Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › REVIEW: Sennheiser HD 800
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

REVIEW: Sennheiser HD 800 - Page 9

post #121 of 629
Snacks, that was a very odd post, you built it up - then right at the end, a one sentence delivery.
post #122 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
At least as I understand your question, this was not something I noticed.
If the spikes are sharps they will create a phase. This phase in some levels starts to distort the sound, if it's high frequencies, it can sound like sibilance, sizzly and unnatural, what you may describe as honky.
post #123 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwmclean View Post
Snacks, that was a very odd post, you built it up - then right at the end, a one sentence delivery.
Sorry about that, but I was trying to be as discrete as possible, because I do not want to take away from the work that Skylab has done in his review. I just wanted to point out that the HD 800 is a very peculiar beast when it comes to amplification/sourcing. Additionally, I do not have near as much equipment, experience or head-time with the HD 800 to have a say one way or the other regarding what the HD 800 may or may not exhibit.

Right now, I'm writing and listening at the same time. That is not something I can do with other headphones, nor read and listen. The treble or bass is normally to overwhelming, that is not the case with the HD 800. Although, there are moments when I hit the rewind button...they are that encapsulating! I'm seriously considering doing what a lot of others have already said or done--sell the rest (STAX and Dynamic) and keep these and the DX1000.

After a bit more time, I will try and go into more detail about my findings with these compared to my other gears and headphones.
post #124 of 629
Hey Skylab,

Thanks for putting in the time and effort to get out a review of this quality. I see that you have tried to step out of the box that we find ourselves in in both headphones and life and do an unbiased view and that is highly commendable.

I own the DX1000s too, as I think you may be aware and bought them after reading many of your posts on them (I am grateful to your contribution to my system in that). They are absolutely wonderful, drinking in the music with those is truly at treat. I am so grateful that I am able to experience owing them. They do give me a standpoint in my view of music and I really have to shift to listen to another phones presentation.

I also own the HD800s and feel that they are a very good complement to the DX1000s. It is a difference in presentation, in that way both ends are covered. Really I need a closed and an open headphone so both are needed in my situation. An earlier post that the open HD800s cannot hope to have the bass weight of closed phones, which I agree with, but I feel they make up in clarity and speed what weight(impact) in bass they loose, and the bass does feel right after adjusting to the different presentation. It also seems to me that the openness of the soundstage adds to the loss of close up bass presentation...esp if you compare to the HD650s.

It does seem that impressions of these and other phones are colored by the headphones we listen to or if you will, camp we are in and it is difficult maybe impossible to be completely neutral because our minds or even physically our bodies work better with different sound signatures. Thus we have so many different impressions of these phones.

Even though I seem to levitate toward bassier sound these phones work for me due to what I hear as a very neutral nature and speed as well as the soundstage, so I guess I am one of those you mentioned earlier. I have to admit I don't see the treble as being hot though, just different. The sibilance-SSSSS that I have seen comments on I have actually heard several times, maybe on three songs out of five hundred to a thousand, so it really hasn't effected my listening.

Gotta admit though, in the last month I have spent much more time with the HD800s then the DX1000s, probably due to newness, but if it were a sound quality level issue I would have been back mostly on the DX1000s in a blink. They are both very good, and at this point the only other headphone I would remotely like in my quiver would be the L3000s, and the chance of that is pretty low at this point.

Thanks again for you time and energy with your review, I look forward to hearing your review on the Phoenix, I got a chance to hear one the other night, very nice, especially balanced. I made a short post on it on the Phoenix thread but I am sure what I read from you will be more eloquent and organized with a lot of other information.
post #125 of 629
Skylab, thanks for your hard work reviewing the HD-800.

I use my HD-800 mainly for HD films (True HD, DTS HD MA, LPCM), all very high bit rates and 5.1/7.1 ch.

Because I use a Woo WA6SE maxxed out (Sophia Princess Mesh Plate 274B rectifier, Blackgates, ect.), It is very important to have a Bly Ray player that really does a great job of downmix stereo 2ch analog. I now am using a Oppo BDP-83 as my player.

What I am now hearing from my HD-800 (over 200 hours) is wonderful.
The soundstage is very large when needed and up close when needed.
The Bass is also wonderful. The bass is so good, I can really use my Denon D7000 any more. The reason why is because after using my HD-800, the bass in the D7000 sounds unnatural, like if you turned your bass control way up.
Also keep in mind that I am seeing on my Pioneer 141 what I am hearing.
It is very important to me to have my ISF calibration maintain as close as possible how the Blu Ray disc is mastered. And the same goes for audio.

As you also pointed out the mids are wonderful.

Now as far as the highs go, I would say that they fall between neutral and hot. I don't get much sibilance if any. But certainly nothing to detract from the highs.

ss
post #126 of 629
^ The bass on the Denon D7000s sound very unnatural to me in general
post #127 of 629
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallan View Post

I also own the HD800s and feel that they are a very good complement to the DX1000s.
Yep, I agree - I think a person could have the HD800 and the DX1000 and pretty much have all the high end goodness they ever needed - one open, one closed, one a little analytical, one a little euphonic, but both very wonderful in their own ways.
post #128 of 629
Thank you Rob, for the effort and dedication that went into this review, as with most of your efforts.

I have the R-10's, which to me are the best headphones that meet all of my listening needs. The HD800 runs in a close second place.
There is no way that we are ever going to create a headphone that will have only strengths and no weaknesses. Everyone hears things differently and everyone has different musical needs and we all get different fulfillments out of listening to music, whether it be in the car as background, through speakers creating a visceral experience, or on our heads, lost in a world where we are being moved by every sound and mood swing.

I feel that the 800's are pretty much the closest headphone that has addressed the needs of what most people want in a "desert island" headphone, that value high quality, realistic sound.

Nothing can beat the LFE subwoofer that comes from the heavens whenever there is an aggressive thunderstorm. Nothing can beat the visual gratification that we acquire when we see a perfect sunrise or full moon sunset.

But, as with spouses that we hope to spend the rest of our lives with, we can hope to find something close that gives us most of what we want, with the least amount of what we don't want.

I feel, at this point in time, that the HD800's, provide me with the best option that we have to fill that void.
post #129 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
Nothing can beat the LFE subwoofer that comes from the heavens whenever there is an aggressive thunderstorm. Nothing can beat the visual gratification that we acquire when we see a perfect sunrise or full moon sunset.
Neither of which sounds analytical in real life to me, so part of reproducing music is about keeping it musical. Getting the technical stuff right is only half the battle. Seems like the DX1000 gets the musical right and the HD800 gets the technical stuff right from all of this discussion. Is that off the mark?
post #130 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf18t View Post
Very interesting Sanderman. How would you compare the tonal qualities (bass mids and highs) of the PS-1000 vs the HD-800?
The tonal center of the Grados is the upper bass / lower midrange with a remarkable sense of deep bass impact you usually only get with closed phones. It anchors the phone with a sense of weight and body. The Senns are rather upper midrange centric. They come off as more than a bit thin and airy in comparison. The Grados also have a bit of the GS1000s high frequency character with a slight bit of brightness, color and HF overtone (though no where as much so as the GS1000) while the Senn comes off as more even upper mid to top, but with a certain greyness and lack of tonal color and presence.

Joe
post #131 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
Other atributes....such as music and listenability? Always the same problem with gear that gives immediate thrills via details. You forget what has been sacrificed until you discover it is missing. Then you hate yourself.

Same thing used to occur with phono cartridges. Folks would be wowed by expensive, detailed MC's but a Shure V15 MM would be more listenable for a longer period of time without sacrificing anything on the recording.


This has also been my experience with big headphones with big drivers. Yes, you get a "bigger" soundstage but it also "fills in" that soundstage with larger images. So what have you gained? It's like sitting 20' away from a 50" TV screen or 10' away from a 24" screen.

BTW excellent review Skylab! Very well organized and thorough.
Precisely.

Joe
post #132 of 629
(Thank you for the efforts Skylab; another very nice contribution to the community.)

Initial Impressions After One Day (four or five hours headtime)

Mine are brand spanking new out of the box, but pretty much all of what Skylab wrote rings true so far. The imaging and transparency are phenomenal. The imaging is the best I have heard from any headphones and the transparency on par with the best. It is an incredible experience to listen to these headphones. The mids and vocals are amazing as well, but I can see Sanderman’s perspective as they seem rather larger than life. Also, I think I just might prefer the flavoring of the W5000s actually in that department. Female vocals through the W5000s were sort of magical for me, whereas on the HD800s they are equally impressive from a technical stand-point but a little less engaging.

The bass is of very high quality but for my tastes a bit underwhelming in terms of quantity, impact, and weight. I definitely would not put them in my bass-lite category but they are just a bit closer to the cut-off line than I would like. Unnatural, incorrect, distorted or whatever, I love and thoroughly enjoy how the D7000s present bass. The bass on the HD800s so far is impressive in some aspects but I do not find it as enjoyable and in the long run that will be all I care about.

A treble glare is slight but indeed present to my ears, and as is, I can imagine it being a bit fatiguing in the long run. It is reminding me a bit of my experience with the GS1000s, where I found it mostly tolerable but too regularly it would cross the line and be too much. So far, it is not as troublesome as with the GS1000s, but I do not feel quite as relaxed as I do with the D7000s. I keep wanting to turn up the volume to get really absorbed into the music, but the glare forces me to turn it down again. I really do hope this issue smoothes out a bit more with burn-in and an amp change. So far, this is the only real ‘issue’ I have with these phones.

The comfort is very good but maybe slightly more clampy than I would prefer, but by no means do I find them uncomfortable. They are heavy but the weight is not noticeable on my head. I find them much more comfortable than the HD650s I had but less comfortable than the D5000/7000s. The build is excellent and thankfully I have no creaky spring issues (#645). They look high-end in person but not as nice as the woody headphones out there. A neon green cable and matching Nike swoosh on the cups would not at all look out of place on these.

I had them delivered to my office where I am listening through the capable but far from state-of-the-art amp/dac, Dr.Dac2. They will stay here for the rest of the week for 24/7 burn-in, but I am greatly looking forward to bringing them home where a Luxman P-1 and Leben CS300x await their arrival. I can already imagine why the Luxman is considered a good match but I am most curious as to what happens when paired with the Leben. I do generally prefer colored/euphonic headphones and these are a bit on the neutral side for me. The Leben generally adds a little color so I am thinking they will be a good match for me.

Overall, the current-status sound signature as a sum-total is extremely enjoyable and very seductive and addictive. I can easily see why some have found audiophile nirvana with them and I am sure I have not even heard them at their best. Despite all the detailed descriptions I have obsessed over the past few months, they really do have a unique sound signature that perhaps cannot be understood until heard with your own ears.

I feel they may be exactly what I am looking for in terms of the office phones I was seeking. However, at this point, I am doubtful that enough will change with burn-in/amp&source change to make them supplant the D7000s as my overall preferred headphones. No doubt I find the imaging, degree of transparency and mids in general to be preferable with the HD800s. When I came home and put on the D7000s, they seemed almost claustrophobic at first. However, as I readjusted to presentation, much of what I was missing with the HD800s came back to my attention. Bass, synthesizers, and percussion are featured in much of the music I listen to and all sound sublime to my ears through the D7000s. So far, the HD800s are not presenting them in a way that is as satisfying to me although they still do it extremely well.

Of course, this long-winded description is only after one day. I will have no trouble relegating my Denons to second-banana (see K701, GS1000 before them) if the HD800s are able to keep growing on me. For now at least, I am really glad I grabbed a pair and have trouble imagining that I will be getting rid of them any time soon.
post #133 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
Other atributes....such as music and listenability? Always the same problem with gear that gives immediate thrills via details. You forget what has been sacrificed until you discover it is missing. Then you hate yourself.
To me, the HD-800 produces music and listenability in spades. The details are not thrust at you, but available as an organic part of the music. Not to have this, in my view, is something sacrificed and gone missing. But I would never hate myself over a piece of audio equipment in any event...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
Same thing used to occur with phono cartridges. Folks would be wowed by expensive, detailed MC's but a Shure V15 MM would be more listenable for a longer period of time without sacrificing anything on the recording.
The Shure's were the very definition of OK. A good cartridge, but dark velvet, subdued and far from even the best MM. Of course, there were many, many MM's the Shure was better than. And I have owned the V15 3,4,5, 5MR and 5XMR over the years, just for "science". But the Grace F9E, the better Decca's, some of the Garrett brothers carts, the Panasonic EPC-100, the British Music Maker, the Promethius Green and the best of the B&O catridges (believe it or not) were all better (to name a few).

Then there are those MC's that really are/were better. Not all were, to be sure (no pun intended)! And there is my all time favorite, the Win Research FET-10, which was just heavenly.
post #134 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post
Neither of which sounds analytical in real life to me, so part of reproducing music is about keeping it musical. Getting the technical stuff right is only half the battle. Seems like the DX1000 gets the musical right and the HD800 gets the technical stuff right from all of this discussion. Is that off the mark?
Yes.
post #135 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post
...part of reproducing music is about keeping it musical. Getting the technical stuff right is only half the battle. Seems like the DX1000 gets the musical right and the HD800 gets the technical stuff right from all of this discussion. Is that off the mark?
Excellent perspective. The first part is pretty close. The musicality of the DX1000 is exactly why I love them, and will never, ever let go of mine, and have even contemplated copying those who have gone to the financially insane extreme of buying a second pair, in case JVC is deluded enough to stop making them, rather than start marketing them properly outside Japan, darnit (sorry, pet peeve). But much as I am enthralled by the musicality of the DX1000, I have to acknowledge the startlingly high proportion of Head-fi'ers who have bought and then sold their DX1000s. Why? I don't know, exactly, but something wasn't right for them. So anyone taking Skylab's review as a reason to buy themselves some DX1000s, right quick -- well, they may be as thrilled with them as I am. Or they may not.

As for the "HD800 gets the technical stuff right," one must acknowledge that Skylab has done a great job of describing some areas in which they do not. Further, "gets the technical stuff right" sounds uncomfortably close to that word, "analytical," which seems appropriate to the revealing aspect of the HD800, but not appropriate to their gestalt. I will persist in the notion that the best advance description of what is distinctive about these phones is "transparent window on the music." There really is a sense of peering through a window at just what was happening in the hall or studio at the time of the recording, and it is that quality that makes me cling to them, even though I am committing what some regard as an audiophile sin, and EQing them to adjust to a more compatible frequency response. There is something about what these phones can reproduce that is both impressive and compelling, even if I have to crudely mess with their frequency response to tune it to a place that is more to my liking. If I had to pick a word to sum that up best, that word would be "agile." They're light on their feet. They make reproducing everything seem easy. That doesn't mean you'll like them. But it does mean they're something more than just technically correct, or analytical.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › REVIEW: Sennheiser HD 800