We had an amazing time at our very first CanJam!
The HPA4 was introduced at CanJam SoCal 2018 and was enthusiastically received! There was a line of people waiting to listen to the HPA4 all weekend long.
“WOW! Lots of clean power! The best thing I’ve heard all day!” “Amazing precision and detail!” “It’s really clean! Really flat and clean! I can hear everything!” “Best volume control I’ve ever experienced!” “Very honest!” “Powerful” “impressive” “DUDE WOW!!”
These are a just a few of the comments from the enthusiastic crowd at the Benchmark booth. We share their excitement about the HPA4 and look forward to its launch in June 2018!
CanJam SoCal 2018 recap by Brent Butterworth
"At the CanJam SoCal headphone show last weekend, which took place at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live hotel in downtown Los Angeles, most of the action in new products was in headphones. But I did spot a few interesting new headphone amps and related products -- a couple of which came in at refreshingly low prices. Here are the most interesting ones I found, with all prices listed in USD."
"The Benchmark Media Systems HPA4 ($2995) brings the THX AAA (Achromatic Audio Amplifier) technology pioneered in the company’s AHB2 power amplifier into a headphone amp. Like the AHB2, the HPA4 is said to measure better than practically any competing product on the market, with a total harmonic distortion (THD) of less than 0.00006% and an A-weighted signal-to-noise ratio better than 135dB. Max power is rated at 6Wpc into 16 ohms, with output impedance “near 0 ohms.” XLR four-pin and 1/4” outputs are included, although an internal DAC is not..."
- Brent Butterworth, SoundStage, April 10, 2018
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Audio Head's first impressions of the HPA4
"Benchmark is primarily known for their pro-leaning DAC series (now in their 3rd generation) in the audiophile circles. Hot on the heels of a new power amplifier (AHB2, $3k) a new head amp made its debut at Canjam in Los Angeles this weekend. Dubbed the HPA-4 ($3k) and sporting a significant number of ins and outs, the standalone amp pays homage to the dual 3.5mm jacks offered on the popular digital converters but with several bonus features thrown into the mix."
"At first glance the obvious jump is the somewhat rare inclusion of a LCD readout for a headphone amplifier. But not only is there an on-board display, said screen is actually touch sensitive as well. A heightened level of adjustments are offered in the simple but fairly deep setup screens. Balance, input selector, mute, and a -20dB pad for a quick quiet of approaching colleges or significant others can be found all within arms reach. Single ended and 4 pin XLR balanced are offered on the front panel as well as access to the stepped attenuator."
"The first question I asked was about the dreaded clicking noise that sometimes accompanies volume knobs of this type, but technical support manager Michael Siau assured me the design process kept this very hurdle in mind during R&D and none of this type of disruptive sound was found during my demo of the floor model – nicely done..."
- Audio Head April 9, 2018
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