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Our take on the HiFiMAN EF-6 by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
Reference-quality performance for your best headphones
HiFiMAN's flagship EF-6 headphone amplifier provides audiophile sound quality for the world's most demanding headphones and headphone listeners. Weighing in at an astonishing 24 pounds (more than many home receivers!), this "tank" of an amp delivers enough power to drive virtually any cans with ease. It makes an especially fine match with HiFiMAN's own planar magnetic models, including the HE-6. If you're looking for no-compromise, reference-quality amplification to bring out the full potential of your best headphones, the EF-6 is a clear winner.
The strong, silent type
The EF-6's first-class fit and finish go hand-in-hand with exceptional performance under the hood. Its thick aluminum faceplate forms a strong frame around the amp's precision, custom-built volume control. The EF-6 powers up your music using pure Class A MOSFET amplification an amp design long valued by audiophiles for its tonal purity and open sound. An ultra-low noise floor ensures your music springs to life from a dead-silent background with powerful dynamics and lushly rendered detail. You'll clearly hear every thrilling note from a deep, powerful electric bass run, to the delicate, woody overtones of a marimba, to the natural brassy ring and slow decay of a crash cymbal.
Versatile connections for your headphones and your system
To accommodate a wide variety of headphones, the EF-6 offers both 4-pin balanced and standard 1/4" jacks with a unique locking design to keep your cans firmly connected at all times. In addition to its outstanding performance with headphones, the EF-6 can also double as a preamp to create a simple, high-quality sound system. You can connect up to three audio components using the rear-panel RCA inputs or front-panel 1/8" minijack connector, then connect the EF-6's preamp outputs to the amp and speakers of your choice. A front-panel switch lets you choose between sources, while the volume control adjusts signal output to your preferred listening levels ideal for matching the volume to your music and mood.
What's in the Box:
- Headphone amplifier
- 39" Power cord (3-prong / IEC 3-pole)
- Owner's Guide
Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.
- high-power, Class A MOSFET headphone amplifier
- hand-made 24-step attenuator volume control for high-accuracy sound
- rear-panel gain switch for use with high-efficiency headphones
- THD: 0.03% (at 1000Hz/ 1 watt)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 95dB
- output power: 5 watts at 50 Ohms
- 2 pair line-level RCA inputs
- 1 front-panel minijack (1/8") input
- 1 pair RCA preamp outputs
- two locking stereo headphone outputs: 1 full-size (1/4"), 1 four-pin XLR
- detachable AC power cord
- 13-1/4"W x 4-13/16"H x 15-7/8"D
- weight: 24 lbs.
- warranty: lifetime
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Overview: The HiFiMAN EF-6 is a state-of-the-art, Class A reference headphone amplifier and preamplifier. This hand-built high performance headphone amp is designed for use with high-end and hard-to-drive headphones, such as the HiFiMAN HE-6.
Connections: The EF-6 features three separate inputs: two rear-panel stereo RCA inputs (CD and AUX) and a front-panel 3.5mm line input. Each input has a separate select button on the front panel. Two very high quality stereo headphone outputs are located on the front panel: a locking 1/4" phone jack and a 4-pin XLR-type jack. In addition to the headphone outputs, the EF-6 has a stereo RCA preamplifier output on the rear panel.
Volume Control: The large rotary volume control provides a hand-made, precision-stepped attenuator which gives you accurate, low-noise sound quality.
Selectable Gain Settings: With a rear-panel installed toggle switch, you can change the gain settings from 0 to -10dB. Hard-to-drive headphones, such as the HE-6, work best at the "0" setting. For more efficient headphones, the "-10" setting is recommended.
Indicator Lamp: The EF-6 has an LED power indicator lamp above the power switch with a two-color status. As the amp is warming up, the LED glows purple. When the amp is warmed up and ready to use, the LED will glow blue. The LED turns off when the amp is turned off.
Warranty Information: The EF-6 carries a lifetime free repair warranty when installed, set up, and used according to HiFiMAN's recommendations.
- Output: @50 ohms: Class A 5W
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >95dB
- Distortion: 0.03% (1w and 1 kHz)
- Power Supply: 110 to 240 Volts (with voltage selector)
- Weight=24 pounds
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