Sennheiser HD820
Oct 16, 2021 at 9:53 PM Post #3,573 of 3,597

Redcarmoose

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I had the same dilemma and the Z1R lost to the HD820.

The HD820 sounded more technically proficient while the Z1R sounded like a slightly different Z7M2.
While I haven’t heard the Z7MK2 or HD820, I own the IER-Z1R, MDR-Z7 and MDR-Z1R. While at first I really thought the MDR-Z7 and MDR-Z1R were close to the same, I’ve now truly found out they are very very different. With the MDR-Z1R needing about 48 hours to be interpreted as correct. Typically it can come off bass heavy due to the added room response emulation which has been engineered into the sound signature. Typically sound waves bounce around inside of speakers and exit the side walls and rear of the speaker to then travel into the room adding a slight bass boost to speaker response. This adds bass to the normal front firing speaker response. This has been added to the MDR-Z1R character but it takes some time to get used to. What first sounds wrong can become acceptable and great after two days of listening. Once that happens it’s permanent.

The other issue is upstream equipment. As always what is in front of the MDR-Z1R takes its toll on the resulting sound signature.

Of course in the end this also boils down to preference in sound signature. The MDR-Z1R does not produce a response for everyone!
 
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Oct 16, 2021 at 10:34 PM Post #3,574 of 3,597

gikigill

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I kept the Z1R for a few months but it still didnt seem to justify its price and Sony's ability to engineer something better.

I ran it with a RME-ADI2, ifi iCan Pro, MSB Link 3 Nelson, Meridian HPA, Bel Canto 2 and Audiolab M-One and it just doesnt seem to have the technical abilties to justify its price and I own the Z7/Z7M2 and the entire IER series and the XBA-H3 and older IEMs.

The MDR-Z1R was the odd one out and sounded a level lower than its peers with a thick syrupy sound and a noted lack of definition and cleanliness. As a reference with my speaker system of Dali Concept series, known as the "party series Dali" with big bassy sound and not as refined as higher level Dali, the Z1R didnt replicate anything close to the Dali either.

Believe me, I have been collecting Sony since its Minidisc days in the 90s and the MDR-Z1R was a rare sale from the Sony stable. Maybe a MDR-Z1R Mk2 with a sound closer to the IER-Z1R might rectify that which is a tour de force even today in the fast moving IEM scene.
 
Oct 16, 2021 at 10:52 PM Post #3,575 of 3,597

Redcarmoose

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I kept the Z1R for a few months but it still didnt seem to justify its price and Sony's ability to engineer something better.

I ran it with a RME-ADI2, ifi iCan Pro, MSB Link 3 Nelson, Meridian HPA, Bel Canto 2 and Audiolab M-One and it just doesnt seem to have the technical abilties to justify its price and I own the Z7/Z7M2 and the entire IER series and the XBA-H3 and older IEMs.

The MDR-Z1R was the odd one out and sounded a level lower than its peers with a thick syrupy sound and a noted lack of definition and cleanliness. As a reference with my speaker system of Dali Concept series, known as the "party series Dali" with big bassy sound and not as refined as higher level Dali, the Z1R didnt replicate anything close to the Dali either.

Believe me, I have been collecting Sony since its Minidisc days in the 90s and the MDR-Z1R was a rare sale from the Sony stable. Maybe a MDR-Z1R Mk2 with a sound closer to the IER-Z1R might rectify that which is a tour de force even today in the fast moving IEM scene.
I do understand your stance, especially with it’s style of detail involvement. It has been controversial since day one. Still, maybe it is/was the kick drum style in EDM, it was miles better than the MDR-Z7? It’s a more refined take on the Sony sound, but again not for everyone. In some ways it’s a new Sony sound too?
 
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Oct 17, 2021 at 3:39 AM Post #3,576 of 3,597

gikigill

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I do understand your stance, especially with it’s style of detail involvement. It has been controversial since day one. Still, maybe it is/was the kick drum style in EDM, it was miles better than the MDR-Z7? It’s a more refined take on the Sony sound, but again not for everyone. In some ways it’s a new Sony sound too?

Strangely it was the lack of punch from Trance tracks that made me sell it. The bass just sounded wooly and undefined.

As a side note, the Klipsch HP3 is a good compliment to the Z1R if you are after an open back Z1R. I found the HP3 cleaner and punchier than the Z1R while maintaining a similar tonality to the Z1R.
 
Oct 17, 2021 at 3:59 AM Post #3,577 of 3,597

Redcarmoose

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Strangely it was the lack of punch from Trance tracks that made me sell it. The bass just sounded wooly and undefined.

As a side note, the Klipsch HP3 is a good compliment to the Z1R if you are after an open back Z1R. I found the HP3 cleaner and punchier than the Z1R while maintaining a similar tonality to the Z1R.
That is funny. The fact that we hear it two different ways. I mean I’m no expert at EDM but after experimenting with different amps and DACs, it was the kick tone of the MDR-Z1R that was endearing to me? In that at first I liked the MDR-Z7 but had no clue as to bad the kick was? Somehow I didn’t hear the issues? The problematic timbre, tone, delineated “thing” that was the single kick sound, from the Z7. The MDR-Z7 kick drum was a ruff thud in a foggy area? I simply assumed that I didn’t notice how bad it was before? That or just didn’t have a comparison? Later once doing side by side comparison it was the imaging and crisp “real” sound that endeared me to the MDR-Z1R?

Walkman 1Z-Cradle-AQCarbon USB-Sony TA-Kimber-MDR-Z1R
 
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Oct 17, 2021 at 2:26 PM Post #3,578 of 3,597

Uguccione

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Today I tested the HD820s on a secondary system using the Naim Superuniti streamer + dac section and a handcrafted OTL headphone amp: much, much better.
There is little to do, the Qutest + MicroZotl form an excessively clinical and revealing pairing, which does not go well with the Senny.
Then maybe I'm doing the ear too, huh.
However these are bizarre and idiosyncratic headphones, it is you who must try to understand them and support them in their needs, not the other way around.
They have personality.
I have decided, I keep them.
 
Oct 18, 2021 at 6:50 PM Post #3,579 of 3,597

Vamp898

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When you remove the earpad from your HD820, do you have this tiny Sennheiser Sticker on both sides?

I bought mine new "unboxed". So it was opened by the store to demo it to me, but it was never used.

But I somehow have the feeling it was.

It is missing the sticker on one side for me and the protective inlay on this side also came off by its own.

Maybe just coincidence, but I want to make sure
 
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Oct 21, 2021 at 4:55 PM Post #3,584 of 3,597

Uguccione

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As I listen to these headphones I feel more and more a very forward mid range, highs that are a bit metallic and not very refined, deep and a bit shy low frequencies. They are monitor headphones, perhaps even slightly colored; they can't stand comparison with the HD800s but they have their own personality and reason to exist.
 
Oct 30, 2021 at 8:13 PM Post #3,585 of 3,597

ruinedx

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As I listen to these headphones I feel more and more a very forward mid range, highs that are a bit metallic and not very refined, deep and a bit shy low frequencies. They are monitor headphones, perhaps even slightly colored; they can't stand comparison with the HD800s but they have their own personality and reason to exist.
Basically, they are the closest thing you can get to the HD800S in a closed back, when you can't be in a quiet environment. That's pretty much their reason to exist.
 

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