Headphone amplifier

It almost always makes me smile when I read their company name. They seem to have a good sense of humour — they are based on shore of Lake Constance…

And a great choice especially for those with Sennheiser headphones…


Well, my AirPods Pro although not blocking out hammering or slamming doors do block out all my neighbours children’s noise except for the footfalls when running around but these at least gets very, very muted.

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But with a tight fit, Air Pod Pros (and I have the Pros 2) also function as earplugs.

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Mine are also AirPods Pro 2 and yes, they act as kind of electronic earpluggs. But a pair of normal earpluggs as Howard Leight Bilsom 303L beats them.

My point is this. Closed-back phones do not function as earplugs. Before you purchase anything, I recommend you try some closed-back ANCs to see how good a job they do with screaming children.

You might be better of with some cabled IEMs like the Etymotics (although I could never get a good fit with them).

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If you can get along with the fit, suggest you give wired IEMs a try, as @jegreenwood suggested. I have Etymotics, which can give a great seal due to their deep insertion. I’ve used them on planes to great effect.

I also have some Shures, which don’t go as deep, but can block out some sound. (better than the closed headphones I have) All depends on the seal you get and how comfortable you are with such a design. IEMs usually come with multiple tips you can try.

Have a look at Schitt Audio. They now have a U.K. site and range of prices.
The bay has some decent pre owned offers.
USA manufacture.

Lots of excellent suggestions re: headphone amps. FWIW I think Schitt match surprisingly well with Naim gear and represent superb value.

On the headphone front I tend to disagree with the assertion that ANC compromises audio quality. It’s useful to think about what’s really meant by that. A few years back ANC headphones had none amongst them which could purport to be audiophile quality. The assertion re: compromise starts there.

Move forward though and the market now contains multiple high end manufacturers, including Focal, who produce ANC headphones. These people are not in the market to do themselves reputational damage. What they produce is undoubtedly audiophile. Is it the best of the best? No, undoubtedly not just yet. I suspect it’s only a matter of time though before we get the 1st assertion that a pair of ANCs far outstrip comparable closed back headphones.

Recently went on a shopping expedition with my offspring to audition ANCs for him and see how far things had progressed since I was gifted Sony WH1000-XM4s. What a revelation.

Absolutely no doubt that the hierarchy of quality remains open, closed, ANC but the gap between the latter 2 is at best arguable. I didn’t like the specific presentation of the Bathys. Nevertheless I can think of a dozen closed back headphones they compete with and I suspect in many cases for many users they will have a clear lead. If you are looking at those ANCs produced by audiophile associated manufacturers you won’t be hearing compromise at all. Maybe a slight inferiority in certain respects but no more than the differehve between £500 and £800 head[hones of any type.


I have the XM3s, and I prefer the Bathys. But neither blocks sound like the Air Pod Pro 2. First time I could enjoy classical on an airplane. I was stunned.

I had more luck with the HiFiMan 400s than with Etymotic. I see now that the original prices of USD100 (a decade ago - I bought my first pair on sale for USD80 - has been reduced to USD20.

I said my first pair. The construction on these is terrible. But for USD20, I think they’re worth trying to test how well they block sound. If they do the trick, find a sturdier product and put the 400s away for the day when the sturdy ones need fixing.