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HIFIMAN EF2A USB Headphone Amplifier

by HiFiMAN
3.8 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
| 25 answered questions

Price: $169.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
Only 1 left in stock.
Sold by Audio Advisor, Inc. and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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  • An affordable alternative in a tube-driven headphone amplifier
  • A hybrid design.
  • Using 6J1 tubes for its input stage and incorporates a Burr-Brown PCM2702 DAC Chip
5 new from $169.00 1 used from $129.99
$169.00 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by Audio Advisor, Inc. and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • HIFIMAN EF2A  USB Headphone Amplifier
  • +
  • Mediabridge 3.5mm Male to 2-Male RCA Adapter (6 Feet) - Step Down Design - (Part# MPC-35-2XRCA-6 )
Total price: $178.99
Buy the selected items together


Technical Details

  • USB Headphone Amplifier
  • DAC Chip: Burr-Brown PCM2702

Product Description

Product Description

HiFiMan EF2A: Great Sounding Tubes for Your Cans HiFiMan has done it again, building outstanding headphone products that are priced way too low for the level of sound quality they offer. The diminutive EF-2A is a fantastic sounding headphone amp with all the sonic characteristics you'd want from a headphone amp at four times the price; warmth, power, resolution and the golden glow of tubes! The only thing better than the sound from this headphone amp is the way it looks. A simple chassis with an aluminum faceplate and an acrylic top plate with vacuum tubes sticking out of the top, the EF-2A is a very cool looking piece of kit. More importantly, it feels solid despite the small size; the EF-2A has nice heft to it and the high-quality volume control feels like it came from a much more expensive unit. Looking for a headphone in the half a grand price point, check out the EF-2A first, we think you'll be surprised how much performance you get for your money. Both USB & Analog Inputs The EF-2A sports both a stereo analog input and a USB B-type input. Switchable from the faceplate, these inputs make the EF-2A the cornerstone of any headphone rig. The analog input is very good in its own right offering astonishing transparency for such an inexpensive product. Connect it up to your CD player or any other analog source and prepare to be impressed. The USB input allows the EF-2A to make use of its Burr Brown PCM2702 D/A converter and offers far greater sonic performance from your computer than using the headphone output. The DAC in the EF-2A supports up to CD quality resolution (16Bit/44kHz) via USB and sounds great doing it. Headphone Compatibility With broad and flat frequency response and plenty of power into both low and high impedance headphones, the EF-2A is a surprisingly powerful little amp. The 1/4" headphone jack is chassis mounted for solidity and connects to the headphones with a solid feel, gripping them nicely. Tu

From the Manufacturer

An affordable alternative in a tube-driven headphone amplifier, the EF2A is a hybrid design, USB headphone amplifier using 6J1 tubes for its input stage and incorporates a Burr-Brown PCM2702 DAC Chip. The EF2A provides USB input and features 16 bit 44.1 kHz performance. Designed for discriminating music listeners who demand performance and value.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 3.4 x 1.8 inches ; 3 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B004357WL8
  • Item model number: EF2A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: July 24, 2009

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
The HiFiMAN EF2A is an excellent headphone amp with my Sennheiser HD600 headphones. I have owned the headphones for a few years and considered headphone amps before, but the HD600 sounded so good without an amp that it never became a priority. What a huge improvement this amp provides to bring more out of these headphones.

The features that convinced me to give this amp a try are the choice of digital or analog inputs and the tubes. The onboard Burr-Brown DAC, connected with the supplied USB cable, is superior to my PC soundcard, but the sky is the limit if you want to invest in an even better DAC and use the RCA inputs on the amp. I have most of my CD collection ripped to an external HDD as lossless WAV files, which I prefer over the sound of compressed MP3 songs. I find tubes take the edge off digital music providing a slightly warmer sound that is still detailed. This combination of features and sound quality will be hard to beat for the price.
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Verified Purchase
I really love this product except the default vacuum tube.
As far as I looked for, there is no such product that has DAC in vacuum tube headphone amplifier.
Besides it was one of the cheapest vacuum tube headphone amp.

I started liking to listen to "quiet music" such has Norah Jones.
I don't have any other experience with vacuum tube other than this,
(I grew up with sound of MOS-FET integrated amp and 3-way speakers)
so I cannot say much about comparison, but still I am happy with this product.
(I think it is good price and quality to start for seeking the world of vacuum tube.)

ONE NOTE ABOUT VACUUM TUBE;
As I wrote at first, I was not really happy with the tubes that came with the product.
Just like other people write, it's too bright and it is even annoying in high frequency range.
So what I did was to look for other vacuum tube.
You can find this type of tube by typing "6AK5 vacuum tube" on google.com.
I am using two from GE that I purchased at eBay for 20 dollars.
They made the sound really warm, and I love to use this amp everyday.
I think upgrade for 20 bucks DOES worth it.

Using headphones: SONY MDR-V6
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Verified Purchase
drives any pair of cans with authority, bypassing the computer DAC and using the Hi-Fi burr-brown chip, absolutely brilliant. from there the sound is driven through the vacuum tubes and out to the headphones. the sound is clean but slightly bright. the highs are definitely there, mid-range clarity is punchy, and the bass warm, not muddled or boomy. it must be noted that a 'burn in' process must be completed for at least 10 hours for the vacuum tubes. otherwise you might be disappointed at first, it will be harsh at first, then become smooth, very smooth. cheers.
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Verified Purchase
This unit has both an RCA stereo input and a usb input that feeds into the DAC. My Sennheiser HD600, Denon D5000, and Grado SR60i all sound very well paired with the EF2. Build quality is very good; it feels like it's built to last.

Go here for in-depth impressions: [...]
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Verified Purchase
If only there wasn't sooooooooooo much GAIN! This headphone amp is so loud I can't turn the volume up to even 9:00 without hurting my ears. I can use the computer volume control to make it more listenable, but that reduces the resolution of the signal into the DAC. I might be able to live with the volume limitation if it wasn't for the fact that there is a channel imbalance when the volume is low. The left channel is noticeably louder than the right channel until right around where the volume becomes unlistenable. So I'm stuck with a signal that is unbalanced, too loud, or lower resolution than it should be...

The DAC is a nice addition, but nothing special. It is limited to 16 bit 32/44.1/48kHz. This is fine for most of my music, but I have a good amount of 24 bit 88.2/96kHz files, as well. I've compared this amp's DAC with an HRT MusicStreamerII, and it definitely sounds more closed in and not as clearly defined. It's plenty good for background listening while I'm working on the computer, but it's not great for getting lost in the music the way Vinyl, SACD, DVDA, or the MusicStreamerII are.

I'm giving this product 4 stars because the sound of the amp is really nice. This is the first tube amp I've heard (besides my guitar amp) and I really love the sound. I'm using this with Grado SR60s and the sound is really sweet, but too loud. I listen to a lot of classic rock, jazz, classical and folk/singer-songwriter. Guitars sound fantastic with this amp. Trumpets sound sweeter and saxes sound thicker than with my solid state equipment. Vocal harmonies also really shine with this amp. Strings sound smooth and there's a good sense of space and definition with all types of music. In fact, the amp sounds so good that I will not let it go, despite the volume problem.
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Verified Purchase
The Hi-Fi Man EF2A is a neat little device. It mounted just fine as an audio device on my macbook pro. It's build quality is better than I expected and the clear acrylic top is a nice touch. The sound quality is just fine; very detailed. However, it's one problem is that at low settings on the volume knob the image is very biased to one ear. A "get around" for this is to alter the gain structure so as to decrease the incoming signal so that you can run the volume knob hotter. This could be a problem if you are using a source with a fixed output level. Ideally, I should be able set my gain structure in any manner that yields the best sound to my ears not encumbered by this flaw.

I like the unit and am glad to have it, especially for the price. Unfortunately, I cannot give it high praise as I feel it fails at achieving it's fundamental goal. It's flaw should be in the cosmetics or the power supply or something. Not in the receiving and amplifying of audio signal in a clean and consistant manner; the only thing it HAS to do well to be what it is...
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