Drop x Sennheiser HD8XX measurements, analysis, review

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Let's get straight to the measurements. Subjectively, it's still an HD800. The tweaks are tweaks. However, I am hearing better bass quality, a throwback to the OG HD800 bass, which is a good thing IMO. Would be curious to run distortion analysis to confirm. The HD8XX does have the resonator like the HD800S.

    Drop x Sennheiser HD8XX
    Frequency Response
    EARS (SBAF 3.2 comp)
    upload_2021-3-23_13-13-51.png

    HD8XX (BLU/RED) Compared to HD800S (GRY)
    Frequency Response
    EARS (SBAF 3.2 comp)
    upload_2021-3-23_13-11-31.png

    HD8XX (BLU/RED) Compared to OG HD800 (GRY)
    Frequency Response
    EARS (SBAF 3.2 comp vs 3.1 for HD800)
    upload_2021-3-23_13-16-55.png
     
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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Seems Drop or Senn (or both) did their homework.
    At least they can replace 800s for sure. Maybe arguably replace light mods (such as SDR only), too. No?

    Still not interested as they remain to be 800, but looking forward to hearing more subjective impressions.
     
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  3. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    So, thick and bright at the same time? Starting to feel like 2009 with these and the Mg, I guess mids are going out of style in 2021. In 2022 we'll have mid-forward headphones and everyone will feel like they're a breath of fresh air after forgetting what a smooth transition from middle mids to low treble sounds like. The cycle continues..
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    • More body (lower mids)
    • But less thick (cleaner less thick lows compared to HD800S) - more like the HD800 lows.
    • Lower treble hardness and glare is tamed like HD800S with the resonator.
    • Slightly more mid treble and top octave
    • The upper mid dip (or differential between this area and highs) is slightly more pronounced
    ^ This all subjectively speaking. Will post flat plate FR next. It's still identifiable as an HD800. The changes are not significant.
     
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  5. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    So another headphone we have to mod? I guess my OG HD800 with mods isn't going anywhere.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Here are the flat plate measurements. Generally fairly consistent with the miniDSP EARS, in both relative and absolute terms.

    HD8XX (BLU/RED) Compared to HD800S (GRY)
    Frequency Response
    Flat Plate Coupler (SBAF comp)
    upload_2021-3-23_18-55-17.png

    HD8XX (BLU/RED) Compared to HD800 OG (GRY)
    Frequency Response
    Flat Plate Coupler (SBAF comp)
    upload_2021-3-23_19-1-34.png
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Distortion measurements comparing HD8XX, HD800S, and the OG HD800.

    I've said this time and time again when the HD800S came out: the OG HD800 was the better modding platform, and the HD800 was the better out of the box. The reason the OG HD800 platform is better is because of cleaner lows. Jude wrote a treatise that the HD800S bass distortion was not any worse than the OG HD800, but my analysis was quite different. Keep in mind that Sennheiser doesn't sponsor us and I'm pretty sure that they hated us (despite SBAF probably being responsible for the HD6** resurgence when it seemed that the entire industry found newer and "better" toys. I heard anecdotes that the people at Sennheiser made funny faces whenever Changstar was mentioned; but heck, Sennheiser ended up tweaking the 6kHz peak on the HD800S that so many at CS bitched about.

    HD8XX HD.jpg
    Note the 200Hz D3 spike on the HD8XX is a measurement artifact (still trying to track this one down.)


    HD800S HD.jpg
    HD800 OG HD.jpg

    With the OG HD800 no longer available, the HD8XX could be a better modding platform. I mentioned I felt the lows were less thick (then again it could be a preference thing). From the distortion plots above, the HD8XX driver does seem more similar to the HD800S driver.

    Compared to the HD800S, second harmonic distortion looks close with HD8XX being marginally better below 50Hz. The HD8XX has obviously lower third harmonic from 50Hz to 300Hz.

    In a nutshell from a bass performance (objective via distortion) and subjective POV, the HD8XX is between the HD800S and OG HD800. That is if you are not a fan of the "thicker" bass of the HD800S.
     
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  8. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    I'm very curious about the comb-filter esque midrange distortion reading on the 8xx compared to the other two (lots of periodic ups and downs).

    upload_2021-3-23_17-37-15.png

    Definitely looks like there's more of a 'resonance play', especially given we see the lower mid area here ever so slightly bolstered in the FR compared to the others as well.

    What could be causing this?
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Probably ambient noise. New place not totally set up yet. It's just the nature of dist measurements. Need to treat the room. Here you go:
    upload_2021-3-23_20-19-23.png
     
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  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Another day another piece of shit bright as fuck headphone. Just throw it in the garbage. Please
     
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  11. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Can we henceforth refer to it as the Face Tweeter XX?
     
  12. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    This is why I never present my distortion measurements here - my noise floor is half-way up the walls :D
     
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  13. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    @purr1n how long will you have the unit? I can ship out some driver-surrounding foam rings tomorrow if you'd like to try em out with the 8xx. Should give a more linear response in the entire top half without killing the dynamics. They showed some promise with the OG HD800 (copying below with measurements from the hd800 thread). Reversible and takes no time at all to pop em in. @fraggler has heard this mod and maybe can comment

     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  14. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Those look interesting @E_Schaaf. What other mods have you tried them in conjunction with? I have a few things in my HD800 but I would be interested in trying others.
     
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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    LOL, it's great if you love bright. That YouTuber who said that the 560S (improved staging but bright) was a new standard should love these. Also, if you are old and have naturally lost hearing in the highs (but don't have hearing damage) the HD8*** could be the perfect headphone. I'm old enough to consider extending the telomeres at the end of my DNA, but I'm not that old yet.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I think I can keep them for two more days. Ship them now!
     
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  17. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    @zerodeefex I've heard the SBAF-approved rug liner and SDR on other pairs but the one I quoted in the post above has no mods at all aside from the foam (which I preferred). Very much a KISS approach and not terribly unlike what @stratocaster was doing in this old thread:

    I didn't bother to experiment more as I was happy enough with the results at the time, but have since removed the drivers for experiments with 3DP shells which is of much greater interest to me. Happy to send you a pair of foam donuts if you like.

    @purr1n didn't see your post! I'll get your address and ship out in a couple hours.
     
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  18. Royaume

    Royaume Rando

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    I think it's relevant to to anyone considering these FR changes between various models that there is considerable evidence that Sennheiser made revisions a number of times.
    https://systematicsound.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/sennheiser-hd-800-review-early-vs-late/
    I personally own S/N 16477, which was produced just before the changes to the silver baffle-mesh, pads, boxing, etc as described in that article. It is perfectly listenable, though I definitely hear a broad hump centered at 5 kHz, and a narrow but sharp trough at 8kHz.
    The individual FR chart that Sennheiser sent me confirms that my particular pair is not nearly as bright as others.

    Second hand or even open-box OG HD800 can be had for the same price as this HD8XX, without the wait time. If you know what serial number to look for you can find a very good pair.

    Imo ymmv afaik etc. ofc
     
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  19. Royaume

    Royaume Rando

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    @purr1n Could you provide the serial number of the OG HD800 used in for comparison? I know you probably provided elsewhere but... just for clarity
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    HD8XX
    CSDs
    FPC HD8XX L.jpg
    FPC HD8XX R.jpg

    For comparison, HD800S
    FPC HD800S L 3.jpg
    FPC HD800S R 3.jpg
     
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