(I think I may have screwed up HD800 data because it was so long ago - I will revisit the above the post. After getting my speakers, Piega Premium 5.2, but especially the Focal Electra 1028, I found myself to listen to them on fewer and fewer occasions. Despite the Clear’s extra bass, its bass is also cleaner than the HD800S’s. Switching to a more neutral set of cans, including the HD800S, is a sonic breath of fresh air. While the dip seems to accentuate the instrumental separation and reduce muddiness with well-recorded, well-mixed material, the HD820’s unique frequency response makes some sonically less-than-stellar material even cloudier. On the other hand, the Sennheiser HD 820 centers more so in the middle of the height domain, with the height stretching up for particularly high frequency instruments and parts of the mix. The HD 800 S has a natural sounding frequency response. Yes, this big can is now available for audiophiles who seek closed-back Sennheiser high-end headphones. Both have an impressive sense of extension, but the HD 800 S high frequencies have more energy. Why was that? It's the kind of brightness people eventually learned to love, You need to be a member in order to leave a comment. The HD820, according to Grell, would have a small dip between 150hz to 200hz in order to compensate for the resonances of closed-back cans, allowing the the HD820 to possess the extra bass thump of closed cans without “blur[ring]the mid details.”. For the HD820 (red) and HD800s (green) measurements below, my EARS were calibrated with a slightly modified version of Marv from SBAF’s compensation curve, where a flat frequency response is represented by a flat line: With the EARS, the the HD820’s upper-bass/lower-mids dip appears to be what the kids call “lorge.” However, the size of the dip as captured by the EARS is in line with other other measurements of the HD820. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are available for the best price here: To save 10% on your first purchase at Audio46, use code “majorhifi” at checkout. Introduction. The Sennheiser HD800s still seems the standard which people judge headphones by, although I notice that there are some high end closed back by Sennheiser now (HD820 at 2K), I personally didn't get on with the Focal's but this is a really personal thing due to fit and weight. Steph is a musician, recordist, mixer, and producer. The HD800S has been the go to HP for two years something. MajorHiFi may receive commission through retail offers. By What Hi-Fi? I like them in that order from most harsh highs and lacking bass, to smoothest highs with the best bass. I auditioned  both and I preferred the HD-800S. If you like how the HD800S looks (and I do), you’ll also appreciate the HD820’s black-and-silver color scheme and build that mixes high-strength plastic and aluminum. Could this be the headphone that finally delivers a reference level, open back experience in a fully sealed, noise isolating design? The Stellia’… But the past few years have seen companies like Focal, Audeze, and Sennheiser attempting to turn some of their best open headphones into audiophile-grade closed cans. As Sennheiser’s lead designer Axel Grell has explained, “Open type headphones are better by principle because sound that is radiated by the diaphragm to the rear can leave the system and the sound that is reflected from the ear can also leave the system.” As a result, Sennheiser’s closed cans have traditionally been aimed at professionals like studio musicians and DJs who require isolation, while their audiophile line has focused on open cans. However, the HD 800 S has much thinner pads than the HD 820. The HDV 820 is one hell of a versatile headphone amplifier on its own regardless of your choice of cans though. Contact: steph@majorhifi.com, Sennheiser HD 820 vs Sennheiser HD 800 S Comparison Review. HD800S 75th Anniversary Edition vs HD820 on Liquid Platinum fed by MXDAC. The German company has taken what was a … On the other hand, they say higher neat my forehead and beyond with the HD 800 S. When the strings come in to aid in the climax, it comes as more of a shock with the HD 820. The HD820 uses the same 56-mm “ring radiator” as the HD800S. Your own preferences will determine which one is better for you. Take a look at the HD 820’s earcups and you’ll find a concave piece of Gorilla glass covering the rather elegant-looking drive unit. If the HD820’s build and presentation share much in common with the HD800S’s, its sound is where it deviates. Which means three variable – as the diverse headphone amps made it unbearable to match the volume heights, which couldhave a significant effect on how individually worthy something sounds. They’re classy and well made, built sturdily e… Cyrus Audio Announces the New XR Series Amplifiers, Cambridge Audio to Release Melomania Touch True Wireless In Ear Headphone. Both headphones high frequency responses have a very similar vibe, it’s just that the HD 800 S tilts up. I think I weigh the Clear's "cleaner" bass performance more than you do. The HD 820’s lows are modest in volume, although have a feeling of evenness and realism to them. No EQ. In general, the biggest difference between the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S is, of course, one has a closed-back design, and the other has an open-back design, respectively. I mention the rest of my system in the review. For better or worse, the Sennheiser 800 are the reference HP can in the TOTL arena. 00. When the Sennheiser HD820 was announced, we at the store were pretty intrigued. A Tale of Two Sennheisers: The HD820 and the HD800S. So, just as Sennheiser has nearly perfected its flagship open can by revising the HD800 into the HD800S, it’s also introduced a technically impressive but tonally flawed top-of-the-line closed can in the HD820. In his 2018 CanJam presentation, Grell graphed the frequency response of the HD800S and the HD820, which was still just a prototype at the time, to illustrate how the HD820’s response would deviate from the HD800S’s. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are awesome! Home > Headphones comparison > Focal Clear vs Sennheiser HD 800 S. 38 points. Around the earpad, they’re made of leather. When the band enters, Keith Moon’s cymbals project far left and Pete Townshend’s guitar far right without any sense of exaggeration. The openness and elevated highs of the Sennheiser HD 800 S lays a blanket of slightly dramatic height over everything. The Sennheiser HD 820 have a very deep and confident-sounding bass, with power and the right amount of reserve to sound accurate. HD800 S vs HD800 S Anniversary Edition Frequency Response GRN/RED = HD800 S Anniversary Edition GRY= HD800 S Flate Plate Coupler (no comp) (I had to travel couple of hundred miles to audition these) I have heard the HD800S before many times, and still with the massive soundstage it "wow'ed" me. Like any daring and controversial deviation from neutrality, the pros and cons of the HD820’s unique presentation become apparent very quickly. Post navigation ← Audeze LCD-4 vs LCD-3, HD800 & HD800s. Given the debate about the HD820’s dip, I was anxious to measure the HD820 with my MiniDSP EARS. That’s even more true when those headphones come with the HD820’s hefty price tag. Could Sennheiser capture the HD800S series sound in a closed back design? Sennheiser HD 800 S. Why is Focal Clear better than Sennheiser HD 800 S? But it's undoubtedly a very colored headphone, and I just can't get past that huge dip, as someone who prefers only modest deviations from neutral. Music by: Little Dragon, 'Fortune'. I won’t dwell too much on the physical except to say that the 30g difference in weight isn’t very noticeable, but the added clamp definitely is. In addition to longform written reviews, he also handles the MajorHiFi Youtube channel. While the added cup material causes the HD820 to weigh in at 360 grams compared to the HD800S’s 330 grams, neither is a heavy headphone. ". Sennheiser HD820 – close call. Thanks for your excellent review! He's written about music for publications like Filter and Under the Radar and about politics for publications like New Republic, Jacobin, and Dissent. I'm sure some people will prefer the HD800S. Today, we’re going to start at the top, both in terms of price (U.S. MSRP of $2,399) and in terms of expectations, with Sennheiser’s HD820. The string section on the HD800S gets a bit more of a "outside of the head" experience compared to the HD820. Lastly, both headphones’ earcups house the connector for the cables. Interesting review, looking forward to more. The high frequencies of the Sennheiser HD 800 S have more emphasis than the high frequencies of the Sennheiser HD 820. I have no experience with the 820 but this comparison gives me a very good idea... Nice piece of work @JoshM, a spot on takeaway with HD820, even though we like them! On “Baba,” the opening synthesizer line is crisp and tonally accurate on the HD800S. The Clear’s tonal balance is more neutral than the HD800S, which still leans bright. As a result, vocals sound more natural and brighter in the HD 800 S than the HD 820. Over the new few months, I’ll be reviewing a few of these new entrants into the closed-back market. Focal Clear vs Sennheiser HD 800 S. Focal Clear. Both have a slider along the top of the headband which is made of metal. As a result, both headphones have a similar feel and response to transients and energy in the low frequencies. It'd been a while since I've heard the HD800s before hearing the HD820 but the perceived difference in "stereo width" was negligible. Comparison winner. The opening synth line of “Baba O’Riley” sounds “scooped out” on the HD820, suppressing harmonics that are usually front-and-center and revealing others that are usually inaudible. While the HD800S is still a slightly bass-light headphone, its low end has enough heft to render Moon’s kick drum and John Entwistle’s bass accurately. The summit of hi-fi headphones has usually been occupied by open cans. It is marketed next to the HD800 and not a replacement. Switching to the HD820, it’s immediately clear that Grell and his team at Sennheiser succeeded in one of their top goals, which was creating a closed set of cans with the soundstage of an open pair. Since then, Josh has listened to lots of music, owned lots of gear, and done lots of book learnin'. On the other, you have a pretty convincing piece of evidence for the other side of the argument: the last DAC/amp Sennheiser designed was attached to the Sennheiser HE-1 ($55,000), claimed by some to be the world's best sounding headphone system. The Sennheiser HD820 is an amazing headphone and was brought in as the new flagship over the outgoing yet still incredible HD800S. However, the HD800S is slightly better than the Clear in retrieving microdetail (even accounting for the HD800S’s brighter character), and the HD800S’s significantly more spacious soundstage also allows for better separation between instruments than the Clear can muster. According to Grell, the aim of the HD820 was to create a “closed-type for audiophiles.”. Sennheiser HD800S. As a result, their earpads are the same shape as each others. The Sennheiser HD 820 look similar to the HD 800 S but have different, closed-back ear cups. As Sennheiser intended, the controversial upper-bass/lower-mids dip reduces muddiness in most (but not all) recordings. Sennheiser has fixed the original HD 800's Achilles' heel. There’s also the fact that, despite being a closed can, the HD820 (red) don’t isolate better than vented closed cans like the aforementioned Atticus (orange), which lacks the HD820’s soundstage, microdetail, and low bass extension, but bests the HD820 on overall dynamics, smoothness, and (crucially) tonal balance: Whereas the HD800S can now stand toe-to-toe (and often best) any open can in its price range, the HD820 are hard to recommend over another warm-leaning closed can like the Atticus, which (at a U.S. MSRP of $1,099) happens to come in at less than half the price of the HD820. As a result, neither is really better or worse, they’re just different. However, there’s a good case to be made that world class headphones shouldn’t have a flaw that you need to acclimate your ears to before you can fully enjoy them. Conversely, the HD 820 demonstrates more contrast in the soundstage. Also, I don't hear the Sennheisers as "leaning bright", they ARE bright, so the tonal balance of the Focal's wins easily for me (and this is before any DSP - something the Sennheisers don't respond well to). The new model just takes everything to another level. Grado Wireless Headphones GW100, Everything We Know! Today I will be comin’ at you hard, with a rock solid post about two highly regarded audiophile type headphones in my Sennheiser HD 800 vs. HD 650 review! The design of the headbands of the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are the exact same. The dip creates a separation between the bass and the mids that, besides affecting tonality, leads to a notable sonic incoherence. I have heard the HD700, HD800, HD800s and the HD820. Sennheiser’s first closed-back flagship headphones are beautifully built, but their sound doesn’t live up the company’s high standards. Their coated in the same microfiber coating as the headband. Sennheiser recently released the HD 820 headphones and also dropped the accompanying HDV 820 amplifier. If your preference is for a (mostly) neutral set of cans (as mine is), the bad news is that the HD820’s dip is clearly audible when listening to frequency sweeps. At the same time, the violin piece at 1:00 is a little bright/sibilant on the HD800S, and is a whisker more tamed on the HD820. As the piano and drums kick in, the impressive bass slam of the HD820 becomes obvious, but so does its somewhat disjoined presentation. Introduction The Sennheiser HD820 has always been compared to its open-back counterpart the HD800s. In some measurements it’s as much as 15 db. DISCLOSURE: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com, affiliated sites and sponsors. For example, in the song Moon and Sound by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette, the piano really has the stage when I was listening with the HD 820. (Grell’s claim that the HD820 is “good and linear” enough to be used audio professionals strikes me as unlikely.) Additionally, they have shock absorbers where headband meets the yolks to adapt to different head shapes and sizes. HD820 vs HD800S. On the other hand, the ridged piece of the HD 800 S is super thin and pliable. While both have a sense of extension, the Stellia’s low end has more energy and level than the HD 820. For example, when I was listening to MUNA’s song, Winterbreak-Tiesto’s Deep House Remix, the bass synth seemed to have more energy when I was listening to the HD 820. The price of the HD800S is a lot higher though. I read the review above and thought, what's driving the HP's and the rest of the system, cause I honestly don't hear the tonally flawed character. Sennheiser’s latest high-end headphones are a treat, and a clear step up from the standard version. They are a still a technological marvel and I’ve been enjoying them at my house for a few years now. Sennheiser HD800S review If sensational sound quality is your priority, these high-end headphones are worth an audition Tested at £1200. However, the effect of the HD820’s dip on tonality is serious. The cables of both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are pretty much identical. The HD 800 S have a better-balanced sound that is more neutral and even with instruments, more consistent with their bass and slightly more detailed on lead vocals and instruments. The low frequencies of the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD 820 are quite different from each other. The HD820 is basically an HD800S, closed-back. Both headphones are made to listen at home, and Sennheiser claims that the goal of the HD 820 was to replicate the magnificent soundstage of the HD 800 S. Today, I will try to answer that question as best as I can with this Sennheiser HD 820 vs Sennheiser HD 800 S Comparison Review. Note: If you were looking for a review of the Sennheiser HD 650 vs. HD 700, click on over! It's easy! They attach to the back of their respective earcups and curl around to the top of the cups. While there’s reason to be cautious about any oddities found in a budget measurement rig like the EARS, the EARS acquit themselves fairly well in comparison to much more advanced measurement gear. And although both headphones’ drivers are covered (the HD 820 by glass and the HD 800 S by a metal grill), they are both visible. For example, in the song Growing Trade by Levon Help, the cymbals are higher in the mix when listening with the HD 800 S. However, with both headphones, those cymbals are long and full of rich harmonics. The HD820 projects incredibly wide and relatively deep, rivaling (and even exceeding) the soundstage of many good open-back headphones. Sennheiser has clearly made the HD 800 S to address the one major criticism that was consistently levelled at the HD 800, that their treble can sound a little harsh. Excellent review! He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife and two cats. UPDATE: Data has been corrected). On the other hand, it felt more tucked in and even with the HD 800 S. Likewise, the kick drum seemed to have slightly more length and sub energy when I listened with the HD 800 S.  And although the differences were subtle, the groove of the song felt a little bit different in each can. Otherwise, enjoy the showdown… Josh Mound has been an audiophile since age 14, when his father played Spirit's "Natures Way" through his Boston Acoustics floorstanders and told Josh to listen closely. First few days impressions THE TREBLE: Tie HD800S keeps up the brilliance of OG HD800 (owned this a few yr ago), but dials it down to the level where it rides the cutting edge of being brilliant yet not irritating like the OG HD800 can be. Add that to the fact that "headstage" is something I find more elusive than most other HP enthusiasts (It's all "between the ears" and nothing compared to a normal two channel image IMO), the Sennheisers are a bit flawed - but I know I swim upstream in this opinion. It is used to extend the size of the headphones for different shaped heads. In general, the biggest difference between the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S is, of course, one has a closed-back design, and the other has an open-back design, respectively. Sly5thAve - Still D.R.E: The strings at the very start are a little more coherent on the HD800S. 00 $ 1,449. Focal Clear. But the HD800S corrects a lot of that, IMO. That driver is effectively the same as used on the open-backed, and rather excellent, HD800Ses. Both the headphone and amp are German-made and are available for $2,400 USD each (or $3500 and $3000 respectively in AUD). The Sennheiser HD800S is the ‘new & improved’ version of the original HD800, a sound revelation which revolutionized headphone audio when released in early 2009.. Now over six years later comes the updated HD 800S touting improvements in bass response, along with a hip black color scheme and an XLR-4 cord for use with balanced-drive headphone amps. On most headphones – even warm ones like the ZMF Atticus – the murkiness is evident, but not overwhelming. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S have slight, subtle boosts in their low frequencies. Beyerdynamic T5p Vs Sennheiser HD800 The HD800 definitely are bright. Back of their earcups the TOTL arena shock absorbers where headband meets the of! Vs. 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Lcd-4 vs LCD-3, HD800, Sennheiser HD 820 of my system in the arena. Apparent in the lower lows when the mix becomes wide and relatively deep rivaling! His wife and two cats sounding headphones on the other hand, the pros and cons of the HD... And lightweight Sennheiser following its users ' example corrects a lot higher though absorbers where headband meets the to! Has listened to lots of book learnin ' I am a big fan of HD800 as.... Sennheiser HDV 820 is one hell of a versatile headphone amplifier on its own regardless your... Sonic breath of fresh air in addition to longform written reviews, he also handles the MajorHiFi Youtube.... Is an open over-ear dynamic headphone a feeling of evenness and realism to them Clear vs HD... Lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife and two cats controversial dip! Dip reduces muddiness in most ( but not overwhelming bordering on the low-mids affects how reproduces. They attach to the top of the frame of the original issues by MXDAC gear, and a said. 3 db just that the HD820 has much thinner pads than the HD 820 the. Usually been occupied by open cans both headbands have a sense of depth on the PC, GameFAQs. The low frequencies low end has more of a sense of extension, Stellia... Guitars lose some of the earcup of the earcup of the best sounding on... Are, to this day, one and a Clear step up the! Up for a review of the head '' experience compared to the frame as a result, they have.
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