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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. lurk
    I hv this and how it looks like now :ksc75smile:


    Indents on the band from hanging my cans on the NZXT puck
  2. lurk

    Replaced the pads with 'Defean Velour pads' from Aliexpress
  3. Arniesb
    Holly s*** These earpads survived World war 2 or something lol.
  4. Rob80b
    Ditto ???

  5. Arniesb
    There was post from lurk
  6. Rob80b
    Would be informative as to what type of environment they've been exposed to????

    but then I've had my cable disintegrate due to possible caustic body oils.... : ( which happily to say Sennheiser replaced without cost. : )
  7. LarryMagoo
    Still have not hd the chance to audition them further yet...Turkey day and all...I think the build quality is pretty good....The stock pads remove easily by working your fingers around the ID and prying a little as you go....the Misodiko's s reverse the process and they snap right on!

    I hope to get some time soon to report back on sonics...
  8. LarryMagoo
    I can't believe how bad those pads and cables look....was your Skin emitting Caustic acids? My pads look new but almost flat...like zero padding is left intact....like a flat feather pillow....
  9. Malfunkt
    If sweat is left to dry on the pads it will eat them up. I've found that I've been able to keep mine new by soaking them in a shallow pan of Blue Dawn detergent and warm water. Lightly squeezed and then using towels to absorb excess water and dried (not in direct sunlight).

    One of the best things about the HD800 design is the removable headband. I've seen a pair of Focal Clears look like an oil rag after a few months of us. I guess, arguably, the HD650 design is pretty decent too, not too hard to replace the padding.
    Arniesb likes this.
  10. Whazzzup
    What, how old are those things, I’d hope it’s like 20 years
    LarryMagoo likes this.
  11. Phronesis
    I've now listened to the HD800S every day for the past two weeks, and during the past few days I've been rotating between the HD800S, Focal Clear, and LCD-3 to do back to back comparisons. Here are my subjective impressions and findings:

    - All three are excellent headphones, and not dramatically different from each other. That's what I'd expect from headphones which are designed to be hi-fi and not intentionally color the sound a lot. They all make great recordings sound great, and poor recordings sound like poor recordings, and none is a lot more forgiving of poor recordings than the others.

    - While not dramatically different from each other, the differences are definitely noticeable, with each having it's own signature.

    - The differences between them are most obvious when switching between them, and in fact each initially consistently sounds worse than the one I was just listening to, because I first notice what's missing in the sound that I liked in the one I was just listening to. But over the course of seconds to minutes, my ears/brain adjust, the perception of deficiencies fades, and perception of virtues increases. So, for me, back to back comparison highlights the differences, but can give a misleading impression of how the headphone will sound with normal extended listening (either as background, or really paying attention to the music).

    As far as the differences:

    - The HD800S has the most neutral sound of the three, closest to what I think of as a studio reference sound. It also has the biggest/widest sense of stage, the most detail and clarity, and is the least shouty. Coming from the other two, especially the LCD-3, it initially sounds light on bass, but after giving my ears/brain time to adjust and learn to hear the bass, the bass is just fine, not lacking at all.

    - The LCD-3 has the fattest and weightiest bass of the three (but it's not too much), and a silky sheen to the highs which I sometimes perceive to be slightly artificial or veiling. It has the least neutral sound of the three, but still a very pleasant sound and by no means too far from neutrality.

    - The Clear is kind of in between the HD800S and LCD-3. The detail and clarity is just below the HD800S. The bass has more energy than the HD800S, in a way that's distinctive to the Elear/Clear/Utopia, but not as fat and weighty as the LCD-3. The sense of stage is much closer to the LCD-3 than the HD800S, though the LCD-3 stage is a bit more holographic and distant than the Clear.

    Which one of the three I like most depends on the track and my mood. There's no consistent winner, each has its moments to shine. But there's no loser either, because if I love one on a given track, I'll love the other two also. Again, they're all excellent and truly hi-fi headphones.

    If I could have only one of them, I'd be happy with any of the three, and wouldn't lament not having the other two. They're not so different or complementary that I have a 'need' to have all three. But the differences are at least noticeable enough that I can rationalize having all three to myself, and more importantly, my wife! :)
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  12. Ichos
    I found the clears to be very shouty - ringing after a certain volume level a little above normal.
    Do you hear the same on yours?
  13. Arniesb
    Flat, forward mids is fatiguing on headphones. While it sound great on speakers, because it travels quite a bit more distance. I think you want slight dip in presence region to sound more like speakers. Dip in presence region create spaciousness, more easy going laidback sound, like if sound travels bigger distance instead of slapping your ears with full force.
    Hifiman Arya could be great headphones for you...
  14. Phronesis
    In comparing the HD800S with the LCD-3 and Clear, the HD800S is definitely the winner on comfort by a substantial margin. When I have the pick one to listen to, I sense that the lighter weight of the HD800S biases me towards picking it. I also like the very German functional and aesthetic design of the HD800S.
    llcook51 and ZappaMan like this.
  15. ZappaMan
    good to hear your thoughts.
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