Sennheiser HD 700 vs HD 800: Which Is Best?

Sennheiser HD700 vs HD800

Noise is the worst threat to music. Therefore, noise reduction is a useful trait in headphones.

Although the headphones sit on your ears, they still let the noise in, which can ruin the music experience. Often you end up turning up the volume further and the result may be distorted music and at worst reduced hearing.

Briefly noise reduction works by making an active noise barrier. This is done by a small microphone on the outside that constantly picks up sound from the environment, and then this signal is in anti-phase mixed with the music signal. And what is the result? An almost noise-free listening environment!

These two headphones from Sennheiser both have active noise barrier. A small amplifier circuit, driven by a 1.5 V AAA battery, but unlike many other headphones with active noise dampening, you can continue to listen, even if the battery is empty. Something that takes nearly 40 hours for both headphones! Each comes with a detachable cord, one for 3.5 and one for 6.3 mm jack adapter and a carrying case.

How Is The Comfort?

Both headphones are of the so-called closed type, which means that the membrane is enclosed in a sealed can and there is no sound leaking from the back of the headset. Sennheiser HD 700 is slightly larger than the HD 800 and is $500 cheaper. But none of them are so large that they cover the ear totally, but they are however friendly to wear. You can fold them up and put them in the carrying case that also has room for an iPod. The lighter HD 800 headphones fit securely on your ears and the wearing comfort is good. The same can be said about the heavier HD 700 headphones.

Sound Quality: Any Difference Between The HD 800 And HD 700?

Despite the fact that the headphones are relatively similar and cost about the same, performance is very different. They have an equal 40 mm membrane driven by a neodymium, but Sennheiser HD 700 headphones have a slightly larger acoustic chamber for the membrane. It can be felt in the more natural sound, which is much richer in sound and have a significant more potent bass. At the same time, they play with greater openness and vocals are more forward in the soundstage. Instruments such as guitars and pianos sound better and the sound is airier. The noise dampening is a little more efficient in these, and when one pause the music you only hear a slight electronic noise in the background.

The electronic background noise from the Sennheiser HD 800 headphones noise barrier is more audible and higher in frequency. This is why you notice it more on these headphones. The HD 800 lacks the same clout in the bass and I am tempted to say devoid of sophistication. Although I used them for more than 30 hours before the test, the soundstage never really opened up. They sound simply closed and lack much of the tone colors that make HD 700 headphones interesting to listen to. Yet they play consistently and pleasantly but never engagingly like Sennheiser HD 700.

Sennheiser HD700 vs HD800

Summary

Try the Sennheiser HD 800 and if you like what you hear, then it is just to pick that one. But my opinion is that they are not worth the cost. Of course you can’t expect the same quality of sound from headphones with noise reduction as those without for the same price, but HD 700 headphones shows that it is perfectly possible to combine sound quality with good noise reduction. At even a lower price. Of the two headphones the Sennheiser HD 700 is also best suited for MP3 players, because they have much better sensitivity.  Now you know my opinion so go try them out.

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My thoughts on Sennheiser HD 800 headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 HeadphonesUsing $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.

High-end technology

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.

High-end price

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.

Nice video unboxing the Sennheiser HD 800 headphones