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Headphone Amplifiers item created by , May 5, 2010
Pros - Great sounding, build quality, aesthetics
Cons - Slight hiss with low impedance cans
I purchased this a couple of months back with a "Firestone Supplier" which is basically just a power supply, so I dont get what the fuss is about... something with clean power... whatever... I got it for free so why the heck not? This is part of Firestones "Cute" series, so this amp/dac combo is very small, though the Supplier takes up just as much space as the amp itself (made with the same enhousement)
- I've switched out the standart op-amp (OPA2604) with 2x OPA627, but (this could just be my ears...) didn't really notice the difference (this could also be due to me not listening to them side-by-side).
However the sound... what can i say?... MASSIVE step up from the normal on-board sound on my motherboard (ALC889), the sound's so clean and neutral, pair this with a nice (high impedance... explanation later) headphone and you got yourself some nice equipment!
- Now to the low impedance "problems", I've tried this amp with multiple low impedance headphones (Sennheiser Momentum, and a bunch of IEM's) just to conclude that it's not the headphones, but the amp creating the slight hiss in the background. When listening to music I dont notice it, however when there's no audio playing I can clearly hear a hissing sound (though when I'm not listening to any audio I usually take of my headphones any way, because I have some tinnitus which is pissing me off.
But if you have some higher impedance cans (100+ ohm) I'd definetly recommend this amp, however at the "stock" prising (of the updated versions) there's some tough competition out there, ex: the O2/ODAC
Enjoy your music
Pros - power for big cans , two gain settings , nice feeling and big analog volume controll
Cons - 96Khz SPDIF, only 48Khz USB
sufficient volume for me :
HD650 max on 11 o'clock
Q701 max on 12 o'clock
AKG K550 on 10 o'clock