The Hornet is our new portable headphone amp.
The Hornet portable headphone amp was developed to meet the needs and demands of many who either have e-mailed me, or I have read their comments on the web regarding the size, battery implementation, weight and price of a portable amp.
Here is some info regarding the Hornet that might be of an interest to you the reader. The Hornet is built on the highest quality PC bard that I know off with 4 oz pure oxygen free copper with Mil specs. All resistors chosen on this little amp are of the highest .1% tolerance SMD “Dale Vishay” can offer. There is no compromise in the quality of Tantalum Caps or the FILM caps used either. The connectors, for input and output are the heaviest duty and the most rugged that I found to withstand the daily use and abuse, as to the DC input jack, you will be surprised by the size of this connector. All lanes are well separated and routed with real care to make this amp as quite as it comes.
The space on the Hornet is used so wisely to make sure you can operate it with out any difficulty yet plenty of room to turn the volume on. The on/off switch is very nicely located to make the access to it easy it also incorporate the Red LED internally. The space between the two inter-connectors, input and output, is well though off to make it possible to use the biggest adaptors available in the market, RCA to MINI and 1/4” to MINI, at the same time with still room to spare in between them, that is if you want to use Hornet with home sources and RCA inter-connectors like I do.
In the back panel where the battery compartment is you will find the DC connector for the 90-240 AC regulated adaptor which serves as a charger too. Next to that you have the three position switch which is located more toward the inside of the amp which will expose very little extension tip of the lever that gives you the three gains to accommodate all the high impedance headphones like Sennheiser HD600/650, AKG 501s and the Bayer DT880. The middle gain will be right for all low impedance phones like Grados and Sony’s while the low gain will be great for the very sensitive in ear canal phones.
The Hornet works great with no hum or hiss with the power adapter alone, when a rechargeable battery is inserted, it will play and charge at the same time, if the Amp is off the battery will still charge if connected to the adaptor. Using 250ma 9 volts rechargeable battery from “I power US” the Hornet will charge it in less than 2 hours and will last 13-14 hours using the HD600 at very load play back. If Alkaline Duracell “Ultra” is used you get around 45 hours, using the HD600.
If LITHIUM 9 volts battery is used, you will get over 120 hours of music using the HD600. All these tests, as you could see, were done using the HD600 which requires more volume to operate, your mileage might be different and even more if using other headphones that are easier to drive and your listening habits happen to be lower than mine.
How does the Hornet sound? All I can say that it sounds damn good. The HORNET has the capability to drive any headphones available in the high-end with ease.
Things to know before operating the Hornet:
The Hornet is designed to charge all the 9 volts NI-MH batteries “ONLY” regardless of their voltage or current. The Hornet will charge the rechargeable battery while playing music, if turned off, the charging time is shorter.
DO NOT install non-rechargeable batteries, weather being alkaline or carbon, in the Hornet “with combination of the power supply”.
NON-RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES MAY EXPLODE IF CHARGED
DO NOT charge 9 volts lithium ion rechargeable batteries in the Hornet as it is not designed to charge those batteries, doing so will heat the charging components and damage the amp.
Always notice the battery’s polarity when new 9 volts battery is inserted in the Hornet’s battery compartment.
USE ONLY the supplied charger with Hornet, if it will not function for any reason, do not attempt to use another adaptor with different voltages, you might damage the charging components and the 15000 mf filter.
When the LED gets very dim, it means the battery is getting low, the Hornet might start clipping at very high volumes especially with very demanding headphones. With in ear canal phones the Hornet will keep on playing for much longer time.
The Hornet’s gain switch is designed to accommodate the impedances of all the headphones. With the sensitive IEM (In Ear Monitors) the switch should be set on the low gain position.
For the high impedance headphones, the gain should be in the middle position. The top position us set for the regular low impedance headphones.
The Hornet’s warranty is 3 years parts and labor, transferable to the next owner.
- Built on the highest quality PC bard that I know off with 4 oz pure oxygen free copper with Mil specs.
- All resistors chosen are of the highest .1% tolerance SMD “Dale Vishay” can offer
- No compromise quality Tantalum Caps and FILM caps
- Connectors, for input and output are the heaviest duty and the most rugged
- All lanes are well separated and routed with real care to make this amp as quite as it comes
- Three position gain switch to accommodate all the high impedance headphones like Sennheiser HD600/650, AKG 501s and the Bayer DT880
- Includes the universal adaptor/charger
- Works great with no hum or hiss with the power adaptor alone
- When a rechargeable battery is inserted, it will play and charge at the same time
- Using 250ma 9 volts rechargeable battery from “I power US” the Hornet will charge it in less than 2 hours and will last 13-14 hours using the HD600 at very load play back
- If Alkaline Duracell “Ultra” is used you get around 45 hours, using the HD600
- If LITHIUM 9 volts battery is used, you will get over 120 hours of music using the HD600