Editor's choice Sennheiser HD 800

Sennheiser HD 800 Review

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Lowest price Product: Sennheiser HD 800 Dynamic Open-Back Stereo Headphones - $1,089.99

“A world-class headphones by Sennheiser”

The HD range by Sennheiser has always been a showcase of some of the best headphones the company has to offer. All the products in this range, including the mid-range HD 598 and the classic HD 650 are very popular and likable due to their perfect sound quality.

The price of these headphones starts from 1,300$ to 1,500$, which may be a little high, but for those who are interested in having a unique sound experience, the HD 800 are definitely what you are looking for.

So lets get a little more deeper and check out what is so special about these?


One of the first things you will notice about these silver-black beauties is their size. The HD 650 (a previous version) is big and covers most large ears. The HD 800, on the other hand, makes the 650 seem simple and sensible in comparison. These open-back headphones completely engulf your ear and almost look like a prop from a sci-fi movie in the 80’s.

For all practical purposes, the HD 800 has a traditional design with a black grill protecting the open back. But, stylistically, they are a bit unusual. Most manufacturers opt for a classic design when it comes to their high-end products – the Beyerdynamic T90, for example, uses fabric to give it a “classy” look. But, it looks like Sennheiser wanted to give these headphones a more technologically-advanced look, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Official: SENNHEISER HD 800

Sennheiser HD 800

Build Quality and Comfort

It is surprising to note that much of the HD 800’s body is made out of plastic, including the rim that borders the pads and the arms that connect the headband to the ear cups. But, this is standard for all products in the HD category, and even if it is just plastic, it of the best kind. However, due to the high use of plastic, the HD 800 does lack the visual punch, that does exist for example in the Meze 99 Classics

However, Plastic is very advantageous when it comes to weight. The HD 800 are relatively light (330g without a cable) in relation to their size. Additionally, the head-hugging fabric ear pads are well-positioned making these headphones very comfortable to wear. So, if comfort is you thing, you can be sure that these are for you.


Almost predictably, the Sennheiser HD 800 sounds absolutely fantastic. By all accounts, one of the best sounding headphones money can buy. These headphones have been especially developed to provide a high-fidelity natural hearing experience.

The sound is incredibly natural which might make some people wonder if it is a bit lacking in warmth. But, unlike plenty of other similar headphones, the HD 800 has a very rich bass.

Even when a powerful low end is needed, the HD 800 can supply it in spades. When watching an explosion scene in a movie, for example, the bass response is shocking because it is so unexpected. There isn’t any excess warmth but, even the sub-bass levels are superb and will send chills down your spine.

When compared to its competition, one of the more differentiating qualities of the HD 800 is its wide soundstage. This helps give the sound a speaker-like impression as opposed to most other headphones which give an in-your-head feel. Granted, there are many other headphones which give a similarly “open” sound. But, these Sennheisers are on a completely different level. Few headphones have the aural breadth of the HD 800 which can render even the most complex of sounds in all its glory.

Having said that, some people may find its lack of pomposity a bit disappointing. The HD 800 is a master at recreating sound perfectly. But, it doesn’t really make music sound grand and larger-than-life. Some people want a bit of excitement when listening to music and the fact that these headphones are extremely accurate may be a bit of a turn-off.

Accessories and Cable

Essentially, these headphones don’t come with any accessories. But, the box is spectacular. It is lined with silk and looks like the presentation box for an expensive necklace. Considering its price, the lavish packaging may not be a bad thing.

The mesh-covered detachable cable is 3m long and has a gold-plated 6.3mm jack. There is no 3.5mm converter, which isn’t surprising since the HD 800 is not designed to be plugged in to your iPhone. They are designed to be used with a headphone amp – clear from the 300 Ohm impedance – and the open back design means that it is better for indoor use than outdoors.

Final Thoughts

  • Excellent build quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Accurate sound reproduction
  • Extremely wide sound stage
  • The design may not be for everyone

The Sennheiser HD 800 is one of the best, and most accurate, headphones money can buy. It has a wide soundstage and can make it sound like music is coming from nearby speakers and not a headset. They are extremely comfortable to wear and the design is definitely eye-catching.

9.6 Total Score

Design and Comfort
Build Quality
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