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Everyone is wrong SOMETIMES, right? I honestly didn’t expect to like the HD800S nearly as much as I did right now in November 2022. The combination of its legendary soundstage, incredible clarity, and natural sound proved to be a winner – something that goes beyond being good for critical listening to being an excellent, versatile headphone that deserves every bit of praise that’s been given to it since release.
Combining the care devoted to a handcrafted instrument, the precision of modern manufacturing, and over 75 years of Sennheiser expertise, the HD 800 S lets you explore your entire music collection from the inside out and redefines the critical listening experience.
After launching its predecessor the HD 800, Sennheiser accepted its own challenge to completely disappear from the last link in the audio chain. The goal was to provide acoustics so immersive that your awareness dissolves into the perspective of the music creator. On their own, each component of the HD 800 S is world-class. The signature sound of the HD 800 S is possible not because of any one of them, but through the synergy of all of them. Let’s explore.
The heart of the HD 800 S and its striking sound is the 56mm Ring Radiator transducer. The headphones’ vibration damping chassis and inert headband insert provide complete stability—what you put into the HD 800 S is precisely what you will get out of it.
It leverages the key benefit of a large diaphragm transducer—air displacement—without losing the rigidity that favorably impacts rest and response times. Instead of a single attachment on the outer circumference of the transducer, both outer and inner edges of the “ring” are secured to the drive unit. The voice coil excites the diaphragm, connected to the v-shaped groove found near the center of the ring. A feat in itself, the voice coil is 40mm and wound in-house to ensure the shape and consistency is held to the highest standard.
The HD 800 S features a mesmerizing soundstage that seemingly transports the listener into the recording environment.
This is the result of several key features. The drivers are mounted at a precise angle, guiding the sound directly to the listener’s ears at their natural inflection point. Instead of hearing a sound that forms between your ears, you experience a vivid wash of frequencies and sensory-stimulating transients. When finally combined, the vibration damping chassis, perfectly matched transducer systems and wide-open construction work in concert to provide the most striking soundstage yet. This orientation rivals or exceeds loudspeaker setups costing exponentially more—especially when room acoustics are factored in. The HD 800 S offers you a personal concert hall on-demand—without waking the neighbors.
The HD 800 S delivers on long-term wearing comfort too, providing a listening experience as luxurious as it is immersive.
Every contact point utilizes ultra-soft microfiber padding, while purpose-built composites reduce weight and unwanted pressure. Each earcup provides dual-axis articulation—as soon as you put them on the HD 800 S will instantly and effortlessly conform to your unique structure. The result is a remarkable listening session that never stands in the way of your passion for hi-fidelity sound reproduction.