Sennheiser HD 800 S Dynamic Open-Back Stereo Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S Dynamic Open-Back Stereo Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S Dynamic Open-Back Stereo Headphones

B&H # SEHD800SBLK MFR # 506911
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Product Highlights

  • 56mm Dynamic Transducers
  • Open-Back Construction
  • Sound Absorber Design Preserves High End
  • Earcups Provide Realistic Spatiality
  • 1/4" and Balanced XLR4 Connections
  • Microfiber Ear Pads
  • Headband Features Inner Damping Element
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Sennheiser HD 800 S overview

  • 1Description

An update on the well-regarded HD 800, the HD 800 S by Sennheiser comprises a pair of open-back headphones designed for use in studio situations, particularly when referencing between monitors and cans. Its 56mm transducer is housed in stainless steel, while its headband and mounting utilize industrial, aerospace-grade materials to emphasize durability at a relatively light weight of 11.6 oz. Sennheiser's proprietary sound absorber technology preserves the integrity of the highest of high ends by eliminating the "masking effect," a phenomenon in which the ear struggles to hear particularly bright signals when lower-frequency material occurs simultaneously at a louder volume. In reducing this masking effect, every nuance of the frequency spectrum is represented and made audible.

The design of its earcups directs sound to the ear at a subtle angle, thereby aiding in a realistic—and realistically stereo—monitoring experience. Additionally, there are two different possibilities for audio connection: a stereo 1/4" connector, and an XLR4 balanced cable for connecting to balanced outputs, such as a headphone amplifier.

Key Features
  • Open-back, circumaural dynamic sound reproduction achieved through absorber technology
  • Additional cable with balanced XLR4 connector
  • Matte-black metal parts
  • Realistic and natural sound field with minimal resonance
  • Large transducers with finely crafted dynamic transducer design
  • Uncovered earcups for enhanced acoustics
  • Handcrafted ear pads made of microfiber fabric
  • Metal headband with an inner damping element
  • Tuned and balanced impedance-matching cable with low capacitance
  • High-precision headphone connectors
UPC: 615104273009
In the Box
Sennheiser HD 800 S Dynamic Open-Back Stereo Headphones
  • Cable with 1/4" / 6.3mm Connector
  • Cable with Balanced XLR4 Connector
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • USB Flash Drive
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Sennheiser HD 800 S specs

    Driver Size 2.2" / 56 mm
    Driver Type Dynamic
    Design Over-Ear (Circumaural)
    Earcup Style Open-Back
    Frequency Response 4 Hz to 51 kHz
    Impedance 300 Ohms
    Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) 0.02%
    Contact Pressure 3.4 N
    Audio Connector 1/4" (6.3 mm) TRS
    4-Pin XLR
    Design Y-Type
    Detachable Yes
    Cable Length 9.8' /  m
    Weight 11.6 oz / 330 g 
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 5.95 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 14.6 x 11.8 x 6.9"

    Sennheiser HD 800 S reviews

    HD 800 S Dynamic Open-Back Stereo Headphones is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 5.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A worth upgrade over the prior model I tried the prior Sennheiser HD800 headphones previously and really wanted to love them but always found them too strident in the highs for my liking. The bass also seemed a bit lacking as well. While they were VERY comfortable to wear and they had excellent stereo separation/precision, and very good overall reference performance, in the end, they just were not that fun or engaging to listen too. Alas, I didn't end up keeping them. My headphone of choice the last few years has been the Audeze LCD-3. Great cans! My ears prefer a smooth laid back, slightly vocals/mids-forward type of sound and the Audeze's fit that bill wonderfully. Except, they are a bit too heavy on the head and after about an hour and a half, I would have get discomfort and have to take them off. ENTER THE NEW HD800 S: When Sennheiser announced that they improved upon the HD800 with the new HD80 S both in terms of a smoother treble and slightly increased bass response, it sounded like an answer to my prayers so I preordered them. Everything good about the HD800 has remained, including things like the great design and extreme comfort as well as the very open and expansive stereo separation and precision. Yet, the highs are not as strident, which means my ears get less listening fatigue. Definitely a smoother sound, but do note, it's not a drastic transformation, more of a subtle tweak. Same thing on the bass response; the HD800 S does seem to have a bit better bass, but it's still a bit on the lean side if I had my druthers. Make no mistake, these are in no way bass-head headphones. That said, with the right headphone amplifier and a bit of EQ'ing in the bass region, these can get a very engaging bass going for you. I had found that with the prior HD800, the sound was HIGHLY dependent on your headphone amplifier and this has not changed with the new HD800 S. With a good amp pairing, they can really be very engaging with smooth, tight sound throughout the entire range, including great clean bass (accurate and involving, but not overly accentuated). However, with a sub-standard headphone amp, they can certainly sound a bit less involving. You NEED a headphone amp to run these. Don't even think about it if you don't have one. Sure, you can get sound out of them without an amp, but it would not sound good and defeat the purpose of spending so much on these headphones in the first place. I'm really glad these come stock with both a balanced 4-pin XLR cable ion addition to a single ended cable because I only listen to headphones balanced unless (I'm on the go and just using my iPhone) and really recommend this (you'll need a balanced headphone amp though). Why? You get up to 4 times the power and a lower noise floor running balanced, it makes a difference (my current amp is the Schiit Moljnir 2, by the way). I can't say I like the Black color of this new version versus the Silver on the old one, although it does not look bad. Some may prefer the Black color. I can tell you these are definitely a worthy upgrade over the prior HD800 headphones. Just like with the HD800, I feel like I can locate each distinct instrument playing and the stereo separation (probably the best headphones for that I've heard) and overall comfort is really the strong point. Yet they have a smoother over all presence than the H800 so are more 'listenable' to me.
    Date published: 2016-03-04
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid Product The HD 800 S is very comfortable and feel exactly the same as the old HD 800. The sound stage and imaging are amazing (like before) and Sennheiser (finally) fixed that high peak and added a little more power to the bass. However, I feel that they are still as picky in terms of amp-pairings. Definitely do your homework on pairings (try them out at a local hi-fi store/audio meet) before dishing out for these. They may sound fine on some amps but are lackluster on others and require more power than most other headphones out there. Accessories are the usual except they now come with the balanced cable -- which used to cost $400 separately. I can't comment on the difference in sound between the unbalanced 1/4 and balanced XLR cables as I haven't spent the time to A/B test them, but it's nice of Sennheiser to include this if you ever need to switch to an amp with only balanced outputs. The included cables are a bit long if you're not in a studio, but if you have the money for this pair of headphones, you can probably afford a custom, shorter cable for portable/at-home use.
    Date published: 2016-06-06
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb headphone Superb product if you like studio quality and not a headphone who can influence the sound. Some hard to drive compared to others, but this is a High-End product
    Date published: 2016-08-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I am really glad I bought these! Amazing. Just amazing. Takes me back to my dedicated hi-fi days. Not hyped, just awesome, clear, detailed, and spatially enveloping. Unlike some other reviews I've seen online about these (and yes, I looked into a lot of boutique cans reviews and discussions) I do not find a lack of low frequency. But then I was looking for a proper reference. Another reviewer here mentioned Schiit Mjolnir 2 ... I had no idea about that, and ended up going that route as well. Definitely worth it. I will say I was a little let down with the lack of significant obvious difference between the unbalanced headphone outputs of the two interfaces I use (from computer, an Akai EIE Pro and a MOTU UltraLite mk3) ... but when I switch the included cable to balanced and listened with the Mjolnir 2, I started to get it ... seemed that the depth and detail increased. To be honest, it had better ... I WANT it to make a difference. And of course it's a little harder to A/B since one has to switch the cable out. For what it's worth, I listen for general use and reference with the LISST cans in the Mjolnir, and when I want pure enjoyment and exploration, I put the tubes in. Between the LISST cans and the tubes, it is more apparent in the HD 800S than in my other cans, which sound midrangey and hollow by comparison ... also, I find it MUCH more easy to hear overcompression and small distortions that I would not have heard otherwise, so just that, by itself, is a case for the Sennheisers with or without fancy amp. I am happy to say that things are less disturbing or surprising when I listen on speakers after working on stuff using the HD 800 S ... so, for what it's worth, as reference cans, I find them very satisfactory.
    Date published: 2017-10-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular dynamic-driver heaphones I won't go into technical details on these headphones, as there are great resources online a simple search away. Suffice to say these are the modestly updated successors to Sennheiser's previous (and still available) HD800 headphones. The main changes, apart from the cosmetic shift to black, from the HD800 to the HD800 S is a slight increase in bass response (technically by adding second harmonic distortion) and the use of a Helmholtz resonator to reduce the 6khz treble peak that some felt plagued the original HD800. Otherwise these are identical to the original HD800, and share that headphone's many positive attributes. Namely: An amazing ability to scale with your other equipment Precise, detailed sound Huge, enveloping soundscape (for headphones) that comes as close as I've heard to replicating the feel of near-field monitors Great comfort The main limitation as I see it to these are price (they aren't cheap, although they - oddly - represent something of a bargain vs competitors like the Focal Utopia, Audeze LCD-4, and other flagships), the inability to swap the earpads as the end user (apparently, I haven't tried myself), and the lack of subwoofer-like, subterranean bass. I think this last issue is a little overblown in the community at large, but it is true: these are not bass-head headphones. They aren't going to pound your head like a pair of JVC-Z20000 or Shure 1540s or Fostex TH-900mkII. But the big 56mm drivers on these do deliver precise, accurate bass with lots of texture and detail, and they reach down deep - they just don't emphasize the bass like bass-cannon headphones do. All in all, despite the price (and factor in you do get a balanced cable included with these, which is pricey by itself), I've found immense enjoyment from the wonderful, engaging, enveloping soundscape these deliver. If you are in the market, YMMV, you may prefer planar sound like the LCD-4, but do yourself a favor and try these, too. You may just find you love 'em.
    Date published: 2017-05-18
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