Headline headphone amp

Hi there and merry Christmas all. I’m new to naim having recently purchased a 180/102/Hicap to go with an LP12 and drive GB1 speakers. As a final push for now I want to get a headphone amp. I have HD600 headphones and am torn between hanging out for an olive NAHA1 to match my other kit - or going for the newer headline 2 for a supposed better improved bit of kit. Has anyone any opinion on this as to performance and what they would do in this situation ! ?? I’m a massive music fan and my second system - naim is all nee to me though. Just looking for thoughts and advice from experience. I hope I’ve posted correctly ? Cheers all


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For HD600s you should look for the Headline 2 as it’s better able to drive these headphones over the original.

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Don’t forget that you will need a power supply for the Headline. You’d also do well to get a Napsc for your 102 if you don’t already have one.


Also suggest you hear the naim headphone amp along with a number of others first. I previously had HD600s and found a tweaked MF X cans to do the job nicely for little money.
However, a decent headphone amp will make them sing.

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There is also the Rega Ear. No longer made, but I an sure pre-loved ones can be found… :grin:

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Yes I have one on my 102 ! Thanks for reply :+1:

Sorry… that HiCap will only drive one item - so your 102. Nothing else. You need another PS…

Thanks - that’s just the sort of response I’m after. You can go round in circles a bit on some forums! Cheers Richard

I recently upgraded my headphones to the new Audeze LCD 5 - a high end headphone and am still using Headline 2 powered by Hicap and it is still doing a great job. I think to considerably better this combo I would have to spend a fair bit of cash. So I think a second hand Headline/Hicap combo would be a bargain compared to what you would get new for the same sort of money.

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So what sort of budget do you have for a headphone amp? Given that you’ll need a power supply for the naim headphone amp also? I’ve not heard the naim amp, but it gets mediocre reviews on this forum.

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Lots of great headphone amps to choose from, especially for the price of the headline2 and power supply that will suit your headphones.
But at the same time the headline2 with its power supply will work great, your choice, just need to go try a few different options and see what you like best.
As you might like a bit more warmth and bass from the 600’s and the headline2 won’t give you that, but only you can tell

The amount of bass you get from the Headline depends on the power supply. Absolutely no shortage with a Supercap, but there’s obviously a price and size penalty there.

I’m looking at a headline 2 and napsc for 350 delivered. I’ve gone round and round looking at alternatives and nothing is jumping out as “The One” for a similar budget, hence deciding to probably stay naim for continuity. Ive then thought whether to hang out for the olive which will match but have read the 2 is better, and the olive can deteriorate over time more than the 2. This has been said in an earlier response so I’m very tempted now. Cheers for response👍

Looking at a headline 2 and napsc for 350 ? So budget 350 ish. I don’t want to spend more for the time I’ll actually use it. I’d rather spend any further budget on records ! Would you have a better alternative in mind. I have seen mixed reviews but also plenty of positive. Thanks be good to hear your thoughts :+1:

Cheers dunc - my other system is a much warmer sound. So I’ve purposefully gone for naim to try a different sound. What headphone amp would you personally recommend for a budget of 350 ?

Cheers mal

350 for the two would be a very low price for anything reasonably new/serviced and in good condition. If you can spring for the extra, I would also really recommend a HiCap. The Headline works with a NAPSC but doesn’t really shine.

Firstly, welcome to the Naim world.

I picked up a pre used Headline Amp and NAPSC PS on eBay for £400 in 2020. So they are out there at this price.

Also, look at Tom Tom Audio as they sell a lot of pre used Naim components.

For what it’s worth, I previously had the Rega Ear and found that the Headline was a big step up from that.

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The Naim Headline 2 is great but if you want to look at alternatives take a look at the iFi Audio Zen Can Signature 6XX Headphone Amplifier. It is a modified unit from the standard Ifi Audio Zen Can. It is designed to work with/drive SH HD 6xx headphones.

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That’s the way, stick a £5k power supply on a £500 headphone amp. Lol
You would have to have many screws loose if you think that’s a good way to do it.

The headline2 plus hicap2 plus Grado RS1 is not mediocre. The only comparison was STAX (Not top of the line) which were good but to me not comfortable.
I must add though that when I upgraded from a 202 plus hicap2 plus 200, i kept the hicap2 which of course meant that I did not have to source the extra power supply