Rich sound gets richer

How do you make one of the best headphones on the market even better? If you're Sennheiser, you build the HDV 820 headphone amp to play up all the strengths of your flagship HD 800 S 'phones. The most obvious matches between the two are in the cosmetics and the connectivity — this is one of the few amps we offer that can accept a balanced XLR4 headphone cable. But this powerful desktop amp also drives the HD 800 S headphones to perform at their top potential.

 

Sennheiser designed this amp to accentuate the sonic advantages of the HD 800 S. The HDV 820 spreads out the headphones' large soundstage even wider. And together, the pair delivers airy, musical highs along with taut, detailed mids and a sweet helping of bass precision.

 

Crystal-clear, low-distortion sound for all

Of course, you can use the HDV 820 with any set of wired headphones that would benefit from clean, controlled power. Which I think covers most of them! Sennheiser uses a symmetrical circuitry design to keep the left and right channel signals completely independent of each other. This practically eliminates interference, so your headphones will better handle large sonic peaks in your music — without distorting.

 

Sennheiser also includes a 5-stage gain switch to properly match up the power output with your headphones' impedance. That means this amp plays nice with all types of headphone models. 

 

The ins...

A headphone amp can only be as versatile as its connections — and the HDV 820 is ready for all types of music sources. You'll find balanced and unbalanced analog inputs along with optical, coaxial, XLR, and USB inputs for your digital gear. A premium ESS Sabre digital-to-analog converter effortlessly handles high-res music files up to 32-bit/384kHz.

 

...and outs

This amp will power up to four pairs of headphones simultaneously — a helpful feature here at Crutchfield where we often compare different headphones. There is a four-pin XLR output, along with a Neutrik combination socket standard that will accept a 3-pin XLR or a 1/4" headphone plug.

 

The HDV 820 also has a stereo pair of 3-pin XLR outputs on the back. So you can use it as a standalone preamp/DAC if you have compatible audio gear.

Sennheiser HDV 820

SKU: 0195
$2,399.99Price
  • Product highlights:

    • high-performance desktop headphone amp
      • built to drive high-end headphones like the open-back Sennheiser HD800 S and closed-back HD 820
      • anodized black finish, balanced XLR inputs, and natural, precise sound help complement the HD800 S headphones
    • sophisticated metal housing protects against signal interference and vibration
      • volume and input controls machined from solid metal for long-term reliability
    • engineered and assembled at Sennheiser's headquarters in Germany

    Audio Features:

    • symmetrical (balanced) circuitry throughout reduces noise and distortion for maximum sound quality
    • premium ESS Sabre32 digital-to-analog converter for detailed, dynamic sound
      • plays PCM digital audio files up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD files up to 12.3 MHz
    • rear-panel 5-stage gain switch for optimized use of low impedance headphones

     

    Inputs:

    • digital audio inputs: one optical (Toslink) and one coaxial
    • USB (Type B) input for connecting a computer
    • 1 pair symmetrical (balanced 3-pin XLR) line-level inputs
    • 1 pair asymmetrical (unbalanced RCA) inputs

     

    Outputs:

    • 1 symmetrical (balanced) 4-pin XLR headphone output
    • combination headphone output
      • 1 balanced 3-pin XLR output
      • 1 unbalanced 1/4" headphone jack
    • 2 balanced 4.4mm headphone outputs
    • 1 pair symmetrical (balanced 3-pin XLR) preamp outputs for connection to a compatible audio component
    • plays up to four pairs of headphone simultaneously

     

    Other Info and Specs:

    • dedicated Sennheiser USB Windows driver required for playback on a PC (available for free on Sennheiser's website)
    • no driver required for MacOS (latest version recommended)
    • detachable AC power cord
    • THD: less than 0.001%
    • frequency response: 10Hz to 100,000 Hz
    • 8-15/16"W x 1-3/4"H x 12-1/4"D
    • weight: 5 lbs.

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