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AKG K812 or HD800?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to buy the HD800 or the AKG K812 next week probably. 

 

AKG K812:

- has higher %TDH than some $200 headphones

- has treble issues which mid-fi headphones don't even have

+ works with my current DAC + AMP according to the thread in summit-fi

HD800:

- amplifier requirements which will probably add alot of extra costs.

+ huge soundstage

 

So which headphone should I buy?

post #2 of 13

What sort of music do you normally listen to?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 

What sort of music do you normally listen to?

Hard to say, I listen basically to anything except dub step. 

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubs28 View Post
 

Hard to say, I listen basically to anything except dub step. 


HD800 are well known classical, jazz and acoustic headphones. Not probably a great all-rounder.

 

Quote:DavidMahler
 UNFORGIVING: Being unforgiving is really not a bad thing per se. However, in my opinion, the HD800 is just a few hairs too picky with regard to what recordings it excels with. It sounds stunning with well-recorded music (particularly acoustic instruments), but throw on an older recording or a brightly-mastered pop record, and you may find yourself reaching for an alternate headphone.

Quoted from: http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_HD800

 

With this in mind, I think AKG K812 and Beyerdynamic T1 could be better picks for someone who is not only into well recorded classical, acoustic and jazz.

 

From the same thread:

Quote:DavidMahler
 GENRE MASTER: The T1 is one of those headphones that has speed. Because of this, the sound never feels cluttered. For this reason, I find that the T1's sound signature works well with just about any genre.

 

Hope this helps!

post #5 of 13

I didn't want to answer on the K812 thread because of the "legions" of rabid fans. Look over the thread--it's dead!

 

I've listened to more than half a dozen HD800s over the years, but I still haven't gotten to hear K812 yet. (AKG has no dealers here.)

 

HD800 is a much less risky choice. First, it sounds great. But the main reason is that you can always resell it pretty easily. There's been one K812 on the FS board and the price keeps dropping :(. Tyll's review and AKG's pricing killed it for most members, but I still want to hear it before I forget about it.

 

The big difference between the two is unlikely to be the treble or distortion or even amping. First, because the main difference is more likely the overall sound. HD800 is a little bright and kind of cool sounding; K812 is reported to be somewhat dark and warm. Second, because reports disagree about amping. In other words, K812 needs a decent amp too. HD800 is pickier and scales very high (according reports, considerably higher than K812).

 

If I hadn't heard either and had to choose, I'd buy HD800. Having heard only HD800, I'd certainly buy it. Best luck!

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

I didn't want to answer on the K812 thread because of the "legions" of rabid fans. Look over the thread--it's dead!

 

I've listened to more than half a dozen HD800s over the years, but I still haven't gotten to hear K812 yet. (AKG has no dealers here.)

 

HD800 is a much less risky choice. First, it sounds great. But the main reason is that you can always resell it pretty easily. There's been one K812 on the FS board and the price keeps dropping :(. Tyll's review and AKG's pricing killed it for most members, but I still want to hear it before I forget about it.

 

The big difference between the two is unlikely to be the treble or distortion or even amping. First, because the main difference is more likely the overall sound. HD800 is a little bright and kind of cool sounding; K812 is reported to be somewhat dark and warm. Second, because reports disagree about amping. In other words, K812 needs a decent amp too. HD800 is pickier and scales very high (according reports, considerably higher than K812).

 

If I hadn't heard either and had to choose, I'd buy HD800. Having heard only HD800, I'd certainly buy it. Best luck!

Does the HD800 sound really bad when not amping it properly? I don't have a $2000 amplifier yet so I'll be running it from a cheap setup for a while until I'm certain which amplifier I"ll buy.


Edited by ubs28 - 5/3/14 at 12:24am
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 


HD800 are well known classical, jazz and acoustic headphones. Not probably a great all-rounder.

 

Quoted from: http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_HD800

 

With this in mind, I think AKG K812 and Beyerdynamic T1 could be better picks for someone who is not only into well recorded classical, acoustic and jazz.

 

From the same thread:

 

Hope this helps!

Probably it's comparing apples to oranges, but how much better do you think the AKG K812, T1 and HD800 are in comparison to the Shure SE846. I currently have this IEM and I prefer listening to it even over my open headphones (despite having more treble, soundstage and imaging). Only on classical music and acoustic I prefer my open headphones.

post #8 of 13
One common starter amp for HD800 is the Matrix M-Stage, which isn't expensive. Even cheaper, try a Vali.
Edited by Claritas - 10/22/14 at 11:54pm
post #9 of 13

Definitely an interesting comparison. I've owned the HD 800 but only auditioned the K812 and comparing it to the HD 800. I concluded that both have a very large, open and airy sound (the HD 800 sounding the biggest) with great dynamics and clarity. The 812 is certainly the more musically involving headphone, though. It's got a little bit more bass presence and punch to it and is also livelier up top. However, it's not quite as refined sounding as the HD 800. I heard vocals as being a tad shoutier and the treble overall felt a bit more edgy and uneven. The HD 800, while providing a less engaging listen, behaves better in the treble. 

You can definitely tell AKG tried to make their own HD 800 in the K812. Personally I find both headphones too bright and a bit lacking in organic warmth. 

post #10 of 13

have you considered getting planars? AUdeze and hifiman has extremely good headphones in their lineup.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubs28 View Post

I'm looking to buy the HD800 or the AKG K812 next week probably. 

AKG K812:
- has higher %TDH than some $200 headphones
- has treble issues which mid-fi headphones don't even have
+ works with my current DAC + AMP according to the thread in summit-fi
HD800:
- amplifier requirements which will probably add alot of extra costs.
+ huge soundstage

So which headphone should I buy?
What purpose are you buying them for ?

Just pure listening enjoyment ?
Or analytical work ?

A combination of both ?

I just was fortunate enough to have listened to both of them today, and was blown away by the beauty, but also dissapointed by how falsely pretty both were.

As a recording engineer who works with SSL g-series boards, and outboard gear like the Empirical Labs FATSO, I know beautiful 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion instantly when I hear it. It's my job on some projects to literally bathe sterile recordings in it, using expensive outboard gear, it's a very pleasant colored sound on many genres.

But I was surprised both of these "reference headphones" already had so much in them, that wasn't in the source music at all.

So while both are breathtakingly beautiful in sound.....They're not really reference headphones....they're much more Senn & AKG's answer to Ultrasone Edition series or other luxury, colored super pleasant sounding phones.

All that said, I really do love the design of the AKG K-812. Not keen on the look or design of the 800's, despite them sounding nearly as good too.

Both great phones, but I'd definitely roll with the K-812 if you want the best colored headphone on earth, IMHO (never tried senn Orpheus yet)
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubs28 View Post

Does the HD800 sound really bad when not amping it properly? I don't have a $2000 amplifier yet so I'll be running it from a cheap setup for a while until I'm certain which amplifier I"ll buy.
Neither the HD-800 or the K-812 need a buttery, bassy, or "sweetened" (harmonic distortion) amp to sound very very very sonically pleasing.

I'd pair them each with a very clean, simple amp.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses. In the end I bought the HD800 since I couldn't demo the AKG K812 nowhere.

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