Sennheiser HD 800 Versus Sennheiser HD 800S Comparison Review

Sennheiser HD 800 Versus Sennheiser HD 800S Comparison Review

Sennheiser took its fans’ complaints about the awesome HD 800 and updated to a version that supposedly fixed the few flaws it had.  The HD 800S is the improved version that audiophiles have been seeking.  But just how different are they in quality, and is the HD 800S worth the upgrade? Are you better off holding onto the HD 800’s that you already have and investing in something different? Let’s take a look in this “Sennheiser HD 800 Versus Sennheiser HD 800S Comparison Review.”

 

Sennheiser HD 800 Versus Sennheiser HD 800S Comparison Review -IN the BOX

Sennheiser HD 800 Sennheiser HD 800S
HD 800 HD 800 S
Cable with 6.3mm jack connector Cable with 6.3mm jack connector
Balanced cable XLR4 connector
Microfibre cleaning cloth Microfibre cleaning cloth
USB flash drive
Manual Manual
2 year warranty 2 year warranty

 

Sennheiser HD 800 Versus Sennheiser HD 800S Comparison Review – FIT and DESIGN

I find these headphones very comfortable, and I didn’t notice any difference in fit between the two models. They both leave a nice space around your ears, and the material is easy to wear for long listening periods.  The main difference in structural design between the two models is the absorber technology of the HD 800S. Some people say you can get the same absorber effect by sticking a cotton ball into the HD 800. I didn’t check out that claim. But the difference is indeed noticed. Furthermore, the HD 800S has a wider frequency range, and that too is apparent. The HD 800S also comes with an additional cable with a balanced XLR4 connector.

 

Sennheiser HD 800 Versus Sennheiser HD 800S Comparison Review – SOUND

There isn’t a huge difference in sound quality between the HD 800 and HD 800S.  But the main differences appeared in the lows and highs.

Lows

Both these models are well balanced, and neither has a heavy bass profile. But the Sennheiser 800 S has a warmer low range. Once you hear it, it suddenly feels like something’s missing in the HD 800. Generally, the HD 800 S feels more grounded.  There’s an earthiness to it that cannot be matched by the HD 800. That’s not to say that you’ll be getting jiggy with the HD 800 S, listening to hip-hop. If you like a really deep bass, maybe neither will satisfy you.

Mids

Not much to compare in this range. The lower mids might be slightly attenuated in the HD 800 compared to the HD 800 S, while the higher midrange is might be a little more emphasized in the HD 800. But the differences are slight, and I was killing myself softly in the process of switching headphones over and over to make a clear comparison.

Highs

Sennheiser says they’ve fixed the treble problem that so many complained about in the Sennheiser HD 800. There’s still a bit of a sizzle in the HD 800S.  But the highs on the HD 800S are, for certain, rounder and easier to listen to. Besides the bass, this is the major difference between the two models. Both are very crisp and clear; electric guitars sing beautifully, and the nuances in percussion are impressive. But the HD 800S is sweeter.

Soundstage

There’s also little difference here. If I had to choose which model had a wider soundstage, maybe I’d go with the HD 800S. But I listened for a while, and the contrasts were nominal. With either model, you’re going to enjoy a beautiful airiness and very accurate imaging.

Sennheiser HD 800 Versus Sennheiser HD 800S Comparison Review – Summary

At the end of the day, if you’re leaning towards the HD 800 S, your extra cash is going towards the improved bass quality and less emphasized peaks in the highs. Can you tell the difference in sound? Yes.  And if you’re purchasing one or the other for the first time, definitely go for the HD 800S. But if you already have the HD800, and are wondering whether to make the upgrade, I would say, don’t bother.  Instead, go for a different brand altogether, and add a new sound signature to your artillery.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Sennheiser HD 800 Sennheiser HD 800S
Frequency Response 14 – 44100 Hz 4 – 51000 Hz
Impedance 300 Ohms 300 Ohms
THD 0.02% 0.02%
Weight 330 g without cable 330 g without cable
Cable Length 3 m 3 m