Vacuum Tube Home Headphone Amplifier Reviews

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Ryan Clarin  |  Jan 03, 2012  |  16 comments
A happy buzz in the headphone world prompted InnerFidelity headphone amp reviewer Ryan Clarin to request an Apex Hi-Fi Audio Peak and Volcano from Todd the Vinyl Junkie for review.

Let's see if he got a happy buzz, too.

Skylab  |  Feb 13, 2013  |  1 comments
Skylab takes a listen to Cary Audio's first dedicated headphone amplifier, a hybrid 6DJ8/6922 gain stage with MOSFET output at a cool $1599. Sounds good already, doesn't it?
John Grandberg  |  Feb 04, 2013  |  3 comments

Consonance probably intended for this EL34 based tube integrated to be used in a dedicated listening room driving some high-efficiency speakers. And it does that quite well. Thanks to its relatively compact size and built-in headphone amp, it works perfectly for desktop audio too, which is why it fits here at InnerFidelity.

n_maher  |  Mar 19, 2012  |  11 comments

There's a place on the web like a bar on a back street, dimly lit and cozy, where the hard-core headphone geeks hang out. There, where it really counts, this amp is getting a lot of praise. Doug (this amp's maker), Nate (who wrote this article), myself, and a number of others are regulars there, and talk of serious stuff, like bourbon and bacon ... and amps like this.

Consider yourself very fortunate that Nate's words in a review like this get to see the light of day. Very. Good. Stuff.

Skylab  |  Apr 07, 2014  |  8 comments

I always wonder what will come out of review amps once I fire them up and first listen. I always run the amp in for 10-12 hours after getting it without playing the amp at all, and then I let them warm up for an hour on the day of first listening before I strap the cans to my head. And then I eagerly press play and let the music flow. And in the case of the Elekit, flow it did indeed, and in a very pleasing way.

Skylab  |  Nov 14, 2013  |  4 comments

When famed audio designer Jim Fosgate first announced that he was going to be making a tube headphone amp, I was definitely interested, especially when I saw the first pictures of it—it's a beautiful product. For a variety of reasons, it took quite a while for me to actually hear one, which was at a Chicago headphone meet—and on that cursory listen I thought it sounded good. So finally, a review unit arrived for me to really put through the paces.

John Grandberg  |  Mar 06, 2013  |  15 comments

Icon Audio is a self-professed "small company" based Leicester UK. Since 1999 they have been in the business of making tube-based audio gear, chiefly amplifiers and preamps but also CD players and even tube-friendly speakers. I examine their HP8 MKII headphone amplifier to see what Icon is all about.

John Grandberg  |  Feb 28, 2017  |  11 comments
A reference-caliber headphone amp with a plethora of unique features, the iFi Pro iCan has you covered...no matter what your preferences might be.
Grover Neville  |  Aug 03, 2018  |  17 comments
I must admit, this review is a little different for me.
Grover Neville  |  Aug 10, 2019  |  2 comments
Many of you will likely have heard passing reference to the MicroZOTL from a few years back when a number of hand-made semi-DIY kits got some buzz in the community.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 23, 2019  |  2 comments
1974 was a year that saw Happy Days debut on ABC, Richard Nixon resign, the Ali-Foreman Rumble in the Jungle fight in Zaire, and the establishment of the David Berning Company, which produced vacuum-tube amplifiers based around a unique impedance converter known as ZOTL for ‘Zero-Hysteresis Output Transformerless.’
Tyll Hertsens  |  Dec 25, 2012  |  51 comments

With just a few phone calls and emails, I've managed to get my hands on the amazing Stax SR-009 headphones, and some of the world's best electrostatic headphone amps and the gear to make use of them, and set them up my demo room for a week of comparative listening.

Quite the ear opening experience!

Grover Neville  |  Feb 14, 2020  |  1 comments
The name Manley has been legendary in audiophile and professional audio circles for many years now, and I recall my dad lusting after VTL and Manley high-powered tube gear when I was younger, not just because of its sound, but also because it was expensive. But, not so expensive that it was totally out of reach for the average Joe who saved their pennies.
Skylab  |  Dec 10, 2012  |  11 comments

The MP-301 Mk 3 is a very good sounding amplifier for the money. It wears its tube topology on its sleeve, both physically and sonically. Love it for that, or pass. But if you think it's a good thing, then you get a LOT of product for your $300 here.

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