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"Champagne and caviar" headphone sound on a "beer and pretzel" budget

Inside the unassuming brushed metal exterior of Musical Fidelity's V-CAN II lies a precision-made headphone amp ready to reveal fresh layers of musical detail and dynamics hidden within your favorite recordings. You'll experience the kind of sound that ordinary headphone jacks on most components just can't match. Feel the rolling thunder of the tympani as the mallets strike home, and thrill to the shimmering reverberation of strings and cymbals as they echo off the theater walls. Your music and your headphones will come to life with new energy.

The V-Series difference

With the V-Series family of components, you could say that the "V" stands for value. Instead of spending big bucks on fancy packaging, Musical Fidelity puts all the money into the V-CAN II's insides — where it really counts. That means you get the top-notch performance of a component many times its cost for a bargain price. Dual headphone output jacks (one 1/4" and one 1/8") play simultaneously, so you can share your tunes. And the V-CAN II's low 5-ohm output impedance allows it to drive any set of 'phones with ease.

Product Highlights:

  • low-distortion headphone amplifier
  • THD: 0.005%
  • frequency response: 20Hz to 80kHz (at +0, -1dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 109dB (A weighted)
  • output impedance: 5 ohms
  • connections:
    • 1 pair line-level RCA stereo audio inputs
    • 1 pair line-level RCA stereo audio outputs
    • full-size 1/4" stereo headphone jack
    • 1/8" stereo mini headphone jack
  • outboard power supply with DC cord included
  • weight: 12.25 ounces
  • 8-1/16"W x 1-5/8"H x 3-3/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Why buy a headphone amp?

High-performance headphones need high-quality amplification to perform up to their full potential. If you connect them directly to the headphone jack on your computer, iPod®, or stereo receiver, you may be disappointed. A separate headphone amplifier sends a stronger, cleaner signal to your headphones.

Musical Fidelity V-CAN II Reviews

Average Customer Review:

1 Review

True audiophile performance at an unexpectedly low price

Written by: Joel O from Columbus, Ohio on December 24, 2012

I have been an audiophile for more than 30 years and own and use lots of high end gear.

I've had several Musical Fidelity components in the past and am familiar with their performance. So, when I decided to build my home production studio and needed a dedicated headphone listening room I chose the V-Can II to power my Grado RS1's.

I also purchased the V-PSU II power supply (an ABSOLUTE necessity in my opinion) to ensure the best possible performance from my setup as it has a tightly regulated power supply unlike the cheap DC adapter you get in the box otherwise. It also powers 2 other V-series components too.

What an amazing component for the price. Its much smoother and more detailed than my old Schiit Audio Valhalla tube amp and it actually rivals my $1400 Bryston BHA-1 since it has a surprisingly huge soundstage and great imaging, especially with vocals.

Pros: Amazing performance for the money. Rivals amps costing 10 times the price. Smooth transients and very detailed response. Enormous soundstage and pinpoint imaging

Cons: Junk included DC power supply. Get the V-PSU II to make sure you get the most performance this great little piece has to offer. Even with the extra spend your still at less than half the cost of its closest competitors, including their new M-HA1

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Headphone amplifier
  • AC power adapter (with attached 6' DC cord)
  • Instructions

Product Research



Overview: The Musical Fidelity V-CAN II is a genuine state-of-the-art, high-quality headphone amplifier. The V-CAN II headphone amplifier provides a 5-ohm output impedance, very low distortion, and a wide bandwidth. Because the V-CAN II has an exceptionally low output impedance, it will drive almost any headphone with ease and improved accuracy. Your music will sound more realistic, with a ruler-flat response, complete linearity, and greater dynamic range.

Note: Most high-quality headphones have impedance of around 30 Ohms. Almost all headphone amps have an output impedance between 50 and 100 Ohms. Because of their high output impedance they cannot drive headphones properly. Any sound they produce through the headphones is colored, with distortion, and non-linear frequency response.

Headphone Outputs: The Musical Fidelity V-CAN II headphone amplifier is equipped with a 1/8" (3.5mm) headphone jack and a 1/4" (6.35mm) headphone jack on its side-panel, allowing a wider range of headphones.

Line Input: The Musical Fidelity V-CAN II headphone amplifier is equipped with a side-panel, gold-plated, stereo RCA input for connecting your external audio source. You can connect your receiver's Tape Output to the V-CAN II's stereo RCA input, or connect your CD player or other audio source directly to the headphone amplifier's line-level input.

Line Output: If you connect the V-CAN II to the Tape Output of your receiver and the Tape Output is still required for a tape recorder or CD burner, then the V-CAN II's stereo RCA output can replicate the original Tape Output.

Volume Control: The Musical Fidelity V-CAN II headphone amplifier's side-panel volume control knob lets you adjust your headphone's volume to a comfortable listening level.

Blue Power LED: There is a Blue Power LED on the side-panel of the headphone amplifier to indicate the unit is powered on and ready for use.

Power Requirements: The Musical Fidelity V-CAN II headphone amplifier operates off of standard household current (120V AC, 60Hz) using the supplied AC power adapter (12V DC, 500mA). The external power adapter is separate from the headphone amplifier to further improve sound quality.

Note: This product has been designed so that it may be left on indefinitely.


Power: 0.25 watts/channel (into 32-ohms)

Output Devices: 2 per channel

Output Impedance: 5-ohm

Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 80,000 Hz (+0, -1dB)

Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.005% typical (20-20,000 Hz)

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >109 dB ('A' weighted)

Power Requirements: 12V DC, 500mA

Our Product Research Team

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