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Sennheiser HD820

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Dulalala, Apr 29, 2017.
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  1. QueueCumber
    Sadly, no headphone sounds “right” to me. It’s always a compromise of one kind or another (or multiple compromises). Likewise with speakers as well.

    It would still be more helpful to have people give reference points for where they hear issues with headphones (on this thread or any headphone thread) so that myself and others can listen to the same material and see if we notice the same issues. It’s possible we hear the same issues but are describing them differently, but we’ll never know without reference points.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
    SigFrued, Beagle and Bern2 like this.
  2. QueueCumber
    The 820 definitely doesn’t have sufficient sound isolation for airplane use for me. Switching to CIEMs...

    This Accesory House Global headphone case fits the 820 well if you’re not able to get a hold of a Sennheiser 800 case.


    I can’t speak to the long term durability. The zippers seem potentially cheap/flimsy.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
    trellus likes this.
  3. up late
    the hd820 is the common point of reference for the subjective listening impressions and comparisons in this thread. i wouldn't presume to speak for anyone else here, but i don't feel the need to refer to the specific musical material that someone else is listening to in order to confirm how a headphone sounds to me. as @ZenErik said, "Don't forget that we all have different hearing, different sized and shaped head, etc. The HD820 may sound nasally to some and not to others" due to those variables. if for example, the "alleged" nasal colouration is subtle as those two reviewers in the video suggested, then comparing listening impressions of the same musical track or a specific part of it, may be no more conclusive than comparing listening impressions of different musical tracks, which is common in the forum threads anyway. there is also the issue of whether we all understand and agree upon what descriptors such as "nasally", "honky" and "boxy" mean. and then there are the variables associated with the different ancillary equipment that folks are pairing the hd820 with, which may also affect the sound.
  4. Mark Up
    I think part of it is conditioning. The HD800 is probably the most open sounding headphone out there. That means in part, there is not a trace of boxy or resonant there. Even open cans like their HD650, which are likely less open in construction, could appear "boxy" for a number of reasons after listening to the HD800. They have more pronounced mids, less extreme highs. To have that alone can cause some perceived boxiness. The simple fact that more air gets out of the HD800 vs. anything is another factor. You're literally "spoiled" by it. Someone who has not ever heard the HD800, and perhaps only heard other closed cans, regardless of price, MDR-Z7, Z1R, Fostex, Audio Technica, Closed Audeze, you name it - let them try the HD820, and I'd bet you'd never hear them say boxing or nasally. I recall only the Sony Z1R, the Eikon and maybe one other sounding as low in boxy sound as the HD820. Take that into consideration here.
    Hifiearspeakers and QueueCumber like this.
  5. up late
    honkyness is a distinctive sound trait that i hear in audio-technica closed cans but not in the th900. the th900 has the most open presentation that i've heard in a closed can to date, and more so than the z1r to my ears. if i detect a hint of honkyness or boxyness in the hd820, then it would come as no surprise and i certainly wouldn't condemn it for that because it is a closed can after all.
  6. Mark Up
    I agree, though they certainly are polarizing. I find the mids far too recessed on them. Many cans bring the midrange way down to control resonance, since most of what we hear that we might call honky or resonant is in the midrange. A lot of extra treble and bass further reduces perception of boxiness. Just my experience. It's a great headphone but just not for my ears.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  7. up late
    i can't think of a headphone that isn't polarising tbh but yes, the th900's mids are recessed and like every headphone, they're not for everyone. mid-range honkyness is what i notice in a-t closed cans so it stands to reason that if the mid-range is recessed, as it is with the th900, then the problem would be mitigated. anyway, the hd820 is the topic of this thread and i'm looking forward to auditioning it in the near future.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  8. macbob713
    I’m not hearing any of that either. I’ve listened to my favorite Elvis 60’s and 70’s Records and he sounds better than ever.
    One of my other faves is Frank Sinatra from his 1950’s Capitol Records era. Frank sounds rich, detailed and full bodied. Mid range reproduction is superb, as is the bass and treble. Superbly balanced cans, in my opinion. Also, at least on my head, I have very good fit. No issues, extremely comfortable.
    Hifiearspeakers and QueueCumber like this.
  9. pietcux
    Please explain honkyness to a non native speaker, my dictionary doesn't know.
  10. Art Garfunkel
    It cannot be comforting or reassuring that a proper fit would depend on the size and shape of ones head. This could seemingly be rectified by having a soft enough cushion material for the pads that could "surround" even at a relatively light clamping pressure?
    QueueCumber likes this.
  11. QueueCumber
    Makes sense. I suppose they chose the material they used based on acoustic properties. I don’t see why they couldnt offer a pad with larger depth to provide a tighter fit for some folks.

    Except for right now on the plane, I basically listen to these in bed, and once I lay down and get the position right, they don’t move much until I take them off to sleep. I spend more time listening to the SR-009S and Susvara when sitting upright than the 820.
  12. up late
  13. Audiotic
    You need a powerful amp. I use the Schiit Mjolnir 2 (tube hybrid) and am happy.
  14. SHAMuuu
    Honkyness to me has always been a case of crappy reverb from improper dampening vs beautiful musical reverb that adds color and life to the music. Bass is more textured and lively vs bloated and farty and muffled mess. It's hard to mimic the airy feeling of open with closed can as the cool air is not flowing in keeping things nice and pressure free relatively speaking. Open sounding and open feeling are two different things in my book.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    Whitigir likes this.
  15. pietcux
    Thanks, got it.
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