HPA-1 Headphone Amp

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The Pass Labs HPA-1 is a Class A headphone amp that was designed to amplify Headphones;Headphon… More details

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The Pass Labs HPA-1 is a Class A headphone amp that was designed to amplify headphones with impedances of 15 ohms to 600 ohms. It can deliver full-range dynamics across the entire frequency range. The HPA-1 can even drive headphones that present difficult loads in terms of impedance, power consumption or both.

In order to stand out from the crowd, Pass Labs conceptually designed the HPA-1 as a real Class-A power amplifier, not as an accessory offering only incremental performance gains. The HPA-1 cuts no corners in the circuit design and spares no necessary expense in execution. The foundation of the HPA-1's engineering is a custom, low-noise shielded toroidal power transformer feeding a discreet low noise regulated power supply for the audio circuits. The importance of the power supply is often overlooked and plays a large part in the overall performance of the amplifier.

The HPA-1's amplifier circuits are low-feedback, wide-bandwidth discreet designs employing J-Fet input stages and Class A-biased direct-coupled MOSFET output stages. The HPA-1 easily drives headphones presenting loads from 15 to 600 ohms, particularly excelling on planar headphone designs. The sound is rich and detailed.

The HPA-1 has a single high-quality headphone jack on the front panel, two sets of single-ended analog inputs via RCA jacks on the rear panel, and also a set of switchable "Preamp" line-level output jacks on the rear panel. There are no compromises with the HPA-1 when used as a stereo preamp, and it will compete against contemporary preamplifiers. The rear panel holds the power switch and fuse. Volume control is via a hefty rotary knob connected to an ALPS Potentiometer. The other front-panel controls are three pushbuttons to select inputs or to engage the Preamp output.

The substantial casework is the customary and well-recognized brushed aluminum shared with other Pass Laboratories products.

Main Features:

  • Works with headphones with impedances of 15 ohms to 600 ohms.
  • Designed as a power amplifier rather than a typical headphone amplifier to be able to drive low impedance planar headphones.
  • Low feedback wide bandwidth discreet design.
  • Class A direct coupled Mosfet output stage.
  • Custom low noise Toroidal power transformer with a Faraday shield.
  • Discreet regulated power supply for audio circuits.

Press and Reviews

Pass Labs HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier Review
Moon Audio

by Sara Schweiger
Nov. 2021

The Best Headphones and Gear | Buyers Guide 2022
Best Headphones 2022

by Part Time Audiophile
by Nov. 2021

Part Time Audiophile Best AMP 2021
Part Time Audiophile

by Editorial Staff
May. 2021

Home Theater Review
Home Theater Review

by Terry London
Sep 2017

Hifi Knights Review
Hifi Knights

by Dawid Grzyb
June 2017

Part-Time Audiophile Review
Part-Time Audiophile

by John Grandberg
Feb 2017

Technical Features

Output Power into 20 ohms
Output Power into 300 ohms
200 mW
Frequency Response 10hz-100k
8 dB
THD + Noise
< 0.005 at 1V out
Input Impedance
50K Ohm
Output Impedance
< 2 ohms
Power Consumption
6 Watts
4.5" H x 11" W x 13" D



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