If you've read any of my reviews, you'll notice I dance around the topic of soundstage. I hide from it. This is purely because I feel that it is a word that gets tossed around all too often and carelessly. This is my attempt to define it and understand, through and through, of course with the help of fellow Head-Fiers. Below I have listed and described what I believe to be the sub-points that a headphone (or speaker system) must hit to have a great "soundstage". Openness / Airiness Often times I hear people reference the HD800's killer soundstage and compare it to the "closed-in" sound of another headphone. While I would agree that the HD800 has a great soundstage, often time, so does the headphone that they are comparing it to, in my opinion. I often find that headphones with more top-end sparkle or splash tend to be hailed as having a better soundstage. Sometimes, they don't, sometimes they do. I find this added openness helps, but it is most definitely not the whole story. Imaging A headphone with good imaging is a headphone that I want to have. When listening to AC/DC, this means I could point directly to Angus Young hopping around with his guitar. Imaging to me is the precision element of soundstage; it is what defines a headphones ability to place sounds in the soundscape that the headphone creates. Now, in order for a headphone to be able to pinpoint sounds, there must be a large soundscape to begin with. Spacing The guts of soundstage. How surrounded in sound are you? Width, depth, height, all of it. One could argue that "Spacing" is one in the same as "Imaging", but I do not think so. Many headphones sound expansive and dreamlike but I can't necessarily pinpoint certain details. If anyone feels that these categories could be combined, or that I am missing a quintessential category, let me know. I would love to engage with you all and your opinions on this topic.