After Aurorasound's master stroke with its Vida phono preamplifier, the Japanese brand returns with a benchmark headphone amplifier. One of the distinctive features of the Heada headphone amplifier are the symmetrical mode outputs with XLR outputs in addition to the conventional 6.35 mm jacks.
With its wooden housing, its large aluminium feet, its brushed aluminium front panel and large black volume control, this headphone amplifier seems to be straight out of the 70's! You either love it or loathe it...Personally, though I don't usually dwell on the past, I'm quite a fan! In addition to the volume control, the front panel features a source switch (2), a gain selector, a 6.35 mm stereo jack output, an XLR output (4-pin stereo) and two XLR mono outputs (mono). The rear panel features 2 RCA inputs, a symmetrical XLR input and an asymmetrical RCA output. As you lift off the housing, you will see the perfectly crafted interior parts, in the noble sense of the word! The boards and internal wiring are fully assembled by hand. The power supply components are meticulously built to obtain a clean and stable current.
The boards use many high-quality discrete components, such as metal layer resistors and Wima plastic layer capacitors, Texas Instruments LME49610 buffers, NEC µPC1237HA integrated circuits …
We won't dwell on the controversial topic of the symmetrical mode on headphones (XLR). Some view it as an asset and others, such as ourselves, are more sceptical. We will let you try for yourselves with your own system and headphones…
We used Grado PS1000e and Fostex TH-900 headphones. With these headphones, the results were particularly convincing! The dynamics and articulation are impressive! The timbre is full-bodied and vibrant. The manufacturer has obviously focused on musicality. The bass level and quality of its articulation are amazing. The Heada boasts a rare airiness and soundstage. You could almost forget that you are using headphones! Even after 5 hours, there is no harshness and you don't suffer from any auditory fatigue!
Yet another success for Aurorasound! This HEADA headphone amplifier now ranks among the leading headphone amplifiers of the 21st century!
Just can't recommend it enough!
Stereo Prestige & Image - Best Buy 2015
Audio Accessory - Audio Excellence - 2015
Qobuz - Qobuzissime Franck
Output power (XLR, bridged mode): 2 x 2 W at 40 Ω, 2 X 0.8 W at 600 Ω
Output power (jack 6.35 mm, asymmetrical mode): 2 x 1 W at 40 Ω, 2 X 0.24 W at 600 Ω
Distortion (THD+N): 0.004% 1 kHz
Input sensitivity: 1 Vrms (47 kΩ)
Frequency response: 10 Hz – 120 kHz at 1.5 dB
Dimensions: 260 x 100 x 250 mm