Beyerdynamic A2 Review: Audiophile Amplifier

The Beyerdynamic A2 is an absolutely fantastic headphone amplifier. With the high level of clarity, detail, transparency, and musicality, it will serve even the pickiest of ears well.

The only downside is the high price, but if you're willing to pay for quality, then the A2 might be the perfect choice.

Our Rating:

Pros

  • Fantastic sound quality
  • High level of clarity, detail, transparency, and musicality
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Unkind to poor recordings

Key Features

  • Two parallel headphone outputs
  • Remote included
  • Voltage selector switch
  • Headphone stand included

Disclaimer: Beyerdynamic provided me with a review sample of the A2. This does not, however, affect this review in any way. This review is my personal and subjective opinion.

Rating

Sound Quality

Build Quality

Value

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 216 x 235 x 55 mm
  • T.H.D: 0.001 % at 170 mW / 250 Ω
  • Frequency Range: 1 Hz - 100 kHz (-1 dB)
  • Maximum Output Power: 170 mW / 250 Ω
  • Unweighted Signal-to-noise Ratio: > 101 dB (unweighted)
  • Channel Separation: > 89 dB
  • Net Weight Without Packaging: 2230 g

For more information, see this PDF.

Who It IS For

  • The audiophile
  • Those who are looking for clarity, detail, transparency, and musicality
  • Those who are not on a specific budget, but just want a high quality

Who It Is NOT For

  • Those who are on a budget
  • The treble allergic listener
  • Those who listen to many low level recordings

Beyerdynamic A2 Detailed Review

Below, you'll find our detailed Beyerdynamic A2 review.

Packaging and Accessories

Let's begin by looking at the packaging. As with so many other Beyerdynamic products, the packaging of the A2 provides a great first impression.

The front of the box shows a picture of the A2 amplifier, while the back contains all of the specifications.

Front of A2 packaging
Back of the A2 packaging

Inside the box, you'll find:

  • The A2 amplifier
  • The headphone hanger
  • The remote
  • The power cable

Once you've removed the top of the box, you'll witness the stunning sight below.

Beyerdynamic A2 in the box

Build Quality and Design

As you can see from the images, the A2 is a beautiful headphone amplifier. With the aluminum frame, you get a sense of quality immediately.

Front view of the Beyerdynamic A2

There is an optional headphone stand in the packaging. To use it, you simply attach it to the bottom of the amplifier. Hanging a pair of headphones (like the Beyerdynamic T1) on it serves as a stunning decoration.

On the front of the amplifier, you'll find two headphone outputs. This allows for two people listening to the same track at the same time. It is also possible to switch between the input signal using the two numbered buttons on the front. Very convenient if you're using multiple sources.

Finally, there is a standby button and a volume knob. Fairly self-explanatory.

On the back, you'll find two RCA inputs and one RCA output, along with a voltage selector.

Back view of the A2

On the bottom of the amplifier, you'll locate the gain selector, as well as the output impedance selector. This lets you further adjust the settings as you desire. It is simple to use, but the location isn't very practical at all. If you want to change it, you'll have to turn the amplifier over and flip the switch.

I suppose they do this because they don't want people changing these settings during a session. It might have a negative impact on the amplifier.

All in all, Beyerdynamic have done a great job designing the A2. It is a design that will never grow old. You get a strong sense of quality.

Even for the heavy price tag, the amplifier serves justice.

Sound Quality

If you haven't experienced many high-quality headphone amplifiers before, then you'll certainly get a pleasant surprise when plugging in the A2.

The first things you'll notice in the Beyerdynamic A2 is the high level of detail, clarity, and smoothness.

There isn't any emphasis on a particular frequency. It is a very transparent sound signature. I did not experience any distortion during the time I've been using it (which, as of now, is a considerable amount of hours).

The A2 remote

The instrumental separation is excellent. The strongest part of the spectrum is probably the mids. They are exceptionally clear and detailed and a pure joy to listen to.

The bass is tight and detailed. It is quite decent, but could definitely have a bit more depth.

The treble is absolutely fantastic as well. Again, the keyword seems to be detail. It might be a bit much if you don't normally enjoy the treble. Sparkly, clear, and extensive — in my opinion, one of the best combinations for a treble.

One bad thing about the A2 is that it seems to highlight the negative parts of a bad recording. Thus, if you're listening to a lot of low-quality recordings, the A2 might not be a perfect choice.

Nevertheless, the A2 is branded as an audiophile amplifier (and certainly priced as one), and I do not expect many audiophiles to be listening to poor recordings.

Overall, the A2 is a very musical amplifier that will treat your quality recordings with great care. It doesn't alter the feel of the music drastically like some other amplifiers do — it brings it to life.

Value

Sitting comfortably with a very high price tag, the A2 isn't exactly a go-to amplifier for the beginner. Nevertheless, it is an astounding headphone amplifier for the experienced listener who is looking to get the best quality possible.

Thus, the A2 provides incredible value to the audiophile listener, while maybe not so much to less picky listeners.

Overall Score

Should I Buy the Beyerdynamic A2?

Personally, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

It fulfills every musical need that I have. It promotes clarity, detail, transparency, and instrumental separation. I couldn't ask for much more from a headphone amplifier.

If you're considering purchasing the A2, then make sure you answer yes to the following points:

  • I'm looking for a high-quality audiophile amplifier.
  • I'm looking for an amplifier that promotes clarity, detail, and musicality.
  • The price is not an issue for me.

The last point is arguably the most important one. As with all high-quality equipment, one must weigh the cost versus the gain.

For the average listener, who doesn't care if the music is of the highest quality possible, the A2 is very overpriced.

For the more experienced listener, who wants the best quality possible, the A2 is an excellent choice.

Conclusion of Our A2 Review

To conclude our Beyerdynamic A2 review, it is an absolutely fantastic amplifier.

With the high level of clarity, detail, transparency, and musicality, it is an amplifier that even most audiophiles should be entirely happy with (I know I am).

On the other side, the cost of the A2 can be a problem for some. The main question to ask yourself is whether or not you're willing to pay the price for the high level of quality you're receiving.

Summary
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Beyerdynamic A2
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