Sennheiser HD800 S Impressions Thread (read first post for summary)
Feb 2, 2016 at 10:22 AM Post #137 of 6,971

CoLdAsSauLt

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Is this an impressions thread? I thought that was what this forums point is?. Lets wait for more S to hit the market. Hope to hear from users like myself that have had no hd800 back experience as well and compare to other cans in their repitoire 


I think that the above background information is highly relevant. As Mike F pointed out, a lot of people, including myself, will compare single ended HD800 classic to balanced HD800 S. I did mention this as a factor of my own impressions, but you can't actually estimate how much of the differences between the two headphones are due to the better amplification or really changes of the headphones itself. I'll update and/or try to meet up with a HD800 classic owner.

Comparing HD800 classic with HD800 S is probably the most natural thing to do and the best reference point available that many people heard or can relate to, so I suspect it's one of the main reasons this thread exists. For me, the S sure is different, but not to the extent it will greatly alter the outcome of many former HD800 classic vs other headphone comparisons. Putting heard differences in the right perspective and pointing out that some impressions are skewed, can only attribute to these "most natural comparison" and impressions.

For many, given the high price tag of separate balanced cables, it's very helpful to read what the balanced cable can bring to the table for them. It mitigates the additional cost of the HD800 S if they already have the right gear in place, or tells them their current single ended amp will more than suffise, so the classic HD800 (especially with todays street price discounts) might be better value for them.
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 10:48 AM Post #138 of 6,971

alpha80

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Comparing HD800 classic with HD800 S is probably the most natural thing to do and the best reference point available that many people heard or can relate to, so I suspect it's one of the main reasons this thread exists.

Yes of course, and it is what everyone expects.  HD800S is a warmer, less sterile, more "musically alive" HD800.  It's less reference, and more audiophile, than the HD800.  In fact, I think the HD800S is actually sennheiser's "audiophile/reference hybrid", much like the K812 pro is for AKG.  I consider neither K812, or HD800S as effective a reference can as my T90, in any other way besides soundstage.
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 11:34 AM Post #139 of 6,971

CoLdAsSauLt

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Yes of course, and it is what everyone expects.


Not Whazzzup apparently, who I was reacting to :).

It's less reference, and more audiophile, than the HD800.  In fact, I think the HD800S is actually sennheiser's "audiophile/reference hybrid", much like the K812 pro is for AKG.  I consider neither K812, or HD800S as effective a reference can as my T90, in any other way besides soundstage.


I suspect that we sometimes see reference in a different way.
"Reference" is often related to studio mastering. I do think the HD800 classic is maybe better suited for that purpose. I kind of feel the slightly boosted treble works as a magnifying glass, which is more than helpful for the task at hand and very revealing of detail.
However, reference could also mean "natural". At the moment, I feel that the HD800 S portrays some timbres just a tad more right, like I would hear them in real life (= the real reference point...).
Do I agree that some details are lost with the HD800 S compared with the classic? No, I think they are still there, but sometimes less in your face, or not as easily discernable in the whole musical picture. But hey, they wouldn't be in the live performance either... In real life, I don't look through a magnifying glass all the time...

The difference with lesser headphones is that you could bring those details back to your attention by applying an EQ to the HD800 S, mimicking the classic's magnifying glass. Using a lesser headphone, you can't shed a brighter light on what didn't get extracted by the headphones in the first place.
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 8:15 PM Post #141 of 6,971

up late

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yep. all three tend to be used as subjective descriptors anyways so i wouldn't worry about it.
 
Feb 3, 2016 at 12:57 PM Post #143 of 6,971

Shuren21

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Hey guys and girls, lovely people of Head-fi :)
 
I got lucky to got mine today and I must say they sound weird! Really that's the first thing that came to my mind. I am listening to them now and I feel pressure on my ears like never before... I feel like I'm scuba diving and I need to press on my nose to make my ears pop...
 
Here is the graph, to me it means nothing as I am quite a newb in all this to be honest
 

 
Maybe I should say that I never ever had listened to a full size headphones before. For the last 6 years I got my JH13 and then the JH3A + Jh16 and that was all.
 
The first cd I wanted to listen to was Beethoven 9th, 4th movement, because it's always a bit messy the Ode to Joy on my JH13 but I was so disappointed. I listened to the 1962 Karajan version first and then the Ode to Freedom from Bernstein and they both sounded like so far away from me. I turned up the volume but I don't know it just feels weird.
 
I then tried Radiohead, In Rainbows and that was beautiful, like shivers. Another little piece that always gives me shivers is Gloria from Vivaldi in Vespro a San Marco but this time I did not get them. I am a bit lost to say the truth. Of course my Amp/Dac is a bit low it's just a Peachtree Decco65 but still...
 
On a side note, the shop where I found them today called their dealer and they said if I order now the upcoming HDVD800 upgraded, I'd get a discount and I'd be the first to get it in the Netherlands. So I did, a bit scary though to buy such a thing without listening but I'll let you know when I get it. Sadly I'm not a poet like many of you are but I'll try my best.
 
They said it will be called HDVD820 and the main difference with the actual one is that it will have DSD! It will come at 2199 Euros in May-June.
 
I really hope by then in Balanced mode that it will rock my world.
 
Thank you for your time and may the music be with you all :)
 
Feb 3, 2016 at 1:36 PM Post #144 of 6,971

shabta

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Congrats on your new purchase!
 
Maybe you just need a couple days to get used to the feel of the headphones on your head. Also, maybe you are so used to the sound of the JH16 that your brain needs a day to adjust. 
 
The peachtree might not be the best pairing but it should drive the headphones ok. If you can try another pair of headphones that you have used before the amp and see if everything works...
 
But maybe don't listen to anything other than the HD800S for a day or two and see if things don't change. 
 
The Senn amp pairs very nicely with the HD800, I assume the same would be true for the S. From what I can gather from Sennheirser the new amp/dac only differs from the old one in terms of DSD and color. The amp topology remains the same AFAIK.
 
Anyway try those suggestions out and see how it goes.
 
Feb 3, 2016 at 1:56 PM Post #145 of 6,971

dharma

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  Hey guys and girls, lovely people of Head-fi :)
 
I got lucky to got mine today and I must say they sound weird! Really that's the first thing that came to my mind. I am listening to them now and I feel pressure on my ears like never before... I feel like I'm scuba diving and I need to press on my nose to make my ears pop...
[...] Maybe I should say that I never ever had listened to a full size headphones before. For the last 6 years I got my JH13 and then the JH3A + Jh16 and that was all.
[...]
On a side note, the shop where I found them today called their dealer and they said if I order now the upcoming HDVD800 upgraded, I'd get a discount and I'd be the first to get it in the Netherlands. So I did, a bit scary though to buy such a thing without listening but I'll let you know when I get it. [...]
They said it will be called HDVD820 and the main difference with the actual one is that it will have DSD! It will come at 2199 Euros in May-June.
 
I really hope by then in Balanced mode that it will rock my world.
 
Thank you for your time and may the music be with you all :)

 
 
Congrats now and for HDVD820 too...
 
Have you used only for IEM-s or also normal speakers?
Strange, that you feel some-kind 'sound pressure'... maybe head-amp is just too 'big obstruction on the way to HD800S' sound output, so maybe You are listening headamp and DAC(?) flaws... HD800S is revealing all 'weak links' easily.
 
Try these free samples, download and listen (maybe some organ)... if pressure continues, then:
maybe just try to lower sound volume, just little lower than it seems normal for You (don't try to create sound volume that real orchestra can produce in concert hall first rows)...
Could be, that Your hearing and brain just must take time for readjusting... well-trained hearing from 'IEM sound'
 
Feb 3, 2016 at 1:58 PM Post #146 of 6,971

Shuren21

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  Congrats on your new purchase!
 
Maybe you just need a couple days to get used to the feel of the headphones on your head. Also, maybe you are so used to the sound of the JH16 that your brain needs a day to adjust. 
 
The peachtree might not be the best pairing but it should drive the headphones ok. If you can try another pair of headphones that you have used before the amp and see if everything works...
 
But maybe don't listen to anything other than the HD800S for a day or two and see if things don't change. 
 
The Senn amp pairs very nicely with the HD800, I assume the same would be true for the S. From what I can gather from Sennheirser the new amp/dac only differs from the old one in terms of DSD and color. The amp topology remains the same AFAIK.
 
Anyway try those suggestions out and see how it goes.

 
Hey Shabta, thank you so much for your kind reply :)
 
I will do that and just listen to it for the coming days, I guess I should also get used to the weight of it.
 
This may be a newbish question but does that mean the upgraded HDVD800 will have the same Dac as the current HDVD800? I read so many times that the DAC was not on par with the Amp.
Or can I hope that with the DSD they will add a new chip for the Dac there ?
 
Feb 3, 2016 at 2:05 PM Post #147 of 6,971

Shuren21

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Congrats now and for HDVD820 too...
 
Have you used only for IEM-s or also normal speakers?
Strange, that you feel some-kind 'sound pressure'... maybe head-amp is just too 'big obstruction on the way to HD800S' sound output, so maybe You are listening headamp and DAC(?) flaws... HD800S is revealing all 'weak links' easily.
 
Try these free samples, download and listen (maybe some organ)... if pressure continues, then:
maybe just try to lower sound volume, just little lower than it seems normal for You (don't try to create sound volume that real orchestra can produce in concert hall first rows)...
Could be, that Your hearing and brain just must take time for readjusting... well-trained hearing from 'IEM sound'


Hey Dharma, thank you as well for your message, I appreciate :)
 
I'll download the files and will listen to them, I also thought that maybe the HD800S are reviling to a higher level than the IEM I'm so used to. After all I listen to my JH13 every single day on my way to work and wherever I go. Music is always right in the middle of my head.
Yes the sound volume in a concert hall, always scared me, whenever it's the moment to clap I always put in my IEM because I read somewhere that the clapping is like a tsunami to our ears. I feel a bit "asocial" though whenever I do that but hey, our ears are so precious!
I did try to listen to normal speakers but I got really disappointed, it always feel like I need to focus and try to go get the sound out of them. Like it's not coming to me. It's tiring in a way.
 
Feb 3, 2016 at 2:09 PM Post #148 of 6,971

dharma

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Hey Dharma, thank you as well for your message, I appreciate :)
 
I'll download the files and will listen to them, I also thought that maybe the HD800S are reviling to a higher level than the IEM I'm so used to. After all I listen to my JH13 every single day on my way to work and wherever I go. Music is always right in the middle of my head.
Yes the sound volume in a concert hall, always scared me, whenever it's the moment to clap I always put in my IEM because I read somewhere that the clapping is like a tsunami to our ears. I feel a bit "asocial" though whenever I do that but hey, our ears are so precious!
I did try to listen to normal speakers but I got really disappointed, it always feel like I need to focus and try to go get the sound out of them. Like it's not coming to me. It's tiring in a way.

 
I don't know how is it with HD800S, but at least for HD800, Sennheiser suggested to use lower sound-volume than 'seems normal'
 
Feb 3, 2016 at 3:04 PM Post #150 of 6,971

Shuren21

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Congrats now and for HDVD820 too...
 
Have you used only for IEM-s or also normal speakers?
Strange, that you feel some-kind 'sound pressure'... maybe head-amp is just too 'big obstruction on the way to HD800S' sound output, so maybe You are listening headamp and DAC(?) flaws... HD800S is revealing all 'weak links' easily.
 
Try these free samples, download and listen (maybe some organ)... if pressure continues, then:
maybe just try to lower sound volume, just little lower than it seems normal for You (don't try to create sound volume that real orchestra can produce in concert hall first rows)...
Could be, that Your hearing and brain just must take time for readjusting... well-trained hearing from 'IEM sound'


So I tried a few samples and compared them with the JH13. It did sound better which is weird because my whole collection is in AIFF but I have to admit it sounded better with the JH13 using the same Amp/Dac, I guess I'll just have to get used to it.
 
I then tried this to see if I could hear the same thing with both : http://www.noiseaddicts.com/2009/03/can-you-hear-this-hearing-test/
And I must say that site always makes me sad. Will I miss more and more from a cd as time goes by? I can't hear anything above 14kHz now... I just hope one day I won't start to applause just because I can't hear anything while the concert is not even finished...
 

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