Gadgets bey-a200p_0

Published on February 16th, 2014 | by Greg


Beyerdynamic A 200 p: Solid Headphone DAC And Amp

Plugging high-end headphones into your average mobile music player is like putting ketchup on your filet mignon. Sure, you can do it, but you’re ruining the natural beauty, removing the character of what you’re trying to enjoy. You might be familiar with the difference between modern digital and classic analog, and the trick is to balance both worlds with a DAC- a digital to audio convertor, that can take your digital music player and bypass the typical paths with superior circuitry devoted to audio.

We’ve reviewed many headphone DAC/amps, including several portable models, but the latest from beyerdynamic is a great advance- the A 200 p is nicely sized, and offers 24-bit resolution at 96 kHz sampling, suitable for lossless audio files that are far superior to your typical MP3. Of course, if you listen mostly to streaming services like Pandora or sources like internet radio, you won’t notice much difference with any DAC/amp, but even Spotify and iTunes now offer high bit-rate files and we certainly recommend using them when possible. We picked up ours at CES last month and spent some time traveling, using several sets of headphones from both beyerdynamic and other firms as well.

Compact enough to fit in just about any pocket, the internal battery offers plenty of juice, up to 11 hours of listening which should be enough for all but the longest flights. And while we’ve seen smaller DACs, they are generally for laptops and in a USB-stick form factor similar to the Audioengine D3- the beyerdynamic A 200 p is said to be the tiniest model currently capable of supporting a much wider range of devices: from the iPhone, iPod, and iPad via Lightning connector, Android smartphones or tablets with digital micro-USB audio output (Android 4.1+), as well as Mac and Windows computer via normal USB. All this at only 51 grams (plus accessories)!

All of the cables are included, along with a nice leather case that definitely sets this one apart from many competitors- as does the large dial volume control, easy to use without having to look down. We tried a variety of devices and music- albums like the soundtrack to ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou’ highlight the A 200 p’s fidelity when it comes to lyrics and strings, with details- breaths and depths- that you miss without it. It’s simple to test- all of our listeners noticed the immediate impact even blind, and works best with bold, big music that offers strong contrasts and plenty of subtlety, allowing the DAC to make it’s presence felt. The well-built, solid beyerdynamic A 200 p portable headphone DAC and amplifier is available online and in stores for around $299,

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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