Burson HA-160 Headphone Amplifier

ARTICLE INDEX

Introduction

While headphone amps are not in every audio enthusiast’s system, they are still engineered with many of the same design choices as other more common components. One of the main choices to be made is whether to build a full featured but complicated component, or a simple, barebones component that has thrown all the nice but unnecessary features over the side. Burson Audio is an Australian company known for making the latter. When I tested the PI-100 integrated amp a couple of years ago, I found a component with some rough edges, and the bare minimum number of features necessary to function, but with absolutely transcendent sound quality. Burson has said their new HA series of components has knocked the rough edges off their build quality while keeping the amazingly good sound quality and value. The HA-160 is Burson’s all out assault on the headphone amplifier genre, and it contains all of Burson’s unique tricks. The question is, does it fix the negative parts about earlier Burson products while retaining their fantastic sound and great value?

Specifications

  • Input impedance: 47 KOhms
  • Frequency response: 5Hz (-0.3dB) to 35 kHz (-1dB)
  • Signal to noise ratio: >98dB at 0dB gain
  • THD: <0.001% at 6mW/300 Ohms
  • Channel separation: >70dB/10kHz
  • Output power: 650mW/300 Ohms, 800mW/60 Ohms
  • Output impedance: line out 60 Ohms, phones out 5 Ohms
  • Power dissipation: <10W, internal, regulated power supply
  • Dimensions: 180mm x 250mm x 80mm
  • Connectors (audio): 2 x phone jacks 6.35mm
  • 2 x gold plated RCA connectors with Teflon isolation
  • Weight: app. 4.5kg
  • MSRP: $699 including shipping
  • Burson