BHA-1 Balanced Headphone Amp

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Designed for both audiophiles and audio professionals the BHA-1 fully resolves musical detail a… More details

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Advancing their tradition of unmatched audio performance and functionality, the BHA-1 Balanced Headphone Amplifier is Bryston's solution to delivering the finest listening experience from your headphones. Functionally a miniature power amplifier, we applied the same robust design elements to the BHA-1 amplifier that we used to develop our full size amps. Six class A fully discrete operational amplifiers generate your headphone output, delivering up to 2 watts of power for more than adequate dynamic range. The BHA-1 provides a true balanced mode via balanced outputs, or you can use the single-ended outputs for more traditional headphones. The BHA-1 also has a pair of XLR outputs which allow you to use the unit as a high quality analog preamplifier. Hear the best your headphones have to offer by powering them with a BHA-1.

Designed for both audiophiles and audio professionals the BHA-1 fully resolves musical detail and clarity. Effortless transient power at any level or load the resolution from your headphones is dramatic.

Advancing the tradition of unmatched audio performance and functionality, the Bryston BHA-1 is a reference amplifier solution for the finest listening experiences with your headphones.

The advantage of driving each headphone driver with two amplifiers configured in balanced or series mode is doubling the signal voltage into the speaker. This configuration has been proven with our 7B, 14B and 28B amplifiers.

Moon Audio manufactures a complete line of headphone cables available for your balanced and single-ended connections with your high end headphones.

Bryston is bringing this concept to driving headphones. Balanced power amplifiers have no speaker currents being drawn from the circuit ground so the ground reference is always clean and stable especially when higher power is in order. Balanced amplifier outputs can never be grounded, and at this time it seems most headphones are supplied with stereo 1/4” plugs that connect the low sides of their speakers together and attach them to the shield or ground pin. The remedy is simple and in most cases requires only changing the 1/4” connector to either two 3pin XLR connectors or a single 4 pin XLR connector. Bryston is able to provide this service if necessary.

Continuing Bryston's tradition of unmatched audio performance and functionality, the BHA-1 Balanced Headphone Amplifier is Bryston’s reference amplifier solution for the finest listening experience from your headphones. The BHA-1 is compatible with both traditional single-ended headphone designs and balanced headphones.

The Bryston BHA-1 takes advantage of the significant benefits of balanced dual-mono amplifier designs that are inherently clean and stable especially when there is a demand for higher power and/or a difficult load to drive. The advantage of powering each headphone driver (right and left) with two amplifiers configured in balanced or series mode is a doubling of the signal voltage to each speaker. This design configuration has been the foundation of Bryston's legendary 7B, 14B, and 28B amplifiers. Now headphone users can experience the same dramatic resolution from the BHA-1.

As with every Bryston product, the BHA-1 uses the highest quality internal components throughout its construction, and it uses hand-assembled circuitry. These premium components include a premium and exceptionally quiet Noble Stereo Volume control, laser trimmed for precision. The BHA-1 also uses six fully discrete 'Class A' Bryston operational amplifiers for exceptionally pure and lifelike sound.

In addition to the advanced volume control, you'll also find a left and right balance control on the sleek, ultra-clean front panel along with a control for selecting 14 dB or 20 dB of gain. The BHA-1 runs off a very low-noise internal power supply in order to eke out every last bit of this impressive headphone amp's performance potential. For an upgrade in performance, you can also use Bryston's MPS-2 external power supply, which replaces the BHA-1's internal supply.

Because most headphones are not balanced devices, Bryston provides a traditional unbalanced 1⁄4" connection on the BHA-1 as well as connections for balanced headphones. The balanced outputs consist of four-pin stereo and dual left/right three-pin outputs. Thanks to its powerful design, the BHA-1 boasts multiple headphone drive capability. So enjoy it with an audiophile friend!

Bryston not only hand assembles but also individually tests each and every product it manufactures. The company exclusively uses only the finest components in its products, such as 1% metal-film resistors, polystyrene capacitors, and hand selected and matched transistors, in order to reduce noise and distortion to the absolute minimum.

Bryston employs techniques and custom materials in its everyday construction of electronic equipment that are more typically utilized by military and aerospace industries. The company's traditional adherence to the use of proprietary parts, sophisticated construction, and refined testing techniques, guarantees that your Bryston component will perform superbly, without any problems, for many, many years. It also prevents any unit-to-unit variance, which inevitably is the result of any mass produced product.

Not only the BHA-1, but also each and every Bryston audio product undergoes an extensive quality control "burn-in" procedure. This extremely rigorous burn-in quickly "matures" components and weeds out any potential premature failures. The result is a reliable, trouble-free performance for many years.


Drew Recommends the Audeze LCD-2 Headphones paired with the Silver Dragon V3 Headphone Cable as an excellent pairing with the Bryston BHA-1 Balanced Headphone Amplifier.

The BHA-1 is one of Drew's favorites for a desktop headphone amplifier that's high in sound quality and affordable.

Press Reviews

Bryston Magazine Guide
Bryston Magazine

Guides & Advice
by Moon Audio

Enjoy the Music Review, Bryston Branded System
Enjoy the Music

by Rick LaFaver
Aug 2014

Enoy the Music Review, Bryston BHA-1
Enjoy The Music

by Ron Nagle
May 2014

Bryston BHA-1 Balanced Headphone Amplifier Review
Home Theater Review

by Steven Stone
Jan. 2017

Bryston BHA-1 Headphoneer Review
The Headphoneer

by Mr. Headphoneer
Jun. 2019

A High Quality Noble volume control and the ability to drive headphones through standard quarter-inch single-ended outputs or balanced via dual XLRs means you can grow with the BHA-1 as your headphone arsenal expands. And the sound? That's why it's our Product of the Year."
— Tone Audio 1/4/13

Technical Details

Power Options
Standard: high quality Bryston internal analog power supply
Optional: MPS-2 power supply also available (replaces internal supply)
Balanced Outputs
4 pin stereo
dual left/right 3-pin outputs
Single Ended Outputs
Stereo 1/4"
3.125" high, 17" or 19" wide, 11.25" deep
8 lbs
  • Balanced Dual mono circuitry
  • High Quality Noble Stereo Volume control – laser trimmed
  • Left/Right Balance Control
  • 6 Fully discrete Class A Bryston operational amplifiers
  • 14dB or 20dB of selectable gain available
  • All input and output connectors are Gold plated
  • 10k input impedance
  • Multiple headphone drive capability


Harmonic distortion
Less than .003 at 32 ohms at 100mW 20Hz to 20KHz.
IM Distortion
Less than 001%
Greater than 105 dB
Frequency Response
20 to 20 KHz plus or minus .1dB
Hi-Z Load
20 Volts into 600 ohms (667mW) at 001% THD + N at 20-20K
Low-Z Load
4 volts into 32 ohms (500 mW) at 001% THD + N at 20-20K


Single Ended Input @ 1V
Distortion Measured 20Hz to 20 kHz

GAIN HI - 10.9V OUT @ 001% POWER 200 mW
GAIN LO - 5.45 V OUT @ 001% POWER 50 mW
GAIN LO - 2.50 V OUT @ 001% POWER 10 mW
GAIN LO - 788m V OUT @ 001%* POWER 1 mW
GAIN HI - 10.8 V OUT @ 001% POWER 390 mW
GAIN LO - 5.40 V OUT @ 001% POWER 50 mW
GAIN LO - 1.79 V OUT @ 001% POWER 10 mW
GAIN LO - 583 mV OUT @ 001%* POWER 1 mW
GAIN HI - 10.4 V OUT @ 002% POWER 1.35 W
GAIN LO - 5.20 V OUT @ 001% POWER 383 mW
GAIN LO - 887 mV OUT @ 001% POWER 10 mW
GAIN LO - 345 mV OUT @ 003%* POWER 1 mW
GAIN HI - 9.65 V OUT @ 0.150% POWER 2.9 W - onset of clipping
GAIN LO - 4.84 V OUT @ 002% POWER 732 mW
GAIN LO - 578 mV OUT @ 001%* POWER 10 mW
GAIN LO - 185 m V OUT @ 005%* POWER 1 mW
GAIN LO - 4.00 V OUT @ 001% POWER 500 mW - rated output

*= 80 KHZ FILTER, mW = milliwatt, W = watt, mV = millivolt, V = volt