Reviewer at hxosplus
Der Panzer
Pros: + High End headphone amplifier
+ High End DAC
+ High End preamplifier
+ High End DAC/amp
+ Excellent sound performance under all scenarios
+ Supreme technicalities and fidelity
+ Natural timbre
+ Musical and analogue sounding signature
+ Extremely dynamic and impactful
+ Fully differential amplifier
+ Can drive every headphone on the planet
+ Three headphone outputs
+ Dead silent
+ Pre-gain adjusting system
+ Rollable op-amps
+ ALPS RK27 potentiometer
+ Excellent build quality
+ Made in Germany
Cons: - No MQA decoding (if you care)
- A balanced XLR input is really missing
- A remote control would be a much welcomed feature
This is an abbreviated version of the Violectric V380² review.


The Violectric DHA V380² is a new top-device in the Violectric range. It offers a state-of-the-art DAC, a balanced headphone amplifier and a preamp function.
The V380² is the second generation of the previous V380 with some critical improvements.

The DAC section

The DAC board is newly developed and includes a 32-bit resampler / reclocker and two 32-bit DACs per channel.
The DAC chip used is now the 8-channel ES9026PRO, instead of the discontinued AK4490, configured for a balanced stereo output.
A newly developed algorithm is used to do the 32-bit resampling / reclocking of all the incoming samples (PCM and DSD), a procedure that cannot be switched off as was possible in the V380 where the user could select the resampling routine between on/off and best.
There are three digital inputs:
Optical and coaxial that support up to 24-bit/192kHz PCM while USB can go up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD 256.
The DAC section is housed in a dedicated board with its own power supplies, allowing for future updates when something new becomes available.

The headphone amplifier

The headphone amplifier circuit is exactly the same with the V380, the famous differential topology (with one dedicated amplifier per phase) that was first introduced with the V280/V281 headphone amplifiers and since then has undergone some further critical improvements.
The Violectric DHA V380² offers a powerful headphone amplifier with the lowest noise through a very small amount of internal gain.
This makes the amplifier's self-generated noise pretty inaudible while being a powerful beast with a high output voltage through the 50V internal operating voltage, therefore ideally suited for high-impedance headphones deserving high output voltage swing.
At the same time the amplifier offers a high output power thanks to the four internal powerful amplifiers that offer far more power even the most demanding headphones would need, so also suited for headphones with low impedances as well as magnetostatic headphones.
The near zero output impedance results in a high damping factor, therefore the ideal match for difficult to drive headphones without negative side effects and with the guarantee for an uncompromising frequency response.
The four internal powerful amplifiers offer 5000mW Pmax into 50 Ohm and 21V RMS into 600 Ohm, making the V380² one of the most powerful amplifiers of the market.
The whole unit is powered by a 25VA toroidal transformer with > 26.500 uF of filter capacity and separate regulators for all critical stages of the circuit.

The analogue Preamplifier

The V380² features both balanced and unbalanced line outputs that can be activated/deactivated by a switch on the front so you don't have to unplug your headphones.
This is a fully analogue, high quality, dedicated preamplifier circuit that can be bypassed by a push button at the back of the unit for a fixed line output.
So you can use the V380² either as a high quality standalone DAC or as a preamplifier for driving power amplifiers or active monitors.

Listening impressions

Part the first - Standalone DAC

The DAC section of the V380² is really superb sounding and not that far behind from dedicated DACs of the same category.
Actually, it is a dedicated DAC on its own since it is designed from the scratch and then implemented into the unit by the means of a modular board.
You don't have to listen a lot in order to appreciate the sound qualities of the DAC which competed with the much more expensive resident DACs and didn't lose the fight that easily.
The first thing that stood out was the definite linearity, the transparency and the purity of the sound which was absolutely neutral without any tonal shifts.
A highly exposing and transparent DAC which sounded great with good quality material and totally unforgiving with poor recordings while it offered deep micro-detail retrieval and excellent macro-dynamics.
Violectric is well known for valuing pro-level fidelity and precision without sacrificing musicality and this is exactly what is happening here.
I have to admit that I am not that fond of the ES9026PRO DAC chip, it can sound very strident and unnatural when not implemented with further efforts of fine tuning it.
Thankfully the sound engineers must have spent some good time tweaking the sound signature because the V380² is not boring, unnatural or clinical at all.
The V380² is the kind of the ultra reference sounding DAC which while not warm or organic per se, manages to stay smooth and euphonic with a natural timbre and absence of digital artificiality or treble stridency.
This is a state of the art implementation, combining top level technical performance and refinement with plenty of harmonic wealth and a colorful palette of overtones while it must be said that it favors a more lean, but extremely well defined, texture rather than a visceral and more full bodied one.
Listening to the following recording of Mahler's 5th symphony will reward you with perfect tonal accuracy and harmony, precise positioning of the performers, crystal clear sound and a wide open presentation with the most convincing communication of the inner atmosphere.


The only things really missing when compared to more sophisticated and expensive DACs are the absence of total holography, the not so visceral texture, the relative lack of depth layering and the less than realistically sized images.

Part the second - Headphone amplifier

People familiar with the famous Violectric V280/281 will probably know that they were one of the best sounding solid state headphone amplifiers ever made, combining confident technicalities with plenty of musicality, immensely organic timbre and a touch of tubey warmth.
As an old time owner of the V280 while I always enjoyed all these characteristics, I found the overall presentation a little slow, mildly congested, not that open, with smeared details and sluggish transients.
Fast forward to 2022 and everything belongs to the past because the Violectric team have tweaked the original design to address all these issues, finally breathing new life to the legendary beast.
The V380² headphone amplifier retains the same kind of musicality, naturalness of timbre and tubey texture while it adds more inline clarity, greater definition, much faster transients and a wider soundstage.
Now the amplifier is fast and pacey with an effortless music flow and excellent tonal coherency.
This is the solid state amplifier that you can listen for hours long without ever feeling listening fatigue while there is not a single source or a headphone that cannot be a great match with it.
The V380² is a shuttering amplifier with an amazingly impactful bass response and thunderous dynamics that will make your headphones explode as when listening to some old time "Kodo" favorites.


The soundstage is extra holographic and immersive with excellent depth layering and a spacious, precise arrangement of the instruments.
The whole presentation is on the grand scale with a superb communication of the recording ambience that results to convincingly realistic recreation of the soundscape.

Part the third - DAC/amp combo

What do we get when we combine an excellent sounding DAC with a superb headphone amplifier?
A splendid sounding combination, a hassle free, plug 'n play solution that guarantees the maximum amount of satisfaction without the need to worry about component matching.
Let's make it clear, the V380² DAC/amp combined performance can only be compared with dedicated desktop components of the highest quality because this is exactly what it is.
This is not the usual all-in-one DAC/amp solution since they are essentially two separate devices inside the same chassis, tailored to sonically complement each other.
The transparent, crystal clear, slightly lean and revealing nature of the DAC combined with the more full bodied, weighty, organic and analogue sounding amplifier in an equation where every single ingredient is used in the needed amount to form the perfect and most balanced sound recipe.
The V380² may be excellent as a DAC or a headphone amplifier or a preamplifier but the truth is that the DAC/amp combination is from where the actual value comes, making it easily one of the best solutions in the market and possibly an end game purchase for most of the users out there.
I have been using it for months now and it has become both my reference reviewing tool and the daily companion for casual music listening with all my headphones and my favorite classical music.


Part the fourth - Preamplifier

Really not much to add in this section as the variable DAC line output of the V380² will transfer all the above described sonic characteristics of the DAC to your power amplifier or active monitors.
And if you are using the analogue line inputs then the preamplifier will make sure to pass the information to the output with the utmost fidelity and transparency.
Hint: The RCA line input preamplifier function will output the signal both from the balanced and unbalanced outputs.
As an example you can connect an external DAC or a phono and use the V380² as a balanced or unbalanced preamplifier.
But if you choose to set the processing button to "post" then the analogue input signals are essentially passed through without further processing.
As you can understand the preamplifier of the V380² is really versatile and can accomplish various use scenarios while the only thing really missing is a balanced XLR input which is reserved for the more expensive V590².


In the end

High End headphone amplifier? - Check.
High End DAC? - Check.
High End preamplifier? - Check.
High End all-in-one solution? - Check.
Excellent build quality? - Check.
Compact chassis? - Check.

With the Violectric V380² you are essentially buying a high end solid state headphone amplifier, a premium DAC and the most transparent analogue preamplifier with the option of combining them at will according to your needs for an excellent state-of-the-art performance without the single sonic compromise.
Undoubtedly a German engineering masterpiece.
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Any other user reviews?
Finally got my Vio DHA V380 m2 last week. Been too busy listening to comment! It’s sublime sound to my ears !!
Worth every cent :)