Sennheiser has launched an amplifier for dynamic headphones — the digital HDVD 800 has a fully symmetrical layout and sampling frequencies of up to 24bit/192kHz. It also harmonizes with Sennheiser’s HD 800, HD 700, HD 650 and HD 600 high-end headphones.
The digital HDVD 800 headphone amp.
The high-end headphone amplifier has a fully symmetrical layout for operation with analogue audio sources, thus ensuring symmetrical signal transmission from the source to the headphones. For use with digital sources, the amplifier is equipped with a high-quality Burr-Brown digital/analogue converter that converts digital audio data into analogue signals with a resolution of 24 bits and a sampling rate of up to 192 kHz. This enables the HDVD 800 to transmit the entire frequency spectrum of high-end audio sources without any loss of frequencies.
“The search for perfect sound is a constant motivation for us to develop new ideas,” said Maurice Quarré, director of product lifecycle management for Sennheiser Consumer Electronics. “The best example is the legendary Orpheus. These electrostatic headphones with a vacuum tube amplifier, which came onto the market around 20 years ago, have become an icon in the audio world. With the HDVD 800, Sennheiser is now taking up the tradition of the Orpheus, providing music lovers with the perfect combination of Sennheiser headphones and a specially matched amplifier.”
In order to fully exploit the sound potential of the HDVD 800 with any audio source, a rotary gain switch at the rear of the unit provides simple adaptation of the amplifier output to the audio input voltage. This ensures that the dynamic range can be used to its full extent.
The rotary potentiometer is mechanically connected to the volume control by a 150mm long shaft. This unusually long potentiometer shaft allows the signal path between the audio source and the potentiometer to be kept very short, thus preventing possible interference of the signal. High-quality components (Alps RK 27 quad) ensure that the volume is controlled with maximum precision and a fine rotary ‘feel’. Also visible through the glass panel are the cooling element, the audio relay and countless MELF resistors for the amplifier.
“The material selection has been thought through down to the finest detail in order to fully exploit the amplifier’s sound potential. The audio aspects of each individual component were evaluated in listening tests before the optimum combination was finally chosen,” said Maurice Quarré.
The new digital HDVD 800 will be delivered to Sennheiser’s worldwide sales partners from September.
In addition, Sennheiser has unveiled its new IE 800 headphones.
“The sound of the IE 800 can easily compete with that of our high-end portfolio,” Quarré said. “These dynamic in-ear phones offer fascinatingly brilliant trebles, precise bass response and a detailed, lifelike sound image with a frequency response of 5 to 46,500 Hz.”