Headphone Amplifier (Balanced)

Question to the round … I will have a Hifi Rose RS250A staying over for a couple weeks. I will be pitting that against my own Naim Uniti Atom HE.

Would anyone be able to recommend a desktop headphone (DAC)/AMP
that would roughly have the same or a mostly similar sound signature as the Naim Uniti Atom HE? Must haves would be an USB input (if w/DAC) and Balanced headphone outputs (4.4 or XLR) …

Probably the moon 230had:

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Thx… One for the consideration list… With a friendly dealer around the corner easy to borrow. Although unbalanced output of 1w @50ohm could potentially mean having to turn up te volume a notch in order to match the Naim HE :blush:

Any other recommendations / suggestions anyone?

Have you looked at the Ferrum Erco (upgradable with its Hypsos power supply)? It is one of the most well regarded headphones Amp/Dac of 2022. It has been made by the same peoples behind MyTek products. Take a look at the Ferrum Audio websites for more infos. You can also look at their OOR solo amp (not DAC).

I’m personally considering it to replace my Headline2 with the HiCap DR feed by a NAC-N-272 in one system and feed by a nDac in another system.

In the past I’ve had many headphone amps: have tried tubes with WooAudio and AudioValve and some of the best Violectrics, BelCanto, Resonessence amps/dac, Lehmannaudio, Audiolab, Chord (I still own a Hugo and a Mojo), Naim DAC-V1 (still own two of them).

What I can say is that I always preferred what Naim can provide, even if the Headline2 is not so great for tridimensional and headstage. If you want to keep the Naim sound signature on your headphone I think you should look at the Naim DAC-V1, or an Atom HE, or a new NSC 222 or at this Ferrum Erco.

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Is there any reason to not consider a second Atom HE? I looked and the cost of the headphone amp you are comparing is in the ballpark.

And that is what I did. One for the lounge one for my office next to my desk.

You get the same sound you love, you can serve files from the one to the other, you can multiroom sources if you want and later you can add a small amp or active speakers on your desk.

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What is the benefit of balanced headphone connection rather than the more common single ended? I understand the benefit with low signal levels combatting pick up of induced electrical noise, but I’m unclear as to benefit at headphone signal levels.

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Here are some forum posts where Steve Sells gives information on this very question.


Thanks for the advice. Point here is that I am looking to complement the Hifi Rose RS250A with an DAC/AMP that would bring the sound a bit in the region of what I so much enjoy with the Naim HE. The Hifi Rose is the first of a series of transports that I will be reviewing over the next period. I am looking for a DAC/AMP to facilitate those reviews over the next period.

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Thx. Will read into those. Currently also looking at Violectric DHA v380 mk2

Ooh I misunderstood what you need.

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I am aware of the various discussions around the pros and cons of balanced connections. I am also aware of Naim’s approach to this in the HE.

Reason for me is much more trivial… The common trait of all my headphone cables is that they have a 4.4mm pentaconn plug so that I can freely move between my various devices, which also includes a number of DAPs… Hence the balanced requirement… :sunglasses:

And not every device is designed to put out the same power between their single ended and balanced connectors. Naim may not make a difference there, but other suppliers do.

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