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Sennheiser HD800 Over-Ear Circum-Aural Dynamic Premiere Headphone

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Price: $1,499.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Weight (without cable): approx. 330 g
  • Sound pressure level at 1 kHz: 102 dB (1 Vrms)
  • Nominal impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 6?51,000 Hz (-10 dB); 14?44,100 Hz (-3 dB)
  • Contact pressure: approx. 3.4 N ± 0.3 N
28 new from $1,470.00 6 used from $1,191.10

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Sennheiser  HD800 Over-Ear Circum-Aural Dynamic Premiere Headphone + Cable Adapter Female 1/4" 6.3mm to Male 1/8" 3.5mm Plug
Price for both: $1,522.85

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Product Specifications

Brand NameSennheiser
Color NameGrey
Item Display Height9.30 inches

Technical Details

  • DJ Style
  • Microphone

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 10.8 x 5.9 inches ; 11.7 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B001OTZ8DA
  • Item model number: HD800
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: January 8, 2009

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

The Story of the Sennheiser HD800

The story of the Sennheiser HD 800 began with a dream: of developing headphones that go way beyond conventional equipment to become music phones, or even perfect sound phones. The dream of creating a hi-fi device that sounds as brilliant, clear, and undistorted as if you were sitting right next to the source. The dream of creating an acoustic experience more incredible than anything ever heard through dynamic headphones: in spheres that no other category is capable of reaching--right there where perfection begins.

We couldn’t go beyond physical boundaries--but we did cross the boundaries of thought. The HD 800 is equipped with a completely new transducer and only the very finest of materials have been installed: each part carefully inserted by hand. We are talking about manufacture in the truest sense of the word, right from the initial drafts to individual handcrafting "made in Germany".

Above all, the Sennheiser HD 800 truly personifies the creative force of the company that created it: by displaying the passion for perfect sound that has been driving Sennheiser innovation over 60 years.



The Principle of Spatial Listening

The impression of spatial listening is created by a minute time lapse with which one and the same sound wave arrives at the inner ear. Ideally, the sound waves produced by a hi-fi sound system reach the listener at an angle of 60 degrees. The sound waves do not reach the ear straight on, but through a slightly angled sound front. This causes some of the sound impulses to reach the nerve ends of the inner ear earlier than others. The resulting time lapse is a matter of split seconds, but it is exactly this phenomenon that gives the impression of spatial listening.

Wearing the HD 800 you enjoy much more than just a sound experience of out-standing brilliance. You experience a form of spatial listening never heard before. You have the feeling of being in a studio together with Thelonius Monk or actually being present at a rehearsal of the Berlin Philharmonic. The HD 800 makes spatial listening possible through a combination of the large transducer surface and the angle at which it is suspended. The slightly angled sound front effectively simulates the principle of the spatial sound experience. No other manufacturer comes as close to producing a natural sound experience as Sennheiser with the HD 800.

Outstanding Technology Provides Outstanding Sound



The lightweight ring transducer precisely delivers sound without harmonic distortion
The superiority of the HD 800 is based on a completely new principle, right at its very heart: The transducer is designed in the shape of a ring. Basically, the larger the surface of the transducer the purer the sound—particularly when it comes to the low notes. A large surface area, however, also generates disruptive spurious oscillation at higher frequencies, so-called eigenmodes. This is primarily due to the fact that conventional-sized transducers do not have a satisfactory way of controlling high-frequency oscillations. The ringed shape of the new transducer effectively solves this dilemma: Its broad area oscillates in an extremely controlled way due to the large coil and the two supporting surfaces. This results in a previously unheard-of degree of freedom from distortion and thus the greatest purity and brilliance of sound.

And when it comes to the naked technical facts, the HD 800 doesn’t save on superlatives: The 56-mm-wide transducer is the largest of its type. The same goes for the aluminum coil (40 mm) and the 42-mm magnet system.

Ring Transducer vs. a Conventional Transducer

In contrast to a full-sized transducer, the ring-shaped transducer utilized in the HD 800 greatly enhances the control of the oscillating surface. This results in a more voluminous sound wave and thus far greater clarity.

In a conventional transducer, unwanted spurious oscillation can occur due to eigenmodes. Even improvements such as increasingly sophisticated Duofol laminations are unable to completely negate these physical limitations.

At the heart of the HD 800 is the patent-pending ring-shaped transducer. The wound precision wire that makes up the coil is only 42 micrometers thick. It consists of 3.5 layers of wire in a total of 98 windings. The space between the two magnets, in which the coil oscillates freely, is only 0.6 mm wide. The work of fitting these parts is done by hand—and the same thing applies to many of the other components of the HD 800. The transducer of the HD 800 transmits in a frequency band from 8 Hz–50 kHz. Not that anyone is capable of perceiving this sound range, but the pleasant ancillary effect is that the transducer delivers an extremely clean sound in the 16 Hz–20 kHz range.



Cords and Connections

The symmetrical cords are designed with twin-core, high-performance, insulated connections on each side. They are additionally covered with high-quality material for better shielding from oscillations caused by ambient noise. The jacks are exclusively produced for the HD 800 in Switzerland and feature gold-plated bunches. Gold has the highly positive property of having a very low transfer resistance, thus guaranteeing excellent contact without interference.

Headband and Mountings

The headband consists of a sandwich design in which a metal layer is covered with several layers of plastic. The high-tech plastic possesses incredible attenuation characteristics and ensures that oscillations are not transmitted to the headphone mountings.

The headphones of the HD 800 are only mounted on one side, to make sure they fit optimally over the ear. The relocation of their point of balance towards the back of the head also enhances comfort for the wearer.

Handcrafted ear pads, made of high-quality microfiber fabric. This material is extremely comfortable to wear and easy to maintain. Leona, an ultra-light, high-rigidity special plastic, is as hard as titanium and thus yielding extremely low oscillation. Hi-tech stainless steel mesh--the ideal material for three-dimensional sound--combines all the properties of stainless steel with an incredible degree of transparency.



Technical Specifications

  • Frequency Response: 6–51,000 Hz (-10 dB); 14–44,100 Hz (-3 dB)
  • Nominal impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Sound pressure level at 1 kHz: 102 dB (1 Vrms)
  • Max. nominal long-term input power: 500 mW in acc. with EN 60-268-7
  • Harmonic distortion: <_ 0.02% (1 kHz, 1 Vrms)
  • Contact pressure: approx. 3.4 N ± 0.3 N
  • Weight (without cable): approx. 330 g
  • Jack plug: ¼" (6.3 mm) stereo
  • Connecting cable: silver-plated, oxygen-free (OFC) copper cable, symmetrical, Kevlar reinforced, 3 m
  • Operating temperature: –10 °C to +55 °C
  • Product Description

    There has always been a debate between electronic reproduction and natural sound. The Sennheiser HD-800 is the headphone that has been specifically engineered in replicating the basic acoustic conditions of natural hearing. This level of performance has yet to be matched by any competitor. The HD-800 is the ultimate headphone to deliver nature. More than 60 years of ingenious headphone engineering has been applied into the new HD 800. Incorporating Sennheiser's most advanced driver technology, these open, circum-aural dynamic stereo headphones redefine what reference-level audio is all about. You will form an altogether new height of sonic perspective as you experience a high-fidelity natural hearing experience. Premium parts have gone into their production - the transducer is encased by a precision material made of stainless steel; ear pads are made of special high-quality Japanese Alcantara; while the headband and headphone mounting utilizes the most advanced development from the aerospace industry. In terms of connectivity, these headphones utilize specially designed, four-wire, high-performance connections with insulation. These headphones have been developed to provide the closest match to "being there" than any other available headphone. The Sennheiser HD-800 is for the discriminating audiophile seeking the best and most natural sound available. From rich bass lows to definitive highs, the Sennheiser HD-800 headphones deliver the exclusive sound that nature had intended. Special high precision headphone connectors Frequency Response - 14 - 44,100 Hz (- 3 dB) Nominal Impedance - 300 Ohms Contact Pressure - 3.4 N (+- 0.3 N) approx. Transducer Principle - Dynamic, open Thd - =0.02 % (1kHz/1Vrms) Characteristic Spl - 102 dB (1kHz/1Vrms) Cable Length - 9.84 feet (3m) Oxygen Free Cable Adapter - 1/4 (6.3 mm) stereo jack Sennheiser 2 year warranty Each pair of Sennheiser

    Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer Reviews

    The bass, midrange, and highs are all there and the frequency response at least to my ear sounds pretty flat.
    J. White
    The Sennheiser HD 800 headphones are Sennheiser's flagship cans and really offer all the best qualities that come from over 60 years of sound engineering.
    Craig Olson
    If you want a better performance from headphones you will have to spend thousands more on a pair of Stax headphones perhaps.
    Melomaniac !

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    371 of 397 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Barrow on October 15, 2009
    Verified Purchase
    I am not a golden ear audiophile. I don't know what it means to hear "the air between the strings" and other such audiophile descriptions. More power to those that can -- I am simply not able to do so. I do however know that music is and always has been my greatest entertainment, and that as I have grown older, my ability to pay higher dollar for my equipment has also grown. No way could I have had these headphones in past times. No way could I have justified their cost. Other priorities would have always taken precedence over these. But now that I can afford them, I still debated and agonized over the cost, but in the end decided I would go for them. Am I glad? Absolutely. They are without question the best sounding headphones I have ever heard. I could hear the difference straight out of the box, I did not even do "A to B" comparisons to know how good they sounded. I did do comparisons with my HD600 to HS650 upgrade and was never sure I heard much difference. Not so with the HD800s.

    Here is the best way I can describe them. When I was young, I would listen to a lot of music particularly nice in headphones. I am talking Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and many others. I am a child of the 60's/70's so I would often be a bit "altered' while listening. In those days a pair of Koss headphones, a little "substance", and the latest King Crimson album would lend to a headphone experience whereby I would believe I was literally dreaming the music. (A very nice state). But as time went on, the subtances went away, the latest King Crimson album I had in mind (Larks Tounge in Aspic) is almost 40 years old now, and my hearing ain't what it used to be.

    All that was said to lead up to this. With these headphones on (no substances), I am dreaming the music again.
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    257 of 292 people found the following review helpful By R. Thompson on June 7, 2009
    SHORT VERSION:
    The Sennheiser HD800 sets a new metric against which every other serious headphone or transducer must be judged. I've heard too many "breakthroughs" that just couldn't deliver the goods. This product is different.

    It's hard to describe a piece of gear which, upon first listen, sounds different than anything you've heard, yet sounds so completely effortless and musical that you're left with the singular impression that the previous way you've listened to music is somehow incomplete, a wrong path if you will, and that this is clearly a better way.

    I can't imagine anyone buying these and not being thrilled. They are a rare product indeed -- one that adds a significant new dimension to recordings you may have owned for years and thought you knew.

    LONG-WINDED VERSION:
    First some background. Music is very important to me; I played the cello for many years, currently sing in a gospel choir, and now do my own audio recordings of choirs and other groups. I spend a lot of time with these tracks, during both the editing process and for my own personal benefit. I often pore over recordings to try and learn the nuance and details of each part.

    In this regard my playback system is crucial. I record using a Sony PCM-D50 with a variety of microphones, my favorite being a RODE NT4. I edit these on my Mac and use a Grace m902 for D/A conversion and to drive my headphones. I switch back and forth between AKG K701 headphones (now replaced by the HD800) and a pair of GURU QM10 nearfield studio monitors. With that out of the way let's get to the heart of the matter...
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    43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Melomaniac ! on December 15, 2009
    For a number of years the standard among many in the price vs performance was the HD 600's, edged out slightly by the 650's. Even today a pair of these high quality headphones represent some of the best money one can spend compared to the return in performance.

    Currently there are a number of great headphones out there in the $300 range (Shure SE530's, Beyerdynamic DT 880's, AKG 701/702's, Dennons AH-D2000) which all offer a similar level of performance that the above mentioned models deliver. So now the choice on most counts comes down to a matter of taste and want each individual cares to have with their primary headphones. With all these great choices out there why would anyone in the right mind spend over $1300 on a pair of cans, is what most regular people are going to say?

    1) Ability to produce a sound stage. These headphones have this in spades.

    This has to be one of the best strengths that I have encountered with these headphones. One of the main dis-tractors of headphone use for many is the 'in your head' issue and listener fatigue that comes with this, not to mention being further exacerbated by low quality headphones. These cans continually carry me outside of my head. There are many tracks that I have been listening to and it is like I am hearing the sound coming from outside and not from the phones. Open and Wide are good descriptions for these headphones. Listening is a pleasure mainly due to the fact that the music is so open, with a large sound stage before me and much less of the 'in your head' feeling.

    2) Neutral. You only hear what is there.

    All headphones have a character of their own, not to mention all associated equipment that goes with it.
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