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HD800 when not playing Classical, Jazz or Acoustic

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

A lot of things have been said about how good Sennheiser HD800 could be when using the right amp and playing classical, jazz or acoustic music.
Often when a headphone does something amazingly well, the rest it can do tend to be undervaluated or at least overshadowed.

I'm starting this thread to bust this myth:
"HD800 is a waste of money unless you plan listening only Classical, Jazz or Acoustic"

(If it's possible)

That said, any experience or opinion, comparative or not, positive or negative, about how HD800 are when playing other genres else than Classical, Jazz and Acoustic, will give life to this thread, and will be much appreciated.

Greetings!

post #2 of 17

I listen to a lot of downtempo, ambient, electronic dance music.

If it's well recorded it sounds great on the HD800. Sometimes I add a little bass boost of 2-4db depending on what I listen to.

 

Definately not a waste.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frix View Post

I listen to a lot of downtempo, ambient, electronic dance music.

If it's well recorded it sounds great on the HD800. Sometimes I add a little bass boost of 2-4db depending on what I listen to.

 

Definately not a waste.


Thanks for your opinion!

post #4 of 17

I don't own it, but I listened to Kid A by Radiohead on the HD800's, and found it to be the best I had ever heard the song, better than the SR-009.

post #5 of 17

The thing with the HD800 is,it's brutally honest

and not forgiving with bad recordings.

 

Some genres are likely to produce better sounding recordings and masterings

than others.

I think thats the reason why it's mostly recommended for specific genres.

Though every genre has well recorded music which will sound great on the HD800

regardless of genre.

post #6 of 17
I concur about Kid A. The entire album sounds amazing through my tube amp on the HD 800. Mind U that I've just purchased the HD 800 so they still have at least 60 hrs of burnin' to go.
post #7 of 17
I must admit, I was put off buying the HD800s because of their supposedly limited genre bandwidth - didn't give them any real consideration at all actually. I listen to very little jazz and no classical. I listen to lots of poorly recorded post punk, alt rock etc and was concerned that they'd be too revealing for my tastes. Having said that, I also have lots of well-recorded rock, acoustic, folk and electro music so it's good to learn that they're more versatile than some people give them credit for. I've read that they match up very well with the system I have, so maybe I'll give them some thought in the future. I'm sure they're mind-blowing headphones.
post #8 of 17

I don't listen to those genres, and also don't get the whole genre-matching scheme anyway...

post #9 of 17
I think sometimes it's overstated but generally it makes sense to match your headphones to the music you listen to. I remember trying to listen to dubstep through my old Grado 325s and it was awful. Bass-heavy music and treble-centric headphones are a mismatch. My LCD-2's and T1's, however, sound great whatever I play them (although the T1's can sometimes be a little jarring in the treble region too).
post #10 of 17

I disagree that the HD-800 is particularly genre specific.  I think there are two major reasons why.  

 

Firstly the tuning is fabulously well balanced.  I'm not talking about the perception that they are bass light, which I do not entirely agree with.  It is the top end balance.  The incredible resolution without undue harshness that allows great recording to shine, but bad recording do not to be lit up too harshly allows the cans not to distract away from the music.  This fine balance Sennhieser has achieved, allows you to perceive recording quality, but ignore it if you want, more than other revealing cans.

 

Secondly, in a system which allows the signal through, these 'phones are very musically transparent.  By this I mean the intonation and rythmic interplay between threads.  If musicians are capable, and the DAC/amp are transparent in this elusive quality, your attention will not be on the recording for long.  The musical thread will draw you in, and that combined with the lack of attention grabbing harshness or balance deficit means all genres can be thoroughly engaging.  However the downside is that if the musicians are not competent, then you will soon find your attention wandering, possible onto the quality of the recording...

 

So if you play a popular band who cannot pay well, and that will happen more with marketed bands as opposed to professional classical or talented jazz musicians, then these 'phones will not fair well.

 

So please do not buy these phones if you like Oasis or U2. No offense.

post #11 of 17
I wouldn't buy high-end headphones at all if I listened to Oasis. No headphone is that forgiving biggrin.gif
post #12 of 17

LOL

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagwap View Post

I disagree that the HD-800 is particularly genre specific.  I think there are two major reasons why.  

Firstly the tuning is fabulously well balanced.  I'm not talking about the perception that they are bass light, which I do not entirely agree with.  It is the top end balance.  The incredible resolution without undue harshness that allows great recording to shine, but bad recording do not to be lit up too harshly allows the cans not to distract away from the music.  This fine balance Sennhieser has achieved, allows you to perceive recording quality, but ignore it if you want, more than other revealing cans.

Secondly, in a system which allows the signal through, these 'phones are very musically transparent.  By this I mean the intonation and rythmic interplay between threads.  If musicians are capable, and the DAC/amp are transparent in this elusive quality, your attention will not be on the recording for long.  The musical thread will draw you in, and that combined with the lack of attention grabbing harshness or balance deficit means all genres can be thoroughly engaging.  However the downside is that if the musicians are not competent, then you will soon find your attention wandering, possible onto the quality of the recording...

So if you play a popular band who cannot pay well, and that will happen more with marketed bands as opposed to professional classical or talented jazz musicians, then these 'phones will not fair well.

So please do not buy these phones if you like Oasis or U2. No offense.
Excellent, excellent post. Nothing further needs to be said in this thread.
post #14 of 17

Pfft...

 

The unfathomable Worldbeat-Trance hybrid, Karma from Delerium, blooms with the HD800's soundstage and precision. That album is hypnotising blink.gif with them when you close your eyes, in a way I never thought possible, and haven't been able to replicate with anything else. 

 

 

 

The HD800's are great with trip-hop (scary awesome with Imogen Heap, who is a bit geeky and insists on amazing recording quality). Vocal-centric Electropop (Uh Huh Her) also works quite well, as the vocal centric stuff doesn't ask for much impact, but instead detail, and that band has high quality recordings. Keren Peles' unique in-your-face Piano-Pop is pure sex (HD800's are capable of slapping you in the face when they want to- you just have to ask nicely).

 

So add that to your list of goodness and Win.

 

And as much as I love her, Dido's performance was beautiful, but her first album was recorded on a tight budget and gives me a strange feeling of slowly being asphyxiated with a fluffy pillow with the HD800's. (Take a second to imagine that.) Her second and later recordings were very, very well recorded, though, and I love them. 

 

And it would probably be merciful if you just instead performed a vivisection on yourself with a spork, instead of listening to Lilly Allen or U2 with those headphones. As much as I sort of like Lilly, I was horrified. 


Edited by Chromako - 7/14/13 at 2:18am
post #15 of 17

The only recordings I've found unsuitable for the HD800 are those that are bass heavy, i.e. the bass is already over-emphasized and dominates the recording.

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