Few headphones are as venerable within the audiophile world as Sennheiser’s HD 800 and its youthful, extra refined sibling, the HD 800S. However regardless of their spectacularly clear sound, there’s one explicit high quality that has dissuaded me from spending the cash in any case thesIt’s an admirable repair to a really backwards flaw in Adobe’s system. Even one cent lower than equally certified males is just too giant a spot, and it’s good to see Adobe take the step.e years: The open-back design leaks sound out and in.
Enter the Sennheiser HD 820 – Sennheiser’s first premium closed-back headphones. I had the chance to check them for a strong 20 minutes or so at CES (I used to be completely hogging one of many two or three demo models). Disclaimer: they had been enjoying pre-selected tracks out of Sennheiser’s personal HDV820 amp (designed particularly to pair with the HD820) in a crowded CES corridor.
All that being stated, they’re one thing very near my dream headphones.
I don’t say that flippantly, contemplating there’s a surplus of wonderful headphones at nearly each worth level. However from my temporary testing, the HD 820 does exactly what it got down to do: create a closed-back HD 800 S with out considerably sacrificing sound high quality.
The HD 820 use leather-based earcups as an alternative of the velour of its predecessors. Nonetheless supremely comfy although.
The very first thing that stood out to me concerning the HD 820 was the outstanding sense of area. An expansive soundstage is likely one of the essential causes to decide on an open-back headphone over a closed one, however listening to the 820, you’ll be able to hardly inform they’re sealed. Although I wasn’t capable of examine on to one of many HD 800 fashions, the 820 appeared to be in the identical ballpark by way of spatial presentation from my recollection – which is to say among the finest I’ve heard. Like its predecessors, the 820 handle to place sound barely in entrance of you, not simply in your head. That’s a tough feat for any headphone, not to mention one with a closed again.
Gigantic earcups apart, Sennheiser says it was capable of obtain this grand sense of area, thanks to some intelligent engineering decisions. The Gorilla Glass overlaying the drivers is curved to mirror stray sound waves waves into acoustic absorption chambers, lowering the resonances that give so many headphones that in your head really feel. It additionally simply appears to be like cool.
That engineering wizardry results in an impressively clear sound with tight low bass, that kicks with finesse. The low finish is definitely stronger than on the HD 800, and from my temporary impressions, I a lot want the general tonal stability (I haven’t listened to the HD 800 S sufficient to carry that one into the comparability). The low finish was arguably the weakest a part of its predecessors for bass-heavy genres (and actually, most open-back headphones), so it’s good to see that space improved on.
The curved glass is the straightforward however intelligent contact that makes these sound so good.
My solely qualm, sound-wise, was that I seen the HD 820 had been extra delicate to a correct seal than its predecessors. That’s pure, contemplating the design, however maybe exacerbated by the 820’s gigantic earcups. I used to be sporting some quite poofy hair, and I seen I needed to finagle with placement a bit to get the complete low-end they had been able to.
That small caveat apart, at first look, the Sennheisers HD820 are practically every thing I need out of a headphone. As a lot as I finally worth sound high quality over comfort, my open-back headphones get a lot much less use in comparison with their sealed brethren. A loud metropolis like New York doesn’t lend itself nicely to quiet listening classes.
I’ll have to spend extra time with the headphones earlier than I could make any remaining judgements. But when Sennheiser may determine a solution to make these cans moveable, I would by no means want to purchase one other pair of headphones once more.