Also on display was a listening station feature Senn’s line of Beats knock-outs, the very colorful on-ear Momentum headphones. $200 a pair seems rather reasonable for the level of fit-and-finish, durability and overall sound quality. I’ve been loving my over-ear Momentums for the better part of a year and I’m finding them terrifically competitive in the closed-back headphone segment.
But my reference headphones are the HD800. At $1,699/pair, these headphones are a high water mark in terms of refinement, with crystalline highs and holographic mids, and showcase the highest level of detail retrieval I’ve ever heard in any high-end audio system, bar none. On the other hand, these headphones are notorious in audio circles as being “problematic” to in terms of listening fatigue, but I will offer that this hasn’t necessarily been my experience. Likewise, the recommendation to “only pair them with tube electronics” seems a bit unfair. Finding them here with the Sennheiser head amps was both instructive and pleasant, especially if violating expectations is your thing. The two amps above are natural matches to the Big Daddy Senns, and both can really pull the bass response up to a level that seems rare with these cans. Definitely worth checking out.