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Crutchfield

TEAC HA-P50

Portable headphone amplifier/USB DAC

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Our take on the TEAC HA-P50

by Dave Bar
TEAC


High-res audio

Add punch to your portable tunes

TEAC's portable HA-P50 lets you enjoy a reference-quality headphone listening experience wherever you go. Connect it to your player's headphone jack or digital output,  and this battery-powered headphone amplifier/digital-to-analog converter will deliver your tunes with clarity and punch that most smartphones and portable music players simply can't match. Plus, you can use TEAC's free HR Audio Player app to turn your compatible iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod touch® into a high-res audio player that supports PCM music files up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution, for exceptional playback through the HA-P50. The HA-P50 is even capable of playing up to full CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz PCM music files from a compatible Android phone's USB output.

TEAC HA-P50 and smartphone

Use the TEAC HA-P50 with your iPhone to enjoy powerful, high-resolution sound on the go.

Built to take on the road

TEAC built the HA-P50 tough to stand up to the rigors of travel. Its rugged aluminum body helps protect the circuitry inside from impacts. Raised guards on either side of the amp's compact chassis help protect your headphone's plugs and connection jacks from bumps, as well as prevent changes in volume when you're carrying the amp in your pocket or backpack. Recessed control switches reduce the chance of accidental access during playback. Plus, the HA-P50's built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery can play your music continuously for up to 8 hours, so the show can go on for a long time.

Outstanding sound from your PC, too

The HA-P50 can also give your computer's audio performance a shot in the arm. Just plug it into a USB port on your PC to bypass the sound card inside your computer — a noisy environment prone to producing poor sound quality. The TEAC decodes your music files up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution through its own high-quality DAC. Your tunes will be output as fantastic-sounding analog audio signals ready for playback through your headphones, or even a pair of amplified desktop speakers.

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Highlights:

  • built-in USB DAC supports digital PCM audio sources up to 24-bit/96kHz from Apple iOS devices with Lightning connector, and Windows or Mac computers (free software downloads from TEAC's website required for playback)
  • DAC supports up to 16-bit/44.1kHz digital PCM audio playback for compatible Android phones with AOA 2.0 protocol
  • high-performance headphone amplifier (8-ohm to 600-ohm headphone impedance recommended)
  • Burr Brown (TI) PCM5102 DAC for precise playback of digital music files
  • USB (micro type-B) input for charging & computer connection (cable included)
  • standard type-A input for select iPod®/iPhone/iPad or Android AOA2.0 devices (these devices must use their own respective cables, not included)
  • combination analog stereo minijack/optical digital input
  • stereo minijack output for driving standard headphones and line-level sources such as powered desktop speakers
  • gain select switch provides compatibility for a wide range of headphones and earphones
  • rotary aluminum volume knob with power on/off control
  • built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery provides up to 8 hours of playback when using an Apple iOS device (up to 12 hours of playback using the optical or analog audio input)
  • USB battery charging (also charges via optional TASCAM DC power supply)
  • computer operating system requirements: Windows® Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Mac® OS X® 10.6.4 (Snow Leopard) or later
  • TEAC HR Audio Player app required for high-resolution audio playback on Windows and Mac computers (free software downloads available from TEAC's website)
  • 2-3/4"W x 7/8"H x 5"D
  • weight: 8 ounces
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Portable headphone amp/USB DAC
  • 31" USB-to-DC cable
  • 32" microUSB-to-USB cable
  • 2 Rubber straps
  • Owner's Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Portable Headphone Amplifier/USB DAC: The TEAC HA-P50 is a high quality, portable headphone amplifier with built-in 24-bit/96kHz USB DAC, providing high-resolution "go anywhere" listening from your Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad (w/ Lightning connector), Android smartphone/tablet (OS 4.1+), Windows PC, or Mac computer. The TEAC HA-P50 is the ideal headphone amplifier for the audiophile on the go. It allows you to take your high-end headphone listening experience outdoors and enjoy it wherever you're at. The HA-P50 packs a high-performance digital-to-analog converter and high power amplifier circuit into a compact body, to bring out the very best from your high quality headphones.

24-bit/96kHz DAC: The built-in BurrBrown PCM5102 digital-to-analog converter is capable of processing a variety of digital audio signals (from DSD to FLAC) up to maximum 24-bit/96kHz resolution.

Discrete Push-Pull Headphone Amplifier: The TEAC HA-P50 uses a top-flight OPA 1652 operational amplifier to process audio signals with maximum purity. The discrete push-pull circuit achieves a very low distortion rate of 0.001% (at 100mW + 100mW output) which IC-based amplifier headphone circuits cannot match, thanks to meticulous component selection and an absolute insistence on sound quality. The HA-P50 features a 3.5mm jack to connect your headphones.

  • Maximum Power Output: 160mW + 160mW (32ohms, 1kHz, 10% THD, JEITA), 65mW + 65mW (300ohms, 1kHz, 10% THD, JEITA), 35mW + 35mW (600ohms, 1kHz, 10% THD, JEITA)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.001% (32ohms, 1kHz, 100mW + 100mW Output Power, JEITA)
  • Headphone Impedance: 8Ω to 600Ω
Note: The HA-P50 features a high/low gain selector which enables output gain to be matched to the impedance of the headphone being used. An important feature for those who use top quality high-impedance headphones.

MicroUSB (Type-B) Port: The TEAC HA-P50 accepts input from your computer via its microUSB (type-B) input. Its capable of high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz sound source playback when used with the TEAC HR Audio Player app installed on your Windows PC or Macintosh computer (free to download). A 32" microUSB (type-B) to USB (type-A) cable is supplied to connect your computer to the TEAC headphone amplifier/USB DAC.

  • Windows Compatibility: The HA-P50 is compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 (32- or 64-bit editions).
  • Mac Compatibility: The HA-P50 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.4 (Snow Leopard), OS X 10.7 (Lion), OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), and OS X 10.9 (Mavericks)

USB (Type-A) Port: The TEAC HA-P50 headphone amplifier/USB DAC is fitted with a USB (type-A) port which allows you to connect your Apple iOS device (w/ Lightning connector) or Android smartphone/tablet (OS 4.1+)  with the cable that came with your mobile device. Digital audio signals stored on your Apple iOS or Android device are extracted digitally via USB and processed through the HA-50's high-performance built-in digital-to-analog converter, with minimal sound degradation and allowing the purest playback quality, with maximum fidelity. The free TEAC HR Audio Player app is required for Apple iOS device connection and offers high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio playback. Android devices do not require this app, but are limited to 16-bit/44.1kHz.

  • Apple iOS Device Compatibility: iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation); all with iOS 6.0+.
  • Android Device Compatibility: Android smartphone or tablet with  Jelly Bean (4.1) operating system or newer installed.

Note: The HA-P50 comes with two rubber fixing-straps for securing it to an Apple iPod/iPhone or Android smartphone, making the HA-P50 very easy to carry around.

TEAC HR Audio Player App (for Apple iOS): The TEAC HR Audio Player App turns your Apple iOS (6.0+) device with Lightning connector into a high-resolution audio player and delivers the streamed digital audio (including DSD & FlAC) to the HA-P50 headphone amplifier/USB DAC for 24-bit/96kHz playback. You will need to install your high-resolution files using iTunes onto the Apple iOS device using the HR Audio Play App (this is done differently from the normal iTunes sync procedure). You also get access to your Apple iOS devices' standard Music Library. The HR Audio Player App is designed to be user-friendly and offers these additional features:

  • Song/Artist Information + Album Art: On the main screen during playback, you can see the file format of the file you are playing and the sampling frequency sent to the connected output device, as well as display the lyrics and album artwork.
  • Playback Controls: You can also use this app to search a track in the list, change the playback order, and add a track to it; all with intuitive operation. In addition to Repeat playback (single or all tracks in the same list) and Random playback (in the same list), Crossover playback, which joins tracks smoothly using fade in and fade out, is available.
  • Background Playback: The app plays in the background so that you can enjoy high-resolution music even while you use another App (except for another music player app). Just like the standard iOS music player, you can operate the HR Audio Player App from the iOS Control Center so that you can play/pause and skip immediately when you are using another app or when you are in the home screen.
  • Equalizer: The app has a built-in graphical equalizer with up to 1,000 settings, so you can load and adjust equalizing curves based on the type of music you are listening to or type of headphone you are using. Simply touch the equalizing curve on the app screen to select the exact frequency you want to adjust. The RTA (Real-Time Analyzer) shows you real-time levels for each frequency of the music you are playing, so that you can adjust intuitively. And, since it also shows you the selected frequency and its incremented/decremented value in numeric values, you can equalize very accurately by checking those values. Linear FIR equalization is also applied for better phase performance, with two EQ modes; a standard SD mode and a high-quality HD mode with 64-bit internal processing
  • Facebook & Twitter Shortcuts: Shortcut menus are provided so that you can share your friends via e-mail or Facebook and tweet in Twitter about the track you are playing. Express the excitement of the high-resolution sound source immediately.
Note: Supported iOS devices include iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation); all with iOS 6.0+.

Combined Digital/Analog Input: This versatile headphone amp/USB DAC employs a combined optical digital input and analog audio input terminal (3.5mm) that self-detects digital or analog incoming signals. This combo-input then passes the digital or analog audio signal (PCM only) through its sophisticated amplifier circuits, letting you enjoy a high quality headphone listening environment wherever you are.

Full-Aluminum Chassis: Constructed from durable aluminum, the HA-P50's compact, flat body measures just 21.7mm thick, ideal for mobile environments where toughness, small size and lightness are essential. Designed from the outset for mobile use, its compact aluminum volume knob has just the right torque to allow fine volume adjustment. Raised guards on either side prevent accidental volume changes when the HA-P50 is being carried in a pocket or bag, as well as protecting headphone plugs from bumps.

Rechargeable Battery: The TEAC HA-P50 has a built-in 2100mAh Li-ion battery, allowing a maximum of 8 hours of continuous battery life. The included USB/DC cable allows recharging from a computer's free USB (type-A) port. Thanks to its auto power save function, the unit goes into sleep mode after 30 minutes if it has failed to detect a sound signal, or if there's no headphone jack plugged into the headphone port.

 
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TEAC HA-P50 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

4 people say:

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4 out of 5

Nice Portable Amp.

Written By DSims, Hartford CT on Friday, September 12, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this amp for when I travel and needed something that works with my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my iPod Touch. It works well with both devices and sounds great with both devices playing FLAC files on my S4 and ALAC files on my Touch. The headphones that I am using are the Focal Spirt Pros and Grado RS2e. I was able to compare this amp with a FiiO E18 which is almost half the cost of the Teac. If you just need it for an Android device I would go with the FiiO it sounds as good. The Touch sounds much better on the Teac I'm not sure if the FiiO is just using an analog signal coming from the Touch and just using the amp portion. It is hooked up through a camera connection kit. The Teac sounds much cleaner the bass is tighter and the highs are just pure and crisp. Some other reviewer said this can only be charged with the Teac adapter or through a pc, that is incorrect. I used my iPod charger, a usb hub, and my UE Boom adapter with no problems. He also stated that it only works with iTunes that is incorrect also I've had no issues using Play Music, Spotify, and Vox.
Pros:
Sounds Good Works with Android, iOS, PC, and Mac Well built
Cons:
Price
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1 out of 5

TEAC HA-P50

Written By bsc547, Washington, DC on Saturday, September 06, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The audio is truly enhanced. The product is well made. Unfortunately, the device is impractical since there is no way to charge the iPhone or iPad when it is connected to this device as the lightening port is already occupied by the TEAC device. According to the owners manual, you can only charge this device on a computer or with a TASCAM PS-P515U AC Adapter, sold elsewhere. It does not charge with an iPad charger. The iOS application for this device will only enhance music in iTunes. It does not access music from Beats Music or Spotify. The product does not support other portable music devices aside from a laptop PC or MAC. There was a firmware update available when I received this item. The update could only be installed using a PC, not a MAC.
Pros:
It does what it is supposed to do well.
Cons:
The inability to charge the iOS device through the TEAC USB port is a fatal flaw and I am returning this product. The very long charging time, 8 hours, further limits the device to occasional use only since you will need to charge the TEAC and the iOS device separately while on the road.
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5 out of 5

Awesome Quality.

Written By Scott P., Dallas, TX on Saturday, August 16, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was blown away by the sound quality when I switch from my onboard PC sound card to this DAC. Bass is much more accurate and tight, along with the rest of the spectrum. All of music suddenly had color to them. I've paired them with IE800 headphones and it allows me to pick up details I never notices before.

I'm currently using it as a desktop DAC and then it becomes portable when I'm on the go. As advertised, the battery lasts up to around the 8 hour mark. I used them for almost a full day of computer gaming. Can be charged and active simultaneously either through the 5V barrel plug input or the mini-usb port.

Build quality is very good, very solid. I very much like the volume knob they used which gives it a nice grip and feels solid too.

Is plug and play for PC and iOS as far as I've used it for. Doesn't need any app. installed if desired and allows my Spotify playlists to come to life :)

As far as I've researched online, for its price range it's a winner for sound quality and features. Need more DAC's of this quality at this price range.
Pros:
Tight and natural output across the spectrum. Solid build. Plug and play for iOS and PC.
Cons:
Could use a little bit of more EMI shielding but not really a problem. Is a bit heavy (like a pocket camera).
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

AMAZING SOUND!

Written By John B, Orlando, FL on Saturday, August 09, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Received this until last night and I couldn't stop listening. I'm using Grado PS500e headphones with this and WOW, just WOW! This blows away the Meridian Explorer as far as sound. I'm just in shocked at how much better my Grado's and music sound with this unit! And what a HUGE difference when listening to Spotify!
Pros:
Well made Light perfect for iPhone Can replace the battery yourself
Cons:
None
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1 question already asked

I listen to music using Sony blue tooth speakers - Can i use this device between my i pad and Sony blue tooth speakers? If not can recommend a device. Lance [ Lance  Aug 12, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question. [ Krissy Staff  Aug 17, 2014 ]

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