Headphone First All-In-One

MarwoodChap

Member
Hi,

I am looking to add a new system to my current Schiit Modi3/Magni3 setup, which will be used with my Meze 99 Classics first and then have speakers added in 9 months or so, when I move house.

I’m currently in a small flat, with paper thin walls. This means anything I buy has to have a small footprint. I’ll be using Spotify Connect, AirPlay and internet radio as the sources, playing mostly indie rock, pop, RnB and metal. I’m unlikely to want to add fixed sources later - I sold all my record and CD stuff years ago and haven’t looked back. Budget is around £2,500.

I’m currently considering the Naim Uniti Atom (Not the headphone edition, as the lead time is too long), the Hifi Rose RS250, with an amp like the Rega Io or Brio, the Hifi Rose RS201 or the Cambridge Audio Evo 75.

I’d prefer something which looks good, as Wife Acceptance Factor plays a part, and a screen is a bonus, but not essential. I also would prefer not to have to tinker with things like Raspberry Pi or anything which needs much active management. I do that for a living and this is to help me relax!

Are there any other systems I should be considering?
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
You mention buying an amplifier, is the intention to add active or passive speakers to the headphones rig

I know @gibbsy has experience in this area. I am tempted to move this thread to "Hi-fi separates" if this is about achieving a headphones plus (active/passive) speakers system with streaming ability and display being a bonus?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Brio is one of the few amps from the company that does have it's own headphone jack. How good it is I don't know but you could easily link a quality headphone amp to the record circuit. I know nothing about streaming though, far too 21st century for me. The Brio is a good shout for a small room because of it's diminutive foot print and headphone amps are even smaller.

A good headphone amp will easily out perform the vast majority of built in circuits on stereo amps and some can be used as a pre-amp although limited to just one input source.
 

MarwoodChap

Member
Thanks guys, that’s good to know. I would prefer all-in-one.

I’ve not decided on the speakers I’ll go for in the future. It will depend on the place I end up moving to, and how much space I’m able to get.

I think the new Brio does have a headphone socket. It’s a feature they call out on their site.

@gibbsy from what you say I may be better served by a headphone amp for now and then a speaker amp and speakers later? Is there anything you’d suggest I look at? Since the sources I’m considering are in the £1,800-2,000 range I could look anywhere up £700 ish.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
RME ADI-2 DAC - Best amp/dac for 1k
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I use a Lehmann Linear headphone amp. Can also be used as a pre-amp and there is an Amp/DAC alternative as well.

 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
You don't need an external streamer for a desktop setup.
 

MarwoodChap

Member
I use a Lehmann Linear headphone amp. Can also be used as a pre-amp and there is an Amp/DAC alternative as well.

That looks ideal!

I'm demoing the Uniti Atom and the HiFi Rose this weekend. I'll see if I can do this as well. Thanks @gibbsy!
 

MarwoodChap

Member
I bit the bullet and bought the Naim Uniti Atom, after demoing that, the Rose RS201E and the Auralic Altair G1. Super pleased with it, although all 3 units were excellent.

Would it be useful to write up my experiences demoing? From a very inexperienced & uneducated perspective, hifi wise.
 

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