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. 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. Sennheiser used a Lehman Audio headphone amp, beyerdynamic used their individual A1 headphone amp. Given the debate about the HD820’s dip, I was anxious to measure the HD820 with my MiniDSP EARS. Around the earpad, they’re made of leather. Listening to “Baba O’Riley” from the clear and dynamic mid-1980s mastering of Who’s Next, the tonal contrast between the HD800S and the HD820 is marked. Therefore, their overall fit on the head is nearly identical other than the difference in weight. As a fellow HD800S fan, and having heard the the HD820 at various shows, your impressions are spot on. Introduction The Sennheiser HD820 has always been compared to its open-back counterpart the HD800s. On the other hand, a sense of width is there for much of the mix with the HD 800 S. The HD 800 S gets its emotional lift there moreso from the change in dynamic than the change in width. 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. Music by: Little Dragon, 'Fortune'. On most headphones – even warm ones like the ZMF Atticus – the murkiness is evident, but not overwhelming. Sennheiser recently released the HD 820 headphones and also dropped the accompanying HDV 820 amplifier. However, the HD 800 S has an emphasis that is a little bit higher, bordering the lower high frequencies whereas the HD 820’s is a little bit lower in the high-mids. While there’s reason to be cautious about any oddities found in a budget measurement rig like the EARS, the EARS acquit themselves fairly well in comparison to much more advanced measurement gear. 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. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are awesome! As a result, they are extremely comfortable and lightweight. (Grell’s claim that the HD820 is “good and linear” enough to be used audio professionals strikes me as unlikely.) 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. https://www.youtube.com/majorhifi In fact, Sennheiser isn’t saying a great deal about the changes between the two. The good news is that the HD820’s dip doesn’t sound quite as large as it measures. Focal Clear. With the HD800S, Sennheiser has fixed the treble peak that marred the HD800 and sent modders searching for solutions. Find out how you can become a sponsor here. DISCLOSURE: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com, affiliated sites and sponsors. While the dip seems to accentuate the instrumental separation and reduce muddiness with well-recorded, well-mixed material, the HD820’s unique frequency response makes some sonically less-than-stellar material even cloudier. The Sennheiser HD800S is the ‘new & improved’ version of the original HD800, a sound revelation which revolutionized headphone audio when released in early 2009.. Now over six years later comes the updated HD 800S touting improvements in bass response, along with a hip black color scheme and an XLR-4 cord for use with balanced-drive headphone amps. First few days impressions THE TREBLE: Tie HD800S keeps up the brilliance of OG HD800 (owned this a few yr ago), but dials it down to the level where it rides the cutting edge of being brilliant yet not irritating like the OG HD800 can be. Nonetheless, the upper-bass/lower-mids dip of the HD820 clearly affects how it reproduces music. Could Sennheiser capture the HD800S series sound in a closed back design? 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. By What Hi-Fi? Both have a slider along the top of the headband which is made of metal. Otherwise, enjoy the showdown… They asked, “Okay… so what’s the difference between these and the Sennheiser HD 800 S?.” It’s a valid question too. Sennheiser HD820 … The HDV 820 is one hell of a versatile headphone amplifier on its own regardless of your choice of cans though. That driver is effectively the same as used on the open-backed, and rather excellent, HD800Ses. When the Sennheiser HD820 was announced, we at the store were pretty intrigued. Electric guitars lose some of their fullness, string articulation on bass guitars is lost, and drums sound hollow. For example, when I was listening to MUNA’s song, Winterbreak-Tiesto’s Deep House Remix, the bass synth seemed to have more energy when I was listening to the HD 820. As you may know, I am a big fan of HD800 as well. I like them in that order from most harsh highs and lacking bass, to smoothest highs with the best bass. Sennheiser HD800S vs Focal Utopia (My experience) * So today finally i got to audition the Focal Utopia to HD800S. Today I will be comin’ at you hard, with a rock solid post about two highly regarded audiophile type headphones in my Sennheiser HD 800 vs. HD 650 review! Comparison winner. Like the HD800S, the HD820’s clamping force is minimal, and with proper adjustment both the HD820 and HD800S are comfortable over long listening sessions. Add that to the fact that "headstage" is something I find more elusive than most other HP enthusiasts (It's all "between the ears" and nothing compared to a normal two channel image IMO), the Sennheisers are a bit flawed - but I know I swim upstream in this opinion. It'd been a while since I've heard the HD800s before hearing the HD820 but the perceived difference in "stereo width" was negligible. The HD820 uses the same 56-mm “ring radiator” as the HD800S. It's the kind of brightness people eventually learned to love, You need to be a member in order to leave a comment. Introduction. I own both HD800S and HD820. On the other hand, they say higher neat my forehead and beyond with the HD 800 S. When the strings come in to aid in the climax, it comes as more of a shock with the HD 820. Focal Clear vs Sennheiser HD 800 S. Focal Clear. Excellent review! The Sennheiser HD800S is an open over-ear dynamic headphone. As the piano and drums kick in, the impressive bass slam of the HD820 becomes obvious, but so does its somewhat disjoined presentation. As a result, neither is really better or worse, they’re just different. The 800 were and still are, to this day, one of the best sounding headphones on the planet. Lastly, both headbands have a soft, microfiber-coated padding. I have heard the HD700, HD800, HD800s and the HD820. Steph is a musician, recordist, mixer, and producer. In addition to longform written reviews, he also handles the MajorHiFi Youtube channel. On 1/3/2019 at 1:54 AM, One and a half said. In some measurements it’s as much as 15 db. Shares. They attach to the back of their respective earcups and curl around to the top of the cups. Like any non-neutral set of cans, the ear becomes more accustomed to the HD820’s presentation the longer you listen to it, making it easier to appreciate its strengths. Conversely, the HD 820 demonstrates more contrast in the soundstage. Focal Utopia, Sennheiser HD820, Hifiman Arya On the other hand, the HD820 has been somewhat divisive in audio forums for not sounding as open as the HD800S despite the higher price, but I … The Clear’s tonal balance is more neutral than the HD800S, which still leans bright. They are a still a technological marvel and I’ve been enjoying them at my house for a few years now. No EQ. 00 $ 1,449. The price of the HD800S is a lot higher though. The HD800S has been the go to HP for two years something. 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. HD820 vs HD800S. Contact: steph@majorhifi.com, Sennheiser HD 820 vs Sennheiser HD 800 S Comparison Review. Like any daring and controversial deviation from neutrality, the pros and cons of the HD820’s unique presentation become apparent very quickly. After getting my speakers, Piega Premium 5.2, but especially the Focal Electra 1028, I found myself to listen to them on fewer and fewer occasions. I mention the rest of my system in the review. I read the review above and thought, what's driving the HP's and the rest of the system, cause I honestly don't hear the tonally flawed character. Physically, the HD820 also resembles the HD800S. Sennheiser has clearly made the HD 800 S to address the one major criticism that was consistently levelled at the HD 800, that their treble can sound a little harsh. On the other hand, the ridged piece of the HD 800 S is super thin and pliable. The HD800 definitely are bright. I auditioned  both and I preferred the HD-800S. Sennheiser HD820 review: too closed for comfort. They’re classy and well made, built sturdily e… 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. 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. A Tale of Two Sennheisers: The HD820 and the HD800S. As a result, vocals sound more natural and brighter in the HD 800 S than the HD 820. My recent review of the Sennheiser HD 820 prompted from questions from our subscribers, and inspired curiosity in me as well. He's written about music for publications like Filter and Under the Radar and about politics for publications like New Republic, Jacobin, and Dissent. Both the headphone and amp are German-made and are available for $2,400 USD each (or $3500 and $3000 respectively in AUD). The cables of both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S are pretty much identical. The low frequencies of the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD 820 are quite different from each other. The HD 800 S is the result of Sennheiser following its users' example. The Sennheiser HD 820 have a very deep and confident-sounding bass, with power and the right amount of reserve to sound accurate. As Sennheiser intended, the controversial upper-bass/lower-mids dip reduces muddiness in most (but not all) recordings. Additionally, they have shock absorbers where headband meets the yolks to adapt to different head shapes and sizes. It is marketed next to the HD800 and not a replacement. On the other hand, the HD 820’s pads are thicker. It is a separate layer from the thicker frame around it. 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. Sennheiser HD800S. 31 points. It was a surprise then when Sennheiser brought out an even higher priced model that we are reviewing today, the Sennheiser HD820. It’s also super wide, expansive, and has a real sense of depth. Why was that? The high frequencies of the Sennheiser HD 800 S have more emphasis than the high frequencies of the Sennheiser HD 820. Sennheiser HD820 vs. HD800S Review . 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. Both have the same nominal impedance (300 ohms) and nearly the same sensitivity (103 dB for the HD820 and 102 dB for the HD800s). Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S have earpads that follow the asymmetrical shape of their earcups. Home > Headphones comparison > Focal Clear vs Sennheiser HD 800 S. 38 points. The string section on the HD800S gets a bit more of a "outside of the head" experience compared to the HD820. Sennheiser’s latest high-end headphones are a treat, and a clear step up from the standard version. The two share the same ring diaphragm and Helmholtz resonator design, and they both use the same connectors (now in black for the HD 800 S). Keeping with The Who, the Mobile Fidelity mastering of Quadrophenia presents that somewhat murky mix at its best. The new model just takes everything to another level. Note: If you were looking for a review of the Sennheiser HD 650 vs. HD 700, click on over! The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 and DT 1990 Pro could be another closed/open comparison. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S have slight, subtle boosts in their low frequencies. (While I put the HD820 and HD800S through the paces using a variety of music, from jazz to pop to rock, I was in a Who mood when writing this review, so the examples in this review will be drawn from their early-‘70s catalog.). Switching to the HD820, it’s immediately clear that Grell and his team at Sennheiser succeeded in one of their top goals, which was creating a closed set of cans with the soundstage of an open pair. 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. The HD820 is basically an HD800S, closed-back. However, it sounds like their low frequencies have emphasis in slightly different parts of the region. 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. The path to the HD820 began in 2012 with a simple attempt to close the company’s flagship open-back, the HD800. UPDATE: Data has been corrected). Also very apparent in the measurements is the HD820’s bass quantity. When the band enters, Keith Moon’s cymbals project far left and Pete Townshend’s guitar far right without any sense of exaggeration. For the HD820 (red) and HD800s (green) measurements below, my EARS were calibrated with a slightly modified version of Marv from SBAF’s compensation curve, where a flat frequency response is represented by a flat line: With the EARS, the the HD820’s upper-bass/lower-mids dip appears to be what the kids call “lorge.” However, the size of the dip as captured by the EARS is in line with other other measurements of the HD820. 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. The Sennheiser HD820 is an amazing headphone and was brought in as the new flagship over the outgoing yet still incredible HD800S. Post navigation ← Audeze LCD-4 vs LCD-3, HD800 & HD800s. As a result, they both have a similar vibe to their look. The openness and elevated highs of the Sennheiser HD 800 S lays a blanket of slightly dramatic height over everything. 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. The HD 820 has more of a sense of intimacy but still feels wide and expansive when the mix becomes wide and expansive. HD800 S vs HD800 S Anniversary Edition Frequency Response GRN/RED = HD800 S Anniversary Edition GRY= HD800 S Flate Plate Coupler (no comp) On the flat side of the pad, where the pad touches the head,, they are coated in microfiber. ". According to Grell, the aim of the HD820 was to create a “closed-type for audiophiles.”. Over the new few months, I’ll be reviewing a few of these new entrants into the closed-back market. After testing different cup materials, Grell and his fellow designers settled on Gorilla Glass due to its rigidity. Cyrus Audio Announces the New XR Series Amplifiers, Cambridge Audio to Release Melomania Touch True Wireless In Ear Headphone. Sennheiser HD 800 S. Why is Focal Clear better than Sennheiser HD 800 S? To my delight, it turns out the new Sennheiser HDV 820 is the genuine article. Despite the Clear’s extra bass, its bass is also cleaner than the HD800S’s. I think I weigh the Clear's "cleaner" bass performance more than you do. Both the Sennheiser HD 820 and the Sennheiser HD 800 S have a high-mid emphasis. On the other, you have a pretty convincing piece of evidence for the other side of the argument: the last DAC/amp Sennheiser designed was attached to the Sennheiser HE-1 ($55,000), claimed by some to be the world's best sounding headphone system. The headband and yokes are essentially the same, although the HD820 has slightly thicker hinges, most likely to better support the slightly denser ear cups. It's easy! Sennheiser has fixed the original HD 800's Achilles' heel. Additionally, there is more body to the frame of the earcup of the HD 820. Also, I don't hear the Sennheisers as "leaning bright", they ARE bright, so the tonal balance of the Focal's wins easily for me (and this is before any DSP - something the Sennheisers don't respond well to). The HD820 projects incredibly wide and relatively deep, rivaling (and even exceeding) the soundstage of many good open-back headphones. HD800S 75th Anniversary Edition vs HD820 on Liquid Platinum fed by MXDAC. However, they give precedence to slightly different areas of the low frequency spectrum and different instruments as a result. Freed from the sometimes piercing high end of the HD800, it’s easy to enjoy the HD800S’s impressive soundstage (or “headstage”), which is arguably the widest and deepest of any set of cans currently available. The HD 800 S has a natural sounding frequency response. 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.
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