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Sennheiser HD 800 S & HDV 820 – a £3500 combo

Rating: 9.0.

You may remember in August of last year, we published an article looking at three ‘entry level audiophile’ headphones – all around the £150 mark. Well, today we are at the opposite end of the spectrum, as I have upgraded my audio setup with the Sennheiser HD 800 S headphone and the HDV 820 amplifier – a combination that will set you back just under £3500.

Watch via Vimeo (below) or over on YouTube at 2160p HERE

Sennheiser HD 800 S

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Specification:

  • Color: black
  • Wearing style: Headband
  • Impedance: 300 Ω
  • Audio-XLR connector: XLR4
  • Frequency response: 4 – 51,000 Hz (-10 dB)
  • THD, total harmonic distortion: 0.02 % (1 kHz 1 Vrms)
  • Contact pressure: ~ 3,4 N (± 0,3 N)
  • Ear coupling: Circumaural
  • Jack plug: 6.3mm/ XLR4
  • Cable length: 3m
  • Transducer principle: Dynamic Open
  • Weight w/o cable: 330 g

We first looked at the HD 800 S headphone in April 2016, when we published a full review of Sennheiser’s flagship model. It is a beautifully crisp and clear headphone, with an incredible amount of detail to the treble that is still presented in a smooth, non-fatiguing manner. I even reckon it is great for gaming thanks to the immense soundstage which translates really well in PUBG, for instance.

You can buy it for £1399.99 directly from Sennheiser.

Pros

  • Beautifully detailed treble that is not at all sharp or sibilant.
  • Clear, transparent mid-range.
  • Sub-bass extension is excellent.
  • Huge soundstage.
  • 4-pin XLR and 1/4in cables included.

Cons

  • It is £1399.99.

Sennheiser HDV 820

Specification:

  • Dimensions: Approx. 224 x 44 x 306 mm
  • Frequency response: < 10 Hz to > 100 kHz
  • THD, total harmonic distortion: < 0.001 %
  • Weight: Approx. 2.25 kg
  • 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
  • Operating voltage (mains): 100 – 240 V ~, 50 – 60 Hz
  • Dynamic range: > 115 dB @ 600 Ω load (A-weighted)

Sennheiser’s top-end amplifier, the HDV 820 is nothing short of a beast. It is very well made thanks to its anodised aluminium panels, while it sports a total of four headphone outputs. There is also a huge range of input options, including USB, optical, coaxial, balanced XLR and RCA. With a very clean and refined sound, it makes for a fabulous partner to the HD 800 S as the headphone’s natural detail is only enhanced by the HDV 820.

You can buy it for £2099.99 directly from Sennheiser.

Pros

  • Clean, neutral sound presentation.
  • Four headphone outputs.
  • More inputs than you could possibly need.
  • Very well built.
  • Looks very sleek and minimalistic.

Cons

  • It is £2099.99.

KitGuru says: It is not a cheap headphone/amp combo by any means – but the HD 800 S paired with the HDV 820 makes for an absolutely incredible sonic experience.

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Rating: 9.0.

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