Sennheiser HD 700 Impressions Thread
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mithrandir38

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Man, there is such mixed opinions on these cans...
 
I got a surprise audition at a Best Buy/Magnolia Home Theater store, and I have to say I was expecting to cringe, with all I had heard about spiky treble, etc; they sounded terrific to my ears.  Not a hint of sibilance, with very smooth, much tighter, more detailed bass than my HD650's.  And this was out of my Samsung GIII phone, I really wanted to take it home to my, ahem, Crack and give it a proper audition.  If I'd had the money, it almost would have been a toss up between the LCD-2s I had test-driven this morning.  The Audeze cans clearly have an advantage in the bass department with that ruler-flat low freq response.  The short version is I was shocked at how much I liked the 700s when I expected to be appalled.
 
Lesson learned.
 
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Rob80b

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  Man, there is such mixed opinions on these cans...
 
I got a surprise audition at a Best Buy/Magnolia Home Theater store, and I have to say I was expecting to cringe, with all I had heard about spiky treble, etc; they sounded terrific to my ears.  Not a hint of sibilance, with very smooth, much tighter, more detailed bass than my HD650's.  ....................
  The short version is I was shocked at how much I liked the 700s when I expected to be appalled.
 
Lesson learned.
Have to agree whole-heartedly.
After throwing a lot of pyrotechnics at the HD700s for the past few weeks to break them in I settled down and gave a serious listen with some John Surman ”Stranger than Fiction” and “The Spaces in Between;

 
 

 
 
“Gateway” with John Abercrombie, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette;

 
Anthony Braxton’s “Seven Compositions”;

 
and Bartok’s “Concerto for Orchestra”/”Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta” conducted by Charles Dutoit.
 

 
Sadly the HD700s make it difficult to use my other phones revealing the fact that headphones have come of age, haven’t had the opportunity to try offerings from Audeze or HifiMan but these new Senns are definitely for me the missing link for those who would rather be listening to their music through speakers.
 
 
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Dionysus

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I said it earlier in this thread or another hd700 thread let your ears make the decision, not someone else's opinion even if he is a well respected and long time headfi poster here. Your ears will always tell you best.

I owned the HD650 before the 700 and it really is no contest, the HD700 are superior in every way had I listened to all the negative opinions on this forum I would have missed out on a great sounding and most comfortable headphones I ever used.
 
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Madmollusk

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I said it earlier in this thread or another hd700 thread let your ears make the decision, not someone else's opinion even if he is a well respected and long time headfi poster here. Your ears will always tell you best.

I owned the HD650 before the 700 and it really is no contest, the HD700 are superior in every way had I listened to all the negative opinions on this forum I would have missed out on a great sounding and most comfortable headphones I ever used.

I couldn't agree more.
 
There's definitely something akin to group-psychology at work here on Head-Fi sometimes: a knowledgeable reviewer with a facility with the English language can bias the entire community in one direction or another--at least for a little while. It's been said many times before, and it's rather cliché by now, but heck, I'll say it again: we all hear things differently.  That being acknowledged, I should hasten to add: the early criticisms heaped upon the HD700 genuinely mystify me. The HD700 is a huge step-up from the HD650, and though they are indeed "brighter" than neutral, and though the upper-midrange is just a tad recessed, it's clear that Sennheiser tuned these headphones to differentiate them from the HD 650 and the HD800.  
 
Actually, I can imagine some wily Sennheiser engineer saying: "Hey, wait a minute; there's an obvious omission in our mid and upper-tier headphones!" The HD600, after all, is on the warm side of neutral, while the HD650 boasts a sumptuously dark sound-signature.The HD800, on the other hand, with all its amazing newfangled tech, is as close to neutral as you're likely to find--IMHO.  It makes sense that Senn would add a little extra sparkle and thump to their next offering. And I am grateful for this. Don't misunderstand me: The HD 700 is still mostly neutral. The sound-signature is not "V" or "U" shaped; with the right equipment the treble is not at all "peaky" or "plasticky," or, for that matter, "fake sounding."  Indeed, with burn-in, the treble perfectly integrates itself into the broader frequency response. Can you tell: I love these headphones! I wouldn't argue with this criticism though: the HD700, at launch, with its initial price tag of 1k, was overpriced. Er, even $849 seems excessive.  But most likely, that's just my overly-restricted budget talking. 
 
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Rob80b

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I said it earlier in this thread or another hd700 thread let your ears make the decision, not someone else's opinion even if he is a well respected and long time headfi poster here. Your ears will always tell you best.

I owned the HD650 before the 700 and it really is no contest, the HD700 are superior in every way had I listened to all the negative opinions on this forum I would have missed out on a great sounding and most comfortable headphones I ever used.
I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record but ones got to get it out of their system.

 
Prior to ordering and waiting on the delivery of the HD700s I spent an inordinately amount of time with my HD580/600s to re-associate myself with the Senn sound as my AKG K701 were my go to over the last few years.
And I have to admit I was quite enjoying their presentation, tonally they are much more neutral than the AKGs but both phones have always had an anomaly for me in terms of staging and a seamless audio spectrum, but they somewhat complimented one another as neither was complete or totally satisfying.
Now I do not know for sure if its break-in or just my ears finally appreciating the technical achievement Sennheiser has come up with in producing the HD700s but the advancement in terms of reproducing a recording between the ears has been much appreciated.
AKG with the introduction of the K701s obviously were on the right track but were still flawed by their over-revealing high frequencies, so depending on the amount on the recording the sound stage while wide was either far too recessed or too forward and shallow, the bass port mod which many have applied helps dramatically but the K700 series, at least my K701s, still suffer from an over revealing top end with some recordings.
As I mentioned above the HD600 series while more tonally correct but darker sounding IMHO fail miserably with proper staging, producing more often than not a central image that is larger than life.
And of course Grado….. being a totally different kettle of fish.
 
Now all the above cans be rewarding and fun to listen to, but Sennheiser’s R&D appear to have “taken the bull by the horns” by taking headphone listening to another level with HD800s and the HD700s.
 
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Haha I sold my HD700 a while back but hearing the way you guys talk really makes me want to get it back if only just to compare side by side with my HD800 and hear it through my current chain that I didn't have when I had the HD700.
 
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mithrandir38

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by the way, I should note that on Moon audio the hd700's are now only $649.99. that was also the price that I saw at the Magnolia Design Center. they just might be a great audiophile deal
 
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pdrm360

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Haha I sold my HD700 a while back but hearing the way you guys talk really makes me want to get it back if only just to compare side by side with my HD800 and hear it through my current chain that I didn't have when I had the HD700.
 
I can answer you question with certainty that when you have an HD800, the HD700 is virtually irrelevant.  it almost does nothing better than the HD800. 
 
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pdrm360

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  I see, I thought as much. Shame, I would have loved to hear it properly.
 
Also maybe the HD700 isn't your cans, try some headphones with warm/dark sound. e.g. HD650, LCD2
 
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JeffA

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  why do people go on appreciation threads and bash the subject of appreciation?
Not bashing the HD-700. Just praising the HD-800. I recently got the HD-700s with the intention of using them as a second phone for an office system. On the one hand, I was thrilled with the performance of the HD-700s. Could not understand all the negative reviews out there. Thought they were what I thought I wanted: a super comfortable phone that was close in quality to the HD-800. But after several weeks, I decided that the HD-800 was still so superior to the HD-700 in almost every respect that I decided to return the HD-700s and just shuttle the HD-800 back and forth between home and office. If you can spring for the HD-800, do it. But if you can't, the HD-700 is darn, darn good.
 
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pdrm360

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I don't bashing the HD700 and I do think the HD700 is great for the price tag. The weakness of the HD700 is the HD800, but it's two times more expensive than the HD700.
 
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