This is the tricky part, because the HD 800 effectively turbo-charge their huge presentation with crystalline micro-detail in the higher treble registers. Altogether, despite these characteristics possibly running the risk of becoming distracting or even a little fatiguing in long listening sessions for some listeners, they really weren’t anywhere near as aggressive as those of the HD 800, and I didn’t personally feel as though they detracted from my overall listening experience. I find the hugeness of these headphones their most alluring characteristic in this class, so the most important question is: which are better, the HD 800 or HD 800 S? Sennheiser listened. Andrew Williams is a technology writer, who has contributed to Stuff, WIRED, TechRadar, T3, Wareable and, of course, Trusted Reviews. Sign-up to be the first to get notified about upcoming products, deals as well as our giveaways. Getting your product to you as fast as possible is important to us! The bass region is where the HD 800 S, unfortunately, falls flat and is vastly outperformed by other headphones in the sub two thousand dollar price range. 365-Day Returns on all new orders. By The Verge on June 01, 2016 93 More times than not, … The HD 820 is a dynamic-driver headphone designed for reference-class listening, and it is Sennheiser’s closed-back take on their own HD 800 S.The HD 820 builds upon the HD 800 S’s design by creating an enclosure that fits glass covers on Sennheiser’s Ring Radiator driver. This appears to be a result of the positive side-effects of Sennheiser’s obsession with dynamic drivers, which it uses in virtually all of its in-ear and full-sized headphones. The goal was to give the new model a more natural, more full, more forgiving tonal balance. On paper at least, then, not much has changed. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Lastly, with the HD 800 S you will receive a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a USB flash drive that contains a digital certificate of authenticity as well as the serial number-specific, diffuse-field compensated frequency response measurement for the headphone. The Sennheiser HD 800 S is a sterling, wonderful pair of headphones that strikes a near-perfect balance between accuracy and enjoyment. They help you to block out the rest of the world and really immerse yourself in the music. In the HD 800 S, Sennheiser has tamed the HD 800 to create one of the best set of headphones ever. The striking industrial design combines form and function seamlessly, the layered metal and plastic headband construction attenuating vibrations to the earcups while the handmade microfiber earpads offer exceptional comfort for even long periods of listening enjoyment. The canvas is large, and these headphones know how to fill it. The HD 800 S’s highs were still very enjoyable; they had a nice glisten in the upper treble with plenty of sparkle, and well-textured harmonics. I definitely didn’t find the HD 800 S to be anywhere near as harsh in the highs as the HD 800, nor would I describe it as being a sharp-sounding headphone, but it still sounded to me as though there were two spots in the treble range that had a little more energy than some listeners would be comfortable with. The Sennheiser HD 800 S are the company’s most expensive headphones you can buy off the shelf. Author HomeTheaterReview.com The Sennheiser HD 800 S are obviously not for everyone. This metal mesh compromises a significant portion of the ear cups, and whilst it does hold its shape well, it is prone to cosmetic damage. At this price there are no bad headphones, so the key is to choose the pair with the characteristics that you’ll appreciate. For the most part, this dictates the look. Unlike the majority of dynamic headphones, the HD 800 S uses a ring radiator which means that the middle of the driver doesn’t move as it’s suspended to a fixture piece. However, the hinges/yokes are not the most durable. The depth and force of the bass is excellent, but if you want any sort of bass dominance, you’ll have to EQ it in. The HD 800 S was introduced in 2016, and it’s an open-back, dynamic-driver headphone that a retail price of $1,699 serves as a refresh on Sennheiser’s legendary flagship, the HD 800. Here he test and reviews some of newest mobile, audio and camera d…. If there are future iterations of this headphone, I really hope that Sennheiser introduces an updated, reinforced design for the jacks to prevent users from ripping them out when swapping cables or storing their headphones. Learn More. When I first got to listen to the HD 800 S I remember throwing on “You Don’t Love Me,” which is a live recording from The Allman Brothers Band’s At Fillmore East album, and as soon as the music started playing, I was floored. Don't worry, we hate spam as much as you do. The lead benefit of the open design of the Sennheiser HD 800 S is that they sound exceptionally “open”, of course. Introduction. The sub-bass and bass of HD 800S are somewhat subdued compared to the upper bass. For comfort, the HD 800 S is, without a doubt, the most comfortable headphone I have personally ever worn. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System at Amazon.com. I am hearing things on discs I know well that I have never heard before. If you want to keep your HD 800 S in prime condition for as long as possible, I highly encourage that you handle these with care and actively avoid touching that part of the headphone, as your fingers alone can very easily make dents and scratches in the mesh. Sennheiser has breathed on its HD 800 and added a balanced connecting lead to produce the 800 S but, unlike some competitors, it has adopted a light-touch strategy. However, some people still find the effect a little unpleasant, and the HD 800 S tackle this issue by making the treble normal. When it comes to resolution and detail retrieval the HD 800 S is, for me, the best performer I’ve heard in this category. With that mindset, our 365-Day return policy was born and followed up with free, same-day shipping while curating the store to have the best selection possible for our customers. It’s no secret that the 64 Audio U12t is one of my favorite IEMs. Usually, I am very picky about headphones’ midrange, but there really isn’t much else for me to say about the HD 800 S’s mids. Whilst its bass response doesn’t sound quite as nimble as on other headphones, it’s really the mids and highs that shine on the HD 800 S. In the midrange and treble registers, the HD 800 S excels at surfacing all the intricate vocal and instrument tones, giving them a very stable structure that conveys a pristine image of the music. Also included are two 3m, fabric-sleeved cables; and although they both feature dual-sided ODU connectors for the headphone side, one of the cables has a ¼” termination, whilst the other terminates in 4.4mm balanced. As I mentioned earlier, the HD 800 S has now introduced the absorber on its driver to tame the 6K and 10K treble peaks that could put off some listeners on the original HD 800; and whilst they did not completely eliminate those peaks, I do think that by and large Sennheiser did a fantastic job at targeting those particularly problematic regions. As mentioned in the previous review, the HD 800 had a few acoustic flaws that required mods and/or particular amplification to help mitigate some of those issues. The lows a bit underwhelmed by a peak in the brilliance frequency range when playing violins predominant instrumental music/compositions. The large ear cups are decently dense, and the padding materials feel high-end. No, we haven’t forgotten about the £30,000 Sennheisers Orpheus HE1060, which cost a “small” fortune, but they can’t be found on the high street. The Sennheiser HD 800 are known by many enthusiasts as one of the best open-back set of headphones money can buy. However, it has a slight effect on the comfort too. The effect is involving, and often made it difficult to concentrate on work when the volume was high enough to drown out the clacking of my keyboard. The Sennheiser HD 800 S reject the reassuringly traditional at almost every turn. The first and more significant of these two rises was what to me sounded like a 4dB-5dB peak at 5.5K, which introduced a fair bit of sibilance in the lower treble and could make cymbals in particular come through as splashy. It’s like washing out your ears with menthol, but far more pleasant than that sounds. Also aiding in making these ultra-comfortable is the ear cups, which have a rather unique ‘D’ shape to them and have a very large inner diameter that allows for plenty of room for your ears to fit in. The HD 800 S come with a balanced XLR jack cable, made for use with amps with balanced connectors. The Sennheiser HD 800 S have good, premium build quality. Both models have the same open-back frame (the HD 800 Ses are black, the HD 800s silver) and, apparently, the same, huge 2.2” (56mm) drivers. The company’s new top-of-the-line production dynamic-driver headphone is an update of the veteran HD-800, which has long been considered the “king of clarity”. The Sennheiser HD 800 S have an immensely wide, expansive and detailed soundstage, providing a “3D” sound that’s better than what most surround-sound headsets can create. Sennheiser claims that this allows for the headphone to transmit soundwaves in a more correct manner. Anyone sat in the room with you will be able to hear what you’re listening to, and any outside noise is likely to prove distracting. Great review, as a happy HD660s user, I’m lusting after these for an upgrade. The padding is fairly conservative for a large “at home” set of headphones, so they don’t end up poking out the side of your head in the way of the Grado PS1000. Sennheiser's goal was to provide acoustics so immersive that you the lines between playback and reality were erased. Thanks to its mostly-plastic construction the HD 800 S is extremely light at only 330g, which in combination with the low clamp force makes them very easy to wear in day-long listening sessions. The signature sound of the HD 800 S is possible because of the synergy of every world-class component. The HD 800 S demonstrates over seven decades of audio expertise, redefining the critical listening experience. Sennheiser HD 800 S Review. The HD 800 S was introduced in 2016, and it’s an open-back, dynamic-driver headphone that a retail price of $1,699 serves as a refresh on Sennheiser’s legendary flagship, the HD 800. So, whilst the metal mesh really only causes concern for possible cosmetic flaws, the connectors can actually break the headphone and render it unusable. As such, the new version makes for a much more relaxing, if also less eye-opening, listen. Nonetheless, I personally do prefer using a little bit of EQ with it just to bring it a little closer to my personal preference. Few headphones have excited us as much as the HD 800 S. Since Sennheiser announced the follow-up to the top-of-the-line HD 800, we’ve been waiting on our tenterhooks with bated breath. When it comes to discerning the directionality and positioning of sound the HD 800 S is astoundingly precise, as it easily reveals the location of instruments and sound cues in music, games, and movies. For the listening tests I used music from a wide variety of genres including Rock, Jazz, Classical, Acoustic, Hip-Hop, and latin. The only thing I will note for comfort is that the cups are not particularly deep, so if your ears stick out a little bit, they may come in contact with the driver. When it was first introduced in 2009, the HD 800 was met with great acclaim, as it delivered truly world-class performance that allowed it to easily stake its claim as one of the best headphones one could buy. Join the discussion about the Sennheiser HD 800S at "The HEADPHONE Community". Sennheiser HD 660 S Review ... You get the pleasant thickness of the HD 650 with a hint of the detail retrieval of the more expensive HD 800. Sound quality is superb, with the only issue being the presentation of the mids, which makes central channel vocals sink ever-so-slightly into the soundstage rather than really biting at your ears. The socket assembly on the HD 800 S is only held in by friction and by two very thin wires. Since then, the HD 800, and subsequently HD 800 S, have been considered to be a standard in the high-end audio market. Equally as well represented is the upper midrange between 2K-5K, which has just the right amount of energy to give brass instruments their bite, allow electric guitars to buzz, and just generally lend midtones a very realistic presence that to me never came through as forward or shouty. Headphones provided on loan for review by headphones.com. The HD 800 S has what is, for my tastes and preferences, one of the most accurate midrange presentations I have heard on a headphone. Save Saved Removed 0. Then there was another elevation at 10K, but thankfully compared to the peak on the HD 800, I found the one on the HD 800 S to be very subtle; at worst it would only add a slightly glassy edge to vocals and emphasize the strike of percussive instruments. Buy the Sennheiser HD 800 S on Headphones.com here at the best price available. It may still fall a bit flat in the bass department, particularly without EQ, but for those who are looking into getting a flagship headphone that feels true to source, the HD 800 S is a solid all-rounder to which I give very strong recommendation. I’m curious though, do you have a sense for how many HD800s users pair it up w/ the Sennheiser HDV 820 amp? The HD 800 S presented vocals and instruments with a lucid, almost uncanny level of clarity within an astonishingly open stage that effortlessly created a true to life listening soundscape. Still, I was simply struck by how transparent they sounded to me and the absolute fidelity with which they reproduced anything I played on them. A modern classic, Sennheiser’s reference class HD 800 headphones deliver sound that is as natural as possible and true in every detail. Its staging capabilities are further enhanced by its imaging, which might be the best I have heard thus far. All comments are moderated before being published. Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. As you’d hope, the Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones aim for balance and fidelity. This isn’t something that’s on offer in all open headphones. At this price you’ll find numerous planar magnetic and – to a lesser extent – electrostatic sets, which tend to sound somewhat smaller. One glaring one being the peak at the 6 KHz which caused this really sharp and fatiguing sound. Additionally, I use some peak adjustment filters to cool down the treble peaks a bit just so that they never really get in the way. The Sennheiser HD 800 review can help you to better understand what you should be looking for in headphones. Just like its predecessor the HD 800 S uses a 56mm dynamic driver. The Bass is there, but not overbearing. The £30,000 Sennheiser Orpheus have weightier bass, but I can’t imagine that anyone is seriously weighing up the merits of the two pairs as a buyer. It’s the same song, but it’s a neutral sound with the Sennheiser HD 800 S, I’m hearing guitar strings without being overburdened by a keyboard. For dynamics, the HD 800 S is definitely not the strongest when it comes to delivering a physical impact, or recreating a sense of punch and slam. Now, whilst I do think that the HD 800 S’s design is good and does feel very premium, there are two elements in its build that I do think warrant some caution; the first of which is the metal mesh on the ear cups. Make sure your home is quiet enough to do them justice, although this applies to any true open-back headphone. I’m not at all suggesting that these are bass-skewed headphones, though. However, these legendary headphones required a … Man-made Alcantara (a suede-like material) is used for the padding, an unusual steel weave is used to block off the insides of the headphones from fingers, and the frame is made from an advanced polymer that defies simple classification. Review written by @Chrono. This XLR … Jane Monheit's Taking A Chance On Love album is a prime example. Like the original, the HD 800 S is still composed primarily out of plastic, but it feels very structurally sound and well-refined, with no loose or creaking parts, and very little to no chassis flex. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Introduction And it's free! Overall, I’d say that in this regard the HD 800 S’s presentation is a very laid-back and softone–not unlike the one that is offered by the Arya or Hd 600. If you would like to try out my EQ settings for the HD 800s, these were the filters I used: After having the opportunity to listen to it myself, it becomes very easy to understand why for over a decade the HD 800 S has been considered by many listeners as the benchmark for high-end, flagship headphones. I’ve been using the Sennheiser HD 800 S while working, and the sound of my mechanical keyboard clattering is easily audible through them. The outcome is the same with vocal heavy songs, or even heavy songs like Metallica – It’s as if I’m hearing the same thing as ever, but with more clarity. The Sennheiser HD 800 S is one of the rare headphones that deliver the desired treble clarity balanced with a spatial sound stage to deliver all the musical details without overpowering any section. A £1,200 pair of headphones? The pads may be a little thin, but they have just enough foam to comfortably rest on your head, and they’re covered with a very soft and easy on the skin microfiber material. Headphones are ideal for so many situations. Does not apply to special-order, open-box or sale items. I don’t really see that mentioned very much. I played tracks from my own FLAC library as well as from Qobuz streaming service played via Roon (exclusive mode). Perhaps you might check it. Products like the HD 800 S quickly disabuse people of such thought-processes at the point of contact. You can’t go wrong with either, but the Sennheiser HD 800 S is by far the more accessible of the two, if – ultimately – also slightly more ordinary. The original HD800 sent shockwaves through the burgeoning ranks of headphone enthusiasts when it was launched in 2009 as Sennheiser’s flagship dynamic model. Secure payments with Credit Card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Cryptocurrency. Sennheiser’s answer was to include an absorber technology: Lastly for spatial qualities, there is the HD 800 S’s instrument separation which gives all the different instrument and vocal lines composing complex musical passages a distinct space of their own in the mix. Review written by @Chrono. They are extremely comfortable, particularly for long listening sessions. The Amplifier/DACs used in this review were the. The HD 800 S is the natural heir to one of Sennheiser’s milestone, the HD 800. The Sennheiser HD 800 S’s scale is the equivalent of a set of room-dominating floor-standing speakers. We may earn a commission if you click a deal and buy an item. However, the HD 660 S are way less expensive and may offer better overall value for their performance. The HD 800 S Anniversary Edition is handcrafted at the audio specialist’s headquarters in Wedemark, Germany. Headphones.com, started by Andrew and Taron Lissimore, was founded in 2016 with a strict focus on delivering the best customer service possible. Whilst the bass sees a slight increase in presence when compared to the original, it is still a very lean-sounding bass response. The Amplifier/DACs used in this review were the SPL Phonitor XE (with built-in DAC), Grace Design SDAC + Topping A90, and the JDS Labs Element II connected via USB to my desktop computer. And although both headphones’ drivers are covered (the HD 820 by glass and the HD 800 S by a metal grill), they are both visible. Additionally, the HD 800 S’s bass doesn’t feel quite as taught, or fast and controlled like on headphones such as the Focal Clear or LCD-X. They have a sturdy metal frame and a high-grade plastic blend that strengthens the headband. So, how did a headphone with this great a legacy perform in my listening experience? The HD800s has introduced a similar acoustical absorber to that of Sennheiser’s flagship In Ear Monitor - the IE800. They’re not flat-out better than the long-standing HD 800. Reach out to us through our handy live chat or by e-mail. If you love headphones, you'll love our emails. It is the precise-but-sharp treble that makes the older flagship such a challenging, yet still world-class, set of headphones. , and the JDS Labs Element II connected via USB to my desktop computer. So the £1,199 HD 800 S sound almost reasonable by comparison, and for a very select audience they are. The HD 800 S, I think, sounds great from the get-go, and it’s a headphone that I could easily enjoy without EQ. To achieve its intended acoustic performance the HD 800 S’s ear cups are almost completely uncovered, and to maintain this unobstructed, open sound design, Sennheiser used a very fine, metal mesh that surrounds the rear side of the driver. Buy Now: Sennheiser HD 800 S at Amazon.com from $1,699. Vision Ears is an IEM company based out of Germany that enjoys a cult-like following in the EU. Improving on a seemingly perfect formula is not a task undertaken lightly, but Sennheiser’s engineers have succeeded in enhancing still further the sound reproduction in the open, circumaural HD 800 S. The HD 800 S headphones ($1699) are a revoiced version of the HD 800. There’s very little sense that the sound is constrained inside your head; it floats all around you. Sennheiser uses glass-fiber strengthened plastic, a material valued in the aerospace industry, for the headphones’ housing, making them particularly durable yet lightweight. Inside, you are greeted by the HD 800 S along with some manuals and warranty information. The Sennheiser HD 800 S take the classic HD 800 and smooth off the treble slightly. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. Carroll Moore - April 7, 2016 2:19 pm. The result is a set of headphones that I can’t imagine anyone disliking. We’ll always tell you what we find. The sound blew me away quite unlike any other set of headphones I’d heard up to that point. Admittedly, I think that the HD 800 S’s tuning is on the more “analytical” side as it was a little bass-light, its mids were pretty uncharacteristic, and its treble had a bit of a bite to it. 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