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"Product of the Year" Award Winner, 2012 - ToneAudio Magazine
"Packed With Technology Usually Reserved for High-End Amps"
Continuing Bryston's tradition of unmatched audio performance and functionality, the BHA-1 Balanced Headphone Amplifier is Bryston’s reference amplifier solution for the finest listening experience from your headphones. The BHA-1 is compatible with both traditional single-ended headphone designs and balanced headphones. This version comes with male XLR output connectors.
"Bryston bursts onto the ever-growing headphone scene with a statement product right out of the chute, and it's clear that the company has done its homework," notes ToneAudio magazine. "And that sound? That's why it's our Product of the Year."
"If you prize transparency, build quality, and the features set suits your fancy, the Bryston should be on your short list," says Steve Guttenberg in InnerFidelity, December 2012. "The BHA-1 is the sort of amp I could happily listen to for 20 plus years."
You Can Use It As a Preamp, Too
An update to the BHA-1 allows you to use it as a preamplifier. Just use the rear panel balanced XLR outputs to drive a power amplifier. According to Steven Stone in his February 21, 2013 review for HomeTheater.com, "The balanced XLR output's level is controlled by the large volume knob on the front panel, which in essence turns the BHA-1 into a preamp. Instead of merely passing a fixed-output line-level signal, the BHA-1 has a variable output level, making it suitable for pre-amplifier duties."
"An Outstanding Bargain"
In his review for Canada Hi-fi, magazine, Phil Gold calls the BHA-1 "an outstanding bargain in balanced headphone amps. If the Bryston sold for $2500 I would not have been surprised and it would still offer strong value. At its current price it is a steal. Buy one today."
"The BHA-1 is packed with technology usually reserved for traditional high-end hi-fi amplifiers," notes Stuart Pritchard in his April 16, 2012 review for England's SVI SoundVisionInstall. The result of all this is technology is "an inherently clean and stable signal with Bryston’s familiar dramatic resolution."
"Frankly I Think It Is Underpriced"
"Frankly I think it is underpriced," says Phil Gold in his December 2012 review for EnjoyTheMusic.com. "I predict a smash hit for Bryston."
"Few headphone amps offer the level of versatility, fine sound, input and output options, and overall rock-solid reliability of the Bryston BHA-1," reports Steven Stone in HomeTheaterReview.com, February 21, 2013.
"Best Analogue Preamplifier"
The BHA-1 won an award as "Best Analogue Preamplifier" in Poland's Audio Video Magazine for 2012/2013. That's right, "Best Analogue Preamplifier," which is a high honor considering all of the competition. The BHA-1 was selected for this top award by readers of the magazine.
Balanced Amplifier Design
The Bryston BHA-1 takes advantage of the significant benefits of balanced dual-mono amplifier designs that are inherently clean and stable especially when there is a demand for higher power and/or a difficult load to drive.
The advantage of powering each headphone driver (right and left) with two amplifiers configured in balanced or series mode is a doubling of the signal voltage to each speaker. This design configuration has been the foundation of Bryston’s legendary 7B, 14B, and 28B amplifiers. Now headphone users can experience the same dramatic resolution from the BHA-1.
Top Quality Components Through and Through
As with every Bryston product, the BHA-1 uses the highest quality internal components throughout its construction, and it uses hand-assembled circuitry. These premium components include a premium and exceptionally quiet Noble Stereo Volume control, laser trimmed for precision. The BHA-1 also uses six fully discrete 'Class A' Bryston operational amplifiers for exceptionally pure and lifelike sound.
In addition to the advanced volume control, you'll also find a left and right balance control on the sleek, ultra-clean front panel along with a control for selecting 14 dB or 20 dB of gain. The BHA-1 runs off a very low-noise internal power supply in order to eke out every last bit of this impressive headphone amp's performance potential. For an upgrade in performance, you can also use Bryston's MPS-2 external power supply, which replaces the BHA-1's internal supply.
Balanced and Unbalanced Compatibility
Because most headphones are not balanced devices, Bryston provides a traditional unbalanced 1⁄4" connection on the BHA-1 as well as connections for balanced headphones. The balanced outputs consist of four-pin stereo and dual left/right three-pin outputs. Thanks to its powerful design, the BHA-1 boasts multiple headphone drive capability. So enjoy it with an audiophile friend!
Hand Assembly and Individual Testing
Bryston nor only hand assembles but also individually tests each and every product it manufactures. The company exclusively uses only the finest components in its products, such as 1% metal-film resistors, polystyrene capacitors, and hand selected and matched transistors, in order to reduce noise and distortion to the absolute minimum.
Bryston applies techniques and employs custom materials in its everyday construction of electronic equipment that are more typically utilized by military and aerospace industries. The company's traditional adherence to the use of proprietary parts, sophisticated construction, and refined testing techniques, guarantees that your Bryston component will perform superbly, without any problems, for many, many years. It also prevents any unit-to-unit variance, which inevitably is the result of any mass produced product.
Unique Burn-In Procedure
Not only the BHA-1, but also each and every Bryston audio product undergoes an extensive quality control "burn-in" procedure. This extremely rigorous burn-in quickly "matures" components and weeds out any potential premature failures. The result is reliable trouble-free performance for many years.
"Product of the Year" Award Winner, 2012 - ToneAudio Magazine
"Bryston bursts onto the ever-growing headphone scene with a statement product right out of the chute, and it's clear that the company has done its homework… And that sound? That's why it's our Product of the Year."
"…An outstanding bargain in balanced headphone amps. If the Bryston sold for $2500 I would not have been surprised and it would still offer strong value. At its current price it is a steal. Buy one today."
Phil Gold, Canada Hi-fi, magazine
"The BHA-1 is a highly transparent device and a synergistic match with all of my full-size headphones."
"If you prize transparency, build quality, and the features set suits your fancy, the Bryston should be on your short list… The BHA-1 is the sort of amp I could happily listen to for 20 plus years."
Steve Guttenberg, InnerFidelity, December 2012
"Few headphone amps offer the level of versatility, fine sound, input and output options, and overall rock-solid reliability of the Bryston BHA-1. Combine it with a good fixed-level DAC and you have the makings of a most excellent desktop playback system."
Steven Stone, HomeTheaterReview.com, February 21, 2013
"Housed in a full-width minimalist style enclosure, the BHA-1 is packed with technology usually reserved for traditional high-end hi-fi amplifiers, as Bryston approached its design with the philosophy that the intimacy of listening to music on a high quality pair of headphones should be every bit as rewarding as using a more familiar loudspeaker equipped system. So to achieve this, Bryston employed the same dual mono amplifier construction used in its respected 7B, 14B and 28B amplifiers which, configured in balanced or series mode, the two amplifiers per headphone driver (left and right) produce a doubling of the signal voltage to each channel, resulting in an inherently clean and stable signal with Bryston’s familiar dramatic resolution."
Stuart Pritchard, SVI SoundVisionInstall, April 16, 2012
"If I had to pick a winner here it would have to be the Bryston. It is a close match to the best in performance while offering superior versatility and value. It is the least expensive of the headamps here that support balanced operation, which I have found invaluable. Frankly I think it is underpriced and with the recent addition of balanced preamp outputs I doubt it will stay at the original $1295 for long. I predict a smash hit for Bryston."
Phil Gold, EnjoyTheMusic.com, December 2012
Audio Advisor - Bryston BHA-1 Headphone Amplifier