When comparing Sennheiser HD 201 vs Sennheiser HD 800S, the Slant community recommends Sennheiser HD 800S for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” Sennheiser HD 800S is ranked 25th while Sennheiser HD 201 is ranked 217th. The most important reason people chose Sennheiser HD 800S is:
The highs are very clear and revealing, so you will be able to hear even the minute details from the audio that you simply will not be able to pick up with lesser headphones. The mids are also clear and have nice warmth. They are slightly recessed, yet voices and mid range tones will come out full, so the sound is not lean in any way. The bass is not boomy but still has enough power for a satisfying thump. Also, due to the bass' tightness and speed, there is no bloat from the lower frequencies.
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Pro Ample padding on the ear pads make these comfortable to use
Both the ear pads and headband have a good amount of foam in them, which results in adequate cushioning. They're quite comfortable even if you've been using them for several hours straight.
Pro Good detail on the highs and mids
The sound is fairly balanced and can work well with most music genres. The highs and mids have good presence. Although they are not that clear, there is still an acceptable level of detail to them. The bass is not impactful but it does have some depth and helps give a fuller feel to the overall sound signature.
These are actually pretty light weight for over the ear headphones. The HD 201 will not cause unnecessary strain to your neck, even if worn continuously for extended periods.
Pro Extremely detailed highs, warm and clear mids with tight and accurate bass
The highs are very clear and revealing, so you will be able to hear even the minute details from the audio that you simply will not be able to pick up with lesser headphones.
The mids are also clear and have nice warmth. They are slightly recessed, yet voices and mid range tones will come out full, so the sound is not lean in any way.
The bass is not boomy but still has enough power for a satisfying thump. Also, due to the bass' tightness and speed, there is no bloat from the lower frequencies.
Pro Highly detailed sound with one of the widest soundstages
These headphones sound very immersive. Aside from the highly detailed sound and powerful yet tight bass, the soundstage is very wide, which only a few headphones can match , if any at all.
Pro Relatively lightweight
Despite the massive size of the headphones, Sennheiser was able to keep the weight down by using a special material called Leona, which is very light yet has metal-like toughness.
Pro Very wide sound stage
The HD 800S has one of the widest sound stages of any headphone today. There is excellent separation and you can easily identify where various sounds are coming from and can be very immersive.
Pro Solid build quality
These headphones do not make unnecessary creaks or flex when moved or held. Aside from the use of Leona on the ear cups and headband, the size adjuster is made of lightweight metal, with fine yet durable stainless steel mesh covering the drivers.
Pro Comes with two high quality cables
Out of the box, you get a balanced XLR cable and an unbalanced TRS cable. If you have a balanced headphone amp, then the XLR cable will allow you to maximize your amp's performance with these headphones without the need to buy a different (and expensive) cable.
Pro Really comfortable to wear
The ear pads feature high quality memory foam as cushions with the surface being premium quality velours. This material combo is also used on the headband. They feel really soft and conform to the contours of your head. Due to the fabric material, some air can move through the pads, minimizing heat and sweatiness.
Con Does not effectively block outside noise
Despite the closed back design, there is still a fair amount of noise that can mix with the music . This can have a negative impact to your listening experience, especially when you are in a noisy environment.
Con Build quality feels flimsy
The HD 201 has a lot of flex and also tends to make rattling noises when held or moved. This can be attributed to the cheap plastic used in the build.
Con Can get warm around the ears and on the head
The synthetic leather on the ear pads and head band prevents airflow around the ears. This causes warmth to build-up quickly.
Con Very long, non-removable cable
The cable also easily tangles and can make the headphones difficult to store/organize.
Con A decent amp is needed to power these properly
These headphones are quite power hungry and will not produce optimal sound or volume when plugged directly to your phone or laptop. You will need to invest in a separate, fairly powerful amp to get the best sound out of these.
Con Leaks a lot of sound
Only a very fine mesh piece covers the large headphone drivers from the outside. These are basically mini speakers so others can easily hear what you are listening to.
Con Can be picky with DACs/amps
Your choice of amp and DAC can have a noticeable effect on the sound of the HD 800S. You may need to do extra research as to which audio equipment can bring out the best sound from these.