Stereocheck Reviews:

Sennheiser HDV 820: Uncompromising, high-end headphone amplifier

The Sennheiser HDV 820 is a top-tier headphone amplifier that is designed to complement Sennheiser’s premium models and other headphones in the high-end audiophile category. These headphones...

SENNHEISER HDV 820
SENNHEISER HDV 820

The Sennheiser HDV 820 is a top-tier headphone amplifier that is designed to complement Sennheiser’s premium models and other headphones in the high-end audiophile category. These headphones typically have a 300-ohm impedance, which requires high-quality equipment. This amplifier ensures that every intricate detail of the music is brought to life, delivering a world-class listening experience.

At the core of the HDV 820 lies a powerful 32-bit ESS Saber D/A converter that can handle all digital input signals with precision, catering to even the most discerning listeners. It offers versatile connectivity options for both digital and analog sources, allowing you to drive multiple pairs of headphones simultaneously and share your music experience with others.

SENNHEISER HDV 820
Countless combination possibilities

The HDV 820 offers a wide range of connection options to cater to various needs. On the front panel, you will find outputs for 3- and 4-pin XLR, traditional 1/4″ jack, and two 4.4 mm Pentacon jack, allowing you to connect a variety of high-end headphones. Additionally, the HDV 820 supports multiple outputs simultaneously, enabling you to share your music listening experience with others.

SENNHEISER HDV 820

Moving to the back panel, you will discover analogue XLR and RCA inputs, as well as digital optical, coaxial, and USB inputs. This versatility allows you to connect music streamers, CD players, PCs, and even turntables with a separate RIAA amplifier. If you prefer to control your music sources from an existing amplifier, you can simply connect the HDV 820 to the line-out of the amplifier, whether analogue or digital. The HDV 820 is designed to handle everything, including 24-bit and Bitstream/DSD formats, providing endless possibilities for your audio setup.

SENNHEISER HDV 820 REAR PANEL

Super solid construction in metal

The HDV 820’s cabinet is meticulously crafted from metal, featuring an aluminum front plate that exudes a remarkable sense of superior craftsmanship. This not only enhances the overall quality but also provides an exceptional tactile experience. Additionally, the metal construction acts as an electromagnetic shield, effectively safeguarding the music signal from any potential interference caused by radiated noise. Furthermore, the volume control and input selector are also constructed with the same level of solidity, ensuring durability and seamless operation for many years to come.

Pros

  • Developed and hand built in Germany
  • Can match even the most critical audiophile headphones
  • Built-in D/A converter (ESS SABER32)
  • Can drive multiple pairs of headphones simultaneously
  • Both analogue and digital inputs
  • Supports both 24-bit and Bitstream/DSD (via USB-B)
  • Both balanced and unbalanced connections (XLR/RCA)
  • Pass-through for connection to other components
  • Solid wheels on the front for volume and input selection
  • Built-in power supply
  • Nice and solid aluminum finish

Cons

  • No front display
  • Not remote control
  • Not a tube amplifier
  • No 12V trigger function