Looking for headphone amp

Nice I’m thinking of getting a SMSP SP200 (similar to the THX887)… or possibly going the Class A route (RebelAmp/ Matrix M-Stage HPA-3U+/Audio-GD NFB-1). Overall are you happy with the THX? Have you heard any of the Class HP amps ?

$200 budget I would get a Asgard 3. $500 I have the RNHP. I have a Schiit Heresy and I have to say single ended performance on that is better than the THX amp. If you have a Sendy Aiva or clone (I have the Blond B20). I much prefer the THX 887 or Schiit Heresy for those that headphone. Everything else, my RNHP is my go to and doesn’t disappoint.

If I had to do it all over again, heresy and then Asgard 3. I would stop watching Zeos reviews exclusively for content. I respect his views but his ears are a little different than mine, he is entertaining and I value how raw his reviews are. But the pimping of THX amps as well as other forums is a bit overkill.

When buying a THX amp, I find they are best paired with aggressive and mildly bright headphones. I found mine to almost make my Audeze headphone mildly disappointing even after buying a Bifrost 2 to help my situation (Airist R-2R -> THX 887 -> LCD X had me disappointed that headphone purchase after a while).


Yeah I’ve got a Lyr/Bifrost combo and love the tube(s) combo with my LCD3/LCDX but just got a set of HP3s… Feeling like a SS amp ~ $500 will be my best option. I like Schiit products but likely want something a bit better for SS so I’ll research the RNHP.

Oh… the one advantage the Drop 789 and Monolith 887 have over the SMSP 200 is that your can set the gain I and control low impedance IEM’s fairly well. Low volume is a weak point on the SMSP 200 based on what I’ve heard/seen.

Just look at the forum posts here for the RNHP… I have to say for $500 I think it might be my overall SS endgame. I literally do not feel the need to buy anything else based on what I have tried with it thus far. And with Audeze’s or headphones that have issues in the 5kHz to 8kHz area… it does subtle strange and enjoyable things to wake up your headphones… which is perfect with Audeze… while remaining accurate and true to sound.

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I think you are being very diplomatic in the way you stated this.

I personally am of the opinion that my old SMSL SP200 was the most soulless, cold, dry and soundstage & space claustrophobic amplifier I’ve ever heard in my time in this hobby.


I mean… I bought into the hype, M0N and a small army very politely and enthusiastically suggested the RNHP and you know what? I’m glad I have the THX amp but holy crap I like the RNHP more… except for the B20 which mentioned. I am concerned based on a small sample size that bright and aggressive headphones sound too thin on the RNHP based on a whopping 1 data point.


I got the SP200 as an upgrade to the Schiit Magni 3 and to me it was a huge upgrade. But it is a analytical amp. The RNHP i feel was a step up from the SP200. But i’m glad it came out cheap and i could buy it to hear the THX sound. theres a lot of hype behind it. Not just Zeos but Joshua Valor, Currawong and just about everyone loves it

I literally can’t hear a difference compared to the Schiit Heresy. The THX 887 just is better for lower volume and the volume knob is smoother… that’s about the extent of the advantages. And I do prefer the balanced output on the THX 887 but the sound isn’t as desirable as the RNHP (overall) being only single ended for me and my gear.

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Amir @ ASR gave the RNHP the thumbs down! I understand he’s not the end all be all but still the measurements weren’t great for the price point. Thx for the info I’ll keep researching.



You literally went to the worst place for an RNHP review. Second worst will be a Zeos because I’ll be honest… on paper the RNHP is terrible for it’s price point. If there is the RNHP taught me is that stats failed me. And if you really want the THX sound… Schiit Magni Heresy. If you like it and want more with balanced, get the THX. If not, $100 is cheaper than other options and the Heresy sells fast right now.



I second getting a jds atom or magni heresy instead of thx, imo outperforms thx by a tad in terms of sound


They sound the same, but I can hear the saving in $$$ loud and clear.


The Geshelli Labs Archel or the Asgard if you want something that can compete with a THX amp. But i went from THX to RNHP and i consider it an upgrade. its one of those amps with great everything. Punches above its price. I just noticed a better richer sound in everyway on the RNHP. I was surprised. But i haven’t heard many amps. I havnet been to any conventions or audio meets. was hoping to go to Canjam this summer but doubt thats gonna happen now lol. M0n and others here have been to a lot of events and shops and they know what their talking about. If you want a 500$ amp the RNHP is it based on their recommendation.

ASR i feel measures for noise. What does that matter when you cant hear it anyway? i dont know what else they measure for. Power?

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Actually, I disagree a bit here. The reason why the Heresy gets brought and the JDS Labs get brought is that they use cheaper and discrete Texas Instrument Op amps where there is a giant chip with multiple op amps on the THX amp. The sounds should all be pretty damn close to one another because the designs should be pretty bog simple and straight forward.

Anything that has A/B designs or anything else fancy will NOT sound like the THX.

Wow! I would say that title belongs to the iFi MICRO iCann SE amp.

I actually enjoy my SP200 for certain things and I am Really unloading amps these days.

I haven’t heard the iFi amp, but they seem to make amps that are either loved or hated. Unless you have really had a higher tier amp to A/B with the SP200, it isn’t as apparent…especially if you are acclimated to it as an amp you use frequently. When I had the SP200 and RNHP both, being able to A/B them both it became very apparent that the RNHP did just about everything better other than power.

I am still whittling down my amp collection and so far the SP200 has justified its existence. Unlike the Burson Fun, Vali 2, XDuoo TA-20 and the Cavalli LCX.

The RNHP sounds like it might be interesting though.

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You know, the SP200 is better than the other amps you mentioned, IMO. The RNHP is just a tier higher than the SP200 IMO.