Sennheiser HD 800 vs. Beyerdynamic T1 – Headphones Compared Head To Head

Sennheiser HD 800 vs Beyerdynamic T1

German manufactured products have always been known for their quality. Just take a look at Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic.

Two well-known German brands in the world of audio speakers. But have you ever wondered which one of the two delivers a better overall experience when it comes to their headphones?

Let’s take two of their best-selling headphones, the Sennheiser HD 800 and the Beyerdynamic T1, and determine which flagship headphone delivers the best listening experience.

Keep in mind, if you are planning on purchasing either of these models you’ll most likely also be wanting a DAC/Amp to get the most out of these due to their respective impedance levels (300 and 600 Ohms). We suggest you also see our related posts – Best DAC/Amps for Sennheiser and Top DAC/Amps for Beyerdynamic.

Sennheiser HD 800 Headphone Review

Sennheiser HD 800 Reference Dynamic Headphone
Sennheiser HD 800 (Image: Amazon)

The Sennheiser HD 800 features an overall traditional design when it comes to its functionality. The open-back design incorporates grills which help in protecting the headphone. However, this design choice does give it a rather unique feature as how many headphones do you know actually have grills added to their frames?

While the HD 800 works the same inside as all of Sennheiser’s other series, this unique design choice is sure to turn heads. Rather than going for the traditional look, it takes a more modern approach. I would even call it cyberpunk-esque.

The HD 500 actually utilizes the durable plastic material in constructing its frames. While durability will obviously take a hit here, the main advantage will be the significant reduction in weight. Don’t be tricked by its large size as it is actually lighter than expected. The HD 800’s weight is distributed evenly over the whole headphone so wearing it won’t cause you any discomfort.

If you do end up investing in a pair of these or are considering any of the headphones in the HD series, you’ll want to see our article on the best AMP/DAC for Sennheiser HD headphonesWhile you don’t necessarily need an amplifier to listen to HD models, you can definitely increase the audio by quality by using one.

When it comes to sound quality you can expect only the finest seeing as this is from Sennheiser. Simply put, this is one of the best headphones you can buy today.

Audio is produced with impeccable laser-like precision. While some might feel worried that audio may sound too ‘mechanical’, fear not as the HD 800 does not experience any kind of sound quality deficiency.

The HD 800 also delivers impressive powerful low ends which will be a treat for bass lovers. I used this when watching a movie and scenes with explosions will rattling to the point that I had to scramble for the remote to lower the volume. I’m not saying that is a bad thing but it definitely caught me off guard. The bass here is on-point down to the sub-bass levels.

Key Feature:

  • Detachable cables.
  • 6.3mm jack.
  • Open-back design.
  • 56 mm dynamic drivers.

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9.5/10
  • Bass: 10/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9.5/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 10/10
  • Battery Life: n/a
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): n/a

Who would this be good for?

If you got the cash you can never go wrong with the Sennheiser HD 800. The sound is accurate with bass delivered in Earth-shaking fashion. This is one of the most expensive high-end headphones (check the current price on Amazon) on the market today and it shows why. The HD 800 is a masterpiece.


  • Open-back design delivers the best ‘airy’ listening experience.
  • Amazing build and incredibly sturdy.
  • Comfortable.


  • The design might turn off those who prefer a more traditional look.

Beyerdynamic T1 Headphone Review

beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation Audiophile Stereo Headphones with Dynamic Semi-Open Design (Silver)
Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation (Image: Amazon)

Next up, we have another beast in the headphone market, the Beyerdynamic T1. It took a while for the second generation of this series to come out in the market which tells you how good the first one is.

Visually, the T1 is pretty much the same as its predecessor with the most noticeable change being the added padding on the headband. The cables are also now detachable which is great for people who tend to travel a lot.

I also noticed that the headband’s pressure is significantly lesser in the T1. This makes it even more comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time. Stability is pretty good as well but I won’t recommend this headphone for working out.

The Beyerdynamic T1 also comes with the ability to replace leads which makes it more balanced than ever before. You might also notice that the T1 shifted away from using leather. This allows it to be more cost-effective and improve its durability.

One major downside the T1 has is its need for a stabilizer/amplifier if you wish to experience its full potential although this is true for almost any similar high-impedance headphones including the Sennheiser 800s so not really a mark against them in this head-head but is something to consider. 

If you’re looking for our top recommendations for DAC/Amps for the Beyerdynamic T1 see here.

But once you do plug it into an amplifier you will get one of the best listening experiences. The amp boost basically improves an already solid audio quality. Resolution is enhanced, the low-end range gets that added weight, and audio transparency is increased. The T1 manages to deliver a fluid and dynamic audio quality that is not even that common in most high-end headphones.

Tracks are delivered with the top-notch definition. Audio comes with a natural warmth to it with trailing notes produced masterfully. If you want to listen to your music as authentic as possible then the T1 connected to an amplifier will do the job. However, don’t expect to get this level of audio by simply connecting the Beyerdynamic T1 to your smartphone or any other music device. As I have stated earlier, you will need to have a quality amp to reach these heights.

Key Features:

Our Rating:

  • Sound Quality: 9.5/10
  • Bass: 9.5/10
  • Build Quality/Design: 9.5/10
  • Fit/Comfort: 9/10
  • Battery Life: n/a
  • Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): n/a

Who would this be good for?

The small tweaks from the previous model do wonders for the Beyerdynamic T1. If you have high-quality home audio set up at home then you will be able to enjoy the T1 to its full potential. I have said earlier, you will need to put in a bit of work to push this headphone to its limits. But when you do, the Beyerdynamic T1 is one of the best headphones in the market today, bar none.


  • A remarkable blend of audio precision and fluidity.
  • Detachable cables.
  • Well-built and comfortable.


  • You will need to pair it with a top-notch amplifier for it to truly deliver its full potential.

Final Verdict

Both the Sennheiser HD 800 and Beyerdynamic T1 deliver impeccable sound quality and enjoyable listening experience. It is actually hard to choose which one of the two is better. However, I will have to give this win to the Sennheiser HD 800 for one specific shortcoming that the T1 has.

The T1 can only match up the HD 800 if you connect it to a quality amp. On its own, you will need to do some manual tweaking to achieve the best results. Unlike the HD 800 which delivers the goods from the get-go.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.