I'm going to state that the results here are what the title implies, "hyper& engaging", is result of the driver, that wasn't intended for close proximity. Apologies for sounding brutal but it's not. I like to push people forward , instead of standing by, with what currently amounts to an expensive, oversized, forward sounding grado. This is the "elephant-in-the-room" syndrome, and Who is going to invest about $700 for pair of drivers alone, if not yet "end game"? So you can either view my input with a grain of salt, or not, but at least hear me out either way. Let me explain IMO: Sennheiser dropped the ball, as we all know, but , The hd800 driver really was, and really still is a true end game driver, just stunted. Contrary to common opinion, MY opinion is that the 800S is the exact same driver, but more stunted because of the center filling. All adverse effects are due to no compensation for this addition to the actual design. Imagine you breathing uncomfortably thru a straw (center hole) and then someone stuffing material in that straw, and NOT compensating that loss of air flow, with added strength to push thru.. That's what the 800S is. Imagine the resources necessary to change the design... to strengthening the diaphragm muscles (voilcoil) to push air thru that added mess.. For Sennheiser To strengthen the motor assembly would call for a re-design. Not happening, not ever.. Check the specs... Driver impedance and sensitivity are exactly the same. Don't believe the lies otherwise... And also add the 820 in the mix of "sonic" failure, being just an 800S in a dam pretty glass window. Sales looks clearly to have been the motivator for these creations. The HD800 driver is created to be waaayyy too forward for anything close or closed. The driver was intentionally designed that way, to compensate for the distance away from the ear, for greater soundstage. If it was just up to speed, then think: Raall Stax-Qualia010 Utopia- Hd800- Susvara But we also know that there is more to end game, than speed. Also, too much speed makes itself more "noticed" and distracting.. The added excitement of speed ends up as noticable unnaturallness, , to notice the headphones more than the music. An HD800 with a larger, non-diffuse, undistorted sound would be the ideal goal. Not a juiced up agressive grado-ish sound from an HD650-ish baffle.. I would suggest to you, to "turn around" early, and skip that, to go for what both Sony intended, and what Senheiser failed to do. Also, reaching end game level would at least be considered Utopia sized soundstage for an open can, or the goal is simply not set high enough. IMO, Your not applying the drivers strength, when using it nearfield. It needs the space of the Qualia 010. Look at the Qualia 010 cup chamber. You know the similarity of the design. It's like the Utopia, copied from the HD800, that copied from the Sony Qualia 010... You are close to the reality, that the best "baffle" design for this driver, is instead a chamber that is not flat and close, but further away. I read those here have already experimented with the HD800 cup chamber before, swapping out that steel mesh.. And the casing of the resonance cup chamber of the Qualia010 was made of thin aluminum and partly of composite. But the Utiopia does not go this route, and should be looked into. I would suggest a 3d printing of a qualia sized & angled chamber frame, with plenty holes to limit resonance, then try different overlays of transparent cloth materials to enclosed the chamber, like silk. If anyone has a shot to try this currently, its you guys. Your choice what road this leads too. Lots of people like fast and detailed, agressive headphones. But I telling you that the stock hd800 drivers are intentionally a very forward driver. Another option would be to choose a less agressive driver for the current design. And would be an ideal project using an inexpensive driver. Oh, and one more thing, there should be a huge trophy award for the member post with the most dislikes..