Sennheiser’s new HD 820 headphones solve the one imperfection of the German company’s coveted HD 800s. See, the previous model has an open-back design, which gooses the audio but lets ambient noise leak in—and all of Bowie’s histrionic sighs leak out. This year, Sennheiser put a lid on the 800s. Two lids, actually: The high-definition dynamic drivers in the HD 820s are covered with curved Gorilla Glass panels. The caps’ concave design reflects errant sound waves into a resonance-abating absorber to keep the audio crisp. The music retains the detail found in the open design, minus the pesky leakage. In an elegant touch, the clear glass leaves the intricate, shiny transducers visible, like the rear crystal on a mechanical Swiss watch. Über-phones like these require a dedicated amplifier; pair them with Sennheiser’s HDV 820 amp (another $2,400) to hear “Ashes to Ashes” like never before.
Styling by Reina Takahashi
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