Comfort vs Sennheiser HD650?

Hi folks, I have a pair of balanced Senn HD650s that I use nearly everyday while I’m working. I like the sound of them but I find that after an hour or two of wearing them I get some fatigue. I was wondering if anyone had any opinion on these vs another similar (or better) pair that are more comfortable / have less ear and head fatigue. Any suggestions? Thanks.

While I don’t experience either listening or physical fatigue with my 580/600/650 headphones, I understand these all are personal preferences. Are you fatigued from listening or from the physical nature of wearing the headphones themselves?

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I have experience with all three as well (580/600/650) and the Massdrop 6XX too.

I find the 6XX a bit tight on the head, but nothing a hair blower on the top band wasn’t able to resolve. The older headphones are far looser and less fatiguing on the head.

I’ve not found them fatiguing to the neck, ears, or brain.

I hope your issue can be resolved with a hair blower!


I have a pair of HD800 , I did find a new set of pads made quite a difference. I listen only on these headphones , I have no speakers etc, so I often listen 4hrs + a day

When I looked for replacement pads there seemed to be a lot of 3rd party lambs wool type alternatives they may be softer on the ear.

I finished up renovating mine with new earpads (Sennheiser OEM) and a new headband. It was a bit stiff to start with but has now loosened up (after 3 months)

I find my 650s fatiguing too. I got the Sennheiser HD800 and following recommendations from here put Dekoni nuggets under the headband which has really improved the comfort for me.

The main thing is that I get a slight burning pain from the pressure on the top of my head after awhile. Also only one of my ears rubs against the inside foam so much so that I’ve worn a hole!

Maybe if I replaced the pads it would help? These pads are only a few years old.

I know it’s a big jump in price but I’m considering upgrading to the HD800, but if it has the same problems as my HD650s, I think it would be a waste of money.

Thanks @ged_hickman1, for the Dekoni nuggets suggestion. Maybe that would help with the head fatigue. Do you have pics?

I also have a pair of KOSS ESP/950s that are amazing to listen to and super light but the problem with those is that they don’t breathe well so I get overheated after awhile.

I find the 800 much more comfortable than the 650. Much less clamp pressure.

I’m away from home so can’t share a picture.

I have owned both the HD800 and HD650. I found the 800 to be significantly more comfortable with larger ear pads and a lighter, less pressured, fit to the head. And, in my experience, they sound superb!

The Drop HD8XX are significantly cheaper, but do you think they’d fit similarly to the 800?

Yes, the Drop versions are extremely similar to the regular Sennheiser models. May be worth looking at.

I guess they would be an improvement in sound to the 650s but I would like to hear them first. I doubt they are being demoed at my local hifi store though…

My recommendation is always to demo hp first. You can also try different manufacturer, like the focal clear, Hifiman or Grados. You might prefer a different brand more soundwise, which could also fit better. The HD650 were my first hp and I never got along with the clamping pressure. Enjoy.

I agree with trying headphones first before purchasing. Some online dealers allow for this, and depending on what you look at, Amazon may be another option if returns are available.

I moved from the sennheiser 800 or something like that to open backed wooden Grados with foam padding for the ears. Never looked back.

Beautiful sound and looks fabulous. And very comfortable.

If you haven’t already google how to bend the steel frame so that it has less tension, it helps a lot.
But do not attempt to do that before you actually see some instructions, please!

HD800’s fit has almost nothing in common with that of the HD6** series, it’s entirely different: the much larger cup size, lower tension, softer pads.