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

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by shabta, Jan 19, 2016.
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  1. Whazzzup
    Rock is classic busy mids. same with speed metal etc.. Now more current rock is more into loudness pop sound so this fits well with hd800s say "little dragons" but yes its not a warm can like susvara, or a recessed mid can like th900 that may help with rock. I dunno cause its not my genre.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  2. csglinux
    I'm not sure there's any definitive answer to this. It depends on your genre, preference, how loud you're listening, etc. For example:


    If you're going to take short-cuts to performing your own listening tests and instead ask others, then don't be surprised if you get opinions that might differ from your own. I've heard most high-end cans and plenty of them have more bass than the HD800S. I wouldn't swap any of them for my HD800S, but that's just me.
  3. Rob80b
    Rock I feel works best with a wall of sound...not really the 800s forte...IMHO Audeze does a better job in that department but then one almost loses the top octave.... : ( which might not be a bad thing. : )
  4. ZappaMan
    I’m listening to the most amazing subtle but hypnotic bass playing - king of limbs - I’ve never heard bass like this before - granted I’ve limited experience - but this is something really special. Then there is the drum kits, I can’t tell you how good they sounds, snares, kicks, it’s really special.
    Then there’s Thom Yorkes high pitched singing, it’s all there, a nice balance.
    The bass experience, the all round experience, is so much better with move from mojo to Hugo 2, so much more immersive.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  5. vlach
    I've always been interested in the WA2 to drive my HD800. Would you say the difference between the WA2 and WA7 is significant?
  6. 111MilesToGo
    Talking SS amps, any experience out there when driving the HD 800S from a Violectric HPA V281? I haven‘t auditioned any serious headphone amp yet. The Black Widow is discontinued; both the BW and the V281 are described as having just a touch of warmth, and having ultra-low distortion (whatever that means). The V281 is more easily obtainable here in Germany.

    I have the Hugo 2, and I reckon the HD 800S - ever so lovely by itself in this combo - might benefit from being driven in balanced mode from a headphone amp, plus I hope for a tiny bit of more bass extension and energy. I mostly listen to classical (orchestra, piano, solo strings), jazz (acoustic, electric, small and large bands, vocal), rock (classic and onwards), pop, but no heavy metal or EDM.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  7. FaezFarhan
    I definitely need a bit more bass impact for the genre I listen to. So getting the Loki asap!
  8. Thenewguy007

    It is all dependent on the amp & DAC you pair it with, but for me, I haven't heard a better headphone for rock or rap. Way better than the LCD-2, TH900, HE1000, HE-6.
    Liu Junyuan likes this.
  9. Dukebb13
    I have the V280 which is said to sound just like the V281. The sound with the HD800S is awesome. I can’t ask for more from an amp. It drives those phones effortlessly. It does have just a touch of warmth to me which is preferred. Listen if you can. A new amp is coming out soon from lake people, it is called niimbus. It is above the V281. The best part is you can still use your H2. Good luck!
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    111MilesToGo likes this.
  10. S Crowther
    I have the V281 fed from a TT and yes the HD800s balanced sound great in that combo, much better for me than when connected directly to the TT.
    However even better to my ears is using Pro-Ject Head Box RS instead of the Violectric. The sound is cleaner, purer, more focussed whereas the Violectric is bigger, darker, bolder but not as natural to me ears. The Pro-Ject is a hybrid design and also has 3 way user switchable impedance and the HD800 is a relatively high impedance phone. I guess the combination of better impedance matching and the tube input stage makes the difference.
    Quinto and 111MilesToGo like this.
  11. 111MilesToGo
    Thanks for these feedbacks! Happy to receive more from the community.

    I am even more assured that it is worthwhile to talk my dealer into getting a V281 and other headphone amps like the a.m. Pro-Ject for an audition. Thanks for pointing that one out, only that it lacks a balanced HP out. What others to do the Hugo 2 and HD 800S justice? Nice project for me, worth pursuing.

    Thanks also for pointing out the Lake People nimbus, it‘s here https://www.head-fi.org/threads/nii...us4-us4-headphone-amps-by-lake-people.876018/, although the price tag suggests it might be in a class above the Hugo 2.

    As I said, happy to see more recommendations. For the time being, I prefer to look for TOTL solid-sate amps matching H2 and HD 800S. That is since I feel tube amps to be too wide a field, although they will offer more synergy with the 800S.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  12. Swiftfalcon
    Hugo 2 is stellar at driving 800S. My experience is you lose a tiny bit microdetail when you interpose an amp. Of course you gain additional qualities with an amp. I use Bryston BHA 1, it is a touch cool but gives nice slam to the bass and the treble while extended is tightly controlled!
    111MilesToGo likes this.
  13. Contrails
    Just got the Hd800S. These sound bright out of the box. Had to use the equalizer to bring the low end up by 3db. Sounds more balanced now. Amp is a Wa22 with Holo Spring DAC LvL3. Guitars sound sublime though.

    Edit: without the Eq, the bass is more tight. Maybe, I am after more slam. These might not be for me then.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  14. Slim1970
    If you're looking for slam then the HD800S's may not be for you. The bass does go deeper with EQ giving the HD800S's more body and sub bass but they still don't slam like most planars do. You might want to check out the ZMF or Audeze line of headphones if you want bass that hits hard.
  15. Swiftfalcon
    800S is a slight bit on the brightish side of neutral. That is its signature. With your dac and amp, 800S must be a real treat esp for their forte genres - classical, orchestra, moviescores.
    My favorite instruments on 800S are brass instruments like tuba etc, and bowed strings like violin, cello etc.
    Liu Junyuan and Contrails like this.
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