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 applies techniques and employs 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 reliable trouble-free performance for many years.
“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 theBHA-1 as your headphone arsenal expands. And the sound? That’s why it’s our Product of the Year.”
- Tone Audio magazine – 1/4/13
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Bryston BHA-1 Review
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