As Sennheiser intended, the controversial upper-bass/lower-mids dip reduces muddiness in most (but not all) recordings. Since then, Josh has listened to lots of music, owned lots of gear, and done lots of book learnin'. Shares. Underneath its fancy Gorilla glass exterior, the HD820 shares much in common with Sennheiser’s open flagship HD800 and its revised incarnation, the HD800S (U.S. MSRP $1,699), which I’ll be reviewing in this piece to provide a comparison with the HD820. Today, we’re going to start at the top, both in terms of price (U.S. MSRP of $2,399) and in terms of expectations, with Sennheiser’s HD820. The HD800 definitely are bright. Electric guitars lose some of their fullness, string articulation on bass guitars is lost, and drums sound hollow. According to Grell, the aim of the HD820 was to create a “closed-type for audiophiles.”. However, there’s a good case to be made that world class headphones shouldn’t have a flaw that you need to acclimate your ears to before you can fully enjoy them. Befitting its extra cost, Sennheiser has included three cables (rather than the HD800S’s two) with the HD820: an unbalanced 1/4-inch stereo cable, a balanced XLR-4 cable, and a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn cable. The HD820 uses the same 56-mm “ring radiator” as the HD800S. By What Hi-Fi? For example, in the song Growing Trade by Levon Help, the cymbals are higher in the mix when listening with the HD 800 S. However, with both headphones, those cymbals are long and full of rich harmonics. Sign up for a new account in our community. In fact, Sennheiser isn’t saying a great deal about the changes between the two. As a result, they are extremely comfortable and lightweight. Post navigation ← Audeze LCD-4 vs LCD-3, HD800 & HD800s. HD800 S vs HD800 S Anniversary Edition Frequency Response GRN/RED = HD800 S Anniversary Edition GRY= HD800 S Flate Plate Coupler (no comp) UPDATE: Data has been corrected). Introduction The Sennheiser HD820 has always been compared to its open-back counterpart the HD800s. For example, in the song Moon and Sound by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette, the piano really has the stage when I was listening with the HD 820. However, it sounds like their low frequencies have emphasis in slightly different parts of the region. I own both HD800S and HD820. Well, even though HD800 still sounded very good from a technical perspective, the speakers were also very advanced in areas like d… The Stellia’… Given the debate about the HD820’s dip, I was anxious to measure the HD820 with my MiniDSP EARS. While the added cup material causes the HD820 to weigh in at 360 grams compared to the HD800S’s 330 grams, neither is a heavy headphone. Compared to the Focal Clear (U.S. MSRP $1,500), which is arguably the HD800S’s clearest (pun intended) competition in the open-back audiophile category, the HD800S (green) is slightly brighter, while the Clear (blue) is slightly warmer: The Clear and the HD800S are remarkably close when it comes to factors like transient response, dynamics, and overall clarity. I have no experience with the 820 but this comparison gives me a very good idea... Nice piece of work @JoshM, a spot on takeaway with HD820, even though we like them! The Sennheiser HD800s still seems the standard which people judge headphones by, although I notice that there are some high end closed back by Sennheiser now (HD820 at 2K), I personally didn't get on with the Focal's but this is a really personal thing due to fit and weight. On the other hand, the Sennheiser HD 820 centers more so in the middle of the height domain, with the height stretching up for particularly high frequency instruments and parts of the mix. Take a look at the HD 820’s earcups and you’ll find a concave piece of Gorilla glass covering the rather elegant-looking drive unit. It’s also super wide, expansive, and has a real sense of depth. Nonetheless, the upper-bass/lower-mids dip of the HD820 clearly affects how it reproduces music. Sennheiser HD820 vs. HD800S Review . The Clear’s tonal balance is more neutral than the HD800S, which still leans bright. All of the included cables are sort of big and bulky. Music by: Little Dragon, 'Fortune'. The dip creates a separation between the bass and the mids that, besides affecting tonality, leads to a notable sonic incoherence. The HD820 is more noticeable on the head – not in a bad way – just more acutely aware of its presence. The low frequencies of the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD 820 are quite different from each other. On the other hand, when I was listening with the HD 800 S, the cymbals had much more energy and sometimes would take the attention away from the piano. Could this be the headphone that finally delivers a reference level, open back experience in a fully sealed, noise isolating design? The path to the HD820 began in 2012 with a simple attempt to close the company’s flagship open-back, the HD800. And although both headphones’ drivers are covered (the HD 820 by glass and the HD 800 S by a metal grill), they are both visible. Both headphones high frequency responses have a very similar vibe, it’s just that the HD 800 S tilts up. The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 and DT 1990 Pro could be another closed/open comparison. There’s also the fact that, despite being a closed can, the HD820 (red) don’t isolate better than vented closed cans like the aforementioned Atticus (orange), which lacks the HD820’s soundstage, microdetail, and low bass extension, but bests the HD820 on overall dynamics, smoothness, and (crucially) tonal balance: Whereas the HD800S can now stand toe-to-toe (and often best) any open can in its price range, the HD820 are hard to recommend over another warm-leaning closed can like the Atticus, which (at a U.S. MSRP of $1,099) happens to come in at less than half the price of the HD820. Hopefully, as was the case with the HD800, Sennheiser will release a revision of the HD820 in the not-too-distant future that remedies its flaws and keeps its strengths. The Sennheiser HD 820 look similar to the HD 800 S but have different, closed-back ear cups. However, they are durable and have a cloth coating. In his 2018 CanJam presentation, Grell graphed the frequency response of the HD800S and the HD820, which was still just a prototype at the time, to illustrate how the HD820’s response would deviate from the HD800S’s. MajorHiFi may receive commission through retail offers. The HD820S arrived in August 2018, after a week's burn in, I haven't touched the HD800S since, well maybe to dust it. On the flat side of the pad, where the pad touches the head,, they are coated in microfiber. In others, it’s as little as 3 db. As the piano and drums kick in, the impressive bass slam of the HD820 becomes obvious, but so does its somewhat disjoined presentation. The big question is of course, does it do what that very famous headphone has been able to do, just with a closed-back design. However, the effect of the HD820’s dip on tonality is serious. Not only because of the color and the absorber that removes the 6kHz peak somewhat but also because of the extra (balanced) cable that comes with it. Our Verdict. The only difference is that the HD 820, in addition to the cable with the 6.3 mm connector and the cable with the 4-pin XLR, it has a 4.4 mm Pentaconn cable. This dip, which slopes down from about 150hz and bottoms out around 300hz, is visible in every measurement of the HD820, including Sennheiser’s own: While everyone agrees there’s a dip, its size has been debated. On the other hand, it felt more tucked in and even with the HD 800 S. Likewise, the kick drum seemed to have slightly more length and sub energy when I listened with the HD 800 S. And although the differences were subtle, the groove of the song felt a little bit different in each can. They made the Gorilla Glass panels in the cups convex to direct reflections into dampened chambers so that “reflected sound waves have virtually no chance of disturbing the movement of the HD 820's advanced 56 mm transducers and of compromising the precision of the audio reproduction,” as Sennheiser puts it. On the other hand, the ridged piece of the HD 800 S is super thin and pliable. Tags : HD800S, HD800s vs HD800, Sennheiser HD800S review. Sennheiser HD800S review If sensational sound quality is your priority, these high-end headphones are worth an audition Tested at £1200. Cyrus Audio Announces the New XR Series Amplifiers, Cambridge Audio to Release Melomania Touch True Wireless In Ear Headphone. Looks like the HD800S and HD800 S Anniversary Edition are the same. Grado Wireless Headphones GW100, Everything We Know! Like any daring and controversial deviation from neutrality, the pros and cons of the HD820’s unique presentation become apparent very quickly. Josh Mound has been an audiophile since age 14, when his father played Spirit's "Natures Way" through his Boston Acoustics floorstanders and told Josh to listen closely. Additionally, they have shock absorbers where headband meets the yolks to adapt to different head shapes and sizes. And although both headphones’ drivers are covered (the HD 820 by glass and the HD 800 S by a metal grill), they are both visible. In general, the biggest difference between the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S is, of course, one has a closed-back design, and the other has an open-back design, respectively.
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