Hi all it strikes me that Naim really need a super headphone amp…yes there is the headline but I really think there could be a better amp… maybe the super headphone or big head! powered by the likes of a 555psdr… any thoughts???
I thought the Headline is discontinued?
If it is … then there is a screaming urgency for something tasty…
It doesn’t say so on the product page but we know how unreliable they are, the page for the 272 does not say so either. Searching for headline + discontinued finds a bunch of posts by knowledgeable members like Simon-in-Suffolk and HungryHalibut saying so,
It was in an email from Signals, this link.
Naim won’t overlap with Focal if they can avoid it. Speakers went a while back. The Headline was just a matter of time.
Personally I don’t understand the rationale. For the holding company, have 2 brands selling the same product category gives you twice as many chances to make money. I can only assume they mistakenly thought a sale of a Headline or a pair of speakers for Naim equals a sale that isn’t going to Focal. When the truth of the matter is, no customer buying the Headline or Ovators was ever in the market for anything made by Focal and vice versa.
Can’t see it happening.
Most have already moved on, like myself, loads off great headphone amps to choose from these days, but you really need to match your amp with the headphones that you use, to get anywhere near the best out off the pairing.
Neither do I. I think it’s not the market they’re interested in. And there’s no expression in sales. Add the fact that Focal have’s the Arche, so there’s already a newer proposition inside the group
If you look at what happening sales wise the headphone market has exploded…
Decisions made in the boardroom not the listening room?
Will try to explain with more words:
“ And there’s no expression in sales “ (to the brand )
Because although the niche is growing, there’s better ( specialized in the product) options already available.
Unless Naim and focal adopt a modular approach (i.é.: VAG group with same platform for different manufacturers) the cost of Development and research ( to make different products)wouldn’t be interesting for a small niche of audiophile market
There was an interesting choice of phrase in the Mail I linked to above “ We have also decided to stop manufacturing the Headline 2 after evaluating component availability against product demand at this price point.”
I took that to mean that one or more components was/were becoming hard to source, and they weren’t selling enough to make it worth re-engineering. The comments about the Unitis and integrated amps having headphone sockets and the use of the word pricepoint made me think that the £300ish Headline wasn’t really a viable proposition in the Naim world, it wasn’t something that would appeal to say 252/552/S1 owners as they’d probably want high end head-amps to go with their high end pres, the Uniti and integrated users had headphone sockets, so that left 202 and 282 (possibly) as the market.
So a very small market with a need to re-engineer, doesn’t sound attractive. Now a Naim super-Headline would be a different thing and be a viable option, and there I could see that the group would come in to play as you suggest, and they’d mention the Focal Arche in that email rather than look to build a competitor.
Any naim headphone amp…no matter how cheap… becomes expensive if powered by a 555ps
Supercap, Hicap, Flatcap, etc.; PS555 is not applicable, so far.
Was there a wager as to how long this correction would take to appear?
The reality was that there are better headphone amps on the market that are quite a bit cheaper than the headline and Naim PS options, even with dedicated power supplies like the Heed Canalot.
The same can be argued with power/pre amps plenty of really good ones out there…some of which are cheaper… No I really think it is so sad this great company is not going to make a superb headphone amp … the markets not really there for the headline as it is not that competitive… a product that was superbly designed and executed using dr technology would be of interest to quite allot of Naim owners just for starters…an amp with drive, verve, finesse and detail… would be well received…after all not all naim customers want traditional stereos…
The point is, in line with naim philosophy, a headphone amp will have a separate power supply
And to make a GREAT headphone amp, requires a great power supply, and unless they reinvented the wheel, and make …say …a single output 555ps (highly unlikely and still very expensive) …then we are not going to see a super headline soon ( IMO )
I’m not sure that’s a given, is it? Has Naim actually said that they will not be making another headphone amp in future? I certainly hope not, as I’d love a new headphone amp from Naim.
The Arche aside (which I think came out of a long standing arrangement that pre-dated the Naim/Focal partnership), when you consider that Focal offer some very fine headphones, it surely makes sense for Naim to come up with an appropriate partner.
Totally agree hope they do make one…it.would be great if it came with its own psu (like 272) which then could be upgraded with a 555ps I get the fact that inventing a new supply would be prohibitive…fingers crossed