Sennheiser HD 800 Review


The HD range from Sennheiser has always been a showcase of some of the best the company headphones the company has to offer. All the products in this range – including the mid-range HD 598 and the classic HD 650 – have been superstars and among the best in their class. The HD 800 is Sennheiser’s flagship pair of headphones and from the off, it is obvious that company has gone all out to prove it.

This huge headphone is priced like the top-of-the-line product that it is. But, with the HD 800, Sennheiser is out to prove to the world that paying such a high amount for a pair of headphones can be worth it.

But, is it all that it is made out to be? Let’s find out.

One of the first things you will notice about these silver and back beauties is that they are huge. The HD 650 – which is one model down – is big and covers most large ears. The HD 800, on the other hand, makes the 650 seem simple and sensible in comparison. These open-back headphones completely engulf your ear and almost look like a prop from a sci-fi movie in the 80’s.

For all practical purposes, the HD 800 has a traditional design with a black grill protecting the open back. But, stylistically, they are a bit unusual. Most manufacturers opt for a classic design when it comes to their high-end products – the Beyerdynamic T90, for example, uses fabric to give it a “classy” look. But, it looks like Sennheiser wanted to give these headphones a more technologically-advanced look, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

It is surprising to note that much of the HD 800’s body is made of plastic including the rim that borders the pads and the arms which connect the headband to the ear cups. But, this is standard for all products in the HD range and the plastics are of very high quality. However, because it uses plastic so much, the HD 800 does lack the visual punch of something like the Meze 99 Classics.

A huge benefit of using plastics is the reduction in weight. At 330g without the cable, the HD 800 is fairly light for its size. The head-hugging fabric ear pads are well-positioned making these headphones very comfortable to wear. This Sennheiser is one of the most comfortable headsets out there, especially if you are already a fan of the feel of the HD series.

Almost predictably, the Sennheiser HD 800 sounds absolutely fantastic. By all accounts, one of the best sounding headphones money can buy.

The sound is incredibly accurate which might make some people wonder if it is a bit lacking in warmth. But, unlike plenty of other similar headphones, the HD 800 has plenty of bass.

Even when a powerful low end is needed, the HD 800 can supply it in spades. When watching an explosion scene in a movie, for example, the bass response is shocking because it is so unexpected. There isn’t any excess warmth but, even the sub-bass levels are superb and will send chills down your spine.

When compared to its competition, one of the more differentiating qualities of the HD 800 is its wide soundstage. This helps gives the sound a speaker-like impression as opposed to most other headphones which give an in-your-head feel. Granted, there are many other headphones which give a similarly “open” sound. But, these Sennheisers are on a completely different level. Few headphones have the aural breadth of the HD 800 which can render even the most complex of sounds in all its glory.

Having said that, some people may find its lack of pomposity a bit disappointing. The HD 800 is a master at recreating sound perfectly. But, it doesn’t really make music sound grand and larger-than-life. Some people want a bit of excitement when listening to music and the fact that these headphones are extremely accurate may be a bit of a turn-off.

Essentially, these headphones don’t come with any accessories. But, the box is spectacular. It is lined with silk and looks like the presentation box for an expensive necklace. Considering its price, the lavish packaging may not be a bad thing.

The mesh-covered detachable cable is 3m long and has a gold-plated 6.3mm jack. There is no 3.5mm converter, which isn’t surprising since the HD 800 is not designed to be plugged in to your iPhone. They are designed to be used with a headphone amp – clear from the 300 Ohm impedance – and the open back design means that it is better for indoor use than outdoors.

Excellent build quality

Very comfortable

Accurate sound reproduction

Extremely wide sound stage

The design may not be for everyone

The Sennheiser HD 800 is one of the best, and most accurate, headphones money can buy. It has a wide soundstage and can make it sound like music is coming from nearby speakers and not a headset. They are extremely comfortable to wear and the design is definitely eye-catching.

Sennheiser HD 800

It provides High Sound Quality – equipment, specifications.

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Sennheiser HD 800 S Over-the-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones - Ring Radiator Drivers...

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Last update was on: June 12, 2024 6:00 am
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Sennheiser HD 800: Price Comparison
Sennheiser HD 800 S Over-the-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones - Ring...
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