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Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014)
See Top Ranked Over-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014)

Analysis:

The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) and Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) are both excellent choices at their respective budgets. The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) is among the very best Over-Ear Headphones for $1687 and the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) is exemplary at $99. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can't go wrong with either option.

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.

Returning to the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014), it managed to impress reviewers from some of the internet's most highly trusted sources, SoundGuys and Rtings. It performed great in their hands-on roundups - it was named "Best All-around" by SoundGuys and "Runner Up for Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 For Audiophiles - Closed-Back Alternative" by Rtings. That's quite an achievement, especially coming from such high-quality sources.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. Head-fi, for example, preferred the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016), while Rtings rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) got reviewed the highest by Expert Reviews - it gave it a rating of 10, while the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) most impressed reviewers at SoundGuys, which gave it a score of 9.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Over-Ear Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Over-Ear Headphones being 7.5 out of 10, whereas the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) and Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) managed averages of 8.9 and 7.6 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. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014) 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
Expert Reviews
Android Central
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
Android Authority
TechSpot
What Hi-Fi?
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
$1,687
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x (2014)
$99
Higher than average expert review score
7.6
Overall Avg. for Over-Ear Headphones
8.9
Avg. Review Score
Score
Has average expert review score
7.6
Overall Avg. for Over-Ear Headphones
7.6
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: 18 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
Best Overall
in “Best headphones under $100” 
Last updated: 6 May 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 For Audiophiles - Closed-Back Alternative
in “The 6 Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $100 - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones under $100 of 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Cheap Headphones in 2020” 
Last updated: 13 Apr 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best over-ear headphones under £100
in “Best headphones 2020: Get great sound from as little as £35” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
TechSpot
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Budget
in “The Best Headphones 2020” 
Last updated: 5 Jan 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best over-ear headphones under $100” 
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Audio-Technica headphones” 
Last updated: 29 Apr 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Bang for your Buck
in “Best over-ear headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 5 Best DJ Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 16 days ago

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