Originally Posted by Orcin
This comment on sound quality is so far away from my experience that you might as well be talking about iPod earbuds. I am obviously not in your league, Asr, but I do have ears. Lacks treble and bass... no dynamic range... not realistic?
In summary, I respectfully submit that this portion of your review might be a bit overstated. I'm not a fanboi nor do I claim that the HD800 is the best headphone on the market. I think it's significantly better than the picture you paint, and I think it is definitely worth the $1400 price tag and fairly priced compared to other commercially available phones.
Originally Posted by Hopstretch
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?
Sure, I own and like the 800s, but if I jumped in here swearing they were absolutely great in every single important area I'd expect to, quite rightly, be dismissed as a dumbass. Can see no reason why claims that they miraculously manage to totally suck in every single important area shouldn't be evaluated in exactly the same way.
I too have ears and I must maintain my opinion of the HD800.....insofar that they're actually pretty good headphones! Wait....what?!
Ok I admit it, I was intentionally playing up my previous post (as serious as it looked when it really wasn't intended to be serious) to be more contentious than what I actually wanted to imply, simply for the sake of provoking a similarly contentious response. Sorry, won't do it again. I was motivated to do it after seeing so many positive impressions of the HD800 here on Head-Fi and since my own experience hasn't been quite as positive I thought I would provide an overly negative opinion to counteract.
That said, I think I should further clarify my points against the HD800. Disregard the previous post as I made just about every point to be overly contentious and more negative-sounding than my actual experience.
1 - I do vastly prefer the HP1000 and OII MKI over the HD800. This is just me of course though.
2 - The HD800, HP1000, and OII MKI are different flavors for different folks. The latter two are not necessarily superior to the former.
3 - In terms of speed only, in my experience the HD800 is moderately fast, and faster than most other dynamic headphones, but not as
fast as the Sony Qualia 010 or Audio-Technica AD2000.
4 - I'd still maintain I've never been impressed by the HD800 in all the configurations that I've heard it in (with respect to source, amp, & cables), though this could certainly change if I heard it in the right system. I also have some doubts that the HD800 will ever impress me either, as I have previous experience with amps, cables, & balanced mode.
5 - I didn't say the HD800 was terrible in terms of treble, bass, dynamic range, mid-range, and speed, only that it was lacking in those aspects. I also did not say by how much it was lacking either.
6 - I'd also still maintain the HD800 could have been faster. It's not the fastest dynamic headphone on the planet you know, and there are several headphones that eclipse it: the two I've mentioned, plus the AT W5000, Sony SA5000, Grado RS1, etc.
I'll also put my opinion of the HD800 in the proper perspective and summarize my thoughts on it. First, I've heard and owned many headphones (a full list is available in my profile) over the last 3.5 years. At this point, I've heard all the headphones I've wanted to and I now own the ones that bring me the most satisfaction for my unique preferences. I would call myself a treble-head - I value treble highly and I think it's one of the most overlooked aspects of SQ. There is only one headphone that meets my treble preferences, the Qualia. There is also only one headphone that meets my bass preferences, the AD2000. I could've been happy with just those two but the HP1000 threw a monkey wrench when I heard it and I decided I had to own it as well for its amazing mid-range and rendition of classical and jazz music. On the electrostatic side, the OII MKI amazes me despite the fact that it has neither the AD2000's bass, the Qualia's treble, or the HP1000's mid-range, and so that's why I own it as well. Compared to these headphones, I could find no reason to keep the HD800 long-term. It didn't have the AD2000's bass or speed, or the Qualia's treble, or the HP1000's mid-range, or the OII MKI's level of detail and smoothness throughout the frequency range (which I didn't find out until after I sold it of course). It was not the all-in-one headphone that I wanted it to be and when it came down to it, the other headphones doing what they did best made a more convincing case for multiple headphones rather than one that fell short in multiple areas. But just because I found the HD800 lackluster (as far as meeting my expectations) doesn't mean it's bad either, it's still a fine headphone in most aspects - I just wouldn't call it outstanding. I wouldn't call the HP1000 outstanding either for that matter, but I would
call the OII MKI outstanding, at least when it's properly amped and sourced.
7 - Dollars can't be equated to sound quality, especially when most headphones are designed to have a specific type of sound and the perception of this sound is subjective.