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Venture Electronics Runabout 2.0B

Rating:
5/5,

Recent Reviews

  1. SOULSIK
    We Put It To The Test. Let it BURN
    Written by SOULSIK
    Published Aug 13, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - high power. great sound. fully balanced
    Cons - Only balanced inputs and outputs. not really portable





    I am so freaking excited today because today is the day I get to review something I bought and owned for a while now and I had planned to review it but never got to for the longest time.

    And that is the Venture Electronics RunAbout 2.0 B, B for balanced.


    So the VE runabout 2.0B is a fully balanced headphone amplifier that is battery powered. So right off the bat, if you are not into balanced then this might not be for you. But if you ever have plans to go balanced or just want to stick around to learn what balanced is then you are most welcome to do so.

    Outside of the ve runabout 2.0B, features 2 rectangular boxes enclosed in an all metal chassis that is painted black. One of these boxes is called the WARP CORE PLUS and it is basically the power source for the other unit. Once charged, it will last your anywhere between 24 to 48 hours or longer depending on how much you use it, I definitely did not have the courage to sit down and listen until it ran out of power.

    So in the front, you will see the WARP CORE plus printed clearly in white, a volume control that rotates in a smooth fashion, a recessed 2.5mm balanced connection, and last but not the least, the 4 pin xlr for your headphone connection.

    In the back, you will see two switches to turn on each of the units, DC in to charge your WARP CORE PLUS, DC OUT from the warp core plus to DC in the other unit and of course you will see two 3 pin xlr inputs for your right and left channel.

    Phew… that seems like a lot but once you start using the unit, it will be easy as making your girlfriend or wife yell at you.


    There are mainly three advantages when using the VE runabout 2.0B.

    First is that it is a gift sent from the gods for those who want a fully balanced headphone amp.

    Okay so why or what in the world is balanced and why do you need it? Well, it is highly up to you if you want to do this, but basically, balanced connections like XLRs are commonly used in studios and this is generally for two reasons,

    1. Balanced gives out more power because it is handling each channel separately

    2. It ultimately helps reduce ground noise

    It does this by having a separate ground for each channel.


    Second Advantage is that it is using DC power instead of AC. This means no need for power filtration or dealing with any of those dirty AC noise problems. This ultimately saves you a lot of money and headache.

    The third advantage is POWER. This thing is hell powerful, I would be surprised to find a headphone that this amp cannot drive. Venture electronics was not messing around when they designed this. It has serious juice built into it.



    So how does this all translate into sound? Well, first two advantages I just talked about translates into lower noise floor and a purer sound. A common problem with using DC powered devices like these is that it may be lean sounding, meaning no body, no fullness, no bass.

    However, Venture electronics really tweaked it here to bring that bass, body, and fullness into this unit.

    I tested with planar magnetic headphones like LCD3 & 4, Hifimans, planar magnetic iems like LCD i4 and isine20. Dynamic headphones and earbuds like sennheisers and zens. And whatever I threw at it, it sounded pure with great amount of detail and a huge soundstage with bass and impact. It really kicks some serious ass.



    So, what is the downside? Well, this was originally marketed as the world’s first portable balanced headphone amp, hence the name “run about.” But trust me you are not running with this thing, maybe Jog. So, although the attempt is great, this is by no means small enough to fit in my pocket for portable use and it does not have a dac built into it so taking this around with a dac that has a balanced output in your backpack may also be a limited choice. So, I recommend this to be used for your desktop setup. I heard that they have a more portable option now, so I am excited to check that out next.

    Also, the 2.5mm input sounded less impressive to me than the XLR input. Another potential downside might be that you have no idea how much power is left because there is no indication like your cell phone does. This means that you are better off charging this every night or every other night just to be safe.

    But once you get over these downsides, this amp kicks some serious ass above and beyond its price point in terms of performance.
    1. SonnyEthan
      Hey! I’m new in this community. I’m gonna set up my small home studio. I’ll get Focusrite 2i4 as an interface. Unfortunately, these won’t be able to drive my Sennheiser HD650. So, I was also looking for these amps. Will these be enough to drive 650s, and if yes, how could I connect these to my interface?
      SonnyEthan, Aug 23, 2018

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