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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. dmdm
    Yup, back to the subjective nature of headphones.
  2. LarryMagoo
    I love mine they are...my only mod is a 20 foot cable...I can listen for extended periods with no fatigue...I enjoy their sound stage and relative light weight..all ears are different though...
    Liu Junyuan, dmdm and thomaskong78 like this.
  3. dmdm
    Just having a break in between sets... 20191108_232303.jpg 20191108_232303.jpg 15732734962414593250562213618694.jpg
  4. Viszla
    May the Music be with you“)!
    dmdm likes this.
  5. Karajan
  6. Karajan
    HD800S beats handily HD800 for classical, lol. As a matter of fact, beats it in every genre.

    Maybe it's about time I sell my HD800, :wink:
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  7. Liu Junyuan
    Got these in today. The first thing that strikes is me is that I am not fatigued. It also made me realize just how transparent and punchy the Utopia can be. I've missed the giant cups of the HD800/S and the 56 mm drivers that project such a huge stage. I've also missed the aesthetic/silhouette these headphone exhibit, which is a testament to German engineering. I love how these look and feel in the hand and on the head. Looking forward to putting it through its paces.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    LarryMagoo, dmdm and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  8. Liu Junyuan
    _DSC2230.JPG Turning the amp to high impedance setting changes things...
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    Sp12er3, Quinto, dmdm and 3 others like this.
  9. x7007
    To the good or bad?
  10. Liu Junyuan
    Everything I say is not definitely valid until I actually put several weeks into these. You need to live with gear for awhile to know it. Gear that makes a flashy first impression is often fatiguing later, and gear that initially sounds boring or lackluster can blossom later, as you realize their subtle strengths. The HD650 taught me this long ago.

    But so far, to the good. The high gain/OI makes them more lively and expands the stage. The high OI setting on the ZDS is only 20 ohms, which is far less than most OTL amps, save, perhaps, that of the Valhalla 2. The low setting is 3 ohms, very low for most OTL amps. This keeps the drivers snappy and well-damped, not too muddy or slowed down. So I have some room to play around. By comparison, the Valhalla 2's low gain is 3.5 and 14 respectively. I prefer 3 and 20 on the ZDS (I like to think of the ZDS as a super, more refined Valhalla 2 or the V2 as a mini ZDS, given their tendency toward neutality). Given that the HD800S are nominally 300 ohm headphones, they may respond well to both the high and low OI settings depending on mood and track.

    Moreover, I am using a Fivre tube, which is highly resolving yet on the warm end of tonality. I wasn't sure about what to expect, given the complaints that the HD800S still is too bright, so I started warm. But the Utopia, relative to this, seems a little brighter than the HD800S. Consequently, I can roll in my Philips JAN tube, which makes the ZDS tonally neutral with respect to most tube amps. I think this tube will synergize quite well with the HD800S, where it was far too bright with the HD800 unless I was being meticulous with what recordings to feed it. So far, I'm liking the Fivre, too. I just suspect the ideal synergy is with the Philips. It's nice to have a headphone with TOTL resolution and imaging without having to worry about fatigue or what track I'm playing. For what it's worth, the Fivre plays the best with Utopia.

    The HD800S are really impressive so far.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    Sp12er3, KaiserTK, Nik74 and 3 others like this.
  11. Liu Junyuan
    What cables have people successfully paired with the HD800S? The classic pairing with original was Norne Draug iterations. I would think a high end silver cable would constitute the perfect complement. Wish I had adapters from LEMO to HD800. I am borrowing a Norne Silvergarde 3 from a friend, and it's the best cable I've heard. Also, one of the warmest, ironically.
  12. silversurfer616
    I have a balanced Forza along with the balanced stock cable but the stock cable is perfectly alright.
  13. Liu Junyuan
    Mine didn't come with an XLR 4 pin unfortunately. Sennheiser changed things up, for whatever reason. So I will need a 4 pin eventually.

    Agree stock cable is good. HD800, and I am sure of HD800S, is very capable of revealing all components of upstream gear. Draug 2 made a noticeable difference in my HD800, some for the better, some for the worse.
  14. Liu Junyuan
    I feel like I could listen to this headphone all day/night. I am experiencing no fatigue whatsoever. I probably experience more fatigue with the HD600 than I do with this. Not what I expected!
    dmdm, Hifiearspeakers and Karajan like this.
  15. Karajan
    Yeah, HD600, as good as they are, can be quite shouty at times. Otoh, HD800S are sheer butter for the ears, eargasmic.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    Sp12er3, Nik74 and Hifiearspeakers like this.
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