- Brand Name: Sony
- Model Number: PHA-1
- Item Weight: 0.49 pounds
Sony PHA-1 Headphone Amp
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- USB Audio 96kHz/24bit compatible for high resolution music source
- High quality Digital Audio Converter (DAC) to achieve maximum sampling rate at 96kHz/24bit quantization
- PC jitter-free USB Audio with Asynchronous Transfer Mode
- GAIN switch allows headphones of a wide range of impedances to be used
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Top Customer Reviews
I started with a FiiO E6, then an E11 (the best of the three), then the E12 Mont Blanc (the worst). They all just boosted the signal coming out of the iPhone.
My current headphones are Grado RS1i's (up from SR225i), which sound real sweet on their own and don't really NEED an external amp. So much for needs. What I wanted was to bring out all that the Grado's had to offer, without having to rob a bank. That said, the other problem was the new Apple Lightning connector. Worldwide there are very few direct cable connection options, especially with the Lightning.
Enter the SONY PHA-1. It's made to work with the iPhone, including the iPhone 5. It can be used as a straight amp or better yet to bypass the internal Apple DAC/AMP by using the Lightning connection (out) to the PHA-1 USB (in) - one cable, no adapters. I'm using a Lightning to USB Digital Short Cable by VentureCraft, but Apple sells a similar less expensive one that I can confirm works just fine.
So how does it sound? In one word >DYNOMITE!
When you first plug in and go to music, sound comes out of the phone. Then you turn on the PHA-1, the volume bar on the phone disappears, and the sound flows out of the SONY and you instantly know you've struck gold. I'm not a die-hard Audiophile, and will spare you all the flowery audio speak. Anyone with two working ears will instantly hear the soundstage open up, the L/R separation expand, the overall dynamic range sonically improve, and the low end gain significant punch. Overall maybe the difference between being twenty rows back and right up onstage with the musicians.
Odds & ends - SONY has an unusual rubber strap (4) to hold your device to their unit as opposed to giant rubber bands.Read more ›
I had a FiiO E11, which did a good job at driving the Q701, and even helped boost the bass some. The only thing is, is the headphone jack and input jack isn't well made and is easily broken. The battery life wasn't the best, and I could only get maybe 3-4 hours on constant use. I then bought an AstroAmp hoping that would adequately drive both headphones. Well, it kinda works, but just not good enough. I still need to pretty much max the volume if I really want to hear some thump or enjoy TV/movies.
I'd started looking at the FiiO E7 or E14, but I really want something like the Fostec HP1, but who really can afford to fork over nearly $700 just for a headphone amp without their partners/wives or whomever complaining? I certainly can't. But when I first heard about the Sony HPA1, I thought that it'd be a good compromise with price. It's half way between the Fostec and the FiiO E14. With a price tag of $400 can still be a hard sell, but it is worth it.
The HPA1 looks very well made with an all metal housing. The on/off volume knob is very sturdy and feels solid like it'll last. It also has two arms that extend out and covers the knob and jacks protecting them. So you can't accidentally jar or hit, or bang the knob, which is a boon.Read more ›
Tonally wise , just right , sweet highs , MIDS and low ,tight and control bass
My only major issue is with the power cable. The plug looks to be proprietary. I am a big fan of Sony, but don't understand why they continue to try to gain every advantage over the consumer. This is one of many reasons that Sony continues to lose market share. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
It will also work very well with hard-to-drive headphones like the Sennheiser HD800, being able to amplify them to very loud volume levels without distortion, just as if it were a dedicated home-headphone amp.
On the battery side, I have used it to power B&O 3i and HD800 for more than 3hrs without reaching dead battery. Cannot state yet its full capacity.
Its design permits to fit an iPhone4 or 5 without a problem. You just have to get the iPhone5 connectors elsewhere.
I can compare it with the GoDap 4.0 which also has digital out and prefer the sony unit because it has a more powerful amplifier and feels more solid-built.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very good amp
one of the best if you still have a IPod Classic
but The most important thing is if you lost the rubber bands they gave you
you will not going to find... Read more
One thing that makes me think to go for the pha 1 its that the thruly "high res" its a 192/24 and this amp says 96/24 but i went to this anyways by the price tag but i pair... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ricky pz
Good sounding DAC and highly recommended. Right now the price is lowered due to the newer offerings which makes this an excellent deal!Published 19 months ago by ABI
I bought it for just 200 dollar, so worried about the quality or just a mislabled price...
However it turns out to be fine. Quite compatible with IPC.
The product seems to be opened before, and the headphone adapter is gone, excellent quality tho. It would be awesome if you can send us the missing adapter. ThxPublished on April 3, 2014 by Tom