The Clearaudio Nano Phono Headphone is one of the German brand’s best-selling products. On the back of this success, the German manufacturer has created a new and improved version : the Nano Phono Headphone V2.
This new model shares many of its features with the Clearaudio Nano Phono V2 phono preamplifier.
Clearaudio Nano Phono Headphone V2: unit
This new anti-resonance and non-magnetic unit is made of striking brushed aluminium with rounded angles.
The rear panel includes two RCA pairs (in and out), a ground plug for the ground connector if your turntable has one, and the input of the new DC outboard power supply.
Like its predecessor, on the bottom of the Nano Phono Headphone V2 are mini switches for moving between MM and MC, and for turning on the subsonic filter, which restricts the lowest end of the bass register and prevents clashes in these frequencies.
Note: these adjustments are completely separate for both channels as the phono preamp has a double mono design.
Clearaudio Nano Phono Headphone V2: components
To pack as much technology as possible into this tiny housing, the manufacturer Clearaudio has used carefully selected CMS components that were assembled manually at the Erlangen site and tested several times throughout the manufacturing phase.
All these measures, combined with an assembly using very short leads, provides a signal-to-noise ratio of 81 decibels!
Clearaudio Nano Phono Headphone V2: adjustments
It comes with a set of 4 pairs of resistors (51, 200, 402, 1000 ohm) for accurate adjustment of the MC cartridge load.
They slot easily into the two housings on the underside of the unit, without the need for welding or tools.
You can adjust the output gain and therefore the headphone volume between 34 and 68 dB (depending on the cartridge) using the thumb wheel on the top of the unit.
Clearaudio Nano Phono Headphone V2: listening and review
Let's not beat about the bush! The sound quality delivered by this preamplifier stands in stark contrast to its size. Within this price range, it is certainly the most impressive we've come across so far.
The dynamics are amazing and span evenly across the entire spectrum.
The standard of transparency and detail it offers is well above what you would expect from a phono preamplifier under €350.
The sound stage is precise and realistic enough to please those of you who enjoy symphonies and orchestras.
The overall balance is clear and defined, without a hint of harshness or accentuation of hissing sounds in the vocals.
Sound quality through headphones is also excellent, showing remarkable transparency and neutrality.
The Clearaudio Nano Phono Headphone V2 phono preamplifier is a highly versatile preamp, offering many new and exciting possibilities. Obviously, it was designed to be perfectly compatible with the manufacturer's own MM and MC cartridges, but it can be used with (almost!) any other phono cartridge.
Highly recommended for anyone looking for an excellent preamplifier and headphone playback beyond compare. A new benchmark! Franck
Compatibility: MM and MC
MM gain: 34-48 dB
MC gain: 54-68 dB
MM load impedance: 47 Kohms/220 pF
MC load impedance: Adjustable with resistors
Subsonic filter: On/Off
RIAA curve accuracy: +/- 0.4 dB 20 Hz to 50 KHz
Distortion: 0.006 %
Signal-to-noise ratio: 70 dB (MC) and 81 dB (MM)
Channel separation: >80 dB
Headphone output: 3.5mm
Output voltage: 10 V max efficient
Outboard power supply: +/- 18 V DC/300 mA
Consumption in use: 2.3 W
Standby power consumption:
Off power consumption: 0 W