Jason Stoddard of Schiit Audio has plenty of reason to smile big after this year’s CanJam Socal headphone event. His ever-expanding product line continues to push the boundaries into two channel and the analog domain. Hot off the news junket is three new black and silver boxes to compliment his growing audience of clients (and ultimately fandom) as his popularity continues to grow 13 years in.
The three new shiny items include a higher-end phono preamp called Skoll (~$499), the new headphone amplifier Midgard and the second iteration of Schiit’s gaming interface dubbed Hel+. Skoll represents a set up from the budget friendly Mani ($149) phono pre, with both the larger mid-tier footprint, no-dip-switch load changing buttons and a remote. No longer do Schiit fans have to change impedance, reconnect and then listen. Rather the included remote allows for fine tuning of one’s turntable straight from the couch – nice. Also hot on the feature set is the inclusion of a balanced output (and input), a rare addition for the RCA unbalanced connection that is found standard on most phono pre amps.
Midgard promises a new take on headphone amplification with what Stoddard is calling “Halo” mixed mode feedback. The amp is marketed with a measurement-forward attitude and also features balanced ins and outs (including 4-pin XLR for headphones). Also included in the new wave of product is a v2 for the gaming interface Hel. Schiit Hel+ provides mic inputs, a USB interface and plenty of connectivity for gamers to hear and be heard while shooting invaders on a PC. It serves as a nice bridge for users who partner with more traditional-audiophile style, hard to drive headphones – in a world where most of the interfaces are either geared towards mainstream options or fully wireless.
Schiit Hel+ pushes a full 1.5 watts of power (32ohms) and also allows for optical input. The front knob controls mic gain, with the larger knob on the top allowing for control of headphone volume levels. All three new products should be due to hit the market within the coming months.
More info: Schiit Audio