New Sennheiser flagship headphone incoming

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by pippenainteasy, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    [​IMG]
    Sennheiser releasing a new amp and headphone soon. I assume based on naming it'll be an incremental improvement on the HD800S and not necessarily a TOTL headphone killer to take on Abyss Phi, HE1000v2, Focal Utopia, etc.
     
  2. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    I guess they felt the need to fill a gap between their $1700 HD800S and $55K Orpheus. Sigh.
     
  3. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    I'm thinking the HD800S gets a price cut and HD820 gets slotted at $2k or below actually, since the HD800S was superseded in its price range by the MrSpeakers Ether Flow, especially with the new ES Electrostatic pads the main complaint of the Ether Flows have been addressed (small soundstage).
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  4. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Curious to see what the HD820 brings to the table since there's no info out there at the moment. Headphones have been a pain in my wallet, so it's with both anticipation and trepidation that I wait to hear some impressions on these things. I imagine they will sound great, given Sennheiser's track record. I have to say, I'm a bit surprised by the consumer demand for $1k+ headphones... I've always thought of this market as niche, but, clearly, the community is a bit larger these days. I've settled on a headphone collection that works really well for me, but ocassionally, I do experience upgrade-itis.

    Just out of curiosity, what are you listening through these days?
     
  5. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    Demand for high end headphones is exploding because metro areas have high incomes but housing costs are too high, so people are space limited. Plenty of metro people make 6 figure salaries and can't afford a house where they work, and so can't afford to fit a surround sound system at home. So the audiophile market is moving away from speakers and toward headphones.

    I'm currently using the Utopia. They are probably the best sounding dynamic headphones I've heard but they have poor ergonomics (too heavy, uncomfortably small ear pads). I'm looking forward to the MrSpeakers Ether Electrostatic and the HD820, mainly looking for a sub 400g headphone with top of the line sound.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  6. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Wow, the Utopias. Awesome. I love the Focal brand... I had the pleasure of listening to the floorstanders a little while back, and they were mind blowing, with a mind blowing price tag. I gather you're happy with them? I'm currently running with the HD800 and LCD-2, as well as the IE800s. The HD800s definitely stand out as the most comfortable full size headphones I've tried, so I get your interest in the new model.
     
  7. Pillars

    Pillars Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    431
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    I'm all for the HE-560's myself, I'm a planar head though..
     
    mizer357 likes this.
  8. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    Meh, lost interest. People are saying Sennheiser reps at Tokyo have mentioned off record HD820 is actually going to be a closed-back HD800S, not a new open-back flagship.
     
  9. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,004
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    meh, HIFIMAN HE400S will probably be my next headphones.
     
  10. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    Better off waiting for sales on HE400i, they get to $250 during holidays, same as msrp of HE400S.
     
  11. tungt88

    tungt88 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,911
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    If you don't mind going for refurbished, the HE-400s is available for $249 and the HE-400i is available for $229 on HiFiMan's own website here (scroll down):

    http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/headphones.html
     
  12. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,004
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Thanks but I want the velour cups of the S model. The others use leather, which is sweaty.
     
  13. Astral Abyss

    Astral Abyss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,619
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    It makes sense though. Senn didn't have any TOTL closed back models.
     
  14. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    367
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2016
    I'm excited to see what they can achieve in the closed soundstage department since those two words typically don't go together.

    It is amazing how much better the music listening experience is when you are in a quiet enviroment. Away from AC hum and general white noise. And for people who are at the mercy of the noise of where they live... The added sound isolation of closed back headphones could go a long way.

    Now.. If they ever figure out how to actively noise cancel maintaining great soundstage... That will be the day.
     
  15. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    It has arrived...

    [​IMG]


    $2399 for the new closed back flagship Sennheiser HD820. Be interesting to see how this stacks up with the MrSpeakers Ether C Flow and Sony MDR-Z1R.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    Neapolitan6th likes this.
  16. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    367
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2016
    And let the flagship prices continue to rise!
     
  17. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD Gawd

    Messages:
    795
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Very interesting that a new flagship headphone is closed and not open. Design wise looks good, although perhaps a bit cheap'ish looking for $2400. I bet random guy on the street wouldn't think that headphone would be anywhere close to that much worth and think what are you smoking if you say it's a $2400 phone. :p
     
  18. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment Pick your own.....you deserve it.

    Messages:
    19,717
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    And said same person on the street prob. would have on Beats by Dre and think they were the best sounding headphones around, that go along with his bose surround system at home..
     
  19. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    415
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    So they took the HD800 and gave the driver a glass back to enclose it, then doubled the price?

    I'm not sure how I feel about this. Granted, it's still downright budget compared to the textbook Veblen goods that comprise their Orpheus setups, but we're still talking about $2,400 cans that don't include an amp for the price and almost certainly require one to be driven properly - one that'll probably cost an equal amount, too, because that's audiophile gear for you.

    Keep in mind that for $2,400, I could probably treat myself to another Stax setup (SR-Lambda normal-bias + SRM-T1 still remains the best out of anything I've tried to date, though I never auditioned any of the Omega-series sets) and still have plenty of money left over for other stuff. Makes me wish Sennheiser had a more affordable electrostatic option than the Orpheus range, although a certain Stax enthusiast has admitted that the HD800 amped properly is the only dynamic driver headphone he's ever thought to sound good. (This was before the HD800S and this new HD820, so I don't know how he feels about those.)
     
  20. illram

    illram [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,318
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Oooh maybe I can score this used for $1500 in two years ! :(
     
  21. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    367
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2016
    I was at least glad the HD800 could be found sub $1000 as compared to its original launch price. Perhaps someday their designs will trickle down. Maybe $300 level? Who knows.
     
  22. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    415
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    I've found that tends to happen a lot with tech in general, but you have to watch out for holding off too long, because top-of-the-line anything has an annoying tendency to go way up in price after discontinuation. Nostalgia tends to do that to things; just ask anyone trying to buy an Amiga, X68000, or a 3dfx card on eBay nowadays.

    I don't think Sennheiser's discontinued anything of note out of their mainstream lines, though the prior Orpheus HE/60 and HE/90 are obvious exceptions (and stratospherically priced to begin with, so it's not like they ever were affordable). However, for another manufacturer example, I heard of stories about how the Stax SR-Sigma used to go for peanuts second-hand - until the Head-Fi sorts caught on, anyway, and now you're having to pay the upper end of a grand, if not more, just to be able to get your hands on one.

    Hell, the SR-Omega and SRM-T2 were top-of-the-line, money-is-no-object items (basically Stax's equivalent of the Orpheus HE/90 + HEV/90 combo), and they've probably gone up in value more than anything, in part due to both of those being failure-prone and working examples becoming that much rarer.

    Thus, if you ever see something like an HD800 in the $300s in working order, I'd probably jump on it immediately. It may never end up that cheap again, and if it's not to your taste, hey, it's not like you're bound to lose any money reselling it at that level of depreciation.
     
    Neapolitan6th likes this.
  23. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    I bought a beat up HD800 for $425 off ebay a while ago, replaced the pads and did the SD mod. I haven't really seen them any cheaper. Thing is Sennheiser is a company that mass produces stuff, whereas Stax makes everything by hand so when stuff goes out of production it's basically gone forever, while Sennheiser milks their models for decades, haha.
     
  24. illram

    illram [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,318
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    HD800 used price was helped by the HD800S coming out. Personally, I went for the HD800S used myself so don't see myself springing for an HD820 ever unless I win the lottery. Not much of a closed headphone person myself anyway.

    I feel like the trend for top tier headphone pricing is going up, not down.
     
  25. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    415
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    To be fair, I feel like the trend for top tier audio equipment in general, headphones or not, is going up as a whole - but inflation has just as much to do with that as audio manufacturers wanting ever-higher levels of performance and profit margins to go with it.

    '70s vintage audio had its resurgence because TOTL (or close to it) equipment was being abandoned in favor of the modern home theater trend requiring new format support and all that, and like high-end CRTs, they could still outperform most modern equipment if the sellers didn't know what they were selling. Amplifiers haven't changed all that much, at the very least, and there's an odd demand for vinyl records and turntables again. Certain speakers are also seen as worthy of restoration, particularly ESLs and Magneplanars, but also even more common stuff like the woofers on early Advents. And as for headphones, well, vintage Stax was my gateway drug...

    People have wised up, though, and that's driven prices up, hence why the same Goodwill in my area charged $100 for a Yamaha CR-1020 that hasn't been restored (dead lamps, either channel may be faint 'til I crank up the volume a bit to wake it up after a cold start, works fine otherwise) and just $20 for an Onkyo TX-SR806. Both are fairly high-end products for their period in time, albeit not quite TOTL. (Of course, some say that receivers like those and their Marantz/Sansui/Pioneer/etc. equivalents are mere budget gear and point to McIntosh instead, but I've even heard others say that McIntosh is nowhere near worth the asking price for the quality you get. Funny how that works out.)

    Oh, and speaking of beat-up headphones, I got a PC360 headset for real cheap off of eBay quite a while back. The only real issue that made it sell kinda cheap was that the cable had some damage and risked cutting out the microphone or drivers if bent the wrong way, but that's nothing a soldering iron and a spare cable can't fix if it becomes too much of an issue. I wonder if anyone's scored something like an HD800 on the cheap for reasons like that, though the higher-end models also have detachable cables anyway, making that less of an issue.