Sennheiser HD800S Unveiled!
Feb 2, 2016 at 9:08 AM Post #3,061 of 6,478

Sorrodje

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This leads me to believe that the 800S helmholtz is not optimal...

Just seems like Sennheiser marketing hype to me..

If it were really a "resonator", it should be cancelling resonances, instead of just absorbing that whole treble range...

Shouldn't we hear GREATER CLARITY AND FOCUS(?), without so much dip in perceived trebles??


To me, this object in center is acting more like a absorber than a "resonator"...

That also leads me to believe that an absorber can be just as, or more effective than a "resonator", because in the 800S really they are doing the same thing.

That being to subdue that treble peak,
wich is an area of resonance believed to creat false diffused soundstaging. .

1- So my question now is:
Does anyone hear "increase pinpoint accuracy, or focus" with the new 800S?
Or just subdued trebles?

2- My second question is:
Is the midrange any more clearer in the 800S??

If not, I do not believe in this "resonator" marketing hype.

This also aludes to the fact that alternative new mods being done on original HD800 will have similar success..

 
A Helmoltz Resonator can act as Absorber :
 

 
Feb 2, 2016 at 9:18 AM Post #3,062 of 6,478

MacedonianHero

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  So I don't have any major bone to pick with what you are saying here, and if your are trying to draw some kind of distinction between what I said and your points here it could be due to my obvious shortcomings as a writer. It may also be that you are merely further clarifying what I said. Just to support what you are saying a little more, when I said to my audio engineer friend that the HD800 that he bought is treble tilted he responded "Duh, that is why I can see so far into the mix".
 
 
Just to be a bit clearer, putting aside better or worse, clearer, sharper etc, my point is that the classic and S do not do imaging virtually the same which is what @MacedonianHero has claimed above and several other times on various threads:
 
Notice the boldface in the quote above. The two headphones most certainly image differently, probably due exclusively to the 6khz treble peak and Sennheiser recognizes that difference as a tool for pros. Reasonable people can disagree on which side of the divide is more natural. I think my views are pretty clear if you read the HD800 S review I posted that I find the S has an over all slightly more natural presentation. So rather than saying one images better than the other (my bad) I should say that the instrument separation and spacial layout of the instruments is more distinct on the classic than the S. Some people, as our friend that MH teed off on above, like the classic way of handling it better, which I also predicted would be the case for some people in the review. For some it is a really beguiling quality of the classic, whether or not is more accurate to the original. 
 
So @MacedonianHero I am really puzzled by why you agree with @JaZZ, since he seems to be arguing that the classic's more analytical rendering (compared to his modded eq'd HD800) is more fake. Not that it doesn't exist. And although he hasn't heard the S, the logic he puts forth in his post almost for sure would apply to the classic vs. S too.
 
Not to completely beat a dead horse but your comments about HEK merely look to me like your attempt to double down on what I already observed, imaging isn't something you are very sensitive too. 
 
Read either Tyll's or John Grandberg's reviews of the HEK and you will see that they also hear a wee bit of softness in the imaging.
 
Here are some quotes from Tyll  (you can see them in situ here)
"The exception would be loud complex music like metal mass orchestral crescendos where the HE1000 seems to become a bit too confused in the mids and treble.
The best word I've found to describe the overall sonic impression of the HE1000 is "soft." "
 
or a bit further down
 
"Despite the soft and slightly blurry transient response, the HE1000 does image quite well; probably the best of the Big Sound headphones but for the HD 800."
 
The funny thing is that I like the HD800 better than the HEK, unlike Tyll. But, When I read his review, I am positive we are both hearing the same thing. One reason I take what he says so seriously. But when you try to say the S and classic image the same (actually i think your position keeps morphing), I think we are not hearing the same thing.
 
 
If it makes you feel better, I don't think I am as sensitive to differences between DACs as some people, and sometimes they report differences that I don't hear. Sometimes it because it is BS, but sometimes it comes from someone I really trust and I assume it because I haven't trained myself to hear it or I am biologically limited or that it isn't something that matters much to me. But I don't look at him or her and start saying how can you possibly say that.
 
 

 
Again. let's study the differences:
 
1.) The HD800S headphones are black.
2.) They now include a balanced cable.
3.) Sennheiser added a helmholtz resonator to help reduce the known "defect" in the HD800. 
 
That's it. No other magical changes here...but a tweak to correct the original. JaZZ said it all with regards to what you are hearing on the original HD800's is NOT what is on the recording due to the #3 issue above. So again, please explain why this would have the huge effect you mentioned? The design engineers at Sennheiser have admitted to looking at several mods and settled on this one as it fixed the originals without being detrimental to the sound. And I have to agree with them based on MY several A-B comparisons on some pretty solid gear (not just my own setup). Please don't confuse the sharper sound of the HD800's as better separation...that is a trick of the HD800's; it's not there on the recording, never was and the goal of HiFi is to hear what is there.
 
And with the regards to the HE1000s, yes they are softer than the HD800's which we've already established is "too sharp" based on the peak...and overly tuned that way. And if you read our triple review on Headphone.Guru, you'll see that Frank I, immitbiker and myself would all agree with this notion (since you're throwing out names, I think I will too 
wink.gif
). Funny you should bring up Tyll, when I worked with him on his Headphone Measurement Testing Verification a few years back on Innderfidelity.com, he did mention to me, had it not been for the problematic treble on the HD800's they'd be just about perfect....well, here we are now with the HD800S...and to my ears, the problematic treble has been rectified for the most part.
 
 
 The HD800S is not only "more natural" sounding, but as a result, simply more "neutral" and hasn't given back a thing in terms of imaging, quickness, detail retrieval, etc... But as I stated, both still sound more "alike" than not, just the newer version has fixed the biggest issue I had with the original's colouration. For some, this might not be enough, but for me, it was huge as I now find myself reaching for the HD800S a heck of a lot more than I did for their predecessors (which again I owned for well over 5 years).
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 9:21 AM Post #3,063 of 6,478

daltonljj

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  I am not saying that you experienced a "placebo effect" or expectation bias, but comparing headphones side by side doesn't indicate whether or not you are affected by any kind of bias. 

Really don't know what kind of bias you could be referring to really. but if you put it that way i guess when you hear 2 different headphones sounding different it just possible bias and we can only trust measurements. If i was the only one who heard the difference, i would gladly accept it and discredit the difference as bias. However i'm not the only one who hears this difference.
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 9:27 AM Post #3,064 of 6,478

dharma

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One headfier, was thinking, that maybe HD800S driver position is changed somehow...are there anyone who can reliable measure some 'strategic' distances? 1 mm difference is enough to change sound perceived...
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 10:08 AM Post #3,067 of 6,478

shabta

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Again. let's study the differences:
 
1.) The HD800S headphones are black.
2.) They now include a balanced cable.
3.) Sennheiser added a helmholtz resonator to help reduce the known "defect" in the HD800. 
 
That's it. No other magical changes here...but a tweak to correct the original. JaZZ said it all with regards to what you are hearing on the original HD800's is NOT what is on the recording due to the #3 issue above. So again, please explain why this would have the huge effect you mentioned? The design engineers at Sennheiser have admitted to looking at several mods and settled on this one as it fixed the originals without being detrimental to the sound. And I have to agree with them based on MY several A-B comparisons on some pretty solid gear (not just my own setup). Please don't confuse the sharper sound of the HD800's as better separation...that is a trick of the HD800's; it's not there on the recording, never was and the goal of HiFi is to hear what is there.
 
And with the regards to the HE1000s, yes they are softer than the HD800's which we've already established is "too sharp" based on the peak...and overly tuned that way. And if you read our triple review on Headphone.Guru, you'll see that Frank I, immitbiker and myself would all agree with this notion (since you're throwing out names, I think I will too 
wink.gif
). Funny you should bring up Tyll, when I worked with him on his Headphone Measurement Testing Verification a few years back on Innderfidelity.com, he did mention to me, had it not been for the problematic treble on the HD800's they'd be just about perfect....well, here we are now with the HD800S...and to my ears, the problematic treble has been rectified for the most part.
 
 
 The HD800S is not only "more natural" sounding, but as a result, simply more "neutral" and hasn't given back a thing in terms of imaging, quickness, detail retrieval, etc... But as I stated, both still sound more "alike" than not, just the newer version has fixed the biggest issue I had with the original's colouration. For some, this might not be enough, but for me, it was huge as I now find myself reaching for the HD800S a heck of a lot more than I did for their predecessors (which again I owned for well over 5 years).

First, I want to make it clear that I think our disagreement is so small and anal it probably isn't worth all the effort either of us are putting into it. Yet, because you asked I will try to make my point as simply as possible. 
 
Your point, as stated several times, is that there is no difference in imaging between the HD800 and S. Yet now in the quote above you have clearly changed your view to there is a difference in imaging which is the HD800 (read the parts I put in bold). @JaZZ was also making the point that the HD800 appear to image better, but that is due to the treble peak. I do think he was saying that he doesn't hear that extra sharpened imaging on his modded eq'd HD800 and I also don't hear it on the modded eq'd HD800's that I have heard nor on the S. So if that is your position then we have no disagreement anymore, since you seem to have abandoned your previous statement. But you can't both say their is no difference in imaging between S and classic and that there is. Well I guess you can say whatever you want, but those two positions seem in my limited intellectual capacity to be mutually exclusive.
 
Read my review carefully ( i know it boring to read other people's thoughts carefully, I have that problem too sometimes, but I really tried to read what you have said here very carefully) and you will see I keep saying the more natural representation of the recording can be found in the HD800. 
 
Anyway, maybe we can drop it since we both agree the S is better than the classic for 98% of the same reasons. I just think there is a small difference in how S and classic image and you don't, except when you do. Or something. My head is literally beginning to spin. Or maybe that has been my problem all along, I am just really dizzy and can't think or hear straight. You decide.  
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 10:57 AM Post #3,072 of 6,478

JaZZ

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Note that a helmholtz resonator works as a resonance killer!

This leads me to believe that the 800S helmholtz is not optimal...

Just seems like Sennheiser marketing hype to me.

If it were really a "resonator", it should be cancelling resonances, instead of just absorbing that whole treble range...

Shouldn't we hear GREATER CLARITY AND FOCUS(?), without so much dip in perceived trebles??

To me, this object in center is acting more like a absorber than a "resonator"...

That also leads me to believe that an absorber can be just as, or more effective than a "resonator", because in the 800S really they are doing the same thing.

That being to subdue that treble peak, wich is an area of resonance believed to create false diffused soundstaging.

 
I haven't seen it in person, but from the pics it looks like a piece of dense foam with a hole/canal in the center. So it's in fact a simple, nevertheless effective component. In contrast to absorber materials it just affects a relatively narrow frequency band around a specific center frequency, and that has been the goal from the Sennheiser developers: to reduce the acoustic energy just around 6 kHz. A helmholtz resonator works on the basis of a created resonance at a certain frequency, added to the original sound waves with reversed phase, which results in a subtraction. My damping mod and the related Anaxilus mod on the other hand reduce the whole treble energy without much extra effect on the 6 kHz area. Still a beneficial effect as a whole, since the eliminated sound waves exclusively consisted of reflected sound – so accuracy in the time domain is increased. That's why I certainly wouldn't renounce the damping mod in a HD 800 S either.
 
  There seem to be a lot of words here and I can't really understand what for. 
bigsmile_face.gif

 
Isn't he simply saying that there is a perceived difference in imaging, due to enhanced treble response, but in actuality, no difference?

 
That's what I'm thinking as well.
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 11:14 AM Post #3,073 of 6,478

shabta

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  There seem to be a lot of words here and I can't really understand what for. 
bigsmile_face.gif

 
Isn't he simply saying that there is a perceived difference in imaging, due to enhanced treble response, but in actuality, no difference?

Well, you may be right. But that seems kind of silly. Most of head-fi is devoted to discussing perceived diffs. What's the point of someone recommending certain headphone that sounds like it images worse than some other headphone but those differences lie only in perception?
But let's rewind:
First there was the guy that said after listening to classic and S he preferred the imaging of the classic and so that is what he bought. Then MH said he didn't understand why some people hear a difference because he did not. 
 
Here is another place
For example:
 
The imaging is virtually unchanged to my ears; confirmed by yet more direct A-B comparisons this past weekend with a friend's HD800 headphones. But those are my experiences with my gears and ears as they say. 

From this post:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/650510/the-new-hd800-impressions-thread/21825#post_12288045
 
 
 
but I am 
deadhorse.gif
 
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 11:22 AM Post #3,074 of 6,478

jonstatt

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Found a way to upload my graph.  Double spikes: 6 and 10 kHz. Anybody's "S" look like this (I doubt it)? Anyone's classic 800 look like this? Positive note: the bass looks (and sounds) pretty good.

 
See this is what I find so odd. I posted my HD800 28xxx headphones a few posts up and I actually have a slight dip as pointed out by another poster at 6kHz and you have a peak. So what on Earth to make of that? :)  Either the measurements are severely flawed and don't represent actual listening, or there is such a range of variations between individual units, in which case if one took the HD800S mod and applied it to my HD800 drivers, that it might actually lack enough treble energy and be too "warm".
 
Feb 2, 2016 at 11:32 AM Post #3,075 of 6,478

dharma

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See this is what I find so odd. I posted my HD800 28xxx headphones a few posts up and I actually have a slight dip as pointed out by another poster at 6kHz and you have a peak. So what on Earth to make of that? :)  Either the measurements are severely flawed and don't represent actual listening, or there is such a range of variations between individual units, in which case if one took the HD800S mod and applied it to my HD800 drivers, that it might actually lack enough treble energy and be too "warm".

 
Now it's going strange/interesting, there was never so big differences between 'oldest' HD800 units
 

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