A good Headphone Amp

Hi I’m still looking to a good Headphone Amp to connect to my Nac252+Nap500 system. I have a Ndx2 and a Focal Utopia headphone.
What about SPL Phonitor XE? I listened to it and was very impressed
Did anyone test it with Naim system?
Any other idea?

Which Utopia ? The OG or new 2022 version ? Did you want/need and all in one HP amp, DAC, streamer or just a straight up HP amp ?

If the OG, I’d go with a smoother HP amp, ifi iCAN Pro, HeadAmp GSX- Mini are reasonably priced.

Or if an all in one unit is what your after, the Naim Atom HP edition is hard to beat, especially with the Focal Utopia HP.

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I would agree that a very detailed headphone amp may make the Utopia a bit ‘much’. I couldn’t get on with the Focal Stelia for that reason.

I love my Trilogy 933. Very engaging and sophisticated. Does everything well without blowing your socks off (in a good way). Discontinued so you might find one cheap ex dem or s/h. About 1.5 to 2k?

The 931i is a bit cheaper and an upgrade on the 931. I had the original version and it was very decent but have not heard this upgraded one. The manufacturer reckons it is close to the 933 in performance.



I use Lehman audio linear albeit with Meze 99’s - sensible money and can be had on used market too.
Simple engineering but super transparent.

Just like speakers it’s a personal thing with headphones - getting ones that suit you and then getting an amp that suits those is key!

A lot of people swear by the Hugo but I haven’t had the pleasure of listening to that.

There is a whole headphones thread that’s worth a read.

I’m contemplating taking my headphone journey forward but despite trying a few in shops nothing has really grabbed me……tried the the Sennheiser hd820 (bass not right) 800s a tad analytic, focal MG a tad warm, Meze 109 not quite what I had hoped for, Stax lacked bass - the search for the right sound and comfort continues!


Grado? Bit Marmite for some but definitely a good counterpoint to the rather ‘technical’ sounding Sennheisers. Worth trying if you can listen to some, I really like them. GS series or even the new RS1x which looks fine value.

Sorry to go slightly off topic!


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The Lake People G103 Mk. 2, high quality, low cost, built like a tank. This is the little brother of the Violectric stuff (also made by Lake People) that people rave about here.

This is the bargain of the century.

Focal Arche sounds good with Utopia, but you’ll need to feed it coax digital from the NDX2 or analog from the NAC252. In theory you can connect it to a streamer or PC via USB, but sadly the firmware is terrible and that implementation just doesn’t work. It’s fine with coax. I’m vaguely shopping for something else to replace mine, because I was so immensely irratated by the experience - I had wanted it as an office headphone setup connected to a small wifi-streamer and couldn’t get that to work. Focal’s support was shall we say rather inferior to that which I’ve received from Naim.

Budget around 2k€.
I’m using a Focal Arche connected to NAC252 with Din2RCA cable… but not satisfied about sound quality. A little bit dark… not brilliant and well defined

I’m testing the Focal Arche connected to 252
Really unsatisfied!

I tried the Unity Atom HE. It sounds very good stand-alone with Focal Utopia headphone.
I didn’t tried to connect Unity Atom HE to Nac 252 with Din2RCA cable to listen to the other sources connected to my NAC252.
Did someone tested this configuration?

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I’m using a Heed Canalot with the larger Obselik Power Supply, which would match your budget. I run that off the 552. Heed matches nicely with Naim for sound character. Or there is the cheaper Q PSU, which is pretty good with the Canalot too.

I have STAX “earspeakers” - as they will insist on calling them - and a STAX SRM717 to power up the electrostatic drivers. The box blends in with the Naim equipment pretty well, although would be a closer match to current Naim ‘boxes’ than my older Olive-styled gear.

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