The MX HPA fully balanced headphone amp is the result of decades of experience of making high quality headphone amplifiers. Relatively, the MX HPA has about the same performance into headphones as the incredible Titan has into loudspeakers. That is; awe inspiring, incredible, limitless and any other hyperbole you can imagine. It is really incredible.
Design and build specifications
The MX HPA’s technical performance is stunning. Typically distortion from 20 Hz to 40 kHz is less than 0.005%. This is serious stuff. Signal noise ratio is better than 120dB (‘A’ weighted). Needless to say frequency response is ruler flat from 10 Hz to 20 kHz (-0.1dB).
It is capable of a short term peak of 10 watts (for one cycle). It has 2 gain positions; 18dB (8X) and 24dB (15X). Inputs are either balanced or single ended. It will automatically convert single ended inputs to balanced. The MX HPA is genuinely fully balanced from beginning to end.
Why do you need one?
Anyone who listens seriously on headphones at home must eventually discover the limitations of a computer or smartphone headphone output, or, if they are still using one, an old-style hi-fi integrated with headphone amp built in. Most headphone amps are likely going to be a significant compromise, given the size/space and power limitations they have to work with. A stand alone headphone amp has much more space to dedicate to better circuitry, and a more robust power supply, allowing both overall better controlled sound and, importantly for some headphones, the ability to provide considerably more output power to the headphone.
The key is that amps need to deliver enough power for the headphone not to sound distorted at the musical peak—not the average volume. The purpose of a headphone amp is not to blast your ears into deafness! It’s to have the sound you hear be cleaner and more controlled, especially during peaks. But you should always practice safe listening, and keep the volume at a very comfortable level.
This new wave of balanced headphone amps provide a more refined and engaging sound performance experience to make the most of the controled enviroment that is headphones.
MX-HPA – Specifications
Power 1.8 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (27dBW)
Maximum output voltage 19 Volts RMS, 20Hz to 20 kHz
Onset of clipping (54 Volts peak-to-peak) balanced
THD+N >0.005% typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz
Signal / noise ratio >120dB ‘A’-weighted
Input impedance 50k Ohms
Frequency response +0, –0.1dB, 10Hz to 20 kHz
Gain, LO position (volume max) 18db (8x)
Gain, HI position (volume max) 24dB (15x)
Line level inputs
1 pair line level XLR (balanced) connectors
1 pairs line level RCA connectors
1 pair 3-pin XLR/¼” stereo Jack combined sockets
Mains voltages 90-250VAC 50-60Hz universal worldwide supply
Consumption >0.25 Watts standby (Orange LED lit)
15 Watts maximum (Blue LED lit, full power output)
Unit only, unboxed 2.2 kg (5 lbs) In shipping carton 3.7 kg (8¼ lbs)
Width 220 mm x Height 53 mm x Depth (front to back) inc. terminals 240 mm