These are the MOST expensive headphones we have done till date, trust me take a peek at the conclusion section to see just how expensive I’m talking about. But does that deter the brand from going ahead and marketing it? I guess not, as there are some of us consumers who need something like this, and chances are that a product so pricey will be really good. But how good? Lets check it out: the Sennheiser HD800.

 Design and features
This behemoth of a headphone has class written all over its looks, but moreover it’s not just a pretty fancy face. The transducers  are encased in stainless steel precision cut frames, with the internal circumference wrapped in especially soft but firm cushion, that looks like it will never tear. The headband underside too comes adequately padded with the similar cushion from the cans, thus maintaining an aesthetic uniformity through and through. Theoretically speaking the design is a circumaural, open back model and rightfully so as the cans totally engulf the pinnae. The overall weight on the head is average, it’s of course not the lightest design, but the good thing is that it does not bog one down.
The cable connections at the cans and the other end terminating in ¼ inch plug, are a class apart in terms of finish and sturdiness. The cable itself is covered in fabric braided sheath, which has protective functions and increases longevity. The drivers itself are 56 mm, and in simple terms they are huge. The impedance is 300 ohms, thus one will need to really drive it, I’m not sure a regular MP3 player has the volts juice to drive this caliber of headphone drivers. Off course a dedicated headphone out of an AV receiver or stereo amplifier is perfect for it, any good hi-fi system will be easily able to power them.

Frequency response (headphones)    6 – 51000 Hz (-10 dB)
Frequency response (headphones)    14 – 44100 Hz (- 3 dB)
Transducer principle                       dynamic, open
Nominal impedance                         300 Ω
Sound pressure level (SPL)              102 dB
THD, total harmonic distortion          ≤0.02 % (1kHz/1Vrms)
Contact pressure                            3.4 N (± 0.3 N) approx.
Ear coupling                                   circumaural
Weight w/o cable                            330 g
Jack plug                                       ¼” (6.3 mm) stereo
Cable length                                   3m

I slipped in my fav Jamiroquai CD, and also lined up the flac backups of The Police. Next in line was some off beat kickass electronic music by Flying Lotus, and finally our friendly neighbourhood genius Aphex Twin. The sound quality of the headphones output was really something, the accuracy in the dynamic range was as fine as white sand, with individual elements of the music sizzling and flurrying around like they are intoxicated, yet sounding together as part of a whole, wide mix. Wide is the word here, as the sound stage from these headphones was better than some floorstanding speakers I’ve auditioned very recently. German handmade stuff is really something, the timing of these drivers was phenomenal. All kinds of music sound superb, and a bad recording sounds clearly bad, as these headphones can actually be reference grade speakers.

At a price of Rs. 79,990, these headphones have a serious price tag associated with them, but besides the price I cannot find any complaints, and the sound quality, construction, looks et al are top class. The market for this kind of product surely exists, and anyone really interested in audio should go for this, of course you need the bucks.

Tags: ,