Review of Sennheiser HD800s Audiophile Headphones
Like the original HD800, the 800s comes in a thick black box with plenty of padding. There’s the same thick, heavy-duty, removable, balanced-input cable. The finish on the new version is black, but you probably already knew that.
Construction-wise, it may very well be the same exact headphone. The HD800s doesn’t add or lose any weight, though, and the biggest physical difference may be the change in color.
Total harmonic distortion remains the same between the two models, as does contact pressure and nominal impedance. There’s a slight change in frequency range, though, with the original HD800 sporting a 6-51000 hertz range while the new version opts for a 4-51000 range.
But under the hood, how are these headphones different?
In regard to sound, the Sennheiser HD800s is far and away a more premium experience, with a richer, punchier bass. I also get the impression of more high end detail, and possibly more articulate mids. And even though the high end has more contrast to it, it also seems to have smoother treble than the previous model. In truth, “articulate” is perhaps the best word to describe the HD800s – an impression that makes me almost miss the more-relaxed-sounding HD800.
If you’re looking for an upgrade to the HD800, though, the HD800s will offer improvements in spades. Or, if you are more than content with the performance you’re already getting from the HD800, you could stick with your current setup. While I might appreciate the new 800s for rock and hip-hop, I might just as well prefer the older 800 for the way it handles some jazz and classical tracks – because as revealing as the 800 can be, the fact that it’s just a little less-revealing than the new 800s can be a boon when dealing with lower-quality recordings.
All in all, this is one stellar headphone. If you’re thirsting after more contrast than that delivered by the original HD800, or if you’re looking for one of the best headphones you can get in the $1000-2000 price range, or if you’re looking for something comfortable, capable, and classy, this headphone could be the One.
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