HeadRoom The Little Headphone Amplifiers

The Little

A headphone amp.

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
F3   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 25, 2003]
Strength:

not relevant

Weakness:

not relevant

Sorry to disturb the positive spheres some reviewers are in. I just want to say that I had an unpleasant experience with headroom when returning a product. I heard rumours of headroom staff not answering emails before. Well this happened to me to. After returning a product from the Netherlands I have in vain tried to contact the company. Emails are not answered and a confirmation of the return seems beyond their understanding. It is hard to imagine that a reasonable letter to the manager and president of the company is left unanswered. But that is a fact. So do not overly be impressed by their smooth return policy as stated on the internet or a number of positive reviews. Their consumer friendly attitude has a very short span. Very well possible ofcourse that another person has another experience. But mine is a fact to. I will inform you when I see some of my original investment of $500 back. Vincent van Romondt

Similar Products Used: not relevant
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Timo   AudioPhile [Jul 12, 2002]
Strength:

Subtle profundity of the crossfeed processor. It's a must.

Weakness:

Non-detachable power cord from the wall wart is a pain. Why two power LED's that can cut steel?

I've been using the Little with Grado SR-60's now for close to a year and I have to say that there is no way I would purchase any other brand of headphone amp that did not use the Headroom crossfeed processor circuit. I can understand how some people may find the effect "subtle" but I can't live without it now. It really does what they say it does. It's difficult for me to describe how profound the "subtle" difference is. With the processor the sound stage is more unified. The best way I can describe it is that without the processor it seems like certain elements of the music mix sound like they are pointed straight at the side of your head like they are on either side of you instead of all in front of you on a stage. Listening for a while with the processor then switching it off and to me it sounds like a pair of out of phase speakers. I think perhaps the reason that some people don't notice the effect is that it varies depending on the type of music. The two(why 2?)power LEDs are so bright and distracting that I covered them with a chunk of modeling clay. Every once in a while it falls off and I have to get my welding goggles out. Personally the crossfeed processor circuit is worth the price of admission.

Similar Products Used: Nothing compares without the crossfeed processor.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Dan   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 29, 2001]
Strength:

Reveals nuances slightly better than Creek's OBH-11; allows one to switch the high pass filter (and image processor) on and off; very small; can be upgraded; great overall sound...

Weakness:

...This sound however, feels a bit distant in comparison to Creek's amp. There is no on/off switch; you must plug the amp in each time you wish to use it (or just leave it on all of the time).

While comparing both the Creek and Headroom units (using Sennheiser HD 600 headphones), I had an extremely difficult time discerning any real difference between them. Ultimately, it came down to my personal preference--wanting to feel "closer" to the musicians. The Creek, in this respect, won the battle; the Little, however, may work better for another person in a different situation, especially since one can upgrade it at a later time. The Little did reveal slightly more subtle aspects of the music, but ultimately lacked the presense and punch to suit my musical needs.

The relativity of my review only prooves one thing: you must audition each amp--in your particular setup--to gain any TRUE understanding of how it will sound with respect to your own "good" and "bad" labels.

In any event, each amp revealed things I had never heard in my favorite recordings before. I think, with a decent pair of headphones, anyone who loves music would consider the Little an investment...

Similar Products Used: Creek OBH-11
Headroom Total Airhead
Headroom Supreme
MF XCanV2
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Neil Koomen   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 09, 2000]
Strength:

Neat little size. Cool looking. Good sound. No noise or hum problems.

Weakness:

Price is a bit high ($250), given that basically it's just a very small integrated amplifier. Volume control isn't linear at very low volume, so left channel is audible before right channel. Only noticeable late at night, when I'm listening at very low volume. No on/off switch. Permanently-attached inline power supply is slightly awkward.

I'd always wanted one of these Headroom amps, so when I found a used one for $150 or so, I picked this up. I'd never heard one, but had always been curious about it from reading.

What I'm using with it: 1992 Sony DT66 Discman, (and here's the part where the audiophile "simpler is better" purists will cringe) feeding a BBE Audio Restoration System home processor, feeding the Little Headroom amp, with either Grado SR80 or Sennheiser HD475 headphones. I have some nice, short, heavy-duty cables linking the hardware.

(The BBE, when not used to excess, does a great job of enlivening the sound, especially for CDs of older music. The BBE has a bypass switch, so it's easy to compare the sound with/without the BBE process. More info at http://www.bbesound.com.)

The only gripe I've got with the Little Headroom amp is that the volume control isn't linear at very low volume, but that's only noticeable late at night during bedroom listening--still, it's a surprising flaw. But things have to be really quiet at home for me to hear that, so it's probably not really a big problem. I'd also appreciate an on/off switch.

I don't use the treble switch on the Headroom at all--just seems to boost treble, which I don't need. I can't really hear any effect from the Headroom crossfeed processor, but mostly I leave it on. I've tried the Headroom with and without my BBE processor, and the BBE has much more effect than anything the Headroom does.

Overall, I haven't found any flaws in the sound, other than the volume control not being quite perfect at very low volume.

Would I buy another? I'm not sure--I suspect that I could find something of equal sound quality at $250, but it wouldn't have the "small is beautiful" style of the Little Headroom.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Jordan   Audiophile [Jan 29, 2001]
Strength:

Great sound.

Weakness:

A bit expensive. Unregulated power suppply.

I was using my amps headphone output with my Senheiser
HD-600. Great sound but something was missing. So I got
The Litle. Wow! That is a big difference. This thing can
really make the HD-600 sing. I have a Spectrum Sound
Theater 2000 SRS-3D processor in the loop and creates an almost real soundstage. I didn't see any non-linearities
with the volume control as mentioned by another reviewer.
The only thing that I didn't like is the unregulated power
supply (comes as an upgrade), at least at this price level.
To my surprise though the amp is extremely quiet.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Dew   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 27, 2000]
Strength:

Very open and transparent sound. Great staging and spacial resolution - it's a real eye/ear-opener!

Weakness:

The previous reviewer is correct: the volume control is not 100% linear at low levels.

This is a real improvement over any of the cheap built-in headphone-amps commonly found in CD-players and amps. The difference is unbelievable, even when using mid-range headphones. I've used a Sennheiser HD520 and two Grado headphones, all three of them sound great with fantastic transparency and great staging.
Bass levels are good, mids are well-defined and highs are just right (not too bright as with many of the built-in headphone jack amps).

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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