- USB Headphone Amplifier
- DAC Chip: Burr-Brown PCM2702
HIFIMAN EF2A USB Headphone Amplifier
|Price:||$169.00 & FREE Shipping|
- 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
My listening tastes are primarily a cappella and jazz, though other styles certainly creep into my playlists. I listen (almost exclusively) to lossless WMA and FLAC, or directly from the CDs.
There are certainly more expensive headphone tube amplifiers out there, but this little (about 5.5"W x 3.5"D) amp has a beautiful, rich sound. Note, it is a powered amp via wall outlet (not powered via USB); don't expect to travel with it attached to your iPod (there is no battery).
The EF2A has plenty of power; I have the volume somewhere around 3 percent. I would likely go deaf around 15 percent. I know more power is needed for bookshelf speakers. Just know that unless you have headphones with an extremely low impedance, you will likely barely nudge the volume knob up from its initial resting point.
The highs and lows both sound pretty clean, even at low listening levels. Voices are very clean and articulated (again, I listen to a lot of vocal music); and yet the bass is solid.
I have not had the same experience as others who say the left channel seems favored. However, (as I noted above) this is a powerful amp and I can't see a good ($200+) pair of headphones needing to have the volume higher than 3 to 7 percent. Also, I have not used the RCA stereo input and can't comment on how it functions.
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...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived broken from this particular seller. Bought from another store and the amp definitely delivers an incredible sound. Using AKG K702 Headphones. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Keehun Nam
The amplifier section is OK, but nothing exceptional, relatively high noise level of 95dB in the specs. Read morePublished 1 month ago by I. Dimitrov
It sounded great for several months of very low use and low levels. Then one tube burnt out...replaced with a new pair...and then the whole amp died. Not worth the $$ spent! Read morePublished 3 months ago by irebry
Good DAC, but sound is a bit one-sided at lower volumes. HiFiMan makes several quality product lines.Published 4 months ago by Roukan
This is going to be a weird review. Due to a malfunction with my EF2A the volume pot became disabled- the HF Amp was about two years old when this happened. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ken Plagge
Fantastic little tube DAC. Use it for work all day and love the performance/sound. Can really power a set of cans, so I am buying a pair of high impedance ones to test this unit... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Matthew West
One channel has failed and I have only had it for less than 90 days. VERY, VERY, VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!!!!!!Published 5 months ago by Kenneth W Hutchison
The rich sound on these will not go unnoticed. I am often a skeptic with some audio equipment as I know that some things are just inaudible to a human. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Matthew Hodgins
Good sound. You can upgrade the tubes if you like, but I'm satisfied with the stock set.Published 6 months ago by Gene De Lisa