Sennheiser HD800 S Impressions Thread (read first post for summary)

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by shabta, Jan 19, 2016.
  1. kzii
    I agree that Utopia has better dynamics and detail retrieval and overall driver technology is newer and more advanced. However, I like tonal balance on HD800S more. Regarding the soundstage, you are right here but in contrast, Utopia sounds small in expansive recordings (e.g. Pink Floyd). As I said, no one have the same ears and preferences, both are great headphones. In addition, I know a lot audio engineers and they use all kinds of headphones, for example: HD800S, HD800, DT770, DT990, K 701, MDR-7506. Altough they know about Elear, Utopia, Clear, LCD-4, LCD-X, Ether, Z1R, I didn't see anyone with it. Most of them are friends of mine so I sometimes bring new headphones. In their opinion they would never choose Utopia over HD800 series or even cheap HD600. They said that Utopia is sounding too "audiophile". There are a lot of headphone companies because there are a lot of people with different preferences, otherwise we would have only 1 headphone company. HD800S vs Utopia it's like comparing Mercedes S63 AMG with Lamborghini Aventador, and believe me not everyone would say that Aventador is better, it depends.

    PS: I have enough money to buy and keep Utopia and Dave so it's not like I am convincing myself to HD800S. MacedonianHero, I really respect your opinion and I love that you enjoy your Utopia.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  2. MacedonianHero Contributor
    I find the bass a bit too lacking (and not as deep) and the mids a tad recessed in the HD800S in comparison. That said, both are tremendous headphones and truly amazing! Happy New Year!
    bidn and swspiers like this.
  3. Ginge
    I agree with this statement, both sound phenomenal. I have spent considerable time with both, and genuinely prefer the signature of the HD800S. For me, after auditioning many headphones over the years, the HD800S hits my sweet spot. I also own a pair of Sony Z1R's, and I find them to be somewhat close to the sound of the Utopias, but with stronger bass presence. In that regard, I find the Z1Rs and the HD800S's to be a nice compliment for each other. If I'm in the mood to "rock out," and lose myself in the music, I'll toss on the Z1R's (they're also handy for when my girlfriend is around). If I want to truly relax, and feel like I'm in the room with the music, I'll put on the HD800S's.

    I personally found the Utopias to be slightly too intense at times, I was always aware that I was wearing headphones, and couldn't keep them on past an hour or so. That goes along with the fit of the headphones themselves, they just aren't as comfortable for me as the HD800S's are. Still, I totally get why people love them.

    In a perfect world, I'd love to have all three, but I already think I'm over-indulging as is.
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  4. Whazzzup
    The hd800S is my go to with la900 as my lose yourself in the music hp. I can’t bring myself/rationalize/want another hp. Although I’m sure it’s out there maybe
  5. wldcohso
    I had to re-purchase the HD800S, I thought after purchasing my Utopia I wouldn't miss them but boy was I wrong. Luckily I was able to get a new pair for 1200usd around the holidays. I sold my previous pair for 1100usd. lesson learned, don't purchase right away.. wait for the right time and purchase from the same vendor is possible, they'll more than likely give personal discounts from time to time for just being a returning customer.
  6. joseph69
    Just switched over to my 800S from the Utopia I have out on loan. Both are very good sounding headphones in their own unique ways. I doubt I'd ever sell my 800S whether or not I use it enough due to its wide sound, which too me gives an out of the head sound.
  7. wldcohso

    you got to have a big heart to loan out your Utopia.. I don't think i could.. lol... do you feel satisfied using your HD800S until you get you Utopia's back? does the music move you or make you feel differently now that you're using them after not using them for a while? Did anything stick out as "wow" or make you smile while listening using you HD800S?
  8. joseph69
    I don't think I'd loan out my Utopia either...but The Cable Company will, which is where I borrowed the Utopia and the Clear from. This is only the second night I've listened to the Utopia (although I've borrowed them in the past but barley listened to them) so I need to get better aquatinted with their sound signature, which is coming along well this time, and not at all like the first time I borrowed them. I also don't have much experience with my 800S either (which I own).
  9. Mediahound
  10. Arniesb
    Funny thing is... Absolutely no 1 was hearing or talking talking about distorsion, until Tyll pointed that out.
    After Tyll review everyone was starting to hear it. Isn't this funny?
  11. Arniesb
    I dont understand why no 1 until now dont put HD800 driver into HD800S frame and compare.
  12. iDesign
    The HD 800 used in InnferFidelity's test was an earlier production headphone and with more use than the HD 800 S evaluated. Furthermore, InnerFidelity's HD 800 had been modified/tampered with several times throughout its life and their measurements results therefore are not accurate. On an other note, it is beyond me why Sennheiser allows these rumors to persist and won't use this opportunity to explain the design of the HD 800 S.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  13. headr
    Measuring headphones is a very tricky business, and even Tyll has been refining his method over the years. Fit on the dummy head, achieving a proper seal. Especially with bass, isolating for possible vibrations that can impact the sound.

    These are all "guys in a garage" doing the best they can. The fact that some of these measurements are inconsistent with each other, or even inconsistent in the same way, should not surprise anyone. That is a big reason why you should take ALL of these "hobby measurements" with a giant grain of salt.

    All that said, from everything I've read, Jude's measurement setup is one of the most advanced and most sophisticated you can possibly put together. If you are going to put any weight in measurements, and those measurements disagree with Jude, I would tend to think that Jude's setup has it right, and the other setup might have it wrong.

    I've long thought that the internet hysteria regarding harmonic distortion that presents itself via bass in some headphones has been misguided. Jude, it might be worthwhile to revisit some other headphones which had similar pitchforks gathered against them - including, notably the SRH 1840.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  14. Me x3
    Thank you @jude. Very interesting stuff.

    Can you provide the serial number (no need to be exact) for the HD800S measured?
  15. Ginge
    Does anyone have any tips for a good 4.4mm balanced cable for the HD800S? I've only found no name brands on eBay for around $150.

    Sennheiser announced the CH 800P cable last Spring, and was supposed to be released with the HDV820, but no word about it since:

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