The Sennheiser HD 820 looks set to redefine luxury closed-back headphones at CES 2018 with its unique Gorilla Glass transducer cover and appropriately high price.
After essentially reinventing the luxury headphone market with the HD 800, where was Sennheiser to go next? I’ll tell you: It came up with an even more indulgent set of cans the company is calling the HD 820. As the name suggests, the headphones are an updated, closed-back version of its statement piece. It’s showing them off at CES here in Las Vegas this week.
How does Sennheiser get around the boxy sound of many closed-back headphones? With a piece of Gorilla Glass! The company says its curved “glass transducer cover” minimizes resonance and “ensures an incredibly realistic and natural sound field.”
Thanks to the transparent cover, the company is able to keep the same look as the HD 800 by showing off the large Ring Radiator transducers inside. If you weren’t a fan of the open-back’s silver color, the HD 820’s gray/black may be more to your taste. The headphone is built in Germany and features a damped metal headband and synthetic leather/microfiber earpads. The cans are wired with silver-cladded OFC cables and feature gold-plated plugs.
Even though these are more suited to mobile use thanks to their noise-isolating nature, don’t expect to take them on the road with you. First, they’re huge, and second, they’ll need a hefty headphone amp to power them: something like Sennheiser own HDV 820.
How much would you expect to pay for the “world’s most transparent-sounding closed headphone”? Well, put the HD 800’s $1,100 price tag out of your mind. For these exquisite looking headphones expect to pay 2,400 euros or $2,400. Australian and UK pricing aren’t immediately available, but expect the same amount in pounds and about twice that in Australian dollars. Luxury doesn’t come cheap.