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There’s an old Chinese proverb, attributed to zen master Hsi-Tang Chih Tsang in 800AD, that reads: “Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes it obstructs your vision.” Back then, he wouldn't have had access to the Sennheiser HD 560S open-back headphones, but his summation reminds us that items deemed highly desirable can produce the greatest disdain, should we find them disappointing.

In hi-fi circles, any product boldly claiming to have been “crafted for the analytical audio enthusiast” but carrying a price tag of less than £200 ($200) will probably either turn out to be exceptionally good value or a huge disappointment. So, has Sennheiser struck a rich seam of gold with the HD 560S, or is it about to rub the dust in our eye?

Comfort

Sonically, Sennheiser is pushing these cans as the closest option to its thrice-the-price HD 660S, but in terms of comfort the company likens them to the reputable HD 599. 

Thanks to the velour earpads and ample padding on the headband, they are really rather comfortable. And at 240g without the cable, their relative lightness belies the size of those large earcups, which really do fit around the ear.

Although Sennheiser’s claimed ‘barely there’ feel is optimistic – the clamping force of the plastic headband is stronger than the What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Grado SR325e, for example – they’re an easy wear thanks to the padding, light design and slightly forward-angled earcups. Owing to their open-back design, the HD 560S feel ventilated and cool to wear, too.

Sennheiser HD 560S tech specs

Type Open-back, over-ear

Impedance 120ohms

Frequency response 6Hz - 38kHz

Output 6.3mm jack (with 3.5mm adapter)

Cable length 3m

Weight 240g

The headband is plastic and the sliding mechanism clicks when adjusting them to fit, but it isn’t noisy during use. The earcups are anchored low enough to permit just enough movement, in or out from the headband itself, for an optimal fit. The cups are also designed to swivel just enough to ensure they will cover your ear properly.

These wired headphones come with a rubberised and relatively slender 3m cable, with the 6.3mm plug designed to connect to hi-fi sources, such as headphone amps and audio interfaces, bearing that connection. The bundled 3.5mm adaptor, meanwhile, will hook you up to digital audio players, tablets and smartphones that have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Sennheiser HD 560S' cable is detachable and connected to the left earcup only.

Build

Under the hood, Sennheiser’s all-new 120ohm drive unit with a specialised polymer-blend diaphragm and high-strength magnet aims to reproduce deep bass notes and treble with both clarity and control.

Sennheiser says its Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement (EAR) angled driver alignment recreates the optimal triangular listening position you’d find in hi-fi loudspeaker setups and high-end recording studios, too.

Although this is an open-back headphone and susceptible to ‘leaking’ sound by design, we find the Sennheisers actually bleed audio far less loudly than the aforementioned Grado SR325e. That said, if you’re conscious of not upsetting your housemates with your musical choices, take heed.

Sound

We cue up Sean Paul’s reggae/dancehall classic, Dutty Rock, and the Tidal Master album comes through with an unusually healthy dollop of spaciousness at this level. The initial chord intro to I’m Still In Love With You snakes between our left and right ears with a greater analytical accuracy than through most competing headphones at this level.

Sasha’s vocal is well handled through the easy treble next to Paul’s deeper registers within a cohesive and layered mix. Instruments such as horns, which can often feel muddied in this track, are celebrated with a good amount of three-dimensional brassiness through the midrange, too.

As the album continues to Bubble, the presentation is even, clear and spacious. The bass is agile, although there is a little extra bass weight available in the pricier Grado SR325e. Roughly struck key chords through the treble are also marginally more impactful and edgier through the Grados, but even accounting for the price difference we feel the Sennheisers don’t convey the full degree of verve and zeal which we know to be part of the recording.

We switch to Melissa Etheridge’s Come To My Window and a shaker is beautifully placed at the top of our right ear. Etheridge’s rhythm guitar joins a cohesive mix where every passage is noteworthy and musically pleasing, alongside an unusually detailed vocal for the category. Our playlist continues to Angels Would Fall and, again, there’s separation and layering, from the initial riff in our left ear to the eventual central, textured vocal.

Over the course of our testing, we find much to celebrate when listening to classical music – stream Ravel’s Jeux d’eaux played by Monique Haas, and the keys are emotive, clear and refined – but we find ourselves wanting just a little bit more energy, punch and excitement from the HD 560S when listening to our heavier, funkier reference tracks.

Verdict

Sennheiser’s extensive back-catalogue of five-star and Award-winning headphones spans more than five decades. This wired set of open-back over-ears is a valid addition, offering a perfectly acceptable and sonically detailed budget-conscious option.

Those looking for audiophile-grade sound quality – as is the company’s claim – will, however, find them just a shade undercooked for punch, zeal and enthusiasm.

SCORES

MORE:

Read our guide to the best over-ear headphones

Read our Grado SR325e review

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test

Sours: https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/sennheiser-hd-560s-headphones

Marshall Major III vs Sennheiser HD 560S

60 facts in comparison

Marshall Major III

Sennheiser HD 560S

Why is Marshall Major III better than Sennheiser HD 560S?

  • Has a neodymium magnet?
  • 88 Ohms lower impedance?
    32 Ohmsvs120 Ohms
  • Can be used as a headset?
  • Can be used wirelessly?
  • 62g lighter?
    178gvs240g
  • Control panel placed on a device?
  • Can be folded?
  • Has Bluetooth aptX?

Why is Sennheiser HD 560S better than Marshall Major III?

  • 14Hz lower low-frequency?
    6Hzvs20Hz
  • Has passive noise reduction?
  • 18000Hz higher high-frequency?
    38000Hzvs20000Hz
  • Has an over-the-ear form?
  • 11dB/mW higher sound pressure level?
    110dB/mWvs99dB/mW
  • Has a tangle free cable?
  • 1.5m longer cable?
    3mvs1.5m
  • Has a straight plug?

User reviews

Overall Rating

Marshall Major III

1 User reviews

Marshall Major III

Sennheiser HD 560S

0 User reviews

Sennheiser HD 560S

Features

Build quality

Sound quality

Value for money

Comfort

Noise isolation

Design

Devices with stereo speakers deliver sound from independent channels on both left and right sides, creating a richer sound and a better experience.

Comfortable full-size form with earcups that fully enclose your ears. This model is loved for its increased sound isolation and the fact that it won't leak sound to your neighbors. It offers potential for maximum bass and loudness levels.

With a detachable cable you can use alternative cables, and if the cable is pulled it will pop out instead of breaking.

Resistance to sweat makes it ideal for use while doing sports.

The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.

We consider a lower weight better because lighter devices are more comfortable to carry. A lower weight is also an advantage for home appliances, as it makes transportation easier, and for many other types of products.

Foldable devices are easier to transport and take up less storage space.

The device comes with its own special case or pouch, which is useful for safe transportation.

Sound quality

The lowest frequency at which the device produces audio. The lower the low-frequency response, the stronger and juicier the bass.

The device sits tightly in place, creating an acoustic seal which reduces background noise and prevents your music from leaking out.

The highest frequency at which device produces audio. The higher the high-frequency response, the clearer and crispier the treble.

This type of device allows you to listen at lower volume levels, causing less ear fatigue as you don't have to crank up the volume to overcome background noise. Ideal for plane rides and morning commutes.

Devices with a higher sound pressure level are generally louder when supplied with any given audio source.

Devices with neodymium magnets are lighter and more powerful than those which use ferrite magnets. They also have more bass and clear high notes.

Impedance is the device’s electrical resistance to the current being pushed through it. The lower the impedance, the easier it is to get higher volume and requires less power.

The driver unit is the component that produces sound in the device. Bigger drivers are more powerful and can produce better bass.

9.diaphragm size

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Marshall Major III)

The diaphragm moves air back and forth to create sound. The bigger the diaphragm, the more bass it can produce.

Power

1.Battery life

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Sennheiser HD 560S)

The device's battery life (when in use) as given by the manufacturer. With a longer battery life you have to charge the device less often.

4.charge time

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Marshall Major III)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Sennheiser HD 560S)

The time it takes to fully charge the battery.

The USB Type-C features reversible plug orientation and cable direction.

6.battery power

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Marshall Major III)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Sennheiser HD 560S)

Battery power, or battery capacity, represents the amount of electrical energy that a battery can store. More battery power can be an indication of longer battery life.

The battery life of the charging case as given by the manufacturer. A charging case with a longer battery life allows you to recharge your headphones on the go multiple times before having to recharge the case itself.

The battery is removable and can be replaced by the user if broken.

Connectivity

2.Bluetooth version

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Marshall Major III)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Sennheiser HD 560S)

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard that allows data transfers between devices placed in close proximity, using short-wavelength, ultra-high frequency radio waves. Newer versions provide faster data transfers.

A standard 3.5mm male connector is suitable for use with all MP3 players and computer sound cards.

Bluetooth aptX is an audio codec used for transmitting hi-resolution audio wirelessly from Bluetooth-enabled devices. Developed by Qualcomm, the aptX audio technology includes variations such as aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, and aptX Adaptive.

The device can connect at a greater distance via Bluetooth or infrared to another device.

Wi-Fi 6, released in 2019, is based on the IEEE 802.11ax wireless LAN standard. Designed to operate in all frequency bands between 1 and 6 GHz, it offers higher data rates and lower latency compared to previous Wi-Fi technologies.

802.11ac wireless works on the 5GHz frequency range. It offers higher transfer rates, improved reliability, and improved power consumption. It provides advantages for gaming and HD video streaming.

Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) is a wireless standard released in 2009. It has faster transfer rates and improved security compared to its predecessors – a, b, and g.

Device supports fast Bluetooth pairing using NFC so it can communicate with other devices over Bluetooth. You can fastly pair devices without entering a code by simply holding one device next to the device with which it is to be paired.

Features

A headset is one headphone or pair with a built-in microphone. Headsets can be used for apps that require communication i.e. Skype, games with voice chat, mobile phones, etc.

These microphones are designed to filter out background noise from the desired sound. Especially useful in noisy environments.

More microphones result in better sound quality and enable the device to filter out background noise.

There is a control panel on the device body, so you can easily access the volume control or remote without having to interact with a cable or another device it's connected to.

There is a control panel on the cable, so you can easily operate the device without having to interact with it.

When covered under the manufacturer’s warranty it is possible to get a replacement in the case of a malfunction.

With voice prompts, you will automatically receive information via audio messages – for instance, you may find out that the battery is running low, and it's time to recharge the device.

The device has an option to mute/unmute a conversation directly from the device.

9.multipoint count

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Marshall Major III)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Sennheiser HD 560S)

Multipoint allows you to link to more Bluetooth devices and switch between them. For example you can easily switch calls from one device to another without having to manually disconnect and reconnect.

Which are the best headphones?

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal

Show all
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Sennheiser HD 560 S $191.59 HOT

May 8th, 2021 4:39 pm
mvpBosh[OP]
Member
May 14, 2007
218 posts
99 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 4:39 pm

[Amazon.ca] Sennheiser HD 560 S $191.59 HOT

Good price for one of the more hyped up headphones from 2020. Was barely available at retail up until a couple months ago. Glad I waited out for amazon to carry it for a solid price. Pretty much untouchable at this price point. Comparable HD 58X and HD 6XX are significantly more expensive once you factor in exchange rate and shipping/duties. Added benefit of not necessarily needing an amp.

Nearby Amazon.ca locations:

May 8th, 2021 4:52 pm
shnukms
Member
Jan 21, 2008
222 posts
260 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 4:52 pm

I've had a 598 with softer ear cups and head cushion, plus modified to have a vmoda boom pro since 2015 and still going strong.

Is this better than that?
May 8th, 2021 4:54 pm
BlackDandelion
Newbie
Jan 10, 2020
1 posts

May 8th, 2021 4:54 pm

Thanks OP! That’s what I was waiting for
May 8th, 2021 5:04 pm
mvpBosh[OP]
Member
May 14, 2007
218 posts
99 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 5:04 pm

shnukms wrote: ↑ I've had a 598 with softer ear cups and head cushion, plus modified to have a vmoda boom pro since 2015 and still going strong.

Is this better than that?
For gaming? Competitive FPS I'm assuming if you're using a vmoda boom pro. Some people have the HD 560S over the new PC38x for competitive FPS. The PC38x is widely regarded as a top pick for gaming headset/headphone and the HD 560 S is at least on par/is better for certain types of games/sound preferences.
May 8th, 2021 5:10 pm
virtuoso
Newbie
Oct 5, 2012
76 posts
29 upvotes
Toronto

May 8th, 2021 5:10 pm

satisfied buyer even though I paid retail price for this months ago
May 8th, 2021 5:24 pm
manixc
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 19, 2004
7502 posts
364 upvotes
BC

May 8th, 2021 5:24 pm

shnukms wrote: ↑ I've had a 598 with softer ear cups and head cushion, plus modified to have a vmoda boom pro since 2015 and still going strong.

Is this better than that?
Never considered adding a vmoda boom pro. Is it just plug and play or do you actually have to physically mod the headphones?
May 8th, 2021 5:26 pm
irikan
Newbie
Nov 22, 2018
15 posts
62 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 5:26 pm

manixc wrote: ↑ Never considered adding a vmoda boom pro. Is it just plug and play or do you actually have to physically mod the headphones?
You replace the replaceable cable of your headphones with it. So plug and play.
May 8th, 2021 5:39 pm
bluewanderer
Newbie
Sep 18, 2019
21 posts
21 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 5:39 pm

Good upgrade over SHP9500?
May 8th, 2021 5:52 pm
KenAdams
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 17, 2018
1385 posts
2218 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 5:52 pm

$52 20GB data w/ Unlimited Canada Wide Talk and Text - Telus EPP Plan
$50 15GB data w/ Unlimited Canada Wide Talk and Text - RogersBYE BYE ROGERS!
$22.99 1GB data w/ Unlimited Canada Talk/Text Canada - Public Mobile
Fongo. Free CAD Calling.
May 8th, 2021 5:53 pm
shnukms
Member
Jan 21, 2008
222 posts
260 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 5:53 pm

manixc wrote: ↑ Never considered adding a vmoda boom pro. Is it just plug and play or do you actually have to physically mod the headphones?
You 'gently' pull out the plastic piece that houses the proprietary Sennheiser locking thingy for the stock cable. Then you have to find a narrow 2.5mm Male to 3.5mm female adapter to replace it with. Then the vmoda can connect at the female end of that.
May 8th, 2021 6:17 pm
VillageIdiot
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2012
500 posts
407 upvotes
COQUITLAM

May 8th, 2021 6:17 pm

shnukms wrote: ↑ I've had a 598 with softer ear cups and head cushion, plus modified to have a vmoda boom pro since 2015 and still going strong.

Is this better than that?
The audio of the 560s is neutral and is supposed to be nearly on the level of the legendary 650/6XX, a 20 year old headphone that is still considered one of the top tier headphones but with better bass/soundstage for gaming.
May 8th, 2021 6:27 pm
mc_molineux
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 26, 2006
3250 posts
544 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 6:27 pm

VillageIdiot wrote: ↑ The audio of the 560s is neutral and is supposed to be nearly on the level of the legendary 650/6XX, a 20 year old headphone that is still considered one of the top tier headphones but with better bass/soundstage for gaming.
So better than the 598?
May 8th, 2021 6:39 pm
VillageIdiot
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2012
500 posts
407 upvotes
COQUITLAM

May 8th, 2021 6:39 pm

If you're interested in a more neutral sounding headphone.

The 598 is more warm and bassy.

The 560s makes it so the audio is more like how the music is supposed to be without any emphasis or modifications.
May 8th, 2021 6:42 pm
AceMagnet
Sr. Member
Jul 7, 2008
877 posts
663 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 6:42 pm

I have the AD700 witch I had for years, will this be a worthy upgrade? Mostly used for PC gaming but nothing competitive.
May 8th, 2021 6:54 pm
SoroSuub1
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 3, 2008
7847 posts
3989 upvotes

May 8th, 2021 6:54 pm

manixc wrote: ↑ Never considered adding a vmoda boom pro. Is it just plug and play or do you actually have to physically mod the headphones?
"Light" modifications. I did this on my 598SE... just need to take the headphone cable out (there's a locking mechanism, so don't just pull but twist then pull), take off the earpads, and unscrew the driver assembly so you can access the internal of the left-side. Pliers to remove the metallic-looking plastic piece in the headphone jack.

Put everything back together. Then plug in the V-Moda BoomPro Mic into a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter (I used this one https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B085VV ... UTF8&psc=1) and then plug the adapter into the enlarged hole w/o locking mechanism.

Just make sure that you push the V-Moda Boom Pro cable all the way into the 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter, otherwise you'll get crappy audio quality in the headphones (this is the reason for the bad reviews).
May 8th, 2021 7:25 pm
JCCRFD
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Jul 15, 2008
9467 posts
2208 upvotes
Toronto

May 8th, 2021 7:25 pm

May 8th, 2021 7:40 pm
JoJoCan
Deal Addict
Jul 14, 2018
4136 posts
7438 upvotes
Kitchener

May 8th, 2021 7:40 pm

Super tempting... only 2 left in stock
PC: i9 9900ks, RTX 3060 Ti 8gb, 96gb RAM
Phone: iPhone 8 64gb
May 8th, 2021 7:45 pm
mfmfmf
Jr. Member
Aug 19, 2011
123 posts
21 upvotes
VANCOUVER

May 8th, 2021 7:45 pm

I bought the 560s directly from Sennheiser around Christmas for $260 and have no regrets. It brought a whole new level of clarity I've never experienced before.

At that time I also had the HD 599 (bought from Amazon on sale for $130). I've since returned the 599 because compared to the 560s, the 599 sounded dull and muddy. Even tuning it to Harman does not help the 599 much. The 560s is simply at another level.

The only annoyance I have with this purchase is that the included cable is too long and unwieldy (as I listen via my phone). I ended up buying this third party cable:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B010DME73U

The 560s sounds perfectly fine at stock tuning. But for those who want an extra level of airiness, try the EQ params here:

https://github.com/jaakkopasanen/AutoEq ... 0HD%20560S

On Android 9+, you can easily do a system-wide EQ on it (plus thousands other headphones & iems) with the Wavelet app:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... tt.wavelet
May 8th, 2021 7:51 pm
jamesyboy101
Sr. Member
Nov 15, 2009
567 posts
100 upvotes
GTA

May 8th, 2021 7:51 pm

Will these work okay plugged into a ps4 controller or PC mobo or do you need an amp?
May 8th, 2021 8:22 pm
VillageIdiot
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2012
500 posts
407 upvotes
COQUITLAM

May 8th, 2021 8:22 pm

jamesyboy101 wrote: ↑Will these work okay plugged into a ps4 controller or PC mobo or do you need an amp?
Motherboard likely, PS4 controller maybe not.
Sours: https://forums.redflagdeals.com/amazon-ca-sennheiser-hd-560-s-191-59-hot-2463745/
Sennheiser HD 560S review: Best mid-range open-back headphones? - TotallydubbedHD

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Amazon hd560s

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Sennheiser HD560s [SOUND DEMO] _(Z Reviews)_

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