Sennheiser’s New $600 Headphones Boost the Bass

The Sennheiser HD 660S2 headphones sit on a gray surface against a gray background.

Headphone enthusiasts can be a fickle bunch, but if you could pull a bunch of them away from their amps and Super Audio CD players to ask them to recommend a pair of cans, most would point you to the Sennheiser 600 series reference. Over the past 25 years, Sennheiser has rolled out minor updates to the line, but the latest addition – the new HD 660S2 – addresses a common complaint with newer models.

For those who pride themselves on being true audiophiles, there is no audio gear that is too expensive. If they have to choose between a new car or a similarly priced set of headphones that will take them closer to sonic nirvana, they’ll probably take the bus to work. That’s why headphones like the $16,000 Sennheiser Orpheus HE90 and its follow-up, a $55,000 upgraded model simply called Orpheus, exist.

But you don’t have to blow your budget to treat your ears. Back in 1997, Sennheiser also introduced its HD 600 headphones, which offered great sound, solid build quality, and a comfortable design for $450 ($832 in today’s money). They had an impressive balance of everything headphone enthusiasts wanted, including repairability, without threatening you with total financial ruin. We’re not going to pretend like any old-school audio connoisseur could afford $450 headphones, especially with inflation, But Sennheiser still sells these, now priced at $400. Gif that Apple is now selling $550 AirPodsthe HD 600 doesn’t look outrageously overpriced in comparison.

A person in a yellow sweater with Sennheiser HD 660S2 headphones.

The fact that Sennheiser is still selling a 27-year-old pair of headphones is a testament to the HD 600’s capabilities, but over the years they have been complemented by updated models, including the HD 650 and HD 660S, which have introduced new features such as interchangeable cables and improved materials. Today’s unveiling is the Sennheiser HD 660S2.

Most consumers would probably struggle to hear the difference between the HD 660S and the new HD 660S2, but Sennheiser is positioning them as a solution that addresses a common complaint with other newer models in the range: disappointing low-frequency performance. The company promises that “redesigned 300-ohm transducers” will “lower the headphones’ resonant frequency from 110Hz (original HD 660S) to 70Hz for powerful bass drums that move effortlessly.” The HD 660S2 also benefits from “improved sub-bass tuning” and “a more refined listening experience thanks to improved transducer airflow”.

The Sennheiser HD 660S2 headphones sit on top of a headphone amplifier.

That last upgrade is important if you’re considering any of the 600 series models. These are all open back headphones, That means they don’t stop people from hearing you, unlike offerings from Sony and Apple bust Britney on the subway. TThe HD 660S2 are actually designed to cut through noise to improve their performance. So they’re terrible for office use or on the bus or really anywhere other than the privacy of your own home. The open design also means that any form of noise-cancellation is simply not an option.

The Sennheiser HD 660S2 aren’t wireless either, but they do include a pair of interchangeable 5.8-foot cables with quarter-inch and 4.4-millimeter stereo plugs, as well as a 1/8-inch adapter for those using the headphones to an amplifier, which is actually recommended in order to fully exploit their capabilities. Long story short, these aren’t designed to compete with the feature rich Sony WH-1000XM5 or the Apple AirPods max. thThe $600 HD 660S2 is for those who want to fully enjoy the high-resolution audio they pay extra for without worrying about a phone call or random message notification interrupting their music. You’re also a player in the reference room, helping audio engineers tune their music. You can Pre-orthe from the Sennheiser website if either sounds like you Sennheiser’s New $600 Headphones Boost the Bass

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