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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: 275 93.2%

  • Total voters
    295

Philipp

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Are you able to measure the preamp function?

Newbie question:
Would that make a good Preamp in combination with a stereo-power-amp with no volume control?
Or would there be a better product for such a purpose at this pricepoint?
Thanks in advance!
Dear Tech-pros,
could anybody clear that up, please?
I searched that question „affordable hp amp as pre-amp“ in the forum search, came to no clear conclusion, I am sure the answer is out here :)
Much appreciated!

To refine my theoretical usecase:
Wiim Mini to SMSL SU1 to JDS Atom Amp2 (as preamp) to Audiophonics MPA250NC RCA Stereo Power Amp (Hypex) to Elac DBR-62

The atom2 and the Audiophonics Amp are not yet in my possession.
 
Last edited:

staticV3

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Dear Tech-pros,
could anybody clear that up, please?
I searched that question „affordable hp amp as pre-amp“ in the forum search, came to no clear conclusion, I am sure the answer is out here :)
Much appreciated!

To refine my theoretical usecase:
Wiim Mini to SMSL SU1 to JDS Atom Amp2 (as preamp) to Audiophonics AP300-S250NC Stereo Power Amp (Hypex) to Elac DBR-62

The atom2 and the Audiophonics Amp are not yet in m’y possession.
I'd choose the L30II for its more versatile gain.
With the Audiophonics AP300-S250NC's high input sensitivity, you may get some value out of the L30II's Low gain which the Atom Amp 2 lacks.
 

Philipp

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staticV3

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I can't find headphone amp on whathifi.com.
I'm sorry, it was a joke.

"Best x of this year" kind of lists and awards are usually reserved for sites that focus on selling new stuff to their readers.

ASR is more about actual, tangible qualities where it doesn't matter if a piece of kit came out this year or in 2012. If it's good, it's good.
 

OldTimer

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But I need to buy the best on this black Friday sale.
I'm sorry, it was a joke.

"Best x of this year" kind of lists and awards are usually reserved for sites that focus on selling new stuff to their readers.

ASR is more about actual, tangible qualities where it doesn't matter if a piece of kit came out this year or in 2012. If it's good, it's good.
 

staticV3

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But I need to buy the best on this black Friday sale.
As an example, the Topping L30II did not come out in 2023, but is still being sold almost everywhere.
It has higher output power than the Atom Amp 2 and an additional Low gain for basically the same price.

But it cannot qualify for best headphone amp of the year.

Edit: the JDS Atom is still a great choice if you don't need a Low gain for sensitive IEMs or Power Amps and you don't need the absolute highest output power for your money.
And it has one advantage over the L30 in that plugging a headphone in will automatically mute the Line out.
And it's made in the US instead of China.
 
Last edited:

JRG123

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This level of performance at that price, made in USA, I think we're ready to declare Headphone Amps as a solved problem
 

Sean_S

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No kidding. I've clocked the 230 V version that came with my Atom Amp+ at 3 W (real power) doing absolutely nothing. This doubles to about 6 W with the amp turned on. Suffice it to say, an off-mode power consumption that high is likely in violation of EU ecodesign regulations. It's also annoying because the 2012 Dell laptop I use with it with its 130 W power supply needs a lot less in standby and off (not a lot more than 1 W / 0.3 W if memory serves).

I suppose that even finding a decent AC/AC wall wart to ship with your product in this day and age is not easy, but still, transformers do not have to be this inefficient. Even if high-efficiency transformer design seems to be a bit of a black art that's not necessarily in high demand and the budget when shipping with a $129 product is likely to be quite limited.

It's probably about time to modernize the power setup (i.e. DC SMPS + inverter)... that still leaves the question of how to deal with the pesky mains leakage though. I mean, it shouldn't be a biggie if you have access to a grounded outlet so mains filtering can dump its leakage current there, but in some regions of the world that's not exactly a given (like SE Asia, but not even within Europe things may vary a fair bit).
With a $120 product, I would just plug the wart into a switchable outlet of some sort.
 

OldTimer

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As an example, the Topping L30II did not come out in 2023, but is still being sold almost everywhere.
It has higher output power than the Atom Amp 2 and an additional Low gain for basically the same price.

But it cannot qualify for best headphone amp of the year.

Edit: the JDS Atom is still a great choice if you don't need a Low gain for sensitive IEMs or Power Amps and you don't need the absolute highest output power for your money.
And it has one advantage over the L30 in that plugging a headphone in will automatically mute the Line out.
And it's made in the US instead of China.
Thank you.
 

mc.god

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As an example, the Topping L30II did not come out in 2023, but is still being sold almost everywhere.
It has higher output power than the Atom Amp 2 and an additional Low gain for basically the same price.

But it cannot qualify for best headphone amp of the year.

Edit: the JDS Atom is still a great choice if you don't need a Low gain for sensitive IEMs or Power Amps and you don't need the absolute highest output power for your money.
And it has one advantage over the L30 in that plugging a headphone in will automatically mute the Line out.
And it's made in the US instead of China.
Just to add that Atom has the bonus of an additional 3.5mm input in case you ever need to manage two sources.
 

audiosciencestudent

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L30 II is simply better.
I don't know how long Chinese stuff will last , how good their customer support is.
I googled a bit and some Topping stuff had issues with volume control. LCD screens , firmware etc. At least I won't buy stuff from a Chinese brand when I have the choice of JDS and the differences are not really that much for the sake of reliability
 

surroundman

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I don't know how long Chinese stuff will last , how good their customer support is.
I googled a bit and some Topping stuff had issues with volume control. LCD screens , firmware etc. At least I won't buy stuff from a Chinese brand when I have the choice of JDS and the differences are not really that much for the sake of reliability
Having a preference is one thing, but there are too many fallacies in such a short post. Does not knowing how long Chinese stuff will last mean that you do know how long the non-Chinese stuff will last? Does not knowing how good Topping's customer support is necessarily means that it is likely not good? Does "googling" provide reliable knowledge on the subject (or possibly any subject)? False equivalency fallacy is being applied by comparing different products with LCD screens, firmware (which are completely absent in the products we compare) or volume control issues (are such widely or actually reported?). Is reliability a widely reported issue for the L30 II? "Differences are not really that much" too is only an opinion, not a fact. There is, for example, a difference in price that some people do indeed take into consideration. If bought today from the US, the Atom Amp 2 will cost roughly 45% more than the L30 II after shipping and taxes. As seen in other comments, for EU customers the price increase appears to be even more. Again, having a preference is one thing, but the arguments used are flawed.
 

audiosciencestudent

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Having a preference is one thing, but there are too many fallacies in such a short post. Does not knowing how long Chinese stuff will last mean that you do know how long the non-Chinese stuff will last? Does not knowing how good Topping's customer support is necessarily means that it is likely not good? Does "googling" provide reliable knowledge on the subject (or possibly any subject)? False equivalency fallacy is being applied by comparing different products with LCD screens, firmware (which are completely absent in the products we compare) or volume control issues (are such widely or actually reported?). Is reliability a widely reported issue for the L30 II? "Differences are not really that much" too is only an opinion, not a fact. There is, for example, a difference in price that some people do indeed take into consideration. If bought today from the US, the Atom Amp 2 will cost roughly 45% more than the L30 II after shipping and taxes. As seen in other comments, for EU customers the price increase appears to be even more. Again, having a preference is one thing, but the arguments used are flawed.
LOL , sometimes there is common sense and simple approach to decision making Vs an overly complicated, time consuming, flawed BS approach like yours which takes things a bit to far.

Step #1 : Apply your effort into what matters the most, compare the specs of JDS and Topping and decide is the difference audible to me ?
Step #2 : Quick google + common sense knowledge about Chinese products + customer support experience + JDS's John's personal attention. Who do u know from Topping who will personally reply to all your emails ?

JDS wins every time
 

oleg87

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Having a preference is one thing, but there are too many fallacies in such a short post. Does not knowing how long Chinese stuff will last mean that you do know how long the non-Chinese stuff will last? Does not knowing how good Topping's customer support is necessarily means that it is likely not good? Does "googling" provide reliable knowledge on the subject (or possibly any subject)? False equivalency fallacy is being applied by comparing different products with LCD screens, firmware (which are completely absent in the products we compare) or volume control issues (are such widely or actually reported?). Is reliability a widely reported issue for the L30 II? "Differences are not really that much" too is only an opinion, not a fact. There is, for example, a difference in price that some people do indeed take into consideration. If bought today from the US, the Atom Amp 2 will cost roughly 45% more than the L30 II after shipping and taxes. As seen in other comments, for EU customers the price increase appears to be even more. Again, having a preference is one thing, but the arguments used are flawed.
He's responding to a post that says "the L30 II is simply better" and strangely you don't take issue with that?
If the Atom doesn't suit your requirements, great, get the Topping. I live in the US, and to me, the knowledge that I'm buying from a company with a reputation for excellent post-purchase support and good quality control that is not on another continent is an important consideration - far more important than a bit of extra power I'll never use or marginally better performance metrics that I won't hear.
 

surroundman

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He's responding to a post that says "the L30 II is simply better" and strangely you don't take issue with that?
If the Atom doesn't suit your requirements, great, get the Topping. I live in the US, and to me, the knowledge that I'm buying from a company with a reputation for excellent post-purchase support and good quality control that is not on another continent is an important consideration - far more important than a bit of extra power I'll never use or marginally better performance metrics that I won't hear.
Strangely!? How am I supposed to take issue with a post that responds in support to another one of my own!?
Also, I made sure to (twice, even!) point out that having a preference and making claims/inferences is not the same. There are clear inferences and fallacies in the post I quoted. What exactly is your argument with your post or what do you disagree with me? I do understand that according to many here the JDS Labs customer support is good. I have never argued against that. What I am trying to point out is that just because JDS Labs customer support is good, that does not necessarily mean that the competitor's (Topping) is bad. Even more - it does not mean that one should necessarily end up needing to use customer support services at all. Nor does it mean that persons A, B, and C's (supposed) experience with (for example Topping) should mean that person X's experience will be the exact same. Just because some people value a certain aspect of a product (or a company) more than others does not mean that other aspects of the product should not be discussed.
 
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