The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier was released right around the same time as the new Klipsch Heritage HP-3 headphones. And just like the HP-3, it has a classy and vintage look. But beyond its good looks, how does it perform? Does it perform as well as other DAC/amp combos in its price range? Today I’ll find out with a full Klipsch heritage Headphone Amplifier review.
Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier Review
In the Box
-USB B female to USB A male
-various country power adapters
The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier is quite a looker. With wood lining the top and bottom, the black faceplate contrasts ornamentally with the copper knobs and switches. It looks old-school without feeling passé. Rather it is like a modern antique: durable, classy, and made to sit out and show off. It’s relatively small build is convenient compared to other desktop-style DAC/amplifiers which are heavier and bulkier.
There are a variety of ways to get sound into the Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier. There are USB A and B slots for a phone or computer. Additionally there are ports for optical, coaxial, and RCA line connections.
Likewise, there are a variety of ways to listen to the music once it has been converted into analog. There is an RCA line-out for listening to speakers, a balanced 4-pin XLR out for headphones with such a cable, and an unbalanced 6.3 mm output for headphones like the Klipsch Heritage HP-3 headphones. Additionally, there is an output switch on the front face-plate of the device for switching between line-out and phones-out.
The front face-plate of the Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier also has a switch for impedance level. Hi-Z is for high impedance headphones and supplies an additional 10dB of gain. Lo-Z is for lower impedance headphones that don’t need extra gain.
The digital to analog converter (DAC) of the Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier converts via an ES90128K2M Sabre32 analog to digital converter chip. It is capable of up to 192 kHz/24 bit sample rate and indicates the source sample rate with a light panel on the front face-plate.
The balanced output has dual amplifiers, the Class-AB TI TPA6120A2 amps. It has very low distortion and uses relays and analog gain control.
I began my listening test with the Audeze LCD-3 (110 ohms). I’m spoiled, aren’t I? 🙂
At loud listening levels, the Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier supplied plenty of power. It was very dynamic and clean with no distortion, even while listening loudly. At lower listening levels, the headphones still sounded clear and maintained their dynamics. Out of curiousity, I listened to the same headphones side-by-side via the iFi Micro iDSD Black Label which is one of my favorite amplifiers. Similarly, the Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier has versatile inputs and outputs. In comparison, the Klipsch’s low end sounded a little bit looser than the iFi Black Label. The low-mids sounded very tight with the Black Label, while the Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier sounded warm and smooth.
The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier is a super convenient and versatile desktop headphone DAC and amp. It has an aesthetically pleasing, warm sound. Additionally it is very good looking. Be sure to keep it on display on your desk!
The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier is available for the best price here:
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