Sennheiser Presents Headphone Amplifier

  • Amp stops loss of frequencies
  • Aimed at true audiophiles
  • Available in September

Sennheiser is launching an amplifier for dynamic headphones, which is said to have 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.

Signal processing of this unit – called the HDVD 800 – is fully symmetrical. That means that not only the signal input into the amplifier is symmetrical but also the signal output and therefore the connection to the headphones.  Sennheiser supplies specially made cables for the symmetrical connection to headphones. The headphones can also be connected using a normal 6.3 mm jack plug. In addition to the symmetrical inputs, the HDVD 800 also has an asymmetrical input socket; incoming signals are symmetrised before further processing takes place. Digital sources are connected to the rear of the unit as an AES/EBU input, S/PDIF (optical and coaxial) or USB. The USB 2.0 audio standard offers 24 bit data transmission at 192 KHz.

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.

A glass panel embedded in the aluminium housing of the amplifier gives a clear view of the interior of the HDVD 800. Selected components and circuitry promise the ultimate in listening pleasure, claims Sennheiser. 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.

Both the housing and the potentiometer control as well as the rotary switch for selecting the source are made of anodised aluminium, while the front panel of the housing and the controls are milled from solid material.

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