When choosing headphones, the main features to look out for are performance, comfort, durability, price, and the overall look. However, it can be difficult to choose when comparing the likes of the Hifiman HE-400i and the Sennheiser HD650, as both headphone models have striking similarities in look, style, and capabilities.
To help you settle on a pair of high-performance headphones, whether it be for home or professional studio use, here is an in-depth product comparison of the HE-400i and the HD650 headphones.
Hifiman HE-400i vs Sennheiser HD650 Headphones: A Head-to-Head Comparison
See the HIFIMAN HE-400I price and reviews on Amazon
Although both headphones have premium sound quality, there are subtle differences in each that may help you make a final decision on which model to purchase.
The HD650s have a warmer and fuller sound, which allows for optimum bass, with an impressive frequency response of 10 Hz to 39.5 kHz. The HD650 will enhance bass even when there is hardly any bass present in the original song, which is where these headphones truly excel.
The HE-400i does the opposite and does not add any additional enhancement to songs, leaving music to be heard exactly as the original artist intended. These headphones are definitely the better option for those who are less concerned about the bass and are more interested in elevating the sound that is already present in the track.
The HE-400i allows for the listener to pick up individual pieces of music much easier than the HD650s, which tend to drown out most instruments with bass. For that reason, the sound quality is far better with the HE-400i.
Both headphones have their pros and cons when it comes to tone performance. In terms of mid-range, the HE-400i is the best performing and makes instruments, such as guitar, piano, and vocals, sound well-rounded and neutral.
On the other hand, the HD650 has more of a flat sound when it comes to mid-range, which is good, too, but it is just not as good as the HE-400i.
In terms of treble, the HE-400i performs the best yet again, producing a meticulously detailed high and low range, which both remain clear no matter the pitch. The treble on the HD650 is lacking in comparison, particularly the lower range, which becomes unclear after a certain point.
See the Sennheiser HD 650 price and reviews on Amazon
The HD650 can sit comfortably on all head shapes thanks to its unique ability to stretch to any size without losing any grip or comfort. The ear cups have a slight tilt to them, allowing them to fit comfortably and naturally over the ear. The inner ear cup is padded with velvet, which provides a very soft feel for the ear.
However, in order to keep the headphones from slipping, the inner material in the earcups has been made to be very firm, which may prove to be uncomfortable after wearing them for a particularly long period of time. For this reason, the HD650s are perfect in terms of comfort for short-term use but are not great for long listening sessions.
The suspension on the HE-400i, on the other hand, allows for these headphones to also fit comfortably on most head shapes. However, the bulky weight may prove to be uncomfortable after a while. The padding around the ear cup is also more circular in comparison to the HD650, which may prove to be uncomfortable for some users.
The HE-400i model is designed using high-quality materials, and the plastic used to connect the frame to the earcups feels sturdy enough to survive a good few drops. Although the earcups themselves show a few signs of weakness, the overall structure of the HE-400i will ensure that they are protected.
The HD650s, on the other hand, do not appear to be nearly as durable and look a whole lot flimsier and more susceptible to damage than the HE-400i. The cheapness of the parts hampers the overall life expectancy of the HE-400i, and, if used regularly, it will need parts repaired or outright replaced after a few years.
In the durability category, the HE-400i definitely wins. However, given the price you pay for them, you would expect a much longer life than the HD650s anyway.
Both headphones are open-back, meaning they work best when alone at home, as the open-back feature allows for outside noise to bleed into the headphone sound.
Having said that, the HD650s would be the most practical option for outside use or for exercise purposes thanks to their sleeker, less bulky design. They weigh roughly four ounces less than the HE-400i.
The earcups on the HD650s are also springy and less bulky, allowing them to stay on your ears while out walking or exercising. The earcups on the HE-400i, on the other hand, are quite sizable and will slip or totally fall off while out walking or on the treadmill.
For that reason, the HD650 takes the lead in terms of practicality.
The HE-400i is lacking in additional features and only comes with a 1.5mm cable and a 3.5mm connector cable, the latter being only beneficial if you want a further reach.
The HD650, on the other hand, comes with three cables, and the additional cable allows the headphone to be plugged into the user’s PlayStation or Xbox with ease. However, the HE-400i cables are definitely thicker than the HD650 and are more durable.
The HE-400i is definitely the more professional looking option thanks to its bulky yet sleek design. However, the HD650 would be the preferred option if you’re looking for a more subtle, neat look.
|HIFIMAN HE-400I||Sennheiser HD 650|
|Weight: 370g (0.81lb)||Weight: 260g (0.57lb)|
|Impedance: 35 Ohms||Impedance: 300 ohms|
|Sound pressure level: 93 dB||Sound pressure level: 103 dB|
|Frequency response: 20Hz – 35KHz||Frequency response: 10 – 39500 Hz|
|Cable Length: 59 inches||Cable Length: 118 inches|
|Plug: ⅛ in (3.5 mm) with ⅛ in (3.5 mm) |
to ¼ in (6.35 mm) adapter included
|Plug: 1/4″ / 1/8″ (3.5/6.3 mm) stereo|
At the end of the day, when purchasing a pair of high-quality headphones, a lot of it comes down to what exactly you intend on using them for. Both the HE-400i and the HD650 have their pros and cons, but what they both excel in is private listening sessions.
Overall, the HD650 excels in the most important departments, including sound quality, comfort, practicality, and features. All things considered between these two, we’d recommend the HD650 as the best premium headphone option.