HD 800 S is Sennheiser’s flagship over-ear, open back headphone targeted at audiophiles and music enthusiasts in search of the absolute best listening experience. It is the highest priced headphone produced by Sennheiser.
It is not a headphone for regular consumers – it is a showcase headphone to demonstrate Sennheiser’s supremacy in headphone design and construction. HD 800 S is made in Germany, and some parts of the headphone are handmade, to achieve the required precision. Not only it utilizes the largest transducers ever used in headphone history, the transducers incorporate the latest innovation in dynamic transducer design. The headband and headphone mounting are made from advanced materials developed for the aerospace industry for unrivaled strength – weight ratio.
Being an open back headphone with 300 Ω impedence, it has much higher power requirements than most source device could supply, therefore you need a headphone amplifier / DAC to drive it properly. If you do need one, we recommend either Oppo’s HA-2SE Portable Headphone Amplifier & DAC for its rich features, sound accuracy, portability and sweet price point. You are welcome to take a look at other noteworthy headphone amplifiers that we recommend for different price points.
It is more suitable to be used at home, due to the bulk and sound leakage from the open back grills (typical characteristic of open-back headphones). It is certainly made to be a luxury product as we see premium touches all over, down to the slightest details. Comes in a premium box, bundled with a standard 1/4 inch single ended cable and a high-end 4-pin XLR cable. This XLR cable could previously only be bought separately for an extra $300!
HD 800 S is definitely an improvement over the already excellent HD800 it replaces, with fuller tone across the entire range, especially at the lower end. It offers the ultimate listening experience, as its spaciousness and imaging are probably about as good as headphones could get. However, at its $1600 price point, there are a few other interesting alternatives such as Audeze LCD-XC Planar Magnetic headphone and Grado PS1000e Professional Series headphone, which are both spectacular in their own rights.
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