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JDS Atom Amp 2 Headphone Amplifier Review

Rate this headphone amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 3 1.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 14 4.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 280 93.3%

  • Total voters
    300

phoenixsong

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
880
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690
I remember how hifi forums were awash with ridicule of ‘NwAvGuy’, who came up with the original circuit behind this amp. His assertion, that he could devise a cheap amp that was utterly transparent to the ear, was apparently beyond the pale and sufficient proof that he was an idiot and didn’t know what he was talking about, let alone design a transparent amp.

PS a long time ago I bought an early O2 amp which is the predecessor to the Atom.
My Australian friend is still using mine down under with zero complaints :D
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
53
Likes
63
@amirm Did they fix the one fault in my opinion with earlier models and that's the stupid plastic volume control knob that comes away in your hand?
From their product page:
"It's housed in an aluminum chassis with an easier to grip knob"

I found the AA+ to be an improvement over the original in that respect. I would guess this is as well.
 

surroundman

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2023
Messages
86
Likes
98
Good product, but if one is to buy it today it would cost $153.44 with shipping and taxes compared to about $105.32 (again with shipping and taxes) for the L30II from aliexpress with current Black Friday discounts and coupons. With this, in my opinion, massive price difference makes the L30II the better buy.
 

Joe Smith

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
1,065
Likes
1,104
What a great product. JDS just makes good things. My headphone amp needs are covered for now, but this is what I'd buy if getting one right now. I have an Atom+ DAC that works great and John is very responsive to questions and emails. I think by keeping their product line very focused, JDS shows what can be done in the high value segment.
 

Kevinfc

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
221
Likes
211
I wish I had a need or desire for a headphone amp, seems like there’s a lot of great ones out there.
 

PuX

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
337
Likes
216
Element III had perfect channel balance.
I wonder if it costs more to implement digital volume or it's just because Element is an amp+dac combo and would require extra parts here since I assume it's all analogue in the amp.
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,558
Likes
4,717
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
Awesome, now if only local dealers here in Europe wouldn't have scalping prices on JDS Labs products that would be great(seriously, Atom Amp+ is $248 here while it's $99 on JDS labs website... there's VAT but that's only 23%, it's a bit of a joke)
HiFiHeadphones in the UK have the previous one listed but unavailable. maybe they'll get this new model in and not charge a kings ransom for it after necessary shipping and import costs.

As for the likes of Stereophile reviewing and *recommending* it and similar online-ordered audio goodies, the dealers aren't involved and as it doesn't sell for thousands, no eye or wallet-draining candy to tempt the punters (Apparently, one company has launched the first reference standard dac for under $10,000, I forget the make but it's not one I've heard of).
 

D!sco

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
522
Likes
420
We are so close to amp choices not mattering at all and I’m very much ready for that. JDS speaker amps next!
 

AudioX3

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
64
Likes
61
The rear output RCAs is that a pass through unaffected by the gain or volume?
 

Lambda

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
1,803
Likes
1,538
Assuming you have a clean RCA source DAC taht’s not passing any noises over the Unbalanced connection... This is near Perfect.
 

tikky

Member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
46
Likes
35
Very impressive for its size but still very expensive for us living in Europe with a Grand Total of $219.84 + import-free.

At this price, You can grab an A30 Pro. I am dying to get JDS Lab in my collection but sadly I cannot afford 1 for me and 1 for all the taxes and shipping.
 

audiosciencestudent

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 9, 2023
Messages
52
Likes
78
Location
Toronto
  • Their customer support and level of interaction is amazing, John himself responds , they are very very helpful and answered all my queries.
  • I got their El DAC II plus and the Atom Amp+ (Hevi) just last week.
    Those 2 ran a bit warm , so they best solution I found was to buy extra tall rubber feet and place a small USB fan behind. This setup remained cool over 6 hours of usage using the red and blue Truthears.
 
Last edited:

Chester

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
454
Likes
1,115
This looks great. Wasn’t there a concern with the original that there was limited protection for your headphones if something went wrong? (I can’t remember the specifics well enough) Is that resolved in this model?
 
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