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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. Whitigir
    Having the Hd800s loud doesn’t mean performances . The Hd800s is just as revealing as it is “a reference system”. I don’t find the Hd800s sibilant and messy treble, unless it is coming from the recordings or the device, which is more than often...the device it self

    SACD is good as it is DSD, and CD is just PCM. But I agreed that DSD is better where as PCM will save spaces, and also allow the usage of Parametric EQ. DSD ? Only hardware EQ can be useful
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. Phronesis
    To my ears, the HD800S is a very honest reference headphone which makes quality recordings sound fantastic, but reveals problems with recordings that have problems. Given how much recordings vary in their quality, I've yet to find any headphone that sounds good with every recording. Some recordings are so far off the mark that if they sound good with a particular headphone, that headphone is likely so colored that it won't sound good with most other recordings.
    Christer likes this.
  3. Nik74
    @Robonaut Your 800S might be simply telling you- in its typically blunt way- that it isn’t happy with the headphone out implementation of your player. Synergy is very important for the 800S and they scale up immensely. Very importantly they like both current and power of the best possible quality. Your Maranz may be a very decent source but a headphone like this needs a great headphone amp to shine.
    Beyond that consideration of course is the fact that their sound signature isn’t for everyone. There s people who absolutely love them and others who can’t spend 2 mins with them. Before you make your decision why not give yourself another chance with a good amp.
    claud W, Ichos, Quinto and 1 other person like this.
  4. Ichos
    Couldn't agree more!
  5. Luke Thomas
    When owning these headphones. An additional can with a warm presentation is welcome. . Some kind of planar could work. Or you could sacrifice a bit of clarity to gain more bass from the Focal Clears.
    Phronesis likes this.
  6. claud W
    The HD 800S does not need more bass. If you think it is bass shy, its your amp. Using it with my Stratus system, There is lots of articulate bass playing modern pop music and jazz.
    Whitigir likes this.
  7. Phronesis
    In my experience, the perception of the amount of bass is mainly a function of the interaction of the recording, the headphone, and the listener. With the HD800S and a variety of recordings, I've often found that the HD800S has about the right amount of bass, sometimes a bit too much, and sometimes a bit too little.

    I haven't found DACs and amps to make much difference with the ones I've tried. To verify it for myself yet again, I just switched between the lowly $200 DF Red and the $2700 Hugo 2 with HD800S; to my ears, if there's any difference (I'm not sure), it seems to be subtle at most.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  8. exdmd
    What may be subtle to one listener may be considered a significant step up for another, depending on how resolving your entire chain is and how critical a listener you are. Many of us also have a preference for tube amps over solid state when listening with the HD800S.
    Nik74 likes this.
  9. Ichos
    For me with HD800s every change on the rig no matter how small it is can easily be heard.
    Of course DAC's make the biggest difference.
    There is no DAC on the planet that sounds the same as another one.
    Everything has it's own sound and you don't even need a high resolving rig to tell one dac from another.
  10. Phronesis
    While those may be your experiences, they're not everyone else's experiences. This isn't stuff about which we can make such universal and absolute statements.
    Robonaut likes this.
  11. Ichos
    Of course , purely subjective but still my opinion!
  12. exdmd
    I agree (mostly) but IMO find the amplifier used to make a greater change than the DAC as long as you are using a decent multibit DAC like a Bifrost to begin with. If you are using a Bifrost I hear a greater change in sound quality moving from a Vali 2 to a Kenzie amp. The difference between a Bifrost and Yggdrasil is quite audible but not as huge as using the better amp. Of course YMMV. I prefer Qobuz over Tidal for instance.
  13. Arniesb
    Not his... pretty much anyone's with a good ears...
  14. Phronesis
    I know plenty of people who's experience is different from his. For example, you'll run across lots of them in the Sound Science section, and some of them are audio professionals and researchers (I don't agree with everything that's said by some people who frequently post there).

    As far as 'good ears', you would need some way to establish that beyond a self-opinion. Out of curiosity, I happened to do several online hearing tests just this morning, and passed all tests easily, so I have some confirmation that I don't have any significant hearing loss and can, for example, easily distinguish words in the presence of background noise. I've also tested my hearing FR and it goes from about 20 Hz to 16 kHz. Others would probably find it interesting and useful to do these kinds of hearing tests. No point worrying about how accurate your gear is at very low and very high frequencies if you can't hear them!
    Brooko likes this.
  15. ZappaMan
    But surely you’d have to concede, that every dac sounds different, it’s just whether you can perceive the difference?

    Just based on physics, noise reproduction, even two dacs of the same type would at the infinitesimal level, sound different.
    Arniesb likes this.
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