In the life of every audiophile, headphones are one of the most important accessories. You can only get that great sound quality and never have to worry about what you are listening to if you have the right equipment.
Headphones are that technical nitpicking that transcends your music to something worth listing to when you are just alone. And there are many types of headphones, designed just for specific purposes.
I have been using headphones for as long as I can remember. And that is why I know one or two things about picking the right studio headphones.
For most producers, closed-back headphones are the best option for studio use. And I have just the thing you may be looking for.
In this review, I will be looking at the HD 820.
During the summer of 2018, Sennheiser treated the world of audiophiles to a new set of headphones that could forever change their experience, the HD 820 headphones. These pieces are not just good in looks, their performance is something to admire.
Sennheiser is one of the biggest headphone manufacturers in the world. They have gained fame among many music lovers, especially producers and DJs for the quality of products they offer.
If you are looking for a good pair of headphones, you can always count on this brand. I have been using Sennheiser headphones for as long as I can remember, and I don’t think I will be changing that any time soon.
Now the Sennheiser HD820 head headphone comes with the same audio driver and built quality as the HD 800S. The HD820 is more of a remix. It’s a closed-back headphone with an open look and tries to mimic the same transparent sound. Another difference is in the price. The 820 is a bit higher.
What makes the HD820 Special
To me, the HD820 has always looked like a pair of headphones you can wear the whole day and never get tired of. It is a dynamic headphone that can handle high sound pressure levels pretty well.
This piece is large enough to accommodate your ears.
Most of its design is what you will get with the HD8000. So, there is nothing much there in terms of changes. However, it comes with now a new Gorilla Glass window over a sealed enclosure.
A closed-designed, HD 820 dynamic microphones keep out most outside noise that would make your music not sound very well. This addresses the issues most users had with the 800 S.
Sometimes finding the right pair of headphones takes more than just looking for good sound. And the functionality of the HD820 tells it all. These are super-premium hi-fi headphones that are light and yet sturdy and very functional.
They are 30gms heavier than the older 800 S headphones, but still comfortable. Unless you think large headphones are clumsy, you should find these pieces quite interesting. They are incredibly deep with perfect weight distribution, giving you great performance.
These are high-end headphones with excellent frequency response. They offer an impedance of 300 ohms, making them one of the most power-hungry headphones out there.
You will need a strong amplifier to plug through the 6.3mm balanced XLR. I liked how the amp and the digital converter are built. It’s among a few amps that can use a Pentagon connector effectively.
This connection promises a punchy bass and everything that makes good your music sound great.
I was not sure about the sound of these headphones at first. But after a few weeks of using them in the studio, they just woke up and gave a performance that no one would compromise with.
These headphones have a great dynamic range, which makes them an excellent piece for studio use.
Their drive unit makes them the best headphones you can get at this price. Compared to other headphones, the HD 820 offers the best sound.
- A wide sound stage
- Articulate and clean sound
- Top-notch build quality
- The mid-sound is not very exciting
- They create a pressure hot spot on the head
- They are generally not very attractive
Verdict: These German-made headphones are nothing but the best headphones on the market. They come with balanced connections, a closed design, and an excellent frequency range. If you are looking for deeper notes and more bass, you will have to connect them to a good amp.
Sennheiser HD 820 review: Comfort and build
One look at the HD 820 headphones and you can already tell they are comfortable. Their earcups feature a concave glass covering the beautifully looking unit drive.
The driver is similar to what you find on open-back headphones, the HD 800S.
The curved glass reflects the sound coming from the back of the unit. It is then sent to the sound-absorbing chambers, making them perform better than other designs.
Theoretically, this design takes care of most issues found with any closed headphone.
These are dynamic headphones from Sennheiser, and so one should expect some good things in terms of construction. They are generally classy, and well-built to perform under and any condition.
They are designed from long-lasting material. The earcup features plastic, while the headband is metal. The earpad is made from microfiber, which is also a durable material. All these features make this piece very durable.
They are quite big, weighing 360g, but not too heavy.
Using these headphones for a long time feels very comfortable and good. They feature carefully shaped ear-cups, good clamping pressure that feels light. Despite this, they will hold steadily on your head.
The headphones come with a choice of three cables, each three meters long. This shows the headphones are intended for home use.
You get an XLR4 connection on the amp, and another type using a newer 4.4mm Pentaconn standard. These two are all balanced. Another lead features a 6.3mm jack.
It also features a USB flash drive connection and comes with an instructional manual so you can use it with ease.
Sound Quality: Does HD 820 have a Good Sound Isolation?
The best way to understand this is to compare open headphones with closed headphones.
A general rule when buying headphones is that one should pick an open-back when looking for the purest possible sound. And those who want sound-insulated from external noise should consider closed-back headphones.
Many headphones out there are closed-back. You can never find earphones are open on the back.
Most people want private listening, and that is why they go for the closed design. You can use them to take your music on the move.
On the other hand, open-back headphones are for those who are willing to get less versatility and noise-isolation, but the top sound.
A closed enclosure creates unwanted reverberations in the earcup, making them less natural in terms of sound. And open-back does not have this effect, which makes them perfect for quiet environments.
So, the HD820 headphones are good at eliminating unwanted sound. Also, the piece can handle a high sound pressure level pretty well.
Remember that the HD 820 is a closed-back version of the HD800s. If you have ever used these pieces, then you understand what I am talking about.
I connected these headphones to my plucked double bass drum kit and their sound was remarkable. The instruction manual include gives you all the information you need about using the headphones.
Sennheiser HD820 closed-back headphones: Is this Recommended for Studio Headphone?
Sennheiser is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to making good headphones. When they made their debut HD820s, they attracted a lot of attention from many producers, DJs, and other music lovers.
They are super expensive yes, but there is something about the HD820 that makes them worth the money.
Since they are closed-back headphones, you can be sure to get a more focused sound. There will be no interruption from outside noise, which is what every studio owner and producer looks for.
They are a bit bulky, but the company may argue that they made the headphones this way to match the technology inside.
Any closed-back headphone is good for studio use. Besides, you may have already noticed that these are the most popular designs on the market right now.
Another factor that makes studio headphones is the sound. And these pieces have it all, and much more.
The materials used in making its drive unit are strong, assuring durability and performance.
Their build quality is beyond what you can get in most headphones out there. And since the HD820s come with great connectivity.
In nutshell, these closed-back headphones will make your studio life easy. I recommend you invest in them if you have the money.
Ear Cup: Does Sennheiser HD 820 Closed-back headphone have Comfortable Ear Cups?
Simply put, Yes! The pads on the HD820s are plush. They feature what looks like a protein leather surround and a microfiber face. These materials are about 3/4-inch thick, which makes them sit well over your ears.
It’s also a great design if you want to get the most from them. I noticed a lot of head clearance around the ears. Also, there is no contact with the driver/padding on the inside, which makes them just feel right when where.
Another factor that could make any headphones seem uncomfortable is the clamping force. On the HD820s, it feels lighter than its predecessors. But it’s enough to keep them on for long sessions.
Many of us have a specific amount of heat build-up. I am not used to too much heat that comes from some close-end headphones. But the HD820s seem cooler than most of such items I have used before.
These pieces may be a bit heavier than the HD800s, but they do not compromise their comfortability. You can wear them for hours and never feel like you need to take them off.
So, if you were worried about this headphone on user experience, you should not worry anymore. They are good and will make you feel great.
Quick Guide: How to Connect to this Headphone?
The Sennheiser HD820 is a power-hungry, high-performance pair of headphones designed both for home use and studio application. Connecting them to any piece should not be a problem.
They come with three types of cables (all included):
- 6.3mm. This is the cable you can use to connect your studio equipment with ease. Just plug and play.
- A balanced XLR. There are not many headphones that come with this option. And though the HD820s are more expensive, it’s these connections that make them a worthy investment. Use this XLR to connect to a wide range of devices that requires such connection.
- 4.4mm Pentaconn cable. This cable is used for connecting to a more powerful amplifier. It means the HD820 is designed to handle this power and will do it quite impressively.
Connecting your phone
Connecting the HD820 to your smartphone, or computer is easy. Simply choose the 6.3mm cable, plug one end into your device and the other end into your headphones.
The amp and digital converter and well-designed. It’s one of the few headphones on the market that can handle a Pentaconn connector. It might not have the most warmth in its sound, but it’s something you will find very appealing.
You can connect by simply picking the right cable and plucking. It should not be hard.
The headphones come with a USB port for charging and playing music too. This too is connected just like you would any other USB device.
Sennheiser HD 820 vs Sony MDR 7506, Which is Better?
Both Sonny and Sennheiser are reputable brands. This is why comparing their products and trying to choose one does not sound very easy.
Let’s see the similarity and differences.
Both the HD820 and the MDR 7506 are designed with stereo speakers. That means they both deliver sound from independent channels from both the left and the right sides.
They both feature an over-the-ear form and are closed-back. This means they are comfortable.
They are not sweat-resistant or weather-sealed. This makes them a bit less functional for sporty environments.
The HD820 weighs 360gs while the Sonny is 230g. The lower weight is better for lighter devices and it’s more comfortable. But the HD820 is just as comfortable too.
The HD820 is foldable, while the Sonny MDR 7506 is not. This makes the HD820 easy to transport.
Both headphones are quite good in terms of sound. The HD 820 has a lower frequency, which makes it better for bass sound.
They have passive noise-reduction. The Sennheiser HD820 has the highest frequency of 48000Hz, while the MDR 7506 is at 20000Hz. This means the Sennheiser can handle high sound pressure much better.
It’s hard to say which of these headphones is better because they both are good in different environments. However, I would go for the Sennheiser for its overall performance.