I just received today the Headroom Micro Amp (a/c version). I got it in anticipation of the Grado HF-2 I have coming in. And am I glad I got it!
I really wanted to do a full comparison between the Headroom Micro vs the Headamp AE-1 I have. But with the HF-2 soon to arrive and wanting to do a review of it vs the 325is, it's a lot to type on a BlackBerry. LoL.
Also, there's just no contest between the Micro and the AE-1. The Headroom kicks it's butt in virtually every way possible. I have always felt there was something missing from the Headamp, and this Micro fills in the missing pieces.
I'm using it with my iPod 6 gen filled with .wav songs and listening to them through my 325is. The music has really filled out. And the most significant change was the bass. Wow, if I though the bass was a bit lean, the Micro extends it nicely. If I had to non-scientifically quantify it, I'd say a 3db boost in bass while increasing it's definition and tightened it up a bit. There's some real impact now. Not bad. Listening to Pink Floyd's ONE OF THESE DAYS and The Beatles ELEANOR RIGBY are a good showcase of this.
From the upper mids on higher seem much less harsh than with the Headamp. Much smoother, but not as liquid as you'd get from say the Shure 530 or a tube amp. I'm still listening to a Grado after all. The one thing it didn't cure was the 325is shrill sibilance. Although is did cut it by (approx) 5db. (I'm using the adage that a 10db decrease is half the volume and a 10db increase is double the volume. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)
The mids and vocals (even with the slight sibilance I'm hoping the HF-2 will cure) are really outstanding. Much more intimate. Guitars sound pretty awesome.
I also had the Headroom Crossfeed with the Total Airhead, but with the Micro, it seems to work just better with the head/soundstage. With the Airhead the sound was more homogenized with the crossfeed. Not so with the Micro. The sound is wider, more directional and surrounding. This is also true compared to the Headamp. I really like the crossfeed and what it does. It didn't turn my Grado into the AKG 701, but has a great small-stage feel which I prefer to the AKG anyway.
The Headroom is a faster amp than the Headamp. You can hear the leading edge better without it being artificial. The sustain and decay are also more expansive and adds to the dimension of the music. Overall detail is a little better with the Micro Amp, but not a night/day difference.
The more I'm listening, the less the sibilant the behavior I seem to be hearing. I'm listening to Floyd's COMFORTABLY NUMB which seems to really be illed with it and although it is still detectable, it's now listenable with the 325is. When before, I couldn't even manage it.
I'm sure I missed some points, but overall the Headroom Micro Amp is excellent. I really can't wait to hear it with the HF-2. If the HF-2 is as good as I hope, it's a good 1-2 punch with the Micro. And for the price, I think worth it!
They offered me to directly compare it head-to-head with the almost twice the price Micro Ultra, but I'm not sure if I can justify that expense. And I don't like using a return policy. But, I am very happy with the Micro.
Remember, this is straight out of the box. And when asked by the folks at Headroom, they said their amps shouldn't need much more than 8-10 hrs. So you be the judge. Also everything I wrote is just my humble opinion with my ears. YMMV.
And yes I did type this on my Berry
I hope everyone enjoyed.
Thanks for reading.