Gemini Doctor WS 1.2 Blue Bird Portable Amp


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Able to drive higher impedance headphones relatively easily(250-300 ohms is ideal), Price is right, solid customer support, and nice minimal aestetics
Cons: Not very much info on internal chips, not feature heavy like some, but they do advertise it as such( no problem for me). No on and off switch
This is my first review on this website, and further more for this community which I have come to love. Ever since getting both pairs of headphones that I currently use(the open back DT 990 pros and the closed back soundMagic HP100's) I have been on the look out for a decent but affordable portable amplifier to use with my Samsung s3 phone. This has been under a budget of sorts sub 100$, and the review is for the Gemini Doctor WS1.2 Blue Bird portable headphone amplifier. I have done a decent amount of research and heavy reading on what amplifier and DAC for which budget, whether I am in a sub 100$ or a sub 300$ budget, to buy and use for the headphone's I currently use and I must say love.

It started with the Fiio E11, which I got used on Ebay for a very low price, I will be honest I was expecting less in the sense of what I paid and that I was only just starting to learn about amplifier's and the like at the time.It was a solid amp and drove both the soundMagic and the Beyer's that I own well enough to at least decent listening levels. I will be frank, I was not satisfied leaving it at that I had an itch that needed some scratching. I found a Go  Vibe 5 amp for 5$ bought that and was not able to use it because the charger was not included. I was not really looking for another headphone amp, but I was looking for a 9volt battery charger via Amazon. What I stumbled upon was a headphone amplifier from Gemini Doctor, a third party seller who actually was the designer of the product, selling a portable amp on sale for sub 50$. I was more than interested seeing as it came with a more than average 3.5mm cable and also a 9 volt battery charger, which was capable of charging the amp. I saw no reviews and decided I would take a gambit. This was the result.
The amp arrived two days later, in a simple brown box, with a nice but minimal logo. Packaging was a foam surrounding the amplifier, cable and charger. On top was letter printed say thank you for your purchase, and also leaving an email if there was any problems with the product that way they could leave their customer happy. It was  a simple but effective package, and now to the important things. 
I proceeded to take everything out, and examine it the best I could( being that I do not have a lot of experience with higher end audio products, my opinion is limited to what I have read and know.) I have to say when first removing the this minimal but aesthetically pleasing amp I was surprised by how solid it was and the nice heft to it. Now both the Fiio E11 and the Go vibe were solid for what they were, but this as far as external structure and build took the cake; baked and ate. I then took both the cable which seemed nice and of decent quality seeing as it was a free part of the purchase, and the charger was fine and usable for what it was made for. The plus side at this moment in time was if worse comes to worse and I do not like the overall sound of the device I could use the cable and charger for my Go vibe.
I currently do not have a DAC of my own, I ended up buying a AMB Gamma 1 Lite but it was given to my wife for her necessity was greater than mine. I would be using the both the y1 Lite and my samsung s3 for the initial test of this amp and it's comparison to the Fiio and Go Vibe. I will be using spotify fo rmy music source, which the premium membership allows 24bit and 96khz music files. Which is all I had to work with at the time, but it would suffice in my impressions. 
I hooked all the devices up and fired it up, now the amp does not have an on and off switch it uses the connection to the cable as a on and off source. You plug in any 3.5 mm cable into the input and it will turn on, and to me this is can both be a con and a positive. For you will not accidentally turn it on in your pocket, but it is kind of pain to have to remove the cable every time you want to turn it off.
Depends on the person's preferences really...
These are some pictures of what it looks like on it's own and stacked with the Gamma 1 Lite and alongside the Samsung S3.
Now to get to the difference in sound quality compared to just the Samsung 3 alone. This gives a significant boost in power for my DT 990's where I only need to stay around 2-3  oclock to be satisfied (which I do listen to my music loud) this is with out the implementation of the y1 Lite DAC. It gives the bass a nice boost in body and it is not over the top and boomy. I really like what this amp did for the lows with my music. Anyone who has read about or used the DT 990 pros(250 ohm version) know it is bright in the treble section, and that without eq it can be a bit much with the highs. Now this amp does not have an eq function, and honestly it does not need it imo. It give a nice body to the bass, but it also mellows out the highs a bit in doing so with the DT 990s and the soundMagic HP100's it makes them both sound even better than they did before. as for the mids it is a bit more forward in comparison to the S3 on it's own, but it is not overbearing with any of the songs I have listened to. To be short it is really to my preference with a bit more mids because with the DT they are slightly recessed, mostly due to the better but bigger bass response and the bright highs. 

With the soundMagic it went incredibly well, the mids in the Hp100 are not recessed at all but the highs are brighter, so with the Blue bird in the mix they are smoother and less grating at times. 
Now with the Gamma 1 DAC in the mix I do not need to bring the volume past the 12 o' clock mark with the DT 990's and only need to bring it to 9 o'clock with the HP100's. This amp mixed with a decent DAC is a lovely mix. The sound stage with the y1 Lite is good but with the Blue Bird WS.1.2 it just expands along with the clarity increasing. It sounds very impressive with this combo, though my experience is limited I do have an ear for what sounds good. 
The last part of this review I will try to do my best with a brief comparison with the 3 amps I had on hand when getting this Blue bird amp.
I would say out of the 3 amps I do prefer the Blue Bird headphone amp, and I believe that the reasons behind this I really like the way the amp drives my headphones, with the nice body in the lows to the smoothing of the highs this is a solid headphone amp. Both the Go vibe and Fiio e11 I use, but usually when this one is charging. Not to forget the charge time lasts about 8-10 hours depending on impedance of the headphones. Now the Fiio e11 might be a bit more neutral adding less down in the lows and not mellowing out the highs, and for some that may be what they want. I am going off of my own needs and what headphones I am using and how they sounded to my own ears. With that I believe the Blue Bird is exceptional for the cost and if you need more bass response and body and prefer slightly more clear and forward mid range along with smoother treble.  
EDIT 7/10: I have not been using this unit as much that I have been at my desk, and have had gotten the Fostex HP-A3 which has a integrated amp, along with the CDAC+ and the Vali. I happen to really like the Vali and CDAC+ combo, the vali is a great amp...but with that said I ended up getting the UD110 and wanted to try it out and had brought over the Bluebird to test it with. I was blown away that the quality of a DAC/amp pairing that costs under 101$ would sound this good, kind of blown away. I already knew I liked the bluebird and had found it better than the other competition under the 100$ price range...but damn. If you are looking for inexpensive but high quality sounding unit then go with the Gemini Doctor WS1.2 Bluebird is a great amp to pair with the inexpensive but fantastic(comparing this unit with ODAC, CDAC+, Fostex HP-A3, does fantastic) UD110 v2 from Stoner Acoustics.
EDIT: I have just discovered this amp as small and low priced as it is can adequately drive orthodynamic headphones, like my HE-560 and ZMF x Vibro(t50rp modded headphone) and it does so well, the volume does not get ear bleeding loud but even at low volume to high( which it does) it has more definition, resolution, detail, and just musicality than headphone amps I have tried that are 10 x what I paid for this headphone amp. Which I know sounds silly, but I plugged in my Vibros just for a gander, and my jaw kind of hung a bit... clarity? check, Detail? check, pRat? check, noiseless at high volumes? check....damn. So I have in unplugged the HE-560 from the desktop unit and added a 3.5mm extension to the balanced cable and plugged away. And though they are able to be less loud than the Vibros the power, details, pRat, resolution are all there. I was kind of blown away. For 50 dollars ....damn really damn.
This headphone has become my number one recommend product for portable rig with orthodynamics under 150$. I have had the Fiios(some good some not so much)
Just for a comparison of what I have used, Meier 2Move(fantastic unit), JDS labs C5, Cmoy bb( upgraded lm4562), Cayin C5( only one to drive the orthos well besides the WS1.2 Bluebird but also almost 4 times the price). I also have used Meier Quickstep, Stepdance, Fiio E11, E12(did good job of driving but did not care for sig), E7, E17. I have tried others some more expensive units up in the 500$ retail, but I have not used them long enough to do a good comparison. 
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nope ,i did not order the 2.8.  the one i ordered has basically the same circuits with a little improvements, sorry for using the word upgrade. i should have used a new version.  I asked the same model that you reviewed but the seller told me its an old model so he suggested me to buy the new 1.2. Bought it for only 30 USD. Here is the photo.
wooaah where did you find it? I am bummed I would of picked up a new model