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Sennheiser HD820

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Dulalala, Apr 29, 2017.
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  1. smodtactical
    Did you compare a Focal Elear, TH900 or MDR Z1R to your modded 650? I think any of those options may give you a big step up in sound quality while maintaining a warmer signature.l
  2. saint.panda Contributor
    Focals leaking too much sound, can't use in an open office during the day. TH900 too U-shaped. Only briefly tried Z1R, was ok, nothing groundbreaking. I've tried almost all closed headphones there are (ZMF Eikon/Atticus, Mr Speakers aeon closed, R10, etc.). HD820 definitely one of the best out of the bunch. Hoping for Focal to release closed headphones.
    raypin likes this.
  3. SHAMuuu
    Can you rank 1-5 of the best closed backs you listened as you mentioned them above, and how close/ far off they are from each other. In other words, does the Mr. Speakers/zmf come close to the Sennheriser/ Sony.
  4. Giraku
    Have you tried any Ultrasone HPs? You may like Tribute 7 and Edition 5 Unlimited.
  5. Beagle
    But it can't possibly. You can get similar mid and top, but everything below that is always different..
  6. joseph69
    Sennheiser likes this.
  7. 329161
    That's not the point I was making. SENNHEISER'S aim for this headphone was to make it sound like an open headphone. That is what they advertise. So from that standpoint they should be able to be compared to open headphones. Otherwise I think Sennheiser have failed or not delivered on their claims.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  8. pietcux
    They say it is a closed headphone without the problems which closed headphones normally have from the reflected sound inside of the cups. This influences mostly the bass. Mids and treble can be damped with felt for example. Not so the bass reflection. The deeper the worse. The HD820 eliminates those reflection's with technology like Helmholz resonators. They still are closed cans, but have a clean bass, if the tech works like advertised.
    Sennheiser and QueueCumber like this.
  9. saint.panda Contributor
    Bass is very clean
    Sennheiser likes this.
  10. 329161
    Yes that's all fine. I'm just pointing out Sennheiser's own claims.
    From the Sennheiser site:
    "For audiophiles there wasn’t any doubt: When it came to circumaural headphones the very best sound required an open back design. This axiom has now been rendered obsolete by the youngest member of the Sennheiser Audiophile Range: The closed dynamic HD 820 ..."

    "The concave glass reflects the sound waves from the rear of the transducer to an absorber, which results in minimal resonance. Thus, the sound waves are effectively “gone” like they would be in open headphones."

    There are plenty of good sounding closed headphones out there, but they all sound closed.
    If the 820s don't sound like an open headphone, and I've yet to hear any revelatory comments from owners to indicate that they do, then the 820 doesn't achieve what Sennheiser claim they do.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    ahmedie likes this.
  11. QueueCumber
    The bass was pretty darn clear istening to Steve Vai’s Sisters on Passion and Warfare last night, the bass was incredibly palpable and lifelike. Not mushy at all. However, the bass is center stage on that track, while the issues I’ve had with the deepest bass notes has been when the bass is panned extremely to one side or the other. I’m hoping that this is slowly disappating with break-in, or that I’ve finally found the best position on my head. Or maybe I’m just slowly getting used to how the bass sounds when panned to the extreme. lol
    Sennheiser likes this.
  12. Mark Up
    When folks say "thin" upper mids and lower treble, do you mean "lower in quantity" as in not enough brightness in that area, or a lack of body under it (not enough true mids or low mids can make high mids seem thinner, if that's what you mean. Also, on the "bass panning issue" it's worth considering that the chambered system designed to reduce resonances and distortion in the lows could cause some of that. Having that bass info in an outside area that far from your ear could cause that. Also, since bass is sometimes panned and not always centered as is more ideal in a proper modern mix, especially on the old stereophonic stuff from the 60s that exaggerated stereo and put entire drum sets on one side and vocals on the other, etc it may be more apparent on these due to the accuracy of it and low bass distortion possibly clouding other headphones. It is like when I'd test large speakers or subs in a big room, with very, low sub notes (below 30 or 20 hz) with proper bass trapping to control low frequencies finding I'd missed the directionless boom and getting used to hearing the actual bass note, without what the surroundings are doing to exaggerate or dip it, or cause distortions we are accustom to.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  13. QueueCumber
    For me, it's in comparison to the Utopia. The Utopia is more lush in those areas. I guess the best way to put it is that the female vocalist's voice size is larger and doesn't thin out and become smaller at higher frequencies on the Utopia. It's a double edged sword really. The thinness adds to the sense that there is more space between the different instruments and voices for me (and I would guess for most people because those frequencies are generally important for localization), so while it adds more separation, making the soundstage seem larger, it detracts from the size and authority of sounds passing through that range. While the Utopia is more lush/filled-out across the board (adding more presence and immediacy for me), but there is more intersection of sounds, which to me makes the sound stage seem more compressed and undifferentiated. Heads you win, tails I lose...

    I'm very sensitive to panning, which is problematic with headphones in general. On those old recordings I have to use crossfeed on headphones or the oddness of hearing sound in only one ear really really bothers me (no joke, it actually makes me feel physically uncomfortable). It could just be my own sensitivity to sounds panned exclusively to one side without room reverberation feedback to the other headphone cup (thus why the crossfeed seems to eliminate the issue). That sensitivity, the stronger bass, and the juncture between directionless and directional bass could be combining to accentuate the issue for me more than usual. I'm guessing that may be the case because other folks haven't been complaining about it. That or most people don't listen to tracks with instruments panned to the extreme without crossfeed and/or room feedback. I will say that those panned tracks I've discussed don't bother me at all on a regular stereo setup, just on headphones, maybe because the room itself provides crossfeed while with headphones there is no physical listening room to provide feedback.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    trellus likes this.
  14. pietcux
    Yes in real life sound is very often only coming from one source. But you always listen with both ears. The tonal plus the runtime differences give you the positional cue to locate that sound exactly, even the hight it comes from. All this is impossible with closed headphones or IEMs. As an example the Beatles Stgt. Pepper album is a real treat in that regards.
  15. Audiotic
    OK, after a night “burn in” of Genelex russian tuben on my Mjolnir 2, here my opinion on these. Compared To the 1962 Philips Miniwatt NOS. Tested with hi-res version of tubular bells - upsampled to double DSD (“because I can”).
    Significantly warmer. Which is a good match with my HD 820. The Philips’ were more thin and harsh. Interesting to hear this big of a difference, didn’t expect this!
    The detail is equal.
    So, they may stay
    Sennheiser likes this.
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