Using $1500 on headphones may sound like madness. But wait until you hear the sound.
Exotic headphones cost a lot of money. Which is one of the reasons why they are exotic. High price deters most of us, and so expensive headphones becomes something only real audiophiles buys. In a world where most walk around with white earplugs to $10, headphones to $200 seem pretty exotic. What about headphones to $1500? Almost five times the price of a couple of excellent Denon or AKG headphones and nearly 40 times the price of a pair of white Apple earbuds.
The headphones are heavy and weighs almost as much as Denon AH-D7000, which is also a fantastic music intermediary, but here the similarity stops. Denon uses an expensive enough membrane in its D7000, but it is fully covering and placed in a closed bell of wood. A closed headphone has other characteristic than an open headphone, which the HD 800 is. Sennheiser has placed a 56 mm membrane, which is open in the center and is therefore called a ring radiator in an open chamber, so that it leaks sound from the rear, and other people in the room will hear the music you play. Although not very loud.
The sound is totally transparent and realistic, and these headphones are almost a new wonder of the world. Classical music has an almost therapeutic effect; the music is so immersive and totally free of impurities that it borders on being drunk. Old classics as well as new music are revitalized in the Sennheiser HD 800, so you cannot bring yourself to put the headphones down. The headphones make you create images in your head of how it looks in the studio when the recording was done.
It’s really addictive, and you can listen for hours because the HD 800 is really comfortable. The large fabric-covered cushions, which settles around the ear, pressing with just right power on the head, and since they are open, you are not sweating nor are you experiencing any sound pressure which is often uncomfortable over longer periods of time.
Just as they equally expensive Denon AH-D7000, Sennheiser HD 800 is an amazing music intermediaries. If you have the money for great headphones and can appreciate the real quality music then these might be for you but you will the same quality from the D7000 as you would from the HD800. It hardly matters which pair of headphones you choose.
Sennheiser HD800 is a little more comfortable to wear, and they have finer micro dynamics and greater dynamic contrast than the D7000. The soundstage also marginally airier and the bass is tighter. HD 800 is phenomenal, but expensive. On the other hand they will give you better sound quality per penny than many expensive speakers.