Building on the success of its first ever digital headphone amplifier (the HDVD 800), Sennheiser has showcased its successor at the Tokyo Headphone Festival. The HDV 820 has an all-new digital section, which is powered by an ESS SABRE32 digital-to-analogue converter in a completely balanced topology. The DAC operates at up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM resolution and up to 12.3MHz DSD and is claimed to provide unequalled dynamic range, ultra-low distortion and unmatched audio clarity. 

The analogue section and the power amplifier derive from the HDVD 800, although they are understood to have undergone some improvements. Audio outputs include an unbalanced XLR3/6.35mm combined Neutrik socket, a balanced XLR4 and two balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn sockets. For the uninitiated, the 4.4mm Pentaconn output is a standard set by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Association (JETA), in an effort to standardise balanced headphone connectors. Inputs, meanwhile, are catered for thanks to the inclusion of optical, coaxial, USB, balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connections.

“The HDV 820 shows what is possible when you believe that sound is not something just to be listened to, but rather something to be experienced,” Manuel Ricke, Product Manager Audiophile at Sennheiser told HFC. Designed to accompany the HD 800 S headphone (HFC 411), it is available in an anodised black finish. It's available to buy now for £2,090 and you can find out more about it here.