HD6XX or HD600? considering price difference

Hi all!

Just going to start off with acknowledging that this is a long standing debate between which is better, I am also very new to hifi audio. I already have a pair of DT990 pro’s and was looking for something with a much different sound signature, something that really represents vocals and mids very well, something more intimate and beautiful compared to my DT’s. I enjoy the bass on the DT’s although the treble is a bit too much for me at times and without a whole lot of comparison the vocals sound a little far away at times.

My music preferences vary greatly, although I mainly listen to Rock/metal, with a hint of pop/hip hop/classical.

I already have an AMP that I use with the DT990 pro’s, I use a Fiio K5 pro which does a fantastic job, powers them really well.

Now to get into the business, I recently discovered that Drop ships the HD6XX to Australia, considering the conversion rate that would cost approximately $300 AUD, the HD600 on the other hand is $450 AUD. For my musical preferences which would be better, also considering the price difference.

Thanks all!

the 6xx is not Drop’s version of the 600’s…it’s their version of the HD650. just making sure you’re aware of this detail.

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Yes sorry! I am aware, I should have clarified that. I’m wondering which one would be a better choice, knowing that they have a slightly different sound, as in, for my musical preferences and what type of sound I want, would the HD600 or the HD6XX/650 be a better choice taking the price into consideration

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Though I prefer the HD600 a touch more than my 6xx, I would have a hard time not recommending to save $150 here. My comfort/aesthetics pref probably matters just as much here.

However, for your sonic goal, I think the 6xx may also be the better choice. Though these differences are small overall.

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you will want both as they are quite different from each other…however with your music specified, I think the 6xx will do you better.

HD600’s on an OTL tube amp for classical / orchestral music is literal endgame though. :slight_smile:


Just found out that the 6XX will take over 3 months to arrive where I live, so I suppose that answers the question.

Will the HD600 still fulfil what I want sonically, which is a more intimate vocal/mid focused experience, especially when compared to the DT990’s. I did want to retain some of the DT’s bass however considering I’m not selling them its not a huge concern. Is there anything else at the $400-$450 AUD mark I should be considering? (about 300USD)

Cheers for the replies!

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what is the cost of the HD650’s there?

the 6xx family isn’t known for being bassy…however the 650 and 660s have more bass than the 600’s I believe.

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The HD650 are in limited stock here, only two stores even sell them, they are $100 more expensive. Yeah I did think that was the case, as I said I am quite happy to give up the bass as if I really want it I can just put on my DT’s again. the HD660S is $200 more

Short answer on HD600, yes. I think you’re going to lose some of the low-end bass vs. DT990
However, in the genre’s you’ll be focussing your usage on the HD600 — I don’t think you’ll miss it.
They’re still warmish in that there’s plenty of mid/upper bass bloom.

The peaks of treble will still be pulled-back from the 990, so the overall tilt to the sound signature may come across weightier to you. Impressions vary.

Is Hifiman Sundara available to you in that pricerange? I’m guessing the K5Pro can run those okay (looks like 1.5w at 32ohm).

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Thanks for that, yeah ultimately I’m not too concerned about the bass, mainly want something that sounds a little warmer, more intimate and less bright than the DT’s (will still keep them). Something that is quite different than the DT’s. since you have the HD600’s, how do female vocals come across?

The sundara looks like it is also $100 more, so $550 for sundara and $450 for HD600. It is a little outside my budget, although if it is a big step up I might be able to stretch for the sundara.

Hot damn. I scored open box Sundaras in the States for $269. This forum has a very broadly spaced user base.

Sundara to me is the next step above a lot of what the HD600 is good at, obv a different driver format (high impedance dynamic vs low-impedance planar). But, well-timbered mid-centric. I think Sundara does better work up-top and offers more linear low-end extension while sounding quick and effortless while naturally toned. The soundstage and airiness seem to be polarizing. I find them pretty spacey. It is the better all-arounder for my prefs. I also own DT990!

However, nothing to me offers the “intimacy” and vocal tonality (especially female) of the HD-600 series headphones. I think they’re still pretty good all-arounders too. But, you’ll be able to avoid their drawbacks (sometimes all that intimacy is a bit much, not bass cannons, etc.)

HD6__ series certainly sounds like what would be terrific for what you want.
So, if you want something in the near-term, you’ll have to decide if +$100 is worth it for the small tweaks of the HD650 over the HD600. I’d go with the OG 600.

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Wow thanks for that detailed reply! That’s a super deal for a sundara, that’s like $300AUD. Unfortunately living in AUS there are barely any used variants of any headphone, not a single HD600 or HD650 on ebay or any other website. Otherwise I’d definitely consider buying used. Yeah its super cool that there’s a wide user base, although it makes explaining availability and pricing a little more difficult.

Hmm, it sounds like overall the Sundara is a better headphone, but maybe the 600 is more specifically what I’m looking for? If that makes any sense, as I am looking for a more vocal focused and intimate headphone with a bit of a smaller soundstage. I hope this makes sense. I think the DT’s do me for soundstage, bass and excitement. I would obviously just go and test them at a store instead of asking on a forum, however at the moment its not really an option sadly.

I think I’d go with the 600, I don’t really see what the $100 for the 650 would get me, the sundara’s are interesting

I only own the HD 600 not the HD 650/6XX, but fwiw recent measurements from reliable sources show less difference between the two models than apparently existed in the past. The current difference is more like unit-to-unit variation and is less than the difference between fresh earpads and broken-in earpads. In the past the accepted take was that compared to the 600 the 650 had slightly better-extended bass but with what used to be called a veiled treble, meaning rolled off.

Technically speaking, both models have a slight boost in the low mid-range where the bass and baritone male voice lives, but many people actually prefer this over a technical flat tuning.

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Hmm, very interesting, maybe this is why at least in Australia the HD650 is no longer available (other than old stock) assuming this is correct, Overall do you think that considering what I am looking for that the 600 is a good pick?

(sorry for drawing this thread out, its just difficult to decide when you can’t hear them!)

They’re both perfect for what you’re looking for. The 650/6XX has a touch more bass but is mostly the same can. For your music I think the 6XX will be a bit better but if you can’t wait, they’re close enough that it won’t make a huge difference (I own both). For max goodness you want to run them off tubes.


Thanks heaps!, that’s great to hear, I think I’ve mostly made up my mind and will be going with the HD600, just a quick question, how much of an improvement do tubes make, I mean noticeable audible improvement. If its big I might invest in tubes later down the line!

The HD6… line scales very well. Meaning, the better the equipment driving them, the better they will get. So “improvement” between solid state and tubes is perhaps not the right question. Improvement comes (usually) from moving up to better amps rather than the type of amps. But, it’s a matter of personal taste an system synergy. Having said all that, it’s well established that these cans have a special character when amplified with tubes.


Hmm, thanks for that, very interesting, I think for now my K5 Pro will do the job. Thanks for the help!

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I’ve owned both, my preference goes for the 600 but i think is good only if you own others headphones. It sounds really great (and better than the 650) with classic, rock, jazz and generally with all the music that doesn’t require that much bass but the 650 is a better all rounder.

Just want to say that this is another fine example of the quality of this forum…
helpful folks with lots of hands-on (ok ears-on) experience and solid answers to
questions posed. Kudos all.

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