Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System
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|Brand||Sennheiser Consumer Audio|
|Headphones Form Factor||On Ear|
About this item
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- Open back, around ear, reference class dynamic headphone
- 56mm ring radiator transducers are the largest drivers ever used in dynamic headphones
- Innovative absorber technology reduces unwanted frequency response peaks allowing all the music nuances to become audible
- Unique ear cup design directs sound waves to the ear at a slight angle to create an impressively natural and spatial listening experience
- Includes two connecting cables: single ended 1/4 inches And balanced 4. 4 mm Pentacon cable
- Connectivity technology: Wired
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From the manufacturer
Sennheiser HD 800 S
The audiophile headphones all others are measured against, the HD 800 S doesn’t just raise the ceiling for critical listening—it catapults right through it. The HD 800 S is assembled at Sennheiser's state-of-the-art facility in Germany so you can explore your entire music collection from the inside out.
Sennheiser is shaping the Future of Audio – a vision built on a 75-year history of innovation and a continued drive for excellence that is woven into our company’s DNA and culture. Around the world, our employees share this passion in the pursuit of the perfect sound, creating products that exceed expectations and set new benchmarks in audio.
The Exploration of Sound
The HD 800 S demonstrates over seven decades of audio expertise, redefining the critical listening experience. Sennheiser's goal was to provide acoustics so immersive that you the lines between playback and reality were erased. The signature sound of the HD 800 S is possible because of the synergy of every world-class component.
- Reference-grade audiophile sound quality
- Open earcup design for a spacious, lifelike soundstage
- Made in Germany from purpose-built materials
- Ring Radiator transducers for incredible detail and extension
- Vibration damping chassis with luxurious padding
Luxuriously soft earpads rest around the ear for long-term comfort.
Experience the breathtaking sound of a vented earcup that lets soundwaves expand naturally.
Comes with (2) cables for connecting to singled ended 1/4-inch (6.3mm) and balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn outputs such as headphone amplifiers, A/V receivers, audio interfaces and more.
It Has A Ring To It
The heart of the HD 800 S and its striking sound is the 56mm Ring Radiator transducer. It leverages the air displacement of a large speaker diaphragm without losing the rigidity of a smaller one. The result is hyper fast response for superb detail across the entire frequency range. The headphone’s vibration damping chassis and inert headband ensure that what you put into the HD 800 S is precisely what you will get out of it, too.
Each transducer is manufactured, tested, and measured to the tightest tolerance for the most dependable performance out of the box. Even the 40mm voice coil is wound in-house to ensure the shape and consistency is held to the highest standard. Each HD 800 S includes the frequency response plot unique to those perfectly matched transducers, sparing no resource to help you retrieve the most critical details from every corner of your music collection.
Behind the Mask
Achieving acoustics that are true to the source also requires management of compounding frequency clusters that produce undesirable masking effects. Sennheiser integrated a patented frequency absorber to reduce resonances that hide extraordinary musical details in plain sight. Further, the transducer system is mounted in a vibration damping chassis using aerospace-grade materials. As a result the problematic energy peaks of lower frequencies are controlled to unveil the purity your hi-fi setup is capable of.
Let’s take a look at the specifications...
- Frequency response: 4 – 51,000 Hz
- Impedance: 300 Ohms
- THD: <0.02%
- Sensitivity: 103 dB at 1 kHz, 1V
- Cable: Detachable; 3 meters (9.8 feet) length
- Weight without cable: 330 grams (11.6 ounces)
- Included accessories: 3 meter cable with 6.3mm stereo plug (¼ inch), 3 meter balanced cable with 4.4mm Pentaconn plug, USB manual with frequency response plot, deluxe storage box
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|Sold By||Max Deal Center||Bsd Wholesale||PHOTOTECH||Liquid Audio Inc||DEALATHON||Amazon Warehouse|
|Headphones Form Factor||On Ear||In Ear||On Ear||Over Ear||Over Ear||Over Ear|
|Item Dimensions||10.7 x 5.7 x 13.8 inches||4.33 x 7.48 x 9.06 inches||6.7 x 7.9 x 3.9 inches||0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 inches||10.12 x 4.25 x 12.6 inches||1 x 1 x 1 inches|
|Item Weight||0.73 lbs||0.88 lbs||0.66 lbs||0.57 lbs||0.58 lbs||0.50 lbs|
|Special Features||dj-style||Microphone Feature, Lightweight, Noise Isolation, Volume-Control, Universal Phone Control||Lightweight||lightweight||Lightweight||foldable|
A modern classic, Sennheiser's reference class HD 800 headphones deliver sound that is as natural as possible and true in every detail. 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 striking industrial design combines form and function seamlessly, the layered metal and plastic headband construction attenuating vibrations to the ear cups while the handmade microfiber ear pads offer exceptional comfort for even long periods of listening enjoyment. Crafted for perfection, the HD 800 and the HD 800 S are precision built in Germany from only the finest materials and components. The transducer is encased by stainless steel, while the headband and headphone mounting utilizes the most advanced materials developed in the aerospace industry for high strength with minimal weight. The new HD 800 S offers even better high precision connectivity options and is now supplied with two connection leads, a 6. 3mm connector and a 4.4mm Pentacon balanced cable to offer even better quality sound from sources with balanced outputs such as the Sennheiser HDV 820 headphones amplifier.
Top reviews from the United States
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I work in the musical instruments (high-end electric guitars) and music (artist/band management) industry so I'm around high-end gear and people who take sound very seriously all the time. When it comes to sound people can be very opinionated and one cannot prove or dispute that one piece of high-end gear is better or worse than the other at relatively similar price points. And as we get to higher and higher price points, we are sure to find more and more people arguing about the justification of such prices.
Some new custom electric guitars can cost $5000 and up. Does that make a custom guitar from company "A" twice as good as a custom guitar from company "B" that's priced at $2500? Of course not. This also applies to amplifiers, speaker cabinets, effects pedals, cables and everything else involved in producing a good sound. Ultimately, all that matters is that the gear you choose works for you.
Obviously, this applies to audiophile gear as well. I've had some good headphones from the likes of AKG, Grado and Sennheiser and I've noticed that all manufacturers have their distinctive sonic stamp. For me, the Sennheiser's character seemed to suit me best as I highly value clarity, balance and prefer "brilliance" over "mellow" and "warmth". Again, it's personal taste and I perfectly understand why some people would prefer more bass or mellowness. I, for one, do not like bass to be emphasized at all and despise boomy bass that overwhelms all the other frequency ranges.
So I decided that I could afford to splurge on the one "ultimate" (for me, anyway) over-ears open-back headphone that I've always wanted. After going over various options, I settled on the HD800S and I can honestly say that I'm very pleased with what I'm hearing. I use it with Chord Electronics' Hugo and Mojo DAC/headphone amps and they match up perfectly. I only play ALAC, high-res FLAC and DSD files to listen to my favorite music with a heavy emphasis on classical music and jazz. For rock, metal and modern pop, ALAC in my iTunes library is fine but for classical and jazz that have much greater dynamic range I definitely prefer high-res FLAC and DSD.
The soundstage of the HD 800S is superb - extremely broad but also with detailed depth that I have not heard from my previous headphones. There is a three-dimensional quality in where the instruments are placed in the stereo spectrum - not only left to right but front to back. It's by far the largest soundstage I've heard from a headphone but it should be noted that high-res FLAC and DSD files along with a superb DAC like the Chord Hugo have a lot to with that as well. To get the most out of a headphone like the HD800S, you do need other critical components to work in conjunction with it.
As for the overall sound quality, it is what I expected out of Sennheiser - bright and super clear but not strident, firm and defined lows, rich mids that are beautifully balanced but with a tad bit more emphasis on the high-mids. I can understand why some would consider this kind of "voicing" to be too bright and prefer something more mellower and warmer but, as I said before, everyone hears things differently. I love the clarity and the definition of the HD800S but also the smoothness of the highs. I haven't heard the 800 but I can say the 800S' highs are silky smooth - especially the string sections of an orchestra which, to me, is the benchmark to check during listening tests.
The lows are big and firm but play more of a "supporting" role to everything else than being out at the front which is, again, exactly the way I like to hear things. Listening to some techno-electronica kinds of stuff, the bass has more than enough punch with plenty of definition along with a nice smooth balance amongst the bass frequencies. The truly beautiful thing about the HD 800S sound is its smoothness across the entire sonic spectrum without any noticeable peaks and valleys. It's not just a matter of balance but a very musical "sheen" around the edges.
The all-critical mids where the ears naturally tune into is rich but super clear with excellent separation between instruments (including voice) across the stereo field. Whether it's Beethoven's 'Eroica' symphony or Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue' or The Rolling Stones' 'Let It Bleed', I'm hearing details that I've never heard before in all their sonic glory and every one of those little details sounds sublime.
Yes, the HD 800S is certainly an expensive piece of gear but if music and sound quality matter that much to you, it's worth a shot. I certainly didn't expect a $1600 headphone to sound "three times" better than a $500 headphone (and I've had a few in that range). Anyone who expects that doesn't understand the law of diminishing returns when it comes to high-end gear. But in the end, if that last 5~10% in greater clarity, depth and detail can be experienced over the previous headphone and greatly increases your overall enjoyment of the music, then it becomes worth every extra dollar and penny.
It's easy to feel a sense of "buyer's remorse" after purchasing a headphone like this. Expectations can be too high. I had very realistic expectations and in which areas I expected to hear improvements. In those areas, the HD 800S actually exceeded all my expectations and sounds even better than I thought it would. And, as expected, the sound keeps improving as I'm only now reaching the 100th hour with it. It's a great audio device - one of the best I've ever owned and heard. The industrial design and the workmanship are about as good as they get but, ultimately, it's the sound and the HD 800S really delivers like none that I had ever heard.
Addendum: I believe my HD 800S now has surpassed the 150-hour mark. It really does sound so much better than the first few hours. The bit of stiffness I heard around the edges of the notes is now gone. I can sense more "elasticity" in the way the different frequencies and instruments interact with each other. The highs sound smoother, the lows have more bounce and the mids sound richer with even greater detail. The first 100~120 hours really do make a big difference. It just keeps sounding better and better and that's a mighty good thing.
Audeze LCD-X, BeyerDynamic T5P Gen2, Sennheiser HD650, Hifiman HE400i, Oppo PM-3, , Audio Technica MSR7, BeyerDynamic DT770, and DT880, V-Moda M100, Bower & Wilkins P7, briefly HD800 (this was a lender that got me to dive into the HD800S).
Long Story Short: I've never been happier with a purchase. I got these things in "Open Box - Like New" condition form an authorized dealer and these cans are worth EVERY PENNY. The sound stage is a miracle and these ear speakers are the "Truth". By that I mean, they are brutally honest and will give you the most true representation of what was occurring at the recording studio or concert hall as it was occurring. I have fallen in love with bands I never even knew I could like thanks to these guys. If you enjoy music with a flat EQ, these should be right up your alley.
Quick Run-Down (This is my perfect cocktail):
Highs - Sweet and roll off the top at just the right point. They don't extend quite as high IMO as the old HD800 (which also sounds phenomenal!)
Mids - Present and fairly full. Not as full or in your face like the HD650 but man.. you can easily fall in love with the perfect balance that these maintain so well.
Bass - I hear complaints about bass being weak on the HD800s and this surprises the hell out of me. I think for a neutral reference headphone, the bass is just perfect - I wouldn't change it one bit. I've heard it extend so low and well on certain tracks that it just blew me away. Tight, controlled, and just present enough.
Comfort: This is a VERY comfortable headphone - no complaints. Love the padding material!
Quality: Very high end quality. Demands delicate handling but extreme level of detail was put into the design and creation of this piece.
I'm someone who truly enjoys picking songs apart and focusing on analytical pieces.. That being said, I think these are extremely musical. I can sit back and enjoy the music without thinking about it. Not sure where some of these complaints I've read about come from.
*Do yourself a favor and at least try them if you're thinking about it.
Top reviews from other countries
La construcción es algo extraña pero muy en línea con su precio, pensarías que al tener tanto plástico no hace sentido el precio, pero es un plástico de alto grado (creo fibra de carbono) que los hace muy ligeros y muy resistentes, ya tuve un percance con ellos e impresionantemente no les quedó ni un tallón, se saltó un pin que asegura una de las copas a la diadema y simplemente fue de volver a ponerla a presión y como si nada hubiera pasado, así de buena es la construcción y los materiales. Los cables que incluye también de mucha calidad, tejidos de buen grosor y con su espiral en el cable que va por fuera del central para mantener una uniformidad a lo largo del mismo, también cables muy largos que puede ser un poco excesivo pero me parece mejor que sobre a que falte (me falta probar el cable balanceado incluido pero seguro es de muy buena manufactura también). El único detalle un poco incomodo pero posiblemente es mejor que sean así es que los conectores de los cables hacia los drivers son un tanto difíciles de extraer en cuanto a que requieren algo de fuerza para 'jalarlos', esperaría que tomándolos con cuidado no debiera provocar ningún problema.
Esta edición supone ser una mejora a los HD800 que tenían un detalle que a mucha gente no le gustó por sus frecuencias altas que eran muy estridentes, a estos les agregaron una camara de resonancia que supone ayuda a mejorar la separación del audio en sus frecuencias y ayuda a atenuar ese 'pico' en las frecuencias altas. Alcanzo a percibir porqué fue necesario el ajuste ya que de pronto en pistas con masterizado un poco estridente en las frecuencias altas todavía se alcanza a percibir que pueden estar cercanos al límite de comodidad auditiva en esas frecuencias, pero me agrada porque no pierdes el detalle sin ser molesto como lo pudo ser en los HD800.
Ampliamente lo recomiendo si sobre todo te gusta música clásica, jazz y otros instrumentos acústicos y de viento. Para música rock igual son bastante buenos pero su potencial sobresale al reproducir con alta fidelidad instrumentos análogos más que eléctricos en mi opinión. De pronto puedes llegar a sentir como si fuera una grabación de música en vivo aunque sean en estudio si las pistas estan bien grabadas y si son de alta resolución, y es que es así de natural la forma en la que se despliega la música a través de ellos.
Un punto muy fuerte que les alaban mucho es el soundstage que a como lo explican y lo entiendo se refiere a la separación entre instrumentos y que haya como una profundidad en el sonido, osea que tenga relieve y percibas tanto los instrumentos que estan más al fondo como instrumentos más en primer plano y que prácticamente pudieras si cierras los ojos pensar en donde estaría posicionado cada instrumento si se hubieran tocado juntos en el estudio. A mi parecer el manejo de los canales estereo es excepcional y siento que el 'imaging' (que es la precisión y claridad con la que se reproduce el sonido de un instrumento) es tan bueno que ayuda a una buena percepción del soundstage, pero tampoco siento que haya tanto así una profundidad en el sonido, aunque sí percibo un tanto de relieves al no perder detalle entre instrumentos de frecuencias bajas, instrumentos de frecuencias medias e instrumentos de frecuencias altas, por lo que instrumentos que hayan manejado a mas bajos volúmenes los puedes distinguir con mejor claridad y sin revolverse con otros, cuando menos en mi caso, con respecto a cualquier otro audífono que haya escuchado.
La comodidad es otro punto que tiene detractores y en mi caso apoyo por igual, en mi opinión si son MUY cómodos por que son ligeros, no tienen mucha fuerza de abrazado alrededor de la oreja y la poca presión que hacen provoca que se siente cercano a como si estuvieran flotando alrededor de tus oídos. Lo 'malo' de que su fuerza de presión no sea muy alta es que si te agachas hacia adelante o atrás se resbalen un tanto, posiblemente si lo haces con un poco de fuerza que hasta se te caigan de la cabeza, pero hay gente que dice que tocan partes de tu cara que no les parece cómodo, para mi no fue así. Hay algunas reseñas que declaran que les causa un poco de comezón el material esponjoso con el que hace contacto la piel pero a mi no me pareció para nada en lo absoluto.
Algo que no se que tan fácil sea de mejorar es que como se apoyan alrededor de las orejas, no sobre ellas, tienden a tener un juego, osea que puedes mover los audífonos aproximadamente 1 centímetro o no se si un poco mas o menos alrededor de tus orejas y eso puede cambiar un poco la experiencia, pero cuando los acomodas donde los sientas y escuches bien, ahí empieza lo bueno.
En general si puedes encontrar un lugar donde audicionarlos recomiendo altamente que lo hagas porque sí es una experiencia potencialmente MUY diferente a lo que pudieras estar acostumbrado, te podrías sorprender mucho de que existan audífonos así. Pudiera resultar 'problemático' de esta nueva experiencia que en parte estas escuchando los audífonos y no sólo la música, lo cual puede ser bueno pero te puede cambiar como te sentías al escuchar una canción, lo cual puede ser una aventura muy entretenida o un tanto incómoda, para mí ha sido como el redescubrimiento del sonido en grabaciones profesionales (películas, música sobre todo y en general cualquier audio que puedas oir con audífonos).
Highly recommend pairing with a good tube amp to draw out its full potential, though they can be driven okay without. I still wouldn't recommend running without a good amp if your paying for these premium cans.
If you also work professionally with mixing and production, this is a must-have product in your studio!
I paired these bad boys with the THX 789 Amp and all I can say is I wasn't ready for it. Excellent and large sound-stage. Imaging, tonal quality is superb. The bass is extremely clean, you get that tight bass with it (Which is what I like). Although it is not a bassy headphone. These headphones were designed so that you can hear the mids/highs with accurate and precise detail without the bass overpowering the mid/highs. It is truly a balanced set of cans. The HD800(S) was designed to find flaws in recordings. If you listen to a poorly recorded song, it might sound absolutely horrific to you in these headphones, but hey that is not the headphones fault. These cans are just showing you what music really sounds like, it will show you any flaws or inconsistencies in the recording/song. Using these cans I listened to many different genres from Classical, Jazz to HipHop and EDM. I found some EDM songs to have harsh treble frequencies but then when I listened to Jazz everything was perfect just like the way I wanted it. It means these headphones don't have harsh treble, it simply means the producer/masterer simply added too much 10k+ frequencies added in the mix. You can crank the volume on these cans and listen to it at a higher volume with 0 distortion and same level of clarity as low volume. (Most other low/mid tier headphones will start to sound distorted after certain dB).
The female vocals is where these headphones shine at. I listened to "Adele - Hello" and I could swear I thought she was singing live in front of me. Vocals with 0 color saturation. Extreme detail and clarity. I hear instruments/vocals exactly as I would hear it live in front of me with no difference in sound tonal projection.
I rate these headphones 10/10. At the same time I don't think it's for everyone. Some people might not think it's worth $2199.99 but I do, sound can be very subjective. Music is a part of my everyday life and I use these headphones constantly and I value and appreciate sound/music. I can fully admit to my self that this was a justified purchase for me but others might disagree for themselves. If you're considering purchasing these, I would strongly recommend to try it first. When these first arrived, I won't lie... I had buyer's remorse for the first couple days but I gave it a chance. After using them for a week and tried to go back to my Sennheiser HD598, I simply coudn't go back. I had let my ears get used to the HD800(S) clarity and detail and I loved it do death at that point. After a week of using the HD800(S), to me the HD598 sounded not as detailed/clear, distorted bass, smaller soundstage and I just wasn't having it for the HD598. Once you try these, you might never go back. At this point, I love these headphones and I will never sell these.
Enjoy your journey for finding the right headphones for yourself and good luck!