First of all, thanks to Rosmadi Mahmood at Sennheiser for giving us the privilege of being among the first to have a look at the latest Sennheiser HD700 headphone.
I rushed to take these pictures as soon as I’ve received them, and so I actually haven’t had the chance to listen to them! My impressions upon unboxing it is that the HD700 is much smaller than the HD800. I’ve seen it mostly from the pictures from CES, but since there were no comparison photos to the HD800, I thought that the size of the housing is roughly the same as the HD800, but it is not (as some of the comparison photos here would reveal). I’m guessing that this is due to two reasons, one is the use of the 40mm drivers on the HD700, as opposed to the much bigger 58mm drivers on the HD800. Second, I think the smaller housing should provide a more intimate listening experience, the way the HD650/HD600 series are (a lot of people find the HD800 to be too spacious, and indeed it is too spacious for a lot of studio-recorded mainstream music).
The build quality is not as solid as the HD800, not even close. If you’ve had a chance to hold one of the RS170/RS180 wireless headphones, the HD700 feels a lot like those, both in weight (lighter than the HD800) and in the density and finish of the plastic finish. The differentiation between the build quality is much bigger than say a Hifiman HE-6 to HE-500, Audeze’s LCD-2 and LCD-3, or Beyerdynamic’s DT880 to the T1. I sort of expected a nicer build quality, but hey the development process is done and there is nothing I can do about that.
Lastly, when you are browsing the photos, you would notice that while both headphones have a letter-D shaped housing, the orientation is actually reversed. On the HD800 the round side of the letter-D faces front, while on the HD700 it faces back.
That’s all for now, and I will try to update the article with some listening impressions in one or two days’ time.
I forgot to make a note that this is a pre-production sample. The final production unit will have a better build, finish, and a more proper headband pressure (this one is a little loose).
Note: please press the “i” button on the top left corner for the captioning.