Sennheiser HD8 review

Road-testing Sennheiser's sub-$500 DJ headphones

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Sennheiser HD8
  • Sennheiser HD8
  • Sennheiser HD8
  • Sennheiser HD8
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Precise, clear and transparent sound
  • Strong passive noise cancellation
  • Left and right headphone jack

Cons

  • Large leatherette cups aren't the most breathable
  • Heavy over long sets

Would you buy this?

Sennheiser's HD8 headphones pack a range of DJ-savvy features. Good Gear Guide passed a pair onto DJ Albie Smiles, best known as a regular DJ at the Star casino, for use during live sets and for the production of music. We caught up with him a month later to find out what he thought of Sennheiser's flagship HD headphones.

Are they comfortable?

DJ Albie Smiles: I had a four hour set wearing the headphones, either around my neck, on my head or on an ear. They were quite comfortable, even though they were a little heavier than my usual headphones. You don’t mind much when the sound quality is this good, when you’re really enjoying that.

The circumaural cups don an oval shape, not only for improved comfort, but also because a sealed headphone will better attenuate external noise.
The circumaural cups don an oval shape, not only for improved comfort, but also because a sealed headphone will better attenuate external noise.

Are they breathable?

DJ Albie Smiles: The earcups create a lot of heat. A bit more than what a normal set would, but they do block out more noise. They’re particularly comfortable for over-ear headphones. I found that they were awesome for production use because they cancel everything outside.

What did you think of the build quality?

DJ Albie Smiles: They’re very tough and well built. I love the metal sides on them, and I like how the swerve is metal.

The DJ range benefits from rotating 210 degree cups. This makes it possible for DJs to soak in the live atmosphere during gigs without running the risk of missing a beat.
The DJ range benefits from rotating 210 degree cups. This makes it possible for DJs to soak in the live atmosphere during gigs without running the risk of missing a beat.

Do the rotating cups work?

DJ Albie Smiles: It’s a great addition, but its not something I’d use all the time because I feel it’s easier to take them off, instead of just rotating one cup.

Do they favour any genres?

Read more: Marshall Major headphone review

DJ Albie Smiles: From the treble to the bass, the tones were great. The sound is evenly spread out and it doesn’t lean towards one genre. It’s transparent sound.

Also, the noise cancellation is amazing.

Even from a phone it produces great sound. They can be used as an everyday set of headphones. If you’re going to work and you don’t mind an over ear headphone, they’d be great, just a little big.

The HD8 have a headphone port on both left and right cups.
The HD8 have a headphone port on both left and right cups.

What do you like about them?

DJ Albie Smiles: They have a twist and pull cable. I reckon that’s awesome because you can disconnect your headphone securely, without worrying the cable might get wrecked when you pack up.

It’s very easy and all done in one motion.

Read more: Bowers & Wilkins P5 (Series 2) review: For elegant sound

What don’t you like about them?

DJ Albie Smiles: It's a spiraling cable. I’m not a fan of the spiral. Straight cables are easier to handle, easier to put together, easier to take out. Spirals tangle and they're harder to untangle.

Would you buy them

DJ Albie Smiles: As a DJ and as someone who prefers on-ear headphones, no I wouldn't. I felt they produced too much heat for my liking.

Sennheiser is backing its new range with a five year replacement warranty on parts. The global warranty will even stand if the headphones go out of production.
Sennheiser is backing its new range with a five year replacement warranty on parts. The global warranty will even stand if the headphones go out of production.

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Read more on these topics: sennheiser, HD8, over-ear, DJ headphones, HD6, HD7
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