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HD800 vs HE500

post #1 of 991
Thread Starter 

Hello good folks!

 

I was wondering about the main differences in these two cans. I own the HE500, but I am looking for something with better imaging and soundstage. I listened to mainly well produced Progrock (Ayreon, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater, Opeth etc.), but also others genres like rock, jazz, classical and sometimes electronic.

 

Which is the best phone?


Edited by BleaK - 10/23/12 at 9:15am
post #2 of 991

Soundstage = HD 800.  I've not heard tons of high end setups but from what I've read there is no competitor in that regard.

 

Of course there is the glaring price difference to account for.

post #3 of 991

I own both smile.gif

 

The HE-500 is a really nice can for sure, even if I sometimes struggle a bit with the comfort and weight.

 

The HD800 is THE image king - if you want soundstage there is no better headphone on the market, none.

 

That being said The HD800 is very sensitive to what's down the line, think of it as a high strung F1 car. With the right setup it can beat almost anything out there but with the wrong setup it will be mediocre and very hard to live with.

 

If you go with the HD800 I recommend a really good DAC and a class-A or tube amp that is on the warm side of neutral to bring out the best the HD800 has to offer.


Edited by TwoEars - 10/24/12 at 5:42am
post #4 of 991
Thread Starter 
I've heard that you need a system built around the HD800 because of the harsh treble, but how about the anax mod? Do you still need a tube amp to reduce the treble? Also I am not sensitive to treble, I have never thought that a headphone was to bright even though others said so. I am also a "quiet" listener, so that may also be a factor. Thank you for responding! smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 991

I think it sounds like you need to buy the HD800s and hear for yourself smile.gif

 

The problem with the H800s treble occur mostly when:

 

* playing on neutral to bright equipment

* when using inferior recordings

* when playing with loud volume

 

If you:

 

* Use good source material

* Listen at low volume

* Don't mind a somtimes slightly hot treble

 

You shouldn't have a problem. But if you do you can:

 

* Use an EQ do bring down the treble and lift up the midrange

* Exchange the stock cable for a pure copper one (the stock is copper/silver)

 

Long story short the HD800s are pretty fantastic and if soundstage is important to you you need to get these headphones.

 

All the best.


Edited by TwoEars - 10/24/12 at 6:51am
post #6 of 991
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the info! Now I even more want the HD800! biggrin.gif
 

post #7 of 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by BleaK View Post

Thank you for the info! Now I even more want the HD800! biggrin.gif
 

 

Agreed.  Someday...

post #8 of 991

I didn't own the HD800 when I had the NFB-10SE. Knowing that component's signature and how demanding the HD800 is with getting the synergy right, I doubt that would be a good pairing. The 10SE was very good for the LCD-2, but good luck tolerating the HD800 from it.

post #9 of 991
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I might sell it and get someting else, the only problem is that I'm a solid state guy. And I think the options aren't that many.

 

Anyone else want to chime in on the differences between the HE500 and HD800?
 

post #10 of 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by BleaK View Post

Yeah, I might sell it and get someting else, the only problem is that I'm a solid state guy. And I think the options aren't that many.

 

Anyone else want to chime in on the differences between the HE500 and HD800?
 

 

IMO they both need an amp the will smooth out the treble.  I like both these headphones with my balanced M^3 - it's a ss amp that come very close to tube-ish sound (but not). 

post #11 of 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by BleaK View Post

I've heard that you need a system built around the HD800 because of the harsh treble, but how about the anax mod? Do you still need a tube amp to reduce the treble? Also I am not sensitive to treble, I have never thought that a headphone was to bright even though others said so. I am also a "quiet" listener, so that may also be a factor. Thank you for responding! smily_headphones1.gif

 

 

Yes. Anyone remember the reasons for the old loudness control? As listening level decreases so does our sensitivity to bass and treble; the loudness control increases bass and treble proportionate to decrease in volume (or at least, the Yamaha variable one does). Thus anyone listening at lower levels is less likely to notice a "hot" treble. Mystery solved.

 

Yahoo!!!  tongue.gif  

post #12 of 991
They sure are sounding good on my tube amp and tube output DAC. The HE-6 does better on an SS amp but those 800s can use the mid dominant tube presentation. I'm a prog rocker and was comparing some ambient (This Binary Universe) and the 800s are Fing awesome. Thanks again prepro for the loaner. The 800s have all the bass the HE have.
post #13 of 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

They sure are sounding good on my tube amp and tube output DAC. The HE-6 does better on an SS amp but those 800s can use the mid dominant tube presentation. I'm a prog rocker and was comparing some ambient (This Binary Universe) and the 800s are Fing awesome. Thanks again prepro for the loaner. The 800s have all the bass the HE have.

 

I like the HE-6 on tube speaker amps with the mids. I feel that the mids is where tubes have it against ss amps.

post #14 of 991

I like HD800 better.

 

Soundstage, treble, bigger resolution. 

 

HE-500 has a more dense sound though. HD800 is more comfortable than both LCD-2 and HE-500 for me.

post #15 of 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post


The problem with the H800s treble occur mostly when:

 

* playing on neutral to bright equipment

* when using inferior recordings

* when playing with loud volume

 

If you:

 

* Use good source material

* Listen at low volume

* Don't mind a somtimes slightly hot treble

 

You shouldn't have a problem. But if you do you can:

 

Agree.
 
I've never considered the treble for HD800 as a problem. There are many more advantages to defects with the HD800.

I think that the solution for the problems about harsh treble of the Senn has been described here: change of cable, not bright electronic and good recordings.
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