T.H.E. Show Newport 2013: HiFiMAN EF-2A Hybrid Headphone Amp

HiFiMAN EF-2A Hybrid Headphone Amp ($169)
Having just chatted with Fan Bien regarding the RE-400 and RE-600 IEMs at the Munich show, I asked Peter Hoagland to show me something else in the booth. He picked up the EF-2A hybrid headphone amp.

This very inexpensive headphone amp using 6J1 tubes for its input stage and incorporating a Burr-Brown PCM2702 DAC Chip for USB inputs to 16 bit 44.1 kHz. And it's cute as a button with it's plexiglass lid so you and see its innards.

But I'm going to hi-jack this post to say the main reason I went to talk to Peter at the HiFiMAN booth was because I was picking up some samples of the RE-400 ($99) and RE-600 (not yet available, $399) in-ear monitors. My intrest was two-fold: I liked what I had heard so far and wanted to measure them, and I wanted to see if they'd fit under my motorcycling helmet. I am ecstatic to report both these headphones performed much better than expected on all fronts. These will be off to ljokerl for his full review consideration toot sweet! But I'm going to write a my own review of the RE-400s as a motorcycling headphone.

It really did look like a cute little amp though.

COMMENTS
Tyll Hertsens's picture

Reviews are mixed on Head-Fi, but sensible posts say that for the price it's pretty good. When people compare it to higher priced stuff it doesn't fare as well, but that just makes sense. Seems like a nice entry level piece for some.

agattieri's picture

The DAC is not so good - it has latency issues with Windows 7 (the audio clicks and pops if you are using your computer to surf the web while listening to music). I prefer to use another dac, connected to the EF2A's line in input.

The EF2A's amp stage, on the other hand, is wonderful. Sounds very good with my Shure SRH840, especially after I upgraded the tubes.

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