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The HeadRoom Ultra Desktop Amp has upsides, but doesn't offer as much value or audio quality.
When it comes to personal entertainment, few experiences are more deliciously self-indulgent than listening to great music on a pair of exceptional headphones connected to a really good headphone amp.
HeadRoom’s Ultra Desktop Amp includes two sets of analog inputs: optical, coax, and USB digital inputs; an excellent digital audio converter (DAC); and a more powerful amplifier than the one in its smaller sibling, the Micro. This amp draws too much power to run on a battery, but it had no problem driving the Ultrasone Pro 900 headphones. We also liked its sound amp, which is not as warm and inviting as the Grado, but delivers vocals and instrumentals with excellent definition and fidelity. Both HeadRoom amps include a cross-feed circuit that pipes a delayed feed from the right channel to the left, and vice versa, to provide more natural sound stage. This psychoacoustics were effective with the Sennheiser and Shure ’phones, but it didn’t have any impact on the Ultrasones. The HeadRoom Ultra also has a brightness filter that boosts the highs at certain frequency bands, but the results were extremely subtle.There’s a ton of features in here, but 1,500 bucks is a lot of cabbage for a headphone amp that doesn’t sound any better than Grado’s $400 unit.