Sennheiser HD820
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In my case, Lonesome Tears, it was the entire vocal. But it was ONLY the first playback. I've addressed this before, but I haven't noticed it on several playbacks. I was most likely still acclimating to the headphones, it was the first song I played when I put the headphones on. Jeez, I mentioned some nasal vocals on one playback of one song and now everyone is calling the headphones nasally.

Sennheiser employee/lurkers are now probably like, "Ugh it's that god damn nasal guy again."
I had no idea about your particular post until this quote. I had no idea about this whole "nasal" controversy until after my listening session today.
 
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sleeping_citizens

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I had no idea about your particular post until this quote. I had no idea about this whole "nasal" controversy until after my listening session today.
All good! Fair enough.
 
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ZenErik

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Most things sound better after you get used to the sound signature. Doesn’t mean there isn’t an emphasis in the HD820 that causes people to hear vocals as a bit more nasal on first listen when they’re used to something else.

I found the ADX5000 way too bright and sibilant for my tastes when I first got it. Even decided to sell it. After a few days I came to like it and decided to keep them. These days I don’t really focus on the sibilance anymore, but if I switched to something else for a while and switched back I’d probably notice the treble quantity before getting used to the sound again.
 
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My advice for anyone interested - take everything you read here with a pinch of salt. Listen for yourself and then judge. I personally think it's crazy to plonk down several thousands of dollars without even listening to the thing first, but hey, that's just me.
 
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QueueCumber

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I just heard a general boxiness, and nasality in the midrange. So did the salesmen in the shop selling them. I'm just relaying my impressions in this impressions thread. I don't think they necessarily should be "contrived" if you don't agree or hear it. People hear differently. If you don't hear it then you've got nothing to worry about. I don't doubt you don't hear it, but at the same time can't see why you doubt that several of us do.
That’s the thing. Without listing tracks and areas where you hear the issue, I can’t play around with placement on my head to see if it’s a reproducable issue related to how they’re being worn on your head, an issue with certain tracks/music/vocal ranges, or just something you’re hearing because you’re used to a different house sound and/or have a peculiar ear shape. I get a wide array of sound differences with these HPs depending on head placement, including some that are more nasally than others. The cups are HUGE.
 
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That’s the thing. Without listing tracks and areas where you hear the issue, I can’t play around with placement on my head to see if it’s a reproducable issue related to how they’re being worn on your head, an issue with certain tracks/music/vocal ranges, or just something you’re hearing because you’re used to a different house sound and/or have a peculiar ear shape. I get a wide array of sound differences with these HPs depending on head placement, including some that are more nasally than others. The cups are HUGE.
You may right. Maybe all 3 of us had the headphones on incorrectly.
A side note - I heard this same boxiness/nasality/cupping effect whatever you want to call it on the VModa Crossfade 2, except it was more noticeable on the VModa. Maybe it can just be a side effect of having pronounced (non vShaped) mids in closed cans?
Anyways, I'm out.
Happy listening all!
 
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Beagle

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So...as always YMMV.

Just my short impressions....

I took a listen to the 820 today. It was through the Sennheiser 820 amp. Let's get this out of the way first - I did hear a slightly nasally/boxy midrange. It was on all tracks and the 2 workers in the store heard it too.
Now if you're going to charge this amount of money for a headphone, it's got to be damn near perfect, or with no fatal flaws. This nasal sound, to me, is a fatal flaw at this price point.
I just got one, and I hear not a hint of nasality or boxyness at all. Even pre break-in. Very smooth and timbrally accurate. Nice bass, no bloat, but all the bases covered.

But you must have them positioned correctly. For me, that was having them placed more up on the sides of the head, with the lower ear touching just inside the bottom of the pad opening.
 
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I just got one, and I hear not a hint of nasality or boxyness at all. Even pre break-in. Very smooth and timbrally accurate. Nice bass, no bloat, but all the bases covered.

But you must have them positioned correctly. For me, that was having them placed more up on the sides of the head, with the lower ear touching just inside the bottom of the pad opening.
Congrats to your purchase. Let us know what you think after some time with them, please.
 
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macbob713

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I just received my HD 820 today from Crutchfield, I’m listening to it now, with about 2 hours in. I’m using it with the Sennheiser HDV 820 amp, in balances mode via the pentagon balanced connection. First impressions are fantastic. I’ll update this in a few days.
 
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Congrats to your purchase. Let us know what you think after some time with them, please.
There is a fairly serious problem with pad seal inconsistency. Even with the "sweet spot" positioning, I find if I move my head or jaw just a bit or tilt my head, the seal and the bass changes. I've had this happen with several closed headphones (EL8 closed and AKG K872, for example) and it always ends up unacceptable. I can't use a headphone not knowing what particular sound I am going to get that day.

No wonder the opinions on the 820 sound are all over the map.
 
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That’s the thing. Without listing tracks and areas where you hear the issue, I can’t play around with placement on my head to see if it’s a reproducable issue related to how they’re being worn on your head, an issue with certain tracks/music/vocal ranges, or just something you’re hearing because you’re used to a different house sound and/or have a peculiar ear shape. I get a wide array of sound differences with these HPs depending on head placement, including some that are more nasally than others. The cups are HUGE.
you still may not hear what he described even if he did provide you with that specific information. they are his subjective impressions and "ymmv" as he said.
 
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A bit of an odd question, but have people tried to use the 820 pads on the 800/800S? Are they interchangeable? If so, what's the difference? Judging from the pictures, the headband is identical, correct?
 
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If I read correctly, it's a $2400 headphone that sounds different on different noggins and cup positioning? How would one measure or even know what the targeted sound was supposed to be?
 
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There is a fairly serious problem with pad seal inconsistency. Even with the "sweet spot" positioning, I find if I move my head or jaw just a bit or tilt my head, the seal and the bass changes. I've had this happen with several closed headphones (EL8 closed and AKG K872, for example) and it always ends up unacceptable. I can't use a headphone not knowing what particular sound I am going to get that day.

No wonder the opinions on the 820 sound are all over the map.
I’ve experienced this on a number of headphones including the EL8 but it’s consistently gone away once the pads broke in a bit and were more compliant. Can’t speak specifically to the HD820, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the reason for what you’re describing.
 
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If I read correctly, it's a $2400 headphone that sounds different on different noggins and cup positioning? How would one measure or even know what the targeted sound was supposed to be?
I move them around until I find the most balanced sound throughout the frequency ranges where everything sounds well integrated and as natural as possible. It usually ends up being around the same spot every time. They are a little loose on my head, so if I move around I have to adjust them again.
 
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