Sennheiser is building on the success of HD 800 with the launch of HD 800 S. Acoustically, the transducer technology and the innovative earcup design of the HD 800 are still being employed, while the sound image has been further optimized in the medium and low frequency range. Sennheiser 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.
The HD 800 has been a 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. 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.
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. “The HD 800 is in a class of its own. During its development, we took time to focus on every single detail,” said Maurice Quarré, director business segment select and audiophile at Sennheiser. This is also true for the new HD 800 S. Like its predecessor, the 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. Like the HD 800, the HD 800 S is hand-crafted at the company’s German headquarters in Wedemark, Germany. It is shipping in early January.