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headphone dac

  • Shanling UP Portable DAC / Amplifier Review

    The Shanling UP is a superb High Resolution DAC/Amp for portable use, if you have some good headphones, you are not hearing their full potential out of a phone. This will change that, the UP with give you the clarity, detail and soundstage that your phone simply cannot.

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  • Optoma NuForce uDAC5 Review

    For the price the Nuforce uDAC5 is an excellent piece of kit, it would be perfect for a coffee shop setup, or a small office rig, it is also perfect as a DAC for active desktop monitors and to feed an external amp at home.

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  • Lotoo PAW 5000 High Resolution Audio Player - Expert Review

    Lotoo PAW 5000 - Expert Review. Sound quality and features found on this device rival much higher priced equivalents offered by other makers.

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  • Hidizs AP100 Review - A Sturdy Source Of Solid Sound!

    An excellent player with a bulletproof design. Solid and reliable, the Hidizs AP100 gives a similarly solid sound and user experience.

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  • FiiO X1 Review - Fun For Under A Ton!

    We've certainly been spoilt by Fiio's offerings of recent years; it's a situation that's all too easy to get used to. First it was amps which got insanely cheap, then DACs. Now we have to get used to the idea of great quality digital audio players for under £100. What's the world coming to?

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  • Audeze LCD-XC Review - Take a Shine to Closed Backs!

    The Audeze LCD-XC is definitely one of the top-tier headphones available now, and is a worthy stablemate to the similarly closed-back but smoother Fostex TH900.

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  • FiiO E18 Kunlun Portable Smartphone Amp/DAC Review

    We are impressed with the sound quality and power which the Fiio E18 provides; together with the mobile DAC functinality and everything else, nothing gives better value for money.

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  • Sennheiser HD800 & HDVD800 - Video Review

    The flagship Sennheiser headphone & amp combination well deserved their own video review. Let's see if they can live up to the hype surrounding them!

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  • Graham Slee Bitzie Headphone DAC/Amp - Announcement

    The Graham Slee Bitzie is the newest product from Graham Slee, the prestigious Hi-Fi brand from the UK. It is a portable headphone DAC/amp that other than having an obviously gorgeous sound, can work with smartphones as well!

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  • Dispensing Audio Justice - Just Audio uHA-120DS

    Lauri Cular spent a weekend with the new Just Audio uHA-120DS headphone DAC/amp. Needless to say his review confirms our anticipation that the uHA-120DS indeed provides the enthusiasts with audiophile sound packed in a tiny case.

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  • Sennheiser HDVD800 - Announcement

    The brand new amplifier & DAC combo from Sennheiser is now available at HiFi Headphones!

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  • TV wireless headphones - Set up guide

    Having trouble setting up wireless headphones with the telly? Look no further, our article is here to help!

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  • Why do I need a headphone amplifier?

    What's the point of a headphone amp?

    If you've been following the world of headphones you may have noticed that headphone amplifiers seem to be cropping up more often than ever, but what's the point?  Do they just increase volume, or is there more to it?

    Below are a few good reasons to upgrade your audio setup with a headphone amp.

    Ability To Power 'hard to drive' Headphones

    Some headphones are notoriously hard to power.  A headphone amplifier gives your audio source a boost in output power, which gives the headphones a more full sound, improves bass kick and often makes trebles more defined.

    For example the Sennheiser HD650, HD600, HD595 and many Beyerdynamic headphones have relatively high impedance ratings, which mean they need more power than most to drive the headphone speakers.

    Interestingly, many lower impedance headphones and earphones (normally the high end models) also appear to benefit from the use of a headphone amplifier.  For example the low impedance Grado GS1000 or Grado RS1 can be easily be driven by a humble iPod, but add a headphone amplifier such as the Grado Slee Solo to the equation and the improvement in sound can be very satisfying.

    Avoiding Cheap Headphone Outputs

    The headphone output on many portable audio sources, such as iPods, iPhones and laptops, can be very poor indeed.  The electronics used often leave much to be desired and are obviously designed with budget, rather than sound quality, as the major design factor.  A headphone amplifier offers ways to avoid the noisy headphone output completely.

    The iPod and iPhone headphone socket can be avoided completely by using a Line Out Dock (LOD) cable.  These cables take the un-amplified line out signal from the 30 pin dock connector provide a way to drive a headphone amplifier with this better quality signal.

    Laptop and computer owners can avoid the often breathtakingly bad headphone output with the addition of a Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier.  The DAC is connected to the computer's USB port and the conversion to analogue audio signal is done well away from the noisy electronics inside the computer.  Some products, such as the iBasso D2, combine a DAC and headphone amp into a single unit.

    More Information

    For a full range of headphone amplifiers & DACs and iPod & iPhone line out dock cables (LODs), please visit the HiFi Headphones online shop.

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