KLIPSCH HERITAGE HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER

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by Peter Familari

30th November, 2017

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KLIPSCH HERITAGE HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER

US legacy speaker brand Klipsch is more than a speaker manufacturer.

In recent times, Klipsch has launched a nifty range of retro styled, benchtop Bluetooth self-powered speakers.

But the item sending headphone devotees’ glands salivating is the awesome new Reference 3 headphone. It comes in a svelte timber box the size of a small suitcase and inside nestles a pair of large headphones with a luxury leather headband. The new phones are available in a range of real wood finishes. Price is $1599 RRP.

Klipsch has now followed up with a stunning looking matching headphone called, you guessed it, the Heritage Headphone Amplifier. A clear to-the-point model name and we like that.

Before touching on the new model’s features, it’s worth pondering why Klipsch is labouring this whole Heritage thing.

The answer is that it’s in honour of its founder, the legendary Paul Klipsch. A significant reason we think, and we’re sure most passionate audiophiles will agree.

Be that as it may, the new headphone amp looks the business.

It's encased in formed aluminium with a genuine walnut veneer wrap. The styling takes its cue from the nostalgia Klipsch vintage speakers the class of the La Scala conjure up.

Continuing this theme of taking a stroll back into the past is the absence of push buttons. In their place are real round knobs and up and down switches made of anodized aluminium chosen for their satisfying tactile response. And dare we say it, their link with the vintage audio gear of yore.

These switches moreover are analogue, not digital. And they operate via relays to deliver the lowest distortion level in its class, so sez Klipsch.

Digital does rear its dial in the form of a hi-res, high-performance ES9018K2M ESS Sabre Reference DAC that will crunch data all the way up to 192kHz/24-bit.

Internally Klipsch has installed a couple of Dual Class AB TI TPA6120A2 amplifiers and says the signal path minimises crosstalk while increasing total system output.

The point is, Klipsch describes these two amps as being as quiet as the Reference DAC they work with inside the new Headamp.

Intended as an audiophile grade headphone amp, the new model doubles as a DAC for USB audio sources, optical and coaxial inputs making it a nifty desktop companion.

The Klipsch head-amp is bundled with a power supply, global power clips and a 2 metre USB Type-A to USB Type-B cable.

RRP is $799, and the arrival date in stores is February 2018.

For more information visit Klipsch.

Further reading: Headphone News | Headphone Forums

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Written by:

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

Posted in: Headphones
Tags: klipsch  qualifi 

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