What headphones are like the HD600, but better?

the HD600’s are probably going to be one of my endgame headphones, since they are renowned for how well they do with tube amps, which do well with the orchestral music I generally listen to.

so, if we double and triple the budget (based on the cost of an HD600), what else is like them, but does it better?

the only thing that strays from the HD600 is headphones that have soundstage. they’re known to be rather intimate. this actually leads me to a question…if the soundstage is intimate, wouldn’t that affect how well they image?

This will be VERY subjective. I think the better version of the HD600 is the HD660. It is the same type of plain, uncoloured presentation, but has more bass and, to me, a fuller sound.

The 600’s do better with tube amps and if that is where you are at, maybe 600’s are the answer. I didn’t like the 600’s with SS or hybrid amps. That is probably too strong. More accurate to say I was unimpressed.

Subjectively speaking, my favourite headphones are the Grado GH2 and Focal Elex. Those may well evolve into the Grado GS3000e’s and the Focal Elex’s.

The answers are going to be different for everybody.

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different? sort of. headphones get known for a type of performance. sure, people may have different thoughts about said headphones, but there will be sound signature that will become it’s reputation and that will become the reason they are sought by people.

so something like them, but better will give a form of difference, but in a good way. :slight_smile:

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I’ve been looking for a “super HD600” for some time now. The only ones that I’ve read about (but not heard) that appear similar are the Focal Clear and Abyss Diana V2.

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I can see Auteur being described as a super HD600. It is pretty neutral with more detail. Has great timbre and plays well with tubes. I think it adds the "super"ness with wider stage, better imaging, and detail.
HD600 still wins on tone and organic-ness though.

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Yeah, that’s a hard question, because the HD600 series are so unique. But personally, I think the Focal Clear and the original Hifiman HE-500 with Velpads come the closest to the HD600 and does many things better. The Clear has much better slam, dynamics, and overall detail than the HD600, with a similar tonal balance. The HE-500 (with Velpads) has a noticeably larger soundstage but doesn’t do vocals as well as the HD600. I use some EQ with both the Clear and HE-500 because as good as they are, they aren’t perfect. Also, I still think the HD600/650/58X/660S have the best vocals and midrange out of any headphone, regardless of price.

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i own both, the HD600 and the Clears. I would not say that they are that similar. The Clear sounds brighter to my ears, which can throw HD600 owners off, because HD600s are just so damn smooth. That being said, every new headphone needs some time for your brain to adapt and if you do, the Clears are definitely one of the best choices. Another HP that get’s compared quite often to the HD600, that i own, are the Neumann NDH-20s. Yes, the overall frequency response seems similar. I even showed them to a long-time HD600 owner and he really, really liked them. But imo, the comfort is a real issue for long time sessions, especially compared to the HD600s. Also the NDH-20 are a closed set and have waaay more bass, and adding the hardcore dampening, the overall experience is totally different imo. And the most important thing to mention from my site: i had some short listening sessions on the HD600 of my buddy many years ago and always loved them. It was this point in time where my headphone journey started and at exactly that time, the HD700 launched so is went for that. Completly different then the HD600 for sure, but still amazing to me. Since then i got tons of headphones like the aforementioned, but also stuff from Audeze, B&W, Hifiman etc. But i never once said “yes, this sounds like a HD600 but better”, that’s why i bought a used pair this year. And i have to say, the overall mid-forward, cuddely-smooth but still detailed sound, intimate presentation and perfect comfort makes the HD600 an outstanding, unique experience. Imo, the HD600 is not just a good mid-tier HP to get into the HP-game, no. It’s an outstanding, brilliantly balanced performer that’s really fucking hard to beat! So maybe you should just discard the whole idea of a “better HD600”. There is no better HD600 then the HD600. So you should set yourself another goal: get some variety in your HP game. Maybe try a planar like the Sundara/Ananda or LCD-series, maybe shoot higher and get a Focal Clear, maybe you want to stick to Sennheiser and get an HD800S (NOT as a better HD600 but for the soundstage thing!!) just grab what meets your interests, it might be the exact opposite of what the HD600 does and you might appreciate it likewise. But forget the idea of a HP that “sounds like an HD600 but better.”


Never had an HD600 before but I did heard some people preferring the sounds of the SHP9500s over the HD600s. Not only because of the sounds, but I guess they prefer the SHP9500s even more is because you’re getting a good piece of headphones at an affordable price since the HD600s are more pricey. Also with the SHP9500s, you really don’t need an AMP in order to power in the SHP9500s unlike the HD600s that needs an amp, pretty much a factor on why there are some people preferring it over the HD600s.

never had s SHP9500 before, but i won’t change my attitude about There is no better HD600 then the HD600. The problem with that is - if you keep a great HP like the HD600 as your reference or baseline, you will always find some things that “better” an other HPs but also some that are “worse” - because you’re not used to the difference. That’s why i think, your next HP should be either something entirely different or something at a significantly higher price tag, or both. So either completely different, or a significant, instand upgrade in resolution etc., or both.

This is likely it. I’m sure that person was just comparing two affordable headphones. They both sound very different. 9500s will be sibilant and unrefined in comparison.