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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

Lambo1985

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Mar 12, 2023
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Why do u directly jump to the conclusion something is broken and needs a fix ?
And people are so poor they cannot afford to buy a new 100$ DAC so they will look to customer support for fixing their "broken and so expensive 100$ DACs and amps"

Sometime we need answers to questions like - why does this run so hot ? is there any issue if I use ASIO ?, how do I install this firmware which is optimized for RCA instead of balanced ? , does it pop when I switch it on ? When is the next V3 coming out ? should I wait till end of the month.. etc. Will it work with this version of Android/Apple etc.
JDS team will happily answer + explain in more details , share measurements with a nice friendly tone.

You are so proud that u are so rich that you can simply buy another 100$ amp, good for you.
But sometimes we just need a friendly customer support to answer questions, share some specs, talk about next version etc.
I "Lol'd" reading your reply. I'm not rich, but I do come from the dark ages before the internet. I purchased Sony/Panasonic/Sharp/Aiwa boombox's, tape decks, receivers, shelf systems, and walkmans/discmans. Consumer grade stuff. Not one piece priced over ~$300. - In 30 years, I NEVER contacted customer support for a consumer audio device (or had to). When wear & tear broke these devices down, it was WAY past any warranty period (years). I replaced it. - Its just the way it is in the electronics world, and in the case of a tiny $100 dac/amp, its totally unreasonable and unjustly entitled to expect a company to provide esoteric support 2+ years down the road for R&D measurements, and repair/replacement. - If its a financial burden to spend $100 on such a piece, do your research and choose wisely what you do purchase so you won't ever have to worry about needing customer support.

If it blows up within months of purchase, then that's a different story. If the manufacturer doesn't fix the problem, call a lawyer if you have to! :)

I'm excited about the Atom 2, and will probably purchase soon. I love the switchable 1/8 & RCA inputs on my Atom+. Its great for switching between my phone/dap and pc/dac. For that reason, I use it over the L30II, in that one set up.
 

JimmyBuckets

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Would there be any benefits to going with the Element III vs the Atom 2 stack. My guess is very little to nothing audibly?
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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The Atom 2 has a noise advantage if you use sensitive IEMs. It also has double the power for low impedance headphones. If either is not a consideration for you then yes, Element III is also an excellent choice.
 

dougq

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Dec 25, 2021
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Element 3 Mk2 now has a boost version that does almost the same power as the atom 2 (2.3 vs 2.6).
 

JimmyBuckets

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The Atom 2 has a noise advantage if you use sensitive IEMs. It also has double the power for low impedance headphones. If either is not a consideration for you then yes, Element III is also an excellent choice.
The only real consideration would be channel balance of the Element, but it seems JDS labs has that nailed on the Atom's potentiometer. Think for me, simple is better. I'll be going with the Atom for now. It's cheap enough to change my mind later! Thanks for the review!
 

yavormoskov

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This is a very similar product to my topping L30 II. Topping is $ 10 more costly but provides a little better performance. Lol, you can open reviews in neighboring windows and see how similar they are, while in basically every aspect Topping is a little better. That being said, I would totally understand someone preferring Atom.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ds/topping-l30-ii-review-headphone-amp.36027/
That's not entirely correct. If you order it from shenzhenaudio you will get free shipping to many countries, including USA, and no sales tax (VAT) added. The JDS labs will add sales tax plus close to $14 for shipping. The total amount for the Atom 2 amp is more than what you are going to pay for the Topping L30II.
 

yavormoskov

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Just ordered this little amplifier. I followed back and forth between the Topping camp and JDS labs camp. I did own the first Atom and liked the sound of it a little more than than my very expensive Burson. I also owned the original Topping L30 and Topping A50s. The Atom performed admirably but was bested by A50s. Never had an issue with any of those amps. My reasons to choose Atom 2 this time around are:
1. Much increased power output so it can drive almost anything.
2. Simple on/off through the volume wheel compared to the somewhat cluttered Topping L30II.
3. Support for a relatively small manufacturing company. Honestly, the Western world needs to revive the good manufacturing practices.
4. Superior customer service.

I am going to use my SMSL M500 MK3 as a DAC. Can't wait to try the Meze audio 109 Pro on this little champ :).
 
Last edited:

Ngower

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Nov 27, 2022
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Don't know if this is the appropriate thread but there are a handful and this is the most recent, so...

Ordered the Atom DAC 2 and had a hardware issue. JDS Labs sent me a replacement which had another, similar-but-separate hardware issue. Would be very easy to be frustrated by this experience but their CS was top notch and is taking care of me. I don't want to scare anyone into not buying their products given my experience, if anything quite the opposite: know that should any issues arise, they make right by it, which is an increasing rarity in our modern world.
 

yavormoskov

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Don't know if this is the appropriate thread but there are a handful and this is the most recent, so...

Ordered the Atom DAC 2 and had a hardware issue. JDS Labs sent me a replacement which had another, similar-but-separate hardware issue. Would be very easy to be frustrated by this experience but their CS was top notch and is taking care of me. I don't want to scare anyone into not buying their products given my experience, if anything quite the opposite: know that should any issues arise, they make right by it, which is an increasing rarity in our modern world.
May I ask what kind of hardware issues? And also, it is great the customer service is supportive. In my understanding CS is part of the cost or should be part of the cost of the product.
 

Ngower

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May I ask what kind of hardware issues? And also, it is great the customer service is supportive. In my understanding CS is part of the cost or should be part of the cost of the product.
I'll keep it brief because, again, I don't want this to become a forum thing that gets out of hand and spreads into some widespread flaw with these DACs. These were simply issues I came across and the company suspects a hardware fault:

The first issue was distorted sound and volume fluctuation and could be replicated when touching any of the wires on the back.

The second issue was a full right channel dropout that would periodically come back in but very grainy and distorted, while the left channel was generally fine. This issue appeared after a couple days of totally fine operation.
 

yavormoskov

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I paired my JDS labs Atom amp 2 with a different DAC. I am surprised the sound tonality changed greatly compared to the combo DAC/unit. Given that the amp 2 should be completely transparent I suspect the RCA cables should be to blame here. I have to play around I suspect.
 

salmo

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Simply amazing measurements! I bought second-hand first version of Atom Amp and I love it. :D Looks like power brick is still the same in Atom Amp 2 - well, that's only one thing I can complain about. Power supply connected to mains - even without amp - sips 2,5-3 W of power. Silly me tought that DX3 Pro+ on standby at ~2-2,2 W was really bad. :p
 

Robbo99999

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Simply amazing measurements! I bought second-hand first version of Atom Amp and I love it. :D Looks like power brick is still the same in Atom Amp 2 - well, that's only one thing I can complain about. Power supply connected to mains - even without amp - sips 2,5-3 W of power. Silly me tought that DX3 Pro+ on standby at ~2-2,2 W was really bad. :p
Yep, I've got the first gen Atom Amp and I had noticed the power brick gets warm even when the headphone amp is switched off, constant sipping power like you say. About the same power consumption of an energy efficient light bulb.
 

sharock

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I may have damanged my Atom 1 by making a typo on the gain of a PEQ filter (+80dB oops) in Equaliser APO whilst music was playing.:facepalm:

Sometimes the right channel will distort and crackle.

I guess I'll be "upgrading" to an Atom 2 soon.
 

Doodski

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I may have damanged my Atom 1 by making a typo on the gain of a PEQ filter (+80dB oops) in Equaliser APO whilst music was playing.:facepalm:

Sometimes the right channel will distort and crackle.

I guess I'll be "upgrading" to an Atom 2 soon.
The comparable by price Schiit headphone amp to the Atom has way more power output and protection circuitry too. A better amp for the money.
 

yavormoskov

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I may have damanged my Atom 1 by making a typo on the gain of a PEQ filter (+80dB oops) in Equaliser APO whilst music was playing.:facepalm:

Sometimes the right channel will distort and crackle.

I guess I'll be "upgrading" to an Atom 2 soon.
I used to own the old Atom. Now I have the JDS Atom 2 and it is a meaningful upgrade. The sound is just really excellent and the built quality is higher compared to the old one. I am sure you would love the new iteration.
 
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