HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier (Playback 56)

Equipment report
Categories:
Headphone amps and amp/DACs
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HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier
HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier (Playback 56)

On Anna Netrebko’s Live at the Metropolitan Opera [Deutsche Grammophon], the instrumental and vocal separation is again excellent. The dynamics of opera are difficult, and the Blue Hawaii/Stax combo handles the swells with aplomb.

VALUE

Given that the Stax SR-009 is the most expensive headphone on the market and the amps for the SR-009 are all in a pretty elevated price range, making for a roughly $10,000 investment, value is a tough topic here. Some will say that at that price we can’t be talking realistically about value. But, as we’ve said before, if value is a result of the “show me better for less” test, the Stax/Blue Hawaii SE combination does quite well. For music with headphones, we haven’t heard anything better. And, this $10k combo can do things that many in-room stereo systems can’t match at 2X or 3X the price.

BOTTOM LINE

In the Blue Hawaii SE, HeadAmp has produced an amp for the Stax SR-009 that does the important things right and gets our vote as the most musical headphone/amp combination we’ve yet heard.

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