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Sound choice

tech reviews Updated: Jun 01, 2010 00:19 IST
Siddharth Bhatia
Siddharth Bhatia
Hindustan Times
Sennheiser HD800

Sennheiser HD800 headphones are among one of the most expensive gadget in its league. So, let’s find out what boosts their price, and whether these headphones worth the price it’s quoted for.

Design and features
This behemoth of a headphone looks classy. But it is more than just pretty. The transducers are encased in stainless steel precision cut frames, with the internal circumference wrapped in especially soft but firm cushion, that looks like it will never tear. The headband underside too comes adequately padded with similar cushions as the cans, thus maintaining an aesthetic uniformity.

The design is a circumaural, open back model. Rightfully so, as the cans totally engulf the pinnae. The overall weight is also average. The cable connections at the cans and the other end terminating in a quarter of an inch plug, are a class apart in terms of finish and sturdiness. The cable itself is covered in fabric braided sheath, which has protective functions and increases longevity. The drivers are 56 mm, and to put it simply, they are huge. The impedance is 300 ohms, thus one will need to really drive it.

Performance
The sound quality of the headphones output is outstanding. The accuracy in the dynamic range is as fine as white sand, with individual elements of the music sizzling and flurrying around like they were intoxicated, yet sounding together as part of a whole, wide mix.
The sound from these headphones was better than from some floorstanding speakers I’ve heard. All kinds of music sound superb, and a bad recording sounds clearly bad. These headphones can actually be reference grade speakers.

Verdict
At a price of Rs 79,990, these headphones are seriously expensive. But besides the price, I cannot find anything to complain about. The sound quality, construction, looks et al are top class. The market for this kind of product surely exists, and anyone really interested in audio should go for this. But remember that it is a weighty investment.

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