I have a Schiit Asgard 3 that I really enjoy. While Schiit’s $99 Magni headphone amplifier may seem like the obvious entry into this budget roundup but I actually went up a notch to their $199 Asgard, now in its third generation. I recently purchased the Magni 3 and agree with much of your sound analysis. Bass exhibits somewhat better delineation, but less weight. While it is the quietest, most resolving and detailed, liquid sounding, and delivers the most articulate and controlled bass of any tube I’ve had in the Vali 2, it is not going to transform the capabilities of the amp to the same degree as simply spending the extra on a better amp in the first place (e.g.

If you tend to be listening to headphones that are harder to drive, particularly planar models, then Magni 3 is probably the way to go, as it offers more power and a bit more overall control. Schiit Audio was founded in June of 2010 by veteran audio entrepreneurs Mike Moffat and Jason Stoddard. Schiit kit opts for simple, industrial designs and the Magni 3 is no different.

In this respect Schiit is very different. Not so much).

IEMs included the Empire Ears Zeus XR (Adel), Etymotic ER4-XR, Campfire Audio Andromeda, 64 Audio tia Fourté and RevoNext QT3. For some reason the company makes the iconography so small that one almost needs a magnifying glass to make them out. The single dual-triode design of the Vali 2 means you only need one tube total, rather than one per channel, which makes tube-rolling even more approachable (essentially any 6BZ7, ECC88, 6922, 6DJ8 or 2492 type tube can be used). The extra power that Magni 3 offers vs. Vali 2 helps to bring the AEON to life - they’re a little softer and slower sounding via the Vali 2 - which is nice to relax with but takes things a bit too far in that direction for active/critical listening. Other components used in this review include the Massdrop x Grace SDAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid, Cavalli Liquid Carbon X, Monoprice Liquid Spark, RME ADI-2 DAC, Schiit Audio Modi 3 and Modi Multi-Bit DACs, Loki tone-control/four-band EQ and Eitr USB-to-S/PDIF converter, SYS passive pre-amp/switch. Over a lot of listening, and comparisons to other units at a similar price level, I’ve found that the Magni 3 and Vali 2 are the easiest, and safest, and most consistently well-received units I commonly recommend to those starting out in audio, as well as to those who want to run another system away from their primary rigs. Tube-rolling is, for me, a big part of the fun of tube and tube-hybrid amplifiers - letting you experiment with different presentations just by swapping tubes. The reverb and timbre of the drums on Counting Crows’ Anna sound jangly and ragtag as is the band’s wont. Deciding between them is going to be dependent partly on your listening preferences, partly on the rest of your chain and whether you have a general preference for solid-state or tube designs. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices.

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