The Sennheiser HD 800 over-ear circumaural headphones are cherished by music lovers throughout the world for its brilliant sound image and impressive spatiality. With the HD 800 S, the German brand now presents a new version, which surpasses the listening experience of its predecessor. The HD 800 S features the same proven large dynamic transducer technology, now with an optimized medium and low frequency response.
According to Sennheiser, acoustically, the proven transducer technology and the innovative earcup design of the HD 800 are still being employed, while the sound image has been further optimized in the medium and low frequency range. Sennheiser has also enhanced the equipment level of the HD 800 S with the addition of a symmetrical XLR4 cable. The color was also slightly changed: the earcups of the new model has a matte-black finish.
Ever since its launch, the Sennheiser HD 800 has been a firm favorite among music enthusiasts and is frequently mentioned as a reference. Brilliant trebles, precise bass reproduction, and a particularly clear sound image combined with a frequency response from 4 to 51,000 Hz are among the outstanding qualities of the multi-award-winning HD 800.
With the HD 800 S, Sennheiser has tuned its sound reproduction beyond the high benchmark of the original, using the innovative absorber technology that was first introduced in the IE 800 high-quality in-ears. As the brand explains, “this patented technology ensures that the so-called “masking effect” is neutralized. This acoustic phenomenon, that diminishes sound quality, arises as the human ear is unable to perceive higher-pitched sounds, that have low-volumes, at the same time that significantly louder sounds in a lower frequency range occur. Through the application of the absorber technology, the energy of the resonances is absorbed, thus preventing any unwanted peaks in the frequency response and ensuring that even the finest nuances in the music remain audible over the entire frequency range.”
As before, the core of the new “S” model is a unique transducer system which, as in the HD 800, is the source and guarantee of an its exceptionally detailed sound image. Measuring 56 mm, it is the largest transducer currently to be found in a set of dynamic headphones. In spite of the size of the transducer, the patented diaphragm with its innovative ring design minimizes any distortion that might occur especially at higher frequencies – keeping total harmonic distortion to less than 0.02%. Meticulous attention was also paid to the design of the earcups. These are designed in such a way that the sound waves are directed to the ear at a slight angle. This ensures a particularly natural and spatial sound perception.
To achieve even better audio quality in the reproduction of audio sources with a symmetrical output, such as the Sennheiser HDVD 800 headphone amplifier, the HD 800 S comes with a symmetrical XLR4 cable.
“The HD 800 is in a class of its own. During its development, we took time to focus on every single detail,” explained Maurice Quarré, Director Business Segment Select & Audiophile at Sennheiser. As with its predecessor, the new HD 800 S high-end headphones use only the highest quality materials. For example, the transducer is embedded in a specially manufactured stainless steel gauze. For the headband, Sennheiser has chosen a design consisting of several layers of sound-attenuating plastic and stainless steel, while the connector contacts are gold-plated to ensure optimum contact. The earcups are made of high-quality, high-attenuation plastic - used in aviation engineering as a substitute for metal - and now feature a matte-black, silk-gloss finish.
Like the HD 800, the HD 800 S is handcrafted at the company’s German headquarters in Wedemark, Germany. It is priced at $1,699.95 (U.S.) and $2,199.95 (CAN) and scheduled for shipping in early January.