Sennheiser HD800S Unveiled!

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jude, Oct 23, 2015.
  1. Edric Li
    It really depends on implementation. On my SPL amp, single-ended sounds better than balanced without a doubt.
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  2. LarryMagoo
    My HP amp (Oppo HA-1) has got twice the power with that's the way I go with my own Silver Sonic 20 footer....With the Yggy DAC and Roon....I am in heaven!
  3. iAudio365
    That’s correct you will get more power from balanced, I’m more talking about the sound difference. But then again if you want twice the power just buy a more powerful single ended amp as balanced uses more internal components therefore “can” introduce more noise vs single ended output but won’t always.

    But ignoring any gain differences and any other variables in how specific amplifiers handle balanced vs se, unless the distance in which your sitting from your amplifier is extremely long, then no, their is no big enough difference to warrant balanced over se. Even my old fostex tp 50mk3 which are notoriously hard to push would run just fine from my old 200$ schiit stack. So I never really saw the audible value in balanced vs se personally.
  4. Magick Man
    Are balanced amps better?

    Short answer: Just being balanced doesn't automatically make an amp better.
    Long answer: Within the low-mid tiers, where a lot of enthusiasts shop for desktop amps, balanced amps are generally better built. Also they offer more voltage at lower gain, and provide more power with a typically lower noise floor. Although a lot of mid-tier amps can sound nice, a great many of them are comparatively noisy over ~2/3rds volume or with very sensitive `phones.

    One new product that's a prime example of this is the FiiO Q1 Mk2, their new portable balanced DAC/amp unit. Using my HD800S with it is a little noisy and decidedly less impactful in unbalanced mode, overall I'd call it poor, but switching to the 2.5mm balanced port erases all those sins and provides a decent, albeit still somewhat lean, experience.
    Sennheiser likes this.
  5. axtran
    For my amp (Master 9) it drives more power in balanced form, else SQ seems the same on my HD800S.
  6. LarryMagoo
    Running my Oppo HA-1 in balanced still sends a dead quiet signal to my 800S's! Even cranked up there is no hiss...just black silence...don't know if it's because I run my MAC mini runs on 12 VDC or the LPS that powers it...must be lucky with my audio chain...
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  7. MacedonianHero Contributor
    That's because it was designed with a balanced get the most out of a balanced amp, you need to run them balanced. Whether they are better than SE amps, like most things, it depends on what you're comparing. :)
  8. pctazhp
    Just want to mention I run my HD800 S with Feliks Audio Euforia OTL with stunning results. See no need to try to figure out how to go balanced.
  9. Whazzzup
    I really don’t think very many need to consider how to go balanced from se just a decision to be made do I want to go se or balanced up front. Either way you will be fine....
    pctazhp likes this.
  10. Magick Man
    I use balanced because I love a particular balanced amp (my ECBA), so it's better for me to just run everything I can balanced and be done with it.
    Sennheiser likes this.
  11. claud W
    Bought my 800S tonight on Ebay. Decent price. Getting ready for this time next year delivery of DNA Stratus. Meanwhile it should sound decent on my Yiggy/Ragg combo and my Cavalli LC 2.0/Cord 2Qute puter headphone system
  12. Magick Man
    Some advice. Stay in line for the Stratus but also keep an eye on Audiogon. That's how I bought my EC BA, I got in line for a new one and found exactly the same on Audiogon 5 months later, virtually brand new (only 9-10 hrs on it), for $600 less. Then when my new one arrived I had a brand new, unopened one available for sale, that I could get top dollar for. Of course, I'm not too bright and I ended up keeping them both, because I almost always buy extras of things I really like (in case a piece of gear goes tits up).
  13. claud W
    Magick Man, I have no interest in a used Stratus. Donald makes changes to this amp as production continues. The 2017 Stratus is very close to its big brother Stellaris in sound quality. I do see your point though. I do not mind the wait for production as it gives me time to buy NOS tubes and the HD 800S which another member recommended rather than an 800 with his SD resonator mod. Now what I would really like to know is HAS ANYONE HERE tried WyWires platinum or Red headphone cable on their 800S??? Any recommendations for other custom cables??
  14. Whazzzup
    try double helix prion 4
  15. claud W
    HD 800S has arrived. Searched, but no help. How long is a good break in period for HD800/800S????????

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