The THX AAA Headphone Amplifier

THX was showcasing some interesting tech this weekend at their table in CanJam, but you won’t be able to buy it. Well, not directly anyways. The company is looking to integrate a branded AAA headphone amplifier technology (short for Achromatic Audio Amplifier) into “any product with a headphone jack”, in an more focused effort perhaps than Powered by Beats or Made with Harmen has done in the past.

Right now the AAA headphone amplifier exists mostly as a schematic for designers, but a working chipset was on display to listen to both in a battery powered mobile form and a full featured, dual mono configuration. The see-through casework made for an easy look at the PCB, which was graciously labeled to the hilt for display purposes. The THXAAA-0 low-power mobile headphone module is promising desirable specs like 100 hours of playback against a 200 mAh battery according to representatives from the company. THX hopes to implement the amp in anything from laptops to phones to DAPs, allowing manufacturers to tap into the brand equity of THX akin to something that Intel did with its once prevalent “Intel Inside” campaign.

Everything sounded all well and good to a pair of Oppo PM-3s (mobile) and Sennheiser HD 800s (THXAAA-888 chipset in dual mono) in the somewhat noisy show floor environment. It will be interesting to see how things continue to develop with partnerships such as this. Implementation plays such a big part in much of what the final product sounds like from any system, but it looks like THX is interested in providing some pretty serious building blocks for DAP, phone and computing kiddies to play with. While mobile doesn’t always seem to suffer extreme deficiencies in sound quality in most cases, portable computing is another matter, with a few pretty good examples of horrible sound running around on some major devices. More details on the new tech in the video below.

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