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The Arrow 12HE 3G: 9/10!

A Review On: Headstage Arrow 12HE

Headstage Arrow 12HE

Rated # 4 in Portable Amps
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Purchased on:
Price paid: $265.00
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-- Size: very small and pairs well with a J3, iTouch, Sony X-Series, iPod Classic or similar device.

-- Battery life: as said before, simply amazing!

-- Construction: very solid and well built.  Great switches, with a firm feel and nice "click" to them

-- Form Factor: Second to NONE!  All of the inputs, outputs and switches are perfectly placed.

-- Weight: surprisingly very light.  This kind of caught me off guard.

-- Sound: The good stuff...

   1.  Bass: Great (setting "2" can be a little bloated on bass-heavy tracks)

   2.  Mids: Realistic and clear

   3.  Highs:  Also realistic without a hint of shrill or sibilance

   4.  Gain: I primarily use setting "1" for just about everything and setting "2" for my HD600s.  I have no need for setting "3" (which is probably designed for 600 Ohm headphones).  This thing has plenty of oomph.

   5.  Impedance: Aside from when I'm wearing my Grados I keep this setting on "0".  It tends to veil the highs too much for my taste.  I only occasionally put it on setting "1" when wearing my SR225i's.

   6.  Crossfeed: The best implementation of Crossfeed that I have heard so far.  Setting "1" is perfect for long listening sessions when you want to minimize fatigue.  Setting "2" is great for hard-panned music.  Both settings do a great job without significantly altering the sound quality.


The BAD:

-- The volume pot: there is a slight imbalance in the first 10% of the range, but this is common on almost all non-digital volume controls.  Heck, even my NuForce Icon HDP suffers from this.

-- Impedance: this setting is effectively useless because it veils all frequencies above 4,000Hz so much that it isn't worth using (sans Grados).

-- Hiss: With about 10 different headphones in my collection only 3 of them experienced hiss (and subtle at that, so I am being very nitpicky here).  The three that showed a subtle amount of hiss were the UE SuperFi 4, Denon AH-C710 and Sennheiser MXL-570; three headphones that really shouldn't be amped anyway so it's a moot point.  The others have enough resistance to negate any hiss.  


Overall, this amp is a 9 out of 10.  Right now, I can't think of a better portable amp on the market.

1 Comment:

Totally agree!! Love my Arrow!! :D
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