Perreaux SXH2

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Perreaux SXH2

Pros

  • Attractive design, excellent sound--particularly lower noise floor and treble quality, choice between high or low gain

Cons

  • Nothing to report

Bottom Line

If you're a headphonist, or would like to be, get one of these headphone amplifiers.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

See all prices

The SXH2 headphone amplifier has a lot to live up to on the musical reproduction front. The SXH1 drove a pair of Sennheiser HD-600s like they were born to it. In anticipation of even better from the new boy, I plugged in a fresh pair of Sennheiser HD-650s--these are serious 'phones of indisputable pedigree that should reveal anything untoward going on in the sonic department. Driven at the low-gain setting, what I heard was all good.

On first audition, I felt the treble might be a little subdued, but in fact it was just completely free of the resonance and splashiness that the average soft-dome tweeter is guilty of. Better still was the freedom to "walk" around in the soundscape created in my head, selecting individual performers in a complex musical arrangement and settling down to observe them do their thing. Then, it was easy to step back from the parts and appreciate the whole in which they participated.

Neutrality was exemplary and once again I was well served for the sense of tangible bass the SXH2 delivered via the Sennheisers. Is the SXH2 better than its forebear? Yes, primarily in the lower noise floor and in the quality of the treble. Music is laid out on an extremely quiet background, and it's a real pleasure to listen to songs end; hearing the fade of acoustic instruments into silence within a defined space is a treat. The top end seems to have had the very slight sharpness of the SXH1 polished out, without dulling the shine in any way.

Once again, Perreaux has done a lot with a little in the SXH2. If you're a headphonist, or would like to be, get one of these.

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