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Beyerdynamic A200P High-End Portable DAC

post #1 of 154
Thread Starter 

Can't believe this hasn't been posted on head-fi yet...


Beyerdynamic has a new DAC / Amp out which can connect to android / iPhone / computers as an external DAC. It's got a Wolfson WM8740, 1.1ohm Output impedance and something like 11hrs (spec) of battery life.



post #2 of 154
Originally Posted by whereas View Post

Can't believe this hasn't been posted on head-fi yet...

Beyerdynamic has a new DAC / Amp out which can connect to android / iPhone / computers as an external DAC. It's got a Wolfson WM8740, 1.1ohm Output impedance and something like 11hrs (spec) of battery life.

I have seen it mentioned before, but probably over on Innerfidelity.com. It looks like a rebadge of the new Astell and Kern model.
post #3 of 154

Coincidentally, I received a promotional email from Headroom featuring this item.  In it, it stated the following:


"Originally the Astell&Kern AK10, Beyerdynamic has now officially rebranded the AK10 as the A 200 p for USA release. It's the same great product with the same great quality, now with a new logo on the front! We have these in stock and ready to ship."

post #4 of 154
According to Tyll's InnerFidelity report on the A200p from CES 2014, "A200p ($299) was indeed sourced from Astell&Kern, but with a few modest changes to suite Beyer's needs within their line-up of headphone products". http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/ces-2014-beyerdynamic-t51p-headphones-and-a200p-dacamp. I'd be curious to know what small changes Beyer made to the AK10 besides re-badging and if the A200p sounds any different or better than the AK10 especially with Beyer cans like the DT1350, T51p, T70p, T5p etc.
post #5 of 154
I also emailed Peter Carini at Beyerdynamic North America to inquire about the comparability of the A200p with the iPod Classic as the Classic is not listed as a compatible iDevice on the product page on Beyer's website and he replied that in March Beyer should have a custom 30 pin to USB cable to make the A200p compatible with the Classic. Don't know if my Alpha Design Labs ID-30PA cable that I use with my Classic and CEntrance HiFi-M8 would work or not.
post #6 of 154

I bought one last week and I'm happy with it. I'm using it with my iPhone 5 and Shure SE846's.

Output volume is much higher than from my iPhone.


The A200p gives a bit better sound, but mainly a different sound than my iPhone. A bit more separation, slighty better bass response, but a slightly darker sound overall due to the Wolfson 8740.


I don't believe this is the best headphone dac/amp around for €299,-, but I like its portability. You can slide your iPhone in your pocket and attach the A200p to your belt. This way you can use it as a remote for volume, pause, play and skipping songs.


More questions? Shoot!


edit: just changed the filters of the SE846 from neutral to bright and sound improved quite a bit. More air and better balance (in combination with this DAC).

Edited by Moody - 2/22/14 at 6:46am
post #7 of 154

Yeah, I'm thinking of buying one for use with my Beyer T5ps and T51ps.  But I will wait until Beyer releases its 30 pin to USB cable as my music library of Apple Lossless files is stored on my iPod Classic.  As much as I love my CEntrance HiFi-M8 it's a little big for true portability (taking to the gym etc) and comes with a laptop style power brick for charging so I would like to have a smaller solution for the gym. traveling etc.  The A200p would probably yield good results with my T5ps (which I really like but can be a little bright sounding) as Moody mentioned the A200p has a slightly darker overall sound signature.

post #8 of 154

I just ordered one of the Beyerdynamic A200P for use with my Etymotic HF3 IEMs and iPhone 5 while traveling.  We'll see if it's any good.  :)

post #9 of 154

I've sent it back. To my ears the output of my iPhone 5 sounds clearer and more spacious than the a200p. The a200p and the Shure SE846 are not a good match imo.

post #10 of 154

Mine just arrived.  Initial impression is that it's not much different from just using the iPhone 5 output, but I'm hitting the road for a couple weeks on Sunday which will give it a good workout.  I'll post more impressions later.

post #11 of 154

Update after about 12 hours use.  The Beyerdynamic A200p amp fits in my shirt pocket along with the iPhone 5.  I did not use the supplied leather case to minimize bulk, but the case is quite nice.  For those who were asking it says "powered by Astell & Kern" right on the back.  The stiff interconnect cable is a bit awkward and should be either more flexible or longer.  The amp has a better sounding DAC than my iPhone: the tone sounds more rounded and full and tracks that previously had a harshness to them are much smoother although the difference is subtle. It takes away the treble harshness that is sometimes present with the HF3's.  The bass seems lessened in quantity but the sound overall is very balanced.  The level seems about the same as straight from my phone even though the rated power output is higher, and the giant volume knob is really difficult to use if you do not put one of the little rubber sticky pads supplied with the amp on it.  The sound without EQ is lacking bass. I found I like the jazz EQ iPhone default setting best with this DAC, and using the HF5 setting on Accuaudio's EQ software works wonders. The A200p power button is a little odd and it is difficult to just switch it off without pulling the amp out of my pocket and looking at it.  The track pause and skip buttons interface with the iPhone 5 perfectly and after learning which is which require no looks.  I also bought some Comply foam tips for the Etymotic HF3 IEMs and they are MUCH more comfortable than any of the tips provided by Etymotic. Over all I like the little amp and plan to keep using it.

Edited by Ableza - 5/5/14 at 7:39am
post #12 of 154
I just ordered one for use while traveling, working out etc. Will post impressions once the amp arrives after testing with my T5ps, T51ps, and my Westone ES2 Customs. As much as I love my CEntrance HiFi-M8 it is is little too big for certain on the go applications and the laptopesque power brick also takes up a lot of space in a backpack or carry on bag. Pete Carini at Beyerdynamic North America told me that AK10 which the A200P was sourced from was developed by Astell & Kern using the T5p as the testing/reference headphone so apparently the T5p is good match for the amp. We shall see. Mr. Carini also told me that the 30 pin cable for use with the iPod classic has been delayed a couple of months but that one of his German colleagues got the classic to work with the A200p by using the first generation 30 pin iPad camera connection kit. I have a newer iPad which uses the lightning connector so I won't be able to confirm that by testing.
post #13 of 154
My A200p arrived on Friday. So far I have tested it with my iPhone 5s, iPad Air and T5ps. What I have found is that to my ears there is a noticeable improvement vs. the output from the headphone jack of both the iPhone 5s or IPad Air. Using my Beyer T5ps the sound is more dynamic, smoother and bass is punchier and has slightly more impact. I plan on keeping my A200p. It doesn't sound as good big and dynamic as my CEntrance HiFi-M8 but I can't expect it too considering the CEntrance is much larger more expensive and has a larger battery and more powerful amp. The A200p will work great for its intended purpose for me (ultra portable applications such as exceeding and traveling). I have yet to try the A200p with my Beyer T51ps as I recently sent the T51ps in for warranty repair as part of the wire leading into the left earcup had become exposed and i haven't received them back yet. As Peter Carini from Beyer suggested I did try a first gen iPad camera connection kit to see if the A200p would work with my iPod classic and it did not. So i will wait for Beyers 30 pin cable unless I come across another solution (if anyone has come across one please post). That is the main drawback of the A200p right now for me-no iPod classic compatibility. I find this omission to be odd because I would have to imagine the intended market for the A200p is higher end listeners and I'm sure like myself the 160 GB iPod classic is a popular portable transport device because of its large capacity. One other disadvantage of the A200p is its proprietary USB port which is smaller than a micro USB port. That means you're stuck with their cables and cannot purchase an aftermarket cable as a tweak or upgrade. Oh well just my two cents on the product.
Edited by zeddun - 3/23/14 at 9:30am
post #14 of 154
Thanks, zeddun, for your thoughts and observations. I, too recently picked up the a200p with hopes of using it with my iPod Classic 160s once a 30-pin solution becomes available. In the meantime, I had thought I'd use it with a new Nano -- not much capacity, but never considered it wouldn't work since it has a lightening connector. Well, as we all now know, that doesn't work either. I did get it to work with the CCK briefly with my iPad 3 but then got the dreaded "this device uses too much power," or some such message from the iPad and couldn't get it to operate again. . . . .i am due for a phone upgrade so may just trade in the 4S for a 5S. Although I'd really prefer a non-phone option so may just go with a 64gb Touch or 128gb iPad mini. I really like the small size and compactness compared to the other portable amp/DAC combos out there. Also hope to use it with my Beyer T50p's as a nice compact system that will easily fit in the T50p case, at least with a Touch or Classic. If I get this all sorted out, I may give the (much larger but still portable) 70p a try, too. Also curious how his will work with the Momentum on-ears, which I, personally, find to be a fun portable can or my beloved ESW9's or even my SR60/80's?

Anybody have an idea when we might see the 30-pin connector?

post #15 of 154
Can'dnut - if I had to guess my prediction is that Beyer will have a 30 pin cable by June of this year. Pete Carini of Beyer North America told me that the 30 pin cable was slated for release in March but it got delayed a couple of months because of apparent difficulty of getting Apple approval. I'm sure he will email me once the cable is available and I will post again here once I have further information. In the meantime I'm wondering if something like this might allow the A200p to work with the Classic using the included Android Cable. http://www.amazon.com/neXplug-Ultra-Small-Micro-Adapter/dp/B0055PCVDO/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1395718757&sr=8-5&keywords=micro+usb+to+ipod+adapter
Edited by zeddun - 3/24/14 at 8:44pm
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