Monday, September 3rd 2012

Sennheiser Presents its Analogue and Digital Headphone Amplifiers

Building a hi-fi device that sounds so brilliant, so crystal clear and so free of distortion as if one were sitting right in front of the audio source. Creating a level of acoustics that surpasses everything that has gone before. These are the visions that drive Sennheiser in the development of its high-end products.

After recently having presented its first digital headphone amplifier, the audio specialist Sennheiser announces at IFA 2012 that it will also launch an analogue version of the device, available in the U.S. later this fall. Both the digital HDVD 800 ($1,999.95) and the analogue HDVA 600 ($1,599.95) have a fully symmetrical layout and promise a unique listening experience. They harmonize perfectly with the High-End headphone line HD 800, HD 700, HD 650 and HD 600.

The outstanding features of the new headphone amplifiers include a balanced sound image, maximum precision and impressive spatiality. The high-end devices have a fully symmetrical layout for operation with analogue audio sources, thus ensuring absolutely symmetrical signal transmission from the source to the headphones. Especially designed for the use with digital sources, the HDVD 800 features an extra 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 Product Lifecycle Management 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 new headphone amplifiers, 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."

Cutting-edge technology, top-quality sound
Signal processing in the HiFi devices 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. "The fully symmetrical principle effectively compensates for interference and distortion. The sound therefore becomes much clearer as total harmonic distortion is minimised," explained Axel Grell, Sennheiser's High-End Product Manager at Sennheiser. However, the headphones can also be connected using a normal 6.3 mm jack plug. The amplifiers are also equipped with an asymmetrical input socket; when using this input, the incoming signals are symmetrised before further processing takes place. On the HDVD 800 digital sources are connected to the rear of the unit as an AES/EBU input or S/PDIF (optical and coaxial). The digital version is featured with an extra USB input, which 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.

Sophisticated materials for a premium touch
A glass panel embedded in the aluminium housing of the amplifier gives a clear view of the top-quality interior of the devices. Selected components and sophisticated circuitry promise the ultimate in listening pleasure. 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.

And such meticulous attention has also been applied to the exterior. 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. The HDVD 800 and the HDVA 600 were developed and designed in Germany, and the latest members of Sennheiser's high-end series are also being manufactured there.

The new analogue HDVA 600 and the digital HDVD 800, which are being introduced at IFA in Berlin today, will be available in the U.S. later this fall, and will also be on display at CanJam at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, CO between October 12th and 14th.

*Driverless operation on a Mac from operating system OS 10.5 onwards. A driver is included for Windows computers from XP operating system onwards for 192 kHz operation.

Technical Data for HDVD 800 and HDVA 600
  • Dimensions and weight
  • o WxHxD (mm) Approx. 216x55x324
    o Weight (kg) 2.2
  • Power supply
  • o Input voltage 100..240 V AC / 50..60 Hz
    o Power consumption < 30 VA
  • Audio inputs
  • o Analogue input (XLR-3)
    o Max. input voltage (symmetrical, eff) 20 dBV
    o Input impedance 10 kOhm
    o Analogue input (RCA)
    o Max. input voltage (eff) 14 dBV
    o Input impedance 10 kOhm
  • Audio data
  • o Frequency response 0.3 Hz to 100 kHz (-3 dB)
    o Total harmonic distortion < -110 dB (1 kHz / maximum gain)
  • Digital features of HDVD 800
  • o Digital SPDIF (RCA)
    o Max. sampling frequency 192 kHz (AES3-compatible)
    o Max. resolution 24 bit
    o Digital SPDIF (TosLink)
    o Max. sampling frequency 192 kHz (AES3-compatible)
    o Max. resolution 24 bit
    o Digital AES/EBU (XLR-3)
    o Max. sampling frequency 192 kHz (AES3-compatible)
    o Max. resolution 24 bit
    o USB (USB-B)
    o USB standard USB 2.0 / USB 3.0
    o USB audio class USB Audio 2.0
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45 Comments on Sennheiser Presents its Analogue and Digital Headphone Amplifiers

#1
erixx
Sorry, yeah it is more or less true, I bought an exhaust for my motorcycle that is same price... but of course the benefits are "obvious" to everyone: it screamssssssssssss!!! ;)
Posted on Reply
#2
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: erixx
Sorry, yeah it is more or less true, I bought an exhaust for my motorcycle that is same price... but of course the benefits are "obvious" to everyone: it screamssssssssssss!!! ;)
The benefits of the headphones are obvious as well when you listen to them properly.
Posted on Reply
#3
BumbleBee
and your goal is audiophile frequency response. not bragging rights or epeen. Jesus lol
Posted on Reply
#4
Fourstaff
by: BumbleBee
some incredibly shallow people lol

you don't spend $300 on a water cooling kit so you can overclock a $100 entry level CPU. you spend $1400 on a headphone your going to want to get the best out of it and it starts with a good source and amplifier. it's an investment.
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/03/hammerforum-com
Posted on Reply
#5
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
people stop getting mad at the price. it is part of what sells it.

also, i would love to read Fredrick's review.
Posted on Reply
#6
BumbleBee
don't hate the player, hate the game :P
Posted on Reply
#7
m1dg3t
by: BumbleBee
don't hate the player, hate the game :P
:laugh:

Madames up! Gigolos down!

:roll:
Posted on Reply
#8
BumbleBee
there are several headphone amps in the $2000 range. Ray Samuels, Grace, Cary, Eddie Current, April Music, Woo Audio, Gilmore, SPL and about a dozen more in the $1000-1500 range so bring it Sennheiser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted on Reply
#9
1c3d0g
And to throw some more fuel to the fire...probably the most controversial person ever in the headphone amp business (and I believe what he says!): :cool:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/

I swear audio freaks are far worse than the graphics people...even the biggest NVIDIA/ATI flamewars are little skirmishes compared to what goes on in "audiophile" forums. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#10
araditus
Grado SR60i or SR80i Best headphones under $100, and only the 80s might require amplification, and I am not a pure audiophile, but I truely have no issue spending 6-9k on a system for my car. However that includes many many many many more parts, and just cans/amp! lol

And you all should respect Bumblebee's obvious hobby, cans are a part of his life, we all have our vices! I was spending 100$ a month on League of Legends skins a few months ago lol. Alot of us have all sorts of budgets and loves in the world and we all have different comfort levels when it comes to consumer purchases, I can't spend more than 50$ on a shirt or pants, and I'm an investment company manager. But I wont be phased at a 3500$ home office desk becuase in my past life I sold very high end artisan furniture and I justify the cost.
Posted on Reply
#11
repman244
by: 1c3d0g
And to throw some more fuel to the fire...probably the most controversial person ever in the headphone amp business (and I believe what he says!): :cool:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/

I swear audio freaks are far worse than the graphics people...even the biggest NVIDIA/ATI flamewars are little skirmishes compared to what goes on in "audiophile" forums. :laugh:
I think you are right about it being worse. But the reason behind that is that people which aren't even interested in hi-fi, come in and say it's just overpriced junk (with no idea about the engineering and components/materials used).
If I made a thread in the GPU forums saying that the HD7970/GTX680 are both slower than an old HD3870 and that they are overpriced I bet I would be jumped in minutes :laugh:
GPU's aren't subjective like audio is and that's why "flamewars" start.

I agree that just because some headphones cost $1000 that doesn't mean everyone will like them (like I said sound is subjective and every headphone has it's own sound signature), but you have a choice on what to buy and in what price range. There are no "the best" headphones/amps, it may be best for one person but mediocre for someone else ;)
Posted on Reply
#12
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: araditus

And you all should respect Bumblebee's obvious hobby, cans are a part of his life,
i thought bumblebee was a chick :confused:
Posted on Reply
#13
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Easy Rhino
i thought bumblebee was a chick :confused:
No, human.
Posted on Reply
#14
Capitan Harlock
by: repman244
Yep happens often, but I just don't care, I buy things for my pleasure (if someone doesn't see the point, good for them).
That same friend could buy a very expensive car, and someone who isn't very interested in cars will say it drives the same as some POS car (this can be applied to all things in life, we are all different).
Hence I don't see the point in buying something to impress others, but whatever floats your boat :toast:



Yeah, I saw that. But as I said, does it drive it to their full potential? You won't know until you try the expensive/higher end amps.
Headphones like HD650 benefit a lot from proper amplification and they scale really really well with better amps.
can run it without problem xd http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9G2w-TRIx0&list=UUO2x-p9gg9TLKneXlibGR7w&index=42&feature=plcp take a look xd
Posted on Reply
#15
repman244
by: Capitan Harlock
can run it without problem xd http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9G2w-TRIx0&list=UUO2x-p9gg9TLKneXlibGR7w&index=42&feature=plcp take a look xd
I didn't say it can't run them, I said it probably doesn't run them to their full potential. HD800/HD650 scale with the quality of the amps a lot.
Heck even my Essence can drive HD800, but it can't drive them properly or to their full potential.
It's like having a 500HP engine in a car and you put cheap tyres that have no grip at all.
Posted on Reply
#16
BumbleBee
by: Easy Rhino
i thought bumblebee was a chick :confused:
somewhere in the middle. fembot :p
Posted on Reply
#17
Capitan Harlock
by: repman244
I didn't say it can't run them, I said it probably doesn't run them to their full potential. HD800/HD650 scale with the quality of the amps a lot.
Heck even my Essence can drive HD800, but it can't drive them properly or to their full potential.
It's like having a 500HP engine in a car and you put cheap tyres that have no grip at all.
for me spend 2000$ for only an heaphone amp is too much , look this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whbeUCF7N3U&feature=plcp the tube amp in the center cost 2226$ and can run the monsters on the back , spend the same for only heaphone amp is dont know the value of money
Posted on Reply
#18
repman244
by: Capitan Harlock
for me spend 2000$ for only an heaphone amp is too much , look this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whbeUCF7N3U&feature=plcp the tube amp in the center cost 2226$ and can run the monsters on the back , spend the same for only heaphone amp is dont know the value of money
For me too, but if I had the money I would buy it right away :D
Posted on Reply
#19
BumbleBee
the Sennheiser HDVA 800 is a integrated DA converter and headphone amp.

the $3000 you would spend on the Sennheiser HD800, a reference level DA converter and a high end tube/solid state amplifier is a bargain. the 20 minutes I have spent with the Sennheiser HD800 sound better than any $1400 loud speaker I have ever heard. if you wanted to build a speaker system that sounded just as good it would cost a lot more money.
Posted on Reply
#20
Capitan Harlock
by: BumbleBee
the Sennheiser HDVA 800 is a integrated DA converter and headphone amp.

the $3000 you would spend on the Sennheiser HD800, a reference level DA converter and a high end tube/solid state amplifier is a bargain. the 20 minutes I have spent with the Sennheiser HD800 sound better than any $1400 loud speaker I have ever heard. if you wanted to build a speaker system that sounded just as good it would cost a lot more money.
the system i have post in not only 3000$ if you see ,but for me spend only for an heaphone amplifire is too much,if for you is not a problem good for you but dont talk like is a glasse of water xd
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