Concert Pianist – Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Ligeti, Ravel etc.

Posted by Jonathan on March 12th, 2010


Sennheiser Headphones HD800

Sennheiser Headphones HD800

Sennheiser Headphones

I recently had the fortune to lay my hands on the latest Sennheiser headphone – the Sennheiser HD800. At £999 they don’t come cheap, but I have to say these are by far the best headphones I’ve ever ecountered.

I’ve always been a fan of Sennheiser. A few years ago I bought the Sennheiser HD250 headphones for around £250 and I thought those were great. The sound is crisp, very well balanced, uncluttered, and ‘honest’. These served me well for many years. I even supervised the editing of my recent Chopin Scherzi recording with these headphones.

That is until a friend of mine in the recording industry introduced me to the Senheiser HD800. I was immediately hooked. Every review I read – and I mean every one – was unanimous in its praise. Superlatives abound, with the consensus being that these are the ‘ultimate headphones’.

The open-backed Sennheiser HD 800s apparently use new technology in the driver system to reduce low-end distortion. It achieves this using a unique dougnut-shaped diaphragm – it’s a bit larger than other diaphragms (56mm) which helps it move more air, and hence produce a more crisp, refined sound.

The cabling is also top-notch, using Teflon-insulated oxygen-free cabling. It uses a full-sized jack input so may be a problem for small amps/ipods, although one  can get a converter for this. Even the construction of the headphone is based on high-performance plastics  and not metal.  Metals often resonate and change the sound, so ultra-hard polymers were used instead. The headband has been designed to stop resonance as well, and uses both metal and plastics. It is extremely well padded and comfortable, as are the ear cups.

This beauty was hotly anticipated before its launch. Hard-core audiophiles have had their pick of some great headphones in the past (Denon is always a favorite), but pretty much every audiophile review is unanimous – this is the best headphone out there.  The sound is so incredibly real, the treble is both lively and rich, and the overall experience so clean. On my first hearing of some of my favorite tracks, I could hear instruments and sounds I’d never noticed before (so many others say the same thing).

For the techies:

Headphones Type – Binaural
Headphones Form Factor – Ear-cup
Headphones Technology – Dynamic
Connectivity Technology – Wired
Response Bandwidth – 8 – 50000 Hz
Total Harmonic Distortion – 0.02 %
Sensitivity – 102 dB
Impedance – 300 Ohm

It’s been difficult to obtain these headphones, but you can get these Sennhieser HD800 headphones from Buy.com for $1399 in the US (they ship internationally). I havn’t seen them discounted anywhere (apparently Sennheiser are against retailers undercutting the RRP).

If you feel like shelling out over $1k,  get the Sennheiser HD800 from Buy.com here.

One Response to “Sennheiser Headphones HD800”

  1. Chloe says:

    I love these headphones, they are amazing!! Pricey, but well worth it!! : )

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