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Sennheiser HD 800 - perfect in every detail

Dale Davies ▼ | June 11, 2009
With the new HD 800 headphones, Sennheiser has come very, very close to natural sound. There's no surprise: the HD 800 was developed and designed at corporate headquarters in Wedemark, Germany.
Sennheiser HD 800
Sennheiser HD 800With the new HD 800 headphones, Sennheiser has come very, very close to natural sound. There's no surprise: the HD 800 was developed and designed at corporate headquarters in Wedemark, Germany.

With their open design, the dynamic stereo headphones combine innovative technology with carefully selected materials and the highest quality workmanship. The result is a level of performance, quality and attention to detail that is clearly audible. The headphones offer an outstanding frequency response of 6 to 51,000 Hz, a brilliant sound image and impressive spatiality.

Measuring 56 mm, the transducer in the HD 800 is the largest that can currently be found in dynamic headphones. A completely new design principle allows the purest possible sound reproduction in exceptional detail. The vibrating part of the diaphragm is not a circular surface area but a ring. This ring is able to set the entire air volume over the transducer into motion, generating the full-bodied sound of the HD 800.

Sennheiser HD 800The annular design patented by Sennheiser solves the problems relating to the dynamic transducer principle for the first time: "The more transducer surface area is caused to vibrate, the purer the headphone sound becomes at low frequencies. However, transducers with a large surface area have the disadvantage that, at high frequencies, undesired resonances known as eigenforms occur at the diaphragm. This results in distortions in sound reproduction that even high-quality Duofol laminations are not able to completely eliminate," explained Axel Grell, acoustics developer at Sennheiser. “This is precisely the dilemma that we have resolved in the HD 800. The ring design minimises the distortion of the sound image, even with a transducer as large as 56 mm." The result is impressive: with total harmonic distortion of less than 0.02 percent (at 1 kHz and 100 dB sound pressure level), the HD 800 has brilliant trebles, precise bass reproduction and a much clearer sound image.

Sennheiser HD 800In the development of the HD 800, special attention was also paid to the design of the ear cups. These are designed in such a way that the sound waves are directed to the ear at a slight angle. This produces an impressively natural listening experience The exceptional sound properties of the HD 800 are supported by selected materials and a top-quality finish. To ensure that the acoustic properties of the headphones are not impaired by any partial vibrations, the transducer is mounted in a specially produced high-precision gauze made of stainless steel. The ear cups are made of high-quality plastic with particularly good attenuation characteristics. There is no covering at all for the ear cups, as less material means that there is less opportunity for partial vibrations to occur. For the same reason, a special headband was developed for the HD 800. A patented multi-layer design consisting of metal and high-quality plastic attenuates all of the vibrations of the headband, thus effectively eliminating any dips in sound pressure level at low frequencies.

The outstanding sound quality is accompanied by excellent wearing comfort. To guarantee optimum fit on the head, the ear cups are suspended on one side only. High-quality plastic material developed for the aviation and aerospace industries ensure maximum stability. With their circumaural design, the ear cups fit precisely round the ears without pressure and are still comfortable to wear even after hours of music enjoyment.