Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sennheiser HD800 Premier Headphone

I am a speech recognition developer for [...] and isolating myself from my environment is essential to maintaining my concentration. My previous headset was the Senneheiser HD 650 which sounded good but like all other high-quality Sennheiser headsets, which completely surround your ears, I found the HD 595 and the HD 650 to be uncomfortable after about 20 minutes.

I'm pleased to report that the HD 800s can be comfortably worn all day and from a sound quality point of view, nothing comes close to the HD 800. Recordings sound as close to the original studio master as anything we've ever heard. My listening tastes run from Mozart to Folk to Rock. Although I used to own a recording studio, I'll refrain from the technical aspects and simply state that the off angle oversized speakers, oversized magnets and general construction (right down to the padding# are like nothing I've ever experienced.

There is a tendency to wear the headset backwards but it doesn't really detract from the sound quality. It's easy to appreciate the hand assembled German engineering right down to the serial number and the oxygen free audio cable that no longer slips out if you accidentally snag it, unlike previous Sennheiser models.

The only negative thing we can say is that the $1400 price is ridiculous and unacceptable. Although we can appreciate the fact that this headset is nothing like anything else Senneheiser has made #or any other manufacturer for that matter# and we suspect that developmental costs were relatively high, other than greed, there is no excuse for attempting to recoup the R&D with an outrageous $1400 price. A $599 - $699 street price would have been more than adequate considering that this headset is MAP priced #price controlled). We've also heard of limited runs of this microphone and people having a hard time to find them but a closer investigation shows that only a few thousand of these headsets have been manufactured to date. We believe that if Senneheiser were willing to pump up the production and lower the price, they would make a higher profit and the public wouldn't feel so much like they're being taken advantage of.

For me personally, the best high fidelity is of the utmost importance and obviously, at $1400, I'm willing to pay any price to accommodate my music addiction. I highly recommend this headset to anyone who appreciates listening to music the way it originally sounded in the studio and can afford the price because I can almost guarantee that you'll hear sounds in your recordings that you never heard before and in some cases, you might even hear things that the studio engineers never intended to be recorded but didn't pick up on their own equipment. 

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