Review: Sennheiser HD800s Headphones
Sennheiser is one of the largest headphone manufacturers in the world, founded in 1945. Their headphones and microphones alike are highly regarded for their sonic qualities and versatility, and their products can be found in multiple categories including professional use in aviation and marine communications, through to domestic headphones. The original HD800 headphones are to this day considered a 'reference' for many head-fi enthusiasts, so when the updated HD800s was announced, we were keen to put them through their paces.
Packaging and materials
The HD800s comes in an incredibly premium satin-lined box - a very neat touch, and a superb way to remind you that you are dealing with high-end audio.
Included in the box:
- The Sennheiser HD 800S headphones
- Cable with 6.3mm jack connector
- Balanced cable with XLR4 connector
- Microfibre cleaning cloth
- USB flash drive
The USB flash drive contains a software version of the user manual, as well as a frequency response chart - specific to this very pair of HD800s. Each pair is individually tested.
The build and materials are exactly the same as the original HD800, with a few exceptions. For starters, it now comes in a sleek matte black finish. This seemingly small change has made the aesthetic of the headphone stand apart from the HD800 - and it looks absolutely brilliant. The black isn’t just on the yolk of the headphones, it’s also the headband assembly and even the driver grills. In fact, the only parts that remain silver, are the soft cups surrounding the driver, and the metal plate in the headband.
Weighing in at 330 grams (without cable), they are very lightweight for a circumaural (over-the-ear) type headphone, and are incredibly comfortable. They can be worn for hours without any kind of issues with sweating, pressure, or general uncomfort.
Once worn, they don’t touch the ears at all - instead, the pads distribute pressure evenly around the outside.
Two cables have been included with this headphone - both are three meters in length. One is the balanced XLR4 cable, and the other is the standard 6.35mm TS jack cable.
The HD800s houses an enormous 56mm dynamic driver - one of the largest available in the consumer headphone market today. It has a noticeable amount of distance from the ear, and is angled inwards (toward the listener).
The HD800s has introduced a similar acoustical absorber to that of Sennheiser’s flagship In Ear Monitor - the IE800. The sonic differences between this model and the original HD800 are immediately obvious because of it.
Constantly keeping himself busy, Matthew is a production manager, Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt, Head-Fi fanatic, coffee enthusiast and all-round cool Dad.