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Schiit Magni+ Vs. Magni Heretic Headphone Amp Comparison

I travel a great deal for work and with the super deal on the Magni at Schiit's website, I decided to pick up both the Magni+ and the Magni Heretic. Decided one would go to the office and one goes in the laptop bag for when I am off somewhere.

Schiit Magni+ Vs. Magni Heretic Headphone Amp Comparison |

I had read several comparisons and feel they are pretty spot on.

First off, if you are not a critical, audiophile type of listener, either unit is going to perform exceptionally well for you. The differences really are minor and splitting hairs, and the type most people never notice or even think about.

But if you are taken with the audiophile bug, then read on for a simple breakdown.

The Magni+ is a discrete headphone amp, which means it uses individual transistors in a circuit completely designed by Schiit in-house.

The Magni Heretic uses an operational amplifier integrated circuit, which is a complex electrical circuit built into a single chip, like a computer CPU, by a large corporation like Texas Instruments. Schiit audio would design the part around that chip to get it to perform as they so desire.

The simplelest explanation: The Magni+ sounds more real, the Magni Heretic sounds more, well, perfect.

Let us start with the Heretic. It's presentation is very fast; deep bass to the highest treble is like Zeus's lightning bolt. It's very evenly balanced across the entire audible frequency spectrum. It sounds perfect, and like you'd imagine it should sound. It's a perfect reproduction of the musical signal. It sounds very, very good.

As many audiophile's know, perfection doesn't always translate into the best sounding piece of gear. The Magni+ has slighty less forward high frequency content, and the bass is slightly rounder, maybe you'd even say a tad fatter sounding. Even saying that, I would still say it has a very even output across the frequency spectrum. It's just a little different.

Where the Magni+ excels is at realism. You would think the 'perfect' amp would sound real. But signal reproduction doesn't convey subtleties associated with space, air and placement. Some things non-audiophile's swear don't exist (spoiler: they are wrong).

The Magni, immediately presents a clearer soundstage. Reverbs and audio trails evoke that sense of space and correct placement better than the Heretic. It's slower, smoother sound signature may be slightly less fatiguing over long listening sessions to some listeners.

So which is better? Depends on which presentation you prefer. I listen to both happily, but ultimately use the Magni+ the most. It sounds closer to my tube amps and gear that I love over decades of audio building, comsuming and enjoying.

Have fun on your audio adventures.