Home Headphone Comparisons Sennheiser HD600 vs. HD800 | COOL AS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PILLOW?


by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on

Don't forget to share if you found it helpful!

Greetings friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Sennheiser HD600 vs. HD800, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

For this article, I will do a quick and dirty comparison, and then link to my official recommendation towards the end! 🙂

  1. Introduction
  2. HD800: Regular Model vs. “S” Model
  3. Similarities & Differences
  4. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!


HD800: Regular Model vs. “S” Model

“S” Model Improvements/Differences:

  • Improved bass response
  • Black Color Scheme
  • XLR-4 cord for use with balanced-drive headphone amps
  • The spiked treble at around 6kHz (which was the 800’s main issue) has been resolved.
  • The S model’s sound signature has been warmed up a bit. It’s no longer as cool and analytical, but more welcoming, more inviting. 😉

Similarities & Differences

Now we’ll look at the similarities and differences between the HD600 and the original HD800.


  • Sensitive. Both are very sensitive when it comes to source quality. You’ll want to only play files that are at least 320kbps and above. They’ll sound pretty decent with 160, but when I sit down for a listening session with the 600’s, I want the best files. Both are very revealing.
  • Both are open back headphones. Closed back vs. Open back headphones.
  • Both headphones are extremely comfortable. In fact, I would rate the 600’s as the most comfortable I have personally worn. I rarely ever find myself making an adjustment.
  • Both have velour padding.
  • Both headphones have excellent build quality.
  • Both are very honest and neutral in their portrayal, and boast a pristine mid-range.


  • Sound. The HD800 is known to be very bright/sibilant in the treble range. What does Sibilant mean? While other Sennheiser offerings have been accused of the “veil,” The 800 is the opposite: it might be too bright. What is the Sennheiser veil? By contrast, the HD600 isn’t that bright, but can at certain times with certain tracks. Also, overall the HD800 has been accused of being too clinical, too revealing, and too honest, to the point where you’re over analyzing the music rather than simply enjoying it. The 600’s are analytical, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re fun and revealing at the same time, which one of the qualities that makes them a Gold Standard. This isn’t to say the 800’s are bad, that would be ridiculous. They simply represent the pinnacle of sound in a revelatory sense.
  • Style. The HD600’s came out in 1997, and have a vastly different look to them, while the 800’s have this sort of semi-futuristic look. I would say that the 600’s are about as plain Jane as it gets. This isn’t a bad thing, as it actually works in their favor. A very simple, no nonsense design.
  • Materials. The 800’s have elements of alcantara, stainless steel, and teflon. The 600’s are mostly made of plastic and carbon fiber, but don’t let that fool you. They’re still very durable.
  • Impedance. What is Headphone Impedance? Both have a 300 Ohm impedance, but the 800’s are significantly harder to drive, and need very careful headphone amp consideration. The best headphone amp for the Sennheiser HD800’s! By contrast, the HD600’s aren’t picky at all, and will do well with most headphone amps of your choosing. I personally use the Schiit Magni/Modi combo, and it’s a great match as far as solid state amps go. Tube amp vs. Solid state.
  • Clamp force. The 600’s have a known issue with clamp force when you first put them on. They will break in over time however. The 800’s do not suffer from this.
  • Soundstage. The 600’s are not known for their soundstage, nor do they have a big one. What is Soundstage? They do have laser like instrument separation and clarity, but you’re not going to have that “out of your head” feeling very often. The Soundstage is much more narrow. With the 800, it’s grand. You get the feeling you’re in a concert hall rather than just sitting in the studio.

Final Word

If I had to choose one headphone to use for the rest of my life, I would probably pick the Sennheiser HD600. It just does everything right, and there isn’t much I can complain about. It’s the benchmark headphone, the Gold Standard, and my personal favorite. Interested in learning more in an in depth and informative review covering all the bases? Check out the:


Feeling daring? Want to know what the HD800 is all about? Check out my:


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sennheiser HD600 vs. HD800 comparison.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Which of these tickles YOUR pickle? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

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!

Don't forget to share if you found it helpful!

You may also like

Leave a Comment