Category: Amplifiers

Wells Audio Headtrip Reference Headphone Amplifier – A $15,000 Musical Indulgence

The first time I heard the $7,000 Wells Audio Headtrip was during my headphone shootout a few years ago. It wasn’t until a year later I met the man himself, Jeff Wells, at a SoCal CanJam. The Headtrip sounded even better the second time around, especially with the power-hungry Abyss headphones. This is most likely…


Woo Audio WA33 Fully Balanced Headphone and Pre Amplifier Review

There’s something so alluring about tube amplifiers. My first purchase from Woo Audio was the gorgeous WA7 Fireflies. They were fantastically articulate, transparent, and quiet. Over the course of a few shows, I had a chance to listen to their WA5-LE which left an imprint on my mind. It was paired with upgraded tubes, the…


MSB Releases New Reference Headphone Amplifier

One, of a few new products we are releasing this month, introducing the Reference Headphone Amplifier! Paired with the Reference or Select DAC, this amplifier brings the magic of HiFi listening to the headphone experience. Reference Headphone Amplifier Main Features: 137 db Dynamic Range Designed for Dynamic Headphone 4-Pin XLR headphone output connectors Analog Pass-through…


$500 Portable DAC/Headphone Amps – iFi Micro Black Label vs. W4S uDAC-HD vs. Chord Mojo

I find that about 75% of the time, DAC performance tends to correspond with their price. Whether they incorporate a galvanically isolated async USB port or some other kind of noise reduction approach (e.g, powered off battery), you generally get what you pay for. Unlike my previous portable DAC shootout, where I compared DACs at wildly…


iFi Pro iCAN Headphone Amplifier Review – A High Performance Fully-Balanced Flagship

At this point, everyone realizes when you get something from iFi, it’s like Christmas came early. You get all the widgets and switches without sacrificing performance. Their iFi Nano iUSB3.0 is still the quietest and most transparent USB conditioner I’ve ever heard. iFi never fails to provide enough features to tailor to all musical palates…


Cavalli Audio Liquid Tungsten Preview

Quick post on Cavalli Audio‘s upcoming flagship headphone amplifier. I typically like to see beautiful things with their clothes off but in this case, please dress this thing up already Cavalli! 😛 My impression was that it didn’t quite sound like what we’d expect from a tube amp (which isn’t a bad thing) but it…


Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC/Headphone Amplifier Early 2017

My Chord Hugo is my portable daily driver. It is the one portable device that has stayed with me during this journey. There were quirks with it but overall, impressive audiophile-grade sound. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Hugo 2. In 2014, we introduced Hugo, a revolutionary portable DAC and headphone…