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For years I have gone thru headphones after headphones, some the quality of sound I found to be appalling, others would break just after a year or so, and some would not sit on the ears right thus hurting them, or they would be either too tight or fall off your head. Then there was the problem of chewing headphone cables, but thats more a problem to do with me, than the build of headphones.
Over a year ago when I started my new job, I noticed some people at work were listening to music wearing a nice looking pair of headphones on, and I asked if I could try them out, and I was blown away at the sound quality that came from them. I was ready to go and buy them that day until I found out the cost, but after finding more people at work who had the same headphones and getting there opinions, I finally decided to buy a pair for myself. I admitting felt quite sick paying that amount of money for a decent pair of headphones, as it is easily 3 to 7 times more expensive than a normal pair you would buy, but in the end, you pay for what you get, and in this case, it was well worth the money. I had paid £150 pounds for mine, at the time it was a bargain, as other places were selling them £160 to £200.
You get the headphones in a black corrugated packing box, Inside that a hard chip woody type cardboard flip top foam padded black headphone case approx 25cmx31cmx10cm (case similar to the box file folders you get from W.H.Smiths, but double thickness, and presented nicer). Inside I found the headphones itself, and a gold platted 3.5mm to 6.3mm headphone jack adapter. The Headphone cable wire is supposing reinforced with Kevlar. The headphone top band is solid with 4 foam pads underneath to rest nicely on top of your head. Each headphone speaker has a velvety cushion that covers the whole ear. The headphone cable comes out from both ear speakers from the bottom. The headphone plastic is marble in appearance, and Im not 100% it is plastic, as it feels stronger, feels colder to the touch, and doesnt flex as much.
The HD 600 fits my head perfectly, and is the first pair of headphones that I have owned that do not feel like they fall off your head every time you tilt your head forward or back. The velvety cushioned headphone speakers feel great against the ear and sometimes Ive forgotten Im still wearing them, and almost strangled myself as I have walked away from the entertainment system.
There is one flaw in the HD 600 I need to point out, if you tug the cable a lot, it will loosen at the base of each headphone speaker, either the wire plug wont stay in the headphone, or you will get intermittent sound or no sound at all. If this happens, you will need to buy a new headphone cable that costs approximately £20 last time I checked. Just make sure you dont tug the cable. But I have seen this problem on a lot of other makes of headphone from other manufacturers in the past, its just that you expect high end headphones not to have this problem. I treat my headphones with respect, and have not suffered from this problem.
Good thing is, if anything does break on your HD 600, nearly everything is replaceable, just order the right bit, and exchange the broken bit on your headphones.
Sound quality is amazing, by re-listening to some of your favorite music, you can hear subtle instruments and sounds you would not of heard thru a normal pair of headphones, and the bass is fantastic. Because the headphones are open ear, if you do have volume medium to high, other people will know what your listening too, but on the other hand, you wont hear them. Also because sound quality so good, you dont need to have the headphones volume as high to hear all the sounds, unless you like blowing your eardrums. If you listen to MP3s and it was recorded on a low quality setting, unfortunately headphones do seem to amplify the low quality setting in that you hear the hissing more, but any MP3 I have recorded is recorded at near to maximum quality settings anyway, so I do not suffer from this problem.
One thing to note, these headphones require around 300 ohms to drive them. This means if you connect it to say a personal CD player or an IPOD, you end up with weak sound or not much volume control, this is because they dont have the power to drive it, and you would need a headphone amplifier, but these headphones were not designed really for those. In terms of using them on hi-fi system or the big portable CD player systems, or PC sound card (works fine on my SoundBlaster Live), then there shouldnt be a problem.
Over a year later, the HD 600 is still in perfect condition, and I will not buy a cheaper pair of headphones ever again. Since Ive had these, I have not suffered from headphone ear ache, as they sit perfectly on the head, sound quality is still amazing, still looks new, and no cable chewing to date. In end I feel the £150 I paid for them was a good investment. You can go into a hi-fi shop and ask to try these headphones out in the shop, they should oblige, just bring along a music CD you can use to test them with.
In the end, if you wear headphones for 4-9 hours a day like I do at work; cheap headphones could damage your ears in the long run, so paying that extra for something that doesnt require you to turn up the volume as much to hear everything in the music is a good thing, plus theres the comfort wear level.
I have been into Hi Fi for a number of years and currently have a Cirus SL Amp Arcam Alpha 7se CD, B&W 602 S2 and a REL Q400 sub. I have bought numerous amounts of headphones, mostly in ear types for walkmans etc, they have all been broken or lost. The HD 600?s are one pair that you will look after ? they cost £250 (£120 from Richer Sounds). If you are thinking about getting these phones then I can recommend them unreservedly, they are superb. One thing that has always disappointed about headphones is the bass response, not on these it is astonishing (for headphones). They are without doubt the most comfortable pair of phones I have ever worn. I spent £120 on a top end pair of Sony DJ, was unimpressed with sound and comfort and have never used them again since I bought these. The only small downside is they require a decent amount of driving current and I have found my Sony Minidisk MZ-N1 to struggle with them. They are also ?open? and the noise they give out is also considerable ? but who cares these are not the type of phones you take on the train. These headphones are completely brilliant, spend another few quid and buy these ? a decent set that will last you years. I was initially a bit touchy about spending this amount of cash on a pair of headphones (I?m a student) but I listened to a cheaper pair, then these and couldn?t stop the visa coming out.