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Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
Grado SR80e (2014)
See Top Ranked Open-Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs Grado SR80e (2014)

Analysis:

The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) is an exemplary product and one of the very best Open-Back Headphones at the $1,600 budget.

The Grado SR80e (2014), however, doesn't seem to have enough data available for us to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions.

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 Grado SR80e (2014), SoundGuys, a source that's known for its high-quality in-depth testing, has great things to say about it. In fact, it was named its "Best open-back" in its "Best stocking stuffers for audio enthusiasts" roundup, which is quite a feat.

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 and Rtings, for example, preferred the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016), while Expert Reviews, What Hi-Fi?, and TrustedReviews 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 Grado SR80e (2014) most impressed reviewers at What Hi-Fi?, which gave it a score of 10.

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 Grado SR80e (2014) managed averages of 8.9 and 8.6 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. Grado SR80e (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
Wirecutter
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Expert Reviews
Android Central
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
CNET
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
$1,687
Grado SR80e (2014)
Higher than average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
8.9
Avg. Review Score
Score
Higher than average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
8.6
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: 4 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: 23 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: 23 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: a month ago
Recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best open-back
in “Best stocking stuffers for audio enthusiasts” 
Last updated: 18 Dec 2018
Gadget Review
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 6
in “6 of the Best On Ear Headphones” 
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Sound
in “Best Headphones For Back To School 2017” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2017
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 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

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