The HD820 projects incredibly wide and relatively deep, rivaling (and even exceeding) the soundstage of many good open-back headphones. Why was that? The cables of both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are pretty much identical. 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. All of the included cables are sort of big and bulky. The HD820 uses the same 56-mm “ring radiator” as the HD800S. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S have a high-mid emphasis. Therefore, their overall fit on the head is nearly identical other than the difference in weight. Your own preferences will determine which one is better for you. Could this be the headphone that finally delivers a reference level, open back experience in a fully sealed, noise isolating design? 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. It is a separate layer from the thicker frame around it. Tags : HD800S, HD800s vs HD800, Sennheiser HD800S review. 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. 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. 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. 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. Instruments and voices are easily placed in space and are remarkably clear, likely owing to the HD820’s remarkably low distortion. They’re classy and well made, built sturdily e… Both headphones high frequency responses have a very similar vibe, it’s just that the HD 800 S tilts up. Sennheiser HD820 review: too closed for comfort. 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. Our Verdict. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S have earpads that follow the asymmetrical shape of their earcups. HD800 S vs HD800 S Anniversary Edition Frequency Response GRN/RED = HD800 S Anniversary Edition GRY= HD800 S Flate Plate Coupler (no comp) Conversely, the HD 800 S has emphasis in the lower lows. As a result, it has more contrast in the soundstage which provides emotional impact, even though it does feel quite as deep as the HD 800 S. For example, in the piece La Mer, L. 111aL II, Jeux de vagues by Claude Debussy, the woodwind melodies sit more in the middle of my head when I listened with the HD 820. HD800S 75th Anniversary Edition vs HD820 on Liquid Platinum fed by MXDAC. It’s also super wide, expansive, and has a real sense of depth. Thanks for your excellent review! 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. Introduction The Sennheiser HD820 has always been compared to its open-back counterpart the HD800s. Otherwise, enjoy the showdown… Looks like the HD800S and HD800 S Anniversary Edition are the same. As you may know, I am a big fan of HD800 as well. The HD 820’s lows are modest in volume, although have a feeling of evenness and realism to them. As a result, they both have a similar vibe to their look. However, the HD 800 S has much thinner pads than the HD 820. As the piano and drums kick in, the impressive bass slam of the HD820 becomes obvious, but so does its somewhat disjoined presentation. The 800 were and still are, to this day, one of the best sounding headphones on the planet. A Tale of Two Sennheisers: The HD820 and the HD800S. 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. I like them in that order from most harsh highs and lacking bass, to smoothest highs with the best bass. The HD 820 has more of a sense of intimacy but still feels wide and expansive when the mix becomes wide and expansive. It'd been a while since I've heard the HD800s before hearing the HD820 but the perceived difference in "stereo width" was negligible. On the other hand, when I was listening with the HD 800 S, the cymbals had much more energy and sometimes would take the attention away from the piano. Excellent review! But the HD800S corrects a lot of that, IMO. 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. However, they give precedence to slightly different areas of the low frequency spectrum and different instruments as a result. As a fellow HD800S fan, and having heard the the HD820 at various shows, your impressions are spot on. Focal Clear. 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. Listening to “Baba O’Riley” from the clear and dynamic mid-1980s mastering of Who’s Next, the tonal contrast between the HD800S and the HD820 is marked. Comparison winner. Sennheiser HD800S vs Focal Utopia (My experience) * So today finally i got to audition the Focal Utopia to HD800S. However, the effect of the HD820’s dip on tonality is serious. Electric guitars lose some of their fullness, string articulation on bass guitars is lost, and drums sound hollow. The path to the HD820 began in 2012 with a simple attempt to close the company’s flagship open-back, the HD800. Sennheiser recently released the HD 820 headphones and also dropped the accompanying HDV 820 amplifier. Home > Headphones comparison > Focal Clear vs Sennheiser HD 800 S. 38 points. Especially in comparison with the HD800S, which exhibits a mostly flat frequency response except for a slight boost in the highs, it’s clear that the HD820 isn’t tuned to be a neutral set of cans. Additionally, they have shock absorbers where headband meets the yolks to adapt to different head shapes and sizes. Underneath its fancy Gorilla glass exterior, the HD820 shares much in common with Sennheiser’s open flagship HD800 and its revised incarnation, the HD800S (U.S. MSRP $1,699), which I’ll be reviewing in this piece to provide a comparison with the HD820. The HD800S has been the go to HP for two years something. 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. 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. It’s ridged embellishments are actually part of the frame as a whole. Both the headphone and amp are German-made and are available for $2,400 USD each (or $3500 and $3000 respectively in AUD). I auditioned  both and I preferred the HD-800S. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife and two cats. The Sennheiser HD800S is an open over-ear dynamic headphone. Like any daring and controversial deviation from neutrality, the pros and cons of the HD820’s unique presentation become apparent very quickly. The HDV 820 is one hell of a versatile headphone amplifier on its own regardless of your choice of cans though. Well, even though HD800 still sounded very good from a technical perspective, the speakers were also very advanced in areas like d… As Sennheiser intended, the controversial upper-bass/lower-mids dip reduces muddiness in most (but not all) recordings. On the flat side of the pad, where the pad touches the head,, they are coated in microfiber. 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. I listened to the HD820 over four weeks  and compared it to the HD800S and several other cans using a Schiit Yggdrasil/Ragnarok stack, with lossless files played via the OSX version of Audirvana Plus. My recent review of the Sennheiser HD 820 prompted from questions from our subscribers, and inspired curiosity in me as well. HD820 vs HD800S. Josh is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, where he teaches classes on modern U.S. politics and the history of popular music. The HD800 definitely are bright. In short, with the HD800S, Sennheiser has turned the flawed HD800 into a more balanced, more competent all-around headphone that now has to be the go-to set of cans for audiophiles seeking out the best detail and soundstage possible. 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! 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. They made the Gorilla Glass panels in the cups convex to direct reflections into dampened chambers so that “reflected sound waves have virtually no chance of disturbing the movement of the HD 820's advanced 56 mm transducers and of compromising the precision of the audio reproduction,” as Sennheiser puts it. Switching to a more neutral set of cans, including the HD800S, is a sonic breath of fresh air. (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. It was a surprise then when Sennheiser brought out an even higher priced model that we are reviewing today, the Sennheiser HD820. 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. 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. Beyerdynamic T5p Vs Sennheiser HD800 In fact, Sennheiser isn’t saying a great deal about the changes between the two. Yes, this big can is now available for audiophiles who seek closed-back Sennheiser high-end headphones. Despite the Clear’s extra bass, its bass is also cleaner than the HD800S’s. 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.”. Not only because of the color and the absorber that removes the 6kHz peak somewhat but also because of the extra (balanced) cable that comes with it. Conversely, the HD 820 demonstrates more contrast in the soundstage. Keeping with The Who, the Mobile Fidelity mastering of Quadrophenia presents that somewhat murky mix at its best. Over the new few months, I’ll be reviewing a few of these new entrants into the closed-back market. As a result, their earpads are the same shape as each others. MajorHiFi may receive commission through retail offers. Physically, the HD820 also resembles the HD800S. Like any non-neutral set of cans, the ear becomes more accustomed to the HD820’s presentation the longer you listen to it, making it easier to appreciate its strengths. 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. As a result, both headphones have a similar feel and response to transients and energy in the low frequencies. Lastly, both headphones’ earcups house the connector for the cables. Sennheiser HD 800 S. Why is Focal Clear better than Sennheiser HD 800 S? For PC on the PC, a GameFAQs message board topic titled "Are sennheiser HD800s good for gaming? They are a still a technological marvel and I’ve been enjoying them at my house for a few years now. The new model just takes everything to another level. When the band enters, Keith Moon’s cymbals project far left and Pete Townshend’s guitar far right without any sense of exaggeration. 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. After testing different cup materials, Grell and his fellow designers settled on Gorilla Glass due to its rigidity. It's easy! Sennheiser HD820 vs. HD800S Review . To my delight, it turns out the new Sennheiser HDV 820 is the genuine article. Sennheiser HD800S. When the Sennheiser HD820 was announced, we at the store were pretty intrigued. In some measurements it’s as much as 15 db. The string section on the HD800S gets a bit more of a "outside of the head" experience compared to the HD820. Interesting review, looking forward to more. Both have an impressive sense of extension, but the HD 800 S high frequencies have more energy. 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). 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. As a result, vocals sound more natural and brighter in the HD 800 S than the HD 820. Shares. It is marketed next to the HD800 and not a replacement. The German company has taken what was a … 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. For years that stood as the companies flagship before the HD800s came along and remedied some of the original issues. The HD820S arrived in August 2018, after a week's burn in, I haven't touched the HD800S since, well maybe to dust it. Sennheiser HD820 – close call. For example, in the song Highways and Clouds by Amos Lee, his voice seems to sit more evenly in the mix when I was listening to the HD 800 S. However, the HD 820’s boost helps melodies in strings, pianos, synths (etc), especially in meaty arrangements, stay on top so they are easy to follow and don’t disappear in the thickness. 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. Contact:, Sennheiser HD 820 vs Sennheiser HD 800 S Comparison Review. 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! Find out how you can become a sponsor here. In addition to longform written reviews, he also handles the MajorHiFi Youtube channel. 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. The dip creates a separation between the bass and the mids that, besides affecting tonality, leads to a notable sonic incoherence. Hopefully, as was the case with the HD800, Sennheiser will release a revision of the HD820 in the not-too-distant future that remedies its flaws and keeps its strengths. As a result, the HD 800 S has thinner and lighter earcups than the HD 820. Also very apparent in the measurements is the HD820’s bass quantity. Note: If you were looking for a review of the Sennheiser HD 650 vs. HD 700, click on over! The Sennheiser HD 800 S are a better critical listening headphone than the Sennheiser HD 820. The HD 800 S is the result of Sennheiser following its users' example. Compared to the Focal Clear (U.S. MSRP $1,500), which is arguably the HD800S’s clearest (pun intended) competition in the open-back audiophile category, the HD800S (green) is slightly brighter, while the Clear (blue) is slightly warmer: The Clear and the HD800S are remarkably close when it comes to factors like transient response, dynamics, and overall clarity. 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, affiliated sites and sponsors. If the HD820’s build and presentation share much in common with the HD800S’s, its sound is where it deviates. Both have a slider along the top of the headband which is made of metal. According to Grell, the aim of the HD820 was to create a “closed-type for audiophiles.”. The yolks of both headphones are designed very well and keep the tension off to avoid stress fractures. On the other hand, the HD 820’s pads are thicker. 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. 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. Music by: Little Dragon, 'Fortune'. That driver is effectively the same as used on the open-backed, and rather excellent, HD800Ses. This dip, which slopes down from about 150hz and bottoms out around 300hz, is visible in every measurement of the HD820, including Sennheiser’s own: While everyone agrees there’s a dip, its size has been debated. 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. 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. I'm sure some people will prefer the HD800S. As a result, they are extremely comfortable and lightweight. Sennheiser used a Lehman Audio headphone amp, beyerdynamic used their individual A1 headphone amp. The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 and DT 1990 Pro could be another closed/open comparison. But the HD820’s elevated lower bass and upper-bass/lower-mids dip renders Quadrophenia a bassy mess. The high frequencies of the Sennheiser HD 800 S have more emphasis than the high frequencies of the Sennheiser HD 820. 00. Around the earpad, they’re made of leather. 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. The price of the HD800S is a lot higher though. 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. Nonetheless, the upper-bass/lower-mids dip of the HD820 clearly affects how it reproduces music. On most headphones – even warm ones like the ZMF Atticus – the murkiness is evident, but not overwhelming. Sign up for a new account in our community. The design of the headbands of the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are the exact same. Focal Clear vs Sennheiser HD 800 S. Focal Clear. 00 $ 1,449. However, it sounds like their low frequencies have emphasis in slightly different parts of the region. Steph is a musician, recordist, mixer, and producer. As a result, neither is really better or worse, they’re just different. ". Sennheiser HD820 … 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. The two share the same ring diaphragm and Helmholtz resonator design, and they both use the same connectors (now in black for the HD 800 S). I have heard the HD700, HD800, HD800s and the HD820. Introduction. I mention the rest of my system in the review. The only difference is that the HD 820, in addition to the cable with the 6.3 mm connector and the cable with the 4-pin XLR, it has a 4.4 mm Pentaconn cable. (I think I may have screwed up HD800 data because it was so long ago - I will revisit the above the post. (Grell’s claim that the HD820 is “good and linear” enough to be used audio professionals strikes me as unlikely.) Befitting its extra cost, Sennheiser has included three cables (rather than the HD800S’s two) with the HD820: an unbalanced 1/4-inch stereo cable, a balanced XLR-4 cable, and a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn cable. Sennheiser has fixed the original HD 800's Achilles' heel. They also have a larger soundstage thanks to their open-back design. 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. Their coated in the same microfiber coating as the headband. UPDATE: Data has been corrected). vs. vs. 15 facts in comparison. The HD820 is basically an HD800S, closed-back. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are awesome! For better or worse, the Sennheiser 800 are the reference HP can in the TOTL arena. Like the HD800S, the HD820’s clamping force is minimal, and with proper adjustment both the HD820 and HD800S are comfortable over long listening sessions. The HD 800 S has a natural sounding frequency response. Additionally, there is more body to the frame of the earcup of the HD 820.

sennheiser hd800s vs hd820

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