Sennheiser HD800S Unveiled!

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jude, Oct 23, 2015.
  1. TSAVJason
    Ok no problem. First I suppose 1 question is what price has Sennheiser put on it? $2300 if I remember correctly. It utilizes the 4.4m balanced outputs along 4 pin xlr and single ended outputs. It is similar to the 800 in terms of tonal attributes but does have a bit more speed allowing it to punch and recover very nicely. It again is similar to the 800 in that it is a very operated unit. I typically try to avoid further opinion but I will add it is clearly a step up and recommend you get an audition on it. So far I've tried the ZMF Eikon, Utopia, 800S, LCD4 and HEK oh I don't want to forget I did spend about 20 minutes on the Z1R too. It has the ability to drive most headphones fairly well. I've only had a few hours with it but it's a pretty good amp. The amp was virgin right out of the box no burn in. So I broke its $&@**¥. It's too soon to really give you more but I'm happy with it so far and believe there will definitely be a demand for these in people's homes.
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    BunnyNamedCraig likes this.
  2. Jimmy24
    Much appreciated Jason. How do they sound with the 800S? I don't know if I will be able to audition them. I just want a good amp that will rock the 800S to its full potential
  3. TSAVJason
    Sorry same post twice
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
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  4. TSAVJason
    As much as I'd like to give you an instant answer it's difficult to do. It's a major improvement over the 800 specifically when using the 800S.

    I might be better able to give you good useful data if you tell me what assets and/or deficits you feel your 800S's have when you listen to them.
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  5. elNan
    A lot of good comments about the HD800S and Cavalli Liquid Carbon combo. I'm deciding between the Cayin iHA6 and the new Massdrop LCX for pairing with my HD800s. Has anyone had the chance of listening to these 2 units with the HD800s (in the case of the Cavalli, with the original Liquid Carbon 2.0)? What are your general impressions of both combinations?

  6. ahmadfaizadnan
    I had mine paired with HD800 SDR mod (not S though) and the V1 LC. It's impressing especially the clarity and bass. The soundstage is a tad bigger; IMO they pair dynamically well. But not the best I guess; because all these times, I used my HD6XX (modded) more than HD800 with LC because I thought HD650/6XX and LC is a better combo.
  7. Ekul61
    I'm sure it's been discussed, but couldn't find it. Do we prefer a balanced amp?
  8. swspiers
    I myself don't have a need for balanced. I just happen to have one, the Liquid Carbon, and it just happens to sound best balanced. I get equal result with both my Benchmark and Burson rigs, both SE.

    Just my personal observation...
  9. Ekul61
    Thx you have any recommendations for a $1000 amp.
  10. CoLdAsSauLt
    A good single ended amp can well outperform a balanced one. However, if an amp offers both SE and balanced, it will almost always be better or even a whole different animal in balanced mode.


    If you own (or plan to buy) a balanced amp, you better go balanced to let it perform at its best level, to harvest everything it has on offer/on tap.
    There may well be single ended amps that perform better though, so only choosing between balanced amps is NOT the way to go. Balanced is not inherently better than SE between completely different amps, designs and topologies. Within the same amp though, there is a good chance it will be. (And even then, look up the specs. My Auralic Taurus MkII e.g. is a bit of an odd duck there: in SE mode, power is voltage swing limited and peaks at 32 Ohm, so better suited for low impedance phones. In balanced mode, it's limited by max. current delivery and power peaks at 120 Ohm, so excellent for high-Z cans).
  11. DavidA
    short answer: NO For the long answer the others have pretty much said all that needs to be said. There are amps that have both SE and balanced output that I've heard that there was no difference between them, granted these amps were higher priced, ($2000+)
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  12. Whazzzup
    well topography aside the balanced end to end amps are dual mono (block) with dual PS so the double voltage can generate options down the road for HP that need that.
  13. swspiers
    Man, there are like hundreds of answers to that! But Schiit tends to be the gateway over the past few years. They even have some with tubes!
  14. Luke Thomas
    The shiit guy said.. my asgard 2 is excellent.
    I guess I will keep researching a upgrade to my asgard 2
  15. iAudio365
    I personally found not one single difference when pairing HD800S with balanced over single ended so I just stick with quarter inch now, I ended buying a mha100 which allows bass boost, and with a 2.5db increase in bass hd800S sound lush mixed with the mcintosh house sound.

    I had a liquid carbon for a day before having to send it back and ultimately refunding it due to volume pot issues, it’s an ok sounding amp but not a true balanced amp it does give off a darker tone though which sounded a bit muddy to me due to the hd800s being such a revealing headphone with big sound stage kind of ruined it for me a bit after hearing them with other more neutral amps.

    I’d personally pick a jotunheim which I also owned over a lc any day of the week to pair with hd800s if your budget is around that of a lc and you really need a balanced output.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017

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