Where do I go? (HD560S)

So, I got the Sennheiser HD560S a while back and for the duration of time in which I have owned them. They have proven themselves to being an absolutely wonderful headphone. They are absolutely phenomenal. But with all that being said, I’ve sort of been aspiring to add to my collection and have something much more different in comparison to the HD560S just to change things up a bit and not be subjected to the same thing perpetually regardless of how great they are. My main budget is within the under $400 range. The options have been in constant rotation for consideration:

HiFiMan Sundara ($373)

Sennheiser HD650 ($346)

Modhouse Argon MKIII ($355)

HarmonicDyne Zeus ($330)

All in this list have been proven to be great by numerous headphone reviewers and generally most of the community. But they have some downsides that I personally find to cause hesitation.

Sundara - Neutral (Similar to the HD560S. DON’T want analytical. + QC issues.)

HD650 - (Tonality does not differ enough to warrant a doubling in price compared to the HD560S.)


Zeus - (Some hate it. Some love it. Don’t want to risk it + build isn’t as good as something like the HD6x0 lineup fro. What I hear)

With all these flaws considered. I have absolutely nowhere to go essentially. I’ve looked at IEMs namely the Moondrop Blessing 2 DUSK and Kato, (Is an IEM worth it over the headphone options considered if my intention is at-home use?) and I’m not quite sure about DACs and Amps either).

I am completely lost and puzzled and am just stuck in this seemingly perpetual cycle of mid-fi products. I truly need guidance, please.


What kind of music do you listen to? What would you change about the HD560S if you could?


I listen to just about everything. To be specific, though. More alternative R&B and Hip-Hop. I would not want to change a single thing on the HD560S - It truly is a perfect analytical headphone. Again, I’m looking for more of a less-micro-detailedheadphone and a more relaxed sound.

Sennheiser HD 6xx, if you want to stay in Sennheiser family. It’s basically identical to an HD 650 in a collaboration between Drop.com and Sennheiser, but it’s only $220 new. Plus it’s a very popular can, so you can find a ton of them in great shape used for $150ish.

The HD 6xx has fantastic mids, even better than the HD 560s, which I owned and sold. It also doesn’t have the treble peak of the HD 560s, which led me to sell the 560s and buy the 6xx.

You won’t find a more relaxed, easy-to-listen headphone at the price than the 6xx. It works well with everything, especially poorly produced, mixed and mastered rock and pop. The treble rolls off at the right spot, so there’s no spike like the HD 560s or the grainy, hot treble of brands like Beyerdynamic or Audio-Technica.

Some people call that easy sound signature the “Sennheiser veil,” and I can see why. These are not detail monsters and not as detailed as the 560s. The soundstage also is more narrow than the 560s, but the 560s aren’t known for huge soundstage. I think the imaging in both is similar.

Still, these cans sound great. They’re SO easy to listen to for hours, at least in terms of sound signature. They have pretty strong clamp force, even more than the HD 560s, which is a bit annoying. But you get used to it, and the headband metal should bend naturally to the contours of your head with time.

The HiFiMan HE-400se is another suggestion for an easy-to-listen headphone, but with a planar dynamic driver. It’s an ASTONISHING value for $149 new, now on sale for $129. Solid bass and treble, with a small peak in the treble that didn’t annoy me as much as that in the HD 560s. The mids are a smidge thin, but I wouldn’t call them scooped or hollowed out.

While the HD 560s have slightly better imaging and detail than the HE-400se, the HE-400se have a dynamism to the sound that’s missing from the analytical HD 560s. Think of the two headphones as two strangers you would meet at a party. Both are nice people, but one is reserved and polite – that’s the HD 560s. The other is engaging and really fun to talk with but without any airs or “look at me!” showmanship – that’s the HE-400se.

I’ve heard a lot of headphones with inferior sound that cost three times as much as the HE-400se. I struggle to think of a better audiophile value, even at the full price of $149.

You will need an amp to drive the HD 6xx and HE-400se to their respective full potentials. But since that’s the case for the HD 560s, you probably already have sufficient power at your fingertips.

Good luck!


Your idea of getting a pair of IEMs sounds good to me. That’ll give you something you can use when open back headphones aren’t an option.

In that arena, two solid choices are the Moondrop Starfield (or the supposedly similar Aria), and the Tripowin Mele. The Moondrop option gives a very balanced and pretty mellow sound with solid bass presence that should work well for hip hop. The Mele is a sightly more fun tuning, with spicier vocals and more mid-bass, and happens to be tuned by someone who listens to both hip hop and classic rock (@hawaiibadboy). Neither of these is what I would describe as analytical, so should be a nice departure from the HD560S. I personally prefer the Mele, but they’re both well liked options.

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The 650 is actually really different, but if you just want something completely different you could go closed, k371 or meze 99 or something like that…

The Meze 99 Classics are a good choice if you want bass cannons. The Mezes basically are Beats in a tuxedo – they ooze and bleed bass throughout the lower mids and mids. It’s not as uncontrolled bass as Beats or Sony wireless cans, but I don’t think the 99 Classics’ bass ever will be called “punchy” or “slamming” like a Focal.

And unlike Beats, there are mids and highs in the Meze 99 Classics. The highs are surprisingly good, with treble roll-off at just the right spot.

Three other plusses about the 99 Classics, too.

One, insane build quality. Not a piece of plastic on them. Metal and leather suspension headband, wooden earcups, leather pads.

Two, they’re quite comfortable if you don’t have huge ears. The cups aren’t deep, but they’re comfy.

Three, they’re one of the easiest audiophile-level cans to drive. You don’t need an amp and can drive them easily from your phone, and I don’t think the sound improves that much, even with an amp. I’ve read where Meze’s balanced cable helps to tame the bass and add sparkle to the mids and highs, but that cable costs $110, more than a third of the $310 retail price of the 99 Classics.

If you can tolerate the booming bass, then the 99 Classics are the polar opposite of the HD 560s.

Good point by @ragecandy.

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One question otherwise do you already have an existing DAC amp cause that could also eliminate some recommendations?
If not something like the beyerdynamic tygr could also be another taste for you, slight Beyer V shape without it’s treble peaks and lots of soundstage

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I think that, as far as the HD650 goes… it’s a question of: is it worth having both?

Well, I don’t actually have one I just use an Audient iD4.

Hm it says it drives 600ohm cans and from the specs it drives 600 Ohm HP with 100mw, so the beyerdynamic dt 880 600ohm would also be an alternative or for a more mid forward presentation a Sennheiser hd6xx maybe too
But I don’t think your interface has the juice to drive any more demanding planars like the Sundaras or the argons so I would scratch those from your list except you’ll invest in an Amp like a magni 3 or comparable

Lack of a detachable cable on the DT880 600 ohm sort of leave me more hesitant than the rest of my options - at least what’s left of it.

Hm maybe something like an AKG k712 could also tickle your interest, for more soundstage with a bit more bass response?

I’ve heard that the HD650s are just the better headphone.

Not sure i could compare them really against each other one has an intimate soundstage and the other a pretty wide one
The hd is mid centric with a slight bass boost in the mids the akg is more warm
Just not sure wich one has more details because it’s been a long time since I did hear the
Those are imo HP for different situations/taste wouldn’t say one is definitely better than the other one except you talk about gaming were the Sennheisers have to little soundstage to be competitive

Would you say that they are good for more relaxed listening, though?

For me personally definitely but I’ll have to say i have a few Beyer cans so I’m definitely not treble sensitive at all, so if a 560s is a bit sharp for you a second opinion would be helpful :wink:

I personally don’t hear sibilance or treble peaks. They just don’t exist at all, for me personally. I still think that the HD650s are all-around a better option considering what you get for their price.

Like I said the akg are a different sound signature and I got mine used for 120bucks so I’m ok with them new for something like 300$ in USA i would also think twice about it
A direct upgrade would be for me something like the DC aeon RT but for those you’ll need an amp

Do the K712s to you execute the sound signature they are attempting to produce well? Take for instance, the HD560S absolutely excels in executing a neutral reference headphone. So, assuming that the K712s are enjoyable, do they execute that purpose well? As far as how much I can get them for, I can get them for around $231 new.