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Sennheiser HD820

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Dulalala, Apr 29, 2017.
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  1. bflat
    Nice! I've had the HD820 for a couple weeks now and one thing I think is universally true is that the fit and seal of the ear pads have a tremendous affect on sound. Some of this is true for any headphone like where the drivers are centered relative to your ear canals. However, the HD820 pads are more challenging to fit than most headphones IMHO. If you look at the design and materials, it's clear that you need a good seal, but not "air tight" seal. The most obvious issue is lack of seal which make the HD820 have a very nasal tone with no low end. However, if the seal is too tight, then the HD820 sounds boomy and muddy from low end through the mids. You can hear this effect by pressing slightly on the cups while listening. IMHO, 80-90% seal is ideal. Lastly, it seems that the seal gets better after wearing the pads for 10-15 min. Maybe there is memory foam? If true, those who try these for a brief period of time at shows will find it very difficult for a proper seal.

    Should a headphone be this sensitive to pad placement and seal? Ideally no, but somehow I think precision will be compromised if there is more generous play. After a couple weeks, I think I know optimal fit now just by how the pads feel on my head.
    headblid, itchyears, robo24 and 2 others like this.
  2. tube head
    I've only spent about 4 hours with them so far. They are hooked up to an old Denon CDP , on repeat right know. Trying to get some time on them while I'm doing other stuff. I seem to get a good seal all around, although it's a light seal. Almost feels like it needs to be just a very little tighter. I'm pleased that you mentioned about them becoming boomy and muddy if to tight. I have moved them around and it doesn't change the seal, It still seal all around. I think maybe the pads will eventually break in and seal better on those who don't get a good seal.
    But like I said, I only have listened to them for a short time and have a lot more listening to do, but so far, I really like them.
  3. headblid
    I agree with the seal comment. I find that pushing a tiny bit against the cups tightens everything up and makes it sound like an HD820 on steroids for the right tracks. This definitely gets better the longer you wear the headphones. I can't help but think that if the clamping force was a tiny bit stronger, these would be the perfect closed backs.

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  4. bflat
    You could CAREFULLY bend the steel headband a little. I know that was standard practice for Beyer closed headphones. At your own risk of course.
  5. AppleheadMay
    And if you do that and decide to sell it later on, tell it to the buyer before you sell it. I for one wouldn't want phones where the band has been bent.
    This was common practice with the W3000ANV as well and I bought one where the band was bent by the seller without him letting me know beforehand.
    I felt it immediately since I already had a pair and the fit wasn't good anymore. Needless to say I returned him the phones and I wasn't satisfied with the claim you could bend them back.
  6. enderwen
    Thanks for this clarification
    I was thinking buying the HD820 with the same HK store having this very challenging price
    Any issue on the delivery ? Headphones and package totally new and package completed ?
    Concerning their guarantee policy, any comments from this e-store ? Can we benefit in this case of a direct Sennheiser worldwide guarantee if any ?
    Thanks for any additional comments to confirm the professionalism of this platform
  7. headblid
    I haven’t even removed the little plastic films that cover the glass on them, I could not possibly go trying to bend anything in there :). Maybe I’ll put some rubber bands :)

  8. AppleheadMay
    Exactly. For me bending the headband reduces the resale value of the phones to around about €0.
    headblid likes this.
  9. bflat
    Rather than theorize, here is the official response from Sennheiser support regarding tightening the HD820 ear pads:

    "Wrap a bungie cord or elastic band around the earcups to hold them together when the headphones are not in use. This will slowly tighten up the headband to conform to the shape of your head. We design our headphones to fit the majority of the general public, but in some cases they do not fit everyone. Leave the headphones wrapped up until the headband reaches your desired tightness. I do not recommend using your hands, as you could snap the headset. An elastic band or bungie cord will apply equal pressure and will tighten the headband slowly, without risking damaging the headset."
    headblid, raypin, itchyears and 2 others like this.
  10. AppleheadMay
    Sound advice regarding not bending them quickly using a short burst of force.
    But if you belong to "the majority of the general public" and the phones fit you fine without bending then bent ones will fit you less. That was the case with the W3000 for me.

    Anyway, looking forward to receive my HD820. I hope still this week but I guess french post ships internationally by bicycle.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  11. bflat
    Of course. My initial reply was for owners who feel they need a tighter fit for optimal sound. "Majority of the general public" is a pretty broad statement and if you are happy with the default fit then as I also stated, a tighter seal will be detrimental to the sound quality since I believe HD 820 was not designed for an "air tight" seal.

    I also asked if there are any other ways to increase ear pad pressure and Sennheiser says none at this time. Perhaps some 3rd party pads will come out in the future with thicker pads.
    itchyears likes this.
  12. robo24
    Mine arrived a day early so am just beginning to enjoy them. My biggest concern was that the ones I tried in the store were somewhat loose and didn't have a great seal. The ones I bought fit much better! They're extremely comfortable, too.
  13. AppleheadMay
    Mine should arrive today according to the tracking info. Fingers crossed!
  14. Thenewguy007
    Can anyone show how the earpads look from the back when removed from the headphones?

    I know someone tried to use the HD800 pads on the HD820 & they didn't go in, but Dekoni's pads have a different mechanism for inserting into the HD800 slots & they might work for the HD820 as well.
  15. itchyears
    Not that I have the Senn 820s, but I have the AKG K550s which are also a trouble maker in regards to there seal which effects SQ and isolation alot. I recently fixed this with 3rd party brainwavz XL sheepskin pads, now I get the seal from just throwing them on due to the thicker pads, so just a theory but yeah Senn 820 thicker pads may solve the seal issue.

    And cheers for the bungie trick, I may do it if my K550s get too loose.
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