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Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004)
See Top Ranked Open-Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004)

Analysis:

The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) is one of the very best Open-Back Headphones that one can get for around $1,600. The beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004), however, while a very good choice at its $160 price point, falls just short of being remarkable.

The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) was loved by reviewers at Rtings, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The 7 Best Headphones - Spring 2020" roundup where it was named its "Best Audiophile Headphones", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Taking a look at the beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004), we found that it got praised by SoundGuys and Rtings - two sources that are known for their high-quality in-depth testing. The beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004) was named "Best comfort" by SoundGuys and "Runner Up for Best Open-Back Headphones Under $200 - More Comfortable Alternative" by Rtings in their respective Open-Back Headphone roundups; that suggests that it's a product that's worth considering.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Open-Back Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Open-Back Headphones being 7.8 out of 10, whereas the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) and beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004) managed averages of 8.9 and 8.1 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs. beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Rtings
AVForums
SoundGuys
PCmag
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Wirecutter
Expert Reviews
Android Central
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
$1,687
beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro (2004)
$149
Higher than average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
8.9
Avg. Review Score
Score
Has average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
8.1
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Audiophile Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best open-back headphones
in “Best headphones 2020: Get great sound from as little as £35” 
Last updated: 17 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Open-Back
in “Best Sennheiser Headphones in 2020” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Open-Back Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 5 May 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best open-back headphones under £2,000
in “Best over-ear headphones 2020: The best Bluetooth, noise-cancelling and wired headphones in the UK” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The 7 Best Wired Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Headphones For Mixing
in “The 7 Best Studio Headphones For Mixing And Recording - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Audiophile Over-Ear Headphones
in “The 7 Best Over-Ear Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Audiophile Headphones
in “The 7 Best Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Headphones For Soundstage
in “The 7 Best Headphones For Music - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 25 days ago
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best over-ear headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Headphones For Mixing - More Affordable Alternative
in “The 7 Best Studio Headphones For Mixing And Recording - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Open-Back (Wired)
in “Best Headphones Under $200 in 2020” 
Last updated: 17 Apr 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best comfort
in “Best headphones under $200 of 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Open-Back Headphones Under $200 - More Comfortable Alternative
in “The 7 Best Open-Back Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 5 May 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best Bass Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 5 May 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 7 Best Wired Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 1 May 2020

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