Equipment Used – HE-60, HD 650, STAX L300 Limited, RME ADI-2 DAC, iFi Pro iCan, iFi Pro iESL Tidal Hifi. Had a lot of requests for impressions on these. Here’s my take on them.
Build – It’s a very plasticy frame. Doesn’t seem to be particularly terrible plastic. They’re extremely light, but they don’t feel fragile like a pair of STAX Lambdas. The fabric/foam padding up top is not much to look at, but it does the job.
Comfort – Unlike my HD 650 and others in that series, these have very little clamp, but still stay put since they’re so light. The frame is very wide. Reminds me to my Focal Utopias. Not sure if this is due to the age of the plastic, or down to design though. The pads are velour hybrids. Not sure if they are leather. Overall, I can wear these for any length of time and not be bothered in the slightest. Comfort gets an A from me.
Sound – These were re-cabled w/ a STAX connector. The seller didn’t have the Sennheiser amp, which didn’t bother me really because I heard it was not great. I used my iFi setup. I didn’t do any super scientific A/Bing as I’m not very technical, but I did compare them to the HD 650 and STAX L300 Limited. The presentation of sounds was too different from STAX to compare, so I will be making most of my comparisons to the HD 650s.
Treble – The HE-60s are brighter than the HD 650s, but this is a good thing. Vocals were more pleasing to me on the HE-60s when compared to the 650s. I also felt instrument separation was better overall, but with treble heavy instruments, there was no contest.
Mids – The mids are comfortable. Is that a technical term? I don’t think it is, but hey... I warned you. With the HD650s, I found the mids enjoyable, but more intense than the HE-60s at times. I don’t feel this way with the HE-60s. They’re presented very nicely, and I go hours thinking more about the music than the sound. If that makes any sense.
Bass – This was a pleasant surprise. I’d always heard electrostatic = no bass. That was a big problem for me, since I happen to love bass. I was rather unfulfilled with the L300 Limited. That was not the case when I put the HE-60s on. They were surprisingly full sounding and extended low for what I was expecting. They lacked impact, but to compare them to a dynamic is just a setup for failure. I was VERY pleased with the presentation of bass with these. It’s clean and fast. I enjoyed every song I came across. I could not say the same for the STAX.
Sound Stage – Not great at comparing sound stage, but I did find the HE-60s a great deal wider than the HD 650s. This was evident in live jazz & live classical performance recordings.
Conclusion – I listen to hours upon hours of music on a weekly basis. I absolutely love having a variety of headphones, having a different sound for different genres, and just overall like the headphone hobby. I was hesitant about electrostatics for a while. I thought I would either be disappointed in them, or that they would make not want to go back to dynamics and planars. Glad to say that wasn’t the case. I REALLY like the HE-60s, but I can also go back to my other headphones without feeling like I missed anything. This is why I don’t believe in “endgame” headphones.
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