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Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Duet Balanced Headphone Amplifier Black

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #66 in Portable Amps

Posted

Pros: low noise floor; incredible midrange stereo detail, imaging; great drive power/resolution

Cons: volume pot travel is less accurate than could be; front/back ergonomic concerns

 

 

This is a rewording and shortening of the Ω image DUET review. More pictures there, easier access and way bigger community here!

 

Yes, I've been following Cypher Labs' stuff from the beginning. Why? I'm into the same thing Jude is: game changing. The original Solo is still a fav. DAC of mine. But DUET may be the item that redefines Cypher Labs. No longer are they a DAC manufacturer. As much as I love the Theorem 720, I am not completely convinced. Why? Too much noise from the headphone output. Even my DJ1Pro could detect it. That is too much. But apart from that, 720 had all the goods: control, precision, resolution.

 

Build

 

I have no problems with DUET's overall build. It is Rx-MKIII-B+ strong but painted to last. Fastening hardware is fast, switches are shallow, and pot is balanced. It charges via micro USB. Hell yeah. What bothers me slightly is volume pot travel. Still the pot's full travel isn't being used. Instead, only about 50-60% of pot travel decides output voltage and thus, volume levels. IEM users shouldn't have a problem as low volume levels are well balanced and noise is low, but L/R headroom is never a bad thing. And I think the last 40-50% of the pot should be used. Control is paramount for the portable user. That said, L/R balance is pretty damn good even at minimal volume settings. And there is plenty of power from there on up. I sort of wish F/R sections of the amp would sport their own in/out sections so that the DUET could be used in a pocket without cables springing from every cranny on the other side.

 

Sound

 

DUET retains the goodies while goodifying the bads. There are few amps out there with a lower noise floor than DUET. Very few indeed. IEM users will be able to use DUET with all qualms buried. Noise is very low. Control and resolution, are not. DUET exudes detail, especially from upper bass to mid-mids. You will get used to the soft mouth sounds of your favourite singer- that or trash the record for being too explicit. Warmth worms its way in throughout, but not overly much. There is plenty of sparkle up top. If you can get used to what is one of the widest stereo images out there, you will find details literally popping out of your favourite wood instruments. 

 

But you have to find it. Insanely wide stereo images are kind of hard for the ear to suss. Why? Because we don't hear in stereo, we hear in binaural. Bleed from left to right is key for us to understand width and so on. But in the stereo world, dear me, you may not be able to find a wider image than the DUET. Vorzüge PURE II is similarly equipped. Actually, both share very similar sounds, though PURE II is slightly more detailed up top, while DUET focuses most of its imaging detail in the mids. 

 

Of course, PURE II doesn't do balanced, and DUET does it brilliantly. It uses the same Kubikon connector the majority of American amp makers use, and so is pretty compatible around the world. If your favourite dynamic or planar headphones are wired for balanced, you may enjoy an even crazier stereo image. May. Remember, your ears are trained to hear channel bleed rather than autonomous channels. But if you can train them, you will find balanced signals even more detailed and fuller of the best parts of your music.

 

For reference: balanced and single ended DT880 are easily pushed to safe listening levels at L gain. I am uncomfortable using H gain with them. Higher current low-Ω headphones such as HE6 are a bit more hungry, but can be comfortably run with the DUET. IEMs are well controlled in L gain mode, with very small L/R deviation at low volumes, but achieving 95% perfection at normal volumes. All in all, the gain stage impresses me plenty.

 

Conclusion

 

I'm not overly excited by DUET's form factor, but dear me is it a good amp. It is one of the best out there. It's a bit big for IEMs, but it works nearly flawlessly with them. And it still has power enough for headphones. Plenty in fact. It is Cypher Labs' BAMiest product and one, that like the original SOLO, will define the do-everything headphone amp market for years to come. 

 

This is a rewording and shortening of the Ω image DUET review. More pictures there, easier access here!

Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Duet Balanced Headphone Amplifier Black
Description:

CypherLabs has done it again! Introducing our new AlgoRythm Duet. With this headphone amp you can expect the highest quality audio, featuring fully balanced and single ended input/output. The AlgoRythm Duet matches in size and character with the AlgoRhythm Solo -R and AlgoRhythm Solo -dB for the ultimate portable rig

! Optimized for sensitive IEM's, yet with tons of power for large headphones. Bold, authoritative and open - truly reference grade audio in a portable package." Features • Volume gain settings optimized for all headphone types • Single ended line-level analog output • Balanced mini-4 pin input and output (never translated from single ended) • Output optimized for all headphone types, including in-ear monitors and planar magnetic headphones • The AlgoRhythm Duet is 100% analog and so does not utilize a PC driver Specifications: Frequency response in both balanced and unbalanced mode: • 5Hz-150kHz ±1dB Gain Settings: • Low: -6dB • Medium: +3.5dB • High: +15dB Balanced output power with both channels driven: • 70mW into 32Ω • 100mW into 50Ω • 240mW into 300Ω • 120mW into 600Ω Unbalanced output power with both channels driven: • 70mW into 32Ω • 100mW into 50Ω • 60mW into 300Ω • 30mW into 600Ω Impedance: • < 1Ω Power and Battery: • Built in Rechargeable Lithium-18650 Battery • Front Power on LED: Blue • Back Charge Indicator LED: Charging-Green; Charged-Red • Playtime: 10-14 hours • Recharge Time: 3 hours with included micro USB wall power adapter Package Contents - Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Duet - User Guide - Mini to mini interconnect (1 meter) - Cypher Labs straps to bundle devices for travel - Leather pad to protect devices when bundled - Switching 100v / 220v black micro USB AC charger, USA plug

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandCypher Labs
ColorBlack
EAN0682017913698
FeatureFully balanced high power analog headphone amplifier High capacity lithium-polymer battery - 10-14 hours play time - fast re-charge via included 5v micro USB charger Matches in size and character with the AlgoRhythm Solo -R and AlgoRhythm Solo -dB for the ultimate portable rig 3.5mm input/output and mini-4pin balanced input/outpu The AlgoRhythm Duet features three gain settings, balanced input and output using a mini-4 pin connector and single ended 3.5mm input and output. Markings are laser etched on extruded aluminum for durability
LabelCypher Labs LLC
ManufacturerCypher Labs LLC
ModelARTMDUET100B
MPNARTMDUET100B
PublisherCypher Labs LLC
StudioCypher Labs LLC
TitleCypher Labs AlgoRhythm Duet Balanced Headphone Amplifier Black
UPC682017913698
Item Height0.88 inches
Item Length4.5 inches
Item Weight0.45 pounds
Item Width2.75 inches
Package Height4 inches
Package Length8 inches
Package Weight2 pounds
Package Width6 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberARTMDUET100B
ProductGroupCE
ProductTypeNameHEADPHONES
UPCList - UPCListElement682017913698
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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