I have been a huge fan of Sennheiser for a long time and have personally used the HD25-1 and to this day, think they are one of the greatest sets of headphones I have ever used. But Sennheiser wanted to go one step further with the HD8 DJ. At a $389 price-tag, let's see if the HD8 has the power to replace the infamous and club-standard HD25.
Initially out of the box, I knew I was about to be introduced to one of the highest-end headphones I have ever used. Sporting the clean blue and dark tonal features, the HD8 DJs are nothing short of sexy. Personally, I think these headphones are one of the best looking in the game. While a bit bigger than the HD25s, the HD8 still maintains a very sleek, yet modern design. Crafted out of metal and plastic, the HD8s are easily the most sturdy I've ever let my hands on; even more sturdy than the beloved AiAiAi TMA-1s (which I also use quite often).
Out of the box, you receive two sets of ear pads -- one of a leather material, and one of a velour finish, two removable cables -- one coiled and another straight wire, both which are roughly 10 feet in length, and a terrific travelers case which I normally wouldn't take advantage of due to the fact that I love to just toss them into my bag, but it's too good not to use -- especially considering they're $400.
Let's get down to the performance of the HD8. Sennheiser rates the headphones being able to produce frequencies from an INSANE 8Hz to a remarkable 30kHz. The frequency range in itself, is absolutely astonishing. Listening to music was a treat. Lows were deep, mids were clean and not muddy, and highs were crisp and not overbearing. The HD8 seriously is a pro-level headset. I was able to hear bass that I didn't even think existed (jokingly). Running bass response tests online reassured me that these headphones only scream quality when it comes to frequency range. While Sennheiser pushes these as a DJ product, they can also be used for some serious music production. With an overall quality of sound, the HD8 DJ is easily considered one of the best, if not the best in the DJ game.
What about comfort and usability you ask? Well, I'm not sure. I used these bad boys to DJ with and also to produce. Overall comfort is good, it's not amazing. They are a snug fit, and with extended usage, you can easily have some discomfort on the top of your head. The fit of the headphones is generally tight. When putting them on for the first time, I immediately noticed how tight they were around my head. Where as I do have a larger head than normal, I read other reviews where people experienced the same thing. Don't get me wrong, the HD8 fits nicely and has a great range of flexibility, but some will surely complain about it's fit. The HD8 also gives you 3 locked positions for each ear, which is perfect while DJing. However, getting used to it, will take you a bit. I noticed while using these that if you didn't have the cup of the ear perfectly on your ear, that the bass response was greatly altered. When it came to flexibility and overall functionality of the HD8, I honestly believe the HD25 is more versatile, but that's just my opinion.
To summarize, the Sennheiser HD8 DJ is absolutely, without a doubt one of the best pro-level DJ headphones out there. At $389, they better be. Are there better options for your money? Sure. Under $200? Absolutely. Not many DJs particularly care about the astonishing quality when using during DJ sets, but while producing? These are 100% quality. The HD8 offers unprecedented build quality, a luxury look, and the performance alone makes the HD8 DJ a top contender for years and years to come.