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Sennheiser HD 800 (HD800)

Flagship Award Winning, Open-Air, Audiophile-grade, Hi-fi Professional Stereo Headphones 24-bit 192 kHz USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier for Mac and PC

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Sennheiser HD 800 (HD800)

Flagship Award Winning, Open-Air, Audiophile-grade, Hi-fi Professional Stereo Headphones 24-bit 192 kHz USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier for Mac and PC

$1,399.95

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Sennheiser HD 800

Audio Perfection Achieved





The flagship model from one of the premier headphone companies in the world, the Sennheiser HD800 is not your average headphone; the HD800's are among the finest headphones on the market today. Sennheiser has a well known history of pushing existing technology to its limits and pioneering new ideas. These award winning premium audiophile-grade open-back headphones were carefully designed to deliver incredibly realistic, natural sound that puts you right in the middle of your music. Perfectly balanced, the HD800's will blow you away with their high quality construction, design and sound.

HD800 Sound Quality New Dimension in Sound

When designing these reference class stereo headphones, Sennheiser challenged themselves with designing headphones capable of producing sound that is as natural as possible and true in every detail. The result of this challenge is truly something to behold. The HD800's feature unique 56mm transducers positioned at a slight angle to channel soundwaves directly into your ears to create an impressive authentic, spacial listening experience.

Hand Built in Germany Crafted for Perfection

No expense is spared for the HD800 headphones. More than 60 years of industry-leading headphone engineering and design went into the HD800 headphones. Each pair is hand-assembled at the Sennheiser headquarters in Germany using the finest materials available. The HD800's feature plush microfibre fabric earpads that both aid acoustics and provide phenominal wearing comfort and a durable stainless steel frame inspired by the aerospace industy.

Highest Quality Available Precision Engineered

With the HD800, Sennheiser took the time to revolutionize headphone design. Every piece of the HD800 headphones was painstakingly engineered for the finest listening experience possible. From the driver design to the the build of the frame, the vibration absorbing headband and even the specially designed OFC cable, no detail was left untouched. Once completed, each pair of HD800 headphones is quality tested before being shipped out to ensure every pair meets the high standards set by Sennheiser.



The Sennheiser HD 800s are going up on my "Wall of Fame" as one of the best reference headphones. They were the first headphone in my lab, and I can't see ever being without a pair.

- Tyll Hertsens, Inner Fidelity



Premium Sennheiser HD 800 Headphones


General Features:

  • Wired HD Series Over-Ear Headphones
  • Innovative ear cup design delivers sound waves at a 45° angle
    • Provides the best ever simulation of spatial hearing
  • Largest ring radiator transducer in a production dynamic headphone
  • True sound reproduction in every detail
  • Open back ear cups reduce vibrations
  • Biggest coil (40mm) and magnet (42mm) yet
    • Delivers natural sound field
  • Special high precision headphone connectors
  • Circum-aural dynamic design
  • Patent pending vibration dampening headband chassis reduces unwanted resonances
    • Durable headband features metal construction with high quality plastic layers
  • Hand crafted ear pads made from high quality microfiber fabric
  • Premium Protective Case available and sold separately
  • Primary Color: Silver
  • Accent Colors: Black
  • Authorized Internet Dealer
  • 2 Year Manufacturer's Warranty

Product Specifications:

  • Driver Size: 56mm
  • Frequency Response: 6-51,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 102dB
  • Nominal Impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.2%
  • Four Wire OFC Cable:
    • Detachable: Yes
    • Cord Length: 10 ft. (3m)
  • Plug Size: 6.3mm (1/4")

What's in the Box?

  • HD 800 Headphones
  • Four Wire OFC Detachable Cable
  • User Guide

Sonic Electronix Insights (Scale from 1-5, 5 Being the Best)

Comfort & Ergonomics
Rates how comfortable the headphones are, taking into account build quality and materials used. Judged on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being uncomfortable and 5 being so comfortable you could sleep while wearing them.
5 out of 5 - Amazing! Forget I'm Wearing Them!
Overall Audio Quality
Overall rating of how well the headphones perform with 1 being an unimpressive audio quality and 5 being the absolute best.
5 out of 5 - Best of the Best
Hip-Hop, Rap, EDM, Dubstep & Pop Optimized
How well the headphones perform for hip-hop, rap, EDM, dubstep and pop music genres with 1 being not recommended and 5 representing headphones that were designed with these specific genres in mind.
1 out of 5 - Not Recommended
Rock & Alternative Optimized
How well the headphones perform for rock and alternative genres with 1 being not recommended and 5 representing headphones that were designed with these specific genres in mind.
5 out of 5 - Any Rocker Would Be Proud
Instrumental & Classical Optimized
How well the headphones perform for instrumental and classical music genres with 1 being not recommended and 5 representing headphones that were designed with these specific genres in mind.
5 out of 5 - Mozart Would Be Proud
Optimized for All Genres
Rates how well the headphones perform for all music genres with 1 being not recommended and 5 being top-of-the-line music reproduction.
1 out of 5 - Not Recommended
Build Quality
Overall Construction quality of the headphones. This rates on a scale of 1 to 5 the overall construction quality of the headphones with 1 being the poorest quality and 5 being as close to indestructible as a pair of headphones can get.
5 out of 5 - Primo Craftsmanship! No Expense Spared!
Design
Overall design of the headphones. This rates on a scale of 1 to 5 the overall design of the headphones, including construction, sound quality and accessories with 1 being the lowest and 5 being top-of-the-line.
5 out of 5 - Best of the Best
Isolation
Rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being no isolation and 5 being complete isolation, this gives you an idea of how well the headphones seal your ears from your surrounding environment.
1 out of 5 - You'll still hear everything around you
Value
Value refers to the quality of headphones (how they sound, how they're built, etc.) for the price.
4 out of 5 - For the Money, These are Tough to Beat

Sound Signature

Sound Staging & Imaging
Sound Staging and Imaging refers to the ability of a pair of headphones to create the placement of instruments and vocalists in a recording. A small sound stage is very difficult to determine where the instruments are in relation to the vocalists, everything sounds like it's coming from the same place. An extra large sound stage separates the instruments and vocalists so that you can clearly tell where each is on the sound stage.
Extra Large
Clarity/Detail
Refers to how clear the headphones audio reproduction is.
Extreme
Tone/Timbre
Refers to the quality of a music note that distinguishes different types of sound production (voices, musical instruments, etc.).
Warm
Bass
Refers to the bass performance of the headphones. Rated from Light bass to extreme bass.
Medium
Bass Detail
How accurately a headphone can reproduce bass notes; a culmination of attack, speed, decay and clarity. Attack is how precisely it can begin a bass note without delay. Speed is the ability to continue to attack an array of bass notes without lagging. Decay is the length of time after a bass note ends that the sound is still heard. Clarity is how easily all bass frequencies are heard. It gives perception of loose, tight, or muddy bass.
Tight

Headphone Design

Headphone Type

This is the design of the earpieces on the headphones. Some headphones go inside the ear, while others rest on the outside of the ear. This helps you know exactly what type of headphones you will be receiving.

In-Ear: The ear buds go into the ear. Most often, the right and left ear buds are two separate pieces.

Enclosed-Ear: Usually are found on the larger headphones. They rest on top of the ear and have padding for comfort, as well as enclosing the ear to the speaker. This type of headphone helps to filter out surrounding noise.

On-Ear: This type of headphone involves the speaker sitting gently on the ear without going in the ear or sealing it off.

Enclosed-Ear
Headband Type

Headphone type refers to the construction of the headphones.

Around the Ear means that the headphones wrap around the ear to provide a secure fit. This is most often seen in active and sports headphones.

Around the Neck means that the headphones wrap around the neck. This is also seen in active and sports headphones.

Earbuds means that the right and left sides of the headphones are separated and will fit securely into the ear. These are small, compact, and user friendly.

Over the Head headphones mean that the right and left speakers are connected with a support that goes over the head and rests on top. This is the typical headphone type.

Over the Head
Specifically For
Some headphones can use an IR Transmitter in your vehicle, while some can be plugged into your media device and be used on the go or at home.
Home/Portable
Headphone Application

This is the application that the headphones are designed for. Each application has unique features that make it perfect for particular uses.

DJ: These headphones are durable, loud, and will often allow for one ear listening.

Gaming Delivers explosive sound and allows you to communicate with others.

Home Hi-Fi: These audiophile headphones are engineered to produce high fidelity and accurate audio.

Home/Office: These headphones are designed to produce rich, brilliant sounds that the artists would appreciate.

Sports: Designed for active use. These headphones are made to stay in (or on) the ear during workouts.

Kids: Feature noise limiting technology so that your little ones don't damage their ears listening to music too loud.

On-the-Go: On-the-go headphones are lightweight and often fold up for easy storage and portability.

Student: Compact and rugged enough to survive life in a backpack; inexpensive enough to not hurt the wallet of a student.

Studio: Reproduce music perfectly without any coloration. Look here for reference quality studio monitoring headphones.

Traveler/Airplane: These headphones are compact, lightweight, and have a portable design.

Home Hi-Fi
Studio
Acoustic Principle

The basic design of the headphones. There are 3 different types:

Open: Have ports that allow air through the back of the diaphragms, enabling the headphones to sound like the music is coming from an outside source.

Closed: Completely sealed and have no air passing through the diaphragms. Sounds like you are in a closed off room.

Semi-open: Have slots or ports in the back of the cup and are partially open. This allows for a mixed sound between an open and closed headphone.

Open

General Features

Noise-Canceling
Noise Reduction technology removes unwanted noise from a signal. Background or ambient noise can be removed to produce clearer speech and enhanced hearing. Typically these Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headphones are powered and use batteries to activate the noise canceling technology. Also referred to as Noise Reduction or Noise Cancellation.
No
Built-In Microphone
This means that the headphones or earbuds have a built-in microphone. This can be a microphone on the cord, built into the headphone, or even a boom microphone. These mics can be used for music devices like iPods, for Smartphones to make and receive calls, or for gaming purposes.
No
Headphone Connection
This is how the headphones connect to the audio source.

Corded means that the headphones use a cord to transfer the audio signal.

Bluetooth means that the audio signal is transmitted from your device to the headphones via a Bluetooth connection.

Corded or Bluetooth means that the headphones can be used as corded headphones or as Bluetooth headphones. They have an input in one or both earcups for use as a corded headphone while they also have a built-in battery for use as Bluetooth wireless headphones.

Wireless means that the audio signal is transmitted wirelessly to the headphones.

Corded
Volume Adjustment
Volume Adjustment means that the headphone (independent of the source) can adjust the playback volume. Many headphones and ear buds have in-line volume control, which allows adjusting the audible volume from a switch on the headphones cord. Other headphones have a volume knob on the headphone can.
No
Connector Type
The type of connection the headphones use to connect to receive the audio signal from a music source. Traditional headphones use an analog 3.5mm headphone jack. Newer technology has allowed digital signals to be sent directly to the headphone using an Apple Lightning or USB-C cable.
Jack Size
Refers to whether the headphones use a 3.5mm or 1/4" headphone jack connection.
1/4"
Jack Angle

The Jack Angle refers to the angle of the input jack on the headphone cable.


Straight Jack: Straight plug with no angle.


Angled Jack: Angled plug, usually a 90 degree angle.

Swivel Jack: A swivel jack is able to swivel between a straight plug and an angled plug.

Straight Jack
Detachable Cable
Refers to whether the cable can detach from the headphones. If a pair of headphones has a detachable cable, the cable can be replaced with a longer cable, one with (or without) a microphone or if you accidentally damage the cable.
Yes
Color Shades
Primary color shades of the headphones.
Black
Silver/Gray
Material
Refers to materials used to build the headphones. Most headphones are built from some combination of plastic and metal to give you a durable pair of headphones.
Metal
Ear Cushion/Earbud Material
Refers to the material that the ear cushions/earbuds are made from. Ear cushions and earbuds are available in a variety of materials, ranging from basic rubber eartips to plush leather ear cushions intended for maximum comfort.
Memory Foam
Velour
Water Resistant
This refers to the level of water resistance of the fitness tracker. Some fitness trackers are water resistant and can be used while swimming, while others are only splash proof or should not be used near the water.
No
Foldable
Refers to whether a pair of headphones can be folded up. These headphones feature hinges in the frame above the earcups that allow the headphones to neatly fold into a much more manageable size. Folding headphones are perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time traveling and needs a compact pair of headphones that can fit in their bags.
No

Audio Features

Driver Type

The physical design of the driver in the headphones.

Balanced Armature:
A balanced armature driver uses a coil wrapped around an armature which is held in between two magnets until it is stimulated by an electrical current. When stimulated, this armature is magnetized which causes it to rotate one way or the other around a pivot point which moves the diaphragm to create sound. Balanced armature driver headphones are generally earbuds and can have multiple drivers in each earbud.

Dynamic:
Dynamic drivers are the most common driver type. They feature a permanent magnet, usually neodymium, a voice coil and a conical diaphragm to drive your music. A dynamic headphone driver looks pretty much identical to any typical home theater speaker.

Electrostatic:
Electrostatic drivers are made up of an extremely thin membrane, usually a coated PET film, stretched between two metal plates. An electrical signal is applied to the metal plates to create an electrical field which, depending on its polarity, draws the speaker diaphragm toward one of the plates which forces air through the perforations in the diaphragm which generates the sound wave.

Planar Magnetic:
A planar magnetic driver is made up of a large membrane suspended between two sets of oppositely aligned magnets. An electric charge is applied to the membrane to induce movement and produce sound waves.

Dynamic
Impedance
The opposition to electric current, a higher impedance means a higher electrical resistance. This is measured in ohms.
300 ohms
Sensitivity
An efficiency or sensitivity rating tells you how effectively a speaker converts power into sound. The higher the number, the more efficient the speaker and the louder it will play with the same input power. An efficient speaker helps you maximize your available power. Most sensitivity ratings measure the speaker's output with 1 watt of input, 1 meter from the speaker. Some speakers' sensitivity is measured with 2.83 volts of input, instead of 1 watt.
 
Efficiency (1w/1m) is not an accurate indicator of a subwoofer's output capability and should not be used as a comparison to other speakers or subwoofers to determine which one is "louder".
98 dB
Driver Size
This refers to the diameter of the driver (speaker) on each side of the headphone.
56 mm
Frequency Response
The range of frequencies the speaker will reproduce (lowest frequency to the highest). Bigger is better, meaning the wider the range, the better. The optimal range is 20 - 20,000 Hz (which is the range of human hearing).
6 - 51000 Hz
Audiophile
Audiophile headphones represent some of the finest headphones available. Audiophile headphones produce genuinely outstanding sound quality as well as extraordinary build quality, components and comfort. They are truly the finest headphones available.
Yes
Built-in Amplifier
This refers to whether the headphones have an amplifier built-in.
No
Amplifier Recommended
This refers to whether a separate headphone amplifier is recommended for use with a specific pair of headphones. It is highly recommended that any headphone with an impedance greater than 100 ohms be amplified.
Yes (Accessory Recommended)

What is in the Box?

Main Product
The main product in the box.
Sennheiser HD 800 Audiophile Grade Headphones
Paperwork
Paperwork included with the product.
User Guide
Warranty Card

Specials with this Item

Promotions
Promotions we have offer More Ways to Shop for items that are on clearance, last chance, special offer and sales, Made in America, and more!
VIP Guarantee

Warranty and Return Policy

Parts Warranty Duration
2 years
Labor Warranty Duration
2 years
Warranty Provider
Manufacturer

Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews

Rating Distribution

5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Average Attribution Rating

Durability
5.0
Value
4.8
Features
4.8
Design
5.0
Usability
5.0
Chris

Richland Washington

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
A must have for music enthusiasts

December 20, 2014

Quite honestly if you're looking at buying these headphones, you probably know exactly what you're getting into. I'm not going to go into great detail on them as there are reviews out there that do a much better job than I could ever do, but I'll just briefly state some of my thoughts on them.

I currently own the HD600, HE-500, SR 325is, M50, and some IEMs. The HD800 provide by far the best resolution and soundstage off all my other headphones. The details you'll hear from recordings will blow your mind (chairs adjusting, hands sliding over acoustic guitar strings even though they're not vibrating, etc.). I'm currently taking the PHillips golden ear challenge and I feel like I'm cheating with them, they're that good.

Which brings me to their only weakness, they're too good. If you have a low quality recording, bad amp, bad production, or any non-ideal part in the chain, the HD800 will expose it tremendously. Everything else needs to be near-perfect like it or else the experience will be sub par at best. When all the stars align and everything is high quality, It will be heaven on earth though.

As for gear, I used to have a schiit asgard 2 and modi as my amp and DAC, but I don't think they quite cut it for them (by no means bad though just not full potential). I recently upgraded to the Oppo HA-1 and I couldn't be happier with the set up now. So do your research and get ready for an experience .

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John Shuy

Charlottesville, VA

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Glorious, glorious sound

December 19, 2014

I'm a previous owner of the Sennheiser HD700, and I finally decided to upgrade to the Sennheiser HD800 a few weeks ago. Even though purchasing these headphones might automatically lend you an 'audiophile' air, I do not consider myself as such, as I dislike the jargon used by some of them. I'll just use layman's language in this review.

I prefer a neutral sound signature with no emphasis on any part of the frequency range (that's how you truly hear what the artist intended. audiophile jargon stating 'exciting' just means that they tweaked it somewhat to appeal to the masses). I cannot stand excessive amounts of bass. Gives me a headache. For me, the accuracy/clarity/quality of the bass is much more important than the quantity.

Sound - 10/10. I never thought anything could top the HD700 until I treated my ears to this headphone. Funnily enough, I thought the vocals (especially male ones) sounded a little soft, but then I realized it was probably me already used to other headphones which place unnecessary emphasis on certain parts of the sound. Then I closed my eyes and immersed myself in the music, trying to pick out the separate instruments. Oh, the joy! It was like I was sitting in the midst of a concert band... No more boomy muddy bass that messes everything else up - crystal clear guitar plucks, punchy drumbeats, distinct taps on the cymbals... I could even hear the singer draw breath.

I'm a college student and my music tastes are quite diverse. I tested songs from Genesis, James Blunt, Taylor Swift, Goo Goo Dolls, Andrea Bocelli, EDM songs (I know, why the heck EDM with the HD800 but i'm a college student as I said) and even a chinese melody (Tong Hua by Guang Liang). I used FLAC formats played with Vox music player (iTunes doesnt support FLAC), on a Macbook Pro late 2011 with a Fiio e09k (Amp) + e07k (DAC) combo. Yeah, my setup is a little cheap but I don't buy into the current trend of spending a $1000+ on a DAC.

Bottom line: sound is fantastic, if you like a neutral signature. If you like bass, look towards the Audeze LCD3 (don't own it but I might get one as the perfect complement to the HD800s).

Comfort - 10/10: The headphones are MASSIVE. But the weight is distributed very well, thus they're extremely comfortable.

Look/Design/Durability - It's a headphone meant for use at home - if you were looking for something pretty and stylish to show off to your friends, stick with Beats by Dre (i'm joking please get the Sennheiser Momentum instead). These headphones look high tech, nuff said. Design is splendid, backed by a 2 year warranty. Can't say much about the durability (I will never ever let any harm come to these headphones. They've never left my desk and I keep them covered with cloth when not in use).

Features: If you're buying this headphone, it's for the sound and sound alone. No additional features like microphone or remote (who needs one when you're going to be at home near your PC anyway). However, the wire is replaceable, which is a HUGE relief if your careless self ever gets them cut/burnt etc.

Finally, the most important question. Value. With every audio company jumping on the headphone bandwagon these days, it's still hard to compare value at the top end (just like how you would argue whether a Lamborghini worth $500k is 10x better than a Mercedes costing $50k). But if I had a thousand bucks and was looking for a headphone to keep for the rest of my life, this would be it. Audio technology can improve, but our ears won't evolve that fast (takes millions of years people, and we don't even need super sensitive hearing unlike in the past where predators hunted humans in jungles). I foresee myself enjoying my music with these pair of headphones for the next 40 years or so, depending on how long i live and how fast my hearing deteriorates.

Tips:
1) Before you blow a couple of thousand dollars on a headphone and a fancy DAC+Amp, please go and audition them at a store near you. Unless you're too rich and you don't even care then feel free to send an Audeze LCD3 my way :).

38 of 45 found this helpful

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Robert

Bowie, MD

Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Fabulous!

January 3, 2015

Lighter than many of its competitors at this price point, and with imaging and balanced frequency response that is difficult to best, the HD800 is an intersection of many fabulous qualities.

38 of 46 found this helpful

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gto88

Bay area, CA

Verified Purchase
Overall
Durability
Value
Features
Design
Usability
Great value for great headphone

December 21, 2015

I have been watching for this headphone for a while.
I finally got this from SonicElectronix when it was conducting a mystery sale for headphone.

This headphone has been highly praised in audiophile world.
My first impression with this headphone is, it present the
music in clear layers, you can almost locate all the instruments in the music.
Sound is transparent and clear.
It is light weight and comfort when put on my head.
I really like it a lot.

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Accessory Tools and Products

Accessories added

Audeze Deckard

Audiophile Grade Class-A Headphone Amplifier & DAC

Your Price $699.00

Calyx CALYX M (M1)

Portable Hi Resolution Hand Held Music Player & DAC

Your Price $749.00

Browse 1 question and 4 answers
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Why did you choose this?
Sonic Electronix Store
Great price. Saw your new vendor status on Head-Fi
Richard Z on Apr 3, 2015
Excellent reviews on the HD 800.
EFREN JOSUE A on Nov 29, 2014
Great reputatation & price!
ROBERT K on Nov 29, 2014
Because it's considered one of if not the best pair of headphones that you can buy under 5,000 and Bill hooked me up with a great deal. You should give him a promotion.
Chris K on Nov 26, 2014

Product Summary

Manufacturer

Model Number

HD 800

UPC

615104102958

Weight

5.43lbs

Internal SKU

hd800

Internal Product ID

77118

Sonic Electronix Wiring Guide

Wiring Diagram Legend

Warning: The image depicted shows the resistance change when wiring multiple subwoofer terminals. Please refer to your subwoofer's owner's manual for the proper wiring of its terminals. Sonic Electronix, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused to your audio system or vehicle due to improper installation. Please call tech support at 1-877-289-7664 if you require additional assistance.

Product Name: Sennheiser HD 800 (HD800)