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[Pre Order] Sennheiser HD800S Audiophile Headphones - $1499 Delivered (RRP $2599.95) @ Addicted to Audio

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Sennheiser's top of the line headphone (HE1 excluding…)

As a long standing fan of HD600/HD650, this is something that I'm seriously considering, since it's the lowest price I've seen on HD800S model since 2017.

Delivered in Nov.

BTW Addicted to Audio mentions it's a "new model", although I couldn't find if any other changes were made except an extra cable in the box.

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        • Where can you even try these?

          • +1

            @Aequitas: At the A2A store (if open in your state). They are very good at letting you test before you buy from my experience.

      • +7

        I have a set of Senheisser HD6XX's and I just bought a pair of HyperX Cloud 2's for work zoom meetings.

        I had a good listen to both yesterday and even thought the Senny's were 3x the price, i'd say they're about 10% better at most.

        I think this is what all ppl getting into the hobby have to realise. At the sharp end you're paying $1000s more for a tiny, tiny percentage increase in quality.

        Lots of ppl are happier just getting the easier, cheap ones. My wife would be the same, she says the Senny's sound good when she uses them, but she's just as happy with the $30 blutooth earphones she got from the servo.

        I wouldn't let those things even touch my skin personally, but i've limited myself to a moderate budget for audio gear. I'm really happy with what I've got. Your collection sounds DOPE though! That's cool man.

        • +3

          Would agree with this. I have HD650 (very similar to 6XX). Driven with a good amplifier, they are very enjoyable. If you are not a real enthusiast, and want best bang for the buck HD6XX / 650 and a decent amp are the way to go. Although, I have not heard Sundara yet…

          • @mostlygordon: Have you heard the Cloud II though? 6XX are an extremely appreciable step up, way more than 10%.

            It's certainly not twice the quality, if you can even quantify it like that subjectively, but it is immensely better value if it's within your budget.

            These days I wouldn't pay more than $60 for that HyperX pair.

            • -2

              @jasswolf: If you say so. That was my first thought too but then I listened to them both. Same song, same DAC, right after another. Yes the Senn's are better but the Cloud's are totally listenable and enjoyable.

              On top of that, the cloud's are FAR better value. $100 for a totally fine pair of headphones that also pull double duty as zoom/skype/teams headset.

              Sure, if you really love high quality music then you'll always want the Senn's and that 10% will seem like an unbridgeable gulf, but for the average person who is NEVER going to research and then buy not only $300+ phones, but a DAC AND an amp, it's just completely not worth it and that only becomes more extreme the more money you spend.

              It's like I'm arguing that a normal bike is fine, and you're like 'yeah but my 10k racing is better'. Sure it is. But to the average person who just wants a nice ride, it's massive overkill.

              I really like my Senn's. I also really like my momentum 2 earphones. But I'm also enjoying the cloud's. They do very well for $100.

              • +1

                @Sxio: What are you driving these with?

                DAC = digital to audio convertor, which does nothing audible without an amp. There are combo devices, but most of them suck in any budget price range due to EMI, though both these and dongles are getting better. The reason for a quality amp this is that for quality dynamic driver headphones (particularly high impedance), they need good voltage ramp to match the quirks of the impedance curve. For planar headphones, they need good current delivery.

                Without that appropriate supply of signal, dynamic drivers can sound uncontrolled in the bass and limp in the upper treble, while planars will sound quiet and boring. If you're using something like an external sound card, or a basic FiiO, you really need to take the time to plug them into better gear to see how it separates out.

                If you can't be bothered with upgrading that chain over tie, I would straight up recommend the Cooler Master MH751 instead of the Cloud II, and they go on sale for $70 twice a year. Both use Takstar drivers, but the MH751 use the later Takstar Pro 82 driver, which offers a notably more refined sound.

                But if you're ever going to buy a desk mic, the easy closed back buy is the AKG K371.

                • +1

                  @jasswolf: Nice. Thanks man, this is a really solid reply!

                  Okay so the cloud's come with their own DAC. But I've used my sonata HD DAC, it's a cheaper, phone based one but it was highly recommended on audio reviews. It DOES have an integrated amp which I know isn't awesome, I do have a topping mobile amp as well but I can't actually hear a difference when I use it. I don't tend to SIT and listen to music that much so I usually use my speakers or the momentum 2s. I am totally having fun with the cloud's though. Not the least of which is I don't dare leave good gear at the office, but the cloud's are fine to leave here. Noone's going to steal them.

                  So the chain is usually Note 20 ultra - sonata hd - amp (sometimes) - phones.

                  I did have a topping d30 and the headphone amp that went with it, but I sold them, bought a topping e30 and just called it a day. I definitely heard the difference with the e30. I run audioengine 5s on it with a separate sub and I really love the sound.

                  Although reading what some of the other guys here are saying about phones… maybe one day I will get another high end pair. I do love music, but I also have a car and a mortgage and kids so sitting around with headphones isn't totally compatible with my lifestyle.

                  Thanks for the reply though man, it was really cool to get your recommendations.

                  • @Sxio:

                    sonata HD DAC

                    Ok yeah this isn't much of a starting point, unless you mean the HD Pro, and even then it lacks a little power. Would recommend the Sonata E44 in the AliE sales.

                    • +1

                      @jasswolf: Meh. Like I said, I've had standalone gear and I just couldn't get the kick from it that I needed. I checked my DAC and it IS the hd pro and it's… fine. Just fine. I've had worse and this is about as good as it gets. I've owned about 5 DACs now. I could spend a lot more but I'm sure I won't hear the difference.

                      I think i've hit my happy point with my gear. It sounds great and no component was over $1200, including my samsung q90r which shakes the whole (profanity) room and sounds amazing with atmos 4k blu rays. It's not a great stereo for music, way too bassy but the sound performance is incredibly impressive.

                      I guess we all have a line where it sounds good and we realise that more money doesn't mean more enjoyment. Whether with cars, property, wine or whatever, and that line is different for all of us.

                      • @Sxio: For sure, but again: it's a DAC/amp dongle, not just an amp. Enjoy!

              • @Sxio: Haven't Cloud IIs, but those momentum 2s really kick with EDM:-)

            • +1

              @jasswolf: Cloud 2 is good but overrated, even the m40x was a big step up for me (in terms of sound quality, comfort wise they were way worse so i moved on from them)

              • @s1Lence: And these days that would be the AKG K361 if you want the flatter bass response, or the K371 if you still want that Harman bass shelf.

                • @jasswolf: Yeah i got the k361 when it went on sale earlier this year for around the same price as the m40x

                  Nowadays im using open backs (dt990 atm) which are even more comfy for longer sessions, especially as the weather warms up

                  Btw what cans are you using atm?

                  • @s1Lence: HD 6XX, ATH-R70X and the 2020 Sundara. I'll be keeping an eye on the updated HIFIMAN line-up, but otherwise I'm probably set until something like the yet-to-be-released RAAL SR2a has a price drop.

                    Closed back for me is still just a pair of Takstar Pro 82 v2, because the K361 is mostly a sidegrade, though I might look at the K371 if there's a good deal for Black Friday.

                    Keeping an eye on what ThinkSound are coming up with, as well as considering the Titanium/Silver Xiaomi 1More Triple Over-Ear for something unique (again, if Amazon spit out a good deal on BF). The 1More is a very unique experience for a closed back but with some timbral issues, while the ThinkSound on2 were apparently legendary for timbre in a closed back with their tuning choices, but I'm waiting for more reviews on the ov21 and the on21 before diving in.

                    Another closed back option that's still kicking around and doing well would be the Creative Aurvana SE (more refined version of the CAL!) for $85ish on Amazon, but again it's a sidegrade alongside the Takstar and AKG options, though possessing the best bass texture of all of them.

          • +1

            @mostlygordon: Yes, HD6XX (+ a Schiit Modi/Magni stack) is a good starting point and plenty enough for many.

          • @mostlygordon: Got both Sundara and 6xx a couple of weeks ago. 6xx were lost in the post so caved on the Sundara. Sundara so much comfier, sound is richer and sound good with everything. Too new at this to talk about sound stage etc. Driving them though Magius/Modius stack.

        • -1

          Is there good wireless over the head, phones for meetings under 100$?

          I would add to your comment that, to use these phones you need a 1000$ amp and a 1000$ DAC LOL

          • +2

            @sqheaven: Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't know there were any good wireless headphones available at any price. If you want good sound go for cans recommended on this page and make them wireless with a Shanling UP5 or Fiio BTR5. Still a lot more than $100 though.

          • @sqheaven: No, wait for Bluetooth LE Audio with LC3Plus Low Latency codec.

            • @jasswolf: It's not so much the CODEC, LDAC is plenty good enough on the go. Just that every BT headphone I've tried sounds like cr*p. It's like the manufacturers think BT = our customers don't care about SQ. Airpod MAX are OK, but I'm sure I could find some $200 wired cans that sound better.

              • @mostlygordon: I think there's an expectation that a lot will be using AAC or SBC, so they tend to be bass boosted to mask the lack of treble extension and detail in the mids. ANC headphones will also bring a lot of bass in their tunings as bass frequencies carry easily through the enclosure despite the ANC masking.

                But the reason I went with waiting for those codecs is because they readily allow for low-latency at (and above) LDAC quality while allowing more bandwidth for microphones, at least in theory.

    • +2

      It's not for the average Joe, there's a niche group that will find this deal too hard to pass on. Not often are these headphones at this price, searching through history deals on OzBargain, the last and only time they were at this price was in 2017.

    • +2

      The average Joe wouldn't, because they're not for him. That's pretty obvious.

    • Because there's a ring in there

    • I paid $1800 for mine after negotiating down from $1900, so $1500 is a bargain price relatively speaking.

      But no, this headphone is not for your average Joe, and is targeted to the 'audiophile' community. Its a luxury item, like Gucci or LV.

      • +6

        like Gucci or LV

        Except these actually function. Rather than just exist to be looked at.

    • +1

      try buying a top end pair of speakers for under $2K .. oops missed a zero there…

      • Keen on group a buy!

    • +7

      Definitely not for the average Joe, open back headphones above the $300 mark are for people who want to either experience sound differently to other headphones or squeeze the very last bit of detail out of their music. There are very steep diminishing returns to audiophile headphones as you go up in price, a staple like the Sennheiser HD6XX, which can be had for about $300 will be able to give you 70 - 90% of the sound quality that multi thousand dollar headphones deliver.

      Of course, the lower end headphones will deliver a different experience in other dimensions and won't be built as nice, but in terms of detail retrieval and sheer enjoyability, a $1500 headphone won't be 5 times as good as a $300 pair.

      In my opinion most people don't really need to step out of the $300 range, they'll be blown away with what can be had at that price point with something like the HD6XX.

      • +2

        True, its about squeezing out the extra 0.1% but at 500% the price lol. Such is the curse and the pleasure of being in this hobby.

        • +1

          Not so much about getting "more performance" but more so about getting the traits you want. Like cars, they all drive but you might want something that gives you your desired amount of power and interior space while staying within certain parameters of exterior dimensions.

          Traits like neutrality or darkness and brightness are very delicately balanced the higher you go in the audio ladder

        • The scaling price has to do with the hours of manual work put in to refine the product further, both in testing and assembly. For example, the HD 800S is assembled by hand and tested as this is done, to ensure the lowest levels of distortion and unwanted resonance.

          But yes, cheaper end of mid-fi is a good break point for most people, most of the time.

      • +1

        I'm pleasantly surprised to see the praise the HD6XX are getting. Mine arrived last week and I'm really enjoying them. First pair of open back headphones I've listened to, and the first pair where I can hear a difference between MP3's and FLAC's. I'm sure my time is better spent ripping CD's to FLACs than it is working towards a $1500 pair.

        Enjoy the music, not the gear.

        • The HD600/650/6XX really are darlings of the audiophile world and are considered a benchmark headphone by many. Glad to hear you like them - I feel like anyone who enjoys music should consider a pair! :)

    • Welcome to OzB. I do the same when there's a deal on wine costing hundreds of dollars, amongst other things. Specialist interests, which you can't just put dollar value on. Wish I could afford these, but…

    • an average joe wouldnt. these are for people who treat their audio experience as a serious hobby.

    • +4

      I'm not an audiophile, have pretty average hearing (well, typical for my age group - I'm GenX) and have been thinking along these lines for a very long time.

      Then I got Focal Clears ($1200 last year promo) and oh, boy, what a joy. Literally smile on a face every time I listen to it.

      I've demoed it to couple of my friends, and it was: WOW every time I showed it to someone.

      Also, I think, terms of price to hours-of-fun ratio, the purchase seems like a real bargain, given you'll likely to use it for years.

      • I know the feeling. I sampled the Clears and was on the fence to buy since months. Finally got them and wow epiphany

      • +2

        everybody is different, I listen to Clears the least of my headphones, much prefer HD560S for example (or Audio Technica R70x). P.s Ordered 800s

        • +1

          Everyone has their tastes 😊

      • I got the Clears at the promo as well. I used the Schiit Vali 2+ amp with it and found a tube that enhances the bass to a sweet level. Sold the HD6XX which became redundant.

  • +1

    I sat on one of this before.

  • spend 1500 to save 1000 - you saved, but at what cost? ; )

    • +1

      Everything
      - Thanos 2019

  • You can get this price easily just by simply sending them an email.

  • I am still rocking my HD800 I bought from Addicted to Audio, not sure if I should pull the trigger. There are some improvements to the 6kHz peak but I filter it out using the DSP (Peace Graphic EQ). The only downside is, I can only play CD quality, if I go higher where DAC takes exclusive control then Peace is disabled.

    • There are mods around to turn the 800 into a 800S. Not sure how hard they are. I would spend the cash on something else personally.

  • +2

    unfortunately my hearing is not even close to enjoying these speakers - too many nightclub visits in my younger days

    • +10

      Tinnitus says eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • Great price considering that's what they are going for USED headphone marketplace.

    • +2

      Not really the same product anymore after the tuning changes. Most reviewers are saying the tuning is completely messed up and are a complete downgrade.

    • +4

      That's in USD, so the same price, worse tuning and worse warranty

  • Love good headphones but well above what id be prepared to spend. Super happy with my DT 1990 Pros. Always prefer the Beyer dynamic sound as opposed to Sennheiser, but that's a personal preference. Also have a schiit Loki in my stack and was surprised how much i could improve the 1990's.

  • What the next best, but a lot cheaper in price :-)

    • Depends on your sound preference and amp/dac you have (or are willing to buy)

    • +2

      HD6XX / HD650.

      • This. Big fan of my HD6XX (Drop).

    • +3

      HD8xx has a very very weird frequency response graph. If you want HD800s because of the HD800 sound, I wouldn't get HD8xx. In fact, I wouldn't recommend anybody to buy HD8xx, period.

  • +1

    When are they going to drop the price for the Arya? I can't understand how they could lower $2600 headphones to $1500 but not the $2000 Arya?

    • Could be possible given the V3 Stealth magnet Arya's are now starting to come in

  • I saw the hi fi man headphone is $70,000 wowzers!!

  • These or the B & O H95? Serious question, given the price.

    • A detailed review that may provide you with a clearer decision.

      https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/s...

      • Thanks, might give this a miss, based in this review, especially, since I wasn't particularly impressed by the HD6XX that I've oned and sold.

        I do love the Momentum 3's sounds signature a great deal, but I'm also partial to the high-end B & O sound, which as improved in recent years, but I've always thought the H95's were overpriced.

        • Out of curiousity, did you drive your HD6XX with an amp? Given enough power, they should sound significantly better than any of the other headphones you've listed here.

          • @poppingtags: Yes, a 2V Class A exotic amp / DAC combo (Auralic) and an LG V-series phone. I got a Focal Elear instead that sounds amazing with both.

            • @elektron: Very interesting! I wonder if you received a defective unit? I also own a pair of Elears and thought the HD6XX had a similar sound signature in many ways.

              • @poppingtags: I don't think it was defective and there wasn't anything wrong with the sound per se. It just didn't think it was anything special. You're right, the Elear character is sort of similar but it just does everything the 6XX did so much better and has the punchiest bass I've ever heard on an open headphone.

  • +2

    Been eyeing these for a while but could never pull the trigger. Thanks for posting this, just pushed me over the edge and got them + Valhalla 2 + Modi 3+

    First set of headphones buy once cry once 🥲

  • -1

    Get the hifiman Sundara 2021 model and save $1000

    • While the 2020/2021 Sundara is a good deal right this second, it's a different headphone from the HD 800S, particularly for the strengths of the Sennheiser model: imaging, soundstage, and detail.

      If you're only focused on detail, the Sundara is a very comfortable step down. The Sundara has a more preferred tonality, but that only reveals itself in close-mic or spatially flat recordings.

      The other component to this is the upcoming DEVA Pro and Edition XS from HIFIMAN, and perhaps a future Sundara re-issue. HIFIMAN are making big moves with their manufacturing process (standardised magnet arrays, refining their thin planar matching and cost of manufacture). If these companies start to nail better automated testing and manufacturing procedures, all these expensive hand-tuned and tested units will plummet in price with limited (if any) drop in quality.

      Machine learning has its perks, and we're starting to see that come to the fore in electronics.

  • Serious question: will you hear a difference, if your source is hi-res music streamer ie Tidal Masters?

    • Yes. You can hear this difference on any half decent set of audio gear. These are extremely expensive, high quality headphones. You'll definitely hear the difference between different quality sources. It's less than say, 64kb vs 256kb mp3s but you can still hear it.

  • How are these headphones compared to the less expensive Alienware and others

    • They're way better but if you're asking the question, then for you these are probably way overkill. Remember it's not just the headphones, you'll also be looking for a DAC and an amp. You can get integrated ones but you're still looking at a minimum of the headphones + $150. And noone buying $1500 headphones is running them on $150 worth of gear.

      These are for enthusiasts. If you're looking to get into it, there are much cheaper suggestions all over these comments that are totally decent and will be about 1/3rd of the price. And you'll probably love them just as much.

  • Nice must buy a few it’s amazingly cheap, I intend to wear them all day and possibly chain myself to one, can’t lose these!!

  • Would I be able to hear people walking on the other side of the map playing Tarkov with these?

  • Noob question. Do you need an amp for this if so how much would you be spending? And if you decided to run this without an amp, how much are you actually ultilising ?

    • +2

      Not worth buying without an amp, at minimum you'd be looking at a stack of schitt for around $500-$600

    • +1

      Agree, once you start with audiophile quality headphones you need to invest in a decent DAC/amp setup. If you order directly from Schiit, it comes up significantly cheaper than ATA but warranty will be a hassle if you need to exercise it.

  • +1

    Who are you people and what did you do with Ozbargain?

    Can anyone find me a Maccas coupon?

  • Will these make a 128kb/s MP3 sound amazing? Asking for a friend.

    • In fact it might make sound worse using this headphone.. these are very revealing so any imperfection in the source, you will likely to hear that now.. provided you have right chain of gears, ie. Decent DAC and AMP

      • Yep. I agree. Using nice gear has really limited me to using high quality sources. @Breno785au if I was your friend, I'd be finding new sources of music and ripping them etc at a much higher quality. FLAC is good but can't be played on every device.

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