Sennheiser HD820
post-14473457
Post #2,326 of 3,253

Doctordoom16

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
558
Reaction score
150
Location
New york
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Location
New york
Posts
558
Likes
150
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.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14473561
Post #2,327 of 3,253

BruceStax

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Posts
8
Likes
12
I posted this already XC vs 820:

Thanks to all for highlighting the arrival of the 820HD on the scene. As a bit of background as context for this contribution my Hi Fi history began with Stax headphones in 1974 and on the speaker side of things Quad ESLs, BBC monitors, Quad 63s and currently Martin Logan Spire with Velodyne DD12+ eq’d from 200Hz down. Amplification and Streamer DAC Simaudio Moon 780D and Arcam rHead H-amp, and Linn LP12. I enjoy a diverse range of listening and also play various acoustic guitars!
Okay .... unfortunately my wife finds it increasingly wearying to block out the sound bleeding from my Stax 009s and after making do with KEF M500 on ear ‘phones to obviate this, the 820 announcement motivated me to try harder on the isolating hp front.... so thank you guys!
My first step was to have a listen at a local shop, taking my M500s with me. I found the difference in quality a bit disappointing with the Senns unsurprisingly having a more sophisticated presentation, less distorted (‘squeaky”) treble and improved bass and overall detail but would they be worth the £1800 extra? I then arranged to try them at home and compare with Audeze XC, and also AKG 872 reference. The AKG was guickly eliminated on grounds of poorer bass definition despite a revealing and fairly neutral presentation and a generally open sound, they were also very comfortable, light and with a good seal. The 820s upped the overall quality with again an open slightly dry presentation with much improved bass definition and in particular excellent production of the bass harmony line (think Linn “tune dem”)
The overall sound was surprisingly neutral (despite some concerns voiced here re frequency response) with excellent detail across all frequencies. They were light and comfortable but the ear pads seemed slightly too hard in that the seal could be poor as others have observed and it felt as if an edge of the padding was in contact with your head rather than it’s full width.
By contrast the pads on the Audeze were much softer and more forgiving and allowed the headphones to feel part of your head (!) even though your head (okay, my head...) had become significantly heavier.
At last.... the sound. These were a revelation to me. Gone was the more academic presentation of the the other two, replaced by a joyful sound full of emotion and with each element represented by a richness of tone and timbre that was quite beguiling. (I later read the John Darko review and found it very similar to my experience, so I’d recommend that if you’ve not seen it).
Listening to Michel Petrucciani Trio live in Tokyo for example, was so involving because of the peerless and melodic mid range coupled with fabulous underpinning of the bass line - which extends particularly low in this recording and is at times rather quiet within the mix.
I repeatedly went back to the Sennheiser to check because I would have preferred something lighter !! But on each occasion I enjoyed the music less, even when strings were presented more prominently by the Senns. Vocal harmonies, woodwinds, all types of piano, kora, balafon or electric guitars were produced with stunning realism timbal character and subtlety, by the XC. I did not find there to be any impairment in reproduction of the trailing edge of notes either. The Creator edition also happens to be £800 cheaper, but I would have bought the Audeze even if priced the same as the Sennheiser.
So there we are, my individual findings on a home trial. Hope it’s of some interest and thanks for the inspiration.
 
post-14473601
Post #2,328 of 3,253

up late

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
6,097
Reaction score
1,756
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Posts
6,097
Likes
1,756
i enjoyed reading your post the first time around @BruceStax but there's no need to re-post it three pages later :wink:
 
     Share This Post       
post-14474410
Post #2,329 of 3,253

Beagle

His body's not a canvas, and he wasn't raised by apes.
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Messages
8,413
Reaction score
2,129
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Posts
8,413
Likes
2,129
I posted this already XC vs 820:

Thanks to all for highlighting the arrival of the 820HD on the scene. As a bit of background as context for this contribution my Hi Fi history began with Stax headphones in 1974 and on the speaker side of things Quad ESLs, BBC monitors, Quad 63s and currently Martin Logan Spire with Velodyne DD12+ eq’d from 200Hz down. Amplification and Streamer DAC Simaudio Moon 780D and Arcam rHead H-amp, and Linn LP12. I enjoy a diverse range of listening and also play various acoustic guitars!
Okay .... unfortunately my wife finds it increasingly wearying to block out the sound bleeding from my Stax 009s and after making do with KEF M500 on ear ‘phones to obviate this, the 820 announcement motivated me to try harder on the isolating hp front.... so thank you guys!
My first step was to have a listen at a local shop, taking my M500s with me. I found the difference in quality a bit disappointing with the Senns unsurprisingly having a more sophisticated presentation, less distorted (‘squeaky”) treble and improved bass and overall detail but would they be worth the £1800 extra? I then arranged to try them at home and compare with Audeze XC, and also AKG 872 reference. The AKG was guickly eliminated on grounds of poorer bass definition despite a revealing and fairly neutral presentation and a generally open sound, they were also very comfortable, light and with a good seal. The 820s upped the overall quality with again an open slightly dry presentation with much improved bass definition and in particular excellent production of the bass harmony line (think Linn “tune dem”)
The overall sound was surprisingly neutral (despite some concerns voiced here re frequency response) with excellent detail across all frequencies. They were light and comfortable but the ear pads seemed slightly too hard in that the seal could be poor as others have observed and it felt as if an edge of the padding was in contact with your head rather than it’s full width.
By contrast the pads on the Audeze were much softer and more forgiving and allowed the headphones to feel part of your head (!) even though your head (okay, my head...) had become significantly heavier.
At last.... the sound. These were a revelation to me. Gone was the more academic presentation of the the other two, replaced by a joyful sound full of emotion and with each element represented by a richness of tone and timbre that was quite beguiling. (I later read the John Darko review and found it very similar to my experience, so I’d recommend that if you’ve not seen it).
Listening to Michel Petrucciani Trio live in Tokyo for example, was so involving because of the peerless and melodic mid range coupled with fabulous underpinning of the bass line - which extends particularly low in this recording and is at times rather quiet within the mix.
I repeatedly went back to the Sennheiser to check because I would have preferred something lighter !! But on each occasion I enjoyed the music less, even when strings were presented more prominently by the Senns. Vocal harmonies, woodwinds, all types of piano, kora, balafon or electric guitars were produced with stunning realism timbal character and subtlety, by the XC. I did not find there to be any impairment in reproduction of the trailing edge of notes either. The Creator edition also happens to be £800 cheaper, but I would have bought the Audeze even if priced the same as the Sennheiser.
So there we are, my individual findings on a home trial. Hope it’s of some interest and thanks for the inspiration.
Nice. I don't have the XC anymore but I do have the 2C Closed and I will eventually get around to comparing it with the 820.

Yes, if only Audeze phones were lighter...but they do seem to be slowly working towards that.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14474485
Post #2,330 of 3,253

Doctordoom16

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
558
Reaction score
150
Location
New york
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Location
New york
Posts
558
Likes
150
i enjoyed reading your post the first time around @BruceStax but there's no need to re-post it three pages later :wink:
It's my fault as I didn't see his first post And asked for the comparison. Thanks KS again .
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: up late
post-14474603
Post #2,331 of 3,253

Maelob

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
463
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Posts
1,341
Likes
463
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.
Just curious, are you looking for a comparison just for comparison sake? Do you like them, i believe you already own what would be considered end game headphones. But I guess we are all obsessed here and will never settle LOL
 
     Share This Post       
post-14474886
Post #2,332 of 3,253

money4me247

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
6,452
Reaction score
3,920
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Posts
6,452
Likes
3,920
@Doctordoom16 , there is a pretty extensive review by Torq with a few closed comparisons here: https://www.headphone.com/blogs/news/sennheiser-hd820-closed-back-headphone-review.

Just brief notes, I have the HD800S and Utopia & comparing at home against the HD820. Regarding technical performance (sound stage, imaging, detail, and speed), I personally feel the HD800S outperforms Utopia which outperforms the HD820. I do find the Utopia to have good tonal balance and a bit of a different sound signature compared to the HD800S which is why I have both. For me, the HD820's performance did not justify full retail price, and still sounds closed with a smaller sound stage than the Utopia (which I thought had a small sound stage for a open headphone). I will probably not be keeping the HD820s after extensive testing even though I really wanted to love them as they just look so gorgeous lol.
 
post-14474954
Post #2,333 of 3,253

sly_in_the_sky

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
630
Reaction score
181
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Posts
630
Likes
181
My local audiophile shop lended me a HD820, I have the chance to audition it at home quietly and compare it with my HD800s. I drive them with my HDV820. It's only a first impression but what has been already told several times is true, the main differences between 800s and 820 in terms of tonality is that 820 has a little bit more bass and sub bass and a little less treble, the difference in terms of imaging is that 800s has a little bit bigger and deeper soundstage and a little bit better separation, but to me the difference is subtle (some may like it, some not). I did not notice a big difference in terms of details yet, the HD 820 is capable to give impressive details...

Now... some people will call me heretic and we can debate ours about EQ or not (Firs I didn't immagine using EQ but... lot of people already try to affect EQ to match their needs by using differents gear, cable and so on...) BUT I have a Shiit Loki and for those who find the 800S lacking bass or sub bass with some music styles like electro or so on, you can give the 800s what it needs to reach the 820 bass quantity without problem and zero distortion... but with the advantages of the technicity of the 800s that it's difficult to add with any external gear... more easy to affect tonality in a proper way.

By now, I also think that despite the fact the 820 is a very good headphone, if you don't need closed cans, speaking only about sound, for me, 1000 dollars more is perhaps too much.

My impressiosn will perhaps grow in a few days but clearly to my ears, it's not a night and day difference, 820 is to my ears, not really an upgrade from 800s.


IMG_3074.jpg
IMG_3075.jpg
IMG_3079.jpg
IMG_3080.jpg
IMG_3082.jpg
 

Attachments

Last edited:
post-14475239
Post #2,334 of 3,253

QueueCumber

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
383
Reaction score
432
Location
NY
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Location
NY
Posts
383
Likes
432
@Doctordoom16 , there is a pretty extensive review by Torq with a few closed comparisons here: https://www.headphone.com/blogs/news/sennheiser-hd820-closed-back-headphone-review.

Just brief notes, I have the HD800S and Utopia & comparing at home against the HD820. Regarding technical performance (sound stage, imaging, detail, and speed), I personally feel the HD800S outperforms Utopia which outperforms the HD820. I do find the Utopia to have good tonal balance and a bit of a different sound signature compared to the HD800S which is why I have both. For me, the HD820's performance did not justify full retail price, and still sounds closed with a smaller sound stage than the Utopia (which I thought had a small sound stage for a open headphone). I will probably not be keeping the HD820s after extensive testing even though I really wanted to love them as they just look so gorgeous lol.
I’m not sure how the soundstage on the 820 sounds smaller to you than the soundstage on the utopia. I have both as well and the 820 is far more expansive (and localizing) in my listening experiences. I do agree that the timbre sounds more organic on the utopia, albeit with a bit too much sizzle with some material for my comfort. To me the utopia has very little soundstage width. Perhaps you’re referring to the soundstage front to back depth and not the width?
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: musikverein
post-14475348
Post #2,335 of 3,253

Doctordoom16

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
558
Reaction score
150
Location
New york
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Location
New york
Posts
558
Likes
150
Just curious, are you looking for a comparison just for comparison sake? Do you like them, i believe you already own what would be considered end game headphones. But I guess we are all obsessed here and will never settle LOL
I wish I was just comparing for the sake of comparing. As you mentioned we Are always looking for something better. I love the hd820 but I've never heard those mentioned so I was wondering if I was missing something. I can't afford the utopia so the hd800s will suffice. But the zmf and the audeze are cheaper than the 820 so if those were better in most ways I'd return the 820 and look into the audeze or zmf .I love and hate this hobby .Cost too much and I'm never happy! Or at least feel I'm missing out on something!
 
     Share This Post       
post-14475459
Post #2,336 of 3,253

exdmd

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Messages
525
Reaction score
451
Location
USA
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Location
USA
Posts
525
Likes
451
My two cents? If you are happy with the HD800S just stick with them, you have an end game set of phones as long as open backs work for your situation. Put the extra $$ into improving your signal chain if there is a weak link in your DAC or amp. If I had to use closed back phones I would buy the HD820 as the good alternatives are too heavy. My HD800S are so light I can wear all day no problem.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14475866
Post #2,338 of 3,253

Doctordoom16

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
558
Reaction score
150
Location
New york
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Location
New york
Posts
558
Likes
150
My two cents? If you are happy with the HD800S just stick with them, you have an end game set of phones as long as open backs work for your situation. Put the extra $$ into improving your signal chain if there is a weak link in your DAC or amp. If I had to use closed back phones I would buy the HD820 as the good alternatives are too heavy. My HD800S are so light I can wear all day no problem.
I find I have less opportunity to listen to the open backs so a closed back version is my better option. I love the hd800s but they don't get used as much. The hd820 are my go to w the kids sleeping and the house quite .no matter how good if they don't get used then I guess they aren't worth it then. Thats why I was asking about the audeze xc and the zmfs.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14475890
Post #2,339 of 3,253

Rchandra

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 15, 2015
Messages
489
Reaction score
149
Joined
Jun 15, 2015
Posts
489
Likes
149
I think the problem is people buy thinking it's a upgrade it's not. But that's not why people like it. People like it because they can get more use out of them. Being around a wife and kids or being around a noisy environment.. For people in that situation that love the hd800S this is a second coming of jesus.
 
post-14476105
Post #2,340 of 3,253

money4me247

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
6,452
Reaction score
3,920
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Posts
6,452
Likes
3,920
I’m not sure how the soundstage on the 820 sounds smaller to you than the soundstage on the utopia. I have both as well and the 820 is far more expansive (and localizing) in my listening experiences. I do agree that the timbre sounds more organic on the utopia, albeit with a bit too much sizzle with some material for my comfort. To me the utopia has very little soundstage width. Perhaps you’re referring to the soundstage front to back depth and not the width?
that is an interesting comment as I feel quite confident about that assessment & it was quite surprising to me as well when I first heard that as I was expecting it to be the other way around. when listening to orchestral pieces or live performances, I do definitely get a sense of the sennheiser hd820 being in a "smaller room" compared to the utopia overall. are there any particular tracks where you feel like the effect is especially pronounced in the other direction? I would love to test this out.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: up late

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 2)

Top