When it comes to high-quality headphones, a few popular brands will always pop up during such discussions, and one of them will be Sennheiser. They are famous for their sound quality and stylish-looking headphones, used by professionals and casual users. One of the more popular headphones will be the Sennheiser HD650, which has loads of reviews and requires to be paired with a high-quality headphone amp in order to release its full potential.
We can’t just match Sennheiser HD650 to any powerful headphone amplifier, we must first learn its sound characteristics and also its strength. Once we have all the important data, then we will be able to find a compatible amp. We will also be sharing with you the best amps you can go for and pair them with your Sennheiser HD650.
Sound Characteristics and Strengths of Sennheiser HD650
The Sennheiser HD650 is an over the ear open-back headphones, and like all open-back types, the sound will leak out and might disturb the people around you. Still, there is an advantage of having open-back headphones, as usually, they have a bigger soundstage than other types. There is also a disadvantage too, which is a slight lack of bass when comparing it with closed-back headphones. We will need to take that into account when searching for a matching amp to pair with Sennheiser HD650. The frequency response of the HD650 is impressive, it is 10Hz – 41kHz. The nominal impedance of 300 Ohms already informed us that they are not easy to drive.
The padding at the headband and the fabric the Sennheiser HD650 uses makes it comfortable to wear but the headband may be too tight for others so is best to try them out first. The tightness could help with the stability while wearing and moving at the same time. For such a big headphone, the weight is considered quite light and probably will not be a hassle to wear them for a long duration. Especially with the breathability at the ear cups, it would make a great traveling music partner if it weren’t for the sound leakage disturbing other commuters.
For premium headphones, they are surprisingly musical sounding, and not that we are complaining, it is very enjoyable to listen to them. The warm and smooth sound quality really makes you relax, pulling you away from the surroundings and just focus on the music been played into your ears. Since Sennheiser HD650 is an open-back headphone, we expected the soundstage to be spacious and it doesn’t fail to meet the expectation. The instruments fill up the stage with accuracy and texture. The HD650 sounded a tad warmer than neutral sounding, making the overall sound reproduction full-bodied. Partly due to the solid bass output that is punchy and agile. It can go deep into the bass extension as well.
There is richness in the bass quality, not the boosted or exaggerated low-quality bass found on other headphones. The solid performance of Sennheiser HD650 does lack a bit of clarity and subtle details. Even played at high volumes, the subtle musical details are still not as audible that we would like. Sennheiser HD650 has that clean sound quality and ultra-low distortion which makes listening to our favorite tunes very alluring. It is never clinical sounding and doesn’t really trigger your analytical mind, you just want to enjoy your music. To nitpick a little, if there is a tad more brightness to the treble, it will be slightly livelier when it comes to vocal and string instruments.
It is truly a musical open-back headphone, for anyone who wants to listen to high fidelity sound quality, Sennheiser HD650 would not disappoint. The clean and high-resolution music delivery provides you with that premium HiFi feel, which triggered us to keep playing our favorite tunes non-stop. Now we have gathered all the necessary data, we can now share with you the best headphone amp that you can choose to pair with your Sennheiser HD650.
Sennheiser HD650 Specifications
- Wearing Style: Headband (Over the Ear)
- Transducer Principle: Open-back, Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 10Hz – 41kHz
- THD, Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.05 %
- Nominal Impedance: 300 Ohms
- Jack Plug: 3.5/6.3 mm stereo
- Cable Length: 3 meters (9.8 feet)
- Weight: 260g (0.57lbs)
Best Amps to pair with Sennheiser HD650
When it comes to pairing the Sennheiser HD650 with a headphone amplifier, the Schiit Audio Magni 3 will be one of the best choices. The minimalistic and stylish chrome design may look a bit prominent to match with the aesthetic of HD650 but what’s more important is that the Schiit Audio Magni 3 can drive these headphones without a doubt. The sonic characteristics are quite similar as well, the headphone amp is capable of delivering smooth and clean sound reproduction, but with greater dynamics and control over the music delivery. It is definitely worth an audition and you should really consider going for Magni 3.
The JDS Labs Atom is another amazing headphone amp choice for your Sennheiser HD650, a popular American brand that is gaining plenty of traction over the years. Packs plenty of power to drive high impedance headphones such as the HD650. You can drive them at high volumes without hearing an increase in distortion. The sonic performance that the JDS Labs Atom brings to the table is certainly remarkable but even more so when it comes to affordable price points. If you require a headphone amplifier that is worth every penny you’ve spent, then you must check out the JDS Labs Atom headphone amplifier.
Schiit Valhalla 2 is probably the best choice or at least one of the top amplifiers to match with the Sennheiser HD650 since when they design and built Valhalla 2, they have the HD650 in mind. The amp itself reproduces a clean spacious soundstage and that smooth warmish sound just makes you want to keep listening to all your favorite tunes. It is powerful and more than capable to drive the Sennheiser HD650 with ease. The sonic characteristics of both the amp and headphone are closely matched, and definitely worth the effort to audition them with serious consideration.
Chord Mojo Black DAC/Headphone Amplifier has garnered rave reviews and is highly rated by their satisfied customers. It is a premium headphone amp more than worthy to pair with the talented Sennheiser HD650. The most notable feature will be the built-in premium DAC, up to 768kHz 32bit. For audiophiles who love listening to high-resolution audio files, Chord Mojo is capable of playing DSD 256 audio files. It is an excellent and musical headphone amplifier, just like the HD650 which is an exceptional musical open-back headphone.
If you love the warmth of a tube amp, then probably the DarkVoice 336SE Headphone Tube Amplifier will be an ideal choice for you. Firstly it has more than enough to drive your Sennheiser HD650 and secondly, it reproduces sweet sound quality. This combination even widens the soundstage a little, making it even more entertaining to listen to your music via the HD650. The bass response is tight and deep, not to mention a full-bodied sound. The DarkVoice 336SE is probably one of the very best headphone tube amplifiers you can pair with Sennheiser HD650. It may take some time for the tubes to warm up, so give it time before you fully start the amp audition.
If you own a Macbook with a headphone output and only listen to music via that Apple device then probably you don’t need to purchase any headphone amplifier. Based on the number of positive reviews of Sennheiser HD650 owners, using their Macbook to drive their headphones without any issue and some even prefer the sound quality as well. You might not need to get an external headphone amp. You can also use integrated amplifiers with dedicated headphone outputs to drive your headphones but you need to first check if they have sufficient power to drive the HD650. The recommended power output for this headphone is about 250mW RMS. There are also other popular headphone amp brands you can try out such as FiiO, Rupert Neve Designs, etc.
To Sum It Up
The listed headphone amplifiers are some of the very best you can go for and pair them with your Sennheiser HD650, you should take your time to listen to all of them before making your decision. You can also use this list as a reference to find the best matching headphone amp on your own. Just remember that the HD650 is not easy to drive, and you will require a powerful amplifier.