More accurate sound, at a price

SINGAPORE - Really good sound reproduction is hard to come by. The run-of-the-mill headsets connected to mobile phones and music players most people carry around are hardly of audiophile quality.

And even for top-of-the-line audiophile headphones, the sound quality depends much on the sound source and the electronics behind it.

A headphone amplifier between the sound source and the headset takes the refinement one step further - the end result coming out from the headset being more realistic and true to the original.

Sennheiser's digital HDVD 800 and analogue HDVA 600 headphone amplifiers work best with the company's high-end headphones, HD 800, HD 700, HD 650 and HD 600.

They both have symmetrical signal processing that eliminates hum and distortion.

For the HDVA 600, signals from symmetrical sources are passed straight through for amplification while asymmetrical signals are synced before being processed. It has connectors for up to four headphones (2 x XLR and 2 x 6.3mm plugs).

The HDVD 800 has four digital inputs, with a top-end digital audio interface and a symmetrical digital/analogue converter.

The two headphone amplifiers are constructed from the finest materials and components.

They look very well made and certainly do not come cheap, costing more than $2,000 each, a stiff price to pay for true and more accurate sound.

How much: HDVD 800 ($2,699), HDVA 600 ($2,199)

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