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Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
See Top Ranked Over-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)

Analysis:

The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) is one of the very best Over-Ear Headphones that one can get for around $1,200. The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017), however, while a very good choice at its $250 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 Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017), we found that it got praised by SoundGuys and Tom's Guide - two sources that are known for their high-quality in-depth testing. The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) was named "Best All-around" by SoundGuys and "Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound" by Tom's Guide in their respective Over-Ear Headphone roundups; that suggests that it's a product that's worth considering.

We analyzed all of the review data that we could find on these two Over-Ear Headphones. First, we examined sources that tested and scored both of these products - TrustedReviews, Head-fi, and Rtings favored the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) over the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016), whereas reviewers at What Hi-Fi? haven't shown a preference for either.

Then we took a look at which sources liked them the most - we found that the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) was best received by Expert Reviews - it gave it a score of 10, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) got its highest score of 10 from reviewers at Digitaltrends.

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 Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) managed averages of 8.9 and 8.9 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. Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) 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
Tom's Guide
HomeTheaterReview.com
Expert Reviews
Android Central
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
$1,649
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
$279
Higher than average expert review score
7.6
Overall Avg. for Over-Ear Headphones
8.9
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
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound
in “Best Sony headphones 2020: Top wireless and wired Picks” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best headphones
in “Headphones, speakers, and soundbars: the best audio tech we heard at IFA 2019” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio gifts for grads 2018” 
Last updated: 5 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best Sony headphones 2020: 10 models to appeal to your inner audiophile ” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for Quality Sound” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2018

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