"It’s ... been a while since I have been this excited about an audio product."
"I do have a good queue of products that deserve a review here, especially in the headphone department: Audeze LCD-2C, Quad Era-1, Brainwavz Alara. Hopefully I will get some time for them as well. However, in the meanwhile I am using them to test this wonderful wonderful headphone amplifier."
"I like the touchscreen and the implementation. It’s fast and easy to get used to."
"It’s the first time when I have heard the headphones mentioned above to their full potential. In the first minute my jaw dropped ..."
"This is the fastest and the most controlled bass I have ever heard. It goes deep, it’s organic when it needs to be, but it doesn’t linger at all. It’s controlled by an iron fist. The punch is really really fun and strong."
"The midrange is really pure and lively. The instruments and voices have vibrating, lively and pure textures."
"The treble is really extended, very detailed and sparkly. It doesn’t have any touch of brightness, but it does brighten up the place in a good way if you know what I mean."
"The level of detail is amazing on HPA4. I seem to discover other sounds in some songs that I did not notice before."
"The voices are incredibly pure and textured. Depending on the artist and the song, the voice can sound incredibly pure, stammeringly clean and extended, but also guttural/throaty in other cases."
"When you talk about natural sound, about emotion in this domain it usually means that the audio component adds some coloration that give a more natural tonality, more weight to the sound, more present voices, less harshness, etc. In this case the emotion comes from the purity of the sound from the fact that HPA4 completely removes itself from the system."
"From my perspective this is the best headphone amplifier I have ever heard. It’s no competition really."
"An End Game Amplifier"
"It’s not cheap, I can give you that. Is it worth it? That is up to each and every one of you, but if you really want the best amplifier out there, an end game amplifier…this is it."
"I'm asking because clearly Benchmark is a highly regarded company here, and plenty of ASR members own Benchmark amplification/DACs. We know they are top of the heap in terms of measured performance, outdoing plenty of the competition in terms of typical distortion measurements."
- @MattHooper, AudioScienceReview.com
AHB2, LA4, DAC3
Subtle aesthetics? Check.
Unobtrusive size? Check.
Solid build? Check.
Made in America? Check.
Best in class? Check.
Superior performance proven by Amir? Check.
Superior customer service? Check (and not just in audio world; best customer service I have experienced from any company, anywhere, ever).
Expensive? For me, yes. Limit of my budget, but buy once cry once.
"The afternoon before the start of the show I ran into John Siau of Benchmark Media Systems. He says to me quietly, “make sure you stop in our room, we have a surprise!” With curiosity suitably piqued, Co-Editor Jim Clements and I paid a visit ..."
"The results were pretty astonishing. A stable, enveloping stereo image that was devoid of any distortion whatsoever."
- Carlo Lo Raso, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
"Sound was extremely well-integrated and controlled, and the bass memorable."
"The Note received signal through the introductory version of the company's Liquid Cables. Each cable contains 27,000 wires. The company's introductory Elephant memory player joined Benchmark Media's AHB2 power amps, DAC3 B D/A processor, and interconnects."
"With the aid of a forthcoming DEQX HDP4 processor that's due in the fall, the system sounded super on a 16/44.1 file of the famed rendition of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, recorded by Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra for Reference Recordings."