HD 800 S — The audiophile headphones all others are measured against, our HD 800 S doesn’t just raise the ceiling for critical listening—it smashes right through it. Combining the care devoted to a handcrafted instrument and the precision of modern manufacturing, the HD 800 S lets you explore your entire music collection from the inside out.
The Exploration of Sound
The HD 800 S demonstrates over 75 years of audio expertise, redefining the critical listening experience. After launching its predecessor—the HD 800—we accepted a self-imposed challenge to completely disappear from the last link in the audio chain. Our goal was to provide acoustics so immersive that your awareness dissolves into the creator’s perspective. On their own, each component of the HD 800 S is world-class. The signature sound of the HD 800 S is possible not because of any one of them, but through the synergy of all of them. Let’s explore.
It Has a Ring to It
The heart of the HD 800 S and its striking sound is the 56mm Ring Radiator transducer. It leverages the key benefit of a large diaphragm transducer—air displacement—without losing the rigidity that favorably impacts rest and response times. Instead of a single attachment on the outer circumference of the transducer, both outer and inner edges of the “ring” are secured to the drive unit. The voice coil excites the diaphragm, connected to the v-shaped groove found near the center of the ring. A feat in itself, the voice coil is 40mm and wound in-house to ensure the shape and consistency is held to the highest standard.
Solid as a Rock
The headphones’ vibration damping chassis and inert headband insert provide complete stability—what you put into the HD 800 S is precisely what you will get out of it. Each transducer is manufactured, tested, and measured to the tightest tolerance to ensure the most dependable performance out of the box. Even the steel mesh found in the baffle is matched and integrated with consistency in mind, as it contributes to ultra-low variance in the management of travelling sound waves. Each HD 800 S includes the frequency response plot unique to those perfectly matched transducers, sparing no resource to help you retrieve the most critical details from every corner of your music collection.
All the World’s a Stage
The HD 800 S features a mesmerizing soundstage that seemingly transports the listener into the recording environment. This is no accident, and is the result of several key features. The drivers are mounted at a precise angle, guiding the sound directly to the listener’s ears at their natural inflection point. Instead of hearing a sound that forms between your ears, you experience a vivid wash of frequencies and sensory-stimulating transients. When finally combined, the vibration damping chassis, perfectly matched transducer systems and wide-open construction work in concert to provide the most striking soundstage yet. This orientation rivals or exceeds loudspeaker setups costing exponentially more—especially when room acoustics are factored in. The HD 800 S offers you a personal concert hall on-demand—without waking the neighbors.
Behind the Mask
Using a high-performance transducer with incredible extension is just one element of the HD 800 S and its advanced sound reproduction system. Achieving acoustics that are true to the source also requires management of compounding frequency clusters that produce undesirable masking effects. We integrated a patented frequency absorber—a principle similar to that found in our breakthrough IE 800S—to reduce resonances that hide extraordinary musical details in plain sight. Further, the transducer system is mounted in a vibration damping chassis using aerospace-grade materials. In concert with the previously mentioned headband, the problematic energy peaks of lower frequencies are controlled to unveil the purity your hi-fi setup is capable of.
An Ergonomic Treat
The HD 800 S delivers on long-term wearing comfort too, providing a listening experience as luxurious as it is immersive. Every contact point utilizes ultra-soft microfiber padding, while purpose-built composites reduce weight and unwanted pressure. Each earcup provides dual-axis articulation—as soon as you put them on the HD 800 S will instantly and effortlessly conform to your unique structure. The result is a remarkable listening session that never stands in the way of your passion for hi-fidelity sound reproduction.
It’s All About Connection
We packed your HD 800 S with a versatile set of essential cables, each one impedance-matched with ultra-low capacitance. The ¼-inch / 6.3mm stereo connector offers the audiophile-standard plug for connection to devices such as headphone amplifiers, DACs, and A/V receivers. A balanced, 4.4mm connector opens a pathway to a newer generation of balanced output devices (headphone amplifiers, digital audio players, etc.) that embrace this compact plug’s superior stability over time. An XLR-4 balanced cable is available separately for purchase, offering yet another popular connection to a wide range of audio components. Each cable is 9.8 feet / 3m long to accommodate unencumbered listening on gear deep within your shelves, across your listening chair or even a tabletop.