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Sennheiser HD820

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Dulalala, Apr 29, 2017.
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  1. raypin
    Mm...I still enjoy the Oppo series, specially the Oppo PM 1 and the Audio Zenith-modified PM 1, the PMx2. Both are magnetic planers and the weight tips at 395 grams vs. the 650 grams of the XC. No plastics. It is metal and leather. Classy-looking headphones, actually.

    Under 300 grams would be a dream planer....
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
    musikverein likes this.
  2. BruceStax
    Glad people enjoyed my musings. Yes they are undoubtedly heavy and clearly this could rule them out for many. But their sound is so glorious and those big cushions so snug...... hoping they’ll keep me warm through the winter!
    I think of them as HP equivalent of Sonus Faber Amati. Just loving the music with them - so engaging ....... e.g. vocal harmonies, bass and untiring treble.
    Surprised the Senns didn’t grab me.
    musikverein likes this.
  3. Rchandra
  4. Dobrescu George

    Sennheiser should make you a golden medal :)
    raypin likes this.
  5. FastAndClean
    Sennheiser should give you a car or something
    raypin likes this.
  6. Beagle
    Z1R was partially geared toward the pro market and studio work (Mark Wilder was involved). I could not see the Sennheiser standing up to a lot of pro use. I handle all of my phones with the utmost care but still have had plastic parts snap on me (Focal, PSB, others).
  7. up late
    mark wilder was involved in the tuning of the z1r but it is a premium headphone and sony appears to be marketing it to audiophiles. i doubt that the z1r is robust enough to withstand the rough and tumble of a recording studio tbh.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2018
  8. raypin
    Mm..let’s get married and travel the world. Should the German marry the Korean, the British, the Japanese or the American? :deadhorse:

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
  9. hop ham Contributor
    I'd say go for the American since I prefer tubes with the 820 :)
    raypin likes this.
  10. Mshenay Contributor
    Hmm wonderful graphs! I'm really impressed with overall distortion plots

    And if I had to speculate, I imagine the dry mid centric sound may have to do with the very low distortion in the bass. Even though the response is forward the lack of excessive distortion likely helps keep it very quick/detailed and powerful

    I've always found that distortion can add a "thickness" or fullness to sound. Which is in some cases enjoyable and necessary for overall balance, but in other cases it's destructive.

    Still I too heard it as more dry than wet, more of the HD 800 than the 800S but I can't say what stage the Prototype I listen to was in.
    QueueCumber likes this.
  11. Doctordoom16
    My 2 cents............
    I just got my Senn 820 last week and have listened to 20 plus albums, flac 24/96 mostly but a few 24/192 and 16/44
    Amp, sony ta zh1es w sony zx300 as transport via walkman input , ifi idsd black w ibasso dx150 as transport via dig coax in, HD tracks flac hi res (24/96 and 24/192 files)
    other headphones/iem: Senn HD800S, Ibasso it04 w 2.5 balanced (4.4 adapter), ultrasone signature pro (modded to 4.4 balanced), NAD vizo hp 50, sony zr1
    I've had dozens other but, can't comment as I don't remeber. But if i loved them i think I would have kept them!
    Flletwood mac rumors, eagles hotel California, clapton slowhand, the band, queen greatest hits, led zeppelin 1,2
    It was hard a/b ing the headphones but i did my best

    build of the 820 is similar to 800s but heavier and a little bigger in the ear cups due to being closed back. It is comfortable but for 2400 i was expecting to have more, wow factor. The 800s cost be 1300, the 820 $2400. The sony I got used for $1400 and for those prices I's say the sony was the most impressive built. It just looked quality. Even the sony box was nicer.
    Bass, When I got the HD800s i felt that it had the perfect balance as the bass was understated but very present, unlike the sony which I will be selling. The HD820 is in between. Not as crazy bassy as the sony but makes me miss the bass when I'm listening to the HD800s now. It can hit hard if properly amped at high volume. A bunch of driver flex. Sometimes a bit much but msotly very enjoyable.
    The NAD and Ultrasone both can hit hard in the bass as well , w the NAD having greater impact when properly amped. I prefer the weight of the HD820 as it just seems perfect.

    Mids: Sony just bleeds bass. The HD800s is so nice in the mids but thats because the bass is so subtle. The HD820 has a nice approach to it as the bass never intrudes or muddies the mids. Never seems congested. Vocals, accoustics all seem just the perfect blend of smooth and very ariculate. The NAD gets congested and the Ultrasones seem to bury the mids too far back. None of this bothered me until I heard what I was missing in the HD820

    Highs: Ultrasone has crisp highs that never hurt or fatique. The NAS is a bit washed out in the top end. The sony seems to be no existent. The HD800s is so nice, but at times seem harsh. But the detail of the HD800 is unsurpassed. The HD820, while not as detailed, is very accurate and does extend well. It's just not the detail hound the HD800s is. How far off? Not enough to notice unless a/b ing for over many tracks. It's there, but you would never listen to the HD820 alone and think the highs were muddled or off.

    Soundstage: The HD800s take this one handely, the NAD does a great job for the $, the ultrasone is a step below the NAD, the sony is ok, not bad in isolation but not great when a/b ing. The HD820 is a step or 2 behind the HD 800s. It's noticeable but at times the soundstage and the instrument separation is so good that I don't miss the HD800s.

    The HD 820 are expensive. very expensive. But if look at the sound I'm getting, I can put it in percpective. I owned and sold a few $1000+ iems. Bass was artifical (vega) and the sounstage was terrible compared to even the $150 NAD. At 2.5x the Vega, the HD820 are bargains.
    They are my end game closed back. I will keep the HD800s , but because I find the HD820 so good and they can be listened to w my family in the room, they are getting all my love. The sony is sold. The ultrasones will be put up for sale as the NAD sound a hair better and comparing $150 to $1000, the NAD is the steal here. The ibasso it04 are a toy in this group and just seem outclassed compared to the over ears. They are good in a pinch, but the Senn HD 820 are my precious!

    I didn't mention the IFI idsd black, but I use it all the time as I walk about the house w the HD820. The IFI sounds a hair behind the sony, but at $2400 vs $600, the ifi is amazing. And powerful. I'm in audiphile heaven. Love the HD820!
  12. macbob713
    I owned the Z1R for several weeks, and I found them to be overly bass centric and somewhat dark sounding. I ended up returning them for a refund.
  13. macbob713
    That’s a cheap shot.
    raypin likes this.
  14. Beagle
    I have found the most "consistent" fit and am sticking with that. Variations with the fit can cause bloating in the bass (and I assume the bigger the head, the tighter the fit will be). If I just let the phones rest around my ears in a normal position, I'm getting a fairly balanced response, with a little warmth in the mid/upper bass. The description that comes to mind now is that the music "floats", dynamics happen naturally, there is nice side to side spaciousness (but depth is somewhat compressed). It's the natural tone and lack of grain and aggressiveness in the treble and upper mid that makes everything sound clean and smooth, but not smoothing over contrasts. As @Whitigir said, clean and controlled.

    Sometimes you just have to step back for a bit, let your initial impressions, biases and concerns fall to the wayside, and take another approach. The more you pay, the more you expect instant audio nirvana. It's often there, you just have to uncover it.
    macbob713, Whitigir and raypin like this.
  15. Doctordoom16
    Anyone compare the audeze XC to the HD820? or the Eikon or atticus? Focal Utopia? i'm looking from a pure sound comparison not so much build or comfort.
    I have both the 800S and 820 and I am no longer comparing them as it just isn't apples to oranges. Closed vs open is not a good comparison and as such I love both for different reasons. So, I'm thinking a comp w other high end closed backs would be better. I owned the sony zr1's and sold them after I got the HD820, just to show you my subjective thoughts on the 2 of them.
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