HPA4 Review - Peter Pialis, Headphone.guru

by Benchmark Media Systems November 06, 2019 2 min read

HPA4 Review - Peter Pialis, Headphone.guru

"This THX-888 amplifier is driven by a Benchmark line amplifier that features relay gain control, relay input selection and relay muting. The gain control has a whopping 256 steps in impressive 0.5 dB increments so that you can get exactly the volume that you want to hear!"

"You get a brilliant Touch Screen that in the end provides easy access to the plethora of features and settings on the amplifier. Everything from balance control, input level offset selection, personalized input names, screen dimming, remote control and function-locking are only a touch or two away with the intuitive user interface. Throw in an optional remote control, and you really get everything you’d ever need with a dedicated headphone amplifier."

"The HPA4 is 100% analog and is driven by an upstream D/A converter (DAC). The THX-888 can easily deliver high voltage into low-sensitivity high impedance headphones and it can conversely deliver high current into low impedance headphones. It easily drove all of the headphones I had on hand from my 300 ohm Sennheiser HD800S, to my 32 ohm Grado PS2000e and power hungry Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC orthomagnetic headphones. Heck, it was also dead silent on lower gain with all of my in-ear monitors too like the Grade GR10e IEMs. It literally is both a jack of all trades and master of all!"

"I plugged in the HD800S headphones and quickly selected Holly Cole’s “Collection Vol. 1”. This collection of classic Holly Cole songs is one of my favorite “go to” albums."

"The tonality of the piano in “Trust in Me” was simply “life-like”. The tonality and detail of Holly’s piano playing was as if I was transported to a jazz club with Holly paying in front of me. Her vocals were seductive, transparent and perfectly portrayed. The HPA4 amplifier offered an incredibly close look into this recording with the ability to mine out the smallest details that other amplifiers would seem to gloss over."

"Since the HPA4 arrived, I have rediscovered so many of my favorite works all over again with improved detail retrieval dynamics and transparency that it’s hard to pull myself away!"

"It drove my power hungry Abyss Phi TC headphones with complete authority, but it was still dead silent and nimble enough to amplify my easy to drive Focal Utopia headphones."

"Rarely have I come across such a wonderfully revealing amplifier that can drive many different types of headphones so darn well! The solid build construction and various controls make the $2,995 price tag seem a bit low based on the other headphone amplifiers in this market space."

- Peter Pialis, Headphone.guru
November 6, 2019

Read the entire review at headphone.guru →



Also in Reviews

AHB2 Review (Video) - "The Home Audio Gear We Use & Love" - Audioholics
AHB2 Review (Video) - "The Home Audio Gear We Use & Love" - Audioholics

by Benchmark Media Systems January 17, 2023 1 min read

"I love, I love, I love my Benchmark AHB2 power amps!"

- Theo Nicolakis, Audioholics Online A/V Magazine

Theo uses a pair of AHB2 power amps in bridged mono (480 W into 6 Ohms) to drive a pair of Revel Ultima Salon2 loudspeakers ($20,000/pair). This is his reference amplifier-speaker combination.

Find out why Theo loves his AHB2 power amplifiers:

Read More
Benchmark System Review (Video) - New Record Day
Benchmark System Review (Video) - New Record Day

by Benchmark Media Systems January 16, 2023 1 min read

"The Benchmark Hi-Fi Stack ..."

"Find a Better Hi-Fi Stack! Double-Dog-Dare you!"

- Ron, NewRecordDay.com

Read More
AHB2 Review (Video) - Jay's iyag
AHB2 Review (Video) - Jay's iyag

by Benchmark Media Systems January 15, 2023 1 min read

Jay discusses the sonic tradeoffs between transparency and the sound of tube-induced distortion. He describes how his tube amps may make poor recordings sound enjoyable while the AHB2 reveals all.

Read More