Sennheiser HD820
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QueueCumber

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On the subject of speakers while someone might prefer the B&W to Revel and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you look at trained listeners (Stereophile writers) preferences they tend to prefer speakers with flat FR. In fact John Atkinson did a little psuedo-scientific study on the likelihood to be one of Stereophile's recommended speakers and how that compared with the FR. Speakers with flat FR were significantly more likely to be selected as a recommended component. There is a significant amount of literature on this topic.
I’m not sure why you’re using my post to make your point. I basically agreed that a linear response is desirable, but not to buy based on the measurements alone.

Both speakers I mentioned have a relatively linear responses. But to me, one had a soundstage that was flat/2D (Salon2), while the other had excellent soundstage dimensionality (803 D3), perhaps due to its incredible off-axis response. Likewise, the 803 D3 has exceptionally clarity and detail over the Salon2 as well, due to the different drivers, IME.

It reminds me of the difference between McLaren and Ferrari. Sure, the McLarens are designed stringently with every cutting edge scientific tool in the toolbox, but they’re boring as hell to drive. Sometimes the scientist needs to actually drive the thing to see if it’s fun aside from just measuring well.
 
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post-14454997
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I would simply suggest listening to this headphone. There's a reason I bought up this video before...


...and that's because I believe this video was made before any measurements of the HD820 were posted -- this is important given the influence of measurements on impressions/opinions. I've watched this video a couple of times, and they're mostly comparing it to two of the most well-regarded open-back flagship headphones (HD800 and HD800S), and still this close-back holds up well to them (and to me).

The HD820's was a carefully crafted signature, and it's more unusual to look at than it is to hear. If you watch Lachlan and Eric's video (above) they both recognize the bass (which some people upon looking at the graph alone would think must be boomy) but don't complain of boominess or muddiness (quite the contrary actually). They don't complain of an egregious, unholy suckout either.

Paul Barton's RoomFeel is not the same as the Harman AE target -- even if you're a fan of either (or both) of those targets, headphones based on either won't appeal to everyone. The HD820 represents another target, and was most certainly not arbitrary. The team behind it is one of the most experienced group of headphone engineers I know of.

Stop staring at the measurements -- whether mine or anyone else's -- and trying to come to firm conclusions based on what you see. We have one of the most sophisticated headphone measurement systems I know of here at Head-Fi HQ, and I stand by our measurements of this headphone as accurate. But this is a headphone that must be heard. There are reasons for what you're seeing in our measurements, and the results are compelling. The HD820 is, without a doubt, a remarkably open sounding referenced closed-back headphone. (Of course, this is my opinion, and there won't be unanimity on this or any other headphone.)

I remember discussing the Harman AE target with community and industry friends when it was first shown, and many expected it was going to be too heavy sounding for audiophiles. While some of course will feel this way -- because preferences vary -- many (myself included) do not think the Harman AE target (or the even heavier Harman IE target) as overly bassy. There's still work to be done on targets, and it's being done. There will never be only one.
 
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post-14455017
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One thing I also want to mention is that the HD8XX series has very large earcups, in terms of footprint on your head. Because the HD800 and HD800S are open-back, they're going be less affected by small changes in seal than the closed-back HD820. Given the size of the earcups, they may be more likely to physically cover more of the "terrain" -- the nooks, crannies, irregularities, napes, jaw lines, the curvature toward the back of your head, etc. -- than headphones with smaller physical footprints. Play with HD820 positioning (within reason obviously) to find something comfortable and that seals well. Little shifts in position can make a difference, so don't assume that how you position your HD800 and HD800S on your head is exactly how you should position the HD820 on your head.
 
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I would simply suggest listening to this headphone.

Stop staring at the measurements -- whether mine or anyone else's -- and trying to come to firm conclusions based on what you see.
THANK YOU!
 
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ervin192

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I would welcome the big earcups (esp. their broad inner space) of the HD8xx as well, I've been find the z1r pads too small for me they seem to be squeezing my helix and they also seem to absorb a little too much treble, for me.
The measurements are not that fancy. It's too common seeing one indicating an eminent peak, high distortion and those all disappear in another test. The official curves from Sennheiser only show a less-than-5db drop so maybe it's not that bad.
 
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Rchandra

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Do you think that Jude has to like this headphone because sennheiser is a sponsor?
 
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Maelob

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Dont think so, I think he is pointing the obvious, people like to come to conclusions before listening. I agree with him 100% about target curves and the science of measurements. It is a work in process and nobody had figured out how a perfect headphone should sound. I think it is more complicated than looking at a chart. just my two cents
 
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Do you think that Jude has to like this headphone because sennheiser is a sponsor?
Whether a product is made by a sponsor or not has no bearing on whether or not I like it or what I post about it.
 
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Rchandra

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Whether a product is made by a sponsor or not has no bearing on whether or not I like it or what I post about it.
I wouldn't blame you if it did now don't get me wrong you are such a huge part of this site and community. But realistically if I'm in your shoes theirs no way that I wouldn't want to not make a sponsor happy. So I could see them releasing something new and wanting people to like it and purchase one. None the less now that I have your attention could you please tell me what you meant by more resolution on the hd800S and more tonal balance on the hd820? lol
 
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post-14455604
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I wouldn't blame you if it did...
If it did, you should blame me. Again, though, it doesn't. If you don't believe me there are many others you can count on here -- a lot of opinions by a lot of people are expressed every day on these forums.

...But realistically if I'm in your shoes theirs no way that I wouldn't want to not make a sponsor happy...
Then I'm glad I'm the one wearing my shoes. There are a lot of sponsors here. Of course, it's nice if they're happy, but I (and any of the other Head-Fi staffers) won't be dishonest about what we like and don't like to make them happy. Fortunately, in the 17+ years since Head-Fi was founded, this hasn't been an issue. I don't think Head-Fi would be here for over 17 years if there was a history of compromised integrity, dishonesty, corruption, lying, etc. from the people who are the stewards of the site and its operations.

...So I could see them releasing something new and wanting people to like it and purchase one...
I think it's safe to say that any company releasing a headphone (or any other product for that matter) wants people to like and purchase it.

...None the less now that I have your attention could you please tell me what you meant by more resolution on the hd800S and more tonal balance on the hd820? lol
To my ears, the HD800S resolves more overall detail than the HD820. (I think this will be a near universal conclusion over time.) However, I prefer the richer tonal balance of the HD820. (Tonal balance preferences are very subjective, of course, so this one won't be as across-the-board.)
 
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Rchandra

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If it did, you should blame me. Again, though, it doesn't. If you don't believe me there are many others you can count on here -- a lot of opinions by a lot of people are expressed every day on these forums.



Then I'm glad I'm the one wearing my shoes. There are a lot of sponsors here. Of course, it's nice if they're happy, but I (and any of the other Head-Fi staffers) won't be dishonest about what we like and don't like to make them happy. Fortunately, in the 17+ years since Head-Fi was founded, this hasn't been an issue. I don't think Head-Fi would be here for over 17 years if there was a history of compromised integrity, dishonesty, corruption, lying, etc. from the people who are the stewards of the site and its operations.



I think it's safe to say that any company releasing a headphone (or any other product for that matter) wants people to like and purchase it.



To my ears, the HD800S resolves more overall detail than the HD820. (I think this will be a near universal conclusion over time.) However, I prefer the richer tonal balance of the HD820. (Tonal balance preferences are very subjective, of course, so this one won't be as across-the-board.)

I love you man. Didn't mean to offend you in any way. I do wonder if you were to use the hd800S pads on the hd820 how that frequency response would be very interesting to see
 
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GREQ

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Preferences might be different, hearing might be different, but typically people aren't listening in worlds apart. .
Actually, there was one recent video I saw about a study I rather inconveniently cannot find the link to, that strongly suggests otherwise.
Someone actually made frequency response measurements of peoples ears and ear canals and found variances of up to 10dB in some frequencies, and the biggest difference were often in bass perception.
I have no idea of the legitimacy of the study, but it's was quite compelling.
 
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ubs28

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You can look up my old posts, I said the bass is crap when there where no measurements available. Didn’t sound like a $2400 headphone to me. There was definetly something weird happening in the mid bass that didn’t sound right to me.

I am now waiting what Focal will do.
 
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EDN80

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So... for similar-looking graphs some can bash the Z1R and praise the HD820? Good thing Tyll retired. He probably would've called the HD820 "the best damn headphones in the world!" like he has for the last Sennheiser flagships.
 
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Rchandra

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So... for similar-looking graphs some can bash the Z1R and praise the HD820? Good thing Tyll retired. He probably would've called the HD820 "the best damn headphones in the world!" like he has for the last Sennheiser flagships.
Just like the Sony Z1R their will be people who hate the HD820. The one thing they both have in common is love it or hate it.
 
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