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Woo Audio WA8 Review - Head-Fi TV

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by jude, Mar 11, 2016.
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  1. NOTE:  If you can't see the embedded video above, please CLICK HERE to see the video.
    Produced by Joseph Cwik and Jude Mansilla
    In this video, we take a look at the brand new WA8 Eclipse portable tube headphone amplifier from amplification aficionado Jack Wu of Woo Audio. A pure all-tube design for use on-the-go? Yes, please.

    Products mentioned in the video:

    1. Woo Audio WA8 Eclipse portable tube amplifier and DAC
    2. Woo Audio WA7 Fireflies desktop tube amplifier and DAC
    3. Sennheiser HD 800S over-ear headphone
    4. HiFiMAN HE-1000over-ear, planar dynamic headphone
    5. ENIGMAcoustics Dharma D1000 over-ear headphone
    6. FitEar MH334 custom-fit in-ear monitor


    We will occasionally post Q&A episodes of Head-Fi TV.  If you want to submit any questions (or comments), you can do so via email to tv@head-fi.org.

    anderman, d marc0, Pokemonn and 2 others like this.
  2. warrenpchi Administrator
    Wow!  [​IMG]  Congrats to our friends at Woo!  [​IMG]
    audionewbi and HiFiGuy528 like this.
  3. audionewbi
    Looking forward to purchasing the WA8. 
  4. audionewbi
    @jude Did you try your KSE1500 with WA8 as a source? 
  5. zachawry
    How easy is it to roll tubes? Come on, Jude, let's see you take off that little window...
    (Or, if you can't really roll tubes, surely that deserves mention as well.)
  6. raypin
    mmm......interested. This or the Squared???????? It is good to know that it pairs really well with the HD 800 S.
  7. moedawg140 Contributor
    Hi everyone,

    For those interested, here are my impressions of the Woo Audio WA8 Eclipse when paired with the Meze Headphones 99 Classics, my Custom PC and Questyle Audio QP1R, written during the time I had the WA8 Eclipse on loan for a couple of weeks (the full review of the 99 Classics is here):

    Woo Audio WA8 Eclipse

    The Woo Audio’s epic WA8 Eclipse is the “world's first battery-operated vacuum tube headphone amplifier”. The WA8 Eclipse features SET Class-A transformer output, and a 24bit/384kHz DAC. The amplifier feels like it weighs more than the posted 2.4 pounds, because it feels very solid and premium in the hand. I wouldn’t call the WA8 Eclipse portable, but I would call it transportable, with a bag or backpack. I didn't have an issue taking it around with me from place to place. Set up isn’t difficult as it can be stood or placed on its side while listening to your favorite music. I also like the ability of the WA8 Eclipse to connect to any DAP or smartphone with an auxiliary cable. The WA8 Eclipse’s battery only lasts 4 hours, but has the high power to drive headphones of 8-600 ohm impedance. It's great to have a triple-tube DAC/Amp at your fingertips wherever you go if you so choose.

    While portable, the WA8 Eclipse comes with a military-grade vacuum tube design rated for 5,000 hours of life. Two or three-tube operation provides versatility to create more sound quality differences between a plethora of in-ear monitors and headphones. The WA8 Eclipse’s single-ended Triode topology utilizes OCC single crystal copper output transformers, which offers “high bandwidth and low loss”. The WA8 Eclipse also uses an ESS SABRE Reference 24bit/384kHz DAC, which works well with hi-res music and is also compatible with Apple iOS, Android and other 3.5mm-compatible devices.

    The WA8 Eclipse operates via external DC power or battery operation. The DAC/Amp provides stable power to the vacuum tubes and the DAC, offering 4 hours of playtime – and the unit is also operable during the time the DAC/Amp is charging. How does the WA8 Eclipse sound paired with the 99 Classics?

    The overall sound is that not very far off from larger desktop tube amps - a warm and punchy but also laid back sound that some people are going to really enjoy. What I mean by punchy is that the bass has some heft to it and brings out the Walnut earcups’ capabilities with success, and what I mean about laid back is that I feel that the WA8 Eclipse’s sound is diffuse in nature, especially when directly comparing to a solid state sound like the m9XX or Q192. Furthermore, the sound to me may not sound as completely detailed as the two previously mentioned DAC/Amps, but when my wife listened to all three, she preferred the sound of the WA8 Eclipse. What this tells you is the best way to find out what sounds the best for your specific preferences is to listen to whatever you'd like to possibly purchase, yourself - to come to a determination to what sounds amazing to your ears. You may find to truly adore the WA8 Eclipse for the tube-like presentation, the transportability, or the sum of all of its features.
  8. Dasumemi1215
    I want one...Reserved
  9. dreadatcontrol
    I second raypin! Iwould like to know the difference between the wA8 AND tu-05.
  10. shigzeo Contributor

    Of course, the WA8's biggest advantage (without knowing anything else) is that it is a fully-contained integrated: amp and DAC, while the TU-05 is amp only.
  11. HiFiGuy528
    More info on WA8 Eclipse
  12. raypin

    Mmm....I'd pair it with my cu so amp sections of wa8 and the comparable analog squared paper is what makes me interested.DAC is secondary. Might as well include the CDM in the mix (in amp mode). I smell a shoot-out. Not that it really matters because I know I'm getting the wa8 in the near-term. The magic words for me: Wa8 + HD 800 S.
  13. ejong7
  14. shigzeo Contributor

    That makes perfect sense. What do you think: a lot of people want the CDM in amp-only. I'm torn as its DAC is one of my favourite chips. And the WA8 seems like a great product. But if you plan on using only the amp, it's an extra financial burden. But if you want to use the DAC, or you are going for a weekend up to the cottage, the extra bulk is nice to shed.
    PanzerIV likes this.
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