Amplifier

McIntosh Audio goes small with the MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier

Anyone who knows audio is aware of McIntosh—no, not Apple’s Macintosh! McIntosh is one of the most respected brands of audiophile gear with a history of great sound, long life and understated design with their signature blue lighting. Many years ago, I bought a Marantz receiver solely because it looked like a McIntosh (couldn’t afford …

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Samson QH4 4-channel headphone amplifier review

So, I’m a music guy. I like listening to music, writing music, talking about music, sharing music, and (other present imperfect continuous verbs) music. The SAMSON QH4 is a bit of a multitool for people like me. I can plug a few pairs of headphones into it, and share my music with friends. I can mix on …

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iFi Nano iDSD DAC and Headphone Amp review

I’ve always been a fan of digital audio converters (DAC). They can make good headphones and earphones sound better by bringing out the best they have to offer. Audio listening is only as good as the weakest link, so if you’re wondering whether those expensive headphones can sound as good as advertised, upgrading the DAC …

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Instant audio quality upgrade for your devices with this tiny amplifier

I long for the perfect smartphone. You know, the one that has awesome battery life, a high resolution camera that takes clear pictures in low light, and fantastic audio quality to blow you away. I recently upgraded my phone to a Nexus 6, but found one of the things lacking was the sound quality when …

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Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC/Headphone Amp review

Whenever I try to explain what a digital audio converter (DAC) does and why it’s a cool thing to have, I almost always get that “deer in headlights” look. Then – if they’re still listening – I tell them the cost of this cool DAC. That’s when the look changes to “are you nuts?” Sheesh, …

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Modern sound from a steampunk device

The Bluetooth Sound Enhancing Amplifier looks like steampunk, but it has some modern features married with some old technology.  The amplifier uses two 6N3 vacuum tubes to “generate 20 RMS watts per channel of distortion-free signal, adding punch and clarity to high bit-rate MP3s, Apple Lossless, or CD-quality audio played wirelessly from an iPhone, iPad, iPod …

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Audioengine shows that big things can come in small packages

Computers and headphones are replacing the home stereo as the primary source for listening to music. Wireless speakers, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and a host of other technologies have developed and matured as a result. The external digital audio converter (DAC) also belongs in this group as a solution to the problem of lousy audio from desktop …

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CMOY Headphone Amplifier review

Before deciding if you want – or need – the CMOY Headphone Amplifier, there is something any buyer should ask themselves: Why do you want one? Seriously, this is important, because many people will buy a headphone amp for all the wrong reasons. Consider this: If you want an amp to make your music louder and …

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NuForce Mobile Music Pump makes your music come alive

If you find your mobile device produces wimpy sound, even through headphones or earbuds, you may need to boost the output with the Mobile Music Pump.  NuForce says that today’s mobile devices usually aren’t powerful enough to drive many of today’s quality headphones/earbuds.  The Mobile Music Pump (MMP) increases the gain by 3X or 5X …

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Griffin Twenty Digital Audio Amplifier for AirPort Express review

In the Cloninger family, we keep all our music in iTunes, so it’s accessible from our iPhones or iPads.  Music sounds great through earphones from an iOS device, but sometimes you don’t want to use earphones.  The built-in speakers in both the iPad and the iPhone are weak and wimpy, so we’ve tried various speakers …

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Orb Audio is practically giving away Mini-T amplifiers when you purchase a it with a pair of Mod 1 speakers

We’ve reviewed Orb Audio speakers and amps a few times here at The Gadgeteer.  If you’d like a refresher of Orb’s great designs and quality, check out Julie’s review of their speakers, and my reviews of their Booster and Mini-T amps.  Orb Audio has just released their 2013 Mini-T amplifier, and they’re making a special …

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Griffin Twenty turns any speakers into AirPlay speakers

There are new AirPlay speakers on the market weekly, but what do you do if you have nice speakers you’d like to continue to use?  With the Twenty AirPlay Digital Amplifier for AirPort Express from Griffin, you can turn any non-amplified speakers into AirPlay speakers.  The Twenty is a 2.1 channel Class D stereo amplifier …

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V-MODA introduces VAMP, an Audio Multitasker for the iPhone 4/4S

V-MODA, maker of the Crossfade M-80 and Crossfade LP headphones, have introduced the VAMP, a headphone amplifier with a dedicated 150mW x 2 amplifier, DAC (Digital-to-Analog convertor), optical audio output and a 2200mAh battery – all integrated into a metal case for the iPhone 4/4S. It’s based on the GO-DAP 4.0 by VentureCraft, but tweaked …

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SRS Labs iWOW-U Universal Audio Adapter with Faceplates Review

Bill Henderson recently told us about the SRS Labs iWOW 3D Audio Enhancer Adapter for iOS devices (see related posts for a link to his review).  Bill found the iWOW 3D was a relatively inexpensive way to improve the audio quality of modest earphones.  Everybody wants better sound without breaking the bank, so SRS Labs …

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Draco Deep Bass Active Control Headphone Amplifier Review

The new Deep Bass Active Control Headphone Amplifier from Draco has me a bit confused. Draco likes to hype the strong, deep bass of this amp and yet, I am happy that they failed to do so. Sort of. See what I mean by confused? If you’re a bass head and you bought this amp …

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