Hi-Fi Critic, Recommended "It should be considered something of a bargain.."
"I Made comparisons using the headphone sockets of a good half dozen such amplifiers, ranging in price from £199 to over £1000, and in every case the sound was bettered by that from the Pro-Ject on a number of counts. Principally, the sounds it made simply flowed more naturally.
Pro-Ject Head Box DS Headphone Amp
The Pro-Ject Head Box DS is a high-end headphone amplifier with a USB input and built-in D/A converter for direct connection of digital sources. An analog output allows the unit to function as a D/A converter for the same input sources when connected directly to a preamp. The USB input is a 24-bit/96kHz asynchronous design delivering superb sound quality from a computer audio source. Additional digital inputs include a coaxial RCA and Toslink optical that can be used to connect to the digital output of a CD Player. The dual mono amplifier topology employed uses very high quality component parts including ultra low-noise ICs and high-reliable relay switches. All controls are located on the front panel for ease of use and the Head Box DS features a large and legible LCD readout. An outboard power supply is included.
• Audiophile grade headphone amp & 24bit D/A conversion
• 3 digital inputs: Asynchronous USB 2.0, S/PDIF, Toslink
• Special USB-2.0 driver for 24/192 (24/96 with USB1.1)
• Ultra low-noise semiconductors
• SMD technology for short signal paths
• Analogue output (RCA) for use as D/A converter
• Analogue input (RCA)
• Headphone socket (6,3mm jack plug)
• DC power supply (< 1 watt standby power)
• Metal case shields the electronics from vibrational and electromagnetic interference
• Faceplate silver or black
A highly respected and truly improved headphone pre-amplifier. The Head Box DS allows you to enjoy your music in high fidelity in the comfort and privacy of your own headphones. With the new impressive on screen display you can be in full control of your listening experience, and with the new inclusion of digital inputs now any music source can be handled and played back with ease.
The extra addition of an analogue output allows you to use the Head Box DS as a high-quality DAC for your wider hi-fi system as well!
- One headphone socket with volume control
- Single analogue input
- Three digital inputs (Coax, Optical, 24bit/96kHz asynchronous USB)
- One analogue output (to use the Head Box DS as a D/A Converter)
- Control Display
- Ultra-low-noise semiconductors
- SMD technology for short signal paths
- Signal to noise ratio -120dB
- THD 0.0014%
- Available in Black and Silver
|350mW / 30Ω
60mW / 300Ω
|Signal To Noise:
||112dB (A-Weighted) at Max. Output
||20Hz - 20kHz / -0.05dB
||3-Pole ¼" Jack (6.3mm Ø)
||1 Pair RCA/Phono Socket
|Cirrus Logic CS4344.
24Bit/192kHz Delta Sigma-D/A-Wandler
|USB Sample Rates:
||44.1kHz and 48kHz
|Optical Sample Rates:
||44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz and 96kHz
|Coaxial Sample Rates:
||44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz and 192kHz
||18V / 500mA DC
||500mA DC, <1W In Standby
|103 x 72 x 144mm
103 x 72 x 150mm (Incl. Sockets)
||990g (Without PSU)
Hi-Fi Critic, July - September 2014 "It should be considered something of a bargain.." "I Made comparisons using the headphone sockets of a good half dozen such amplifiers, ranging in price from £199 to over £1000, and in every case the sound was bettered by that from the Pro-Ject on a number of counts. Principally, the sounds it made simply flowed more naturally.
Hi-Fi World, December 2013 Score: 5/5 Globes
“I started listening with some Rossini Overtures and was impressed with the level of resolution to the sound for such a modest price.”
“String sounds, often an Achilles heel for digital kit, were quite accurately reproduced, avoiding undignified piercing sounds and providing a smooth but detailed, and quite well-textured presentation.”
“Counter harmonies provided by Michelle, Denny and John were spread across to the left, each having a properly defined space that enabled me to listen to either an individual melody line, or to absorb the sound as a whole.”
“The Head Box proved its worth as a DAC when connected to the television and playing through the hi-fi. I was impressed at the levels of detail, both obvious and subtle, that helped flesh out the images in the screen in front of me.”
“In short, I really could find nothing to fault in the Head Box DS.”
“For the price it offers superb sound quality via either analogue or digital feeds. As a headphone amp it gave me an involving and detailed sound with good imaging. As a DAC it enhanced the sound of any source plugged into it.”
“It is solidly built, and my experience of Pro-Ject equipment is that it is reliable over several years of service.”
"Outstanding - Amongst the best."
“AGAINST – Nothing at the price”
Hi-Fi Choice, October 2013 Reviewed By: Ed Selley Overall Score: 5 Stars
“For such a small display, it is extremely clear and easy to read and makes everything else at the price look a little crude in comparison.”
“There is a richness and detail to vocals that greatly aids the believability of the performance and the impressively low noise floor means that incidental detail is easy to pick out without sounding forced.”
“The performance across the different digital inputs seems extremely consistent with no serious changes in performance and the analogue input appears to be transparent, too.”
“...the excellent performance over headphones combined with substantial build quality and useful features set mean that the Pro-Ject is a very clever box of tricks indeed.”
Superior D/A conversion & outstanding headphone sound for digital and analogue sources combined in one box!
Head-Box DS is based on the former SE model, which has a very good sound quality, but only one analogue input. So we kept a similar concept, improved the power supply and added a high-quality digital section! It's USB input works up to 24/192 in asynchronous mode! Playback for any headphone offers realistic sound-staging on all volume levels for 3 digital and 1 analogue sound source. Head Box DS also provides a high-quality front display, that gives full information on current status. Luxury aluminium faceplate is available in silver or black finish.
Can be used as DAC? Yes, internal D/A conversion offers additional RCA line output that can be used with any hifi-system as cost-effective sound upgrade for existing digital sound sources. As DAC Box DS, Head Box DS uses feedback loop for controlling computer and amount of data sent. This allows implementation of a high quality, fixed frequency clock directly in the DAC section to keep jitter as low as possible.
Pro-Ject Box Design DS Line Analogue & Digital Audiophile Micro Systems
Turntables , Racks , Speakers , CD Players , DAC , Streamers , Headphone Amps