Schiit Audio Magni+ Headphone Amplifier


Headphoneus Supremus
Schiit Magni + 10 Years in the Making
Pros: 1. Low Cost.
2. Small Form Factor.
3. 3 Gain Settings
4. 2 Versions.
5. Black or Silver Case.
6. Powerful.
7. Classy.
Cons: 1. Price Increase of $10! Seriously ?
2. The Only Headphone Amp You Will Ever Need.
Well here we go again, just when you thought the Magni design was maxed out and could offer no more. From the Original OG to the Magni 3 +, discrete and op amp designs. Great measuring versions and a phenomenal measuring version. Whats not to please here ? Its 10 years ago that the OG Magni was introduced. Now for the new Magni on the block!

A New Look!
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Having just purchased a Magni 3 + amp awhile ago and really liking it. Having purchased a Vali 2 + and tested a Vali 2 ++. Having a Original Magni 3. Why would one want this new Magni 3+ ? I am listening with it as I write this experience using a set of D8000 Pros fed with a Soekris 2541 Sign R2R dac.

Well maybe your just getting into this "at times" insane hobby? Maybe you just have money to burn? Maybe you don't. Maybe you like having more than one amp around to play with. Maybe you just like to see for yourself what all the hype is really about. Having things in house and being able to use, listen and determine for your "ears" is IMO the only way to really tell if something lives up to all the usual hype or not. (IMO of course). For only $109, what have you to loose? And yes the price increased a whole $10! With the economy and inflation this amp is still a "steal" for what it delivers.

Internals. New Case. New Layout.
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No Excuses! What! Schiit states in its description. Not in design, not in specs, not in the pot (hmmm.), not in parts quality, not in looks, not in a new chassis, not in safety, and not in manufacturing, USA suppliers, made in Corpus Christi, Texas. Even though the pot is a "sorted" potentiometer, I never liked the small form factor pots (RK09 etc). They do work and thousands of them are out there in all kinds of gear, but every once in awhile they can get scratchy or nosiey one and you can detect the wiper action at times. Also low level tracking can also be an issue. I have sent back some amps for a pot replacement. But a little pot lube and several rotations often fixes this issue if you experience it. Yes a big RK 27 pot wont fit in the chassis...sorry. This is the really only thing I dont like about small form factor devices. To be fair I own "many" of them and this doesn't stop me from enjoying the heck out of them. Also the unit I received worked flawlessly. No noise, no scratchy stuff and the low level tracking with my ears was well very good. So maybe this "sorted" thing is real!

Magni 3+ on Top. Magni + on Bottom. Notice any differences?
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I was sent the Magni + for a honest review. Thanks to Schiit for sending me this unit. I am not paid or enumerated. Having been around for many years I try to tell or share my "experience" with products. We all here differently. Listen to different music at various quality levels. This is a serious hobby for me and I just like sharing with the ride with the headphone public. I have had many Schiit products from the OG Asgard and OG Lyr and so many since then.

So on to the amp itself.

The unit I received was the discrete Magni 3+, not the Magni Heretec.
Color was silver. But its not like the silver color of previous Magni's...quite different.
Very smooth matte silver grey to me finish. Slight rough feeling. A very nice "embossed" Schiit Logo on top.
Only two screws on the back holding the case on which also hold the case to the RCA Jacks.
Note the RCA jacks did move in position. When you get the package, it looks like a typical Schiit shipping box.
When you take the amp out, its like Whoa! Whats this. Not your fathers silver aluminum case!

Can you see the light?

Notice there are more ventilation holes in the new Magni +
One the top and the sides.
No power on LED lie in the Magni 3.
This went away in the Magni 3+ series.

Magni 3 + and Magni +. Less Screws. More Ventilation Holes. Missing gain switch on the rear.
Notice the ON/OFF switch now protrudes less.

Side panel ventilation holes added.

Magni 3+ and Magni + Layouts have changed. Headphone jack, gain switch etc.
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Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 2.8W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 2.4W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 1.6W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 410mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 215mW RMS per channel

Power specs are identical for the Heretic Version.
Power specs are identical for the Magni 3+.

High Gain: Less than 0.0007% (-102dB) ref 1V RMS, 300 ohms
Low Gain: Less than 0.0003% (-110dB) ref 1V RMS, 300 ohms

High Gain: Less than -103dB ref 1V RMS, 300 ohms, CCIF
Low Gain: Less than -112dB ref 1V RMS, 300 ohms, CCIF

High Gain: Greater than 110dB, unweighted, ref to 2V RMS
Low Gain: Greater than 121dB, unweighted, ref to 2V RMS
Crosstalk: Less than -85dB at 1V RMS out
Output Impedance: Less than 0.2 ohms at either gain
Input Impedance: 25k ohms
Gain: -8dB, 0dB, or 14dB, selectable via rear switch

The design topology is a fully discrete, fully complementary bi-polar, symmetrical current-feedback with a driver stage and Vbe multiplier, no caps in the signal path and a DC servo. It has overcurrent sense and protect, DC correction, DC power input and muting relay. Its like a small speaker amp.

Magni + Internals:
Clean layout, excellent soldering (flow). No errant wires. Typical Jason Stoddard.

Comes with a 24VA. 14 VAC wall wort, no switching stuff. The rails are +/- 16 volts
(thats 32 volts p-p)...and some 8,000 uf filter capacitance. Notice on the pcb it shows +/- 17V Mine was boxed with a 16VAC, 1000ma. wall wort.
Made in Taiwan, Not China.

If you compare these discrete design specs to the op amp Heretic version I was amazed at how close these two very different parts amps are. Outstanding design.

Ok thats the boring part for many end users!

For those that want a power switch up front, sorry still in the back. I do notice the power switch doesn't stick out as far with the new case and design. But the new three position gain capability is on the front! AND! the headphone jack was moved! Well away from the volume knob. For some out there this was a "nit". Well twirl the knob now fellow.


The new leek, seamless, fastener-free design that includes a lot of cool detail, like a embossed logo and knob pocket…and we even managed to include a custom machined aluminum knob or push-button.

Mechanicals on the back show the RCA jack locations have moved slightly.
Its made in the USA. USA Steel. USA companies. I really like this.

Why move the headphone jack? Well to make room for a 3 position front gain switch? To alleviate some complaints about being too close to the volume knob? Better circuit flow and less power supply noise.

Negative gain (-8db) allow for the usage of those high sensitivity IEM's. I dont partake in these devices but for some this is an issue.

Small Form Factor Schiit Amps:

Which one is not alike or " Where's Waldo ! "

Compared to the Magni 3 +, which I really do like this amp is pretty much close to it in specs, some things do stick out in the specs like 6000uf vs 8000uf filter capacitance. The Wall-wort is a 24VA 14 volt vs a 24VA 15 volt. Some of the other specs are better with the Magni 3+, but whether you as a human being can really tell the difference with headphones in a real world listening area....well probably not.

2.4 watts RMS. Thats Root Mean Square. 2.4 watts RMS at 32 Ohms. Not peak. Why is this important? The RMS value is most important in the case of an AC signal. Because the instantaneous value of an AC signal varies continuously with respect to time. Unlike a DC signal, which is relatively constant. RMS voltage is also known as the equivalent DC voltage because the RMS value gives the amount of AC power drawn by a resistor similar to the power drawn by a DC source. Its sometimes referred to as continuous power. Why dwell on this? Well Schiit states on its website:

From Schiits website:


A $109 amp that puts out 2.4 watts RMS. 1.6 watts at 50 ohms. Awesome.

If you had a Magni 3 + would it be a giant leap to get a Magni +, well probably not.
But if your getting into this hobby and want a really GOOD amp, with some of the best discrete parts for ONLY $109...THIS IS IT. Stop do not pass. Just go order one now.

So how does it "sound" or not "sound". The following is a very subjective opinion of what I hear with my ears. YMMV. Going back and forth between the Magni 3 + and Magni + they really sound very similar. Its really very hard to discern any real world differences if your honest and level set volumes. No detection of the amp even beginning to strain to reproduce anything with any of my cans. Compared to the recent Nitch Piety which I describe as a straight wire with a twist...the Magni + is more like or closer to the straight wire with gain....its a really decent SS amp with few if any real worts.

Cans used:
HD 650 impedance 300R, sensitivity 98 dB/mW
ADX 5000 impedance 420R, sensitivity 100 dB/mW
D8000 Pro impedance 60R, sensitivity 98dB/mW

This latest version to me is like the very pinnacle of the Schiit Magni hierarchy. Its like a polished gemstone. It just sits there and says "Hey! Only $109!...whatcha going to sell now ? I swear this little amp will make many other amps costing a ton more feel like they are late to the party...and need a new dress! Oh and its a preamp as well.

Absolutely no turn on or turn off thump with cans plugged in and volume turned up to 10 oclock. Yeah, dont make this a practice. I can even use the - gain position for listening with the D8000 Pros...the volume knob is at 3pm position, but it works.
The amp is dead silent here in all gain positions with the vol cranked up, no music playing.

Looking at the power specs of the Magni 3+ and Magni +, well they are the same. It never gets "Hot" Just warm to the touch. So in wrapping-up, if your just getting into this crazy hobby, you do not have to spend and arm and a leg to have a very good listening setup and experience.

As Schiit states "It’s literally the only headphone amp you’ll ever need." And I whole hardheartedly concur.

But what fun would that be ?


Added Spec comparison Magni + and Magni Heretic
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Haha. I like the "cons"
Anyone know if they cut all their products over to this new silver finish? The web site is a mismatch of both, mostly old style ecept new this new Magni, maybe one or two others.
Word back from Schiit was "only magni/modi with the new silver" - then "oh wait rekkr too" so maybe they are not too on top of it either haha