Jul 17, 2016

Sennheiser HD 600 VS Fostex T50rp Mk3

We all know how hard to drive the mk3's are, but hypothetically speaking if there was a cheap amp/dac that could reliably drive the mk3's, and the hd600's, what would you buy? They are extremely different in sound signature; the mk3's ear piercing highs, whereas the hd600's are more neutral and clear. The mk3's are great for modding and have that planar response, but the hd600's have amazing vocal clarity.
What do you prefer?

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t40rp mk3 for me. The t40 is the most neutral of the series, and any of them with simple mods can pretty handily best anything two or three times it's price, including the hd600, IMO.
Having owned both, they are very different and it's going to comedown to personal taste.

The HD 600 had nice and unoffensive highs. This is both good and bad. Good because it non-fatiguing. Bad because sometimes it's less exciting. The mids are great and the vocals are FANTASTIC! There is a small bid bass bump that gives it some good punch but it's fallowed with a complete lack of extension. That lack of sub bass make it sound odd to me. You get this mid bass punch then nothing.... I like my sub bass so this made it less satisfying for me.

The MKIII in stock form is a bit bright for me. Mids pretty good and though it doesn't have a lot of sub bass it a bit more pleasing to me than the HD 600s. Just switching the pads helps a lot by taming the highs a bit and adding comfort. With a little modding I really enjoy the T50RP. Highs are not so hot, the mid range and vocals get better and the bass is much more pleasing then the HD 600.

If I could only have one, I'd go with my modded T50RP, again it just personal taste. I do eventually plan on getting another HD600 because they have their own special sounds and those lovely mids. Besides I'd yet to hear them on a tube AMP and really want to try that at some point.
Why do people keep comparing apples to oranges? Another 'hot' topic I have seen so many times is M50 vs HD598 -_-
600s without a doubt
Open vs closed already puts you into the apples vs oranges category, but lets just ignore that for now and assume a sufficiently powerful budget amp. In stock form, I would consider the Sennheiser easily a tier higher than the Fostex in terms of clarity/distortion and tonal balance. With a heavily modded Fostex, it could potentially eek out a bit higher than the Senn, though you will never achieve the same sense of openness or staging; this is really a limitation of the driver and the closed form factor.

The HD600 tends to show more changing characteristics with amping, unlike the T50rp. This could be good or bad depending on the individual. I feel the Senn also has overall a higher "potential" than the Fostex, via modding/amping/whatever. I have gone through many Fostex headphones, both vintage and modern alike, and if I may pat my own back was one of the early guys in the modding community for them. I have also gone through many many iterations of the Sennheisers. Heck, I've even had Senn frames with planar drivers in them. So through all my mad collection, modding, and driver transplanting days, I still have one modded Fostex and one HD650 left. The Senn is still the better headphone in my opinion, but the Fostex is pulled out when I want some isolation or need something that can survive a bit of tossing around.
Armaegis
+Armaegis I own a pair of 600's and adore them for their clarity and balance, but I don't get a lot of sound stage from them, even though they are open. But i'm looking into getting a pair of t20's, because they have an immense low end and planar response.
FZJZ
At minimum you'll want new pads and some fluff to toss into the cups to flatten the response at either end.
the HD600 by far
I don't have HD600 but a less subtle variant(if you please) RS220 and Fostex Mk2. I like to listen classical on RS220 and anything other on Fostex. I like balanced sound and Sennheisers don't fulfill me on bass department.
I own a pair of t50s and definitely prefer them to the 600s but only because I have modded them to sound much more neutral than they were originally. Also don't forget the t20s and t40s which are essentially the same headphone with different amounts of openness.
I'll take the Hd600, prefer the reference sound, clear vocals, natural tonality, but don't care to much for the counter top look. I think the HD600 sounds decent with a lot of equipment out there synergy-wise unlike the 650 or 800.
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