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Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
Hifiman HE-400i (2014)
See Top Ranked Open-Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs HiFiMan HE-400i (2014)

Analysis:

The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) and Hifiman HE-400i (2014) are both excellent choices at their respective budgets. The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) is among the very best Open-Back Headphones for $1649 and the Hifiman HE-400i (2014) is exemplary at $179. 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.

As for the Hifiman HE-400i (2014) - it was received really well by reviewers from a couple of highly trusted sources, such as Wirecutter, Wirecutter (NYTimes), and SoundGuys; it performed great in their in-depth hands-on roundups and earned the "Top Pick" title from Wirecutter, "Top Pick" from Wirecutter (NYTimes), and "Bang for your Buck" from SoundGuys, which indicates that this product is worthy of consideration.

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 HE-400i (2014).

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 HE-400i (2014) got its highest, 8.9, score from Head-fi.

Lastly, we averaged out all of their review ratings and observed that the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016), with its 8.9 average, performed considerably better than most Open-Back Headphones - the mean score for the product category being 7.8 out of 10 - while the Hifiman HE-400i (2014) managed an average of 7.4.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs. Hifiman HE-400i (2014) review average comparison since they aren't priced the same and more expensive products tend to get higher review scores from some sources.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Rtings
AVForums
Wirecutter
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
SoundGuys
Expert Reviews
Android Central
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
CNET
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
$1,649
Hifiman HE-400i (2014)
$179
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
7.4
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: 25 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: 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: 2 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: 21 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: 21 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: 24 days ago
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best headphones under $1,000 in 2020” 
Last updated: 16 days ago

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