Drop + Sennheiser HD8XX - now in final form
Sep 26, 2021 at 5:52 PM Post #31 of 64

Hifiearspeakers

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If you bought the original HD800, you received a certificate from Sennheiser that included the Individual Diffuse-Field Frequency Response graph for your particular headphone. My serial number is in the very low 300s. On my graph, the line is nearly flat throughout at 4 dB. There are strategic 2-4 dB dips at 225 to 275 Hz, 1.75 to 5.75 kHz, and 7 to 9 kHz. The 6kHz "bump" is actually between 5.75 to 7 kHz and it's at 4 dB. In other words, it's in line with the rest of the nearly straight line. There is no bump. On the graph, it looks like a slight bump because of the slight dips before and after.

I have no idea where you got your "6 to 10 dB" bump from. That would place it at 10 to 14 dB. As I said, at 6 kHz, the line is at 4 dB.

If you kept the box and papers for your HD800, then you should have this certificate. IIRC, we had to request the certificate/graph from Sennheiser after receiving our headphone. Did you request it?

Others who purchased the HD800 at that time should be able to verify this info. Their graphs may vary, but not by much. Each set was individually calibrated "by no fewer than 16 acoustic experts . . . over 10 hours."
And that’s why graphs can only tell you so much. There are thousands of audiophiles who can’t take the brightness and treble of the 800. And even with the Helmholz resonator fix for the 800S, that 6k peak is still too much for many. That is a well-known fact that has been known for at least a decade here on head-fi.
 
Sep 26, 2021 at 6:21 PM Post #33 of 64

feifan

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And that’s why graphs can only tell you so much. There are thousands of audiophiles who can’t take the brightness and treble of the 800. And even with the Helmholz resonator fix for the 800S, that 6k peak is still too much for many. That is a well-known fact that has been known for at least a decade here on head-fi.
Let's just say our standards for evidence and "fact" differ. Have a great day. Stay safe.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 12:16 PM Post #35 of 64

trellus

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The first return (after listening) of the 8XX has already happened…

The owner said his 800 and 800S sound far better.
It doesn't seem to be winning for many who already have an 8__ series 'phone. I've never even heard an 800 or 800S, so I will be blissfully ignorant and will not judge my 8XX against either when it arrives.

My guess is that people who really like the 800 or 800S to own one are not looking for what the 8XX brings that's different.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 1:51 PM Post #36 of 64

dstarr3

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It seems like when the 8XX was announced, everyone was hoping it'd basically turn out to be an 800S with all of the big problems fixed. But in hindsight, why did we ever expect that in the first place? If Senn was able to make an 800S but better, they would just do that on their own and charge more for the improved version. And instead what we got is a less expensive version that isn't as good, and in hindsight, it's obvious that's all we should have expected.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 9:24 PM Post #37 of 64

project86

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You're not alone. It's not for everyone. It's primarily for those who want to hear their music as it was recorded. With no coloring. They want to hear the entire spectrum of sound, every nuance. They want clear and clean imaging, separation, and dynamics. This type of analytical listening may be too intense for casual listening for relaxation and pure enjoyment.

The HD800 has a complex history around here. You've been here long enough to where you probably remember it.

Initial reports had most reviewers/users raving about a new paradigm in headphone performance - the resolution, as well as the price, was significantly above most headphones available in that era. Then more and more people got a chance to own them, and as expected they were not for everyone.

Eventually I recall something of a backlash against them, where people would tip their hat to the technical achievement while admitting they frankly did not enjoy listening to HD800 at all. I feel like this helped with the success of the original LCD-2 for example - people wanted a very different sound, and felt they had found it with the LCD-2, or even the original beyerdynamic T1 for that matter.

After that, some folks (including Tyll Hertsens and various other very knowledgeable people) made the case for HD800 having actual flaws, not just in terms of providing listening pleasure from also from a technical perspective. Hence the numerous mods that turned up. Which eventually included Sennheiser who essentially modded their own design, resulting in the HD800S.

Not trying to pick on you in particular, but your quoted post is in keeping with the early opinions when most of us first experienced HD800... if people don't enjoy it, something must be wrong with them. They aren't advanced enough. I now find that to be somewhat condescending.

Remember that this is a headphone Tyll called "...as close to perfect as a headphone gets" during his initial review, but also later called them "quite problematic" (before problematic was a cool thing to say) and opined "I'd much prefer to listen to the new HD 800 S over the stock HD 800. Much."

The first return (after listening) of the 8XX has already happened…

The owner said his 800 and 800S sound far better.

Is this really unexpected though? I have encountered pretty much every top-level headphone on the used market, from Abyss to HiFiMAN, Audeze, Raal, Stax, and on and on. You name it, and someone out there has been unhappy enough with it to either return it or sell it for a loss on the forums. I don't think we should read too much into that beyond "no headphone is perfect for everyone".

It seems like when the 8XX was announced, everyone was hoping it'd basically turn out to be an 800S with all of the big problems fixed. But in hindsight, why did we ever expect that in the first place? If Senn was able to make an 800S but better, they would just do that on their own and charge more for the improved version. And instead what we got is a less expensive version that isn't as good, and in hindsight, it's obvious that's all we should have expected.

I dunno, I might actually describe it like that, at least for the most part. For me, the HD8XX is better than either other model. Purrin seems to feel that way too from what little I've seen of his opinion. Doesn't make it objectively so, but it's also not unreasonable that it will be better, for some people at least.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 9:33 PM Post #38 of 64

Hifiearspeakers

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The HD800 has a complex history around here. You've been here long enough to where you probably remember it.

Initial reports had most reviewers/users raving about a new paradigm in headphone performance - the resolution, as well as the price, was significantly above most headphones available in that era. Then more and more people got a chance to own them, and as expected they were not for everyone.

Eventually I recall something of a backlash against them, where people would tip their hat to the technical achievement while admitting they frankly did not enjoy listening to HD800 at all. I feel like this helped with the success of the original LCD-2 for example - people wanted a very different sound, and felt they had found it with the LCD-2, or even the original beyerdynamic T1 for that matter.

After that, some folks (including Tyll Hertsens and various other very knowledgeable people) made the case for HD800 having actual flaws, not just in terms of providing listening pleasure from also from a technical perspective. Hence the numerous mods that turned up. Which eventually included Sennheiser who essentially modded their own design, resulting in the HD800S.

Not trying to pick on you in particular, but your quoted post is in keeping with the early opinions when most of us first experienced HD800... if people don't enjoy it, something must be wrong with them. They aren't advanced enough. I now find that to be somewhat condescending.

Remember that this is a headphone Tyll called "...as close to perfect as a headphone gets" during his initial review, but also later called them "quite problematic" (before problematic was a cool thing to say) and opined "I'd much prefer to listen to the new HD 800 S over the stock HD 800. Much."



Is this really unexpected though? I have encountered pretty much every top-level headphone on the used market, from Abyss to HiFiMAN, Audeze, Raal, Stax, and on and on. You name it, and someone out there has been unhappy enough with it to either return it or sell it for a loss on the forums. I don't think we should read too much into that beyond "no headphone is perfect for everyone".



I dunno, I might actually describe it like that, at least for the most part. For me, the HD8XX is better than either other model. Purrin seems to feel that way too from what little I've seen of his opinion. Doesn't make it objectively so, but it's also not unreasonable that it will be better, for some people at least.
No it’s definitely not unexpected. I was pointing out that it happened within 48 hours. That’s a pretty fast turnaround.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 11:12 PM Post #39 of 64

project86

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No it’s definitely not unexpected. I was pointing out that it happened within 48 hours. That’s a pretty fast turnaround.
True. I have friends who immediately returned or sold their original HD800 back in the day, only to eventually try again and end up enjoying them for years.

I still make fun of them for it.
 
Oct 27, 2021 at 4:09 PM Post #41 of 64

Ichos

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