HD6xx Sidegrade Suggestions

I’ve had my HD6xx for about a year now and although I really enjoy them, I sometimes find myself looking for something a bit more spacious and open to listen to. The imaging on the HD6xx is really good and I’m able to pick out everything that’s going on in the mix, but at times I feel that they can sound a bit congested. I listened to my Dad’s ATH-AD700s recently which have a much wider soundstage and just have tonnes of space for the instruments to breathe. You can see why AT called it the AIR series. I’ve had a look around and came up with these so far (my max budget would be £200/$250):

  • SHP9500 (£70/$85) - This is the budget option but maybe this is all I need for when I’m in the mood for more space/air? Opinion seems a bit mixed on these but looks like they are comfortable and offer good soundstage.

  • AD700x (£160/$200) - I’ve seen mixed reviews on these as well and people say that they are a bit of a downgrade from the original AD700 in terms of comfort and sound, lacking musicality.

  • K712Pro (£185/$230) - These seem to get generally good reviews but everyone seems to favour the HD6xx.

Are any of the above good options for what I’m looking for, or can anyone suggest some better alternatives? Thanks in advance!

You might want to try the Meze 99 Noir or Neo. very nice imaging and sounstage. Or you could get a tube amp for your 6xx. that would give it more soundstage. other than that the Hifiman Sundara is an upgrade.super nice and a lot of soundstage. The Audio techica have very little clamp.The Shp9500 is a downgrade. The K712 are ok but not great.

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Thanks for the very quick reply, I’ll need to look into the Meze 99 Noir and Neo. I’ve heard of the Sundara’s before but didn’t realise that they may offer the sound that I was looking for. I’ll need to do a bit more research. It’s a shame to hear that none of my suggestions are quite up to scratch haha.

They have the sound everyone is looking for lol. but yeah. nuetral like the 6xx with good treble and bass extension and very nice soundstage. more clarity than the 6xx and more detail

I wouldn’t recommend buying the SHP9500’s if you already have the 6XX’s. I have both of them and you’re right, the Philips are a great budget pair of headphones but they don’t do anything better than the Sennheisers.

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Depending on your Dac/Amp and the over all sound signature you like it maybe worth trying a DT880 600ohm or even the 990 600 ohm?

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They are a lot more expensive in the US compared to the EU. And for the price asked in the US, the HD 600’s (or varients) are the better bang for buck.

In the EU, the K-712 Pro is cheaper than the HD-600, so keep that in mind.

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I have an ATH-AD500x and the K-712 Pro.
Comfort wise, I prefer the AD500x. As the earcups don’t swivel up and down, they are very dependant on your head size (then again, when your dads 700x’s suit you, no problem here).

The K-712 Pro are overall the better headphone (compared to my 500x).


Yes! The 6XX has good midrange timbre most of the time but is not the most resolving. There is a lot of music out there that simply overwhelms them. Since you mentioned spatial presentation as a goal, @Ohmboy’s suggestion of a Beyerdynamic DT880 or DT990 is a good one. Both have an elevated treble that helps with spatial perception and both have a really smooth, detailed midrange. The DT990 comes with boosted bass and a slightly more elevated treble than the DT880. Beyerdynamic’s treble is not for everyone though and some find it too sharp and sibilant. Sounds like you might be a fan, though. Either way look for the 600 ohm edition and an amp to drive them, if you don’t already have an amp. If you do, which amp do you have?

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Good to know thank you.

I find the he 4xx’s soundstage and layering to be quite impressive it’s a very wide spacious presentation personally I go for that if I need air and space from a headphone


Right now I only really listen to my HD6xx through a Yamaha RS202D stereo receiver. I’ve had a look at some Beyers in the past but the treble kind of scares me to be honest haha. I can deal with the AD700s but I’m not a fan of really sharp, piercing or sibilant treble. I had a pair of Vsonic GR07 IEMs which I believe have a similar V-shape and exaggerated treble. Overall I did enjoy the sound but the treble peaks were a bit too much for me and I had to sell them.

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Thanks for the info and the comparisons between the AD500x and K712 Pro. From what I’ve read/watched online, it looks like the K712 Pros are recommended and considered to be a good headphone to compliment the HD6xx/600/650. They also seem to provide the wider soundstage and air that I’m looking for.

Thanks, I’ll have a look into these as well.

That’s where matching them to a "warmer’"Dac/amp comes into play, you get detail without the scares lol.

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I love the 712 personally would own it by now if it wasn’t overpriced in this side of the world

Look at the dt 880 it’s pretty detailed and really not murder or anything it’s a very tasteful.about of treble that could really compliment a 6xx nicely


That’s something I’d probably have to invest in, I would say the receiver that I use just now is pretty neutral.

I can get the K712 Pro here for £184 vs the DT880 600ohm or DT880 PRO 250ohm for £150. So the K712s aren’t too much more expensive. This being the case, would you still recommend looking at the DT880?

Also does anyone know the difference between the 880 and 880 PRO models?

i think the k712 is a little better than the beyer. i had the 880 600ohm and i felt treble was too high and it lacked body

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Pretty sure for the Beyer DTXX0 series “Pro” refers to the 250 ohm version. “Premium” refers to the home version which has slightly different physical styling to increase comfort and make it look more “homey.” For the 880, Premium edition is the 600 ohm version. The the 990 the premium can be 32 ohm or 600 ohm. There might be a 250 ohm 990 premium but I think it’s less common.

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There is a 880 pro & premium 600 ohm, so assuming they are the same impedance it’s mainly the clamp and cable


Yes this seems to be the case. The Pro seems to be available in 250 ohm and the Premium is available in 32, 250 or 600 ohm.

Do you know if there any differences in terms of sound between the pro vs premium? Or just better to go for the premium for 600 ohm?

And would you recommend the 880s over the K712 Pros for a more open and spacious sound compared to the HD6xx?