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Did HD800 fail? Poll: HD650 or HD800(vote only if you have listened to both) - Page 4

Poll Results: Which do you prefer?

 
  • 37% (84)
    HD650
  • 62% (138)
    HD800
222 Total Votes  
post #46 of 178


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post


Both have very clear faults. The 650 is extremely uncomfortable, clamping one's head. Also, there is an obvious veil in the upper midrange which was supposed to be fixed from the 600's, but they weren't. 

The 7000's (which I love, but still has it faults), has extremely wobbly bass.

One might like the 650's over the 800's (which is a minority opinion, but everyone is allowed to have their own opinion), but the 650's and 7000's are certainly not "fault-free". 

 


 

 The 650 does not clamp after about two weeks. If it does, it can be fixed in seconds by bending out the metal part of the headband. In short, it's not a problem.

 

"Obvious veil in the upper midrange". Well, if you hear it, okay, but "obvious"? My memory may be failing, but I don't remember, in all the thousands of 650 posts, seeing any mention of a veil in the upper midrange. Upper treble maybe.  
 

 

post #47 of 178

I've noticed that people who believe HD800 are noticeably better than HD650 also feel that HD600 is better than HD650 as well. My listening is limited with HD800, but I did go from HD650 to HD600 and do prefer the latter. Are there any HD800 owners who prefer HD650 over HD600?

 

 

post #48 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Beyer might have rushed the T1, but it is a new design.

The HD-800 seems to have had several years of research put in. Rumors of it turned up five years ago and even prototype pictures turned up here about a year before release. It's pretty clear that Sennheiser decided to stop evolving the 580 and bring out a new headphone.

I do agree that Sennheiser should automate more of the process and bring down the price to $700-$800.


Yeah I was a bit too harsh in my post, I actually missed your longer post and was just responding to Graphicism.  Despite something fishy about the timing of the T1 and HD800, I respect both companies for the legitimately new designs, and especially Beyer for not doing what you described very eloquently with the flashy new exterior.  They kept basically the same design they've had for years despite the insides seemingly being completely different even the location of the driver.  It's kind of amazing that they managed to put an angled driver into the same frame as the DT880.  You could say they were being cheap, but new frames would have helped the image of the T1 which would have helped sales.  I bet a lot of people think the HD800 is the more "high-tech" headphone based on looks alone.

 


Edited by rhythmdevils - 4/10/11 at 10:54pm
post #49 of 178

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

 

Thanks, Finnegans. I much prefer this kind of explanatory post to the "800 blows 650 out of the water" variety. To me that means absolutely nothing.

 

In fact you've pretty much defined my reasons for sticking with the 650. I was slightly tempted by the 800, then even more by the LCD-2, but in the end I decided the 650 was ideal for my purposes (not to mention the sweet spot for diminishing returns). I have a mixed bag of recordings, some from the 60s and even 50s, lots of MP3s (not all 320, I confess)...just a very mixed bag, and I need a phone that won't emphasise the quality differences, will help the worst sound good but still bring out the virtues of the best, and in my best judgement that's the 650. I don't want a phone that sounds brilliant on demonstration material but emphasises every fault in less than wonderful records--and when I say less than wonderful I'm not just talking about archival material as many new recordings are far from ideal. I want a balanced, forgiving, sweet sounding phone, and if it doesn't have the laser-like clarity or holographic imaging of flagship phones I'm prepared to make that sacrifice. Neither do I want two headphones, as I simply don't believe in that particular approach (and I can't afford it anyway). So I'm kind of grateful that the 650 exists, as it fits my needs exactly, and I never feel when using it that I'm really missing anything. Thank you, Sennheiser.   

 

 

Excellent post that applies to all mid-level phones.  (Mid-level in terms of prices & over-all technical ability)  

 

To be fair, I think most who said the the 800s blows the 650s "out of the water" assumed otherwise favorable conditions (such as adequate source, quality source material, etc.).  

 

I'd have to agree that the HD800s are in every way technically superior to the HD650s.

post #50 of 178

I paid 350 for my HD650s and $1,400 for my HD800's I'd say the law of diminishing returns applies here. I have both of these headphones currently, and will be buying the HD600's in a few months.                                The HD650's are warmer (IME) but not as detailed or clear, I'd even go as far to say the HD650's are a tad smoother but I'd like to run them both off a tube amp (I was eyeing the Schiit Vahalla, until the Triadaudio Valvecode arrives) before I'll fully commit to that statement. The HD800's have a better soundstage, the detail the air between the instruments, performers is much better than the HD650's (I only listen to classical, LIGHT electronic on my HD800's) There is a treble problem with the HD800's but using High end equipment and high resolution sources like Vinyl or CD's/DVD-A's/SACD's/Flac took care of that for me, as always YMMV. What do I use more? The HD650's because, well, I'm not afraid to blow the drivers on them. But I PREFER the HD800's.


 

 

post #51 of 178

A cheaper alternative is to balance HD650 if you already have a balanced amplifier.  Music is a bit more enhanced through that.  

post #52 of 178

From a pure technical standpoint, I find the HD-800 are the better headphones of the two. But if you start comparing prices, the HD-650 is a much better buy especially when you can get an AKG K70x for $250 and get 90% of the details and soundstage you get on the HD-800. Buying the HD-650 and AKG K70x saves you $800 toward a better amp or DAC compared to the HD-800. So in my book the HD-650 wins. Sennheiser needs to fix its pricing on the HD-800 to make it a real winner. 

post #53 of 178

also regarding the design, the hd800's look the way they do because sennheiser more or less got rid of the earcup it is like they took the 650's removed the grill and molded what was left into earcups, drivers earpads and skeleton framing thats about all there is to the hd800's. imo it helps with the ss

post #54 of 178



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blasto_Brandino View Post

There is a treble problem with the HD800's but using High end equipment and high resolution sources like Vinyl or CD's/DVD-A's/SACD's/Flac took care of that for me, 

 

 


Which as I've posted is impossible for me, and no doubt many others. When you have most of your dream music in less than ideal formats and bitrates with no chance of upgrading it you're forced to buy equipment which will replay it in the best light. However, that suggests the 650 is a compromise and that I'd much rather have a more expository phone like the 800, and that's not true. I'm actually very happy with the 650 and have no desire to upgrade (unless it were to something with a similar balance but greater refinement and not too much dearer). As I said, for me the 650 is the sweet spot in the law of diminishing returns.  

 

 

P.S.: Is vinyl really a high resolution format? It may be very pleasant to listen to, but I've never thought of it as high resolution.


Edited by pp312 - 4/11/11 at 4:04am
post #55 of 178
I dont understand how a high resolution format could possibly fix a problem with a headphone's treble. Its not like normal CDs have a different frequency response.
post #56 of 178

I listened to the HD800s with a mixture of CDs and FLAC - they were a sibilant mess. There is no reason at all, as rd points out, that the format would change the frequency response.

 

Funny thing is in a room of 40 people, only one I spoke to liked the HD800. On the impressions thread for that meet in fact there are three or so who did, but this does not change the fact that a huge majority of people in that room felt exactly the same way as me - it was a running theme of the meet, people talking about how bad they are.

 

I would not put them in the same sentence as phones like the LCD-2, T1, HE5LE, SR-007, SR-507 and so on - I would not even chose them over the HD650, HD600, K702, DT880. If they didn't ruin the treble maybe they could be in the same bracket as those lower tier phones, but even then it would not be on the same footing as the other genuine greats.

post #57 of 178
"I dont understand how a high resolution format could possibly fix a problem with a headphone's treble. Its not like normal CDs have a different frequency response."

 

I think he means that keeping the sound as pure and refined as possible with the best sources helps keep whatever treble problem the 800 has under control, or unnoticeable.


Edited by pp312 - 4/11/11 at 5:00am
post #58 of 178

 

To me the HD800 sounded very different from the HD650 and technically superior in all aspects.
Soundstage was huge, top and bottom, left and right. Detail retrieval was absolutely impeccable with immaculate instrument seperation. Bass seemed a little shy compared to some other phones I've heard including the HD650 but it was definitely present and had good extension. The treble seemed a little "hot" and could get annoying after a while.
The HD650 on the other hand had a closed soundstage and sounded muddy in comparison. Bass impact was much better and had much more oomph. Highs were not as airy and details seemed to overlap. I didn't get to audition it for too long but I'm not a fan of that can.
I'm guessing the HD600 is similar to the HD800 with a smaller soundstage and less fluid mids and highs.
post #59 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

I listened to the HD800s with a mixture of CDs and FLAC - they were a sibilant mess. There is no reason at all, as rd points out, that the format would change the frequency response.

 

Funny thing is in a room of 40 people, only one I spoke to liked the HD800. On the impressions thread for that meet in fact there are three or so who did, but this does not change the fact that a huge majority of people in that room felt exactly the same way as me - it was a running theme of the meet, people talking about how bad they are.

 

I would not put them in the same sentence as phones like the LCD-2, T1, HE5LE, SR-007, SR-507 and so on - I would not even chose them over the HD650, HD600, K702, DT880. If they didn't ruin the treble maybe they could be in the same bracket as those lower tier phones, but even then it would not be on the same footing as the other genuine greats.



 Agreed. Out of three setups; naim headline and C.E.C cdp , black cube lehman headamp with Marantz and Audionote tube cdp, they still have that unnaturally strong emphasis on the mid highs. I wonder are they artificially boosted in that region? I  wish to hear the hd800 out of a expensive tube headphone amp though.


Edited by hentai - 4/11/11 at 5:50am
post #60 of 178

Well that is the wildcard - the people who said they liked the HD800 heard it out of a big muscle tube amp. I heard the HD800 on a few amps which could drive the demanding Hifiman orthos just fine, so provision of power was not an issue, which leads me to believe that the tube amp in question did not put out a flat response.

 

So when people say that x headphones are great, but only with the "right" dac and amp, and that means a source that rolls off the treble and an amp that adds lower mids warmth when the headphones naturally sound sibilant and hollow then its not great headphones, its not a great dac and its not a great amp. It's three faulted products whose defects coincidentally cancelled each other out.

 

For me what a headphone is is what it will sound like on a neutral amp, given that amp has the capability to drive them, and in that case the HD800 is sibilant, does have hollowed out tinny mids and does not stand up to comparison to any other flagship. That's what the number of people who hated it at the UK meet showed, while there was no lack of praise for the LCD-2, T1, SR-007 and so on.

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