There are a lot of times when you want to hoard that audio all to yourself. Headphones are the perfect way to drown out distractions and enjoy music. So why does something that seems so good sound so bad? Perhaps, your headphones need a little boost—like the one Pangea Audio is offering through the HP201 Hybrid Tube Headphone Amp with 24/192 USB DAC (Digital to Analog Converter).
This newly announced option promises to be the premium audiophile accessory. That’s because it combines vacuum tube technology with a 24/192 USB DAC.
It has Class A solid state circuitry featuring MOSFET output devices with a premium vacuum tube. The 12AX7 vacuum tube is protected by a removable shield, so you can swap in compatible tubes from different manufacturers. That’s a nice perk, if you’re the type of person that may want to tweak the sound at some point.
Of course, the HP201 Hybrid Tube Headphone Amp with 24/192 USB DAC is also a USB DAC. The 24/48/96/192kHz compatible input allows listeners to play high-resolution digital audio files directly from a computer. From there, the Cirrus Logic CS4344 24-bit/192-kHz DAC chipset handles the entire conversion process.
Other features include an all-steel chassis, a 10mm machined metal faceplate, a pair of auxiliary RCA inputs, an upgradeable rear panel IEC connector, and more. According to Pangea Audio, the HP201 is compatible with a variety of headphone makes and models. The analog stereo outputs can also be connected directly to a power amplifier and controlled using the large, precision-machined aluminum volume control, if desired.
“I tested a variety of solid state output devices and vacuum tubes in the design process of the HP201, selecting the combination I thought delivered the best performance despite their substantially higher cost,” said engineer/designer Jay Victor.
Pangea Audio is selling the HP201 Hybrid Tube Headphone Amp with 24/192 USB DAC now, priced at $299.99.