Sennheiser HD800S complement
post-15796544
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 17

headphonesQC

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
26
Location
Canada
Joined
May 1, 2020
Location
Canada
Posts
22
Likes
26
Hi all! I recently acquired some Sennheiser HD800S and while they are nothing short of amazing to my ears on classical and jazz, they're not the most pleasing on bad recordings or metal/rock music... What would you consider as a nice alternative for when I want to listen to this type of music? If I want to have a similar level of sound quality, but in those genres (not expecting a headphone to make a bad recording sound good, but at least be at ease in these areas), what should I aim for? Empyrean, Vérité Closed? Something more along the lines of Fostex, Campfire Cascade, LCD-X or LCD-3? Or would I be better to just upgrade to something like Susvara or AB-1266 and sell the HD800S, to then get trapped in upstream gear upgrade mania and pretend I'm a victim 😅? It can be other suggestions as well, but those were the ones that came to my mind.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: dmdm
post-15796566
Post #2 of 17

Whazzzup

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
7,117
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Toronto, Canada
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Location
Toronto, Canada
Posts
7,117
Likes
5,751
Yes to all, what have you tried and enjoyed
 
     Share This Post       
post-15796572
Post #3 of 17

dmdm

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 26, 2012
Messages
2,183
Reaction score
2,237
Location
Canada
Joined
Aug 26, 2012
Location
Canada
Posts
2,183
Likes
2,237
Hi all! I recently acquired some Sennheiser HD800S and while they are nothing short of amazing to my ears on classical and jazz, they're not the most pleasing on bad recordings or metal/rock music... What would you consider as a nice alternative for when I want to listen to this type of music? If I want to have a similar level of sound quality, but in those genres (not expecting a headphone to make a bad recording sound good, but at least be at ease in these areas), what should I aim for? Empyrean, Vérité Closed? Something more along the lines of Fostex, Campfire Cascade, LCD-X or LCD-3? Or would I be better to just upgrade to something like Susvara or AB-1266 and sell the HD800S, to then get trapped in upstream gear upgrade mania and pretend I'm a victim 😅? It can be other suggestions as well, but those were the ones that came to my mind.
I went from the 800 to S and now to all the totl cans in my sig. it's a rabbit hole alright.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15796586
Post #4 of 17

headphonesQC

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
26
Location
Canada
Joined
May 1, 2020
Location
Canada
Posts
22
Likes
26
Yes to all, what have you tried and enjoyed
I had the Focal Elear, but detail was lacking too much for my taste, even if the sound signature was pleasing. Grados don't work particularly well neither with these genres IMO. Otherwise I don't have much experience with other headphones except at shows...
 
     Share This Post       
post-15796587
Post #5 of 17

HardstyleLoco96

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
1,367
Reaction score
861
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Posts
1,367
Likes
861
Ultrasone Edition 11. Truly an amazing headphone. Usually I'd never go for Ultrasone but I can whole heartedly say it's the best tuned Ultrasone headphone yet or easily right next to the Edition 15. It compliments my Focal Clear & Elegia beautifully. Has a larger soundstage and much better musicality :) A few people have said it compliments the HD800s wonderfully as well. Check them out :) Oh and you won't lose out to much detail. For a headphone of this kind of tuning, U shaped to balanced. It's very musical but has great clarity and detail to my ear is on the same of the Elegia ir maybe a touch better to my ear.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: headphonesQC
post-15796593
Post #6 of 17

headphonesQC

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
26
Location
Canada
Joined
May 1, 2020
Location
Canada
Posts
22
Likes
26
I went from the 800 to S and now to all the totl cans in my sig. it's a rabbit hole alright.
Hahaha! It's a rabbit hole indeed! Every time I think I'm doing good by not upgrading for a couple of months, I get trapped by a good deal, hahaha!
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: dmdm
post-15796606
Post #7 of 17

headphonesQC

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
26
Location
Canada
Joined
May 1, 2020
Location
Canada
Posts
22
Likes
26
Ultrasone Edition 11. Truly an amazing headphone. Usually I'd never go for Ultrasone but I can whole heartedly say it's the best tuned Ultrasone headphone yet or easily right next to the Edition 15. It compliments my Focal Clear & Elegia beautifully. Has a larger soundstage and much better musicality :) A few people have said it compliments the HD800s wonderfully as well. Check them out :) Oh and you won't lose out to much detail. For a headphone of this kind of tuning, U shaped to balanced. It's very musical but has great clarity and detail to my ear is on the same of the Elegia ir maybe a touch better to my ear.
Good to know! They don't appear very often in Canada, but if they do, I'll take a look!
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: HardstyleLoco96
post-15796622
Post #8 of 17

Whazzzup

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
7,117
Reaction score
5,751
Location
Toronto, Canada
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Location
Toronto, Canada
Posts
7,117
Likes
5,751
I had the Focal Elear, but detail was lacking too much for my taste, even if the sound signature was pleasing. Grados don't work particularly well neither with these genres IMO. Otherwise I don't have much experience with other headphones except at shows...
sounds like you want recessed mids to wipe out that mid range slush around guitars, rock, etc. the other effect you get is bass extension so great for electronic, drums, jazz, and the compliment is a different profile than HD800S. I use th900 or a fully modded la900 but these compliment the sens. Im sure there are others. You are correct the grado, the focals, they are close to senns
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: headphonesQC
post-15845482
Post #9 of 17

padam

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
169
Location
Central Europe
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Location
Central Europe
Posts
1,643
Likes
169
The LCD-2C comes to mind (or on a higher level, I can suggest trying out the Stax SR-007 Mk2, but it needs a dedicated amplifier)
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: headphonesQC
post-15857761
Post #10 of 17

Senndo

Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
66
Reaction score
32
Location
Los Angeles
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
Posts
66
Likes
32
Tack on an HD660S - I'm starting to wonder whether it might in fact be a more enjoyable listen than my HD800S (the soundstage is a little smaller in what I consider to be an excellent way: it's a similar sound but a bit fuller. I second the LCD2C recommendation (actually I only have experience with LCD2 (non C)) - it's an amazing headphone - but the HD660S is cheaper and spectacular. I also own the LCD4 (which to my ears destroys the LCD-3 but isn't much more enjoyable to listen to than the LCD2 - go figure), and have owned the Susvara and Abyss TC. If I was offered a Susvara or a 660S, I'd take the 660S (by which I mean I’d take the Susvara, sell it, pocket the change and buy a 660S), I love it that much. All that said, the 430HA amp I use is a big part of that, no doubt.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: headphonesQC
post-15928997
Post #11 of 17

Gasdoc

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
278
Reaction score
49
Location
Edmonton
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Location
Edmonton
Posts
278
Likes
49
Age
50
I would get the complete opposite headphone. Go closed lush and musical. Don't sell the Sennheiser it is awesome. Get a used ZMF or Sony MDR-Z1R.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15929010
Post #12 of 17

gimmeheadroom

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
3,676
Reaction score
2,040
Location
Czech Republic
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Location
Czech Republic
Posts
3,676
Likes
2,040
Website
www.head-fi.org
LCD-3 is a nice complement.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15930414
Post #13 of 17

bagwell359

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
2,609
Reaction score
1,744
Location
NNW of Boston
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Location
NNW of Boston
Posts
2,609
Likes
1,744
I would urge you towards a used LCD-4 or a T2 by Dan Clark - both have well better bass than the 800S, both have non nasty trebles, yet still convey detail and harmonics nicely.

Or for less money - get an OTL amp, and the 800S becomes a much different animal. Suave and liquid with very little if any sense of being annoyingly over defined.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15933617
Post #14 of 17

headphonesQC

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
26
Location
Canada
Joined
May 1, 2020
Location
Canada
Posts
22
Likes
26
Thanks for your suggestions! I won't sell the HD800S before having tried/owned another pair that I'm sure I like much more than these.

LCD-4, Verite Closed, MDR-Z1R would be on my to-try list! The weight of the LCD-4 scares me a bit, but if I come across a good deal that would allow me to try them without losing too much money I'll definitely give them a try!

Or for less money - get an OTL amp, and the 800S becomes a much different animal. Suave and liquid with very little if any sense of being annoyingly over defined.
Taking good note of that, but I must say that I don't have any bright treble or sibilance with my SPL Phonitor 2! Still, I may eventually add a tube amp again in the setup...
 
     Share This Post       
post-15934072
Post #15 of 17

gimmeheadroom

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
3,676
Reaction score
2,040
Location
Czech Republic
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Location
Czech Republic
Posts
3,676
Likes
2,040
Website
www.head-fi.org
Thanks for your suggestions! I won't sell the HD800S before having tried/owned another pair that I'm sure I like much more than these.

LCD-4, Verite Closed, MDR-Z1R would be on my to-try list! The weight of the LCD-4 scares me a bit, but if I come across a good deal that would allow me to try them without losing too much money I'll definitely give them a try!


Taking good note of that, but I must say that I don't have any bright treble or sibilance with my SPL Phonitor 2! Still, I may eventually add a tube amp again in the setup...
LCD-4 is 2895 USD on sale at Audeze now. Good if you buy one, not good if you want to sell one.
https://www.audeze.com/products/audeze-oktoberfest-sale
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: headphonesQC

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 2)

Top