Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Sennheiser HD800 Impressions and Reviews
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sennheiser HD800 Impressions and Reviews

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm seriously considering getting HD800's, and my decision will be based entirely on the member reviews of this forum. However, I have a hard time sifting through literally thousands of posts spread across two ginormous threads. Can we please have a thread of only impressions and reviews from people who have experience with the headphone? I'm sure others in my shoes would very much appreciate this as well.

So, can everyone please post impressions and reviews in this thread, and not post any other messages? Even if it's been posted in another thread, having it in one place would be extremely helpful.

I've also added a poll to get a quick consensus answer. Thanks very much!
post #2 of 25
easy poll.
post #3 of 25
Look what you can find when you do a search:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/sen...ml#post5725865

For my first HD800 listen, I first prepared by listening with my HD600 on the Balancing Act (Sat AM) for a minute or two and was really liking the sound. Then I switched to the HD800I was struck by the improvement in soundstage, extension, detail, and speed. The HD800 make the HD600 sound slightly veiled in the same way an RS-1 or Stax Lambda series will do to the HD600 in comparison. But, without the colorations in mids or treble of the RS-1 or Lambda series.

It wasn't an OMG moment like the first time you hear an R10 on the RSA B-52, or an HE90 on an A-10 or ES-2 - but after just a minute or two the R10 starts to sound a little bit like a closed can, and the HD800 keeps chugging along sounding natural and real and "open". The R10 are very fun and dynamic, but not as open.

I'll take the HD800 anyday over an R10, modded Denon, modded Edition 9 or any other closed can simply due to the unfettered uncolored open and transparent sound, regardless of whether my first impressions is more stunning with the other cans at first listen. I listened to more HD800 on more rigs at CanJam Saturday than any other headphone except my HD600 and K1000. I am confident that the HD800 are simply going to grow on me and get better and better with time, while the other dynamic cans will start to sound more flawed over time.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/sen...ml#post5727874

Quote:
Originally Posted by pearljam5000
Wow,cool.
could you please do more comparison with K1000 if you have the time?do the HD800 sound as real and as speaker like as K1000?
with the K1000,it was the first time i felt that everything sounded real,and that's really special to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
Wow - back from CanJam and there are too many posts to respond to.

I have not found the perfect amp for my K1000 yet, but with the right amp (Naamanf Beta 22) the K1000 really shine. However, even on the best of amps, not even the K1000 cannot touch the out of head experience of the Smyth virtual surround processor thingee-ma-bopper. I will need to burn-in my balanced HD800 and pair up the K1000 with something better than the $200-300 amps I have them on, before I can do a real comparison.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarmel
So you listened to the HD800s on a Balancing Act.
*smirks*
Seems like I'm going to be very happy then once everything is put together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
I liked the HD800 on the Balancing Act, but the single ended Zana Deux with impedance switch was quite good as well, and I might have preferred the ZD slightly. I know, blasphemy. I was disappointed that the ZDT was a no-show for CanJam, since I have one on order and really wanted to hear it before it gets delivered to me in June. I was tempted to cancel, get the WA22, and have $700 left over for a nice tube speaker amp for my K1000 - but I'm sticking with the decision to do the all-in-one solution first.

Other notable amps that worked well with the HD800 and HD600 were the Woo WA22, TTVJ 307A, TTVJ FET-A and B-52. I liked the WA22 with them a little more than I did the WA5, and I liked most of those above a just little better than the Manley amp in the TTVJ room (not that it was bad or anything). I didn't get to run back and forth between the 307A and the WA22 in the TTVJ/Woo room, but liked them both. I never got the time to try the HD800 on the Amphora, so I will do that at home later.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/sen...ml#post5729119

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarmel
Larry if you could post the differences between the Zana and the Balancing Act it would be much appreciated. Like why did you prefer the Zana? Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
The Zana seemed to have more slam and punch and speed, like a sports car, while the the BA was more refined and laid back like a Mercedes. I like the raw and powerful cars more. Both were good, and I wouldn't turn down either one.

I only listened to amps I had never tried before, so I didn't listen to the HD800 on a Woo WA6 or Amphora because I could do that at home. I only got home 12 hours ago, and had to eat and sleep and take my kid to golf lessons, so I still haven't tried my balanced HD800 at home yet. My favorite amps at CanJam with the HD800 were the TTVJ307A, the Woo WA22, the Zana Deux special edition, and the B-52 - not necessarily in that order. I only had about 60 seconds with the DNA amp, and maybe 5 minutes with the Balancing Act, and both were also very nice. I didn't like them on the Manley in the TTVJ room as much, and the FET-A seemed to be decent but not stunning as well. I also didn't like the HD800 or my K1000 on the Woo WA5 as much as I thought I would have. I would prefer the Woo WA22 over all the other Woo amps, but wonder what affect on the sound a change from 12AU7 to 6SN7 will have on the sound (I already have a great pair of Sylvania VT-231 for the final WA22 if I got one). I didn't think the HD800 sounded bad on any amp, but only those few made them sound outstanding.

I will try listening to the HD800 on my amps at home soon, but still have to ferry kids to Taekwondo and Boy Scouts today as well. No rest for the weary...

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/sen...ml#post5730065

Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ
I'm really glad you're enjoying them Larry. Please try them single ended through your Amphora. I want to see if you echo my sentiments. We need to give people reviews with single-ended too! Of course, balanced sounds leagues better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
Yes, the Amphora does sound very good with the HD800 - surprising for a 9v amp, but true. Listening to Diana Krall Live in Paris "A Case of You" is enthralling with all these amps. The Grahm Slee Solo SRG is close behind chasing these and almost keeping up, but with a little less immersion in the performance than the others, maybe a little less foundation in the bass and a little more treble (and Solo has gobs of power too).

With other phones I've previously said the Amphora single ended competes well with my balanced Single Power Sq Wave XL (2008 version with Blackgate upgrade), even though the SP is running balanced. Amphora wont hit the higher volume levels and transient peaks like my WA6 or Single Power can, but it can achieve pretty loud volumes and the sound quality is right up there with the best them.

These three amps are more similar in sound than they are different. I go back and forth about which one is better with the HD800, depending on the music I pick.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/sen...ml#post5729667

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict
MORE HD800 impressions
I have been going back and forth between my HF-2 and HD800 today, listening to music on several amps while I burn them in more. They both have about 24 hours of burn-in as CanJam demo phones. I have a 4-pin XLR on the HD800 with a single ended and dual 3-pin balanced adapter out of APS V3 cable.

But right now I am mesmerized by my HD800 and can't go back to the HF-2. I am listening to the HD800 run balanced off my Single Power Square Wave XL, and they clearly respond well to being balanced. I just can't stop listening. The speed and detail and transparency is well above the HD600 which are more laid back and mellow. The HD800 are also quite good off my Woo WA6/Sophia Princess/Maxed with pseudo PSU, which is better with the HD800 than the Grahm Slee SOLO SRG (a very nice amp though). I can't stop listening balanced long enough to try them on the Amphora yet. I am really looking forward to getting my EC Zana Deux T in a few weeks, and trying the HD800 off the 4-pin XLR out.

These are the first dynamic headphone to give my electrostatics a run for their money, and the best dynamic that I have owned. These come the closest to my highly regarded ES3X custom IEM in sound quality and performance. Vs other dynamic headphones, my APS cabled HD600 (balanced and SE) are my second favorite, followed by my APS re-cabled RS-1, and then ESW10 and HF-2 tied. They remind me a bit of my Senn HE60 but with a more solid foundation to the soundstage, while the HE60's soundstage seems to float around the head up in the air, the HD800 have more of an organized and grounded headstage/soundstage.

In comparison to the HD800, my balanced woodied recabled D2000 sound closed, boxy, boomy and bright (which I still liked more than my re-cabled Edition 9 which I already sold to pay for the HD800). Now, if the modded D2000 are the first headphones that I put on for the day, then they do sound nice - rather it's in comparisons after getting acclimated to an open can where the modded D2000 fall behind.
post #4 of 25
hd800 takes the hd650 and stomps all over it. For me it was night and day differences and the hd800 won hands down. EXCELLENT headphones.
post #5 of 25
No comparison. Believe the hype.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by myk7000 View Post
hd800 takes the hd650 and stomps all over it. For me it was night and day differences and the hd800 won hands down. EXCELLENT headphones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atothex View Post
No comparison. Believe the hype.
This.
post #7 of 25
When people talk about the HD800 sounding weird and unnatural (I think I also read that in the hd800 appr. thread), I think it has yet to proven itself. Also for a fair comparison you should always take pricing into account, and since the 650 is actually cheap here, I think the 650's will stay around and be in popular demand for atleast a couple more years.
post #8 of 25
I'm more interested in HD800/Omega2 comparison.
At this prise HD800 must be a real competitor of the electrostats.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvanrij View Post
When people talk about the HD800 sounding weird and unnatural (I think I also read that in the hd800 appr. thread), I think it has yet to proven itself. Also for a fair comparison you should always take pricing into account, and since the 650 is actually cheap here, I think the 650's will stay around and be in popular demand for atleast a couple more years.

Take that further. At HD800s price, Sennheiser may not be able to sell enough of them to make them profitable in the long run and will discontinue them. The HD650 on the other hand will continue to be made. But I won't be surprised if Sennheiser creates a new headphone that adapts the research that went into the HD800 but sold at a much lower price.

OP, I wouldn't take people's word for it. Not sure how you will do it, but only way to know would be to listen yourself. And decide, is the HD800 so awesome it's worth spending almost $1,100 more for it or decide the HD650 or HD600 more than fulfills your needs.

One thing I know for myself. I don't believe in this upgraditis BS on these forums. If you find a headphone that let's you enjoy the music, you won't feel the need to constantly look for new headphones or look for this "perfect" sound when it doesn't exist. Have fun.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbd2884 View Post
I wouldn't take people's word for it. Not sure how you will do it, but only way to know would be to listen yourself. And decide, is the HD800 so awesome it's worth spending almost $1,100 more for it or decide the HD650 or HD600 more than fulfills your needs.

One thing I know for myself. I don't believe in this upgraditis BS on these forums. If you find a headphone that let's you enjoy the music, you won't feel the need to constantly look for new headphones or look for this "perfect" sound when it doesn't exist. Have fun.
Sure some people are happy with iPod buds. But let's face it were discussing one of the worlds premier headphones, so get with it. Also the BS your refer to comes from many experienced hobbyists, who take time and effort to post up their impressions. I find this really insulting to highly respected members such as headphoneAddict who has poured a lot of passion and enthusiasum into their posts only to recieve feedback like this.
Constructive criticism is always welcome, you come across as negative and insulting. Wonder if it's because you haven't got a pair of HD800's. LOL.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvanrij View Post
When people talk about the HD800 sounding weird and unnatural (I think I also read that in the hd800 appr. thread), I think it has yet to proven itself. Also for a fair comparison you should always take pricing into account, and since the 650 is actually cheap here, I think the 650's will stay around and be in popular demand for atleast a couple more years.
FWIR the sound signature is different than the HD800's. I doubt the HD650 will go until something similar sounding beats it for a similar price.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by brat View Post
I'm more interested in HD800/Omega2 comparison.
At this prise HD800 must be a real competitor of the electrostats.
Also no comparison. They sound totally different, and O2 actually costs a lot more to properly amplify. The O2 still probably wins on technical merits and pure performance, but the presentation is just soooo boring to me. I'd much rather listen to AD2000s or HFs.
post #13 of 25
Rereading OP, deleted my post. Have fun!
post #14 of 25
I never thought the HD650 phones belonged in the big leagues. And now that the HD800 came out Sennheisser fans are finally admitting it

Anyway, this thread was not necessary as there are at least 3 others with HD800 impressions and comparisons.
post #15 of 25

Huh... What's That...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbd2884 View Post
Rereading OP, deleted my post. Have fun!
"Eh... what's that you said there sonny... you young whippersnapper!?!"

Though... I tend to agree with you... that some tend to discern much more "dramatic" differences between phones, than others... and... some simply don't appreciate such "subtle" differences - especially at such premium prices... and... if they're already pretty pleased with what they've got.

The premium prices alone... may create a bit of a "need" to discern "dramatic" differences. And... similarly... budget consciousness, for whatever reason, may create a bit of a tendency towards skepticism, and a lack of appreciation of "subtle" differences.

I guess I tend to fall into the later group - skeptical, that there can be such "dramatic" improvements in SQ, no matter what the set up. That certainly seems to be supported by my experiences, so far. Spending lots more money, seems to produce only somewhat "subtle" improvements in SQ - noticeable, but subtle.

And... I'm fairly certain... that under no circumstances... would I likely find that the HD800s are "3x better" than the HD580/600/650s, or that the PS1000s are 4x better than the RS-1s. Would I find them 10%-20% better... perhaps. But... "that's just me," and my "aged ears."

In the end... one's opinion of the relative magnitude of such improvements in SQ, seems to most correlate to their inclination to "spend the big bucks" (marginal utility), and their personal appreciation of such improvements (OCD) that may seem somewhat "subtle" to others, perhaps most. No amount of "vicarious" listening though these threads, can ever resolve this issue for anyone. Only "jumping in with both feet" can do that - which I'm unwilling to do... to this point.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Sennheiser HD800 Impressions and Reviews