A portable high-res powerhouse
Smartphones and portable music players are pretty amazing devices, but sometimes the sound quality of their headphone outputs can leave you flat. That's because cost constraints and power consumption issues usually rule out the use of high-performance headphone circuitry. That's where the Sony PHA-2 headphone amplifier and digital-to-analog converter comes in.
Small enough to take almost anywhere, it connects between your music player's or computer's headphone jack or digital output and your headphones to deliver the serious punch and clarity your tunes deserve. And for high-res music lovers, the PHA-2 can even decode PCM digital audio signals up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution and DSD audio sources at 2.8MHz / 5.6MHz, so you can enjoy better-than-CD audio quality. This potent little headphone amplifier's rechargeable battery supplies the power you need to pump out bigger, bolder sound. You'll immediately experience greater bass extension and low-frequency impact, along with more dynamic, detailed sound.
Versatile connectivity and sturdy construction
Sony's rugged PHA-2 features strong alloy bumpers to protect the volume knob and headphone connector.
The PHA-2 works with a wide array of devices. Its three separate USB ports give you a direct digital connection for your iPod®/iPhone®/iPad®, hi-res Walkman®, and a PC or Mac®. This allows the Sony to bypass the DAC in your player or computer, and decode your tunes with superior audiophile-quality precision. The PHA-2 also offers an analog input for connecting most MP3 players, smartphones and other audio devices, as well as a line output for connecting to a receiver or self-powered speakers.
Built like a Swiss watch, this Sony's rugged aluminum enclosure protects the presicion circuitry inside from outside interference and impacts. Strong alloy bumpers also help protect the volume knob and headphone connector. Plus, recessed control switches reduce the chance of accidental access during playback.
Looking for great-sounding headphones for this headphone amp/DAC? Check out our selection.
From our Sony PHA-2 portable headphone amp/DAC review:
I began my high-res listening with “Life in the Fast Lane” by the Eagles, a song I must have heard hundreds of times. Yet listening to it with the PHA-2 was like hearing it with fresh ears. The layering of guitars in this song is masterful, and I found myself marveling at Joe Walsh's well-placed fills. I even noticed some guitar amplifier hum in the song's intro – something I'd never picked up before.
— David Brown, Crutchfield A/V Writer