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In Depth Sennheiser update the bar a notch with the outstanding technology HD 800 S

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The original Sennheiser HD800 released in 2009 was considered the worlds best headphone by many audiophiles. Since its release, numerous manufacturers have tried to knock the HD 800 down from the throne to claim the title of worlds best headphone. Music lovers now have plenty of options to consider. Flagship headphones are now available from most well respected audio brands.

Listeners who have criticized the HD 800 for being a tad bright and wanting a bit more low bass extension have plenty to look forward to. Using absorber technology originally used in the IE 800, Sennheiser has updated the HD800 and given it a new paint job in our favorite color, black. The new Sennheiser HD800S reduces unwanted peaks in the headphones frequency response making the listening experience more immersive. In addition to the standard headphone cable with the original HD 800, the new HD 800 S includes a “symmetrical” 4-pin XLR cable to be used with headphone amps sporting balanced outputs such as the Sennheiser HDVD 800.

new Sennheiser HD800S

The Sennheiser HD 800 S began shipping February 2016 in small quantities.

The Sennheiser HD 800 is cherished by music lovers throughout the world for its brilliant sound image and impressive spatiality. With the HD 800S, the audio specialist now presents a new version, which even surpasses the listening experience of its predecessor: Acoustically, the proven transducer technology and the innovative earcup design of the HD 800 are still being employed, while the sound image has once again been further optimized in the medium and low frequency range. Sennheiser has also enhanced the equipment level of the HD 800 S with the addition of a symmetrical XLR4 cable. The color was also slightly changed: the earcups of the new model are resplendent in a premium matte-black finish.

Ever since its launch, the HD 800 has been a firm favorite among music lovers and audiophiles. Brilliant trebles, precise bass reproduction and a particularly clear sound image combined with a frequency response from 4 to 51,000 Hz – these are the outstanding qualities of the multi-award-winning HD 800.

With the HD 800 S, sound reproduction has been optimized even beyond the high benchmark set by the HD 800. This is made possible through the innovative absorber technology that was first introduced in the IE 800. This patented technology ensures that the so-called “masking effect” is neutralized. This acoustic phenomenon, that diminishes sound quality, arises as the human ear is unable to perceive higher-pitched sounds, that have low-volumes, at the same time that significantly louder sounds in a lower frequency range occur. Through the application of the absorber technology, the energy of the resonances is absorbed, thus preventing any unwanted peaks in the frequency response and ensuring that even the finest nuances in the music remain audible over the entire frequency range.

new Sennheiser HD800S

Impressive sound experience – outstanding technology

The improved audio quality of the HD 800 S is based on the high-end technology of its legendary predecessor. As before, the core of the new model is a unique transducer system which, as in the HD 800, is the source and guarantee of an exceptionally detailed sound image. Measuring 56 millimeters, it is the largest transducer currently to be found in a set of dynamic headphones. In spite of the size of the transducer, the patented diaphragm with its innovative ring design minimizes any distortion that might occur especially at higher frequencies – keeping total harmonic distortion to less than 0.02 percent. Meticulous attention was also paid to the design of the earcups. These are designed in such a way that the sound waves are directed to the ear at a slight angle. This ensures a particularly natural and spatial sound perception. In order to achieve even better audio quality in the reproduction of audio sources with a symmetrical output, such as the Sennheiser HDVD 800, the HD 800 S comes with a symmetrical XLR4 cable.

Luxurious materials for luxury headphones

“The HD 800 is in a class of its own. During its development, we took time to focus on every single detail,” explained Maurice Quarré, Director Business Segment Select & Audiophile at Sennheiser. And that is also true for the new HD 800 S. Like their predecessor, these high-end headphones from the audio specialist use only the highest quality materials – not least to optimally support the outstanding sound properties. For example, the transducer is embedded in a specially manufactured stainless steel gauze. For the headband, the audio specialist has chosen a design consisting of several layers of sound-attenuating plastic and stainless steel, while the connector contacts are gold-plated to ensure optimum contact. The earcups are made of high-quality, high-attenuation plastic, which is used in aviation engineering as a substitute for metal. It is precisely these components on the HD 800 S that feature a matte-black, silk-gloss finish, providing the new high-end headphones with a unique, silky luxurious look. In this way, the outer appearance of the HD 800 S is in perfect harmony with the exceptional quality of the sound image.

Audio specialist Sennheiser is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and wireless transmission systems. Based in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, Sennheiser operates its own production facilities in Germany, Ireland and the USA and is active in more than 50 countries. With 18 sales subsidiaries and long-established trading partners, the company supplies innovative products and cutting-edge audio solutions that are optimally tailored to its customers’ needs. Sennheiser is a family-owned company that was founded in 1945 and which today has 2,700 employees around the world that share a passion for audio technology.