The Sennheiser HD 800 S are top-of-the-line audiophile headphones. Their open-back design ensures a natural and spacious soundstage for your audio, while their 56mm Ring Radiator dynamic drivers deliver a satisfyingly neutral and reference-grade sound. Even though they're quite large, their fit is comfortable enough for long listening sessions. That said, you'll want to consider using a good amp and DAC to get the most out of them, which can be an added cost on top of the high price tag of these cans.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are excellent for neutral sound. They have a very neutral sound profile that reproduces natural vocals and instruments. Although they're a bit light on the bass, this is to be expected from open-back headphones. On the upside, this design helps them create a spacious and out-of-head passive soundstage that will help immerse you in your audio. Additionally, the headphones have consistent audio delivery and aren't very sensitive to positioning, fit, or seal.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S aren't suitable for commuting. They may have a comfortable fit, but their open-back ear cups don't block any ambient noise and leak a lot of audio, which can bother passengers around you. They're not portable either and lack a carrying case to help protect them from damage when you're on the go.
The Sennheiser HD 800S aren't meant for sports. They're heavy, can fall off your head with moderate movement, and require an amp, so they're a poor choice.
The Sennheiser HD 800S aren't designed for office use. While they're very comfortable for long days at your desk, their open-back design won't block out background noise. They're also not very portable and are best used in a dedicated space since they purposefully leak audio, which can annoy your coworkers.
The Sennheiser HD 800S are wired headphones, and you can't use them wirelessly.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are fair for wired gaming, but there are some caveats. First, since they're audiophile headphones, they don't have a mic, so you'll need a standalone mic if you want to game with others. Second, to get the most out of them, you'll need an amp to power them, which can be an added expense. However, if this isn't an issue for you, their open-back design ensures a wide and immersive soundstage while their fit is comfortable enough for long gaming sessions.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are audiophile headphones and don't have a mic. You can use them with a standalone mic if you prefer, but they're also open-backs, meaning that they don't block out background noise and leak your phone call to others around you, even at moderate volumes, so they aren't a suitable choice for this usage.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S come in one variant: 'Black'. If you encounter another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.
The Sennheiser HD800S have outstanding, reference-quality audio reproduction that puts them in a league of their own. Their evenly balanced sound caters well to most tracks and music genres, especially compared to their retuned sibling, the Drop + Sennheiser HD 8XX. While their dynamic drivers may not reproduce as much low-bass as planar magnetics like the HiFiMan Arya, they can create an outstanding passive soundstage for an immersive, natural, and out-of-head audio experience. However, they're quite pricey, which can put them out of reach for most people, and you'll want to consider using an amp to help drive them to their full potential.
The HiFiMan Arya are slightly better headphones for neutral sound than the Sennheiser HD 800 S, but you may like one over the other, depending on your preferences. The HiFiMan have a planar magnetic transducer, which some users may prefer, can deliver bass and treble more consistently, and can reproduce a bit more low-bass. However, the Sennheiser are still well-suited for neutral sound. They feel better built and come with a carrying pouch, an extra audio cable, and a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Sennheiser HD 820. The HD 800 S have a better-balanced sound that is more neutral and even with instruments, more consistent with their bass, and slightly more detailed on lead vocals and instruments. They also have a larger soundstage thanks to their open-back design. They're a bit more breathable, too, so your ears won't get as warm during longer listening sessions. On the other hand, the HD 820 have a slightly more polished build quality, although they are very close in design. Also, since they have closed-back ear cups, they leak a little less, prevent more ambient noise from seeping into your audio, and have more bass.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Sennheiser HD 660 S. They're more comfortable, noticeably better-built, and have a more neutral and flat sound profile. There's also a big difference in soundstage, as the HD 800 S create a wider, more out-of-head audio experience. However, the HD 660 S are way less expensive and may offer better overall value for their performance.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better audiophile headphones than the Focal Elear but are way more expensive. The Sennheiser are one of the best-sounding headphones we’ve reviewed so far. The Sennheiser have more accurate reproduction of the treble range than the Focal and a better speaker-like soundstage. On the other hand, the very large cups of the Sennheiser might be too big for some and could create gaps. Also, the Focal are slightly better-built headphones and feel sturdier.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S and the HiFiMan Edition XS are both excellent audiophile headphones with slight differences. The Sennheiser headphones have dynamic transducers, are more comfortable and well-built. They also have a slightly better mid accuracy, which ensures that vocals and lead instruments sound clear, accurate, and natural. At the same time, their passive soundstage creates a more out-of-head audio experience. In comparison, the HiFiMan are planar magnetic headphones. Thanks to their design, they're able to reproduce bass more accurately. They also deliver audio even more consistently than the Sennheiser.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better-performing audiophile headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO. While the Beyerdynamics pack a bit more bass, the Sennheiser sound less sharp while still creating an immersive soundstage. The Sennheiser are also more comfortable to wear for longer listening sessions, although some may find their ear cups a bit large.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better open-backs than the HiFiMan Arya Stealth Magnet Version. While both headphones are very comfortable, the Sennheiser are better-built, have a more neutral mid range, and have an even more immersive soundstage performance. That said, they're harder to drive than the HiFiMan since they have an impedance of 300 ohms with a sensitivity of 102 dB. Conversely, you may still prefer the HiFiMan if you want your open-backs to pack more bass.
The HiFiMan Ananda are very close in performance to the Sennheiser HD 800 S. The Sennheiser have a better, more durable build quality, although not by much. They also look more premium and deliver a slightly more open-sounding audio reproduction, which may also be because they sound a tad brighter. On the other hand, the HiFiMan have a well-balanced sound, with a bit more bass than the Sennheiser, thanks to their planar magnetic drivers. They also offer a slightly better value than the Sennheiser, but HiFiMan headphones are prone to durability issues.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better audiophile headphones than the Sennheiser HD 650. The HD 800 S are more comfortable for long listening sessions, have better build quality, and are better balanced. However, they're a hefty investment, and you'll want to consider adding a powerful amplifier to drive them.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better open-back headphones for neutral sound listening than the Philips Fidelio X2HR. The Sennheiser feel more durable, are more stable on the head, and are much more consistent among various users or reseats. They also have a slightly better-balanced treble range, though this could vary by adjusting them on your head. On the other hand, the Sennheiser are fairly lacking in bass, and the Philips have a more accurate and natural low-to-mid bass range. The Sennheiser are considerably more expensive than the Philips, and you'll want to consider adding an amp to power the Sennheiser.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are much better audiophile headphones than the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, although they require quite an investment. With the right setup, the Sennheiser have a remarkably well-balanced sound signature with a spacious, natural soundstage. They lack bass though, which is expected from their open-back, and to get the most out of them, you'll want to consider adding an amp. The Beyerdynamic don't sound quite as immersive, but they get more bass and are much more affordable.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Drop + Sennheiser HD 8XX. While both headphones are very comfortable and well-built, the HD 800 S have a more balanced and neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer. Their bass is more extended, too, they can reproduce audio more consistently, and they come with many more accessories, like a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter and a carrying pouch.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better for neutral sound than the HiFiMan Sundara 2020. The headphones have similar, well-balanced sound profiles, but the Sennheiser have a significantly better soundstage performance. They're also much more breathable and comfortable and have a better build quality. However, the HiFiMan come with a 1/8" TRS audio cable, while the Sennheiser come with a 1/4" cable, meaning you need an adapter for devices like smartphones and consoles.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are slightly better headphones for neutral sound than the Audeze LCD2-Classic. The Sennheiser are more comfortable and lighter than the Audeze. They also have a more neutral sound and a larger soundstage. The Audeze, on the other hand, have a slightly better build quality and pack more bass, thanks to their planar magnetic drivers.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better audiophile headphones than the Meze Empyrean. While both headphones are comfortable, the Sennheiser have a more neutral sound profile with a more accurate treble response and a significantly more immersive passive soundstage. However, the Meze are better built and have a hard carrying case.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation 2016. The Sennheiser are more comfortable, and their sound profile is more neutral, especially in the treble range, which some users may prefer. They have a remarkable soundstage, which you can attribute to their fully open-back design. The Sennheiser are also better built than the Beyerdynamic, but they don’t come with a hard case like the Beyerdynamic for when you want to travel with them.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better audiophile headphones for neutral sound than the Philips Fidelio X3. The Sennheiser are better-built, and they have a more stable fit. They have a more neutral, balanced sound profile and better passive soundstage performance. However, they're a lot more expensive.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Philips SHP9600. Both pairs of open-back headphones have a balanced sound profile, but the Sennheiser have a more neutral sound profile. They're also better built, and they have a more stable fit. Some listeners may prefer the Philips' more extended bass and the extra boom and punch in their bass range. The Philips also have a more comfortable fit.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S and the Beats Solo Pro Wireless are designed for different purposes. The Sennheiser are wired audiophile headphones with a well-balanced, neutral sound profile. Their passive soundstage is perceived as wide and spacious, thanks partly to their open-back design. They're also better built and more comfortable. On the other hand, the Beats are wireless headphones with a closed-back design. They're more versatile since they leak much less audio, have onboard controls and an integrated mic, and have an ANC feature that does a great job of isolating you from ambient sound.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless. The Sennheiser have a better-balanced, more neutral audio reproduction and better peaks and dips performance. The Sennheisers' soundstage is also more open and spacious, creating a more immersive listening experience. That said, the HiFiMan are more versatile headphones. Unlike the Sennheiser, you can use them wirelessly. The HiFiMan also come with a detachable boom mic and a hard carrying case.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Stax SR-L300. They are more comfortable for longer listening sessions, and their build is durable, so they don't feel as flimsy as the Stax. They also pack more bass while still having great mid and treble range performance. Their 1/4" TRS connection is more versatile too. You'll need an amp and energizer to drive the Stax correctly. Still, the Stax have great audio reproduction and are significantly cheaper than the Sennheiser.
The Sennheiser HD 800S are premium audiophile headphones, which shows in their design. The frame is made from a mix of high-grade plastic and metal, which create striking visual contrast. Since they have an open-back enclosure, the spacious ear cups have metal grilles to protect the drivers from damage. They're bulkier than other audiophile headphones like the HiFiMan Sundara 2018 or the Sennheiser HD 700, though.
These over-ears have a comfortable fit, thanks to their large, spacious ear cups and plush suede-like padding. They don't have a tight fit, but they're a bit heavy, although you can still wear them for long periods without feeling significant fatigue. If you're looking for even more comfortable open-back headphones, consider the Philips SHP9600.
These headphones have spacious open-back ear cups that don't obstruct as much airflow as typical over-ears. They'll keep your ears relatively cool even during long listening sessions, although they won't be as breathable as some on-ears or in-ear models.
These headphones aren't designed to be portable. They're big audiophile headphones that can't fold into a more compact format if you want to move them around. They also take up a lot of space, even if you leave them on your desk.
These cans don't come with a case. You can use the box they're packaged in as a case, but it's more than double the headphones' size. Remember that the pouch included in the box is for the cables and not the headphones. Look at the Focal Clear Mg or the semi-open Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation for open-back headphones that come with a case.
These headphones have excellent build quality. They're made of a mix of high-grade plastic blend and have a reinforced sturdy metal frame. The large ear cups are decently dense, and the padding materials feel high-end. However, the hinges/yokes are not the most durable, as the pin that keeps the joints of the ear cups in place can sometimes come loose. However, they feel more premium overall than competitors like the HiFiMan Arya.
These headphones have a fairly stable fit. If you like to bop your head to your music while at your desk, they can move around and change in positioning. However, if you're headbanging, the headphones will easily fall off.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S have a very neutral and accurate sound profile well-suited for most audio content. Vocals and instruments have warmth and are present in mixes. Even though they lack a thumpy low-bass, this is to be expected from open-back headphones. If you're looking for open-backs with a more extended bass, try the HiFiMan Arya instead, which have planar magnetic drivers that can better reproduce bass.
These headphones have an impedance of 300 ohms with a sensitivity of 102dB. If you want to get the best performance from them or crank them to a high volume, you'll want to consider using an amp to help power the headphones. While an amp won't significantly change the headphones' sound, it can help bring out nuance and detail in your audio.
The frequency response consistency of these cans is excellent. While there are slight deviations in low-bass, which can happen if you wear glasses or have thick hair, the rest of the range is very consistent. The treble delivery is also very consistent across reseats. Once you achieve a good fit, you'll have consistent audio delivery.
These headphones have decent bass accuracy. Although they lack low to mid-bass due to their open-back design, so mixes are light on thump and punch, they have a touch of extra high bass to help balance the response. Overall, the audio has adequate warmth, but the added bass isn't enough muddy or clutter mixes.
The mid accuracy of these headphones is outstanding. The response throughout the range is very even and flat. This results in a balanced and natural reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. However, a dip in the high-mid slightly weakens these sounds. In songs like Arabesques No. 1 by Claude Debussy, the piano keys sound smooth and present towards the beginning of the piece. Yet, as the music ascends into a higher register, the notes become more mellow and gentle.
The treble accuracy is excellent. The low to mid-treble is quite flat but slightly underemphasized. As a result, vocals and instruments are a bit veiled. However, sibilants like cymbals still sound somewhat bright.
The peaks and dips performance is great. There are only a few minor peaks and dips, suggesting that the headphones can control their sound profile quite well. A peak in the high-bass adds a little extra boom and warmth to mixes, while a peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals sound piercing.
At such a premium price bracket, Sennheiser's expected to ensure high-quality control and ergonomics in their products, especially as imaging is crucial for audiophile headphones. Although imaging varies across units, our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay and frequency, amplitude, and phase response. This ensures that sound objects like voices and instruments are accurately localized in the stereo field.
These headphones have a fantastic passive soundstage. Thanks to their open-back design and spacious ear cups, sound can interact with your outer ear better than many similarly designed headphones, like the Philips Fidelio X3. As a result, the soundstage feels wide, spacious, and natural. Your audio also feels like it's coming from speakers placed in the room around you rather than from inside your head, which helps create a more immersive sound.
The weighted harmonic distortion performance is excellent. All frequencies fall within good limits, ensuring clear and pure audio reproduction at moderate or high volumes.
These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
These cans are open-back headphones and aren't designed to block out background noise. They let in ambient sound to help create a more immersive soundstage. If you're looking for audiophile headphones that can help reduce ambient sound, try closed-backs like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO instead.
These headphones are designed to leak audio, let you interact with your environment, and create a more immersive sound. Even at moderate volumes, leakage is audible. This isn't an issue if you're in a designated listening space, but if you're in a room with others, they'll hear your audio.
They have a simple 1/4" (6.35 mm) TRS audio cable and a balanced XLR cable.
These headphones can connect to PCs via analog. However, you'll need an adapter to fit your AUX port, and the headphones only passthrough audio since they don't have a mic.
You can plug these headphones into your PlayStation controller's AUX port, provided you're using an adapter. However, you'll only receive audio, and you may even want to consider adding on an amp to help power the headphones.
You can use their analog cable to connect these headphones to your Xbox console's controller for audio support. However, an amp will help power the headphones and give you a better overall experience.