What is there to say about a headphone amplifier? In this case more than you probably think. In this case Rupert Neve Designs showed their innovative roots by designing the RNHP headphone amplifier that has a precision gain control so both of the stereo channels behave consistent when controlling the gain. So no grainy sound at low gains.
The ability to switch between three sources will come in handy as well. The unit itself is a heavy-ish black metal case with a with a ivory white front in the style of Rupert Never Design. The inputs on the backside can be XLR, TRS, RCA or 3.5mm mini jack. Of course it uses an external adaptor but also has a power switch. Downside is that if you use the power switch to switch it on with a headphones connected it has a small power surge and you can hear a clicking sound in the headphones. So I prefer to remove the headphones before turning the unit on. When the unit is on the default channel is A and you can the bright green led light buttons to switch to B and C as well. You then can hear a small click which is not as big as when you turn the unit on.
The gain of this headphone amplifier is rather large. During testing I used my Ultrasone RS-1 Pro headset and at 50% gain it was more than enough. So high impedance headsets will work fine as well with this headphone amplifier. For testing I used several inputs and overall I liked the sound very much. But to be totally honest I do notice a slight degradation in sound when I hooked it up to Prism headphone amplifier output and compared both. Hardly noticeable but the purists will clearly hear this which normal considering it is active amplification after all.
The headphone amplifier has four VISA mount holes on the bottom you can use to attach it to a stand which can come in handy if you are in a recording or live setting. Even in the dark you can easily see the chosen channel and gain control. The unit itself is very sturdy and can handle quite some abuse. The gain control feels extremely solid so this thing is built to last.
All in all a very simple yet versatile headphone amplifier of high quality and a good sound. Hopefully Rupert Neve Designs will look into a monitor switch as well which shouldn’t be too much of a stretch with this unit in mind.
- large gain of headphones output
- very smooth gain control
- multiple switchable inputs of different format
- bright switch led’s
- build to last
- mount for a stand
- not 100% transparent sound
- headphones click when switched on