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Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
HiFiMan Ananda (2018)
See Top Ranked Open-Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs HiFiMan Ananda (2018)

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 HiFiMan Ananda (2018), however, while a very good choice at its $850 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 Wired Headphones - Spring 2020" roundup where it was named its "Best Wired Headphones For Audiophiles", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Returning to the HiFiMan Ananda (2018), it managed to impress reviewers from some of the internet's most highly trusted sources, Rtings and PCmag. It performed great in their hands-on roundups - it was named "Best Planar Magnetic Headphones" by Rtings and "Best for High-End Home Listeners" by PCmag. That's quite an achievement, especially coming from such high-quality sources.

When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both Open-Back Headphones, including Head-fi and Rtings, preferred the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) over the HiFiMan Ananda (2018).

We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) was liked best by Expert Reviews, which gave it a score of 10, while the HiFiMan Ananda (2018) got its highest, 10, score from PCmag.

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 HiFiMan Ananda (2018) managed averages of 8.9 and 8.2 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. HiFiMan Ananda (2018) 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
PCmag
Expert Reviews
Android Central
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
What Hi-Fi?
Reddit
Headfonics
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
$1,682
HiFiMan Ananda (2018)
$699
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
8.2
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: 19 days 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: 10 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: 25 days ago
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: a month 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: 15 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: 15 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: 18 days ago
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: 22 days ago
Highly recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best On-Ear/Over-Ear Headphones for 2020” 
Last updated: 18 Dec 2019
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The 7 Best Open-Back Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 25 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Audiophile Headphones for 2020” 
Last updated: 15 Apr 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Planar Magnetic Headphones
in “The 7 Best Audiophile Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 19 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 7 Best Over-Ear Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 7 Best Studio Headphones For Mixing And Recording - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
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