Anyone have experience with the new "Pro-ject Head Box S"?
May 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14


New Head-Fier
Sep 22, 2011
Dear Forum,
I am looking to buy a headphone amp for my new Sennheiser HD598 since I find them a bit lacking in fullness when plugged into my PC. I do currently use my AVR (a Marantz SR7500) as an amp, but this isn't really a good solution as there is a lot of background noise...
I went to a local dealer and they have the Head Box S, as only candidate that meets my financial barrier. I understand that this amp came out just a few weeks/months ago, which might be why I can't find much on it.
I did find the Head Box MKII, which apparently didn't come across as to great an amp, and I'm wondering if there are any differences between this and the new one.
If you have any other suggestions please do let me know,
Kind regards,
May 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM Post #2 of 14
i used to own the head box SE II, and it was really good with the HD 650s i had at the time. plenty of power and a huge increase in SQ, the S is about the same but only for 1 headphone instead of the SE II which has 2 ports. umm for the price i guess its ok. it has power and works well with sennheisers, theres better amps, but for the price, you really can't go too wrong, their build quality and small size is nice too.
May 28, 2012 at 3:27 PM Post #3 of 14
I have been looking into this amp and I also have a pair of HD 598's.
If the Head Box SE II specs apply (I believe they do), this amp won't be suitable for these headphones, as it goes against the 1/8 rule.
Which means it has too much output impedance to power the 598's (55 ohms): it is 30 ohms and it should at the most 6/7 ohm.
See this thread:
Currently I am using a FiiO E10, I am not sure it drives them to its fullest potential but it sounds pretty good. Also the E10 is also a pretty good DAC, so, in the very least you would get rid of pretty much all of the background noise. 
In case you don't know the Dac would bypass your PC's built in audio and effectively serve as an audio card.
May 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM Post #4 of 14
I am aware that the DAC in the E10 would bypass my X-fi sound card, and I have been looking for the E10, but I can't find a dealer anywhere in this country that sells them, let alone has them in stock.
Besides, I have practically no background noise from my PC. The only problems is that the sound is rather shallow. Plugged into my Marantz AVR it sounds better, however the level of background noise is unbearable.
I tried the Head Box S at the local dealer, and as far as I'm concerned it sounds pretty damn good.
I've been poundering over this for a while now, so earlier this afternoon I went over to them and I ordered one, in black so it matches the rest of my equipment.
Also, I see you (kAbUZi) are in portugal, where have you managed to pick up the E10? I couldn't find it anywhere (in Porto).
May 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM Post #5 of 14
Why, through the internetz, of course. 

Did you try them with the 598's?
Have you got it already or are you still waiting for it to arrive?
May 29, 2012 at 1:02 PM Post #6 of 14
I haven't got them yet, they'll have them delivered to them on friday, when I'll go over and pay the remainder of the price. (they wanted a small portion beforehand).
Yep, I tried them with the HD598's, sounded very warm and detailed. I can still distinctly remember the sound even though it's been about 2 weeks ago now.
May 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM Post #8 of 14
I doubt you got the specs mixed up. Whilst they do differ, the key spec (30 Ohm) still stands. They say however that the reccomended Impedance for the headphones is 30 Ohm or greater, although this might be a discrete way of saying that that is the output impedance.
Either way, I'll keep you posted.
Jun 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM Post #9 of 14
Well I still haven't received the amp. Place I bought it from was supposed to have it delivered to them yesterday, but it hasn't happened yet. Now I've gotta wait until tuesday before it will arrive...

Anyways, I've been looking around and from what I see the Head Box SE II is not from the same generation as the Head Box S. The SE II is in the same generation as the Head Box II, however people say it tests differently from the MKII. Hence we cannot say that the "S" will test similar to the SE II.
Anyways, comparing specs between the Head Box II and the Head Box S:

Technical data

Pro-Ject Head Box II

Pro-Ject Head Box S

Power output 330mW/30ohms, 60mW/300ohms 330mW/30ohms, 60mW/300ohms
Headphone connection > 30ohms > 30ohms
Signal to noise 78dB (100dB - A weighted) at full output 95dB (112dB - A weighted) at full output
Frequency response 30Hz – 20kHz/-0,05dB 30Hz – 20kHz/-0,05dB (10Hz - 120kHz/-1dB)
THD (IMD) ,005%/30ohms, 0,007/300ohms 0,003% (0,002%)
Gain 11dB 11dB
Headphone jack 3-pole ¼" (6,3mm Ø) phono socket 3-pole ¼" (6,3mm Ø) co-axial jack
Outboard power supply 16V/500mA AC, suitable for your country's mains supply 18V/500mA DC, suitable for your country's mains supply
Power consumption 16V/120mA AC 18V/100mA DC
Dimension W x H x D 103 x 38 x 127mm 103 x 36 x 104 (109)mm
Weight 600g without power supply 600g without power supply
I've chucked this table together
From what I can see the Head Box S has a better SNR, slightly different frequency response and a different THD (what is that?)
Beyond that the PSU works on a slightly higher voltage.
Suffice to say, I think this is enough evidence to say that the device is quite different from the Head Box II, which from what I've read is not the best amp out there. This one looks more promising, however I could not say much since I'm no expert, I just appreciate good sound!

Nov 15, 2012 at 8:44 AM Post #10 of 14
Any updates or fresh impressions of the Headbox S?
Jan 11, 2013 at 8:32 PM Post #11 of 14
I just purchased a Head Box S and hopefully it would drive my HD650s to an entrance "acceptable" level. I do know that this box cannot put the HD650s to the best but I'm using my Mac as source and plug it directly to the amp via a Chord wire. So that's why I wouldn't expect much from the box.
At first, when I first try, yes it does a perfectly job even the source is not a very good one, but I have to tell it is a warm amp in overal. Somehow, high vocal and high note such from a violin could be a bit harsh to listen to (sharp?), not really enjoying as the mid part, that's the best part I can say. The bass is not fully nice deliver through my cans but acceptable.

When I make a comparison using a P5, it's shown a significantly difference while use and not the box, the sound is now much clearer, warm... simply beautiful as a pink crystal. But in overall, to making this pair with the HD650s, have to say that I'm not satisfy. Maybe I have to skip some step and jump onto a good source to make good reference next time.
I do sorry about my bad english, especially with the grammar as I'm not a native english speaker.
Feb 14, 2013 at 5:31 AM Post #12 of 14
I have Pro-Ject HeadBox II driving my Sennheiser HD 650 and I can confidently say that it is a good amp for highs and mids and a terrible amp for bass response. The reason for latter is, as far as I understand, that this amp is too ineffective for high-impedance headphones such as HD 650: it pumps only 60mW/300ohms. If you pay extra $100 (in the US at least), you can get Schiit Asgard 2 which pumps something like 380mW/300ohms. Again, if my understanding of the basic specs is correct, such output voltage of Argard 2 will make HD 650 blossoming in terms of lows/bass response!
Hope this helps to those who is still considering to pair Pro-Ject Headbox (II or S, doesn't matter) with their Sennheiser HD 650.
The bass is not fully nice deliver through my cans but acceptable.
But in overall, to making this pair with the HD650s, have to say that I'm not satisfy. Maybe I have to skip some step and jump onto a good source to make good reference next time.


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