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Manley Labs tease headphone amplifier at CES 2016

  • ces2016The award for most interesting unusual downright bonkers-looking audio product of CES 2016 goes to Manley Labs whose high-end, tubed-up pre-amplifiers and power amplifiers have earned the Californian company a formidable reputation the world over. Now comes EveAnna Manley’s first dance in the headphone space…

    Manley Labs’ (literally named) Headphone Amplifier puts a pair of 12AT7A driver tubes and a quad of 6AQ5 output tubes in a pram/cradle that also houses the following: a stepped-relay thumb-wheel for volume attenuation;  0 – 10db of variable global negative feedback injection; balance control; (by-passable) treble and bass control, headphone load selector (3 modes), input selector (2 x RCA); and, most interesting of all, a toggle switch for single-ended or push-pull operation.


    Of greater import to the audible performance of any tube amplifier is the quality of its output transformers. The business end of this guy is fuelled by MANLEY IRON, output transformers that are hand-wound at Manley Labs’ Chino facility. Full compatibility with headphone loads ranging from 12 Ohms to 600 Ohms is therefore ensured.

    Headphone outputs are two: balanced XLR and single-ended 6.4mm. However, put the amplifier into standby mode for input one to be routed via the volume control to a pair of RCA outputs; the Manley Labs box unit is now a pre-amplifier, ready for direct connection to a power-amplifier or active loudspeakers.

    The Manley Labs Headphone Amplifier is currently in prototype phase with US-based production slated for June/July of this year. Pricing has already been set: US$2995 for the standard gold and silver finishes with the far more attractive copper model running you “more”.

    Further information: Manley Labs







    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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