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Fostex TH900 vs Senn HD800

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 

Hi, i have decided that I need a new pair of headphones. I want to choose between those two headphones. I don't want Ortho for various reasons, the most important being the comfort issue.


I like very much my HD650. I am not against EQ because I found that the balance in many of my records varies greatly and found that headphones reveal more accurately those specificities than loudspeakers in general, and as I am primarely a speaker guy I love my headphones to have that bass fondation.

EQ the HD800 is OK with me, and I guess slightly EQuing the TH900 from time to time would also be OK.


Now regarding the value, I can have the HD800 for 900€ and the TH900 is 1450€, something that need to be considered.


My sources are Meridian 596 cd player, 561 preamp, Explorer using my Thinkpad with foobar2000, planning on buying Jriver, La Figaro 339 amp with 530uF output coupling caps...


I gathered here and there some comparaison between those two for sure, but there isn't a thread dedicated to this comparaison, so I thought I start one. Hope it's not too redundant.

post #2 of 96


post #3 of 96

I own both and enjoy them both as well. If you're looking for a closed headphone due to isolation/low leaking, then the TH-900s are a great option. But if you're after the best sound, then I'd suggest the HD800s or LCD-3s. 

post #4 of 96

Okay I have yet to hear the HD800n. But be wary that the HD650 and HD800 is two different headphones with two different signatures, though they are both made by Sennheiser. The TH-900 is well, also different.  Can someone back me up?

post #5 of 96

HD800 if you want the best all-rounder and quality. I'm letting go my TH900's, great quality with impressive bass (too much for generic use imo), but in the end closed not to mention pricey. I don't want to own several summit-phones for the sake of it.


I do love bass, I've been though all those phones, but in the end I find HD800 also quite solid in that regard (with a tiny boost if you like). Any more and it sounds bloated to me these days. biggrin.gif No headphone will give that real-life bass foundation, so I think it's fine to choose something that's just overall great.

post #6 of 96
Thread Starter 

Macedo and Hekeli, so you own both and prefer the HD800. I don't have any mean to listen to the TH900 in France unfortunately. The HD800 I tried it and it's really good. Different from HD650 for sure, but I'm not seeing selling this one.

Interesting for sure... I know it's physically not possible to feel the  rumble like with really good loudspeakers. But I just found that using a good EQ is really enjoyable and not detriemental to the music with headphones. For loudspeakers I am more skeptical about EQ. Must be because traditionally old generic integrated receiver were bad amps to begin with, with horrid EQ Embedded!

post #7 of 96

Having heard both, I enjoy the HD800 overall more than the TH900.  The sense of space is unparalleled with the HD800 and that helps me feel like I am there when I listen.  The TH900s are fantastic headphones with a very refined, natural sound.  I like there bass presentation a bit better when I listen to music that could use just a little bit more than the HD800 gives me.  


If I could only have one summit-fi headphone, it would be the HD800s.  The TH900s are on a short list with the HE-6 and or LCD3s if I can have more than one.

post #8 of 96

HD 800 if your rig is up to it. If not, the TH900s are quite easy to please. Two completely differents beasts in that regard imo.



post #9 of 96

I'd say it depends on what type of music you generally listen as well as what you have upstream. The HD800 are ultra-revealing headphones, so if you feed it crap, it most likely will sound like crap. But, if you have a quality amp and dac, the results can be magically and very pleasing. I own both, and plan to keep both, but if I were to have to sell one... it would most likely be the TH-900. They are excellent for modern music such as electronica, pop, and mainstream rock but fall short to the HD800 with more technical music such as classical and jazz. If you are one that needs that bass impact strong and dirty, you might opt for the TH-900 instead. Also, if you need some isolation... obviously the TH-900 are better in that regard. 

post #10 of 96
Hmmm what if you listen to classical, jazz, pop and electronic.

And if u get the hd800, you would have enough money to afford a decent amp dac to power it.

And if u get the th-900 you would have only w bought money to get a meh amp Dac.


But if the th-900 is darker and bassier, I will take it anytime.
post #11 of 96

Bah forget all the amp and dac worries, first get the headphone that suits you. No amount of hardware is going to make th900 soundstage bigger than hd800 or hd800 bass bigger than th900. You have the rest of your life to do the last 5% tweaking if you want to.

post #12 of 96

The guy from Finland is touching something significant here. The HD800 and TH-900 is VERY different. So different that they should not be compared per se. If they do; something failed in the research. The Fostex sounds much meatier than the German product. Soundstage wise; the HD800 is unrivaled - but who wants to nurture those small fractions of inches. I won´t. If it is all about musicality - take the TH-900s. 


Typical path to decision:


a) wow - those HD800 is good

b) wow - those TH-900 is good

c) wow - the HD800 have a wide soundstage

d) hey - hm - the HD800 sounds a little diffuse

e) hey - hm - the Fostexs is a bit bass heavy, aren´t they

f) wow - the TH-900 isolates pretty good

g) hm...


After 1-2 weeks - you will select the one you want. 

Edited by Loevhagen - 5/3/13 at 5:30pm
post #13 of 96

Interesting topic. These two are on my list as well along with HE-6, SR-407, SR-507 and SR-007. Currently have the LCD-3.

post #14 of 96
If your a guy that likes bass foundation go with the th900s. However if you like speakers than you might like the openness of the hd800s. The hd800s lack a little and just a little bass for me but like you said that can be EQ'd.
post #15 of 96

I suggest the OP to own both. Both phones are beasts, each has its own taste, pros and cons. Taking your music preference in consideration as well. Some folks prefer the HD800, somes prefer TH900, all is depended on your taste and mood.


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