Beyerdynamic A2 Headphone Amplifier Review

The Beyerdynamic A2 Headphone Amplifier is a powerful and sleek top of the line headphone amp. The design of the amp is one of the more ornate things I have ever seen Beyerdynamic engineer. With this being their flagship amplifier they are not cutting any corners. The amp comes with a few additional quality of life improvements, such as a remote for volume/input selection and the built in headphone stand on the amp.

Beyerdynamic A2 Headphone Amplifier Review

 

Designbeyerdynamic_a2_headphone_amplifier_open_majorhifi

The A2 by Beyerdynamic is setup pretty similar to their other amps. With most buttons, knobs, and inputs in the same locations. They do take a slight step outside of their rigid conformity. The top of the casing is made of a transparency with the Beyerdynamic logo cut into the panel which showcases a nice line of capacitors, resistors, and other components of the circuit board. When the amp is turned on a row of orange LEDs illuminate the inside of the case adding a little bit of flair. The rest of the body is the familiar bushed metal frame. Per circuit board design reasons there are a couple of switches located on the bottom of the amp controlling output impedance and volume settings. Also located on the bottom of the amp is the setting for the headphone stand.

Sound Qualitybeyerdynamic_a2_headphone_amplifier_front_majorhifi

Before the signal is output there a couple switches the user can manipulate on the bottom of the amp to give the user a little more control over the final signal being sent to the outputs. The first one is a switch to select the output impedance of either 0 Ω or 100 Ω. And another switch for output volume, -4dB, 0dB, or +6dB.

The amp is very transparent in it’s signal processing leaving headphones to sound natural and full. This was happening with any headphone or IEM I threw at it, for example the HD800S, HD650, LCD-2, and Shure SE 846. In the end I was left with a transparent listening experience that added depth and brilliance into whatever I was listening to. Usually companies descriptions of their products are a little exaggerated and misleading, especially with headphones and other subjective material. Beyerdynamic really nailed it this time with their engineering team. The amp also widens up the soundstage of headphones, which helps add depth and space into cluttered and dense mixes. These characteristics are really exemplified when listening to headphones like the Sennheiser HD800S which are known for their wide and deep soundstage. Together they pair up wonderfully with the transparency of the amp mixed with the wide soundstage to create a wonderful sounding product.

Operationbeyerdynamic_a2_headphone_amplifier_stand_majorhifi

The amp itself has an above average wattage at 15W while in use at a higher output. The heat dissipation is well taken care of leaving a low running temperature, partially inherent to being a solid-state amplifier and using LEDs. The amp has two separate RCA inputs and one RCA output if you’re trying to use it inline in a system, which it’s power output is a little low for. The A2 boasts two headphone jacks so you can switch between two pairs of cans easily while the amp is in operation, but with all parallel outputs try make sure you match the impedances of both headphones, or you will wind up loading the signal and cause some discrepancies with the output.

Tech Specs

Dimensions 216 x 235 x 55 mm
Frequency range 1 Hz – 100 kHz (-1 dB)
T.H.D. 0.001 % at 170 mW / 250 Ω
Maximum output power 170 mW / 250 Ω
Unweighted signal-to-noise ratio > 101 dB (unweighted)
Channel separation > 89 dB
Headphone outputs 2 stereo jack outputs 6.35 mm (1/4″) in parallel mode (gold plated contacts)
Analog inputs 2 pairs RCA (gold plated)
Analog outputs 1 pair RCA (gold plated)
Net weight without packaging 2230 g

 

Final Impressions

beyerdynamic_a2_headphone_amplifier_logo_majorhifiThe A2 from Beyerdynamic gives premium quality at a premium price. While there is no getting around the $1399 price tag, for those who are in the market for a top of the line amp the A2 is one to keep in mind. This piece is one of the more elegant things Beyerdynamic has crafted, and that concept of design manifests itself all the way into the hand picked components that go into the circuitry. Sound quality and build aside I am definitely a sucker for the integrated headphone stand and orange LEDs. If you’re chasing after a transparent and natural sounding source then the A2 is one of the better headphone amps to check out if you’re looking to upgrade your components soon.