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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. claud W
    You have never heard how good your HD 800S can sound until you listen to them through a DNA Stratus amp. You will not want to listen to speakers again.
    Nik74 likes this.
  2. Phronesis
    I’ll happily spend the money to buy an expensive amp if it makes my HD800S and other headphones sound better. But I’m skeptical about how much the perceived sound differences are ‘in the head’ rather than ‘in the gear’. Has anyone around here done a controlled and preferably unsighted comparison of amps with the HD800S? We might all benefit from seeing such results.
  3. Whazzzup
    Great pre amps like GSX mk2 which is ss and transparent, it steps out of the way. A true magnificent compliment. So in my case the bloom is all that occurs and nothing else, so id say an amp, is not going to change the sound, and shouldn't. The source on the other hand, a good server, will.
    TYATYA and ZappaMan like this.
  4. martyn73
    I'm deeply sceptical about expensive amplifiers which feature "plankton generators" and bass "tighteners". I used to own an Earmax Pro which added a tiny amount of warmth at the expense of treble. I replaced it with a Lehmann Linear Black Cube which is cheaper to run and does not add sibilance to an already bright headphone (at least compared to my Stax SR-007A). I seriously doubt whether a panel of listeners would discern any difference between a simple Chinese headphone amplifier and an expensive amplifier assuming both are sufficiently powerful to drive the HD800S. I can hear the voltage swingers swinging their pitchforks.
  5. Phronesis
    Opinions about this stuff are clearly all over the map, so we really need to be careful about asking for, offering, and giving weight to advice about these things. I don't doubt that people really perceive the differences (or lack thereof) which they report, but the issue is that our perceptions aren't always reliable and can be quite influenced by our expectations and other factors (e.g., mood and fatigue), which in turn influence how much attention we pay and how we direct our attention. Because of these effects, we can perceive differences which aren't really there, and we can also not perceive differences which are really there (e.g., our ears/brains can adapt such that perceived differences diminish over time). Contrary to what some people say, IMO properly testing to sort all of this stuff is not at all easy, and requires research which isn't often done in the audio world (most auditory perception research I've seen relates to language processing and hallucinations).

    Fortunately, differences between headphones are substantial and measurable, so perceptions of differences between headphones have some reliability, and my own focus is on selecting headphones. I don't worry much about pairing of headphones with upstream stuff, since I assume that my upstream stuff is at least 'good enough'.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
    NoMythsAudio likes this.
  6. Nik74
    I would love to hear the Stratus and when I decided to go towards valve amplification , it was on my list . Unfortunately there is no distributor in the UK and I have no way of experiencing it. I have my eyes on the EAR HP4 if it ever shows up 2nd hand ...
    In the meantime my combo more than satisfies me

    I agree with you to a large extend. I would add also that at the end of the day , measurable or not, the end result should be bringing each of us closer to emoting with, appreciating and enjoying our music. And thankfully many roads lead to Rome :)
    If someone requires ultra transparency via an ss amp or top class server and those components satisfy, so be it , if I prefer a bit of extra 2nd degree harmonic distortion and a more voluptuous low end, who s gonna say that s not right ?
  7. llcook51
    Agree with Whazzzup. Finding the right match of components is critical. When I changed from the solid state Jotunheim to the tube hybrid Cavalli Liquid Platinum, the 800S became incomparable. The treble is crystal clear and the bass is extended. Both are natural. I can listen for hours with no fatigue. :L3000:
  8. Amberlamps
    Well, 4 months old and the rubber cable has split, and I take excellent care of all my headphones.

    It will be replaced because it’s law, but thats beside the point, for the price it shouldn’t happen. A quick google of “sennheiser hd800s cable split” the problem seems to be fairly common, so hopefully they will be quick with the replacement.

    I will just use my old cans til the new cable arrives, but this episode has put me right off the hd800s, for the price £1300, I don’t expect a cable to split with light usage and extremely good care.

    Club orpheus, show me how good your service is.
  9. Arniesb
    Cmon i have it for 2 years and no issue. Besides Buying this costly headphone im sure you can buy same priced cable as stock which not only will sound better, but will be better build...
  10. Amberlamps
    What does you having your cable for 2 years have to do with the split in my cable ?

    Nothing at all as far as I can tell, for all you know my cable could of been faulty from the day it was made, as the rubber did have a weird twist to it that made the cable sit all wonky, but it didn’t concern me, looking back, maybe it should of.

    This has never happened to me before, ever, all my other cables/headphones (many) which I have used for many years are all still intact. The cable split looks like it was made by a razor blade, thats how clean the split is. Normal usage, no abuse and always put back in it’s case when I was finished with it.

    Sure, I can buy another cable, but why should I have to if the one I have is faulty and can be replaced free of charge under warranty ?

    To be honest, I’m astonished that it has happened in the first place, let alone happening on an expensive set of headphones, and googling does seem to suggest that it’s a common or a known problem regarding the cables.

    I should add, the cable, the rubber felt like it was twisted, not straight and the split is also twisted.

    The cable never sat right from day one due to the twists. I presume the tension that the twisted rubber put the inner cable under, eventually caused the rubber to fail as the inner cable acted like a cheesewire, and sliced the rubber open from the inside.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  11. Arniesb
    Im just saying that while these cables should last some time, they not gonna last forever... None of manufacturers put much effort into cables. Im sure mine gonna break in year or 2 and i wont even bother with stock cables.
  12. Amberlamps
    True. They wont last forever, but they should atleast last more than 4 months without it bursting open.

    The stock cables will do me just fine, as I’m sure sennheiser put some effort into the cable for their best headphone.

    Looking at sennheisers warranty terms, they will probably deny me a replacement, as no doubt they will say it’s an accessory and as such, it’s not covered under their warranty.
  13. Arniesb
    I think i they gonna change cable. Sennheiser great company, good build, but subpar cables.
    Amberlamps likes this.
  14. Brooko Contributor
    If its within warranty - they'll replace it. Sennheiser stands behind their products. The cable is part of the total package - it's not an accessory. Likely to be a fault - happens sometimes, but its an anomaly rather than a regular occurrence. Like Arnie - mines going strong with no signs of wear. You were just unlucky.
    swspiers and Amberlamps like this.
  15. Amberlamps
    Fingers crossed they do. I filled out their website support thingy and I have to print off something and ship the cable back to them. Probably a 2 week wait all in.

    Buying a replacement cable doesn’t bother me, now that I come think about it, maybe it is time that I tried an after market cable for them, any ideas ?
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