increase in the presence can be a very good thing.
Overall, Hifiman HE400S is an excellent headset. The sound is consistently good and distortion-free until you hit dangerous volume levels. The natural sound will please most audiophiles, although it may be necessary to fine-tune your EQ to increase the bass section a little bit.
Sennheiser HD650: Design and Comfort
Now, we are going to take a look at Sennheiser HD650. Most high-end models that come from this brand often look similar. Sennheiser HD650 is not different, with giant earcups that are essentially squashed ovals. The company has tilted the earcups a bit to create a more standard fit.
The construction is mostly plastic, with a sparkly dark gray finish. The earcups come with a darker shade, creating a slight contrast to help improve the overall look. On the back of each earcup, there is a metallic mesh that protects while also showing off the driver inside.
On the top of the headband, you can find the logo of the brand screen-printed. The model number itself is etched above each earcup. Overall, there are enough physical touches to indicate that Sennheiser has at least put some effort into the aesthetics, yet without excessive colors or flashiness. The result is one professional-looking headset.
In terms of maintainability, Sennheiser HD650 is very good. You can literally order and replace every part of the headset. This can be a consideration when choosing between Hifiman HE400S vs Sennheiser HD650, especially if you want something that will last for a while and you can repair by yourself.
After using the headset for some time, we can say that Sennheiser HD650 is comfortable to wear. It is lightweight, so it will not put a pressure on the top of your head. It also has a snug yet comfortable fit. It won’t cause pressure points that may trigger headaches. So, it can be a decent choice if you are planning to use your headset extensively, either for casual listening or for professional mixing.
Sennheiser HD650: Accessories
As mentioned above, these headphones don’t come with many accessories. There is no carrying case, which is fine because Sennheiser HD650 is designed for home or studio use. If you are really worried about protecting your headset, you can use the packaging box to store the headset while not in use.
With Sennheiser HD650, you only get a simple 1/4-inch adapter. The cable is attached to the headset already. It is quite long, but it doesn’t feel as robust as Hifiman HE400S’s cable. Still, it is a good cable. And you also need an amp to drive this headset.
Sennheiser HD650: Sound Quality
In terms of sound quality, Sennheiser HD650 is great. It is mostly a midrange-oriented headset. However, you need a very good amp to get the best mids.
The company claims that Sennheiser HD650 has very low distortion due to having an improved magnet structure. High-frequency extension is handled by a mechanism of aluminum voice-coil windings. When tested, the performance indeed has very minimal distortion. But, because of that, you will also need to take some time to really find the best of the sound quality. Sennheiser HD650 often shies away from particularly flashy display.
There is a slight coloration in the highs, but it is not really noticeable. Meanwhile, the bass is warm and full, yet without being exaggerated. Thanks to the open-back design, Sennheiser can also deliver realistic performance with a decent soundstage – but the lack of noise isolation is also there.
Accuracy is Sennheiser HD650’s biggest strength. The impedance level is quite high at 300 ohms, so you need an amp with enough power to drive it. As long as it is driven properly, the sound is very accurate with a flat response. It is quite analytical, and it will show any flaw that is present in the mix. Hence, it can be an excellent choice for monitoring. You need a powerful amp to get the best performance, but this should not be a problem in a studio environment.
Hifiman HE400S vs Sennheiser HD650
- Sounds terrific on your smartphone or most any portable audio device
- Superb Hi-Fi Quality with lifelike clarity, detail, extended bass and wide sound stage
- Only 350g-Long Hours of Comfortable Listening
- Innovative headband and specially designed ear pads for remarkable comfort
- Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an incredible 0.05 percent
- Improved frequency response is 10 39,500 Hertz ( 10 dB)
- Hand selected matched driver elements; Highly optimized magnet systems for minimum harmonic and inter modulation distortion
- High power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency ; 3.5 millimeter jack plug
In general, Hifiman HE400S is more recommended. It has a better design and build quality, and it offers a smoother, more natural sound. It is very enjoyable to listen to. On the other hand, Sennheiser HD650 is more accurate to the point of being analytical, and thus more suitable as a headset for monitoring than casual listening.