Sennheiser Replaces Top-of-the-Line HD 800 Headphones with New “S” Model

Sennheiser has introduced all-new HD 800 S headphones, replacing the high-end of its headphone line.

Sennheiser’s new HD 800 S headphones keep the transducer technology and earcup design hallmarks of the original, but incorporate additional refinements that Sennheiser said improves performance.

One of the acoustic refinements is a further optimized sound image in the medium and low frequency range. The new model now includes a symmetrical XLR4 cable, so that the HD 800 S can take better advantage of audio sources with a symmetrical output, such as Sennheiser’s own HDVD 800 digital headphone amplifier.

Aesthetically, the earcups have been changed to a premium matte-black finish that distinguishes the new model from the old. The HD 800 S retains the same 4- to 51,000 Hz frequency response of its predecessor.

The HD 800 S headphones feature innovations in design and materials. The transducer is embedded in a specially manufactured stainless steel gauze. The headband consists of several layers of sound-attenuating plastic and stainless steel. Connector contacts are gold-plated. Earcups are made of high-quality, high-attenuation plastic that Sennheiser said is used in aviation engineering as a substitute for metal.

Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphones

At 56mm, the HD 800 S’s transducer is among the largest currently found in a set of dynamic headphones. Even with such a large-sized transducer, the company points out that its patented diaphragm and ring design minimizes any distortion that might occur, especially at higher frequencies. Sennheiser said measured total harmonic distortion is less than 0.02 percent.

Unlike most headphones, which direct sound at a 90-degree angle to your ears, the earcups in the HD 800 S are specifically designed to direct sound at a slight angle. This design more closely mimics how we experience sound coming from speakers. It ensures spacial and natural sound perception.

The HD 800 S will retail for $1699.95, a $100 price increase over the model it replaces. For such a premium price, Sennheiser gives the HD 800 S the white-glove treatment. The new phones are hand-crafted at the company’s headquarters in Wedemark, Germany. Shipping is scheduled for this month.

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