Sure, you don't need a headphone amplifier to listen to your headphones. Just plug them in any headphone socket and you will be able to enjoy your music. Unfortunately though most headphone outputs are low priority afterthoughts or are strongly limited by low supply voltages and built-in limiters. They sound accordingly.
Therefore, if you like to hear your phones in their full glory then it's almost inevitable that you buy a decent headphone amplifier.
When Meier-Audio was started in the year 2000 the number of headphone amplifiers on the market was very limited and most models came at a premium price. In contrast the amps we produced were designed to provide a maximum of sound quality for as little as money as possible. The enclosures were sturdy without unnecessary gimmicks but inside only premium components were used. This philosophy is still found in our current models PCSTEP, QUICKSTEP, ROCK, JAZZ and DACCORD.
Since those early days the headphone market has grown considerably and many other manufacturers have joined. Especially Asian companies now offer amplifiers at a price level that makes it very hard for an European manufacturer to compete. Therefore recently we have lowered prices of our products considerably.
Also our company-philosophy has changed. In the future we will no longer develop low-budget gear. Any new product will aim to deliver the best possible sound, without major limitations by costs. The SOUL is a first example. This amp/DAC not only delivers premium sound but, thanks to a built-in DSP, also offers features not found on any competitive product.
CORDA amplifiers and DACs have a detailed, clean sound and high driving capacities. They do not aim for a WOW-effect but try to bring sound with natural fluency and inner logic. Some also have a proprietary crossfeed filter that makes headphone listening more relaxed and natural. If this is the kind of sound you're looking for, then you should definitely study our offers below.
Note: All prices include world-wide shipping. Customers from inside the EU (European Union) have to pay Value Added Taxes. Therefore their prices are higher then those for customers from outside. Please understand. Prices in US-Dollars fluctuate. Ask for an offer if desired.
The PCSTEP is a portable amplifier that, in addition to its analog input, also has a built-in USB-DAC. When connected to the USB-port of your PC/tablet/smartphone it will strongly improve on the sound that is provided by a standard quality soundcard.
The amp has a discrete volume control (32 positions, two gain settings), resulting in a clean sound without any channel imbalances.
outside EU: €215,-
inside EU: €250,-
The QUICKSTEP is simply one of the very best portable amplifiers on the market and uses the concept of active balanced ground and a discrete volume control.
In addition it has an extensive RF-filter of the input-signal which makes it immune to RF-pollution caused by mobile headphones.
It also has heavy-duty 3.5 mm sockets which strongly reduces contact-problems and increases reliability.
outside EU: €295,-
inside EU: €345,-
This amplifier uses a simple enclosure but at the inside many technological delicacies can be found.
The JAZZ-FF uses the concept of active balanced headphone ground and has a discrete volume control.
Thanks to the FF-technique sound comes with natural flow and fluency. Microdetail is very high.
It also has our proprietary crossfeed filter incorporated which helps to strongly reduce listening fatigue.
This amp is a fine choice for people who normally prefer tubes but like the reliability and energy-efficiency of solid-state.
outside EU: €360,-
inside EU: €425,-
This amp lives up to its name. Despite it's small size it delivers great and powerfull sound. The basic concept is relatively simple but very high quality parts are used, resulting in a detailed sound with fine pace and rhythm.
Because of its qualities this amp has been choosen member of the InnerFidelity's "Wall of Fame".
outside EU: €195,-
inside EU: €220,-
The FF-version of the ROCK has improved detail and a less warm, more neutral sound.
outside EU: €225,-
inside EU: €255,-
The DACCORD is a DA-converter. At the inside two top-of-the-line Wolfson D/A converter chips in dual-mono mode, a large battery of audiophile capacitors, ultra-fast opamps in class-A, high-precision oscillators (TCXO), and many other very high-quality components are found that are exemplary for this price-class.
Two coxial, one optical, as well as an USB-input (24bit/192kHz) allow for easy connection of any digital source, including your computer/tablet/smartphone. A variable output allows to directly drive a poweramplifier or a pair of active loudspeakers.
The built-in frequency-extended version of the natural crossfeed offers three intensity levels.
outside EU: €550,-
inside EU: €645,-
Admittedly, with the DACCORD-FF the sonic advantages of the ff-technique are not as pronounced as they are with our amplifiers. Nonetheless, the improvements are audible and for some very substantial.
outside EU: €655,-
inside EU: €770,-
This SOUL simply is the best-I-can-make DAC/headamp combo without any limitations towards costs.
Not only does it offer a very neutral, yet silky sound. It also has a built-in DSP (digital signal processor) that allows to add crossfeed, tone controls, notchfilter and balance control in the digital domain. Digital input signals are processed with 64-bit accuracy, a precision that never can be realized with any analog circuitry.
The DSP also makes it possible to shift the first stage of the FF-technique forward into the digital domain. Thus the DA-conversion stage also fully benefits from the FF-technique and this enhances sound quality considerably.
outside EU: €3450,-
inside EU: €4095,-