Nova with headphone amp

Does anyone know if this would work? I’m thinking of using the RCA pre-amp output to a headphone amp, but also use the Nova for speakers. I don’t think you can switch outputs on the Nova like you can with the NDX2. Would that mean plugging in the RCA leads when I wanted to use the headphone amp, and would sound still go through the speakers?

I was going to use my Uniti2 as a dedicated streamer for the headphone amp, but now wondering if the Nova is a better and tidier option.

@Alley_Cat, @ChrisSU I saw you discussing the Nova pre-amp on some closed threads.

All Uniti’s past and present don’t lend themselves to connecting a headphone amp sadly. Better off finding headphones that don’t show it up. But apparently the headphone amp on the current range is pretty good.

Speakers will still be active with something connected to DIN or RCA pre-outs so you’d have to disconnect speaker cables to just use the headphone amp.

There’s no software option to disable the speaker output.

The pre-outs are also variable not fixed output as you might expect.

Thanks guys. Looks like using my spare Uniti2 is the way to as I need a DAC. It won’t have speakers connected so I could use either the fixed line out, or the pre out (but would need a special cable I think to go to the RCA inputs on the headphone amp).

I’m going this route as I’ve found using the Heed Cannalot headphone amp from my NDX2 is significantly better than the SN2 headphone stage, which is ahead on the Nova headphone stage. I’ll be connecting my Blu-ray to the Uniti to get better SQ for my music Blu-ray collection. Well, that’s the plan anyway and the Uniti2 isn’t getting used much otherwise.

Always good to re-purpose old kit!

1 Like

A slightly cludgy workaround might be acceptable as follows :-

Connect headphone amp of choice to pre-amp out
When wanting to play through headphones proceed as normal with headphone amp but also insert “dummy” headphone plug into Nova headphone socket … muting speakers
A suitable headphone plug would be a 6.3mm to 3.5 convertor …

Not great but easily workable ?


It was a great idea, and I did get quite excited, but alas plugging the conveyor into the Nova disables the pre-amp out as well as the speakers.

So, I’m currently repurposing the Uniti2 using the line-out, which works fine except you can’t control the volume level with the remote or app, so have to use the headphone amps volume control. There is a used ND5 XS available but as I’m only using the DAC in the Uniti I’m not sure its worth a change?

Oh that’s a shame but I guess it makes sense on reflection as the built in headphone amp is probably separate from main amp
Hope you find a long term solution

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.