Lately, after experience (very good experience) with other flagship phones, dynamic and stats, I have returned to the HD800s (3 years of ownership) as primary phones.
After tweaking my system slightly to avoid things that could make it extra bright, the HD800s now give me supreme musical enjoyment where I can't stop listening to them.
And this is on strong, brash music (all sorts of rock and pop from the past 5 decades) along with some other types.
The are great for what they don't do:
The HD800s are honest but are not grainy and do not seem to have any artifice. And they don't muddle things at any frequency. They don't pump up the bass.
They aren't too liquid or syrupy and they aren't too dry. They don't have too-sharp image boundaries--the images blend to the surroundings to just the right amount.
So these are basically the results after a 3 year test, so I think that's significant.
I basically don't notice audiophile characteristics like detail, staging, depth, width, definition, warmth, bass depth, silkiness, out-of-head imaging or anything when
I listen, I just feel a great intimacy with the music and groove to it and let the good times roll. I don't find myself thinking that some aspect of the sound could or should be better or that anything is painful. And for me, that's the ultimate test.
For what it's worth, I love them.
My system is completely CD-based with a neutral sound signature, with no computers or equalization. Amplification is via tube headphone amplification.
Edited by rgs9200m - 1/22/13 at 10:37am