What about an HD800 for portable use?
Not really the most logical question, but I’m sure someone will ask it. Having an abundance of portable amplifiers laying around for reviews, I started trying everything from an ALO Rx, TTVJ Slim, RSA SR-71a, and the LISA 3 with the HD800. The source being an Ipod Classic 120Gb. The HD800 requires a little more turn on the volume knob to get to the same volume level as the HD650, but it is still drivable by a portable amp. Despite being able to get some decent volume, I assure you to not get the HD800 and plug it into a portable system, because the $1400 will just go to waste. Sure it still has a killer instrument separation and soundstage compared to cheaper headphones, but the magic is just not there. You’ll get much better, more musical results with many much cheaper headphones.
The HD800 is truly a high end headphone, and you need to give it the high end source and amplification that it deserves! If your system is still not up to it, settling with a lower end HD650 will give you better music satisfaction than the HD800. As I myself prefer the HD650 to the HD800 when amped from the Grace M902 or the WooAudio 6. But if you can afford to a world-class amplifier and a world-class source, the HD800 is not even close to the HD650. It’s like some civilization from another galaxy came and showed us how to build a proper transducer.
Stay in tune for the next HD800 journal! Click here if you haven’t read the first part of the journal.