Sennheiser is not known for introducing new top-end models often. In fact, their previous flagship model, the HD 650, has been available since about 2003. Before that, the Sennheiser HD 600 lasted a good solid decade before needing a replacement. All in all, this makes the release of the Sennheiser HD 800 a monumental event, and one we couldn’t wait to sink our teeth into.
These headphones are truly state-of-the-art, and though they’ll cost you more than a Rodin painting, they’re easily worth their weight in pure, audio gold. For our full headphone review of these incredibly luxurious and high-dollar headphones, read on!
Construction and Design
As if we had to say it, the Sennheiser HD 800 headphones are unbelievably well designed and even better constructed. Each set is assembled by hand in Germany, so much so that each individual driver is given its own unique identifier, and should something damage one of your cups, Sennheiser will produce an exact replica. But what’s new about the 800s? In essence, the earcups have been redesigned to provide an almost speaker like listening experience. The doughnut-shaped transducer has been broadened to industry record proportions, and the entire speaker set-up has been moved outward, thanks to an ingenious new cap design.
The idea here is that the sound is produced at an angle and distance that’s capable of producing speaker-like experiences while still only an inch away from your head. It works splendidly, and though the price is sky high, we have to hand it to Sennheiser. This level of engineering is rarely seen in headphone design, and to witness it here is almost a spiritual experience.
Sound Quality and Performance
When it comes to high-dollar, audiophile-oriented headphones, the emphasis is not on the “more” of the sound – more bass, treble, mid, etc, but on the accuracy itself. With the 800s, we felt like someone had directly connected us to the heart of the sound. The performance is unbelievably clear, producing an experience that feels open, as if listening to it all five feet in front of you with the volume turned up. This level of tone and aural reproduction is incredibly well-suited for movies and television, though our music collection obtained a rebirth, as well.
All in all, the HD 800 headphones provide for an incredible playback, no matter the source. Though, obviously, these headphones are not intended (nor should be used) for the iPod, or other MP3 player.
The only downside to the HD 800 headphones that we can find is the price. These bad boys will set you back approximately $1,400 which is about five times the amount most users are willing to spend. However, for that hand-crafted dollar you can obtain simply the finest listening experience we’ve ever known from the world’s leading headphone manufacturer. If you’re an industry professional with the budget to spare, there’s no reason in the world you shouldn’t own these, and bring your sounds to life.