The perfect partner for reference-class headphones.

There are two things that mark a quest for perfection: It is never completed, and it has the potential to bring out the most extraordinary things with the power to shape the future within its field. Enter the HDV 820, which will surely change the way you listen to and experience your music. That is, if you are lucky enough to possess headphones capable of turning the extremely high-quality audio signal delivered by the HDV 820 into an aural quality just as supreme.

The mission: Better the best

When you have engineered audio components that represent the state of the art, going one better is the most rewarding task we at Sennheiser can think of. It was the task we set out on when we designed the HDV 820. Pioneering into new technological territory, we found still more sonic truth to bring to our most demanding clientele.

The sound: Making great headphones show all their class

Virtually everything. That is what the HDV 820 will give to your headphones. So, it will be up to them to make it heard. The different timbres of two otherwise identical instruments. The distance between the musicians of an orchestra, the tension before a singer delivers the first note. It is all there, for you to discover.

The technology: Only the unsurpassed

The higher the tech, the higher the emotion. The heart of the new HDV 820 is a formidable ESS SABRE32 DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that surpasses the previous generation with an even higher resolution of 32 bits and a sampling rate of up to 384 kHz. The amplifier is also capable of playing DSD256 files of up to 12.3 MHz.

The design: Giving the eyes a taste of how it sounds

Fittingly for an audio component that delivers such an incredibly pure sonic experience, the HDV 820 has also been created to delight visually. It features a new anodized black finish with white LED lights that has been designed to perfectly complement the latest version of our flagship high-end headphone, the HD 800 S – by the way, an ideal partnership for the ultimate audiophile listening experience.

The compatibility: Outstanding sound will find a way

With a breadth of audio outputs that include XLR3, XLR4, 6.3 mm- and a 4.4 mm Pentaconn socket, it is easy to find the optimal way to connect your headphones with the HDV 820. It performs brilliantly with digital sources, whether optically, coaxially, or via USB, and features balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analogue inputs. The HDV 820 also comes supplied with a dedicated, country-specific power cable.

Specifications

Dimensions: Approx. 224 x 44 x 306 mm
Frequency response: < 10 Hz to > 100 kHz
Weight: Approx. 2.25 kg
Operating voltage (mains): 100 – 240 V ~, 50 – 60 Hz
Power consumption: Nominal 12 W (2 x 300 Ω headphones connected to the 4.4 mm outputs)
Gain: UNBAL input/XLR-4 output: Adjustable 14 dB, 22 dB, 30 dB, 38 dB, 46 dB; BAL input/XLR-4 output: 16 dB
Dynamic range: > 115 dB @ 600 Ω load (A-weighted)
THD, total harmonic distortion: < 0.001 %

About Sennheiser Headphones

One of the world’s foremost headphone brands, Sennheiser traces its heralded roots back to 1945, when engineers from the University of Hannover formed a laboratory to develop new microphone and headphone technologies. In 1968, Sennheiser released the world’s first open-back headphones, the HD414. Setting new standards for sound quality and ergonomic fit, Sennheiser went on to sell over ten million HD414!

Today, Sennheiser continues their tradition of pushing the envelope of headphone driver and ergonomic design, putting out models like the stunning HD800S and HD820, with their unique ring-radiator drivers.  And of course, who could forget Sennheiser’s ventures into electrostatic headphones, with both the original 90’s-era Orpheus system, and it’s newer cousin, both of which produce effortless sound with lifelike warmth.

Our Take

The HDV 820 is a good all-in-one solution for those seeking to drive high-impedance headphones. The circuit was designed for the HD800 series, but works very well with the venerable HD600 series, as well as other high-impedance headphones.  The HDV820 features balanced and single-ended headphone jacks, as well as a bevy of digital inputs, along with line-level analog inputs and outputs, to connect into almost any system.