When comparing Superlux HD 681 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 20th while Superlux HD 681 is ranked 34th. 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 Bass and treble are emphasized
These headphones have what is called a V-shaped sound signature where the bass and treble is boosted while the mids take a backseat. The bass is powerful, deep and satisfying. Listening to bass heavy music will certainly be a good experience. The boosted treble makes audio detail up front, so nuances in the music can be clearly heard.
Pro Fairly wide soundstage
Due to the semi-open design, the sound is not completely trapped inside the ear cup housing. This gives the sound a wider, more natural feel.
Pro Not tiring to wear
The HD681 will not put a lot of strain to your neck and head, even for long periods. Coming in at around 220 g, they are relatively light. This is due to the use of plastic as the primary build material, along with small metal tubes on the headband frame instead of large plastic or metal parts.
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 Thin ear pads may cause comfort issues
The ear pads are made of cheap feeling synthetic leather which can get warm rather quickly. To potentially add more discomfort, the cushioning inside these ear pads is quite thin, and can hurt the area around your ears when worn for many hours straight.
Con May feel cheap and flimsy
The plastics used in the construction of these headphones are not of the best quality. They feel flimsy and will often flex and rattle.
Con Mids can be lacking
Some may find the mids to be inadequate. Vocals, guitars and other sounds in the mid-frequencies may sound distant or too soft.
Con Treble can be harsh
While the bass benefits greatly from the V-shaped sound signature, the highs are boosted by quite a lot, and can make the treble sound too harsh for some. Cymbal hits for example can be too washy and near distorted and can be fatiguing.
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.