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Now Hear This!

Are you and your session players and bandmates tired of straining to hear underpowered headphones? We were too. That’s why Jim Odom and his jambalaya-fueled team of engineers designed 150 mW headphone amps for the HP4 headphone-distribution system.

These headphone amps are not just loud enough for session and stage use, they’re loud enough to explode the oysters in a Po’ Boy sandwich. Yet the sound is clear and clean, with a wide dynamic range. At last, everybody will be able to hear—assuming they are capable of hearing. Be careful with that level control!

The loudness of your headphones will vary depending on their design and their input impedance. The output impedance of the HP4 is 51Ω (ohms), and it will work fine with professional and consumer headphones but the volume will differ depending on which type of headphone you use.

Headphones with lower input impedances will generally be louder than higher-impedance headphones. (In this case, louder does not mean better!) Most professional headphones have impedances between 150Ω and 600Ω. Consumer headphones for CD players and the like often have impedances between 8Ω and 32Ω.

Broadcast headphones are specialized, and you are unlikely to use them with an HP4; their impedances are typically between 1.5 kΩ (kilohms) and 2 kΩ.

Simplicity is the HP4’s hallmark. You get left and right line inputs, left and right line outputs with level control, and the four headphone outs. You can globally mute the headphone outs, adjust the overall headphone level, sum the stereo signals to mono, and mute the rear-panel Monitor outputs.

The Monitor Mute button mutes the main rear-panel outputs. This is handy when recording in front of a computer and studio monitors, especially when you don’t have a hardware mixer, because you can mute the signal going to the monitors rather than turn down the monitor level.

The headphone outputs remain active when the Monitor Mute button is engaged.

The HP4 can sit on a tabletop or can be screw-mounted to a standard rack tray (not included), where it requires just 1/3 rackspace. And if your needs grow, you can use the line outputs to feed the inputs of a second HP4 or an HP60. Chain as many headphone systems as you need.

Expanding your headphone-distribution system is easy. Just connect the Monitor/Thru outputs of the first HP4 to the inputs on a second HP4, and you have an eight-headphone system. If you need 12 headphone outs, simply chain a third HP4 using the same method. You also can connect it to a PreSonus HP60, which provides six headphone outputs and has a few additional features.

So listen up! Quit struggling with mediocre headphone amps. Get the HP4 and hear everything loud and clear. You owe it to your music.

Jimmy Bruno

World renown for his jazz guitar virtuosity, Jimmy Bruno has garnered critical acclaim from legends like George Benson. Jimmy’s technical... read more

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