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Does it get much better than the HD800?

post #1 of 348
Thread Starter 

Hey, 

 

How is everyone doing this friday? 

 

I've had the HD800 for a few weeks now and long story short, I'm loving the sound. 

 

In only a few months, I've owned the Grado SR80i followed by Sennheiser HD650, then Hifiman HE-500, then Ultrasone Edition 8 and finally Senneheiser HD800. Out of those I've only kept the Hifimans and the HD800. 

 

Basically, I'm wondering if the HD800 are as good as headphone get for the moment. 

 

I've read quite a lot on this site and clearly there are some headphones that people think are better than the HD800, but really not by much. (LCD-3, Stax SR-009, for example) And still, it's a lot about preferences. 

 

So, will we have to wait a few years for new technologies to come before manufacturers make headphones that are clearly a step above the HD800 technically? 

post #2 of 348

 As you state - it is all about preferences, and whilst I have to hear the SR-009 - I cannot for the life of me imagine the LCD-3

 passing over the HD800 in a pro Hi-Fi mag shoot-out - the LCD3 has it's niche with the warm sounding crowd however

 a professional assessment between the two reveals that the LCD-3 is more or less absent in the treble area, that's a

 third of the frequency spectrum and then there is the issue of soundstage - there is none.

 

 The HD800 is renowned for it's soundstage, imaging and treble extension - LCD-3 cannot compete in that sense.

 

 HD800 gets my vote, ultimately I still prefer my esoteric and finicky PS1000 even if it does not have

 the versatility of the HD800 overall.

post #3 of 348

Have the HD650 and I love the sound but also know,that there is MORE to achieve.Living in NZ means I can't audition the High End models as there are no places stocking them.

Which means I have to decide between the HD800,HD700,LCD-2 or Hifiman 500 without really knowing how they sound like.

Ah well,....at the moment I tend to get the HD800(though, I don't like the look of it)and pray to God that I like the sound!
 

post #4 of 348

I have both the LCD-3 and HD800s right here and no question that I prefer the LCD-3s. I find them more natural and true to life sounding. Measurement wise, they are flat from 20Hz up to 1.5-2kHz. The shelved down treble accounts for the closer proximity of the drivers to ones ears. Technically between the two they are about the best dynamic (orthodynamic or just dynamic) headphones I've heard.

 

But their technical strengths lie in different areas. The HD800s image like no other headphone, but in comparison to the LCD-3s don't have that organic true to life sound. Can't go wrong with either here IMO.

 

The LCD-3s sound a bit warm next to the "colder" sounding HD800s. Funny i would classify both as neutral headphones, but two different perspectives of what neutral is.

 

Head time with me, the LCD-3s outscore the HD800s about 2-1. So yes, in a Hi-fi shootout, the LCD-3s do outscore the HD800s IMO. YMMV, yada, yada, yada...

 

DISCLAIMER: I have not yet heard the SR009s, but hope to soon.

post #5 of 348

i'm doing fine thenks. smile.gif the measurements show that the hd800 is a technically excellent dynamic headphone. the same goes for the lcd 2 and 3. the measurements for the sr-009 (which i've not heard but would love to) are exceptional and by all reports it has raised the bar. yet all of these headphones sound different. i'm glad that you are digging the sound of the hd800.

post #6 of 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by silversurfer616 View Post

Have the HD650 and I love the sound but also know,that there is MORE to achieve.Living in NZ means I can't audition the High End models as there are no places stocking them.

Which means I have to decide between the HD800,HD700,LCD-2 or Hifiman 500 without really knowing how they sound like.

Ah well,....at the moment I tend to get the HD800(though, I don't like the look of it)and pray to God that I like the sound!
 

 

The HD650 was my go to headphone. I went to the LCD-2 convinced it was the natural progression. It goes without saying the Audez'e is more capable and its rendition of the lower frequencies is a great strength. Over time though I found myself reaching for the HD650 over the LCD-2. For me it's simply the more involving headphone. The HD800 entered the stable a few weeks ago and I have since moved the HD650 on and the LCD-2 is stored away in its case awaiting a similar fate.

 

For me the HD800 is the natural progression from the HD650. Forget the treble tilt, the HD800 taps into the music just like the HD650. It is what I imagined the HD650 successor to sound like, with a level of refinement worthy of the price of admission. The big caveat though is that everything in your chain must be in harmony with the HD800. I'll be upgrading my components but I was fortunate to find an acceptable level of fidelity and good synergy with my modest rig. Most of it hinged on the right tubes installed in the Lyr. Those tubes have since become unusable due to noise and different tubes have failed to present the same magic. I can't imagine what a ToTL system would sound like with the HD800, but it's becoming harder to resist going all in if the Schiit entry level can achieve this much.

post #7 of 348

When you get to a certain level, it all comes down to preferences. There are some who prefer the T1, the LCD-2/3 HE-6 to the HD800, while others prefer HD800 over them all. I don't consider any of them a level above each other, except maybe the 009.


For example I had the opposite experience of olorin, coming from the HD650--> HD800, which I found uninvolving and sterile from a 4 channel Beta 22, to the LCD-2 which was much more musical.


Edited by idletime1213 - 5/4/12 at 7:03pm
post #8 of 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by idletime1213 View Post

When you get to a certain level, it all comes down to preferences. There are some who prefer the T1, the LCD-2/3 HE-6 to the HD800, while others prefer HD800 over them all. I don't consider any of them a level above each other, except maybe the 009.


For example I had the opposite experience of olorin, coming from the HD650--> HD800, which I found uninvolving and sterile from a 4 channel Beta 22, to the LCD-2 which was much more musical.

 

I'm not too sure about that. The LCD-3s are clearly technically superior to the LCD-2s. And IMO (and technically speaking) both the LCD-3s and HD800s are at the top of the dynamic heap IME so to speak. Preferences can definitely change this too.

post #9 of 348

Peter, do you find the HD800 as complementary to the LCD-3 as it is to the LCD-2? With the improvements in the LCD-3 I assume qualities the HD800 has over the lesser Audez'e is bridged. Is owning the HD800 when you have the LCD-3 more to just have it in the stable, rather than having it because the other headphone still can't do something as well?

post #10 of 348

Interestingly someone who owns the HD800(on another forum) suggested that the T1 sounds muffled in comparison. On the other hand, those who own the T1 think the HD800 is overly bright and analytical with tilted treble. As usual, it comes down to personal listening taste and preferences, though quality of recording and partnering source and equipment come into play as well.

 

Enjoy~
 

post #11 of 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyerFan View Post

Interestingly someone who owns the HD800(on another forum) suggested that the T1 sounds muffled in comparison. On the other hand, those who own the T1 think the HD800 is overly bright and analytical with tilted treble. As usual, it comes down to personal listening taste and preferences, though quality of recording and partnering source and equipment come into play as well.

 

Enjoy~
 


I would say HD800 is super sensitive to source, and T1 is less. Both cans are bright in related to muffed cans, and HD800 is brighter than T1. HD800 got a crap stock cable with 33-36awg while T1 got 24awg Sommercable.

post #12 of 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

Peter, do you find the HD800 as complementary to the LCD-3 as it is to the LCD-2? With the improvements in the LCD-3 I assume qualities the HD800 has over the lesser Audez'e is bridged. Is owning the HD800 when you have the LCD-3 more to just have it in the stable, rather than having it because the other headphone still can't do something as well?

 

Absolutely. As much as I love the LCD-3s, my HD800s are going nowhere. They are my two favourite headphones (especially since my Liquid Fire has arrived). I continue to own both because they are my 1 and 1A headphones. As I mentioned they are both different versions of "neutral" and technically speaking the 2 best headphones that I've heard. The improvements of the LCD-3s have bridged the specific advantages that the HD800s had over the LCD-2s (either version), but I would never not own both (well until the LCD-4 or HD900 tongue.gif).

 

My T1s are still very satisfying to me and do every genre of music I throw at them so very well, that I can't part with them. My W3000ANVs are a necessity with 2 young children and out of town in-laws who like to visit for a week at a time. wink.gif Throw in the fact that they are one of the very best closed headphones I've heard...nice bonus.

post #13 of 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by idletime1213 View Post

When you get to a certain level, it all comes down to preferences. There are some who prefer the T1, the LCD-2/3 HE-6 to the HD800, while others prefer HD800 over them all. I don't consider any of them a level above each other, except maybe the 009.


For example I had the opposite experience of olorin, coming from the HD650--> HD800, which I found uninvolving and sterile from a 4 channel Beta 22, to the LCD-2 which was much more musical.

 

The only time I've found the HD800 uninvolving and sterile is when listening to HD "audiophile" recordings of music that do absolutely nothing for me (e.g. Explorations in Space and Time and other Chesky stuff). The toe-tappin and head-boppin comes from the music, not the headphone. This is how I define the HD800 as convincing and transparent.

post #14 of 348
I think buying the HD800 is just the 1st step towards making it sing. It can sound totally sterile and uninspiring. The amp & source plays a crucial role to milking it; even cables matter.
post #15 of 348

i've heard the hd800 on tube and solid state rigs, and it sounded like the hd800 each time. i think that it does have a unique sound signature. some people love it, some don't, while others try to temper it through their ancillary gear choices and even by modding it. i have a friend who used to own one and though he came to the conclusion that it wasn't for him, he recognises its greatness. smile.gif


Edited by shimmer n roar - 5/5/12 at 11:22pm
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