Schiit Magni Heretic Headphone Amp Reviewdennis
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Schiit Magni Heretic headphone amplifier. It was sent to me by the company .
You can get it in silver or back. Either way, the side and back panels are in red which I like. As you see, there is not much to the functionality other than volume control and three stage gain settings which I appreciated. Previous Schiit Heresy model lacked this which likely hurt its performance in noise department. Back panel is as you expect:
As is typical of Schiit gear, the on off switch is in the back. There is no indicator on the front that the unit is on which is a miss. There is however a red LED inside which you can kind of see. Power is provided using AC transformer which is larger than switching units.
Operationally my only wish was a better detent for medium gain. You can easily go from low to high gain which can have a large impact in levels you hear.
Schiit Magi Heretic Measurements
Let’s start with our usual unity gain dashboard (2 volts in/out):
Very nice! Distortion is extremely low at close to -130 dB. Noise then sets SINAD which nicely lands the Heretic in the top 20 of all headphone amps tested:
Speaking of noise, we have definite improvement over previous generation:
This is very apparent when outputting just 50 millivolts for sensitive headphones and IEMs:
Frequency response is flat and hence excellent to 100 kHz:
As noted distortion is very low and is reflected in our multitone test:
Power is just about everything for a headphone amp so let’s see where the Heretic lands:
I like to see minimum of 100 milliwatts for 300 ohm and the unit nicely clears that hurdle with 3X the power. Same story is true for 32 ohm load:
I expect the unit to be able to drive just about any headphone with this level of performance.
I have modified my load sweeps to have much higher resolution around the clipping point so don’t compare this directly to previous measurements:
There is a limiter that kicks in at 32 ohm and lower to protect the unit. You have basically 4 to 10 volts of output depending on load you put on it.
Finally, here is channel balance:
There is gradual and early deviation but fortunately it holds below my 0.5 dB threshold until 33 dB which is very good.
Schiit Magni Heretic Listening Tests
I started testing with my everyday Dan Clark Expanse headphone. Using high gain, at about 2:00pm I was at the limit of what I would want to listen to everyday. This left me a bit of headroom as after 3:00 PM it started to distort. By max volume there was good bass dynamics but the sound was clearly distorted. So I would say the Heretic is perfectly fine for general listening with Expanse. Just don’t push it to the limit of the unit and your hearing!
Switching to Sennheiser HD650 remedied the amplifier limit and now there was thundering dynamics and super fidelity with as much volume as I wanted. Absolutely excellent fidelity was to be had.
It was nice to see the Schiit Heresy bring measurement grade headphone amplifier to the offerings of the company. In the Heretic version, that performance is improved yet again with addition of gain control, fixing the only weakness in that otherwise excellent unit. You get state of the art performance at bargain prices in solid metal enclosure for English speaking company.
I am happy to add Schiit Magni Heretic to my recommended list.