Sennheiser HD 600 review: Sennheiser HD 600

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.2
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 9.0

Average User Rating

5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Sennheiser's high-end open-air headphones deliver deep bass, luxuriously padded ear cups, and a replaceable cord for a more economical price than their flagship model.

The Bad Expensive; not the best solution for portable listening; gray and black plastic finish doesn't scream high end.

The Bottom Line The Sennheiser HD 600 headphones are a good choice for home listening if you're willing to pay for high-quality sound.

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When Steve Guttenberg reviewed the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones, he rightfully called them "fit for a king"--while noting that they retail for a correspondingly princely sum of $500. Thankfully, the HD 650s aren't the only model in Sennheiser's high-end audiophile line. The Sennheiser HD 600s can be bought at a 40 percent discount to their big brother. Yes, you'll be substituting a grey and black plastic finish for the 650s' fancy titanium metallic housing, but you'll still be getting a high-end pair of open-air headphones while saving enough money to buy a really nice bottle of vintage wine to sip as you listen to your music of choice. (For me, that would be the losslessly encoded FLAC version of Phish's live June 6, 1998, rendition of "Piper.")

If you're not familiar with the open-air design, they leave the outside of the ear cups open so that sound waves moving away from your ear can continue away unimpeded and cannot interfere in any way with the sound moving toward your ear. In the case of the Sennheiser HD 600s, there are pieces of black metal mesh on the outside of the ear cups to cover the drivers and protect them from accidental damage.

Speaking of those drivers, Sennheiser is happy to point out that the HD 600s use computer-optimized neodymium magnet systems, which is supposed to minimize distortion, to drive lightweight aluminum voice coils. A 9-foot Y-cable (one wire to each earcup) delivers your tunes to the drivers and is terminated in a gold-plated 1/8-inch (3.5mm) stereo minijack connection. (Sennheiser also includes a phono adapter for the larger headphone jacks that snap securely over the smaller headphone plug.) Both the earpads and cable are user-replaceable--though Sennheiser is, of course, your only choice when doing so. Replacement earpads will cost you about $41, while cables cost about $25.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Color gray
  • Weight 9.2 oz
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm