Fostex HP-P1 Headphone Amp & DAC

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The Fostex HP-P1 is the World’s first portable headphone amplifier with D/A converter which receives it’s audio signal digitally from iPod/iPhone 30-pin dock connector.

Featuring an ultra-high quality 32bit DAC and exclusively designed audiophile analogue circuitry, the sonic performance and fidelity of the headphone signal simply has to be experienced to be believed. The tone, the depth and the effective headroom is nothing short of stunning, giving the impression of almost limitless audio power reserves on tap at all times.

Add to this a 3-step gain control to accommodate all types of headphones, an in-built /PDIF Digital Out, twin digital filters and a rugged, yet cool, aluminum alloy chassis and you simply have the best portable headphone amp for your iPod / iPhone available.

Everything about the Fostex HP-P1 screams quality. - First up is the audio processing. Utilising 32bit AKM’s AK4480 which features innovative on-chip symmetrical circuitry to avoid noise coupling, thus improving sound quality, coupled with 2 filters including a 32-bit minimum delay filter designed specifically for acoustic sounds the HP-P1 delivers exceptional sonic performance, allowing music to ‘flow through’ to your ears in an supremely natural way. Then there’s the build quality and the sheer beauty of the thing. Engineered from aircraft grade aluminium and built to exacting standards, the HP-P1 is a tactile delight to handle and operate.

Exclusive Carry Case Included The HP-P1 comes complete with an exclusively designed carry case which can be clipped to a belt if desired. In addition, a 50mm Dock connector USB cable and a USB power cable (Type A to mini B) are also included.

Main Features

  • Digital connection from iPod/iPhone to HP-P1 via 30-pin dock connector
  • High quality 32-bit DAC (AKM4480) and headphone amp for maximum sound quality
  • Battery or USB powered
  • Hi/Mid/Low 3-step gain control on the headphone out drives all headphone types
  • Auxiliary analog Line Input for other MP3 players
  • S/PDIF Digital Out for professional recording

Headfonia Review

HiFi HP-P1 Review by Alan Sircom, Aug. 15, 2012

Only iPod/iPhone etc with iOS 4.35 and after are supported and is made for:

iPod Touch (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Generation)
iPod Classic (6th Generation)
iPod Nano (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th Generation)
iPhone 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ,8, X

For upgrade cable options for a portable system, see cable options below.

For use with desktop or tablets, Drew recommends using the Silver Dragon V3 LOD to USB or Black Dragon IEM V1 LOD to USB. For New Apple Lightning connector Please order Apple Adapter HERE. And order below the Micro USB B (used with Lightning connector) to Mini USB B or USB A connection. We Can Not do a Micro USB to 3.5mm mini plug. As this is an analog connection and requires a special chip.

Digital Input

  • Connector: USB type A for Dock Connector iPod/iPhone connection

Analog Input

  • Connector: Stereo mini jack
  • Maximum input: Approx. 3.0 Vrms

Headphone Output

  • Connector: Stereo mini
  • Maximum output power: 80 mW + 80 mW
  • Applicable load impedance: 16 ohms or more
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +/- 0.3 dB (at 32 ohm load, 80 mW output power)

Line Out

  • Connector: Stereo mini
  • Nominal output level: -10 dBV
  • Digital Output
  • Connector: Optical
  • Format: S/PDIF format (IEC 60958-3)


  • Connector: USB Type mini B


  • Power supply: Internal lithium-ion battery or USB
  • Charging time: Approx. 5 hours (HP-P1 power at off)
  • Continuous operating time: Approx. 7 hours (iPod/iPhone connected, headphone output, 32Ω, normal temperature)
  • Accessories: 50mm Dock connector USB cable, USB power cable (Type A to mini B) Exclusive carrying case
  • External dimensions: 75(W) x 25(H) x 130(D) mm
  • Weight: Approx. 260 g 

4.9 / 5.0
7 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
An excellent amp for IEMs and demanding headphones like the HE1000
The sound of this amp is rich, warmed and detailed. The precision of the trebles is very pleasant and the bass extention is stellar.

Its sound single ended is at the level or above the CDM from ALO audio (depending on the tubes) but in addition it has a much better battery life, a charge status led, is not super warm when operating.

It also has a timed line relay with led that protects your precious drivers and ears for IEMs. At this price, it is a great deal. I am using it with a mojo or hugo and with an AK380 as a music source.

It is delicious.
January 16, 2016
A must have for users on the go....
I ordered this after receiving my new Fostex headphones from Drew. I am traveling for a couple of months and wanted something portable to use with my iPhone 5 to drive these new cans and deliver the depth, volume and quality of sound that I am accustomed to as a musician.

The unit delivers all of that and more and I am extremely pleased with it. They include a small travel pouch with it to keep yourself organized.

Don't forget to order a 1/8" adapter for your phones. Great product and as always, great service.
September 8, 2014
Well done and the sound is just great
I can recomend the Fostex very much...the sound is very good compare without especially when you have a good headphone.
The service of Moon Audio I would like to mention because it was easy and very, very good.
August 14, 2014
High quality portable sound! Great product, excellent value
I have owned the Fostex portable head amp for a few weeks now. I have a blue dragon cable from Drew running from a classic ipod 160 gb.
Most of the music files are apple lossless and wav ripped from cd. I have used the amp on the go with my Grado RS2i's and at work with my Shure srh-1440's.

Although the Fostex cannot replicate the deeply resonant upper bass and lower midrange of my JWN 6V6 custom head/speaker 15w per channel push pull, it is one smooth player. I am deeply satisfied with the amp/dac and consider it to be an excellent value.

The bass is quite satisfying and the highs are extended and smooth with nice air and detail. The midrange is neutral and also with a lot of detail without sounding harsh or grainy. It smooths out the highs of my Grado cans, which is saying a lot for a non-tube item.

I am also awaiting an spdif cable to run it into my main system via a Rega DAC to use my ipod as a music server. Will report back on results soon.
August 8, 2012
Excellent product
This unit is well conceived to produce a great sound out of the iPod Touch. This unit has only gotten better since i got it about three months ago. First impressions were that it was a little thin sounding and a behind the RSA SR-71B single ended but now it bests it by some margin with the RSA unit being to dark and a bit muddy. The Fostex unit is clear, precise and detailed with great frequency extension across the range. Of course certain equipment sounds better than others in any such comparison. I am presenting listening to the Westone 4r with the Moon Audio IEM Silver Dragon cable and it sounds so lovely.

I am very happy with the sound of this unit right now.
March 22, 2012
A Great Product
A product such as this is to be viewed relative to alternatives. Relative to a stand-alone iPod / iPhone, etc. a deaf man will proclaim the differences.

Relative to iPod connected via doc connector to ALO Continental V2, or Headroom PDT amp, the Fostex still outperforms with one caveat. I used HD-800, ED8, and ED10 headphones. The HP-P1 could power these well. A less efficient headphone will need more than what it can deliver.

Relative to the combination of CL Solo + Continental V2, which I also use, the differences become one of preference. The HP-P1 is smoother, but lacks the power of the other setup. It calms edges of the ED10 nicely. Given the price differential, the Fostex rig is quite something.

If you want a nice case and are not on a tight budget check out the Fogg Piccolo.
March 7, 2012
Lacks slightly in bass
Well designed and compact. Considering what it does, it is very convenient. The DAC is very good. I can't believe that i am listening to an Ipod and that this set up is so portable.

The sound is a little too thin. I prefer a warmer sound. I matched it with an old pair of Klipsch Custom 3 which has a big bass presence. They are not made anymore because the wiring made them too fragile over time. However the Sennheiser IE 8 should also fit the bill. I have been listening to acoustic jazz with good stand up bass.

So far so good. I am looking forward to hearing the Cypherlab Algorhythm Solo and comparing the two.
January 21, 2012
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