JDS Labs Objective2+ODAC COMBO Review


First of, what the heck is the Objective2 amplifier?

Well it has a nice story to it, so complex and large I really have no idea what happened. But I think there were some trolling and flame wars on some audiophile forums, shouting about expensive coloring tube amps and about their design flaws and generally that most expensive headphone amps sucks. Then that guy got banned or something. (Could be totally wrong). Armed with only brains, a blog and hefty measurement equipment he went on a quest to create an open designed affordable headphone amplifier to prove the cocky audiophiles wrong.

You can read more on nwavguy’s blog here: http://nwavguy.blogspot.no/2011/07/o2-headphone-amp.html

He also created an USB DAC with go with it, so I purchased the O2+DAC combo, same stuff but with the DAC inside the chassie.

General Use

It feels quite sturdy with its aluminum chassis. Everything is on the front except the USB which is in the back. You can also plug in analog source in the front, that will disable the DAC.  It works without drivers on any OS that supports USB sound. I don’t really like that the power plug is on the front and the gain button is physically strange. It is very small and I really really like that.

Sound Quality

I only have the AKG K450’s to test with right now, won’t get the new headphones until next week.
The sound has control and you start noticing things you haven’t heard before.
It feels very neutral compared to the abominations I have connected my K450’s to.
Also it has a very black background, there is absolutely no background noise.
Overall I really like the sound.

I can’t really say much more, I like it. If the power adapter gets ruined I can purchase a new one off-the-shelf. If some parts gets loose I can purchase those also, open designs has some perks.

Is this the best headphone amp under 1000$?
I have no idea, but everyone else says so.

Should you get it?
If you are going to purchase an expensive headphone for the first time, this is the amp I think you should buy.

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