Headline alternatives

I recently upgraded my headphone setup from Headline 2 and Hicap2 non DR with Beyerdynamic Amirons to Burson Solo 3x GT with Audeze LCD5.

The Headline with Hicap is still a formidable combination in my opinion and has tremendous power capability. Lots of headphone amps on the market still fail to drive some of the more difficult planar headphones with low sensitivity or awkward impedance.

I also wanted a headphone amp with a remote control.

I did listen to the Niimbus 5 headphone amp which is Violectric’s posh brand. This is meant to be a reference headphone amp but now costs close to £6k in the UK. To be honest I wasn’t that impressed with it.

I think the Burson does a better job for £2500. Designed in Australia but made in China to keep costs down. But you really need to add the 5A supercharger for £300 to get the most from it.

The Headline/Hicap combo gives more of a monitor presentation whereas you get more depth and space with the Burson. The Naim combo also gives a harder sound like the Benchmark HPA4 which can be fatiguing.

Naim should really make a reference headphone amplifier as headphone listening is quite a popular activity these days.

1 Like

Violectric V200 here - excellent little thing. It replaced my HL/SC2 (the best combo for the HL to my ears).
Sounds great and freed the SC2 up for other duties.

It looks like dCS is about to announce a headphone solution in the coming days.
Curious to see what it is.

Lower down the range than the Bartok ?

Dcs are certainly knocking out new products
New range of headphone amps being released this mon5h
Apex out now
Plus the free upgrade for bartock being released this month

Are these pure headphone amps Dunc or is DAC / Streaming functionality included ?

Possibly. What’s not to like about a headline and hicap. Yes a bit ridiculous to power a small headphone amplifier with such a power supply, but this together with a Grado RS1 is very good. So i will not be changing anytime at all. A fantastic companion during my home office days.

I have to run a long cable as well from the living room to the office. Fiddling with the volume control is something i don’t feel the need to do. Once set it’s fine as with mostly normal listening

1 Like

No further details that I have seen. Looks like the announcement will come on the 24th.

1 Like

Ok thanks.

Not sure
Just going off the dCS forum, but very interesting

1 Like

Thanks for all the helpful comments. I think I’ll see how the SC sounds on the HL & then find a dealer with some alternatives, just to see if a change is worth it or whether I continue to compromise slightly.

Looking at the video thats been released, then it looks like a standalone headphone amp and then one with the ring dac and streamer bilt in, but not long till we find out.
Plus looking at the headphone amp in the bartock then they should be cracking

1 Like


Just had a look at the teaser video. Even more interesting !

27k :dash:

Looks like an interesting proposition, but I think I’ll be holding on to my Headline for now.

Was expecting something a bit cheaper, but then dCS i guess was never going to just have a go at one was they, as there products are class leading and looking at the reviews already, then it looks like it right at the top as far as headphones amps go, with a price tag to match.
If you are at headline level then dont even bother to waste your time looking.
I will be keeping my lovely violectic lol

I agree with what you write about…
:large_blue_diamond: Burson Soloist 3X GT.

Right now,.Burson is also launching an All in One at the same level…
• head-amp
• pre
= Burson Conductor 3X GT

Also shares your opinion that you must have…
Burson Super Charger 5A powersupply to reach its full potential.


That all in one looks like a very good value for money product.

I have an Astell & Kern Kann DAP with ESS dac chips and am very impressed with what it does for such a relatively modest cost.

So I suspect Burson Conductor 3x GT is likely to perform very well. You just need to add a streamer.

I have ordered this Burson Conductor 3X GT (Grand Tourer).
It will begin shipping from Burson in June.

As a streamer I will use this…
:large_orange_diamond: Stack Audios Link II with the external linear powersupply Volt (see picture).


Great to see you Peder.