Our take on the Klipsch Heritage by Crutchfield's Jeff Miller
Classic look, modern features, timeless power
The Klipsch Heritage headphone amplifier has a nice retro vibe — believe me, those knobs and switches are as satisfying to turn and snap as they are to see. But a whole lot of new-school functionality is going on here, too. There are a bunch of connections, a versatile gain switch, and a premium DAC that will squeeze every detail out of your high-resolution digital music collection.
Also, under the hood, you'll find class AB amplifiers that deliver clean, high-energy sound. While this amp will work with a variety of high-performance headphones, it is specially tuned for the Klipsch Heritage HP-3 headphones. I finally got to hear the two together at the recent CanJam event in New York City. They packed a powerful punch, with low-end I could actually feel...even on the busy showfloor.
- vintage-styled desktop headphone amp
- immediate, high-energy sound that pairs well with the Klipsch Heritage HP-3 headphones
- dual high-performance class AB amplifiers eliminate interference between left and right channel
- premium ESS Sabre32 digital-to-analog converter (ES90128KSM) for detailed, dynamic sound
- asynchronous USB data transfer with Time Domain jitter eliminator
- plays PCM digital audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD audio files up to 11.2 MHz
- LED light sample rate notifications
- two-position gain switch optimizes performance with low- and high-impedance headphones
- aluminum chassis, knobs, and switches help minimize vibration and noise
- walnut veneer top and bottom
- USB (Type B) port for connecting a computer
- optical digital audio input
- coaxial digital audio input
- analog RCA stereo line-level input
- balanced XLR 4-pin headphone jack
- full-size 1/4" stereo headphone jack (unbalanced)
- rear-panel line-level stereo RCA audio (fixed or variable)
Other Info & Specs:
- works with Windows® and Mac® operating systems (driver installation required for Windows PCs)
- compatible with iPhone® and iPad®
- requires Lightning-to-USB adapter (not included); Apple's Lightning-to-USB 3 Camera Adapter recommended for best results
- compatible with some Android devices
- requires a USB micro to USB A female adapter to connect an Android device
- headphone amplifier power output: 1,440 mW into 32 ohms (balanced); 940mW into 32 ohms (unbalanced)
- frequency response: 20-40,000 Hz (-0.1dB) 9-90,000 Hz (-3 dB)
- 7-7/8"W x 2-3/8"H x 5-3/4"D
- weight: 1.7 lbs.
- If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in your TV's audio menu. This DAC cannot decode multi-channel Dolby® Digital signals.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Headphone amplifier
- AC adapter with 5' DC output cord (DC output: 5V 4000mA)
- Plug adapters for US (non-polarized 2-prong) / UK / Australia / Euro
- 5' USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Type B USB on other end)
- Owner's Manual
Pretty decent, slightly overpriced if compared to a monoprice equivalent. The fit and finish is solid though.
Anonymous, Lake Oswego, OR
Klipsch Heritage Reviews
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Overview: The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier features audiophile-quality internal components with a beautiful aluminum and walnut exterior. The headphone amp has a sleek black extruded aluminum chassis, sandwiched by two pieces of MDF with genuine walnut veneer. The front panel switches, knobs, and controls are made of anodized aluminum, and are weighted for a quality feel. Front and rear panel connections are gold-plated for maximum signal transfer. The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier comes with an AC power adapter with plug adapters for the US, UK, the EU, and Australia, plus an A-B USB cable.
D/A Converter: The Heritage Headphone Amp is equipped with an audiophile-grade ES90128K2M ESS Sabre32 Reference digital-to-analog converter (DAC). This high-resolution DAC is capable of sample rates up to 192kHz/24-bit, making it the best choice for processing your digital audio sources. Other sample rates supported by the DAC include 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 176.4kHz; 16-bit and 24-bit. DSD support includes 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, and 11.2MHz files. The LEDs on the front panel will indicate the sample rate being processed for digital sources, glowing white for PCM sources and blue for DSD files.
USB Interface: The headphone amplifier uses the XMOS Asynchronous USB Audio interface for transferring audio from USB sources. This interface lets the amplifier lock the audio stream to its internal clock for pristine, jitter-free audio. USB driver software for the headphone amplifier is provided on the Klipsch website. With an optional Apple Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter, or a USB On-the-Go adapter (USB OTG), you can connect your iOS or Android device directly to the headphone amplifier and bypass the device's built-in DAC.
Dual Amplifiers: The unit has dual Class AB TPA6120A2 amplifiers from Texas Instruments to output a strong, clean signal to your headphones. Having dual amplifiers minimizes crosstalk between channels, and increases the total power output to the headphones. The TPA6120A2 amplifiers have a very high signal-to-noise ratio to provide a super quiet signal. The headphone amplifier output varies depending upon the impedance of the connected headphones:
|Balanced XLR-4||Unbalanced 1/4"|
Inputs and Outputs: The Heritage Headphone Amplifier features a variety of inputs, both digital and analog. On the rear panel are USB (Type B), Optical (TosLink), and Coaxial digital inputs, as well as stereo RCA analog inputs. Front panel outputs include a balanced XLR-4 output and an unbalanced 1/4" output. The stereo RCA analog output on the rear panel can be set to fixed or variable. When set to variable, you can adjust the gain control using the volume knob on the front panel.
Controls: The headphone amp has a rotary input select dial on the front panel that lets you choose the USB, Optical, Coax, or Line input. The 2-way Output Switch lets you toggle between the headphone output (XLR-4 or 1/4") and the line output (stereo RCA). The headphone output is muted when the switch is set to Line output. The Gain toggle switch lets you choose between Lo-Z (0 gain) and Hi-Z (+10dB gain) if needed for "hard-to-drive" headphones. The large rotary Power/Volume Control lets you set the headphone volume and power the headphone amplifier on or off. (The amplifier is turned off when the rotary control is turned all the way counter-clockwise.) On the rear panel, a 2-way slide switch allows you to set the Line Output to Fixed or Variable. The front panel volume control is disabled when set to a Fixed output.
|Balanced XLR-4||Unbalanced 1/4"|
|Frequency Response||20Hz - 40kHz (+0, -0.1dB) |
9Hz - 90kHz (+0, -3.0dB)
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio||118dB A-Weighted|
|THD+N||<0.009% (20Hz - 20kHz)|
|Crosstalk||<-75dB (20Hz - 20kHz)||<-60dB (20Hz - 20kHz)|
|Gain||Lo-Z: 0; Hi-Z: 10dB|
|Voltage||100-240 VAC, 50/60Hz|
|Dimensions||Width: 7.843" |
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Why did you buy this?
This headphone Amp/DAC is matched beautifully with the Heritage HP-3 headphones. Pro reviewers are really highlighting how amazing the two are paired for superb sound together, and since I decided to invest in the incredible HP-3s, I want the whole Klipsch combination the way it was conceived. This Amp/DAC is also very well featured, with loads of great connectivity options. Unfortunately neither the headphones nor the Amp/DAC are available with the balanced cable for connecting the two. [ Craig F May 27, 2018 ]