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Is the HD800 overpriced? - Page 36

post #526 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Put simply, yes. It is. Even ignoring the almost all plastic build. The HD800 has far too many problems sonically to command that sort of a pricetag. A headphone with a cost of that magnitude should be completely free of deal-breaking flaws, like that wretched 10kHz peak that makes the treble into a cattle prod. Add in the diffuse imaging, poor bass response, lack of impact, unrealistic soundstage, and a very "soft" sound and it's just deplorable. It was hyper-detailed.

 

I'm pretty surprised how many people of a flagship headphone have modified their headphones. I certainly don't hear much about modding the HE-6, SR-007, LCD2/3. A good portion of the "details" this headphone provides is due to the lack of bass and hot hot treble. 

post #527 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Put simply, yes. It is. Even ignoring the almost all plastic build. The HD800 has far too many problems sonically to command that sort of a pricetag. A headphone with a cost of that magnitude should be completely free of deal-breaking flaws, like that wretched 10kHz peak that makes the treble into a cattle prod. Add in the diffuse imaging, poor bass response, lack of impact, unrealistic soundstage, and a very "soft" sound and it's just deplorable. It was hyper-detailed, sure, more than any headphone I've heard to date, but it was also incredibly boring to listen to due to what I've mentioned above. It failed to involve me whatsoever, and when a headphone can't get me involved in the music, I have no desire to listen to it. The HD800 isn't good at making music. What it is good at is absolutely obliterating poor recording jobs and low bitrate material. It'd be a good reference headphone... and nothing more.

I don't care how detailed it is, the things I mentioned are real problems and since this is supposed to be Sennheiser's flagship, those problems shouldn't exist. World-class headphones are for making music, not for staring at your audio files under an electron microscope and picking out every single nuance and imperfection. The HD800 at its current state is worth $1000 at the most, and even that is a stretch. I'd personally place it around the $800 mark. Sennheiser needs to invest time into fixing these problems before that headphone will do its $1500 price tag justice.

However, just to clear something up, in person the HD800 looks AND feels like a $1500 headphone. The build is downright excellent. Every single joint feels rock solid and the headband adjusters are so incredibly smooth that it feels like butter. There's absolutely nothing about the build to question. It's still my opinion that a $1500 headphone should be made of more than just plastic, but after actually feeling and wearing the cans, I wasn't left wanting more from the build.

Alright...

*Braces self for the inevitable attacks on his opinion*

Holly poop, it actually has a obvious "V" sound signature. Haven't seen that graph before.


Edited by SmOgER - 7/6/13 at 4:56pm
post #528 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmOgER View Post

Holly poop, it actually has a obvious "V" sound signature. Haven't seen that graph before.

That is NOT a "V" shape...look at the PS1000 to see a V shape (ie. rolled off bass, recessed mids and super trumped up treble). That graph is pretty darn neutral. 

post #529 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Put simply, yes. It is. Even ignoring the almost all plastic build. The HD800 has far too many problems sonically to command that sort of a pricetag. A headphone with a cost of that magnitude should be completely free of deal-breaking flaws, like that wretched 10kHz peak that makes the treble into a cattle prod. Add in the diffuse imaging, poor bass response, lack of impact, unrealistic soundstage, and a very "soft" sound and it's just deplorable. It was hyper-detailed, sure, more than any headphone I've heard to date, but it was also incredibly boring to listen to due to what I've mentioned above. It failed to involve me whatsoever, and when a headphone can't get me involved in the music, I have no desire to listen to it. The HD800 isn't good at making music. What it is good at is absolutely obliterating poor recording jobs and low bitrate material. It'd be a good reference headphone... and nothing more.

I don't care how detailed it is, the things I mentioned are real problems and since this is supposed to be Sennheiser's flagship, those problems shouldn't exist. World-class headphones are for making music, not for staring at your audio files under an electron microscope and picking out every single nuance and imperfection. The HD800 at its current state is worth $1000 at the most, and even that is a stretch. I'd personally place it around the $800 mark. Sennheiser needs to invest time into fixing these problems before that headphone will do its $1500 price tag justice.

However, just to clear something up, in person the HD800 looks AND feels like a $1500 headphone. The build is downright excellent. Every single joint feels rock solid and the headband adjusters are so incredibly smooth that it feels like butter. There's absolutely nothing about the build to question. It's still my opinion that a $1500 headphone should be made of more than just plastic, but after actually feeling and wearing the cans, I wasn't left wanting more from the build.

Alright...

*Braces self for the inevitable attacks on his opinion*

 

I heard them the same way you did and that is why I ended up trading them in. I liked a lot of what the HD800 had on offer but the upper mid softness/reticence and the treble harshness did it in. 

 

The build was good overall but I had a problem with the top of the headband splitting away from the base on one side. So yeah, definitely not worth the $1795 I shelled out for them.

post #530 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

 

I heard them the same way you did and that is why I ended up trading them in. I liked a lot of what the HD800 had on offer but the upper mid softness/reticence and the treble harshness did it in. 

 

The build was good overall but I had a problem with the top of the headband splitting away from the base on one side. So yeah, definitely not worth the $1795 I shelled out for them.

Dave, if you're ever in Toronto, you're welcome to drop by and hear them in my rig. They are magical on the GS-X MKII with no treble harshness whatsoever that I can detect. smile.gif

post #531 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Put simply, yes. It is. Even ignoring the almost all plastic build. The HD800 has far too many problems sonically to command that sort of a pricetag. A headphone with a cost of that magnitude should be completely free of deal-breaking flaws, like that wretched 10kHz peak that makes the treble into a cattle prod. Add in the diffuse imaging, poor bass response, lack of impact, unrealistic soundstage, and a very "soft" sound and it's just deplorable. It was hyper-detailed, sure, more than any headphone I've heard to date, but it was also incredibly boring to listen to due to what I've mentioned above. It failed to involve me whatsoever, and when a headphone can't get me involved in the music, I have no desire to listen to it. The HD800 isn't good at making music. What it is good at is absolutely obliterating poor recording jobs and low bitrate material. It'd be a good reference headphone... and nothing more.

I don't care how detailed it is, the things I mentioned are real problems and since this is supposed to be Sennheiser's flagship, those problems shouldn't exist. World-class headphones are for making music, not for staring at your audio files under an electron microscope and picking out every single nuance and imperfection. The HD800 at its current state is worth $1000 at the most, and even that is a stretch. I'd personally place it around the $800 mark. Sennheiser needs to invest time into fixing these problems before that headphone will do its $1500 price tag justice.
 

 

 

not like i don't understand the want for the headphones to be flawless at that price point. I would too, but personally i think the more important thing is not how perfect should a $1400 headphone be. The better questions is for the near price, if you look at its competitors around similar price is it competitive? Is it better? (even if it is by a slightest margin). And headphones that come to mind is obviously the T1 as well as HE-6, maybe even LCD 2 (but few 100's cheaper). All these headphones are great but they all have its own problems and weaknesses (as well as strengths) that makes them far from perfect just like the HD 800. But when comparing to the competitors of HD 800, does the price tag do justice? In terms of marketing sense i would say yes. (to me personally they are not worth it however, i would rather have HE-500 or LCD 2 which i find much better value) I do not think that HD 800 is supremely better than the previously listed phones (although a decent number of people may think so) but they are all relatively equal headphones with its own styles. To me i think that is the most important thing. You were talking about what a $1400 headphone "should have" sonically and build wise but in your opinion are there any other headphones near its price that fits all of your expectations in such a manner? Perhaps so, perhaps not. (But i feel that like question can rly come down to subjective tastes as well.) If so, i would like to know which headphone. 

post #532 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by meyner View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Put simply, yes. It is. Even ignoring the almost all plastic build. The HD800 has far too many problems sonically to command that sort of a pricetag. A headphone with a cost of that magnitude should be completely free of deal-breaking flaws, like that wretched 10kHz peak that makes the treble into a cattle prod. Add in the diffuse imaging, poor bass response, lack of impact, unrealistic soundstage, and a very "soft" sound and it's just deplorable. It was hyper-detailed, sure, more than any headphone I've heard to date, but it was also incredibly boring to listen to due to what I've mentioned above. It failed to involve me whatsoever, and when a headphone can't get me involved in the music, I have no desire to listen to it. The HD800 isn't good at making music. What it is good at is absolutely obliterating poor recording jobs and low bitrate material. It'd be a good reference headphone... and nothing more.

I don't care how detailed it is, the things I mentioned are real problems and since this is supposed to be Sennheiser's flagship, those problems shouldn't exist. World-class headphones are for making music, not for staring at your audio files under an electron microscope and picking out every single nuance and imperfection. The HD800 at its current state is worth $1000 at the most, and even that is a stretch. I'd personally place it around the $800 mark. Sennheiser needs to invest time into fixing these problems before that headphone will do its $1500 price tag justice.
 

 

 

not like i don't understand the want for the headphones to be flawless at that price point. I would too, but personally i think the more important thing is not how perfect should a $1400 headphone be. The better questions is for the near price, if you look at its competitors around similar price is it competitive? Is it better? (even if it is by a slightest margin). And headphones that come to mind is obviously the T1 as well as HE-6, maybe even LCD 2 (but few 100's cheaper). All these headphones are great but they all have its own problems and weaknesses (as well as strengths) that makes them far from perfect just like the HD 800. But when comparing to the competitors of HD 800, does the price tag do justice? In terms of marketing sense i would say yes. (to me personally they are not worth it however, i would rather have HE-500 or LCD 2 which i find much better value) I do not think that HD 800 is supremely better than the previously listed phones (although a decent number of people may think so) but they are all relatively equal headphones with its own styles. To me i think that is the most important thing. You were talking about what a $1400 headphone "should have" sonically and build wise but in your opinion are there any other headphones near its price that fits all of your expectations in such a manner? Perhaps so, perhaps not. (But i feel that like question can rly come down to subjective tastes as well.) If so, i would like to know which headphone. 

I'm not asking that the headphone be perfect, what I'm asking for is that it doesn't have any blatantly obvious problems. I'll use my heavily modded 4AAA for example. It may not be the most amazingly detailed can in the world, but what it does offer is a really smooth response, great soundstage, intensely powerful bass and impact, a nice edgy sound, and plenty of euphonics. It has its weaknesses just like any other headphone: the upper treble is recessed and the imaging isn't quite up to snuff.  However, the flaws don't draw attention to themselves. Your ears adjust to the headphones fairly quickly and you start hearing all the things it does well instead of what its not so good at. You can continue using the cans without really noticing it until you specifically start listening for it.

 

I can't seem to find a modern-production headphone that has no outright flaws, flagship or otherwise. The Sennheiser HD600 has the general soft feeling to it and an odd muffling effect on the upper midbass that my ears are drawn to like flies to a bug lamp. The Grado RS2i has has very, very odd coloration and, while fast, doesn't have much edge. The Sony MDR-SA3000 has no bass, sounds incredibly closed in, has very high distortion and has hissy, splashy treble. These things aren't something you can just not notice, much like the massive wide-band peak around the 10kHz mark on the HD800. Your ears are drawn directly to it and it just totally ruins the whole experience.

 

It just seems to me like headphone companies nowadays are far more interested in making an assload of money than making the best performing headphone they can. Couple that with the INSANELY high pricetags that Sennheiser has induced on today's market and things seem pretty hopeless if you ask me.

 

But I digress, my issue is not with what the HD800 does well or how it compares to other headphones. My issue is, why the hell is it priced so high when it has flaws that are absolutely impossible to ignore? Did they listen to this thing at ALL during the R&D process? I mean come on.


Edited by takato14 - 7/6/13 at 11:04pm
post #533 of 684

lol perhaps but then your not really complaining about sennheiser's HD800 flagship in particular. (Although it can be an important example in what you want to say) According to u, all the super high end headphones may have glaring flaws in certain fields whether it is the build or sonic. Its just the industry and the market itself that you may find unreasonable rather the sennheiser so much in particular. Or is it the fact that sennheiser's HD800 flagships flaws are just much greater than the flaws of other company's nearby priced flagships? Because i don't quite feel like that the case. But i do find the whole flagship highend market to be a bit riduclous. It just feels like a lot of the people in the community have just come to terms with it though for better or for worse. (especially for those with real jobs cough* cough* -poor graduate student me) And if your talking about headphones that may seem overpriced i would like to point my fingers at TH900 first not because i think they did anything wrong. I just don't think their sound warrants such a price when comparing to its competitor's flagships. 

 

Also you were talking about blatly obvious problems but it may be the case that they knew about it or found out later but compared the cost of making the change vs the impact in the market for their target audience may have had to do with their decision. It may sound ridiculous considering we're paying such top dollar for their product but if you consider the fact that there have been car companies that choose not recall cars after finding a problem based on profit margins (thats life and death) its not that ridiculous. (They made the assumption making compensation payments may be cheaper than full on recall. not so bad anymore since the media is more sensitive) At some point you just have to shoot the engineer and get the product through. They could've easily fixed it? it doesn't matter to the people in the higher up. Every day delayed from the production line is millions lost in opportunity cost. This is especially true a larger the company gets. 


Edited by meyner - 7/7/13 at 3:48am
post #534 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

Dave, if you're ever in Toronto, you're welcome to drop by and hear them in my rig. They are magical on the GS-X MKII with no treble harshness whatsoever that I can detect. smile.gif

 

Thanks Peter!

 

Interesting that when we look at graphs, we don't (always) take into consideration the amplification we are or will be using.

post #535 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

That is NOT a "V" shape...look at the PS1000 to see a V shape (ie. rolled off bass, recessed mids and super trumped up treble). That graph is pretty darn neutral. 

Emphasis on bass and midbass (+6db),  recessed mids (starting from 600hz. Minimum at -5db), sparkling treble (10khz, +6db). This kind of frequency response draws a V shaped line. Maybe I'am not clear enough with you there, lol.


Edited by SmOgER - 7/7/13 at 9:31am
post #536 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmOgER View Post

Emphasis on bass and midbass (+6db),  recessed mids (starting from 600hz. Minimum at -5db), sparkling treble (10khz, +6db). This kind of frequency response draws a V shaped line. Maybe I'am not clear enough with you there, lol.

 

 I see a down-slant beginning at 1K (at 0). That is where the upper midrange begins. So not a V-shape per se.

 

For me, it was the dip in the upper mids along with the treble rise (and fall after 10 k) that probably showcased the emphasis that bothered me. But, as I posted above, compatible amps would likely help out.

post #537 of 684
Quote:
   The HD800 has far too many problems sonically to command that sort of a pricetag. A headphone with a cost of that magnitude should be completely free of deal-breaking flaws, like that wretched 10kHz peak that makes the treble into a cattle prod. Add in the diffuse imaging, poor bass response, lack of impact, unrealistic soundstage, and a very "soft" sound and it's just deplorable.

You shouldn't speak with authority about things you don't have much understanding of. If the HD800 has such problems listed, then most other headphones are completely intolerable. While I agree there are many bad headphones being produced for ever higher prices, the HD800 is not one of them. The HD800 is one of the most involving and electrifying headphones I've ever listened to, making even the TH900 and HE-500 I own pale in comparison on the right material. When set up right they are simply epic to listen to, in a way that other headphones cannot manage due to their massive image, with incredible dynamic swings, violent impact and vocal performance of astonishing intensity. This soft, analytical sound you have in your head is merely a misconception from reading ill-informed posts on this forum, and your own lack of experience.

 

Music with poor production values will sound ordinary, that's because it is ordinary, but well-recorded music will be amazing. What's important to emphasise is their treble is one of the biggest strengths, not their weaknesses. Most headphones that strive to attain a neutral treble response with high detail sound much harsher, with less linearity to the sound and more grain. This is true for even the HE-500, which has odd hiccups and drop-offs in the treble from time to time, and the TH900, which despite being a warmer sounding headphone has a uniformly less smooth treble. When the music is enthralling and sweat-inducing, the HD800 keeps me in the zone for the longest time, while the others will eventually show their little flaws and take me out of the experience, if temporarily. Even when listening to badly recorded modern music on "forgiving" headphones like the HD650, I find their upper mids and treble bothersome, especially near the 4k region. As for headphones that strive for a detailed signature like the K701 and DT880? Don't even bother. 

 

If you need a headphone with a steeply rolled off treble response to enjoy music, then the flaw lies with the music, and not the headphone. All headphones are overpriced for what they offer compared to a speaker at an equivalent price, that's just the way it is. Headphones at the end of the day are an unnatural way of listening to music compared to speakers. Try putting a detailed speaker right next to your ear when a high note plays. The HD800 are an engineering marvel in that they can sound so good in spite of that fact.

post #538 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmOgER View Post

Emphasis on bass and midbass (+6db),  recessed mids (starting from 600hz. Minimum at -5db), sparkling treble (10khz, +6db). This kind of frequency response draws a V shaped line. Maybe I'am not clear enough with you there, lol.

Have a look at the mid-bass on the PS1000 ... it bleeds into the mids and the treble can become literally painful when listening at 80-85dB after a few hours. In effect it serves to push the mids back...that is a "V" shape. The HD800s are far, far from a V shape. Have you heard them?

post #539 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Put simply, yes. It is. Even ignoring the almost all plastic build. The HD800 has far too many problems sonically to command that sort of a pricetag. A headphone with a cost of that magnitude should be completely free of deal-breaking flaws, like that wretched 10kHz peak that makes the treble into a cattle prod. Add in the diffuse imaging, poor bass response, lack of impact, unrealistic soundstage, and a very "soft" sound and it's just deplorable. It was hyper-detailed, sure, more than any headphone I've heard to date, but it was also incredibly boring to listen to due to what I've mentioned above. It failed to involve me whatsoever, and when a headphone can't get me involved in the music, I have no desire to listen to it. The HD800 isn't good at making music. What it is good at is absolutely obliterating poor recording jobs and low bitrate material. It'd be a good reference headphone... and nothing more.

Yikes, you really did not enjoy these eh! It's as if the headphones physically hurt you wink.gif

 

What amps and source components have you tried the 800's with? It's really hit or miss with this headphone. I too went with the LCD2/HE500/LCD3 prior to having properly heard what the HD800's could do. I went from somewhat of a hater to an absolute lover lol. It's a very polarizing headphone; probably one of the most.

 

As mentioned before, besides the peak in the treble, its high frequency extension is its strength and is unrivalled vs its competitors under 3000$. The bass impact and visceralness of the HD800's is less notable however, and this headphone is more on the forward-neutral side.

 

The HD800 is crud with most equipment/ lower level equipment; that's why it's worth listening to it with true hi fidelity equipment to make a fair assessment. It's a chameleon, it can change dramatically with subtle changes.

 

Nevertheless, it's not for everyone, it's not the most musical, but it's more than just a good reference headphone. My HD800's sounded more musical on my amp than my LCD3's, which ultimately forced me to keep the 800's/HE6 and part with the Audez'e (as good as they were).

 

I agree about the plastic, it could be better (at least it's Leona). I actually find the build to not match it's sound quality.

 

 

YMMV with this headphone; that's all that can be said.

post #540 of 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

 

Thanks Peter!

 

Interesting that when we look at graphs, we don't (always) take into consideration the amplification we are or will be using.

No worries Dave...beer fridge is always full too. smile.gif

 

The HD800s are a very tough nut to crack. And my thinking is that this isn't a good thing for a pair of headphones...having to drop a bundle to really hear what they are about. They scale/change quite a bit with amplification/dac/source and can sound "off" when there's issues with the upstream gear. I think this is one of the main reason's why some who have heard them don't love them. Having a headphone that sounds very good with average gear and amazing with great gear would be ideal....but the HD800s don't fit that bill...just the latter and not the former.

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