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Sennheiser HD800 arrived today

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Holy mackerel. The new Sennheiser HD800 headphones sound incredible. The new headphone was my Christmas gift to myself. Evidently I was not as naughty this past year as I originally thought. .

This new Sennheiser HD800 is like no other headphone I have ever experienced. The way the 56mm transducers are angled in front of the ear, similar to how speakers in a room would be, the sound stage is created very much with the same auditory sensation as listening to speakers. With my previous Sennheiser HD600 and the HD580 before that, both developed a different mental image more centralized in your head. The Sennheiser HD800 develops a wide and deep sound stage that seems to be coming from the front rather than strictly side to side. It creates a sense of space I have not experienced before with a headphone. The overall frequency range sounds rich and full from bottom to top. Bass is articulate and robust without the artificial boomy bump in the 60 to 150 Hz range that is often designed into headphones to make them sound like they go deeper than they actually do. My sense is the lower frequency range is well balanced with the midrange. They are neither bass shy nor bass heavy. Just right in my opinion. The midrange is airy, highly resolved, offering a clear window into the performance. The top frequency range is open and crystal clean. Cymbals ring beautifully, piano is full range and glorious in its range and dynamics. In addition, the comfort factor is very high. The HD800 is not a feather weight headphone at 330-grams, but despite the heft it's weight is easily distributed across the headband and the ultra soft and large ear cups. My ears are bigger than most (all the better to hear you with Little Red Riding Hood) and I am pleased they fit entirely inside the ear cups without touching any part of the inside edges. This headphone can be worn for hours without a hint of fatique. The disappear, leaving you directly connected to the music. Truly amazing.

The quality of construction, the fit and finish and the performance level of the HD800 is well worth its price tag. In my opinion, the Sennheiser HD800 is a premium headphone in all aspects. They are hand built at the Sennheiser headquarters in Germany and have the attention to detail the Germans are well known for. And finally Sennheiser delivered a headphone cable worthy of a premium headphone. It is four conductor silver plated oxygen free copper, individually insulated and then sheathed in a soft woven material jacket that is reinforced with Kevlar. Touching the cable or moving it while wearing the headphone does not transmit any noise into the headphone. The headphone connectors are a locking type and the 1/4 inch stereo phone plug is substantial. It is not the kind that has a mini stereo plug inserted in it as part of its offering so there are no additional contact points in the signal path to degrade its performance. This is a true high quality stereo 1/4 inch phone jack. Kudos to Sennheiser for this excellent improvement in headphone cabling.

My headphone rig is the Musical Fidelity X-Can V8P tube headphone amplifier with Gold Lions tubes installed, the Wyred 4 Sound DAC2, and the Oppo BDP83 used as a transport. It is connected to the DAC2 with a Wireworld Starlight 6 digital cable. Then there is the new Sennheiser HD800 headphone. This is an amzing sounding headphone rig by any measure.

I initially made the decision to purchase the Sennheiser HD700 headphone but when it got down to pulling the trigger my mouse pointer just slipped over to the HD800 and wouldn't move. I caved and clicked. Why not go with their premium design. The rest is history. The headphone has been on my head for the past three hours and it sounds fabulous. No doubt it will improve with a hundred hours or more of break-in, but right out of the box the Sennheiser HD800 is an absolute joy to hear.
 

post #2 of 7

Geezzzz Congrats on the HD 800's. It's always nice to set a goal, then over shoot it.(The mouse deal,...LOL) Looks like we might be in the same neck of the woods so I  might PM you.

Take care and enjoy the new top tier Set of cans.

Eric

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Eric.......Thanks.  I have had the HD800's on my head now for seven hours and still don't want to take them off.  They are ultra comfortable.  I have been playing one High-res download after another from my laptop all afternoon since unpacking the HD800's earlier today.  I am using JRiver Media Center 19 and a Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB cable from my Sony Vaio laptop connected to the Wyred 4 Sound DAC2 which is feeding the Musical Fidelity X-Can V8P headphone amp.  For a Class A tube headphone amp the X-Can V8P is sounding spectacular.  Plenty of volume at the 10:00 o'clock position on the volume knob.  This is turning out to be an outstanding headphone rig.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
 

Eric.......Thanks.  I have had the HD800's on my head now for seven hours and still don't want to take them off.  They are ultra comfortable.  I have been playing one High-res download after another from my laptop all afternoon since unpacking the HD800's earlier today.  I am using JRiver Media Center 19 and a Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB cable from my Sony Vaio laptop connected to the Wyred 4 Sound DAC2 which is feeding the Musical Fidelity X-Can V8P headphone amp.  For a Class A tube headphone amp the X-Can V8P is sounding spectacular.  Plenty of volume at the 10:00 o'clock position on the volume knob.  This is turning out to be an outstanding headphone rig.


Yeah I can see you leaning back in your chair with a super wide smile on your face. When it comes down to it, that is what it is all about. Bet you have experienced what I call the "HeadFi Zombie  effect" a number of times now. Been thinking about starting a thread on it. It is when you are using your set up as some back ground music while you work or surf and then all of the sudden a really good part of a song comes up and you just zone out cause it sounds so good! :)

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Can Junkie View Post
 


Yeah I can see you leaning back in your chair with a super wide smile on your face. When it comes down to it, that is what it is all about. Bet you have experienced what I call the "HeadFi Zombie  effect" a number of times now. Been thinking about starting a thread on it. It is when you are using your set up as some back ground music while you work or surf and then all of the sudden a really good part of a song comes up and you just zone out cause it sounds so good! :)

Eric.......Oh yes.  I have zoned out multiple times all day long.  I still have the HD800 on my head.  They are fabulous.  I'm listening to the HDTracks download of Holly Cole - Don't Smoke In Bed.  Lots of acoustic double bass and piano with Holly's voice floating in the front part of my head.  These are outstanding headphones.


Edited by jdandy - 12/28/13 at 6:49pm
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

This is the present setup.  I am feeding the DAC2 from the digital output of an Oppo BDP83 and via USB from a Sony Vaio laptop/JRiver Media Center 19.  I have been considering the new Sennheiser HDVA 600 headphone amplifier and a balanced headphone cable but there is scant information to be found on the Sennheiser HDVA 600's performance so I am in procrastination mode.

 


Edited by jdandy - 12/30/13 at 6:17pm
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

It seems as though there aren't many opinions on the Sennheiser HDVA 600 headphone amplifier.  I did read Jude Mansilla's mini review of the HDVA 600 in the 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide and he had high praise for it's performance.  I was hoping to get some owner comments, particularly from anyone who is also using the balanced HD800 headphone cable.  I am itching to try the new Sennheiser amp with the Sennheiser balance cable with my HD800 but that is a chunk of change to plunk down without having heard either or read any comments from any owners.  Comments will be appreciated.

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