Novo- Headphone Amplifier

Novo Headphone Amplifier

Novo Headphone Amplifier Scores Hat-Trick

Because the budget Novo headphone amplifier has a delightfully lively sound What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision gave it a best headphone amplifier award three years in a row – this is a hi-fi amplifier for headphones!

As reviewed, the little Novo is supplied with an outboard basic power supply which automatically adjusts to your electricity supply voltage, but it can be upgraded later on by swapping to the PSU1 power supply.

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Specification Reviews

Discretely Inspired

Discrete? Surely we meant to say discreet?

The Novo is both: it’s discreetly small – a definite miniature in a world full of behemoths; and it’s discrete because that’s the circuitry it uses – discrete transistors.

Discrete transistors? Yes, you heard right! Most budget headphone amplifiers let an op-amp do all the work. We wanted to show that we’re capable of more than that.

The result is a very capable headphone amplifier, so capable that headphone manufacturer Shure bought some and Sennheiser featured it in a promotional video driving its flagship headphone.

You may never have heard of the Novo headphone amplifier before today, but now you have. It’s definitely worth your consideration if you’re after a budget headphone amp – a hi-fi amp for headphones!

Novo Headphone Amplifier

Novo rear panel ‘daisy-chained’ input/output sockets plus aux ground


Basic power supply

Basic outboard power supply


PSU1 power supply

PSU1 upgrade power supply


Item Measurement
Headphone impedance range 16 to 600 Ohms preferred; 8 to 2,000 Ohms acceptable
Power output (rms, both channels fully driven) 32 Ohms: 27mW/channel; 600 Ohms: 23mW/channel
Distortion (THD plus noise, ref 1kHz) 0.02%
Frequency response (-3dB) 32 Ohms load: 27Hz – 35kHz; 600 Ohms load: 10Hz – 39kHz
Output noise (20Hz-20kHz, CCIR quasi-peak) -84dB
Input sensitivity (for specified power output) 32 Ohms: 250mV rms; 600 Ohms: 775mV rms
Channel balance better than 1dB, “9 to 3 o’clock” positions
Crosstalk Left to Right -57dB; Input to Input -68dB
Mute Signal off mute, non-shorting
Output Stage Bipolar class AB
Supply voltage 24V DC
Size (approx.) W: 107 x H: 50 x D: 185 (mm) inc. controls

Specifications subject to alteration without notice in keeping with our continuous improvement policy.