Sennheiser HD8 DJ Professional Headphones Review
Overview: Sennheiser has been a trusted DJ headphone company for quite some time with their HD25 headphones sitting on top of many professional DJ’s heads during their performances. These headphones have been out for over 25 years, so Sennheiser thought it was a great time to release their brand new lineup of three new performance headphones that is sure to please DJ's and Producers across different performance needs and cost levels. We will take a look at the top-tier HD8 DJ headphones to see how they make it through the tests.
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Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The Sennheiser HD6 Mix is suited for studio use and comes in at the lowest price point. The HD7 DJ headphones work well for professional DJ use while sitting in the middle of the range and the HD8 DJ Professional Headphones are the flagship model of this new headphone lineup with the best build quality and the most features out of the bunch.
The Sennheiser HD8 DJ has an over-the-ear design and they also have the ability to swivel for easy transport or storage and for one-ear-on/one-ear-off monitoring capability. The HD8 DJ has a very durable construction with lots of metal all around the earcups and even a metal swivel pin at the joint. All of the materials feel top-notch and they definitely feel like they are built to last through the abuse of a traveling and performing DJ
The construction and build quality of the Sennheiser HD8 DJ Professional headphones is very solid and durable. There is a mixture of mostly metal parts at the joints and earcup holders with a bit of plastic mixed in to house the drivers and the headband material. The Sennheiser HD8 headphones have silver and gunmetal style finish with all of the gunmetal parts being made of plastic and the silver parts make up the metal portions. The place where the headband meets the earcup is all metal and there is a huge metal swivel pin at the joint that allows the headphones to swivel into different listening positions for one ear monitoring or easy storage and transport. The HD8’s take after the Sennheiser HD 25’s as they have a somewhat wobbly and loose feel to them when they are not on the head. The wobbly and loose feel of the HD8 DJ headphones gives them a really custom fit over many different head sizes and shapes.
The HD8 headphones really feel like they will take a beating and hold up to lots of abuse before anything breaks. The design of the hinge mechanism and where the earcups meet the headband is very unique. The headband and the earcups do not form a straight U-shaped pattern as other headphones. Instead, the earcups are positioned at an angle that completely covers the ears and the headband sits a little further towards the front of the head instead of the center. This different style of headband angle will take a lot of time to get used to as I’ve been using these headphones for almost a month now and I still have to glance at the inside earcup markings in order to know the correct way to put them on. This different style of headband and earcup angle actually makes the HD8 DJ headphones very comfortable.
The HD8 headband has adequate padding that is soft and plush which is covered by synthetic leather material. The headband is black and it is made of this rubberized material that can bend, twist, and flex without any signs of cracking or breaking. Below the headband is a small plastic insert that shows the “HD8 DJ” logo and houses additional metal extensions that allow bigger heads to fit nicely. Moving down from the headband is the metal portion that connects the headband to the earcups. As stated earlier, there is a shiny metal hinge-pin on both sides that can swivel the earcups backwards off the ear for different listening styles. The earcups can be independently moved to a one-ear-on and one-ear-off monitoring. The earcup holder and pin is all metal, while the earcups themselves are made up of plastic. The insides of the earcups have an L or an R engraving to let the user know the earcup side at a glance.
The HD8 DJ headphones come bundled with two different earpads. Both earpads fit perfectly over-the-ear and provided really good isolation for monitoring. They come with the synthetic leather pads and a set of velour pads. They both felt very comfortable and they both create a nice seal around the ear. I have no preference between the two and they are very easy to switch them out on the fly. The sound leakage on these headphones was very low even at the higher volume levels. We tested the Sennheiser HD8 DJ’s for a two-hour DJ session and multiple hours with other media devices such as computers and smartphones. During these tests, the Sennheiser HD8 DJ headphones were more comfortable than I initially expected. The bigger over-the-ear size would make one think that these headphones would be laborious to wear for extended periods of time, but this is not the case. I wouldn’t say that I did not notice them on my head, but they never bothered me one bit during long hours of use. The earcup clamping force is also just right for my head while not causing any discomfort during testing.
The HD8 DJ headphones come bundled with two different cables. Both HD8 DJ cables are completely detachable and replaceable. The straight cable is 9ft long and it is very thick and durable. The coiled cable is also about 9ft long and is also very thick and durable. The cables have a twist lock-plastic groove in the end that connects to the earcups so that they won’t get disconnected accidentally through a performance. The cables can be connected to either earcup and the opposite ends feature threads to attach the supplied ¼-inch adapter. These are some pretty long cables and this almost lets you know that these headphones are meant more for professional use rather than consumer use. When using the straight cable or coiled cable with the HD8’s; I felt the cable was way too long to use with smartphones and other media devices, but just right when using them for the DJ or Production booth. The headphones come with a real authentic Sennheiser hard case that will protect your investment and allow the user to hold and carry all of the accessories that the HD8’s come with. It’s great to see a headphone at this price point come with a seriously sturdy case for storage and transport.
The Sennheiser HD8 DJ headphones have excellent sound quality with crisp and accurate mids and highs and really deep booming bass on the low end. The HD8 DJ headphones are a pretty bass-heavy headphone, but not enough to drown out the clarity of the Mids and Highs. When the bass was turned up in the EQ, I was able to get some tight and deep rumble out of the earcups without degrading the mids and the highs. The sound on the HD8’s was really one of the best that I’ve heard for a DJ headphone. DJ’s want a bit more bass for accurate mixing and they still want crisp and accurate mids and highs for clarity. The HD8’s pull off this balance of sound very well and they are probably one of my favorite headphones in the collection at the moment.
When compared to the HD-25 Aluminium sound quality, the HD8’s definitely have more bass. The HD-25 sound is more accurate towards the source material and everything has a flatter sound to it than the HD8. The HD8 headphones also seem louder overall. The HD8’s have 50mm drivers and they are over-the-ear in design with really make the bass bump a lot more than the HD-25’s. The HD8’s still have those accurate and flat mids/highs, but they are just a tad more “round” than the 25’s. The HD8’s handled really well at very high volumes when in use with professional DJ mixers and other top DJ controllers. The sound isolation is superb as the over-the-ear cups fit very snug to the head creating a great seal for both inside and outside the earcups. These headphones also sound great when in use with computers and smartphones.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In conclusion, the Sennheiser HD8 Professional DJ headphones are a real professional monitoring solution for the working and performing DJ. The HD8 headphones are very durable and solid in construction as there is a good mixture of metal and plastic in the design. The HD8’s have rugged metal swivel hinges for one-ear monitoring and easy storage. The HD8’s also come bundled with two different earpads, two professional cables, and a seriously protective hard case to hold it all. To top it all off, the HD8 DJ headphones have Superb sound quality with flat and crisp highs and mids with very deep rumbling bass.
The only gripes that I could find with the HD8’s was that they don’t have the traditional headband angle that most headphones have which will take time getting used to; and the two included cables are way too long and too thick for regular consumer smartphone/laptop use. If these aren’t deal-breakers for you and you’re in the market for a new set of Professional Grade over-the-ear headphones, then the Sennheiser HD8 DJ headphones should definitely be towards the top of your list.
Pros & Cons
- Very Durable & Solid Construction
- Rugged Metal Swivel hinges for One-Ear Monitoring & Storage
- Velour & Synthetic Ear Pads & Protective Case Included
- High Quality Straight Cable & Coiled Cable Included
- Superb Sound Quality: Flat & Crisp Highs & Mids; Deep Rumbling Bass
- Non-Traditional Headband Angle
- Cables Too Long for Regular Consumer Use
Written by djblaze on 04/9/14
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