The Only Way to Listen to 'Phones
So do you really need a dedicated headphone amp? The answer is probably 'yes' if the headphone amp in question is a Rega. It's the only way to listen to your favorite pair of 'phones.
"On most integrated amps, the headphone jack is fed from the power amp stage, through a resistor to reduce the level," reports Michael Jones in the November 2002 issue of New Zealand's AudioEnz. "Usually this turns the bass mushy. Even when a little effort has been put in by the manufacturer, most 'dedicated' headphone stages found in amps and CD players are cheap and nasty op-amps."
On the other hand, according to Michael Jones, "The Rega Ear is a great headphone amp and, at the remarkably low price… is something of a bargain. Highly recommended."
The Rega Ear headphone amplifier benefits from an all new extruded aluminum case and sleek styling. But the real story behind the Rega is its superior circuitry, which delivers a fully satisfying headphone listening experience.
The Ear couldn't be easier to use. It simply connects to the tape output of an amplifier via phono leads, and offers a tape loop to replace the one it uses. Plug your headphones into the front panel, and you're done.
Reveals "Small and Subtle Details"
"Now this is fun!" reports AudioEnz. "Dark Side of the Moon is an album full of small and subtle details, which often get lost while listening through speakers. The Ear helped me hear the subtle little minutiae within this album."
Switching to Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, "Bass frequencies were easy to hear, with the bowed double basses and tympani very clear to my ears."