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HiFiMAN EF2 USB Headphone Amplifier Review
User Rating: / 4
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Written by Munk   
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Hi-Fi is a beautiful thing, and now that people are beginning to realize the world of surround sound is only good for theatrical applications, the market is being blessed with more and more beautiful combinations of tube and solid state hybrid goodness. I have always been a fan of tube amps but the wattage of a solid state amp is just too powerful to give up all together. We are starting to see the power of digital combined with the smooth, sultry, tones of analog all built into one package. The Hi-FiMAN EF2 Headphone amp is one such amplifier that not only includes all the benefits of your average tube-solid-state hybrid headphone amp but also includes the option to use it with your PC through the magic of USB. Let’s get a closer look at this fantastic product:

 

 

 

Provided by: Head-Direct

Price: $189

 

Closer Look:

Specifications and Features:

Imput Impedence: 47k
Output Impedence: 32-300 Ohm
Output at 32 Ohm: 3 v, 320 mw
Output at 150 Ohm: 6.2 v, 256
Freqency: 20-20khz +/- 0.2db
S/N: 95db
DAC Chip: Burr-Brown PCM2702
Tube: China 6J1 * 2 pcs
Input Voltage: 16 v to 18 v; 500 mA
Power Supply: 110 v or 220 v
Size: 14cm*8.5cm* 4.5cm or 5.6"* 3.4" * 1.8"

Defaut computer volume for EF2 USB DAC is 50%. Customer will have to maximize computer volume after connect EF2 as USB DAC.

Ship via EMS Express Mail with tracking. Will arrive in 5 to 7 business days.

30 days refund and 90 days replacement

 

Testing:

In order to test the full potential of the Hi-FiMAN EF2 Headphone amplifier I decided to use a range of earbuds, IEM’s, and Headphones. I went with the Head-Directs REO’s, the V-Moda Vibe ii’s, the iFrogz Crews, the SteelSeries Siberiea Headphones, and the iFrogz Timbere’s.

 

The best pairing of earbud to amp I found in this batch was the Head-Drirect RE0s. Although in the past my favourite all around earbuds have always been the V-Moda Vibe ii’s; the Head-Direct RE0’s have always sounded better when amped and in this case amping the V-moda’s caused some major distortion issues that I wasn’t very happy with. My previous V-moda, be all , end all attitude waned because the quality of sound that the Hi-FiMAN EF2 Headphone amplifier produced through the RE0s made me a very happy Hi-Fi’er. The efficiency was very impressive when the valume is low the sound range doesn’t seem to diminish like it would through strictly tube amps I have used in the past the inclusion of good capacitors on the circuit boards design made low volume listening a pleasure.
The overall design of the amp is a nice little slice of retro heaven for any audiophiles desktop and the inclusion of the blue LED power indicator make the amp stand out elegantly from a normally boring desk. I would say that the Qinpu amp we reviewed in the past did provide a bit nicer aesthetics to the desk but its footprint more than double the amount of non usable space over the EF2.

 

Conclusion:

Overall I have to say I love the Hi-FiMAN EF2 headphone amp the installation was just a matter of plugging in the usb and your headphones and you are off and running. Windows figures out what is going on right away and instantly switches over to your headphone amp when it is plugged in.

Would I recommend this product? Yup and I would to everyone even if you are not an audiophile you will change your mind if you buy yourself one of these. This is by far one of my favourite desktop amps and future desktop amps reviewed will have to fight an uphill battle to boot this guy off my desk.

Pros:

  • Small Footprint
  • Hybrid technology from old and new
  • Great for office and home use
  • Great design
  • Quality Build materials

Cons:

  • Might be a bit pricey for some
 

 

 

 


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