17th Oct 2007 | 23:00
A premium offering with great dynamics
Of all the headphone specialists, Sennheiser probably offers the broadest and most closely spaced range, with something for practically every conceivable application.
Once upon a time, the range included a model called the Orpheus that cost around £10,000, however, these days the range tops out just one model above the HD600.
Appropriately for such a 'premium' product the HD600 is very smartly turned out and features well-judged ear pads that fit snugly round all the sets of ears we tried, applying firm but not irritating pressure, and maintaining stable positioning under all circumstances. The headband is comfortably padded, too.
Sound is well balanced tonally though a little duller in the treble than some rivals. That's worth bearing in mind as it can make the HD600 sound less involving in a quick listening test, but persevere. The difference is quite small and, as so often happens with tonal variations, one very quickly adjusts to it.
Further down the range, the bass is very good indeed; strong and tuneful, but always precise. Midrange seems to us just a little congested, but still offers levels of detail which most loudspeakers can only dream of.
The stand out feature of this model, though, is the dynamics, which are broad and effortless, with no sense of strain. This makes it a good choice for music with lots of transients.
It's great, for example, with well-recorded rock, but perhaps a little less comfortable with classical. Sound seems to vary little between dedicated headphone amp and CD player headphone socket.