Sennheiser HD800

Sennheiser HD800

Package & Closer Examination »

Introduction


Sennheiser probably needs very little introduction since they are one of the biggest headphone manufacturers around today. Today we will be taking a look at their very latest statement headphone the HD800. These big beasts utilize an entirely new driver design and completely redefine what is possible to do with a dynamic based headphone. What Sennheiser has accomplished with with this new technology is nothing short of remarkable both in terms of performance and price, at a staggering $1400 price tag the HD800s roam the upper stratosphere, alongside headphones like AKG K1000, Stax electrostats and Grado GS-1000.

Like the old HD600 type headphones these will require a good headphone amplifier to truly shine, and with the revealing nature of the HD800 sound you will find yourself needing a really good setup in order to be able to fully appreciate what they are capable of, everything comes into play here, source material, DAC, interconnects etc. A very basic setup to power these headphones will probably set you back another $1000.

Specifications

  • Frequency response (headphones) - 6 – 51000 Hz (- 3 dB)
  • Frequency response (headphones) - 14 – 44100 Hz (- 3 dB)
  • Transducer principle - dynamic, open
  • Nominal impedance - 300 Ω
  • Sound pressure level (SPL) - 102 dB
  • THD, total harmonic distortion - ≤0.02 % (1kHz/1Vrms)
  • Contact pressure - 3.4 N (± 0.3 N) approx.
  • Ear coupling - circumaural
  • Weight w/o cable - 330 g
  • Jack plug - ¼” (6.3 mm) stereo
  • Cable length - 3m
In usual Sennheiser style everything is specified right from contact pressure to THD. The outlandish distortion value is achieved through the use of the latest innovation in driver design from Sennheiser namely the ring driver. This ring driver supposedly offers the best resolution of all and is physically huge measuring 56 mm in diameter. Big drivers have a set of pros and cons, what is special about this design is that Sennheiser has done away with the center bugle that almost all dynamic drivers feature. Besides being a radical idea it actually seems to work well, the driver has a larger diameter and a way lower THD than any headphone driver that is similarly sized.
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