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Sennheiser HD800 Over-Ear Circum-Aural Dynamic Premiere Headphone

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

List Price: CDN$ 1,799.99
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  • Weight (without cable): approx. 330 g
  • Sound pressure level at 1 khz: 102 db (1 vrms)
  • Nominal impedance: 300 ohms
  • Frequency response: 6–51,000 hz (-10 db); 14–44,100 hz (-3 db)
  • Contact pressure: approx. 3.4 n ± 0.3 n

There is a newer model of this item:

Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System
CDN$ 2,199.99
Usually ships within 2 to 5 weeks.
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Sennheiser  HD800 Over-Ear Circum-Aural Dynamic Premiere Headphone
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  • Adapter Cable SENNHEISER Female 1/4" 6.3mm plug to Male 1/8" 3.5mm Mini-plug fit also GRADO with other Headphones
Total price: CDN$ 1,518.85
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System Requirements

Package Type: Standard Packaging
  • Media: Electronics
  • Item Quantity: 4

Product Details

Package Type: Standard Packaging
  • Product Dimensions: 35 x 27.4 x 15 cm ; 331 g
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 Kg
  • Item model number: HD800
  • ASIN: B001OTZ8DA
  • Date first available at March 1 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,651 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
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Product Description

Package Type:Standard Packaging

Product Description

More than 60 years of ingenious headphone engineering has been applied to the HD 800. These headphones are top-of-the line audio technology at its finest. Hand assembled in Germany with top quality materials and using the largest transducers ever, these provide an unmatched natural listening experience. Incorporating Sennheiser’s most advanced driver technology, these open, circum-aural dynamic stereo headphones redefine what reference-level audio is all about. You will form an altogether new height of sonic perspective as you experience a high-fidelity natural hearing experience. Do take note that presently, no other manufacturer has been able to come up as close as the HD 800 in replicating the basic acoustic conditions of natural hearing. Features: •Reference class wired stereo headphones •Open, around-the-ear, dynamic stereo headphones •Natural hearing experience - realistic and natural sound field with minimal resonance •Biggest transducers ever used in headphones up to today - new innovative dynamic transducer design •Uncovered earcups for acoustic and stylistic reasons •Handcrafted ear pads, made of high-quality microfiber fabric •Metal headband with inner-damping element •Specially tuned symmetrical, impedance matching cable with low capacitance •Special high precision headphone connectors •2-year warranty For complete details refer to the Sennheiser website.

From the Manufacturer

The Story of the Sennheiser HD800

The story of the Sennheiser HD 800 began with a dream: of developing headphones that go way beyond conventional equipment to become music phones, or even perfect sound phones. The dream of creating a hi-fi device that sounds as brilliant, clear, and undistorted as if you were sitting right next to the source. The dream of creating an acoustic experience more incredible than anything ever heard through dynamic headphones: in spheres that no other category is capable of reaching--right there where perfection begins.

We couldn’t go beyond physical boundaries--but we did cross the boundaries of thought. The HD 800 is equipped with a completely new transducer and only the very finest of materials have been installed: each part carefully inserted by hand. We are talking about manufacture in the truest sense of the word, right from the initial drafts to individual handcrafting "made in Germany".

Above all, the Sennheiser HD 800 truly personifies the creative force of the company that created it: by displaying the passion for perfect sound that has been driving Sennheiser innovation over 60 years.

The Principle of Spatial Listening

The impression of spatial listening is created by a minute time lapse with which one and the same sound wave arrives at the inner ear. Ideally, the sound waves produced by a hi-fi sound system reach the listener at an angle of 60 degrees. The sound waves do not reach the ear straight on, but through a slightly angled sound front. This causes some of the sound impulses to reach the nerve ends of the inner ear earlier than others. The resulting time lapse is a matter of split seconds, but it is exactly this phenomenon that gives the impression of spatial listening.

Wearing the HD 800 you enjoy much more than just a sound experience of out-standing brilliance. You experience a form of spatial listening never heard before. You have the feeling of being in a studio together with Thelonius Monk or actually being present at a rehearsal of the Berlin Philharmonic. The HD 800 makes spatial listening possible through a combination of the large transducer surface and the angle at which it is suspended. The slightly angled sound front effectively simulates the principle of the spatial sound experience. No other manufacturer comes as close to producing a natural sound experience as Sennheiser with the HD 800.

Outstanding Technology Provides Outstanding Sound

The lightweight ring transducer precisely delivers sound without harmonic distortion
The superiority of the HD 800 is based on a completely new principle, right at its very heart: The transducer is designed in the shape of a ring. Basically, the larger the surface of the transducer the purer the sound—particularly when it comes to the low notes. A large surface area, however, also generates disruptive spurious oscillation at higher frequencies, so-called eigenmodes. This is primarily due to the fact that conventional-sized transducers do not have a satisfactory way of controlling high-frequency oscillations. The ringed shape of the new transducer effectively solves this dilemma: Its broad area oscillates in an extremely controlled way due to the large coil and the two supporting surfaces. This results in a previously unheard-of degree of freedom from distortion and thus the greatest purity and brilliance of sound.

And when it comes to the naked technical facts, the HD 800 doesn’t save on superlatives: The 56-mm-wide transducer is the largest of its type. The same goes for the aluminum coil (40 mm) and the 42-mm magnet system.

Ring Transducer vs. a Conventional Transducer

In contrast to a full-sized transducer, the ring-shaped transducer utilized in the HD 800 greatly enhances the control of the oscillating surface. This results in a more voluminous sound wave and thus far greater clarity.

In a conventional transducer, unwanted spurious oscillation can occur due to eigenmodes. Even improvements such as increasingly sophisticated Duofol laminations are unable to completely negate these physical limitations.

At the heart of the HD 800 is the patent-pending ring-shaped transducer. The wound precision wire that makes up the coil is only 42 micrometers thick. It consists of 3.5 layers of wire in a total of 98 windings. The space between the two magnets, in which the coil oscillates freely, is only 0.6 mm wide. The work of fitting these parts is done by hand—and the same thing applies to many of the other components of the HD 800. The transducer of the HD 800 transmits in a frequency band from 8 Hz–50 kHz. Not that anyone is capable of perceiving this sound range, but the pleasant ancillary effect is that the transducer delivers an extremely clean sound in the 16 Hz–20 kHz range.

Cords and Connections

The symmetrical cords are designed with twin-core, high-performance, Teflon-insulated connections on each side. They are additionally covered with high-quality material for better shielding from oscillations caused by ambient noise. The jacks are exclusively produced for the HD 800 in Switzerland and feature gold-plated bunches. Gold has the highly positive property of having a very low transfer resistance, thus guaranteeing excellent contact without interference.

Headband and Mountings

The headband consists of a sandwich design in which a metal layer is covered with several layers of plastic. The high-tech plastic possesses incredible attenuation characteristics and ensures that oscillations are not transmitted to the headphone mountings.

The headphones of the HD 800 are only mounted on one side, to make sure they fit optimally over the ear. The relocation of their point of balance towards the back of the head also enhances comfort for the wearer.

A special kind of Japanese Alcantara has been selected for the ear pads. This material is extremely comfortable to wear and easy to maintain. Leona, an ultra-light, high-rigidity special plastic, is as hard as titanium and thus yielding extremely low oscillation. Hi-tech stainless steel mesh--the ideal material for three-dimensional sound--combines all the properties of stainless steel with an incredible degree of transparency.

Technical Specifications

  • Frequency Response: 6–51,000 Hz (-10 dB); 14–44,100 Hz (-3 dB)
  • Nominal impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Sound pressure level at 1 kHz: 102 dB (1 Vrms)
  • Max. nominal long-term input power: 500 mW in acc. with EN 60-268-7
  • Harmonic distortion: <_ 0.02% (1 kHz, 1 Vrms)
  • Contact pressure: approx. 3.4 N ± 0.3 N
  • Weight (without cable): approx. 330 g
  • Jack plug: ¼" (6.3 mm) stereo
  • Connecting cable: silver-plated, oxygen-free (OFC) copper cable, symmetrical, Kevlar reinforced, 3 m
  • Operating temperature: –10 °C to +55 °C

  • Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer Reviews

    4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Top Customer Reviews

    Package Type: Standard Packaging Verified Purchase
    These are pretty amazing. I have several other very good headphones and I must admit they all have their charm. To really milk the value out of these cans you need to invest in a decent headphone amplifier. I have both the SoundBlaster E5 and the Vioeletric V100. The E5 is inadequate to really drive these but it would do on a budget. The Vioelectric brings a really transparent quality that I rely on for mixing music.

    If you're on a budget you can consider the HD650s or the AKG702s. As you go higher and higher the results are subtle. If you don't match this with a great headphone amp you may not notice the difference.
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    I've owned all sorts of headphones from the AKG K702s, beyerdynamic DT880s & T1s, sennheiser HD650s, and LCD2.2s. I have also auditioned in detail the fostex TH900s & TH600s, hifiman HE-500s and HE-6s. From all these my favourite without a doubt are the HD800s.

    The HD800s have clarity like no other I've heard and the soundstage is the largest by far that I've expereince. It doesn't even sound like you are using headphones. Instead, it sounds like good quality speakers are in front of you.

    They are however not perfect. They lack base which is probably their only weekness. In addition to this the treble can get a bit harsh at times but this is manageable with the right amp.

    These headphones are highly recommended and are in no way overrated in my opinion.
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    These are a great headphone for analytical listening. Like a microscope for sound. I use them in my recording studio to check phase issues, separation, timbre etc.
    Some people may find them a bit bright if you buy headphones to listen to finished CDs only, maybe Audeze line is your best resource because there is no hype in these like others that are even more expensive. Just like a studio monitor is flat sounding for neutral listening so are these..... and shame on you for thinking they will make an mp3 sound good. They are 300ohms so don't think they will sound great with your iPhone either. You need a good headphone amp to make them come to life. I have been using the AKG701 whites for years. They are a great phone too for a good price. Very well built. These are more analytical as I said. That is the main difference.

    I am very happy with these for what I need them for. When I get used to them comparing them to other playback systems, I will report more.
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    Package Type: Standard Packaging Verified Purchase
    Purchased these phones after reading numerous glowing recommendations from serious music lovers. They indeed sound fantastic. Remarkably clean balanced sound. They require a good headphone amp to show what they can really do. I use a Benchmark DAC 1 USB hooked into a Oppo BDP-83 (as transport) either through Toslink or Coaxial input. This DAC and amp are really terrific. Some may find the sound too revealing but with a really good CD the PCM sound is magnificent. Alternatively, on my IMac playing back lossless Itune files or just CD's via USB or a toslink adapter into the headphone jack this becomes a fantastic playback system. I also use an Apogee Duet 2 for recording or simply playback, and here again the internal electronics are first rate. In my opinion, you would have to spend at least $5000 on speakers to come close to this quality of sound. And even then you would have to worry about room treatment as well. The only headphones I've heard that are somewhat superior to these Sennheisers are Stax electrostatics. But the (COST) anywhere from 3 to 5x the price for these Senns is too rich for my blood !!
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    Listening to Enya Shepherd Moons for the first time. Not literally the first time, but through the HD800s I'm hearing it in a way I've not before. The HD800s are superb, you close your eyes and it's like you're in the studio with the performers. The only problem, your other headphones likely won't impress you as they have in the past, perfection is relative.
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    I'm using HD800 paired in balanced mode with Pono Player. It's probably not the best combination but worth of considering. Have to say that I can't go back to my long time favorite HD600, the difference between HD800 and latter is immense, not only in price.
    With Anaxilus mod (2mm narrow felt) my HD800 have the same characteristics we love about HD600 but with super wide and open soundstage, tight base and crisp clear highs which take the music to all new level. My ears are in heaven with acoustic music. The 4 stars is the reason for how they sound on sampled and electronic music which we find mostly in pop, it adds a little dirty effect in 6-8Khz zone no matter the source. Overall these are superior headphones.
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    I owned this for 3 years already. Up to now, this still puts a smile on me. Never regretted buying this. Let's you experience what perfection is. Put this in your bucket list.....
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