Home Open Back Headphone Reviews Sennheiser HD 800 Review
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Hi friend and Welcome!

Before we get into the Sennheiser HD800 review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Specifications/Price
  2. Summary
  3. Pros/Cons
  4. Amp/DAC requirements
  5. Who this headphone benefits?
  6. Consensus/Conclusion
  7. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Sennheiser HD 800


  • price: check amazon! | check eBay!
  • type: Open back
  • fit: Circumaural (Over-ear)
  • impedance: 300 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • frequency response: 6–51,000 Hz (-10 dB); 14–44,100 Hz (-3 dB)
  • material: alcantara, stainless steel, teflon, velour
  • headband: metal
  • color: Black and Grey


These are some of the most highly regarded headphones in existence today and are almost an overall perfect set.

They are meant to reproduce the sound you hear at its most natural state, and therefore can be called the most honest, and neutral pair available on the market. If you value an even sound across the entire frequency spectrum and appreciate things like sound-stage, neutrality, detail, honesty, and comfort, then this may be the headphone for you. One concern that I’ve found to be quite common in my research is that these headphones may become boring to some. It’s almost too much of a good thing and can be exhausting and fatiguing after a while.

One of the main concerns is that they may sound a bit too bright for some people’s taste, even bordering on sibilant sounding. It isn’t a perfect headphone by any stretch but still maintains an A rating across the board despite some shortcomings (Outlined in “Cons”).

That said, The HD 800 excels with nearly everything that makes a listening experience great. It boasts a wide and amazing sound-stage, with depth and width being the standouts here. The height doesn’t quite measure up, but for classical music in particular these really excel in startling ways. The mid-range is also exceptional, and instruments such as Pianos, acoustic guitars, trumpets etc. all sound about as uncolored as it gets.


  • extremely comfortable. The velour ear pads are like pillows
  • a great sound-stage
  • use of silence/clarity.
  • Phenomenal mid-range. Perhaps it’s bread and butter.
  • neutrality and even sound across the spectrum
  • remarkable amount of detail present
  • great for in-studio mixing and mastering
  • natural and dreamy sound. This reviewer on amazon said that they re-invigorated his spirit and hope after 40 years
  • unlike anything you’ve ever heard, the thrill of music returns with these.


  • a tad bright in the treble range.
  • may be a bit too clinical for some. The sound may become fatiguing, or dare I say “boring”, and lack personality.
  • Amp requirements are pretty hefty. These are very picky about which amp you choose. More on that in a jiffy!
  • reveals all flaws, so be aware of your sound source. The HD 800 can be rather unforgiving of poorly mastered songs in general.
  • no going back to other headphones once you hear these. Is that a con? Depends on who you ask I suppose.

Video Review

Credit to my boy @metal571!

AMP/DAC Requirements

The Amp/DAC requirements for the HD 800 are a bit on the picky side, as alluded to above. After careful research, I can give my best endorsement for some great options here:

  1. Woo Audio WA2
  2. SPL Phonitor
  3. Vioelectric V200 (high end amp without the high end price tag)
  4. Fostex HP-P1 (a great and more affordable pairing)

Who this headphone benefits?

  1. Does very well with classical, acoustic, jazz, and well-recorded music.
  2. people who appreciate the most honest sound reproduction
  3. people who want to re-discover music
  4. People who like a big sound-stage and extreme clarity


A headphone that is as faithful and accurate to the original recording as anything else in existence. Great sound-stage, use of silence and clarity, as well as a very durable and comfortable phone overall. May be a bit too bright in the high end, and generally boring and clinical for some. All flaws are revealed when you put these on!

It has been said that the HD 800’s are like living with a genius. They will give you a newfound appreciation for all of your music, new and old. The downside is that they will also reveal every flaw in said music. You know, stuff like warts and other imperfections.

Final Word

If you need only the finest in audiophile quality and will settle for nothing less, the HD 800’s are about the best headphone that money can buy. The reason is that they reproduce the sound that you hear in its most natural state. They are meant to deliver results that you might only hear if you were actually standing right in front of the artist or band. They are truly a revolutionary pair of cans, but there is no going back once you hear them. Their sound-stage is almost impeccable, and as far as imaging goes, they cannot be topped. Just be aware that they are very amp finicky, so the right setup will most definitely dictate how good they will sound to your ears! They are also pretty harsh in the treble range, and a tube amp is highly recommended.


What do you all think about these? Are they worth it?

Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sennheiser HD800 review. Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know down below or Contact me! I very much look forward to hearing from you..

All the best and God bless,





Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!


Sennheiser HD 800






Build Quality/Comfort





  • Extreme clarity
  • Amazing sound-stage
  • Neutral and flat. Brutally honest
  • Great for jazz and classical
  • High quality materials


  • treble can be a bit harsh
  • amp requirement is picky
  • too clinical and boring to some

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Michel November 9, 2015 - 4:00 am

These look great, and the best part is that you say they are comfortable. There is nothing worse than trying to relax and listen to your music and your headphones either hurt your ears or your head after a while.

As far as reproducing the sound as you hear it in its natural state, I thought that most headphones did this. I must really take a listen and see if there is a difference.

Stu November 10, 2015 - 3:15 am

Hey Michel!

Yeah I thought the same thing about headphones as well before I started producing music. I never realized that you could achieve a better sound than cheap ear buds and headphones. It was truly an eye opening experience! It has been said that if you put on a pair of HD 800’s.. there’s no going back to anything else! Lol a scary thought indeed..

Thanks for stopping by!


Jeff August 24, 2016 - 3:26 pm

Great site, I know through experience how difficult it is to ‘get over’ the basics of a home studio to those who have no knowledge of what they’re getting themselves into…so to speak.
Informative and done with a good sense of humour which ‘softens’ a lot of the technical jargon that although is very necessary can be confusing.
If I was to be hyper critical I did find the layout a tad busy and found myself going off text from time to time….but saying that, it’s probably just me as I’m quite easily distr….oh look! A squirrel!

Stu August 26, 2016 - 2:38 am

Hahaha.. I will have to disagree although I have been debating on whether or not I should get rid of the side bar. Is that what you’re referring to?


Manuel Jenkin September 18, 2017 - 6:34 am

Nigel Stanford used these for monitoring his latest work – automatica.

Stu September 18, 2017 - 7:18 pm

Nice! I’ll have to check it out.


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