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The Sennheiser HD 6XX headphones in black against a blurred out blue, shimmering background.

Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX review

An exceptional deal for at-home headphones.
By
June 30, 2022
7.8
Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX
The bottom line
If you're looking for a set of headphones to stay by the computer, few offer a better price-to-performance ratio than the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX. Based on the design of the legendary Sennheiser HD 650, the HD 6XX is a steal at half the price.

Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX

If you're looking for a set of headphones to stay by the computer, few offer a better price-to-performance ratio than the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX. Based on the design of the legendary Sennheiser HD 650, the HD 6XX is a steal at half the price.
Release date

2018

Price

Original: $240 USD

June 2022: $199 USD

Dimensions

70mm x 40mm (inside ear cup)

1.8m (cable)

Weight

260g

Model Number

HD 6XX

Waterproof

No

What we like
Sound quality
Removable/replaceable cable
Open back
Soft velour padding
Price
What we don't like
Might need amp
No isolation
7.8
SoundGuys Rating
8.2
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
9.8
8.1
8.0
Bass
9.7
7.7
8.0
Midrange
9.9
8.7
9.0
Highs
9.8
8.6
9.0
Durability / Build Quality
6.5
7.8
8.0
Value
8.4
9.1
9.0
Design
8.0
8.4
8.0
Connectivity
6.5
7.4
7.0
Portability
2.0
6.8
7.0
Feature
5.9
9.0
9.0
Comfort
9.0
8.5
9.0

Wholesale site Drop has taken to partnering with audio companies to offer products at a discount, but are they any good? The site has partnered with Sennheiser to release two dramatically-cheaper options in both the Drop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee, and now the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX. Based off of the former consumer flagship and Sennheiser HD 650, the HD 6XX has enormous shoes to fill. We spent a couple of weeks using the product to see how it compares, and interestingly enough, there’s really not much difference anyone will notice between the two—the HD 6XX is the best deal currently for audiophile headphones.

Editor’s note: this review was updated on June 30, 2022, to add Alternatives and FAQ sections, update the score per our refined scoring guide, add a frequency response chart that compares the headset to our studio curve. 

Audiophiles on a budget, or Sennheiser fans looking for that high-end fix at less than half of sticker price will love the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX. While it won’t look the same, the matte black plastic and metal casing looks better in my opinion. Additionally, the headphones come with all of the perks of the famed Sennheiser HD 650, so what’s not to love?


What’s it like to use the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX?

For anyone looking to get into the world of high-end audio, the Sennheiser HD 6XX is an excellent entry point. Not only is it more affordable than the legendary Sennheiser HD 650 that it’s based off of, it also provides an incredibly similar performance as well.

The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX and its logo.
The HD 6XX might not have a flashy design, but it’s built all around those high-performance drivers.

If you’re making the jump from more portable headphones, you need to know that open-backed headphones like the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX presents with some foibles that you might not be ready for. For example: the headphones do not offer any isolation from your surroundings, and you will find that outside noise will be incredibly annoying through no fault of the headphones. Because of that, you are insane if you take these out on a commute with you. Not only are you sacrificing audio quality, but you’ll have to crank the volume up to unsafe listening levels in order to hear your music above the outside world.

The natural habitat of the Sennheiser HD 6XX is by a computer, or plugged into a home theater setup. There are several reasons for this which I’ll get into in a moment, but for now you should assume that this is where you’re going to use these headphones if you buy them. This is perfectly fine for music lovers who want to rock out at home, and it’s a great place for these cans. If you’re wondering whether these are for you, keep in mind that the selling point of the Sennheiser HD 6XX is the audio quality and almost nothing else. There’s no microphone for calls, there’s no extra features, or anything like that. It’s a purely performance-centric device.

A photo of the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX and its velour ear pads.
Deep velour pads mean comfortable listening sessions—even if you wear glasses.

Because the Sennheiser HD 6XX is only about 260g (under 10oz.), the large ear cups with velour ear pads do a great job. Not only do they secure the headphones to your skull well, but they also don’t put too much pressure on your head either. The ear cups themselves are so large that they most likely will never touch your outer ears, or force them into an unnatural position.

This, combined with the open backs mean that you can listen to these headphones for hours on end with only minimal heat buildup or discomfort. Additionally, those who wear glasses will appreciate the velour pad covering, as it doesn’t bind or catch on the arms of your specs.

What does the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX use for connection?

A photo of the earcup cable connectors on the Drop X Sennheiser HD 6XX.
The removable cable connections mean you can replace your wire if something breaks.

Like most audiophile headphones, the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX uses a good ol’ TRS 3.5mm headphone connector. This cable, in turn, plugs into each earcup at the bottom with a removable two-pin connector. On the off chance you somehow damage your cable, don’t worry: you can just grab a new one online (though that one has a 6.3mm connection—you’ll need a cheap adapter). Or if you don’t have time for that, you could always repair it yourself.

Can you use the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX with a phone?

A photo of the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX's 3.5mm plug.
A 3.5mm plug means you can use just about any wired connection, provided there’s enough juice.

This is a good time to point out that you may want to use a DAC and amplifier for this set of headphones, as it takes a little bit more power than you might be used to needing. Not every phone can get it to a good loudness, for example. On paper, only the LG G8, LG V30, V35, V40, V50 can satisfy the power requirements of these headphones. The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX are much better suited for the computer.

A photo of a hand turning up the knob of a headphone amplifier
Caption

To expand upon this, the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX has a resistance rating of 300Ω and a sensitivity of 103dB/1Vrms. That’s a pretty significant amount of power needed to reach higher volumes, so you want to leave these by the computer. If you find that your preferred source can’t get the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX to a good listening volume, you’ll want to pick up an amp.


How does the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX sound?

I’m going to have a hard time giving this model up when the review is over, because the HD 6XX is a truly exceptional pair of headphones. A lot of that owes to the fact that it’s basically the same headset as another audiophile darling, just… $200 instead of $499 USD. There aren’t any channel balance errors, no appreciable distortion, and the sound is neutral-leaning. I personally prefer this sound over bassiness, so these headphones are a good fit for my life at home.

A chart shows the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX frequency response relative to the SoundGuys studio curve, revealing a notably under-emphasized sub-bass response.
The bass under-emphasis is normal for open-back headphones.

Like many audiophile headphones, they target what we refer to as a “studio” response, where the headphones don’t add many “colorations” or swings in emphasis for the notes in your music. The main advantage of this is that you can hear a song closer to how it was intended to be heard, without any extra changes to the signal. Additionally, songs will appear a lot “clearer” than you might be used to because there aren’t any ranges of notes that make it particularly difficult to hear others. This type of response really excels with music recorded before the loudness wars.

While open-backed headphones like the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX have certain advantages, they also have a major weakness when it comes to dealing with outside noise.

You may be used to extreme bass over-emphasis in your headphones, so they may sound a little like they don’t have much bass at first. Your ears will get used to it, and in the long run you’ll enjoy these headphones more. Sure, our target rewards a little low end, but for those that know they want a more accurate set of headphones, these are an excellent pickup.

Should you buy the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX?

A photo of the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX on a desk.
Premium headphones like the Sennheiser HD 6XX don’t offer many features, but they do pack performance.

If you’re looking for a set of cans to stick by the computer, you’ll have to look long and hard for a better deal than this. Sure, $200 USD is a lot of money to spend on headphones, but in the world of high-end audio, the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX is an absolute steal.

Of course, this isn’t the right set of headphones for everyone, and that’s okay. If you are a commuter looking for better headphones for the train or bus, this is a terrible choice. But if you want nothing but the best audio quality for your money at home, the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX makes a great case for your money.

Chart showing the frequency response of the Sennheiser HD 660S.
The HD 660S frequency response shows the characteristic open-back Sennheiser sound.

The Sennheiser HD 660S is a great open-back headset but if you have to choose between the two, we recommend the HD 6XX instead. The HD 6XX is half the price and boasts a frequency response that more closely follows our studio curve, relative to the HD 660S. Don’t get us wrong: the HD 660S sounds great, the HD 6XX just sounds better.


A manufacturer render of the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX.
Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.
$199.99 at Drop
Save $50.00

What should you buy instead of the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX?

Perhaps the Sennheiser HD 6XX from Massdrop isn’t for you, but you want something a bit snazzier. We recommend the HiFiMan Sundara, a set of open-back, planar magentic headphones with an excellent design and frequency response. The headphones are comfortable and sound great straight out of the box, no equaliztion needed here. Be aware, however, that this headset is quite a bit heavier than Sennheiser’s and weighs in at 372g.

Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X laying on table
We have to really nitpick to find flaws in the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X.

If you’re a content creator who needs something with a low impedance, get the Beyerdyanmic DT 900 PRO X. This set of open-backs reproduces sub-bass notes a bit louder than the HD 6XX but you’ll also hear a treble bump from 4-7kHz. What makes the DT 900 PRO X truly unique is how easy it is to repair and access internal parts that may need replacing down the road. If you care about sound quality and want to extend the life of your headphones, strongly consider this $299 USD headset.

Frequently asked questions about the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6xx

I wouldn’t. Because the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX has open backed earcups, outside noise will absolutely wreck your listening experience. While open-backed headphones like the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX have certain advantages, they also have a major weakness when it comes to dealing with outside noise. That same phenomenon of auditory masking linked above will prevent certain notes from being heard if there’s anything going on around you.

Because of that, you’ll notice a drop in sound quality when your kids, roommates, or neighbors start banging around. It’s really annoying on the best of days, and actively disruptive on the worst. If you live in a quiet area you have nothing to worry about, but it’s something to consider.