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 (see Power Supplies).

For more information continue reading after the purchasing options below.

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Price: £280

Power Plug

(Power supply self-adjusts: 100-240Vac)
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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

Swipe down for Specifications and Reviews.

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Specification

ItemMeasurement
Headphone impedance range16 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 balancebetter than 1dB, "9 to 3 o'clock" positions
CrosstalkLeft to Right -57dB; Input to Input -68dB
MuteSignal off mute, non-shorting
Output StageBipolar class AB
Supply voltage24V 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.

Reviews

Best headphone amplifier Awards 2011. The Novo is an involving and addictive listen. After settling down from a bright sound during its running in, the Novo gives the listener a well-balanced audio with a crisp, clear treble that's quite brightly lit but holds no hint of stridency, a warm midrange that enhances emotion in music, and a springy, active bass that's well-formed and underpins everything nicely.

The Novo was also awarded in the Best headphone amplifier Awards 2009 and 2010
- What Hi-Fi online

In a group which showed subtle, but consistent character differentiation between the contenders, this was very much the beguiling one. . . That's not to say that it is perceptibly short of detail or any other particular quality, but it does seem to specialise in a very attractive vocal register in such a way as to seduce the listener, particularly with ballads, gentle instrumental pieces and anything at all sentimental or smoochy. . . On the other hand, given something lively like a Mozart symphony or some upbeat jazz, it bops along most cheerfully, with perhaps a little subjective highlighting of middling-range instruments, but also plenty of extension in both bass and treble, the latter being admirably open and 'airy'.

The Graham Slee Novo is excellent choice, we feel, for regular long-term headphone listening.
- Richard Black, Techradar.com, October 2008

Just purchased a Novo from a good quality Hi-Fi store in Falkirk Scotland. I'm using it with a pair of B&W P7 cans. Loving the results even though I've not fully burned in the amp yet. Absolute bargain compared to some out there.
- forum member: Wuss