Almost everyone, hi-fi enthusiast or professional studio engineers, can find a suitable headphone in the Sennheiser product portfolio. These headphones do however not specifically cater to DJs.
Although many “vinyl record scratchers” have used headphones from Sennheiser for a long time, like the HD25 for example (originally designed for use on stage and Monitoring, popular even with DJs) there really wasn’t any headphones that had this scene covered. That has now changed radically with the new models HD8, HD7 and HD6. In this review we take a closer look and listen to the top model of the DJ headphones, the HD8 DJ.
Feature Rich and Flexible
The time spent in development of the HD8 DJ was well invested, as it shows in its sophisticated design and the included accessories. Since working in the DJ industry can be a bit hectic and tough at times, robust construction is obviously a top priority. A lot of metal and strong joints and hinges imbues confidence in the solid construction. The downside is that the HD8 is neither the lightest nor the most delicate headphones. However, the 284g weight is also not too much.
In the field of DJ headphones a little industrial appearance is indeed quite common - in comparison to some of the competitors the HD8 still looks very stylish. Really stylish actually, I like the thoughtful details, like the ear cups being able to be swiveled back.
The HD8 can be folded for transport, but you can also fold one side halfway back. This leaves one cup on the ear while the other ear is free. This way you won´t have to hold the headphones with one hand or pinch them with your shoulder, as you would normally do if you listen with only one ear to the current beat.
What I personally really like is that you can connect the cord on either the right or left side. I, being right-handed, often find a right attached cord in the way. Here I can just plug it in on the left side and go about my business without getting caught by the cord. Depending on circumstances, it can be very practical to have this versatility.
And versatility seems to be a top priority for HD8 DJ. There are two cords included - a straight and a coiled cable, and two different pairs of ear pads - one with soft velour and one leatherette - just use the one you like the most.
Comfort is a very important factor when it comes to headphones, and I think it´s excellent in the HD8, but if you have large ears you may find that the ear pads are a bit too small. The cushions are soft and supports both the weight of the headphones and smoothens the pressure on the ear cups gently.
Sound Quality and Listening Experience
The sound of the HD8 DJ is by far the best I’ve heard so far from a DJ headphone. The sound quality goes beyond the preferred purpose (DJ-ing) of the Sennheiser’s. First of all the bass; lower frequencies sound incredibly deep and powerful, but always remains controlled and wonderfully dynamic. Anyone who thinks that some American brand makes you happy when it comes to bass owe it to themselves to listen to these Sennheisers.
The really phenomenal thing is that the wonderful bass doesn´t crush or squash the other frequency ranges. The HD8 DJ plays in a highly dynamic and energetic way with high resolution in the entire audio spectrum. Yes, overall it sounds a bit up-front, but it is perfectly balanced. The bass put a big smile on my face, and it turned into a big grin when voices or finer tonal structures came into play.
For use on the stage it´s important to emphasize that the closed design provides excellent shielding, so you may easily hear what going on in the music in noisy environments, and at the same time keeping it from being heard from the outside.
Yes, Sennheiser's HD8 DJ is currently one of the best DJ headphones on the market. But they are not exclusive to DJs as also hi-fi enthusiasts will find pleasure in them. If we count the generous features and an impressive sound quality, the price also seems fair.
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- IN ThE bOX
Crafted from durable, high quality metal parts to guarantee years of use
Excellent sound reproduction across the audible range thanks to Sennheiser’s proprietary acoustics system
Elliptical, circumaural design for maximum comfort and reduces background noise to a minimum in even the loudest of listening environments.
Capable of very loud, high SPL suitable for loud DJ environments, but high noise isolation mitigates the need to max out the volume for safer listening
Swiveling ear cups (up to 210°, both ear cups) with three wearing positions
95 ohm impedance for optimum compatibility with DJ equipment
Single-sided coiled cable can be attached to either ear cup; straight cable included (both up to 3m)
Comes with a premium protective case
Two year warranty
- 95 Ohm
- Frequency response
- 8 – 30,000 Hz
- Sound pressure level (SPL)
- 115 dB (1 kHz/1Vrms)
- THD, total harmonic distortion
- Contact pressure
- 6.3 N
- Ear coupling
- Jack plug
- 3.5mm straight
- Cable length
- coiled 1.5m-3.0m, straight 3.0m
- Transducer principle
- dynamic, closed
- Load rating
- 500 mW
- Weight w/o cable
- 284 g
- HD8 DJ headphones
- Cable 1: Coiled; 1.5m, stretchable to 3.0m / 3.5mm straight plug
- Cable 2: Straight; 3.0 m / 3.5 mm straight plug
- 6.3mm adaptor plug
- Additional velour earpads
- Premium carry case