Sennheiser Introduces HDV 820 Fully Balanced Headphone Amplifier

May 2 2017, 03:10
At the Tokyo Headphone Festival, held from April 29-30, Sennheiser showcased the latest product in its high-end enthusiast range: the fully balanced headphone amplifier HDV 820. Building on the accomplishments of Sennheiser’s first-ever digital headphone amplifier, the acclaimed HDVD 800, the German company now designed the HDV 820 to complement its electronics with an enhanced, higher resolution and ultra low distortion option that perfectly complements its high-end headphones. 

The HDV 820 amplifier allows for enhanced listening enjoyment, thanks to its improved fully balanced signal processing and extremely low harmonic distortion, which provides an incredibly pure sonic experience for every audio source. The all new digital section of the HDV 820 is powered by a high-quality ESS SABRE32 digital-to-analog converter in a completely balanced topology. The DAC offers unequalled dynamic range, ultra-low distortion and unmatched audio clarity. It performs at a PCM resolution of 32 bits and a sampling rate of up to 384 kHz and up to 12.3 MHz in the DSD mode.
The analogue section and the power amplifier of the HDV 820 derive from the existing HDVD 800, but in a carefully improved version. Its multiple audio outputs include an unbalanced output through an XLR3/6.3mm combined Neutrik socket, one balanced XLR4 and two balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn sockets. "With the Pentaconn Connector, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) has set a standard for balanced headphone connections which will minimize today’s complexity of non-standardized connectors. Due to its diameter of 4.4mm, it is suitable for mobile and stationary applications. The unmodulated, very low contact resistance of the Pentaconn Connection leads to a distortion-free signal transmission," Sennheiser states. "The HDV 820 delivers superlative performance using digital sources, whether optically, coaxially or via USB, as well as analogue sources via balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs," they add.

"The HDV 820 builds on the accomplishments of the HDVD 800 with greater resolution and enhanced connectivity, an evolution that provides a sound experience so pure and engaging that the listener could be sitting right in front of the audio source. The HDV 820 shows what is possible when you believe that sound is not something just to be listened to, but rather something to be experienced,” explains Manuel Ricke, Product Manager Audiophile at Sennheiser.

Designed and manufactured in Germany and supplied with a dedicated, country-specific power cable, the HDV 820 has been created to be a perfect companion to Sennheiser’s high-end headphones, including its acclaimed HD 800 S model. The design in fact complements the subtle elegance of the HD 800 S, with an anodized black finish with white LED lights. 

In addition to the new HDV 820 headphone amplifier, Sennheiser introduced also the CH 800 P, a new balanced headphone connection cable. It comes with a straight gold plated Pentaconn connector in a black housing on the amplifier side and two (L/R) medical grade ODU connectors on the headphone side. The new cable enables Sennheiser' acclaimed HD 800 and HD 800 S headphones to connect to devices with Pentaconn outputs such as the HDV 820.
Sennheiser’s HDV 820 and CH 800 P will be available from July 2017. Pricing has not yet been confirmed.
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