Need opinions about the Sennheiser HD800 / HD800s

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santoshmanivannan

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I've been into Planar Magnetic headphones and recently I find their timbre to be fake especially compared to my HD6xx. I'm looking to upgrade to a dynamic driver headphone with good sound stage, I'm open to modding as well. The HD800 series of headphones seem to be recommended to fit my bill but I've heard people say they sound fake. Can anyone please help me with a brief of how they sound? I'm also open to other recommendations.

My current system is: Mac mini -> ifi iPurifier (USB) -> Topping D10 (SPDIF converter) -> AGD Dac19 (2x PCM1704) -> Cayin IHA-6
I listen to all sorts of music but a little oriented towards classical.

Thanks in advance!
 

santoshmanivannan

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In case anyone else is looking for this later. One person with an ear I trust told me that the HD800 is very thin sounding with recessed mids and very bright. The HD800s is similar with more bass quantity (less in quality) and less bright with a smaller soundstage. I was also told that these headphones can reflect your setup pretty well so if you pair them with a synergistic setup, you will have a good time or it pierce city.
 

arj

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HD800, frm what. have heard needs a powerful amp to drive it. I have heard it with a feliks Euphoria and it sounded excellent , not fatiguing and with good bass but even with a Chord Mojo amp it sounds pretty thin

HD6xx is much more easier to drive
 

santoshmanivannan

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HD800, frm what. have heard needs a powerful amp to drive it. I have heard it with a feliks Euphoria and it sounded excellent , not fatiguing and with good bass but even with a Chord Mojo amp it sounds pretty thin

HD6xx is much more easier to drive
Didn't ask sorry.. But yes I did also read that the HD800 has great synergy with Feliks Euphoria, the Bryston BHA1, and Eddie Current amps. I think I'm going to stick to the HD6xx till I absolutely need to upgrade (audition some headphones along the way), and get some toobs into my system. Partly because of how expensive the jump to a HD800 is and how difficult it is to find a unit to buy too!
 

essrand

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I heard the HD800s and I preferred the Focal Clear Mg at that price point. YMMV. HD800s has better "soundstage" though, if that's your criterion.
 

SwaroopKS

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In case anyone else is looking for this later. One person with an ear I trust told me that the HD800 is very thin sounding with recessed mids and very bright. The HD800s is similar with more bass quantity (less in quality) and less bright with a smaller soundstage. I was also told that these headphones can reflect your setup pretty well so if you pair them with a synergistic setup, you will have a good time or it pierce city.
I have HD800 with superdupont mod that brings them closer to HD800S. They are paired with HDVD800 and Allo Digione/chromecast audio as source. They are fantastic headphones. The are the only audio gear that take away any upgrade itch every time I hear them. I did listen to audeze and hifiman planars for very short while in audio show. Keeping few models of hifiman aside, I would take HD800 any day for comfort.

I am not sure which chain the person heard HD800 on, but they do need proper matching and they scale very well. Anything other than dedicated amp for them won't do any justice for what they can do.
 

arj

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I am not sure which chain the person heard HD800 on, but they do need proper matching and they scale very well. Anything other than dedicated amp for them won't do any justice for what they can do.
Thats exactly what I have heard as well and the choice of amp is also important to match it.
 

SwaroopKS

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Thats exactly what I have heard as well and the choice of amp is also important to match it.
Yup, I tried them without amp, with portable amps like FIIO, then with stereo amps with headphone out and finally with HDVD800. The improvement was there for each step but only with HDVD I felt their potential. Otherwise even M50X and HD598 sounded on par with it.

I heard they match well with eddie current, cavalli and dna amps but given I couldn't audition any and difficulty in getting someone to carry such heavy tube amps, I took safe bet in HDVD800. To me the pairing is best I heard and if I have to go by reviews, the other amps mentioned are far better. So in future, my own step would be to change the amp but not headphones.
 

Sendhil.k

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I own the 800 for a while now , you should definitely be targeting a violectric amp or if youre ok with chi-fi , an Aune S7 pro will do a pretty good job ( the number of input options is a bonus) . Get a good quality XLR cable . The 800 will reveal every nuance in you chain , you can hear the sound changing with different audio cables . You will need a good dac . Lastly ,do not shy away from applying EQ to it .. changes the entire dynamics of these phones . I have heard the Audezes , top line Focal but frankly nothing really beats the 800 with the right EQ.
As a contrast I have the LCD2C. The Hd800s is a slightly warmer version, not really needed if you apply EQ to the 800.
 
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