Sunday, 20 October 2019

Sennheiser HD800S - Is It The Ultimate Headphones?


Written by :
Shaiful Anuar Sulaiman

The HD 800S easily ranked among the most comfortable headphones. It delivers a comfortable listening experience. They have large, spacious ear cups, they are not too tight on the head and well padded with a suede-like material that feels good on the skin.


I started the session with the track Spanish Harlem from Rebecca Pidgeon.This always be my reference for vocal.Vocal was delivered in a neutral ambient, infused with openness. It does sound a bit bright but it flows with grace and subtlety, beautifully textured with transparent with full of dynamic.

Take Five from Dave Brubeck take my journey to midrange section.All the extra fill and harmonics with rhythmic extends the  throw to fulfill musical space.
Individual instruments delivery was accurate and  was easy to keep resolution lively.

Highs was pleasant and much more airy and neutral sounding. Very harmonious across the spectrum.

For Bass testing I picked track from Marshmello title Alone. It is a EDM genre but good to test bass. I feel the weight and hefty bass pounds with sense of control. The low frequency is real deal of depth and recreate  deep bass notes.


HD800s give wider sense of music and the presentation is full of dynamic and synergy. Layer and placement of instruments was evident and refined.
Uncolored and naturally sound, lively with excitement.


This HD800S is well designed and developed. For me is a TOTL Dynamic Driver headphone to have. Detail in revealing and articulate sounding.Well nice revamped for sensational sound quality for critical listening.

My test equipment :
Aune T1 tube DAC amp
FiiO M11 DAP
Astell and Kern KANN CUBE DAP
ALO Audio International DAC amp

Thank you to Mr Shahril Mokhthar for loan this HD 800s.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Grado SR325e Prestige Series - Spacious Yet Musical Cans


Its been a while since I did a Grado. Grado headphone is one headfi gem that grabs me attention as soon as I put them on.
I dont need hours and hours of listening to Grado to review it. For many years I was using Alessandro Grado MS Pro and it is one of the most natural, transparent and spacious headphones I have used.

This SR325e may not be in the same league but it sure does bring back memories.
Putting on September Justin Timberlake rendition, the bass just pops out sufficiently to make me move. His vocal was energetic, the snare was hard and crisp and the wind instrument was airy. But music was still delivered at a very punchy and melodic way.

Comes in Somewhere, Somebody by Jennifer Warnes. The bass was not extensive like hearing it through a pair of speakers but the plucking and slabbing were still evident and it creates that lively environment. Her deep vocal can be felt to be very passionate. In the background, the percussion created a wholesome listening experience.

Take Five took centre stage with a delivery of layer by layer of musical instrument. Separation of sax, percussion, double bass and piano was  just surreal. The highs were sweet and no sign of giving me any fatigue. Yes I can do with a little bit more bass but hey, for an open back cans, it was just nice.

Just to reconfirm, I then played For No Apparent Reason. The bass was just as extensive as Take Five. The enveloping sound around my ears was just of emotion and energy that it pulls the listener into a quite soothing experience.

Punk? All Out of Angst by NOFX was so impactful that I can differentiate between El Hefe's guitar from Eric's. The trumpet by El Hefe was delivered with such energy that it might as well be a lead instrument.

Metal? Playing Atlas, Rise! By Metallica made me realise how versatile  these cans are  the ferocious guitar sound was not compromised by Grado open back design. James's vocal was clear and forceful. I could do with a little bit more dramatic sound with the drums but hey, I may be biased.

Conclusion - very capable headphones at this price level. I must quite an all rounder and not fussy with musical genres. The Oppo HA1 headphone amp can easily drive this and provide an impactful overall sound.

For shop demo, please contact Shaiful Anuar Sulaiman of E1 headphone store.