Sennheiser’s HD 560S is the latest addition to the company’s range of open-back headphones. Do they warrant a place among the Sennheiser classics?
Sennheiser is renowned for its microphones, as well as headphones and lifestyle & in-ear monitoring solutions. They’ve been in this game a while now, offering casual listening solutions as well as audiophile options. The latest offering in the headphone field is the Sennheiser HD 560S, a dynamic open-back model.
The HD series from Sennheiser features the studio classic HD 650, which landed in our top 10 studio headphones for 2021. This latest addition packs all the DNA of Sennheiser’s top-shelf items into an affordable and punchy product. The HD series is an ever-changing landscape, so let’s dive into why the Sennheiser HD 560S is so exciting.
Before we talk about how good they sound, let’s dig into their look. The matte black makes a solid first impression. The design is also one to turn heads. It has similar pivot points to the xx9 models where the connection point of the band to the driver and sits at the back of your ear rather than on top. In other words, Sennheiser has warped the traditional design of headphones to achieve a better distribution of pressure to that part of the head.
The velour fabric lining ear cups and headrest means sweat-free comfort even in long sessions. Pick them up out of the box, they’re light, weighing in at about 240 grams. Then put them on and appreciate how familiar the over-ear feel is. If you’re a fan of or have used 600/650/660 models, you’ll feel right at home.
Now for the juicy specs. Starting off, the Sennheiser HD 560S has a brand new 120-ohm driver developed by Sennheiser. If you’re not too hip with ohms, it generally means you don’t need to drive them as hard to reach a decent volume — driving the 560S from your laptop or mobile is a piece of cake. Sennheiser’s implemented a driver design that has a polymer blend in the diaphragm, which means that the headphones achieve clarity and attack whilst still being lightweight.
With a wide frequency range of 6 Hz – 38 kHz, they perform well on the extremes of the listenable range of frequencies. On the side of the box, it mysteriously specs 12Hz — regardless of which one is correct you can rest assured that it’s got plenty of low end. Things like speech and vocal reproduction sound as they should in the mid-range. And similarly, in the bottom end, they pack enough ‘oomph’ and ‘punch’ without overwhelming. The frequency response alone is enough to make you say a soft Owen Wilson ‘wow’ as you double-check the price of these cans.
You might mistake the Sennheiser HD 560S as another mid-range audiophile product. But these headphones are well suited to listen to music and podcasts casually. As they are open back, they provide an incredible sense of space. Combine this existing tech with Sennheiser’s new improvements like the polymer diaphragm, and you get exceptional detail and attack.
The listening experience is versatile for headphones. They can be articulate, and really shine when listening or analyzing critically. If you know what to listen for in your audio, the Sennheiser HD 560S will show you. Basically, they are not the ‘flattest’ in terms of frequency response but have a definitive personality.
Other features include a detachable 3m cable with a 6.3 mm plug on the end, as well as a 6.3 to 3.5 mm adaptor. Both of these cables are built very well, the chassis is built out of plastic and is surprisingly solid. Unfortunately, there’s no super-soft carry case, as these headphones are really built for travel. Being open-back, they spill out a lot of audio, on the other hand, they are sufficiently tight enough to not let outside sound leak in too much.
In conclusion, what you’re getting is a product that looks and sounds so close to the top shelf, but at a reasonable price point. If you’re a budding audio engineer, musician, or sound enthusiast, the 560S won’t let you down.
Head to Sennheiser for more info, or watch the review below by Youtuber DMS.