Samson QH4 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier
|Samson QH4 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier|
|Features and Specifications|
|Listening Tests and Final Thoughts|
If like audio as much as I do, you probably have considered or purchased a headphone amplifier. While I do love good audio and am disappointed with the low volume output of many devices today, I also have a limited budget and can't afford a crazy-expensive multi-tube headphone amplifier. That leaves me listening to much of my music tethered to my computer and mixer where I can tweak the audio and do some basic amplification and EQ adjustments as well. While this does work, it's not designed for the job and the mixer is much more bulky that the Samson QH4 which arrived at BCC Headquarters a little while ago.
Samson QH4 Box
I've been enjoying this and the price tag means that after the review period is over, this may be the headphone amplifier I choose. It's priced right around the $70 USD mark and that makes it very affordable. Is it the warmest, richest sound you'll ever experience? Probably not, but you'll also save a bundle. In this quick and dirty review, we'll take a look at the QH4 and see if the tradeoff in ultra-quality for price is worth it. Let's face it, if it sounds horrible, $70 is still too much money.
The QH4 is budget friendly and there are a few things that are missing from the bundle in order for them to keep the price down. There is no included 1/4-inch input cable and no 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch adapters. While they aren't all that expensive, there are things that Samson leaves out in order to keep the price at a point where this is pretty much an impulse buy. What you do get in the bundle is pretty much everything you really need anyhow. You get the QH4, a power adapter, and the owner's manual. You have to provide the cable for the input, and adapters for the output. If you don't have these, you probably don't need a headphone amplifier anyway.
Samson QH4 Bundle
A closer look at the QH4 reveals some more details. The front of the unit simply has four 1/4-inch stereo output jacks for your favorite pair of high-quality headphones. If you don't have high quality headphones, you will still gain the extra loudness, but you are missing out on so much that Samson manages to keep intact.
The rear of the QH4 contains 1/4-inch left and right inputs (left can be used as mono), as well as an 1/8-inch stereo input, a 1/8-inch auxiliary output as well as the power jack. The front and rear are pretty straightforward and you're going to get the best performance out of the 1/4-inch inputs on the rear.
The overall color scheme of the QH4 is almost nice. I like the black and silver body, and the chromed input and output jacks are nice. The grey/silver knobs are even quite nice, but then they ruin the look with some florescent green text and indicators on the controls. I know this is petty and a personal preference, but white - or even red would look better on the knobs in my opinion. The green looks like it cheapens the whole thing.
On the next page, we'll take a look at the features and specifications of the QH4 before we carry on with testing.