Sennheiser Attracts an Audience
There’s always a long and winding conga line of eager music lovers whenever headphone maestro, Sennheiser exhibits its genre leading models. It won’t be any different in the Sennheiser room (Room 1204) at this year’s International Hi-Fi Show to be held at the Pullman Mercure Hotel in Albert Park on July 1st-3rd, so our advice is to get in early.
The Sennheiser working display will be crammed full of the brand’s vast range of headphones and ancillary equipment.
Three of the models in the exhibit good enough to satiate anyone's appetite for great sound are the HDVA600 analogue headphone amplifier and the synergistically matching high-end headphones, the HD630VB and the HD800S.
Sennheiser released its first digital headphone amplifier called the HDVD800 a few years back. It wasn’t long before an analogue version of the HDVD800 made it off the drawing board in the slinky shape of the HDVA600.
Not surprisingly, stores and reviewers found the two headphone amplifiers made a perfect sonic match with the brand’s High-End ‘phone, the HD800, HD700, HD650 and HD600.
Both headphone amps and several of the High-End headphones can be described as amazingly evenly balanced from top to bottom frequencies. Both dig deep into musical sources and deliver plenty of subliminal and overt detail and moreover present this within a huge acoustic soundstage lace with pinpoint images.
The HDVA600 shares a fully symmetrical layout for operation with analogue sources with the digital HDVD800 model.
The HDVA600’s build quality has to be seen up close to be appreciated. More like a piece of audio jewelry, the HDVA600 is distinguished by a superb, glass-panel that fits snugly into its aluminum housing giving its owner a look at the top-notch parts inside.
You’ll see the cooling element, audio relay, and innumerable MELF resistors. Sennheiser’s commitment to a great sounding head amplifier included an evaluation of each individual part to assuage it contribution to the final sound quality.
Sennheiser’s HD630VB is its first closed-back audiophile model designed to keep the music in and the outside world at bay. Australia's most popular publication for all things HiFi and HeadFi, StereoNET, recently reviewed the HD630VB which you can read here.
Considered a milestone model because it is the first time Sennheiser put its long experience in high-end audio design into a closed-back model.
Sennheiser dug deep to equip this model with patented high performance transducers. Slip a pair on and you’ll be impressed with its finely balanced neutral sound and wowed by how informative and deep bass frequencies are. What’s more bass can be customized depending on the genre of music via a rotary bass dial.
Specs are impressive and include a less than 0.08 percent (at 1kHz and 100 dB SPL) total harmonic distortion.
The HD630VB is sonically neutral with a transparent midrange and uncanny amounts of top to bottom detail thanks to a coil wire fashioned from pure aluminum.
With a frequency response of 10 to 42,000 HZ and an impedance that dips to 23 Ohm, the HD630VB demands to be linked to high-end ancillary gear.
The HD800 is still the first choice of headphone for discerning music lovers who love its neutrality and vast acoustic soundstaging virtues. Here’s the thing: the HD800S delivers all that quality and more.
All the best bits of the previous model have been retained including the innovative ear cups and the pedigree transducers. But you’ll hear better mids and bass thanks to a patented absorber technology first used in the IE800 model. Read what StereoNET had to say on the HD800 here.
The absorber reduces an audible artifact known as ‘’masking effect’’ an acoustic foible caused by the ear’s inability to latch onto low volumes, higher-pitched sounds presented to the ears at the same time as much louder low frequencies.
The absorber soaks up these resonance energies and thwarts unwanted peaks in the frequency response leaving the subtle nuances audible across the entire frequency range.
Technically the HD800 is equipped with 56mm patented transducers, the largest to be found in any set of dynamic headphones. The diaphragm chosen for the HD800S has a patented ring design to minimize any distortion but particular those usually heard at high frequencies. The design keeps harmonic distortion down to 0.02 percent.
Build quality is astonishingly high and includes an especially manufactured stainless steel gauze to embed the transducer. The headband utilizes several layers of sound-attenuating plastic and stainless steel and the connectors are gold-plated. Even the ear cups are made using high-attenuating plastic of the kind employed in aviation engineering instead of metal.
Each pair of HD800s is hand built at Sennheiser’s German headquarters in Wedemark. Price is $2499.95
For more information visit Sennheiser.
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