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Looking for a headphone amplifier
Hi moOde fans,
The JDS Labs Atom seems to be great value for money at $99 USD before shipping:
Measurements here:

What are your headphones? Do they need at lot of power from the amplifier?
(01-13-2019, 11:40 PM)rhizomusicosmos Wrote: The JDS Labs Atom seems to be great value for money at $99 USD before shipping:
Measurements here:

What are your headphones? Do they need at lot of power from the amplifier?


In regards to buying anything from US/Canada I recall having a rude awakening going back to the time when minuscule headphone amps housed in mints tin boxes were fashionable. I've purchased one such amp from JDS Labs and I had to pay extra for shipping and (ouch) the Customs & Excise and VAT fees... in the end there was a 70% price hike.

Try to focus on something sourced within EU retailers if you want to pay a more reasonable amount of money.... For instance this a 'search' made on Amazon UK:
headphone amp_AmazonUK

Which headphones do you use and what is your budget?
Hi moOde fans,
I agree with the hidden costs of buying from OS. I live in Australia and generally everything from the US ends up being effectively double the price whether you buy it over the net or from a local importer. We jokingly call it "The Australia Tax". I don't know the availability of JDS Labs' products in the EU . . .

Your headphones are all fairly low impedance, so you don't need a ton of power to drive them. I would suggest an amplifier with a low output impedance otherwise it might affect the frequency response of the headphones.

I haven't heard the SMSL T1 but I can see that it wouldn't suit me. That vacuum tube is simply there to add colour (i.e. distortion) -- I like my gear to be as transparent as possible which is why I suggested the Atom.
(01-14-2019, 08:27 PM)JST1963 Wrote: Thx guys, and Mike, yeah, you're right. But I was already aware of the extra costs.
Last year I bought some Mickey Mouse Earrings for the was only $26 (roughly €22.6).
When the delivery guy came, I had to pay him another 20 euros for customs. He told me that, by default, anything (not electronics) over €22 gets at least an additional €20 for customs….expensive earrings. BTW, my wife already lost one… :-(

Anyway, I have 3 headphones and 1 earphone at home:
- Shure SRH1540 (46 Ohm - Over Ear) => Fantastic sound, very comfy
- Sony MDR-1A (24 Ohm - Over Ear) => Most used
- Sennheiser Wireless HDR180 (N/A  - Over Ear) => Great sound but not happy about the wireless part (it uses 2.4GHz...duh!!!)

- Shure SE425 (22 Ohm - In-ear)

Anybody an idea about that S.M.S.L. T1?


Update: about customs and stuff, I no longer buy in the US. Mostly I buy my stuff on and if you look at this, a lot comes out of China :-)

The valve amplifiers are an acquired taste (the coloration of the sound brought by the valves is uphold by many as the only true audiophile goal...).

Judging by your suggestion I volunteer some quick finds from UK sources:
- Project HEAD BOX DS (Black) £279
- Arcam rHead £168
- Cambridge Audio DUO  £199 (yes, it is a Phono and HP amp)
- SMSL SAP-12 Class A/B Headphone Amplifier  £120

A closer to home (and wise choice): Pro-ject Head Box S2_AmazonDE

A wider choice (again, UK-sourced list):

I've been using for a few years mainly an Objective HP amp manufactured by a British company, Epiphany Acoustics (now 'out of business'). The amp has been designed by a chap called NwAvGuy (history here: O2 HP Amp and DETAILS ) This chap tried (and achieved) to demonstrate that spending inflated amounts of money doesn't bring neccessarily a matching hi-tech device). He made available over the Internet the product design specifics thus triggering a world-wide follow-up (one of the 'names' being JD Labs amongst others). If you can find a used Objective-based amp I'd say 'go for it... Angel 

Happy hunting!
Hi moOde fans,

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