If you're an audiophile, prefer headphones to speakers and gain particular pleasure from visitors complimenting you on your shapely knob, Epiphany Acoustics might have the headphone amp for you. The British-based startup is kicking things off with the walnut-fronted EHP-1, a compact hand-made amp promising minimal noise and distortion along with a distinctive aluminum volume control.
It doesn't just look good, either; it's connected to an Alps RK27 ("Blue Velvet") volume potentiometer, while inside is a Class A, dual-mono amplifier capable of turning 2+ Watts into 32 Ohms. Epiphany purposefully used a pair of mono amps rather than a single, dual-channel chip so as to avoid crosstalk. Ports include fixed and variable line-outs, offering either transparent or pre-amp connectivity when used in-line with your regular amp, along with a single set of line-in.
Design-wise, the casing is made of steel and will look a little sleeker than the prototype pictured here, doing away with the exposed screws on top and instead forming the sides and top from a single piece of metal. Epiphany also expects to offer alternative volume knob designs.
Pre-orders for the EHP-1 are being taken now, at £180 ($290; a 20-percent discount off the regular RRP if you're among the first twenty buyers). Shipments were initially expected in June, so we're guessing they'll begin imminently.
[via What HiFi]