Schiit Valhalla Headphones Amplifier Review

By on April 12, 2011
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Heavenly frequencies.

Good: Tube based amp, True & natural sound, Simple & beautiful design
Bad: Nothing really.
Price: AED 1,480
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

To test the Schiit Valhalla I sadly didn’t have any other high-end headphones other than the Sennheiser HD 800, so I had to make do with whatever there was lying around; one of them being the Sennheiser CX 310 Adidas Edition I reviewed earlier.

Now the CX 310s are wonderful ear buds on their own, but listening to the CX 310 on the Schiit Valhalla allowed them to provide better sound reproduction between notes, especially during higher volumes (due to lower impedance of 16 Ω). However, the overall experience was not a significant improvement, due to the technical limitations of the CX 310 themselves through their limited frequency range and low impedance.

The HD 800s though, they truly came to life on the Schiit Valhalla. There was a level of transparency on the HD 800 that I’ve never experienced before. For truly power hungry headphones, such as the 300Ω Sennheiser HD 800, the Valhalla is a perfect partner.

The sound remained crystal clear on all frequencies while listening to the HD 800 even at maximum volume level. While I highly discourage this action for a prolonged period, as it may actually damage your ears, the fact remains that the Schiit Valhalla provided crisp, distortion-free sound even at the limits of the HD 800.

Here in the tubes also come into play by essentially eliminating the damping factor, ergo zero feedback. Of course, the frequency response of 10 to 200,000 Hz is definitely not an overkill considering that each note from every musical instrument sounds natural, as real, close and personal as it gets. This level of immersion is not possible on just the headphones alone.

The Schiit Valhalla provides an incredible audio experience when paired up with high-end headphones; and at this price point they’re too good to miss out. Once again words can only take you so far down the path of musical nirvana. You can head down to the Dubai Audio Center and experience Valhalla for yourself; ideally taking your own headphones and iphone/ipod to give it a proper go.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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  • Luay

    Now this is the Schiit! Too bad it aint portable, because a full on av amp/receiver at home is a better investment imo.

    • Taimoor Hafeez

      For huge loudspeakers, I’d agree that a bigger amp would be better at home. However, if you’re not into loudspeakers/ have a small apartment, then for listening to headphones, this is an ample amp.

      • Dubselect

        Hello! I’m thinking about headphone amplifier for my HD800. Are there any more ammplifiers in Dubai? I just want to compare Schiit to some other amplifiers to understand which will be the best for me.

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  • Drjerry34

    Need your expert advice: Have Sennheiser HD 800.   Need amplifier, but am scared off by price of tube amp you like so much.   Moreover, my playing equipment is not (IS NOT) blue-chip–PlayStation 3 and Sony Bravia for my opera and other classical music dvds.   I’m 77 with much hearing loss as well as some diminishing sight.   But I want so much to hear and see my operas.   Can you suggest anything besides a dog?   If so, I’ll do my best to pay for what I can scarcely afford but will if you recommend it!

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