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Sennheiser HD800s or HD820 + Audio interface
Old 15th September 2020
Here for the gear

Sennheiser HD800s or HD820 + Audio interface

I am looking to get some sennhesier hd800s or HD820 I will be using these to produce electronic music.

1- can I run these off a decent audio unit? I am currently using a Safire pro 24 to run my genelec 8040b monitors. Could I still use this?

2- would I be better off using the open back 800s for producing?

3- I use these in the studio but also will make music from home to so could do with an amp I could leave at home to use for the headphones so a reasonably priced one would be helpful

Thanks in advance
Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear

FWIW, I have the HD800 and find pretty much anything drives them pretty well, including an iphone. They sound great on the built-in headphone amp of the Metric Halo ULN-2.

The Bottlehead Crack amp is superb with them, and costing $300-400ish, it's a steal. Sorry, but I don't know the HD800s or the 820.

Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Nut
1. Yes you can, but driving eg an HD800S from a Safire Pro 24 you'll lose a lot of detail and you're not going to have much headroom. A dedicated amp with much bigger headroom, lower THD etc is well worth buying if you spend this much on a headphone with the aim to have more informed mixing decisions.

2. The HD820 is absolutely useless for mixing, it's frequency response is really bad, in every single audio quality (imaging, freq. response, instrument separation ...) it is a way lesser headphone than the HD800 or the HD800S. The HD800 or the newer HD800S both are great for mixing but they are amp picky.

Cheaper amp options:

a. Geshelli Archel2.5
b. Topping A Series (30 or 50 or 90 depending what in/out you need for other stuff)

More expensive great options:
c. Rupert Neve RNHP
d. Little Labs Monotor

Super expensive great options:
e. RME adi 2 or adi 2 pro
f. one of the SPL Phonitor models

Me personally, I would buy a used HD800 (not the newer HD800S because even though it tames the 6kHz peak of the HD800 but it has got a bit more bass harmonic distortion so it is less tolerant for EQ-ing). Than I would EQ/Sonarworks the 6kHz peak of the HD800 + I would buy the RNHP or the Monotor. Done, this way for just a bit over £1000 you've got a phenomenal reference system.

+ If you search my posts in the "Best mixing Headphones!" forum topic than you can find a lot of info on the HD800. How it sounds, what I compered it with before I bought it etc.

+ If you can also try to audition the HEDDphone, perhaps you would prefer that over the HD800/800S.

I hope this helps,
My 2 cents
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