Two  of  the  most  prestigious  audio  brands  in the world have  joint  forces  to  develop ...

Beyerdynamic A200p Portable Mobile DAC Headphone Amp for iPhone and Android Phones, Black/Silver

Average User Rating:
3.95/5,
  • Two  of  the  most  prestigious  audio  brands  in the world have  joint  forces  to  develop  arguably  the  best  mobile headphone amplifier available. Beyer dynamic is a first class name when it comes to headphones and amplifiers. Astell & Kern is also a leader in high end portable audio devices. The A200p is one of the smallest portable high-end DAC headphone amplifiers on the market. Together these two companies have developed an exceptionally compact DAC with an integrated headphone amplifier. This high-end technology meets demanding audio requirements and provides you with significantly improved sound. Previously unheard detail, better contoured and deeper bass, as well as more natural instrument and vocal reproduction transform standard portable sound into a true HD Audio experience. As opposed to ordinary amps, the A200p gets the digital, not  analogue,  signals  from  smartphones  or  other  portable devices.  Its  DAC  (Wolfson  WM8740  DAC)  converts  the  signals  up  to  24bit/96kHz  (HD  audio). The result deserves the name "high end" and is a perfect match even our best headphones.

Recent User Reviews

  1. HiFiGuy86
    3.5/5,
    "Great little product!"
    Pros - Size, included OTG cable for android, quality build, design.
    Cons - Not the most powerful amp out there, "only" 24 bit/96kHz, maybe that there's no analog in.
    Got it today!
     
    First of all I'd like to introduce myself:
    I'm 29 years old, working in a high-end Hi-Fi store for some time now and therefore I consider myself being somewhat capable of reviewing this type of equipment honestly and as subjective as possible.
    I have gone through a wide variety of DAC's/amps both portable and stationary and spent pretty much a month deciding what device to finally spend my money on, and it hasn't been easy.
    My opinions are nonetheless my personal opinions and you might not agree, and at the end of the day you should always trust your own ears and personal taste when it comes to audio.
     
    My first candidate was the Denon DA-10 and my opinons on that device is:
    More output power and higher input bit depth and sample rate is supported although to bulky for me personally. Also it had some problems with balance when it came to the volume knob.
     
    My second candidate was Oppo HA-2:
    It is indeed a better device than BeyerDynamic A 200 P, but its also pricey and somewhat more bulky too.
     
    I also tried out a bunch of other devices such as (among others) Denon DA-300(stationary, fantastic), NAD D1050(stationary and absolutely amazing favorite stationary <300 dollar dac/amp), Cambridge DacMagic Plus (Stationary and great although a bit too analytic and focused on midrange/treble) 
     
    Back to BeyerDynamic A 200 P:
    It had some problems with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 when it came to native playback trough USB from sources like tidal, youtube etc but it's possible to use it nonetheless.
    Supplied cables worked great with iPhone as well as Samsung.
    Form factor is unparalleled.
    Audio character a bit an the bright/hard side for me (and my headphones, but that's a matter of personal taste and headphone audio character).
    European volume limiter is easily overridden (thank god, it actually had a lower output volume than my phone as default).
    Distorsion might be somewhat noticeable at higher volumes.
    Volume is decent but nothing special for this kind of product.
    It would benefit from an analog input.
    Native 24 bit/192kHz support would have been perfect.
     
    The reason I chose this product though is because:
    Form factor, design
    It's still an amazing addition to your smartphone audio wise.
    Good battery life.
    DAC provides a good soundstage.
    The leather pouch is actually a nice bonus.
    And the price is good for a premium product (which I do consider this being)
  2. ruthieandjohn
    4.5/5,
    "Peerless sound;; restores iPod remote functions to audiophile headphones that eschewed them!"
    Pros - Sound at least as good as 40X larger Sony PHA-1; on-belt operation re-establishes iPod remote transport/volume functions for top headphones
    Cons - Proprietary cable; limited to iPod Lightening connector input
    This combined DAC and amp, based on the renown Wolfson DAC chip, is 2" x 2" x 3/4" deep, smaller than a roll of Scotch tape.  It includes a convenient skin-tight case that snaps it to your belt. 
     
    The A 200 p has a large disc volume control (5 revolutions from softest to loudest), best equipped with one of the rubber stick-on nubs included to give your finger purchase to turn the smooth metal surface.  It also has touch controls that stop, skip, or repeat selections played on an iPod.
     
    Most importantly, it DIRECTLY reads the Lightening 8-pin connector used by current-generation iPods and iPhones, receiving the digital bits.  Unfortunately, this is ALL it reads... no USB or line in for other signal types.
     
    I had become addicted to the power of a portable DAC/amp combination that read iPod signals directly by my earlier purchase of the Sony PHA-1, also using that Wolfson DAC, having a greater variety of inputs, and nearly 40x greater volume, at 4" x 2.5" x 1".  When I purchased the Beyerdynamic T 5 p closed headphones, I decided this companion Beyer component would be just the thing.
     
    I have been delighted.  Its sound is wonderful, providing a larger soundstage with greater positional resolution than without this device (as was the case for the Sony PHA-1).  But this also adds the iPod transport controls in a handy spot, as many top-end headphones, including the Beyer T 5 p and the Grado line, do not include an in-line remote that is so handy on the move.
     
    Output impedance is 1.1 ohms, great for the 32 ohm input impedance of the Beyer T 5 p (and Grado) headphones.  This is in contrast to the Sony PHA-1, which has a 10 ohm output impedance that is a bit higher than the 8X rule of thumb would suggest for 32 ohm headphones (headphone input more than 8 x amp output impedance).
     
    Another niggling nuisance is that the digital input plug where the Lightening connector goes looks like a mini USB, but really is a Beyerdynamic special.  They include both a cord with a lightening connector on its other end for your iPod, and another with a USB on the other end for charging, but it seems unusual that they did not just choose to use the standard USB mini plug.  However, the cord intended to reach to the iPod is only 4-1/2" long, a bit short if you hang the A 200 p on your belt and put your iPod into your pants pocket, as I do.  You cannot use a third-party USB-to-Lightening cable to replace it, as its end is the proprietary Beyer connector.
     
    Overall, great DAC/amp for portable use with no compromise in sound and excellent transport remote controls.
  3. magiccabbage
    3.0/5,
    "Small packs a punch "
    Pros - Sounds great, very small and light
    Cons - Not to fond of the plastic finish
    Gear
     
    Source – Lenovo Ideapad / Assus N55SF
    Headphones – HD 280 pro/ 595 / 650 and 800 – Beyerdynamic T1 – Shure SHR440
    Amps – WA2
    Dacs – Arcam Rdac
     
     
    Test Tracks ¬
     
    Cecile Mclorin Salvant - John Henry
    Bruce Springsteen - Hungry Heart
    Rush - Makig memories
    The knife - Like A Pen
    Talking Heads - The Great Curve
    Wynton marsalis - The Arrival
    Richard Bona – Janjo La Maya
    Julian Lage – Margaret
     
     
    Technical specifications
     
    Type
    Portable Dac/Amp
    Dac
    Wolfson WM8740
    Outputs
    3.5mm
    Weight
    51 g
    Dimensions
    55 x 55 x 13 mm
    Frequency Response
    20 Hz – 20 KHz
    THD
    0.01%
    Maximum Output Voltage
    1.7 vrms
    Output Impedance
    1. Ohms
    Unweighted SNR
    > 110 dB
    Channel Separation
    > 106 dB
    Maximum Resolution
    24 Bit , 96 KHz
    Battery Life
    11 Hours

     
     
     
     
     
     
    Introduction
     
    This is beyerdynamics first foray into the world of portable amplification with the A 200 p and with a name like Astell&Kern printed on the back you would expect it to deliver in spades. Can this tiny little player compete with other giants of the portable world like Ibasso and Fiio? From my 3 weeks with the device I think it can.
     
    The A 200 p was sent to me as part of a tester reviewer program set up by Beyerdynamic. I am not affiliated with Beyerdynamic in the professional sense and this review is of a voluntary nature so I will post the product back after the review is finished. I was picked along with 10 others to submit my thoughts about the device for others to read here on the forum.
     
     
    Build Aesthetics and Durability
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
     
     
    The build quality of the A 200 p is compact and practical and comes in a nice black carded box with leads designed by J River. The amp also comes with a tidy leather case and on the back is attached an extendable strap for binding to your player.
    Beyerdynamic include 3 cables for connecting to various devices such as laptops, idevices and smart phones. I had planned on using the A 200 p in it's intended portable form. My Ipod is an Ipod classic with a 32 pin line out but unfortunately there was no 32 pin connector provided with my review sample. I also have a Cowon J3 which does not allow an external Dac and it would be nice to be able to use the amplifier section in the A 200 p with the Cowon but unfortunately this is not possible. I have talked to Beyerdynamic about this and they have informed me that there will be a 32 pin provided for Ipod connectivity when the product is released so for my time with the A 200 p my laptop was my only source device.
     
    In one sense the build quality is fine. Beyerdynamic have opted for a plastic casing over aluminium. Choosing plastic over aluminium has its benefits – its lighter and although the amp casing seems very durable I can't help but think that aluminium would have been a better choice in terms of robustness. In my opinion metal casings have a nicer fit and finish and in terms of appearance plastics just dont cut it.
     
    The volume pot is a wheel adjustable design. It functions by turning the wheel clockwise to increase volume and as you turn the wheel anticlockwise the volume decreases.
    I find the volume wheel slightly annoying to be honest. One of the biggest draw backs is the fact that there is no hard stop. It takes about 5 revolutions of the wheel to reach maximum volume but once achieved the wheel will keep turning ad infinitum. A hard stop would be a good feature so you know where the volume is when you turn the player back on, otherwise you can get max volume when you least expect it.
     
     
    Soundscape
     
     
    The sound of the A 200 p is where it really shines. It takes my laptop to new levels in terms of audio quality. When I compared the 2 sources the A 200 p easily trounces my lenovo IdeaPad. I also have an Asus N55SF that I used for A to B comparisons with the Beyer amp. And even here the A200 p comes out on top. It is also very close to the performance of my Rcam Rdac and maybe some of the reason for that is in the fact that the A 200 p shares a similar chip-set – the Rcam uses a Wolfson 8741 IC and the A200 p uses Wolfson WM8740 and when you listen you can clearly hear the Wolfson house sound.
    The A 200 p drives my HD280 pro, HD595, HD650 and Shure SHR 440 with ease. I had no issues at all driving these headphones regardless of the slight differences in impedance. I also tried my Beyerdynamic T1 and Sennheiser HD800 (thinking the A 200 p wouldn't be up to the task) and was pleasantly surprised by how it handled them. These Flagship headphones are a lot more power hungry and although the A 200 p couldn't give them the volume they needed, I thought that the pairing was fine. Sure it lacks the smoothness and finesse of my Woo Audio WA2 but aside from that the A 200 p managed them without too many hitches.
     
    While listening to the track “John Henry” by Cecile Mclorin Salvant I found the vocal was crisp and clear and the double bass was very well rendered. The drumming on this album is top notch, each cymbal was well defined in the mix and the contra bass had a nice extension. The A200 p handles jazz very well and seems to also have a very nice presence for acoustic music for example the Julian Lage album “Gladwell”. I listened to this album a lot with the A 200 p. I was very surprised at how good it sounded through this little amp. I had the HD650 on loan and the combination of this album with A 200 p and HD650 was very engaging. I could clearly hear that Julian used an archtop guitar on most of the tracks and on the track “Margaret” I could almost imagine myself in the sound hole of the guitar.
     
    For my next test track I plugged the A200 p out and just listened to HD595 straight from my laptop – the result was terrible. Bruce Springsteen's “Dancing in the Dark” sounded flat and dead. My laptop/HD595 has a horrible etchyness in the treble that would put anyone off listening. As soon as I plugged the A 200 p back in everything was brought back up to par. The A 200 p really gave this track meat in the lower registers that it needs. The baritone sax had lots of bite and sounded warm and bell like. The drumming also sounded great with lots of snap on the snare. Very enjoyable indeed.
     
    While listening to the track “like a pen” by The Knife I really noticed an big improvement in imaging – the electronic percussion's were really well spread to the left an right channels and the vocal sat in the middle with the right amount of air.
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    So in the end my opinion is a slightly mixed one. Cost aside, the A 200 p does a pretty bang up job. It renders audio pleasingly. It's versatile, and simple to use, and a complete amp/dac solution. If you only care about sound then I think the A 200 p is a good choice.
     
    However, at this price you may be seeking a higher build quality than you actually get. If you're easy on equipment, and appreciate the light weight, the A 200 p casing is certainly an advantage. If like me, you're a little more demanding on your hardware, and like the “sexier” look and feel of polished aluminium then this might encourage you to look at other more robust solutions.
     
    If you don't already have a dac/amp, and this is your first endeavor into high end audio the A 200 p is a first step worth considering. It is a simple, self contained, adaptable device. As most of us would agree - sound comes first - and in that vein you could do worse than the A 200 p

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