Sennheiser HD800 S Impressions Thread (read first post for summary)
Aug 27, 2017 at 10:21 PM Post #2,386 of 6,560

gstepic

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I am a new owner of the Sennheiser HD800 S. I recently purchased the iBasso DX200 and I use the Beyerdynamic T5P 2nd gen for traveling. I am discovering there is so much to learn with high end audio and I am also discovering there always seems to be a way to make what we have even better, and the challenge is deciding if it is worth the cost.

While I was breaking in the DX200 and HD800 S (purchased both at the same time) I was disappointed how the T5P sounded with the DX200. I had been using the iBasso DX80 with the T5P. Part of my problem was trying to form an opinion while breaking in, a mistake as I am amazed how much better gear sounds after proper break in. After more proper break in what I did was buy a balanced cable for the T5p and this made a huge difference. The balanced output of the iBasso DX200 has more power than the SE output so that probably was the main factor and I bought some better balanced cables. It was almost like I had a new set of headphones (T5P) as they sounded that much better to me and I always thought they sounded great before. What is disappointing me is I am now wondering if I should keep the HD800 S. I am also wondering if there is something I can do to take the HD800 S to another level like what happened with the T5P.

The Beyerdynamics are really efficient yet more power seemed to make a difference. I am thinking with the less efficient HD800 S more power can make a huge difference. The HD800 S does sound very good with the iBasso DX200 and the volume if fairly stout at 112 out of a 150 volume scale, I need to do a lot more A/B comparing and with music with strings because my thinking is this is where the Sennheisers shine more. If there is music where the HD800 S is noticeably better, does not have to be much, I will keep them. I am willing to spend some on a headphone amp and better cables if necessary.

I am going to go back and research this thread. My only music source is the DX200 and my understanding is using an external amp kind of offsets the advantages of a high quality DAP. My understanding also is I will not need another DAC and that I will have to find an amp with a balanced input. The Schiit Mjolner 2 might be a reasonable upgrade but am game for suggestions. I thought the included balanced cable is good quality but can a cable upgrade help?

I hate distorted bass but still love deep bass I can feel and a good soundstage. To my surprise the T5P seems to have a similar soundstage to HD800 S (I thought the HD800 would be more noticeably better). My goal is to get the best soundstage the Sennheiser can produce and maybe get just a little more oomph out of them,
 
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Aug 28, 2017 at 2:50 AM Post #2,387 of 6,560

Levanter

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I am a new owner of the Sennheiser HD800 S. I recently purchased the iBasso DX200 and I use the Beyerdynamic T5P 2nd gen for traveling. I am discovering there is so much to learn with high end audio and I am also discovering there always seems to be a way to make what we have even better, and the challenge is deciding if it is worth the cost.

While I was breaking in the DX200 and HD800 S (purchased both at the same time) I was disappointed how the T5P sounded with the DX200. I had been using the iBasso DX80 with the T5P. Part of my problem was trying to form an opinion while breaking in, a mistake as I am amazed how much better gear sounds after proper break in. After more proper break in what I did was buy a balanced cable for the T5p and this made a huge difference. The balanced output of the iBasso DX200 has more power than the SE output so that probably was the main factor and I bought some better balanced cables. It was almost like I had a new set of headphones (T5P) as they sounded that much better to me and I always thought they sounded great before. What is disappointing me is I am now wondering if I should keep the HD800 S. I am also wondering if there is something I can do to take the HD800 S to another level like what happened with the T5P.

The Beyerdynamics are really efficient yet more power seemed to make a difference. I am thinking with the less efficient HD800 S more power can make a huge difference. The HD800 S does sound very good with the iBasso DX200 and the volume if fairly stout at 112 out of a 150 volume scale, I need to do a lot more A/B comparing and with music with strings because my thinking is this is where the Sennheisers shine more. If there is music where the HD800 S is noticeably better, does not have to be much, I will keep them. I am willing to spend some on a headphone amp and better cables if necessary.

I am going to go back and research this thread. My only music source is the DX200 and my understanding is using an external amp kind of offsets the advantages of a high quality DAP. My understanding also is I will not need another DAC and that I will have to find an amp with a balanced input. The Schiit Mjolner 2 might be a reasonable upgrade but am game for suggestions. I thought the included balanced cable is good quality but can a cable upgrade help?

I hate distorted bass but still love deep bass I can feel and a good soundstage. To my surprise the T5P seems to have a similar soundstage to HD800 S (I thought the HD800 would be more noticeably better). My goal is to get the best soundstage the Sennheiser can produce and maybe get just a little more oomph out of them,

You'd probably need a desktop amp if you want to drive to its potential. No standalone DAP will compete with a flagship desktop unit.
 
Aug 28, 2017 at 10:13 AM Post #2,388 of 6,560

bsimms99

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I am a new owner of the Sennheiser HD800 S. I recently purchased the iBasso DX200 and I use the Beyerdynamic T5P 2nd gen for traveling. I am discovering there is so much to learn with high end audio and I am also discovering there always seems to be a way to make what we have even better, and the challenge is deciding if it is worth the cost.

While I was breaking in the DX200 and HD800 S (purchased both at the same time) I was disappointed how the T5P sounded with the DX200. I had been using the iBasso DX80 with the T5P. Part of my problem was trying to form an opinion while breaking in, a mistake as I am amazed how much better gear sounds after proper break in. After more proper break in what I did was buy a balanced cable for the T5p and this made a huge difference. The balanced output of the iBasso DX200 has more power than the SE output so that probably was the main factor and I bought some better balanced cables. It was almost like I had a new set of headphones (T5P) as they sounded that much better to me and I always thought they sounded great before. What is disappointing me is I am now wondering if I should keep the HD800 S. I am also wondering if there is something I can do to take the HD800 S to another level like what happened with the T5P.

The Beyerdynamics are really efficient yet more power seemed to make a difference. I am thinking with the less efficient HD800 S more power can make a huge difference. The HD800 S does sound very good with the iBasso DX200 and the volume if fairly stout at 112 out of a 150 volume scale, I need to do a lot more A/B comparing and with music with strings because my thinking is this is where the Sennheisers shine more. If there is music where the HD800 S is noticeably better, does not have to be much, I will keep them. I am willing to spend some on a headphone amp and better cables if necessary.

I am going to go back and research this thread. My only music source is the DX200 and my understanding is using an external amp kind of offsets the advantages of a high quality DAP. My understanding also is I will not need another DAC and that I will have to find an amp with a balanced input. The Schiit Mjolner 2 might be a reasonable upgrade but am game for suggestions. I thought the included balanced cable is good quality but can a cable upgrade help?

I hate distorted bass but still love deep bass I can feel and a good soundstage. To my surprise the T5P seems to have a similar soundstage to HD800 S (I thought the HD800 would be more noticeably better). My goal is to get the best soundstage the Sennheiser can produce and maybe get just a little more oomph out of them,

Scroll back a few pages and read my posts. There is no DAP that will drive those HD800S, you need a portable amp or desktop amp, and there are very very few portable amps that will power the HD800S and do it right. Like @Levanter said you need a desktop amp. I will say this, if you actually get the gear needed for the HD800S, you wont want to use the T5P, the HD800S are just that amazing.
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 2:23 AM Post #2,389 of 6,560
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Scroll back a few pages and read my posts. There is no DAP that will drive those HD800S, you need a portable amp or desktop amp, and there are very very few portable amps that will power the HD800S and do it right. Like @Levanter said you need a desktop amp. I will say this, if you actually get the gear needed for the HD800S, you wont want to use the T5P, the HD800S are just that amazing.

Not true. I can name one for starters - Luxury & Precisions LP5 Gold easily drives it, and would rival many full desk-top set-ups. I had the LP5 at a Meet a couple of years ago, and members told me that the combo (with an HD800) rivalled their own systems.

The HD800S is 300 ohm and 102dB (1 Vrms) sensitivity. It isn't a hard load to drive - even an X7 with AM5 module will drive it pretty well.

I agree with you that the HD800S is amazing, but those stating you need full sized amps to enjoy it are (IMO) completely incorrect.
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 4:04 AM Post #2,390 of 6,560

ubs28

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I agree. The HD 800 S is super easy to drive. No idea where this idea is coming from that headphones like the HD 800 and HD 800 S are hard to drive. Same with the HD 650 which is also easy to drive.

If people think the HD 800 has better bass and less treble with a certain amplifier, it is due to colour rather than power for example.
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 5:09 AM Post #2,391 of 6,560

Levanter

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lol driving any pair of headphones is easy (you can even drive the HD800/650 straight from your smartphone or laptop), and enjoying headphones from any source is subjective to each individual.
Driving a headphones to its potential is not the same as simply driving a headphones to make it loud enough to listen. Then again driving the headphones to its potential is also subjective to each individual. You may think some DAPs can rival flagship desktops while there are those who will disagree.
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 6:08 AM Post #2,392 of 6,560
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Have you had a lot of experience with the LP5 Gold Levanter? And please define how much power is required to drive an HD800S to "its potential" please. Voltage and current would do nicely. I shall await thy wisdom .......
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 7:29 AM Post #2,393 of 6,560

Levanter

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My experience is through ownership and various demo with interest to buy. Not through free review samples nor paid review samples. I couldn't care less whether you agree with my opinion or not. Nor do I care to agree with your opinions either.
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 7:43 AM Post #2,394 of 6,560
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So are you suggesting that there is bias because I have received some sample units to trial? I bought my HD800S. My experience is with multiple DAPs, DACs and amps.

You made a statement:
Driving a headphones to its potential is not the same as simply driving a headphones to make it loud enough to listen.

Now please (instead of trying to avoid the obvious question) advise how much power is required to drive an HD800S to "its potential" please. Again voltage and current would help me understand your point of view. Or are you now retracting that statement?
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 7:52 AM Post #2,395 of 6,560

Morimoriya 62

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Hi guys

I bought HD800S today and use with my Dx200 easy drive it.
I have question :) please tell me ,How long does the Hd800s burn in take?
Has Anyone try HD800S upgrade cable plussound X8 silver gold ?I want to try it soon :wink: i have very good feedback with Iem (custom cable)

I'm amazed and so happy

regards Mori
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 7:58 AM Post #2,396 of 6,560

bsimms99

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Not true. I can name one for starters - Luxury & Precisions LP5 Gold easily drives it, and would rival many full desk-top set-ups. I had the LP5 at a Meet a couple of years ago, and members told me that the combo (with an HD800) rivalled their own systems.

The HD800S is 300 ohm and 102dB (1 Vrms) sensitivity. It isn't a hard load to drive - even an X7 with AM5 module will drive it pretty well.

I agree with you that the HD800S is amazing, but those stating you need full sized amps to enjoy it are (IMO) completely incorrect.

To me I guess there are some yes and no’s in your statements and that’s news to me about that LP5 which I am definitely going to try and get my hands on lol. But when I say drive I mean I don’t mean “get louder” I mean hear all the dynamics and soundstage and all it has to offer. I didn’t hear that all plugging the HD800S into a ton of DAPS or a phone, so while I do understand the numbers might be there to “easily drive” according to a lot of statements here, I just personally beg to differ that the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 8:09 AM Post #2,397 of 6,560
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So when you compare, are you doing so with same tracks (same files), and with two sources completely volume matched (ie with a meter & not by ear)? Because you realise that if you're not doing that then any claims that a desk-top amp has better dynamics, soundstage (insert appropriate audiophile language) - are quite likely to be one unit louder than the other? Louder we hear as better - and funnily enough the first things we notice are dynamics and perceived soundstage. I guess what I'm saying is that unless you've made comparisons with two sources on an equal footing, then its impossible to make statements of how well they are driven comparatively. All I'm trying to do is demystify things a bit.

Like I said earlier, the HD800S is not a difficult load to drive. I can understand if people prefer DACs or amps with a certain tonality (eg I love the HD800S with the Enterprise Tube Amp from VE). But there are definitely DAPs around which will drive it extremely well. If you get the chance to try the LP5 Gold, its an eye (or ear) opener :) Just a pity it is so expensive and has such a poor UI.
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 9:19 AM Post #2,398 of 6,560

bsimms99

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So I will use this for an example of what I did and my take away from it. So the units I used were the AK SP1k and the WM1Z and the AK380CE, I had my music on an SD card so i could just easily pop over the card from player to player. Now I have the Z1R and the HD800S as what I used for testing. So I was using 3 certain songs from Vivaldi 4 seasons and 1 song from Suantrai Adam Agee & Jon Sousa, 1 song from Stevie Ray Vaugh Texas Flood, 1 song from Muddy Waters My home is in the delta. Now with all these I played the songs all the way through. Now heres my issue, I had the HD800S on max volume for all 3 players for all the songs, it was not loud to me, the bass was non-exsistant, there was no "impact" going from highs to lows at certain points. Now I put the Z1R's on and had it turned up 145 on the AK's and 110 on the 1Z, and it was loud, there was bass, there was impact it was like "omg theres the music". Then I walked over to a Bryston with HD800S, I freaked out not going to lie it was like heaven on my ears, at it was at that very point I understood why people loved these headphones so much. So I may not go by numbers but when I have a headset plugged into a source and the volume is maxed and I an completely underwhelmed then plug it into a powerful amp then its everything I was hoping for is good enough for me to make a decision.
 
Aug 29, 2017 at 10:02 AM Post #2,399 of 6,560

gstepic

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As I mentioned in my original post I use HD800 S on 112 volume setting out of 150 so I know they can be driven with DX200. That is about where I had the volume for T5P using SE output. When I purchased a balanced cable and used the balanced output for T5P I was able to use volume 92 but it was like I had totally different headphones. I could not believe how much better they sounded. As of now to my ears the T5P are more enjoyable or at the least as good as the HD800 S and that my dilemma. It could very well be these headphones are on par with each other and it is just a matter of taste.

What I am thinking of doing is returning the HD800 S to B&H. Probably early December I will make a trip to Redondo Beach which is near one of our sponsors (Jason with The Source AV Design) and try the HD800 S with an amp. If it gives me something more than I have I will buy it, if not then I will be happy with what I have.
 
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Aug 29, 2017 at 10:52 AM Post #2,400 of 6,560

Zomgnoob

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Hey guys! I've been thinking of getting a pair of HD800s recently and been wanting to do some financial research about what a good combination for it might be.
So far, im planning to run them through my Mojo as a DAC and im still kind of at a question mark state for the amplifier.
I have heard from several users that Mojo runs the 800s well and some said that the full potential of 800s are sort of wasted with just Mojos alone. So I was kind of wondering what are your opinions on these? I know that some of the previous posts here state about pairing mojo alone isnt sufficent, yet others have said otherwise.
Also what would be a good amp for this device if i do get one? I have a budget of about 500USD and would be more than happy to buy a cheaper amp if the results arent too significantly different :)
Thanks for your help!
 

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