"With DAC, preamplifier and power amplifier, Benchmark knows how to build a bridge between the professional sector and home hi-fi. Very beautiful."
"After just a few seconds, 16-bit material shows how wonderfully transparent the DAC is to convert the signal."
"An enormous variety of details were extracted from the signal and transported to the listener."
"The HPA4 offers a whopping six watts at 16 ohms impedance. Even with 300 ohm headphones, 440 mW is still present."
"The rotary control for adjusting the volume has a very professional feel."
"The capacitive touchscreen is primarily used to set the appropriate source, but also allows the connections to be renamed, allows the display brightness and switch-off timing to be set, and switches the outputs to mute if necessary. It all works according to clear schemes and works quite intuitively."
"In addition to the low distortion and good performance, the amplifier also impressed with its wonderful signal-to-noise ratio."
"It quickly turned out that our equipment was rather tested with the AHB2, because the power amplifier worked with distortion values that required us to extend our usual scale downwards in order to make the curve fully visible."
"If you value transparent, precise sound, but at the same time want a certain level of comfort and at least a little elegance, you are in good hands with the Americans. The high demands were therefore met."
"Benchmark offers professional sound for domestic systems.
"The DAC3 B, HPA4 and AHB2 are all characterized by their wonderfully transparent sound and their high degree of precision. At the same time, sufficient amenities are offered to offer adequate comfort. A successful mix."
Jim Austin wrote, "The DAC3 was all about depths, in several respects . . . I heard deeper into the music."
The concise conclusion to John Atkinson's Measurements sidebar: "All I can say is 'Wow!'"
In a Follow-Up, Jim Austin wrote of using the Benchmark processor with the same company's AHB2 power amp—a combination of high source output voltage and modest amplifier gain that he describes as "optimal for minimizing noise and distortion"—and reported hearing "richer and more interesting" reproduction of very subtle details.
- Stereophile Magazine
"The benchmark combination offers a full range of equipment that can hardly be topped, leaves nothing to be desired in terms of sound, and meets professional requirements without any ifs or buts."
"The HPA4 has the HIFIMan one hundred percent under control, eliciting neutral timbres, tons of spatial information and crisp dynamics."
"I connected everything the household had to offer in terms of speakers - Spendor S3 / 5, Ayon Seagull / c, Quad ESL57. It goes without saying that the American coped with the dynamic boxes with ease. But even the quads, which have some meanness on the part of their impedance, did not pose a challenge for the amp."
"There are many things that come into play when putting together a hi-fi system, one of which is synergy."
"After the arrival of the Benchmark Media Systems AHB2, I immediately thought of the matching HPA4 that colleagues Jaap and Yung were very pleased with."
"The key question, of course, was whether the HPA4 would really provide an audible improvement."
"Well you bet! The synergy between preamp and power amplifier is nothing short of magical, not to mention the DAC3 B that I got from importer Helios for the occasion."
"Not only a few curtains disappear, the whole window is gone."
- Geoffrey Vanhouwaert, Alpha-Audio