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The original Sennheiser HD800 took the headphone market by storm when it was released, and for several years, they have been one of the most popular (if not THE most popular) high end headphones on the market, a "go to" model at around £1000, that many listeners use as a benchmark for comparing other high end headphones, or at least mention and consider in discussion of other high end models.
So it was with great excitement that we read the press release for this upgraded HD800S model. The first thing you'll notice is of course the different colour - these are black, still with parts of the design in silver, but black overall, a clear distinction from the all silver design of the original HD800. Most importantly however, the "improvements" are skin deep and designed for better sound quality.
How do you improve something that is already considered "reference quality" though? Well, Sennheiser's Axel Grell took to the challenge of improving on something already outstanding, and we think its no surprise that this is coming along at the same time as Sennheiser announce their brand new flagship Sennheiser Orpheus model - not this model shares any of that technology, but Sennheiser's engineers have clearly been hard at work and early indications suggest they've nailed it with this new HD800S model.
Upgrades include an acoustical absorber (like the one in Sennheiser's flagship IE800 earphones) and this gives an extended and smoother frequency response with fewer "peaks", resulting in a more natural sound throughout the frequency range. Initial indications have suggested that HD800S "goes higher" and "goes lower" than the HD800, but indeed, the improvements make this model simply sound more cohesive. Bass has also been extended, but not in a "bassy" way, but rather to give deeper bass extension. One comment from some customers on HD800 was that clarity was all there but it wasn't quite as strong on bass as some of the other high end contenders - this new model solves that.
What else can we say? Sennheiser HD800S prove to be the most exciting headphone to be released in 2016.
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