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Beautiful-sounding audiophile headphones should be made of high-quality materials and should not be listened to while running or in the subway’s noise but in their own homes’ peace and comfort. That’s the demand the budget hi-fi Sennheiser HD560S headphones are intended to satisfy.
The headphones of the 500 series have always held a special place in the company’s model range. After buying a pair of entry-level “500” series headphones, many music lovers began to think seriously about buying a pair of top-end high fidelity Sennheiser headphones. At least out of curiosity—if these moderately inexpensive “headphones” can play this good, what can the flagship model do?`
Sennheiser HD560S Hi-Fi Headphones Review
HD 560S Specifications – not finished
Type: Over-ear Noise Cancelling Headphones | Bluetooth: 4.0 | Battery: 30 Hours | Charging: 4 Hours | Drivers: Dynamic | Drivers-Size: 45 mm | Weight: 385g
The Sennheiser HD 560S headset comes in a large cardboard box in the standard colors of many Sennheiser models, in shades of gray and blue.
Unlike the old HD 660S, there is no Hi-Res Audio logo on the box, but there is an inscription that says “Reference headphones for analytical listening sessions”.
The HD 560S comes in a box that contains:
- The headphones with a 3m detachable cable
- A 6.3 mm to 3.5 mm mini-jack adapter
- Warranty card
- User manual.
The detachable cable connects to the headphones on the left. The cable is 3 m long and has a 6.3 mm gold-plated plug. It also comes with a 6.3 to 3.5 mm adapter in the form of a 20 cm long wire which is sold separately.
As noticed from the onset, the headphones are designed for professional environment (studio, home recording, critical listening) rather than for portable use.
Design & Ergonomy
We expected a hi-fi headset with high-quality construction, but the only metallic element is a grid with the company logo, which covers the oval cut. The grid is marked, and the area with the logo is slightly higher than the rest of the grid surface.
The manufacturer points out that its new headphones use the same mechanical and acoustic platform as the existing HD 559 and HD 599 models, but the sound characteristics are entirely different.
Acoustically, the Sennheiser HD560S has an open design in which the drivers are mounted at a fixed angle to each other. This includes radiating surfaces that are as parallel as possible to the listener’s ear, creating the best possible acoustic environment.
The earcups are covered with velvet, and the headband is padded. The headband is tight yet comfortable and fascinating. With a weight of only 240g and an open design, you won't get tired even after hours of listening to HD 560S music.
The Sennheiser HD560S is compatible with different sources, which makes the headphones really versatile as they can be listened to with most amplifiers – even though, as you would expect, the sound changes as the quality of the amplifier and the output voltage increases.
That said, the overall volume is suitable for a portable source, but there is no lack of weight and bass body, even on tracks with little compression.
Unlike Sennheiser HD 559 and HD 599, which focus more on low and midrange frequencies, the HD 560S has a more balanced sound signature. This is due to dynamic conductors with a new hybrid polymer film that provides a more linear frequency response and an optimized voice coil impedance of 120 ohms.
The result is very low system resonance, making low frequencies between 20 Hz and 50 Hz more accurate and high frequencies above 10,000 Hz brighter. The coil, combined with a high sensitivity of 110 dB, makes these headphones nearly universal and provides nice compatibility with a wide range of signal sources.
With an above-average sensitivity of 108 dB/1V it’s possible to use the headphones with portable equipment without an additional amplifier. Still, both the manufacturer itself and many reviewers recommend using them with a headphone amplifier, as the relatively high impedance requires a high output voltage.
As with any electrostatic headphone, the headphones need some time to reach their optimal mode. For a few hours, the headphones sounded rather different, after which no further changes in sound were recorded until the end of the two-day listening period.
The manufacturer's promise for an accurate low-frequency response is not an empty statement. Listening to rock and metal bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Black Pistol Fire, TOOL, Buckethead, and Metallica, the combination of speed and instrumental energy is exemplary. Elektrique and Skeler never lose control of electronic bass synth creations.
To many people, voices appear washed out because the headphones are not focused on a specific tone or group of tones due to the fuzzy sound image. Nevertheless, the HD560S features a monitor-like playback function.
Sound fidelity is achieved through a neutral and flat sound response, absence of characteristic harmonics and low distortion. The distinctive feature of the Sennheiser HD 560S is the production of a very realistic and voluminous sound stage with relatively accurate sound sources.
The naturalness and vivid sound reproduction, which are characteristic to most open-back full-size headphones found in these Sennhesier high-fidelity headphones.
The HD560S is an affordable headphone from the HD 500 series that excels primarily in high fidelity and neutral reproduction (i.e. relatively flat sound response and low non-linear distortion).
The overall impression of the model’s sound astonishes. The headphones manage to balance all the features, from frequency balance and response to spatial resolution and detail, for a meager price.
Sennheiser HD560S can separate sound from complex choral music and clearly outline the different soundstage layers. This is where you can see the luxury of Sennheiser’s designers: the 560S HD headphones provide near-top sound from the top of the 600 series at half the price, and their versatility makes it possible to get great sound from nearly any source.