Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphone Amplifiers › Portable Amps › JDS Labs C5 Headphone Amplifier › JDS Labs C5 Headphone Amplifier Reviews

JDS Labs C5 Headphone Amplifier Reviews


Warm, smooth, detailed, lush amp


Pros: Design, build, sound

Cons: Packaging, not a micro-USB charger

Introduction A bit of preamble - I bought this C5 amp to go with my FiiO X5ii and Fidue A73 set up. The idea was to get the amp to reduce the noise floor and offer a bass toggle for when I felt I needed it. I wasn’t expecting (or needing) much of an improvement in sound quality or sound signature.   I'd asked for advice on Head Fi forums, but had no responses. I’ve since be told you need be extremely specific in your requests, or post something interesting!   So I based my purchase purely on trusted Internet reviews on Headphonia and Inner Ear, and based somewhat on availability. For the record, my shortlist was:   ·      FiiO E12K Mont...
(read more)

It's Like the Objective 2's Younger Sibling


Pros: Similar sound signature to the Objective 2, re-programmable digital potentiometer, bass boost, engaging midrange, little to no channel imbalance

Cons: Situational bass boost, fatiguing at times, volume increments are a *bit* too large

Okay, a serious question not related to the review: what is the difference between the "Audio Quality" rating and the "Quality" rating, and how is the "Quality" rating different from the "Design" rating?  *scratches head* Anyway, back to the review.     I did a video review for the C5 on YouTube if you are interested in an auditory/visual review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hb0ETYGPvI         What's in the Package? JDS Labs C5 wrapped in an anti-static bag Mini-USB to USB 2.0 cable with gold connectors 4 clear adhesive rubber feet JDS Labs business card User manuel with objective measurements   It's a pretty basic...
(read more)

One Powerful Amp!


Pros: Power, Design,Color, SQ, 60 levels of Volume (That's what I Heard from Local Dealer)

Cons: Little big, Lose of High and Low gain switch.

   I had listened to C421 which is JDS's previous portable amp   What I see with C5 is Simpler function yet compact. It sounds like they cleared up   some noise that C421 had. and some other problems(Output Impedance)     Bought from Headphone Bar and There was 3 guys including store owner and me   were comparing it with Schiit Asgard, LYR, Barson 160HD, Soloist.   with HD800, LCD-2, PS1000, He-500   What we found out is C5 is really powerful and there is nothing better under 500 AS portable.   C5 was able to Run HD800 with 24 levels out of 60 levels of volume. LCD-2 was 25, PS1000 was only 14!   ...
(read more)

The Definition of Neutrality


Pros: Clarity, Neutrality, Clean & Full Sounding, Sturdy Build Quality, Digital Potentiometer, No Channel Imbalance

Cons: Not a large enough Soundstage, Bass Boost is a bit too powerful, Volume Increments are a bit big per step of volume

Review on the JDS Labs C5Fellow Head-Fi'ers, I am here to present you all with my first review on an audio product, the JDS Labs C5; so if I do anything that does not appear right, feel free to correct me, and let me know!I'll also mention here, as I have done in the past with any of my "first impressions", that I am still fairly new to the audio scene, and I cannot ensure you that my "review" will be as detailed and in-depth as one might suggest, but all in all, I'll give it my best, and hope you all enjoy it:)IntroductionSo, recently I have been in the threads, seeking a new portable amp that would be my first amp to kick off my start in mid-tier audio, as I felt that I was done with...
(read more)

This review is for the newer C5D: Great overall Performance


Pros: Neutral

Cons: Very little if any

This is quite simply a superb all-rounder. If you only need one superb DAC/Amp, then this will do the job nicely. This C5D will give you what you want from the get-go. Bass is beefy. Midrange is clear and detailed, and neither forward nor recessed. Treble is tonally accurate with no added harshness. Soundstage is above average but some Amp/DACs are known to be 'slightly' more spacious. The C5D certainly outperforms the FiiO X1 and X3 DAPs but has similar performance to the more expensive FiiOX5 DAP ($420). We just need an accurate DAC/Amp that doesn't change the music or add or take away for the sonic signature of the sound, the C5D does exactly this, with powerful 'clean'...
(read more)

The O2's Little Brother


Pros: Highly transparent, Well built, Plenty of power

Cons: Greater than <1 ohm output impedance, Bass boost might be too much for some

  First, I’d like to thank John Seaber at JDS Labs for the C5 review sample.   The JDS Labs C5 is the second generation portable amplifier designed by JDS Labs itself (replacing the outgoing C421) and is claimed by its creators to deliver “reference level performance”.   So does it deliver on its lofty claims or will it fall by the wayside? Read on to find out. Design and Build Quality Built with machined aluminum, the C5 is a very solid portable amplifier that feels like it could take quite a few knocks and keep going like a champ. The input and output jacks and the power and bass boost switches are very solid. The Volume control is different from the...
(read more)

Outstanding Portable Amp


Pros: Sounds very, very good, solidly made, nicely engineered

Cons: Perhaps too few steps in the volume control

It's a solidly made piece of gear that sounds very, very good. To my ears, at least as good as the O2 - a well known reference by now. Perhaps slightly more openness and clarity. The size is very reasonable; about 100 X14X60 mm.  Sound is smooth, soundstage is  full (though not overly so); no harshness at all.   Only issue for me is too few steps on the  volume control.   Well worth the selling price. And, worth mentioning, the customer service of JDS Labs is exceptional.

JDS Labs C5 Headphone AMP


Pros: Excellent build Quality.Digital volume makes for excellent balance at low volume. Drives my Westone 4R and Sennheiser HD 800

Cons: Non as yet

I have had several Headphone Amps over the years.This one is the best so far. At the moment,the C5 is used with an Ipod and Iphone and also tried with my home (large!.) Headphone set up..I have used this Amp,with and without Eq. It paints a very detailed picture,and only add  a not too forward,but just about right presentation. It gives a fairly wide soundstage,and does not seem to colour the sound at all.The volume Control has many steps,meaning that you can always get the level you require. The Bass boost adds volume,but not at the cost of Clarity. I do not think anyone would be disappointed with the C5.It seems to get better the longer I use it. These comments apply to...
(read more)
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphone Amplifiers › Portable Amps › JDS Labs C5 Headphone Amplifier › JDS Labs C5 Headphone Amplifier Reviews