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Sennheiser HD 560S Review

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Sound Quality

Like the HD555, the HD 560S are a pair of full-sized over-ear open-back headphones that exhibit an open and spacious sound stage characterised by its liberty in sonic leakage, synonymous with the brand. While it is not in the same league as the headphones in HD 800 series, it is impressive enough recognising how affordable the headphone is priced. Now, it is time to revisit the word, Insightful.

The HD 560S are a unique offering and have an analytical sound signature that maintains a neutral balanced throughout and insightful it is, the latest pair of headphones from Sennheiser are revealing with a capital R. Its natural sonic reproduction are linear and highly detailed across the spectrum, delivered with clarity.

Sennheiser HD 560S

I began the review proper with No Time To Die by Billie Eilish, the theme song of the twenty-fifth installment of the James Bond film series. Eilish’s glitchy electronics of her multi-platinum debut album have been swapped for tasteful orchestration filled with hints of Bond tunes of yesteryears. The headphones are tuned to provide a scope deep into the mix’s details, particularly in the mid-range, and it is perhaps not flattering to say that the HD 560S delivered every ounce of information the way it was intended, allowing one to appreciate probably one of the better-mastered pieces of 2020. I must say there is a quality of refinement about the HD 560S that punches above their price point and that I could appreciate the vocal techniques demonstrated by Eilish to stamp her own identity on the soundtrack with the headphones rendering the attack and decay of individual notes accurately making her sound natural and full of character.

These headphones are really tuned more as a tool to assist in comparative listening with an absolute degree of certainty, making them great for mixing and mastering. However, one must remember that the HD 560S are open-backed, so they let sound in, and therefore, it is really meant for scenarios where one can be in a room alone.

For those who are seeking entertainment, to be precise, an experience where one could be invigorated with dynamics and energised by the sparkles of the hi-end, one is probably not going to get it with the HD 560S.

Lastly, I would like to highlight that fresh out of the box; the HD 560S does exhibit slight but significant brightness, which went away after close to 400 hours of burning-in using Porta-Fi’s Burn-in process comprising of a sequence of Pink Noise and Logarithmic Sine content in loops of 8 mins which includes a 30 second rest period to rest the diaphragm between the loops. The observations above are based on the HD 560S after it has been properly broken-in.

Part 1: Introduction, Design & Build
Part 2: Sound Quality
Part 3: Product Specifications
Part 4: Review Ratings, Summary

Author

  • Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as PDALive.com, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp. Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

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