We’ve long maintained that most headphones on the market need below 1W of power for normal listening. This is why all of our recent amplifiers have been designed around this figure–until now. Element III Boosted is for those of you with an appetite for ill-advised volumes from the world’s most power-hungry headphones.
No, we still have no interest in a spec race. In all honesty, we built Element III Boosted after a customer pointed us to a discussion claiming that JDS amplifiers were incapable of powering inefficient headphones. Rather than continue to preach that enough-power-is-enough, we ordered a larger dummy load and assembled a more powerful Element III. This is not a firmware change, nor a complicated redesign. More time was spent waiting for an adequately heatsinked 32Ω dummy load than designing (so that our usual dummy load did not self-destruct).
Element III is now available in two configurations:
- Standard Power is unaltered from Element III’s initial release. This is more than you will need to drive the vast majority of headphones on the market, including dynamic sets by Sennheiser, AKG, Beyerdynamic, and Focal, as well as most planars from Audeze, HiFiMan, ZMF, etc.
- Boosted Power means that your Element III is assembled with quad output buffers (two per channel). This extra silicon doubles amperage availability, approximately doubling output power into 32Ω headphones. All other performance and noise specifications remain the same. Idle power consumption is only 0.02W higher, or negligible.
You may choose Standard or Boosted Power from the Element III page. Please keep in mind we secure output buffers on a near annual basis due to long lead times, so Boosted Power will be available while our inventory allows.